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A Weekend Getaway in Omaha, NE


Article by Mindy Hargesheimer

Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer

For years we have been hearing sound bites about Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium being "the best" and beating out any other domestic, much less international zoo for its all encompassing experiences! Early on, moving from Chicago to Kansas City, I was introduced to Omaha as a nearby road trip not to miss thanks in and of itself to the internationally renowned zoo. We came, we saw, we conquered and absorbed as much of this city as we could to share with you what you should do!

"Best things to do this summer" (USA Today), "One Tank Trips" (KSHB Kansas City), "27 Most Underrated Food Cities in America" (The Week), and an award winning zoo consistently ranked best in the world - just a handful of noteworthy accolades Omaha has earned! Let's get into the details to support these notions!

As part of our road trip explorations from Kansas City, I was thrilled to partner with Visit Omaha to create a midweek or weekend agenda fit for a family all while offering amazing plugs for date night ideas.

I rounded out our 4-day, 3-night agenda to soak up Omaha, NE for a memorable Midwest getaway!

Visit @visitomaha and for a more extensive look into ALL things to explore, places to stay, and events that are updated regularly.

*For additional photos, videos and Midwest experiences, visit @kansascitybucketlist on Instagram and  

---->Day 1:

The Peregrine Omaha Downtown, Curio Collection by Hilton: Hotel | A prominent local landmark in downtown Omaha, the hotel is adjacent to the WoodmenLife Tower and surrounded by attractions. Reach the Joslyn Art Museum in three minutes or Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in 10 minutes. Old Market shops are a half-mile away.

Crescent Moon: Restaurant + Bar | Crescent Moon is Omaha's original Ale House in The Blackstone District. Over 60 taps of American Brewed craft beer and a few world class imports and voted one of Omaha's best Reuben sandwiches.

The Old Market: Shopping + Dining + Entertainment | Strolling through The Old Market district is a feast for the senses. Smells from over 40 restaurants, the sounds of street performers on the corners, the people-watching available at over 20 pubs and taverns, and the feel of the brick-laid roads under your feet – are why The Old Market is a destination to see.

Imaginarium Old Market Mercantile: Retro Vintage Toys + Games + Collectibles Retail Store | Everything pop culture and collectibles related from Marvel to 80's toys, records, vintage toys and clothing. Basically everything you wanted as a kid.

Made In Omaha: Local Maker Retail Shop | Made in Omaha opened its doors to local artists + designers + makers throughout Omaha and the surrounding area, creating a new platform to reach customers. We work to connect artists and makers so that we can grow our community through relationships and collaborations.

Old Market Candy Shop / Dolci: Desserts + Candy Shop | You can find us making our famous handmade fudge and chocolates -- marvel at the process unfolding before treating yourself to a sweet sample. Think you’d prefer something a little less rich? We’ve got salt water taffy, over 40 novelty jelly bean flavors, countless sugar-free varieties, and eve molded candies for special occasions. Authentic Italian desserts & pastries.

RAYGUN: Retail Store | The Greatest Store in the Universe! Clothing, Home & Kitchen, Collections, and By State Apparel and Goods.

The Peregrine Omaha Downtown:

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Crescent Moon:

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The Old Market:

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Made in Omaha:

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Old Market Candy Shop:

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---->Night 1:

Craft Brew Penny Pack: Buy One Get One for a Penny Beer Discounts | Prepare to meet our makers. True craft beer is all about innovative brewing ingredients, the re-interpretation of traditional methods and the development of new style. Here's your chance to sample award-winning beers from craftsman who have made beer their life and Omaha their home.

Lucky Bucket Brewing Company: Craft Brewery | In the days before kegs & bottles were available, the only way to get beer was to take a bucket to the local brewery, fill it up & lug it back home. We admire the work it took to get a beer. Our name pays homage to our beginnings the original Lucky Bucket.

Brickway Brewery & Distillery: Craft Beer + Spirits | Located in the heart of Omaha’s Old Market District, Brickway Brewery & Distillery taps into Omaha’s rich history by handcrafting beer and spirits that are as tried-and-true as the brick paved streets.

Upstream Brewing Company: Brewpub | Award winning craft brewery and restaurant in Omaha's Old Market. 

Craft Brew Penny Pack:

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---->Day 2:

Amateur Coffee: Vegan Coffee Shop | Artsy specialty coffee roasters and tiny 7th wave vegan coffee parlor + snack bar.

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium: Zoo + Aquarium | Inspire, educate and engage people to serve as lifelong stewards for animals, their habitats and their conservation.

