The 13 Best Picnic Spots in Nebraska!

Anyone who survives a Nebraska winter knows just how important it is to make the most out of the warmer months! One of the best ways to enjoy the nice weather is to go out and enjoy a picnic at one of the wonderful outdoor parks and spaces Nebraska has to offer. So fill up your picnic basket—here are the 13 best picnic spots in Nebraska!

Sculpture Garden, Lincoln, NE

The sculpture garden outside the Sheldon Museum of Art is a beautiful spot for a picnic. It’s located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, but there is much less foot traffic here than other areas.

Niobrara State Park, Niobrara, NE

The Niobrara State Park features picnic spots with spectacular views overlooking the intersection of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers. Dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and wildlife make this state park a top spot! 

Chalco Hills Recreation Area, Omaha, NE

Located just outside the city limits of Omaha, Chalco Hills offers 245 acres of space for hiking, walking, and of course, enjoying a picnic.

Riverside Park, Neligh, NE

Riverside Park in Neligh is located alongside the Elkhorn River and offers picnic-goers some amazing scenic views of the river. 

Sunken Gardens, Lincoln, NE

Named as one of the “300 Best Gardens to Visit in the United States and Canada” by National Geographic, the Sunken Gardens in Lincoln don’t disappoint. The gardens feature plenty of green space and benches to enjoy a picnic and admire the over 30,000 plants.

Pioneers Park, Lincoln, NE

With plenty of hilly greens, scenic views, and shaded picnic areas, Pioneers Park in Lincoln offers plenty of options for a nice day out. Picnic tables and shelters are also available.

Wildwood Park, Nebraska City, NE

Wildwood Park in Nebraska City has plenty to explore as well as some fantastic picnic spots. Shelter areas and grills are available throughout the park and dogs are welcome to join in on the picnic fun at the Wildwood Dog Park!

Elmwood Park, Omaha, NE

One of the largest parks in Omaha, Elmwood Park is a spacious spot right in the heart of the city with plenty of room for picnics around the lagoon.

Ponca State Park, Ponca, NE

Ponca State Park provides some excellent picnic areas—tables and fire pits are available throughout the picturesque park along the Missouri River bluffs.

Wellfleet Lake, Medicine, NE

Wellfleet Lake is a gorgeous area located north of North Platte with excellent fishing and picnic areas.

Standing Bear Lake, Omaha, NE

Standing Bear Lake provides plenty of wooded space for picnics and gatherings without being surrounded by other groups. On one end of the park, you’ll find some great picnic spots overlooking the lake.

Indian Cave State Park, Shubert, NE

Nestled in the Missouri River Valley, the Indian Cave State Park is for the adventurous and if you can manage to hike through some of its rugged terrains, you’ll be rewarded with picnic spots with some spectacular scenery.

Platte River State Park, Louisville, NE

Lots of shade and great views are what you’ll find at the picnic area at the Platte River State Park right across from the lake.

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Find Picnic Spots Near You
7425 S US Hwy 281, Doniphan, NE
North Loup State Recreation Area is a 13-acre area adjacent to the Loup River. It has two ponds with a total of seven water acres. The area offers ... Read More
7425 U.S. 281, Doniphan, NE
Just off Interstate 80 by Grand Island, Mormon Island State Recreation Area is a convenient place for outdoor fun. Mormon Island has handicap-acces... Read More
I-80 Exit 300, Wood River, NE
Cheyenne is a small state recreation area with a 15-acre pond near the community of Wood River. The area offers fishing, camping and picnicking. Th... Read More
7425 S US Hwy 281, Doniphan, NE
DLD is a former wayside area encompassing 7 acres of land. The area offers picnicking and 4 non-designated campsites. DLD is located 5 miles east o... Read More
I-80 Exit 291, Shelton, NE
War Axe State Recreation Area comprises nine acres of land and a 16 acre lake just off Interstate 80. The area offers boating, fishing and picnicki... Read More
79025 Sherman Dam Rd, Ste 1, Loup City, NE
Known for its great fishing opportunities, Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area boasts a 2,845-acre lake and 4,721 land acres. Primitive camping... Read More
2625 Lowell Rd, Gibbon, NE
Windmill State Recreation area is one of the jewels of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in the state’s unique chain of lakes along Inte... Read More
7425 S US Hwy 281, Doniphan, NE
Crystal Lake Recreation Area, located 2 miles north and 1/2 mile west of Ayr, NE, is a 33 acre park adjacent to the Little Blue River and features ... Read More
Bowman Lake is a 23-acre area lying adjacent to the Loup River and features a 20-acre man made lake. It is located one mile west of Loup City&... Read More
2620 Airport Drive, Ord, NE
Pibel Lake Recreation Area is a 72-acre facility, including the 24-acre lake. The lake has recently been renovated and is stocked with bluegills, l... Read More
1020 V Road, Kearney, NE
Fort Kearny State Recreation Area offers 186 acres dotted with sandpit lakes. In the spring, the world’s largest concentration of sandhill cr... Read More
1020 V Rd, Kearney, NE
Originally a safe haven for Overland Trail travelers, Pony Express riders, and gold prospectors, Fort Kearny established in 1848, is now a state hi... Read More
82038 Fort Avenue, Burwell, NE
Located near Elyria, Fort Hartsuff is typical of Plains infantry outposts. It stood as a buffer between settlers and Indians in the North Loup Rive... Read More
NE-76B (Washington Ave), Milford, NE
Blue River State Recreation area is a day-use only area that provides walk-in pedestrian river access for anglers. Common carp, channel catfish and... Read More
42285 York Point Rd, Burwell, NE
Located in Nebraska’s beautiful sandhills, Calamus State Recreation Area is among the most popular places for camping, fishing, boating, picn... Read More
54876 - 852 Road, Pierce, NE
Located 1 ½ miles southwest of Pierce, scenic Willow Creek State Recreation Area draws its name from the meandering stream that feeds the El... Read More
86930 517th Ave, Royal, NE
About 12 million years ago, a volcano in southwest Idaho spread a blanket of ash over a very large area. One or two feet of this powdered glass cov... Read More
1020 V Rd, Kearney, NE
Union Pacific State Recreation Area comprises 26 acres of land and a 12-acre lake. The area offers boating, picnicking, fishing and camping.Attract... Read More
57426 710th Rd, Fairbury, NE
Alexandria is a peaceful, scenic recreation area encompassing 55 acres of land with two lakes totalling 46 acres of water. The area is fairly level... Read More
12000 W. Branched Oak Rd, Raymond, NE
Branched Oak State Recreation Area features the largest lake in eastern Nebraska and has long been a popular spot for fishing, boating and camping.... Read More
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