Weekend Trip to Omaha with Kids


Pack some Cornhusker red and head to Nebraska for a long weekend in Omaha! Just around three hours north of Manhattan, Omaha has something for everyone to enjoy! Use this guide to as to reference a 4-day weekend getaway, which is super easy to customize to your family’s preferences and style!

Weekend Trip to Omaha

Day 1 in Omaha

First, let’s plan for the drive. Ideally we like to leave for road trips as early as possible in the morning. There are three main paths to reach Omaha from Manhattan. Consider choosing the 3 hour 10 minute option going north on Highway 77. This route will allow you to have lunch in the capital of Lincoln, which is right around the two-hour mark.

Lincoln is a fun city to explore and we could spend a weekend visiting there as well! We chose to stop for a light lunch at The Front Porch which offers both indoor and outdoor seating as well both indoor and outdoor play areas. This gives us the opportunity to get our wiggles out before heading an hour East to Omaha!

Omaha has many lodging options to consider! We like to rent an Airbnb or stay at the Holiday Inn Express with a suite to ensure a separate bedroom, living room and kitchenette spaces which can sometimes be the cheapest option. We usually plan ahead and order a pickup grocery near where we are staying instead of traveling with a bunch of extra food and dealing with a giant cooler! We do always bring a smaller cooler along that we take with us on our day long outings.

Day 2

Omaha Zoo

After a quick breakfast, head to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium! A whopping 160 acres, the Omaha Zoo will be a full-day outing so come prepared! The zoo is open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. The hours do fluctuate slightly depending on the time of the year so double check here.

If you are a memeber of the Sunset Zoo, take a look at the AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program. As a member, you will receive your Omaha Zoo passes 50 percent off! You will have to purchase tickets at the door instead of online where you will need to provide your Sunset Zoo pass and an ID.

To prepare for the long day of animal site-seeing, make sure to bring water bottles, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, maybe even a misting spray bottle to keep you cool. While there are several food options available at the zoo, don’t forget to bring a small cooler with some easy snack options. Plan to bring your children’s swimsuits, water shoes and towels! The zoo has an amazing family friendly splash park that is the perfect pitstop when your crew gets too hot while focusing on the animals. Both the splash park and the aquarium will fill up right after lunch as people want to take the time to beat the afternoon heat!

Mom tip: if your nursing your baby, in Nebraska woman may breastfeed their baby anywhere they please. If you would prefer somewhere more private, take a look at the map to find the nearest nursing room.

Spaghetti Works

After a long and full day at the zoo, take a restful 20 minute drive to a local favorite, Spaghetti Works! Enjoy an all you can eat pasta plate along with a salad bar. A comfort food like pasta is great for everyone after a full day on the go! While it is a favorite for locals, you will see a lot of tourists as well and mostly families made up of kids so don’t worry about looking like you have spent all day outside at the zoo because chances are your next-door table mates have been there as well!

Day 3 in Omaha

Opening at 6:30 a.m., enjoy an early family breakfast at another local favorite, Early Bird! With so many yummy options, make it a family breakfast buffet at your own table and try splitting the cinnamon role pancakes, the breakfast nachos and the chicken and waffles! Enjoy the many gluten free and vegan options as well!

Omaha Children’s Museum

After breakfast, be prepared for an all day fun-fest at the Omaha Children’s Museum! Open most days (closed Mondays) at 9 a.m., be prepared to stay all day until they close at 4 p.m. Tuesdays- Fridays or until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Children’s Museum is a place that has thought of almost everything you could want for your family outing. Geared toward children 8 and under, the museum is prepared with nursing rooms, quiet areas, child-sized toilets, locker rentals, stroller parking, a concession area and even sensory friendly options for your crew. You can bring in a small cooler with food and drinks, however eating is limited to the indoor and outdoor picnic areas.

The Omaha Children’s Museum is also memebers of the AMC Recipical Network! If your family is a member of the Flint Hills Discovery Center or the Wonder Workshop Children’s Museum in Manhattan, you will receive 50-percent off of your admission! You will need to bring your membership card and ID when you purchase tickets at the door.

With so much to explore and play at the Children’s Museum, take a look at the two-story map to make use of your time during the day! We are big fans of both the imagination playground and the carousel. Tickets for the carousel are $3 and can be purchased at the front desk. Adult riders accompanying a child can ride for free. Plan ahead and take a look at both the permanent exhibits as well as the special events! The Children’s Museum also has daily events including a science show and a S.T.E.A.M. Power show! The Children’s Museum really does have everything you could want for a full family fun day!

Zio’s Pizzeria

After a busy day at the Children’s Museum, plan for some more fun at a local favorite, Zio’s Pizzeria! The adults will enjoy the taste of the New York style pizza with over 40 toppings to choose from. The kids will get pizza dough to play with you wait for your food! Zio’s has received over 35 Best Pizza awards and also offers additional options to traditional pizza such as gluten free and cauliflower crust pizzas! Our family always enjoys BBQ chicken pizza.

After dinner, take a 5 minute drive to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge where you can literally stand in two states at the same time! The perfect way to wrap up a long and fun day!

Day 4 in Omaha

On any long weekend road trip, we personally like to spend the last day just traveling home. We like to get home so we can get unpacked and reset for the week ahead. However there are so many more things to do in Omaha with your family so if you’re OK with getting home later in the day, consider some of these additional options:

The Amazing Pizza Machine features over 60,000 square feet of indoor fun including mini-bowling, bumper cards, go karts, laser tag and over 170 arcade games!

Need to slow things down a bit or unexpectedly get caught in the rain? Check out The Rose Theater where you can catch a kid-friendly show such as Little Red Riding Hood or Charlotte’s Web! They have a wide variety of live showtimes, which are a perfect way to spend the afternoon or evening!

For the older kids (12+) on your vacation, rent bikes at Heartland B-cycles, and take a ride around Omaha City Park.

A weekend trip to Omaha has so many options for families to explore and play! We will definitely be back to visit again soon.

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Janelle Cumro-Sultzer
I’m just a normal mom who is trying to figure out how to have it all. Married to my best friend Dylan, we have 3 children, 2 senior dogs, 10 fish and a frog. Our children are 4.5 years, 2.5 year and 8 months who regularly like to do yoga with me and see if I can carry all three of them at the same time while doing squats. I’m originally from Junction City and together with Dylan have lived in New York, Denver, Kansas City and now Manhattan for the long haul. My Bachelor's is in Family Studies & Human Services from Kansas State University and my Master's is in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies. I spend my free time trying to plan dates with my husband, writing and aggressively applying eye cream.


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