The 15 Best Free Things to Do in Nebraska!

If you’re looking to sightsee, enjoy a museum, or tube down a river without opening your wallet, Nebraska has you covered. Get ready to explore without breaking the bank. Here are 15 free things to do in Nebraska both visitors and locals will enjoy!

1. Stroll across the Bob in Omaha

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge stretches 3,000 feet and links Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Walk across the infamous bridge and take a photo while you’re standing in two states at once! The bridge also connects to a number of nearby trails and parks to explore.

2. Bird watching in Hastings

Watching the sandhill cranes near Hastings, Nebraska, each year is said to be one of the best wildlife spectacles you can see in all of North America. More than 80 percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes flock to the Platte River Valley and from March to May you can catch all the action.

3. Explore the Joslyn Art Museum

Built in 1931, Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum is a stunning Art Deco museum featuring over 11,000 pieces of artwork ranging from modern day to ancient Greek pottery. Admission is free.

4. Tour the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Campus

Take a walking tour of the largest and oldest university in the state of Nebraska—the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While you’re walking around, see if you can spot all the campus landmarks!

5. See the wildlife at Cody Park

Take a stroll around Cody Park in North Platte and get up close and personal with all the animals. You can bring your own suitable food and feed the peacocks, llamas, geese, deer, and many other critters.

6. Visit Memorial Park

Dedicated to the veterans who served in World War II, Memorial Park is an expansive park located in the heart of Omaha and features a stunning rose garden with over 1,000 rose plants.

7. Tour the capitol

Home to the United States’ only one-house, nonpartisan Legislature, the Lincoln Capitol is famous for its unusual design. The 400-foot tower features an observation deck with sweeping views of the city and guided tours are free.

8. Marvel at the St. Cecilia Cathedral

The St. Cecilia Cathedral is one of the ten largest in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a tour and marvel at its Spanish Renaissance Revival architectural style and the impressive organ inside.

9. Visit America's 20th Century Veterans Memorial

In North Platte, an ambitious monument features incredible bronze eagles and bronze soldiers representing the 20th century’s military veterans and heroes. The five major armed forces (Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines and Coast Guard) are memorialized here and visitors are welcome 24/7. 

10. Learn about the Mormon Trail

The Mormon Trail Center at the Historic Winter Quarters in Omaha features a full-size log cabin, covered wagons, and many more artifacts from the times of the Mormons’ westward migration in the mid-1800s. Admission to the museum is free.

11. Tube down the North Platte River

When the weather is nice, Cody Park visitors can float down the river in their own tubes all the way to the bridge at Highway 30. The trip takes a couple of hours but there’s no better fun and free way to beat the summer heat in Nebraska!

12. Get moving on the trails in Lincoln

The city of Lincoln features a whopping 77 miles of awesome trails throughout the city. Walk, run, or bike on any one of the numerous trails for a healthy, free way to enjoy the city. Here’s a complete list of Lincoln’s trails!

13. Take a tour of Boys Town

There are plenty of free activities at Boys Town in Omaha. Visit the Hall of History, Visitors Center, or the Father Flanagan House and learn about how the center has helped so many over the years and how it all began.

14. Snap selfies at the Carhenge

Experimental artist Jim Reinders recreated the famous Stonehenge in England right here in Nebraska—with a modern approach. His version, the “Carhenge,” features 38 automobiles arranged to mimic the position of the Stonehenge rocks. It’s definitely a site to see!

15. Listen to live music in Omaha

Gather some friends and visit Midtown Crossing’s Turner Park July through September for 16 weeks of live music events. Omaha is also home to a number of free outdoor festivals during the summer months.

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