9 Family Friendly Activities In Lincoln Nebraska

Family-friendly activities to build memories

Published: February 8, 2023

Visiting Lincoln, Nebraska, or want some fun, family-friendly activities to build memories? Take a look at this list of fun places and attractions to experience with your whole family.

The Haymarket District

The University of Nebraska students give this district a lively vibe, especially in the summer when it hosts festivals and farmers markets. Despite this, you still have the freedom to take a relaxing stroll and gaze at its unique buildings. You’ll find restored 19th-century brick warehouses, a large water tower, retro clocks, and more. Be sure to find your way to Lincoln Station, a former railway depot that now houses a visitor center and restaurant.

Memorial Stadium

Crowds of nearly 90,000 fans come from all over to watch the Cornhuskers play football at this famous stadium. If you don’t arrive on a game day but want to see what it offers, you can explore the Hall of Fame. Explore it as a free self-guided tour, or you can take a guided tour on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

You’ll see the Bob Devaney statue, historic columns from 1892, a trophy case, and a Huskers store where you can buy team memorabilia. College football fans have nothing to lose and everything to gain if they choose to stop by.

Sunken Gardens

This natural wonder was established in 1930, renovated in 2004, and contains three connected gardens. All the plants in the Healing Garden bloom white. The Perennial Garden has flowers that bloom multiple times per year.

The Annual Garden has over 30,000 plants used to create new designs and themes when they bloom each year. All 3 of them only take up 2 acres combined, but their beauty may convince you to trek through them again and again.

Museum of American Speed Founded in 1922, this museum now contains a large collection that takes up 135,000 square feet. Its archives are extensive, and its three major exhibitions are Automobobilia, Cars and Engines, and Toys and Models.

It’s easy to miss as part of an industrial park but worth the effort of putting it into a GPS to guide you. It’s only open for 2-hour tours on weekday afternoons, so be careful not to arrive too late to enjoy it.

Pioneers Park Nature Center

This free 668-acre park is a must-see for animal lovers of all ages. Its exterior includes 8 hours of hiking trails that offer a glimpse of bison, white-tailed deer, elk, red-tailed hawks, barred owls, wild turkeys, and other local wildlife.

If you want a less-strenuous experience, can also visit the Nature Center building for a closer look and the chance to touch turtles, snakes, and other animals.Children will enjoy the play area with climbing structures and dirt to dig in.

Sheldon Museum of Art

Over 12,000 pieces from a wide range of media are housed in this building that sits outside the University of Nebraska State Museum. It includes over 30 unusual sculptures, such as the big head by Jun Kaneko.

Its focus is American Art by artists such as Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keefe, and Andy Warhol.

Fun fact: A 1915 bronze sculpture by Elie Nadelman, was stolen from the sculpture garden in 1998. Police believe the sculpture was part of a post-game university rivalry prank following the university football team’s victory in the Orange Bowl. A week later, the sculpture was discovered on the university’s East Campus.

Lincoln Children’s Zoo and Museum

Both Lincoln children’s Zoo and Museum are adjacent sites that justifiably belong on the list of best things to do in Lincoln, Nebraska, if you need to keep your children entertained. The zoo has over 400 animals.

Children and adults will enjoy feeding the giraffes and getting closer to the animals at the Animal Encounter Stage. Even transportation is exciting in this zoo; you can ride the model train or take a guided horseback ride.

The Children’s Museum has 20,000 square feet and three floors of interactive exhibits. It regularly changes what it offers, so be sure to check that your favorites are still available.

The Governor’s Residence

The grounds alone are enough to make you want to visit this site.

They include beautiful trees, manicured lawns, and colorful gardens. The actual building was built in 1958 and remodeled in 1997. It has 31 rooms but only five bedrooms.

You can book a free 40-minute guided tour on Thursdays.

Larsen Tractor Museum

The Lester F. Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum is located on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska. Although it is small, there are a wide range of exhibits.

They feature restored tractors dating back to 1915, farm implements, and more. There is a tractor that kids can sit in and pretend to drive. This tractor that kids can drive is very similar to the one at the Lincoln Children’s Museum, except there are even more levers and buttons to push.

All exhibits honor the area’s extensive agricultural history.

Consider hiring a guide and visiting other nearby museums to get the most out of your trip.

Museum of American Speed

Step back in time to American automotive history. Founded in 1992 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith, the Museum of American Speed is a non-profit museum dedicated to preserving and displaying American racing and automotive history artifacts.

The Lincoln, Nebraska, museum is in a 135,000-square-foot facility.

Plan a minimum of 4 hours to go through room after room, level after level to experience everything from classic hot rods, turn-of-the-century race cars, dragsters, funny cars, off-road, Indy cars, flathead Fords, pedal cars, bikes, toys, models, even lunchboxes and albums that used hot rodding as the theme.

Lincoln, Nebraska, is a historic town with plenty of museums and landmarks to educate you on its past. It’s also a place where you can have fun by soaking in natural beauty or walking through its lively districts.

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