Amateur Coffee:

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Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium:

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---->Night 2:

The Blackstone District: Food + Beverage Corridor | Strolling historic Farnam Street is a treat, but the restaurants and bars are where it's at. Step into one of the many stylish establishments for delicious eats, distinctive microbrews, craft cocktails, or an espresso from a nationally renowned barista.

The Switch: Bar + Food Hall | Local Kitchens / MiniBar / Altogether Omaha

Dirty Birds: Fast Casual Restaurant | Stay Dirty M.F.ers!!!  

Scriptown Brewing Company: Craft Brewery | Traditional Beer Styles, Handcrafted Locally. We're a Classic Beer Driven Microbrewery, Plain & Simple. 

The Blackstone District + The Switch:

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Dirty Birds:

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---->Day 3:

Omaha Children’s Museum: Museum | Omaha Children's Museum is a fun and welcoming space for families, featuring permanent and special exhibits designed for children ages 10 and under. Play, learn and spend quality time together.

Kitchen Table: Restaurant | Your home away from home - a place to enjoy carefully crafted food in a relaxed environment. For local, seasonal, from-scratch, made-with-love goods in downtown Omaha!

Coneflower Creamery: Ice Cream Shop | Coneflower Creamery features homemade, small-batch ice cream, sourcing dairy from Nebraska farms.

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge: Pedestrian Bridge | Technically I’m a 3,000 ft. pedestrian bridge, but actually I’m a 3,000 ft. magic trick – suspended in air by mere cables (and two really tall towers and a whole lotta something going on under the water), but other than that it’s all magic.

Lauritzen Gardens: Botanical Gardens | Experience Lauritzen Gardens to see horticulture displays that inspire, to enjoy events that entertain and educate, to see ecologically-minded garden cultivation and plant conservation in action, and to relax and reconnect with nature. 

Omaha Children's Museum:

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Kitchen Table:

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Coneflower Creamery:

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Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge:

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---->Night 3:

Thunderhead Brewing Taproom: Bar | Thunderhead Brewing is a small brewmaster owned brewery dedicated to producing high quality ales and lagers.

Mr. Toad's Pub: Restaurant + Pub | The Old Market's original tavern. Omaha's first & most famous courtyard. Mr. Toad has been an anchor to the Old Market since it opened in 1970.

Old Market Passageway: Shopping + Dining | This back alley passageway entrance is the hidden gem you are looking for in Omaha for restaurants, retail shops, art galleries, cafes, boutiques and more.

The Monster Club: Restaurant + Bar | Upon entering the Monster Club, you will be transported to an old haunted castle. Skull chandeliers, life-size figures, and a soft-lighted interior offer a creepy, but cozy, ambiance.

Drastic Plastic Vinyl Lounge: Retail Shop + Bar | Drastic Plastic Vinyl Lounge is Omaha's first record store featuring a coffee & espresso bar, a full cocktail and beer bar, and, as always, a large selection of vinyl to purchase! 

Hollywood Candy and Fairmont Mercantile: Chocolates + Vintage Candies + Pinball Arcade | Visitors love our BIG selection of retro candies, homemade chocolates & surprises on every aisle! Open daily in Omaha's Old Market at 1209 Jackson St.

The Berry & Rye: Cocktail Lounge | The Berry & Rye is a craft cocktail lounge in the heart of Omaha's Old Market. With a rotating menu full of creative, fresh ingredient cocktails there's always something new and exciting to try. 

The Old Market:

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Old Market Passageway:

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The Monster Club:

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Drastic Plastic Vinyl Lounge:

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Hollywood Candy and Fairmont Mercantile:

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The Berry & Rye:

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---->Day 4:

Union Station/The Durham Museum: Museum | The Durham Museum, located in Omaha’s beautiful art deco Union Station, is home to permanent exhibits preserving Omaha’s history, educational traveling exhibits, and year-round entertaining family-oriented activities. Current Exhibit - Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition

The Blackstone Meatball: Restaurant + Bar | House-made meatballs and house-made sauces, served just about any way you need them! Serving soul-food rolled into balls since summer, 2016.

Holy Family Shrine: Church | Located in Eastern Nebraska off of Interstate 80’s Gretna exit, the Holy Family Shrine is a retreat, a faith-filled experience, and a peaceful setting designed to help visitors strengthen their faith through prayer and reflection. 

Omaha Union Station:

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The Durham Museum / Current Exhibit - Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition

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The Blackstone Meatball:

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Holy Family Shrine:

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And that's a wrap! "Nebraska: It's Not for Everyone." The state's official tagline stands to be a creative and witty one, but I assure you Omaha IS for ALL of you to explore as adventurously as we did!

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