15 Fun Facts About Nebraska

Located in the middle of the United States, Nebraska is home to small towns and vast stretches of farmland, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot happening. From the beginnings of Arbor Day to the invention of Kool-Aid and Runza, Nebraska is home to many unusual inventions and historically significant moments that you might not have ever heard about. Here are 15 fun facts about Nebraska you should know.

1. The birthplace of Kool-Aid

In 1927, the ever-popular juice drink Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings, Nebraska. Perkins transformed his soft drink syrup “Fruit Smack” into the famous Kool-Aid powder, making for an easier shipping process. 

2. Biggest indoor rainforest

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, houses the largest indoor rainforest in the United States. The Lied Lunge, covering 1.5 acres of land with an eight-story building, features flora, fauna and animals from rainforests all over the globe.

3. Home of Carhenge

The Carhenge, a replica of the historic English Stonehenge, is located just north of Alliance, Nebraska and is made up of 38 old automobiles that have been arranged in the same proportions and shape as the original Stonehenge. 

4. Lighthouses, but no ocean

The state of Nebraska is nowhere near an ocean. However, there is a lighthouse that stands along the road in Ashland, Nebraska. The lighthouse was constructed over 75 years ago and graces a 40-acre lake nearby. 

5. Nebraska origin

The name “Nebraska” originated with the Otoe Indians. The word “Nebraska” means “flat water” and refers to the Platte River that flows throughout the state.

6. Arbor Day

Nebraska is where “Arbor Day” first began. In 1872, Julius Sterling Morton proposed the holiday to plant trees on April 10 of that year and to award prizes to the counties and individuals who planted the most trees on that day. Roughly one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. Therefore, in 1885 Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska and it was moved to April 22, the birthday of Julius Sterling Morton. 

7. Warren Buffet’s home

Omaha, Nebraska, is home to one of the most famous billionaires in the world, Warren Buffett. Buffett, also known as the “Wizard of Omaha” or “Oracle of Omaha,” still lives humbly in the city in his lifelong home. 

8. Largest mammoth fossil

The Elephant Hall at the University of Nebraska State Museum features the largest mammoth fossil on display anywhere in the world. The fossils were discovered in Lincoln County in 1922 and have been identified as the remains of a Columbian mammoth. Bonus fun fact: It is also Nebraska’s official state fossil. 

9. Big football fans

Speaking of Lincoln, Nebraska, the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ football stadium is capable of holding more than 90,000 people. On game day, the stadium becomes the 3rd most populated place in the state!

10. Runza

Nebraska is home to “Runza,” a fast food chain that dishes out hot stuffed pastries that are beloved by Nebraskans and almost exclusively found in the state. And even though you can find 82 Runza restaurants sprinkled across Nebraska, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find someone outside of the state that has tried one!

11. Interesting laws

In the late 1800s, a law created in Lehigh, Nebraska forbid merchants from selling donut holes. One lawmaker claimed donut holes were a waste and believed that by selling the middle of the donut bakers were trying to make an undue profit. Thankfully, the law was repealed in the late 1990s, but these tasty round treats are still hard to come by in the town of Lehigh. 

12. Chef Boyardee

In Omaha, Nebraska you can find a six-foot-tall statue of the famous Chef Boyardee. Yes, the friendly face who graces the cans of Spaghetti-Os. And yes, he was a real person. Omaha is the former home of ConAgra Foods, Inc., which includes the Chef Boyardee brand.

13. Not so populated

Nebraska is located in the bottom third of the country’s most populated states. With a total population of about 1.8 million people and most of its residents living in rural communities, it is also one of the least densely populated states. 

14. Home to big-name stars

Nebraska may be one of the least populated states, but many celebrities call the Cornhusker state home. Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, Gerald Ford, and Nick Nolte are some of the state’s most famous residents. 

15. The biggest weight room in America

The University of Nebraska in Lincoln is home to the largest weight room in the United States. In fact, it covers a whopping 3/4 of an acre meaning there’s plenty of space for the entire football team to get a proper workout.

Share your favorites!
Nebraska Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You
Oct
14

Hairball

7:30 PM
Heartland Events Center, Grand Island, NE
Learn More
Oct
16

Circus Monster Mash | YORK, NE (October 16)

1:30 PM
York County Fairgrounds, Cornerstone Ag & Event Center, York, NE
Learn More
Oct
16

Circus Monster Mash | YORK, NE (October 16)

4:30 PM
York County Fairgrounds, Cornerstone Ag & Event Center, York, NE
Learn More
Dec
21

Mannheim Steamroller

7:30 PM
Heartland Event Center, Grand Island, NE
Learn More
Dec
21

Mannheim Steamroller

7:30 PM
Heartland Events Center, Grand Island, NE
Learn More
Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
619 Howard Avenue, Saint Paul, NE
The museum is owned and operated by a nonprofit corporation, the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. The Baseball Museum Committee was created in 1... Read More
Pier Park, 623 S. Pine, Grand Island, NE
The Skate Park comes with a beginner’s area and advanced area. The advanced area includes a launch box, wall ride, bank ramp, quarter pipes, ... Read More
2103 Stolley Park Road West, Grand Island, NE
Playground Equipment: The park offers numerous playground areas with equipment for all children.Fitness Trail: There is a hard surfaced drive throu... Read More
321 East Fonner Park Road, Grand Island, NE
Island Oasis offers over six acres of refreshing Family Fun! Guests can brave the waves in the 350 thousand-gallon wave pool or relax and unwind in... Read More
210 16th Street, Aurora, NE
The Plainsman Museum is a not-for-profit institution, which focuses on the time from 1860-1950, that collects, preserves, illustrates and works to ... Read More
208 16th Street, Aurora, NE
The Edgerton Explorit Center was founded in 1995 to instill and nurture in all people the joy of scientific discovery and exploration through hands... Read More
Highway 14 (16th Street), Aurora, NE
Refshauge Park provides ball fields, tennis courts, skate park, a playground, picnic shelters, and restrooms. Read More
3180 W US Highway 34, Grand Island, NE
About Us:The Grand Island Little Theatre has been providing quality, live entertainment in Grand Island and the surrounding communities for over 50... Read More
3133 West US Highway 34, Grand Island, NE
Mission:       The mission of Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer is to preserve and portray the inspiring era of th... Read More
9325 South Alda Road, Wood River, NE
The Center is a non-profit organization that operates year-round.We are solely supported by sponsorships, contributions, grants and program fees. W... Read More
1400 West 18th Street, Hastings, NE
Welcome Bowlers to Our Center. Come enjoy our 32 lanes of bowling fun. Relax in our illusions lounge, play our arcade games and win prizes. Full me... Read More
1330 North Burlington Avenue, Hastings, NE
About UsFounded in 1927, Hastings Museum is the largest municipal museum between Chicago and Denver. Featuring a theatre with a 70-foot wide screen... Read More
515 South 4th Avenue, Hastings, NE
Hastings Community Theatre, located at Good Samaritan Village, is an  all volunteer organization dedicated to producing four or five live ... Read More
Northside of Harrison Park, York, NE
Show More
Select a Nebraska town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Arthur County
Banner County
Box Butte County
Garfield County
Hayes County
Hooker County
Logan County
Loup County
Mcpherson County
Nance County
Rock County
Sioux County
Stanton County
Wheeler County