September 2012 Moms

Anyone in the Omaha area?

My mom and I take a long weekend the beginning of June each year and are thinking of going to the zoo in Omaha (we are zoo nerds).  Was wondering if anyone here has been there and if they can recommend other things to do, places to eat and places to stay.  TIA
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Re: Anyone in the Omaha area?

  • Hello! I would definitely hit up the Zoo! We have an annual pass and love going there over the weekend. We don't have elephants anymore, which DS misses, but there's still a ton to see and it's our favorite family place to go over the summer. You can bring in any food/drink that you want and have a picnic too so you don't have to pay for food if you're looking to save some $$ since you do have to pay to get in. Parking is free though.

    If you're looking for places to eat/things to do, you can go downtown to the Old Market and there are a ton of restaurants and shops. Every Saturday morning there is a farmer's market too. The Children's Museum and Durham Museum are both located near there as well if you like museums. People tend to love M's Pub to eat (I think it's ok) but it's pretty reasonably priced. There are many other restaurants downtown depending on what you're in the mood for. You could also see if there are any shows playing at the Orpheum or Holland Center. For ice cream, Ted and Wally's is downtown as well, which is an Omaha staple.

    Depending on where you're staying, the Dundee area (50th and Underwood) has some good restaurants and locally owned ice cream as well, just not much else to do but eat :)

    I'm not sure what exactly you're looking to do, but I hope that helps! Just a word of warning, the College World Series is in town June 14-25/26. It shouldn't affect the zoo traffic much anymore, but downtown will be really busy. I would recommend making reservations if you go to a place like M's. If you have any other questions, let me know!!

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    Lurking from October 2012:

    I am.  The zoo is awesome.  Wear comfy shoes though!

    Other fun things to do:

    1.)Explore the Old Market area (between 10th and 14th Street and Dodge St. to Farnam) - lots of little Ma & Pa type stores, weekend farmer's market, during the summer there's almost always something going on, lots of food/ice cream vendors, bars, coffee shops, etc.  

    2.) Botanical Gardens - just north of the zoo

    3.) Durham Western Heritage Museum - near the Old Market - lots of info about the history of Omaha, specifically the railroad

    3.) Stormchaser's baseball game - minor league, family oriented type park

    4.) If you will have kids with you or just like waterparks, Coco Key Waterpark is pretty fun -Lazy River/Indoor Waterpark attached to a hotel.  There's also FunPlex or the Papio Water Park, which are smaller and less expensive water options.

    5.) Mahoney State Park near Ashland NE (this is about a 45 minute drive from Omaha) - hiking, horseback riding, camping (cabins, tents, or RVs), swimming, paddle boats

    6.) See a movie and have dinner at Marcus Theater in Midtown Crossing

    7.) I know there's some good Spa's around, but that's not my thing so I can't recommend one.

    Good places to eat - Farmhouse Cafe (comfort food, homestyle cooking), Spaghetti Works in the Old Market (casual Italian), French Cafe in the Old Market (this is very pricey french cuisine, but very yummy), pretty much any restaurant in the Midtown Crossing area (Ingredient, Crave, Cantina Laredo are my faves), Gorat's Steakhouse (I've never been, but this is the place Warren Buffet always recommends during the Berkshire Hathaway events.),  Famous Dave's BBQ in the Old Market

    As far as where to stay I'm not sure what you want to spend, but these are my top three:

    Hilton - Omaha (This is one will be on higher end of prices, but the location is great as is the service.  We stayed here the night after our wedding.)

    1001 Cass St, Omaha, NE 68102 

    Courtyard Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area  (This one is where most of the clients at my work stay it's a little on the higher side of prices too, but very nice & clean)

    101 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68102


    Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Omaha-Southwest (The location on this one is south central Omaha, so nice if you plan to be driving all over the place, but not so convenient if you plan to spend most of your time downtown by the zoo/Old Market area.  My in-laws usually stay here when they visit.  Middle of the road as far as prices and amenities.)  10729 J St, Omaha, NE 68127
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  • My family is in the Omaha area and I grew up not far from there.  The previous posters offer excellent ideas.  The zoo is a must and is huge, so the comfy shoes is a requirement!  I always take my niece when I'm back in town and then hit up the Old Market, lots of shopping and restaurants.  Spaghetti Works is my favorite place to eat, but there are no shortage of good restaurants.  The Upstream is another favorite, but I haven't been to any of them that I haven't enjoyed in that area.  


    Mahoney State Park is also a great suggestion.  My family has a cabin there and the horseback riding and trails are a lot of fun.  Just down the road from there is the SAC Air Museum which is also very cool, especially if you already have kids or an aviation buff in the group.


    There are some great boutique hotels in the Old Market and downtown areas as well.  Just search on and they'll come up.  Prices are usually pretty reasonable, right in line with a major chain hotel.


    Have fun! 

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  • Thanks everyone for some ideas I really appreciate it!
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