Missouri River, NE
Start Your Engines
Once the eastern terminus of the transcontinental railroad, Omaha is the perfect starting point for a modern-day Lewis and Clark expedition. Spend a few hours tracing the history of rail travel at the Western Heritage Museum, housed in the 1931 Union Pacific Railway Station. While you check out the museum's thousands of artifacts, the kids can romp through the preserved train cars and recreated dining car.
Ten blocks away, at the Omaha Children's Museum, your future broadcasters get their 15 minutes of fame anchoring a TV newscast or dressing up to play other adult career roles. The How Things Work exhibit lets kids take things apart without getting in trouble! And at Rainbow Farm, youngsters 4 years and under can experience life on the range.
While downtown, make time to browse the shops along Howard Street, or hang out in the Old Market District. This fun and festive area features street performers, gourmet restaurants and antique shops. If you love beef, grab some grub at one of the nation's best steakhouses located here!
Penguin exhibit, copyright Scott
Aquarium, Omaha Zoo
Make your next stop the Henry Doorly Zoo, south of downtown. Home to giant aquatic animal pools and more than 2,000 species, the zoo has a new attraction guaranteed to bring a smile (or scream) to every kid's face: the $16 million Kingdom of the Seas exhibit, where visitors walk through shark-infested waters in a clear acrylic tube. Don't miss its renowned Lied Jungle exhibit, featuring rain forest wildlife in a habitat of waterfalls and lush plants.