15 of Nebraska's Best Winter Activities!

Nebraska is a wonderful state filled with endless opportunities for entertainment and recreation—even during the winter months. Though it may feel like the perfect time to snuggle up indoors and watch reruns on Netflix, the state has many interesting, fun activities that will get you through the dreary, snowy days. So, if you think of Nebraska as a summer only destination, think again! Here are 15 of the best winter activities to do in Nebraska.

1. Enjoy nature at the Lauritzen Gardens

The Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha is a wonderful place to visit, even during the winter months. They keep the schedule booked year-round with exciting events so you can enjoy a fun day out with tropical temperatures and plants anytime. The Lauritzen Gardens features a 10,000 square-foot “tropical house” with vibrant flowers, waterfalls and a pond, as well as a 5,300-square-foot “temperate house,” which is an architectural feat. Additionally, visit their large indoor gallery for varying floral displays and special events, such as a holiday poinsettia show.

2. Expand your mind at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum

The SAC Aerospace Museum in Ashland is home to over 300,000 square feet of exhibits that will inspire and entertain you all the way through the cold months. Get up close to iconic Cold War aircrafts or check out the collection of space artifacts brought back by Nebraska’s own astronaut, Clayton Anderson. If you’re feeling more adventurous, take a ride in the flight simulator or catch an eye-popping show at the planetarium. The SAC Aerospace Museum also hosts many special events and camps through the winter.

3. Go wild at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

This Omaha zoo isn’t just for the summer months. Thanks to its numerous indoor exhibits, such as a world-class aquarium, indoor rainforest, desert dome, and butterfly house, there is plenty to do and see in the winter months too. Short on time? You can also catch a show at the Lozier IMAX theater located here as well. 

4. Enjoy the ice skating season in Lincoln

Get your skate on at Lincoln’s only outdoor ice skating rink that is open seven days a week through March. At 4,200 square-feet, the rink is one of the largest in the state and free to visit! Afterward, grab a hot drink or bite to eat from any of the Public Market or Railyard businesses located right near the rink. 

5. Eat, drink, and laugh at Omaha Funny Bone

A premier comedy club in Nebraska, the Omaha Funny Bone is the place to be for a night out that’s full of laughter and a delicious meal. The Funny Bone has made a name for itself by bringing in top talent as well as up-and-coming comedians from across the country. 

6. Relax at the Lied Lodge & Space

Looking for a relaxing place to escape the cold? Pamper yourself with a trip to Nebraska City’s Lied Lodge where you can get a massage, go swimming in their Olympic-sized swimming pool or relax in a cedar sauna in this iconic mansion. Gourmet meals and a full bar make for a relaxing escape you won’t forget!

7. Drive around and see the lights in Omaha

Visiting downtown Omaha during the winter is a must-do. The city comes to life with more than one million twinkling lights, family activities such as ice skating, and much more. We recommend a stroll through the Old Market and Old Market Passageway where you’ll find dozens of boutique shops, art galleries, and diverse options for a warm meal.

8. Warm up with a wine tour

Did you know Nebraska is home to some very fine wineries? Go behind the scenes and learn all about them on one of Nebraska Wine Tour’s guided tours. Each tour offers exclusive access to two or three wineries as well as transportation to points of interest along the route. You’ll learn about the lesser-known wine culture in the state and try delicious samples of the beverage at each stop. 

9. Get inspired at the Joslyn Art Museum

There’s always something that will catch your eye at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. This historic, breathtaking art deco building constructed in 1931 features numerous galleries, a concert hall, lecture hall, as well as a cafe where you can view and learn about fascinating masterpieces up close and personal all year.

10. Treat yourself to the world’s best licorice

For anyone with a sweet tooth, a visit to Licorice International in Lincoln can be a fun escape from the cold. This shop offers nearly 160 different types of licorice from 12 countries as well as other gourmet candies and foods. The amazing assortment of licorice and samplers also make great gifts!

11. Sample craft beers from the best breweries

In recent years, the craft beer scene in Omaha has exploded and most of the breweries offer fantastic tours year-round. But you can also plan your own tour by requesting a Craft Brew Explorer’s Journal at the Visit Omaha website, and take a journey to eight breweries across Omaha where you’ll enjoy a complimentary beer at each! Bonus: if you can make it through all eight breweries, the Omaha Visit Center will have a complimentary pint glass waiting for you at the finish line.

12. Plan your escape at Escape Room

If you and your friends are die-hard gamers, The Escape Room in Lincoln will challenge each of your brains on all levels. You’ll have a blast solving puzzles, riddles, and clues to escape the real-life adventure game within 60 minutes. Escape Room is a must-do indoor activity while you’re in Lincoln.

13. Pick up a paintbrush

Uncork your creativity at any of the “paint and wine” studios popping up in Nebraska this winter. The Corky Canvas or Canvas and Cabernet are two great options in Omaha that offer a fun, relaxing night of painting with a warm beverage. Grab some friends and paint your very own masterpiece!

14. Go shopping in the historic Haymarket District

Explore the best of downtown Lincoln in the historic Haymarket district. A stroll through this diverse hub of boutiques, specialty stores, and antique shops is the perfect way to shop, to dine, and to experience the heart of the state’s capital.

15. Catch an independent flick at Film Streams

If you’re tired of blockbusters and looking for more obscure or foreign movie options, then you must visit Film Streams, a quaint theater in downtown Omaha. From independent movies to classics, Film Streams features film favorites that don’t always make it to the commercial theaters but are delightfully entertaining nonetheless.

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