When we first got the invite to my husband’s cousin’s wedding in Omaha, I was pretty excited to visit a new city. That was, of course, until realizing that we’d be making the trip with a newborn. I was determined to continue traveling- even if that meant traveling with a baby- and it was a great first trip to look forward to. So we committed early on to going to the wedding and made our way to Nebraska with a 7 week old baby. Whether you’re visiting Nebraska with a baby or teens, there are tons of things to do with kids in Omaha for a weekend getaway.
Keep reading for what to do and where to stay in Omaha, Nebraska.
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Things to Do With Kids in Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska is an under the radar US city that’s has tons of family friendly things to do. Whether you’re into sports or looking for one of the best zoos in the country, you’re sure to find enough kid-friendly things to do in Omaha for a weekend or more. While our son was just an infant and not able to fully enjoy everything, the rest of the kids in our extended family had a blast.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
After just one visit you’ll easily see why the Omaha Zoo is ranked one of the best zoos in the world. The zoo in Omaha is huge, and it’s separated into several different ecosystems with a variety of animals like tigers, monkeys, giraffes and elephants while we were there. At 7 week’s old, our son didn’t last too long but he loved looking at the aquarium with tons of colorful fish. When we were there they were working on a children’s adventure trail that’s now open, and it’s definitely making me want to go back!
Tip: There are 2 nursing rooms available at the Omaha Zoo and several family restrooms. Check the FAQ on the zoo’s website for more info.
Walk Around Old Market
Old Market in Omaha, NE is a historic neighborhood in Omaha that spans across several blocks. It’s jam packed with cute shops, art galleries, live music, restaurants and bars. Many of the streets are lined with cobblestones, and it’s size and charm make it manageable to get around with even the youngest kids. In addition to the Old Market restaurants mentioned below, it’s a great place for shopping with everything from clothing boutiques to an old fashion candy shop.
Attend the College World Series in Omaha
Each year, college baseball teams come to Omaha from all over the country to complete for the NCAA College World Series. TD Ameritrade Park is home to the College World Series, and it’s located right in the Old Market area in downtown Omaha. It happened to coincide with the wedding that brought us to Omaha at the end of June, and several of our family members had a blast cheering on their favorite teams.
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
Did you know that you can be in two places at once in Omaha, Nebraska? Just walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connects Nebraska and Iowa. This bridge overlooks the Mississippi River and the background is beautiful and scenic. In recent years, they’ve also added a blue troll named Omar, who can be found under the bridge. If you’re looking for things to do in Omaha for free, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Old Market Omaha, Nebraska Restaurants
Omaha’s Old Market area is the perfect base for exploring Omaha, and it offers so much to do whether you’re visiting Omaha with kids or not. From great breakfast and seafood to breweries in Omaha, there are several great restaurants in Old Market Omaha to choose from. All of the Omaha, NE Old Market restaurants mentioned below are kid-friendly as well.
Breakfast at Wheatfields Express Restaurant & Bakery
If you’re looking for the best breakfast in Omaha, NE, Wheatfields needs to be on your list. Wheatfields Omaha Old Market was recommend to us by family and I’m so glad we tried it. We split the berries & brûlée waffle and eggs benedict. Our breakfast was the best combo of sweet and savory and the coffee was so good too. It’s also known as one of the best bakeries in Omaha, with everything from breakfast pastries to wedding cakes.
Wheatfields is spacious with ample indoor and outdoor seating. It does fill up quickly on the weekend mornings, however, so be sure to get there early.
- Location: 1202 Howard Street, Omaha, NE 68102
- Website: https://www.wheatfieldscatering.com
I was initially a little apprehensive about a seafood restaurant so far from the ocean in the Midwest. Plank Seafood was so good, however, that we went there for happy hour twice during our three nights in Omaha. Plank seafood in Omaha offers a good selection of oysters that changes daily. I definitely recommend the chowder fries, hushpuppies and fish tacos as well. If you’re looking for a great cocktail, try one of Plank’s signature spiked lemonades. Despite catering to the happy hour crowd, Plank Seafood is also baby and kid friendly.
- Location: 1205 Howard Street, Omaha, NE 68102
- Website: https://plankseafood.com
Jams American Grill
Jams Old Market in Omaha, Nebraska is a restaurant and sports bar in Old Market. The food and beer menus at Jam’s is huge, so there’s something for everyone. We had a yummy salad and burgers, plus they serve a variety of both Mexican food and homestyle dishes as well. If you’re looking for a restaurant in Omaha with outdoor seating, there’s a covered patio with ample seating at Jams. Jams definitely has more of a sports bar vibe, so if you’re going with kids I’d recommend going earlier for dinner or sitting outside.
- Location: 1101 Harney Street, Omaha, NE 68102 (There are multiple locations. This is the Jams Old Market Omaha location.)
- Website: https://www.jamseats.com
Upstream Brewing Company
The rehearsal dinner for the Omaha wedding we were attending was held at Upstream Brewery, and it was the perfect spot for a large gathering. While we didn’t eat from the standard menu, everything we at at Upstream was SO good. As one of the best places to eat in Omaha, Nebraska, the menu at Upstream Brewing Company includes everything from burgers and appetizers to steaks and seafood. The beer at Upstream is brewed on-site, and it includes a variety of beers from light lagers to IPAs and wheat beer.
- Location: 514 South 11th Street, Omaha, NE 68102
- Website: https://www.upstreambrewing.com
Tip: The stairs at Upstream Brewing Company are a little tough to get up and down if you’re visiting with little ones. Since we had the stroller with us everywhere at that point, the staff showed us to an elevator that they were more than happy to let us use.
Ted & Wally’s Ultra-Premium Homemade Ice Cream
Ted & Wally’s is an old fashion ice cream shop, and it’s known for having the best ice cream in Omaha, NE. This Old Market ice cream place changes its flavors daily, although its known for its amazing vanilla bean ice cream. It typically gets packed there but the line moves quickly. Just make sure everyone is prepared to order before stepping up to the counter. As a bonus, the kitschy decor is almost as good as the ice cream.
- Location: 1120 Jackson St., Omaha, NE 68102
- Website: https://www.tedandwallys.com
Where to Stay in Omaha
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Omaha Downtown Old Market is the perfect Old Market Omaha hotel if you’re visiting Omaha, NE with kids. I’m a huge fan of the Hilton brand hotels and especially Embassy Suites for families or groups. The rooms are clean and spacious, and it includes the typical Embassy Suites amenities including an indoor pool, breakfast and manager reception. The Embassy Suites in Omaha, NE is in the perfect location, accessible to restaurants and shops in Old Market. We were able to walk to everything aside from the Omaha Zoo and wedding ceremony.
Getting to Omaha, Nebraska
The closest airport to Omaha, Nebraska is the Apply Airfield. It’s only a few miles away from downtown Omaha, making it super easy to get to. Many hotels in the area offer free shuttles given that it’s so close, and taxis or Ubers are also available to get downtown.
Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, Nebraska is a great location for a Midwest road trip. While we flew on the way to Omaha, we made our first road trip with a baby on the way home. South Bend, Indiana was the perfect spot to break up out drive from Omaha to Pennsylvania. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn South Bend and had a great day exploring the Notre Dame campus.
So How Was Our First Trip With a Baby?
This trip definitely opened my eyes to the sacrifices of traveling with a baby. Between the early yet sleepless nights, rushing through meals, and the stress of packing ALL of the stuff for that first trip, we certainly had our share of new experiences. The excitement on our son’s face though when he was in an airport for the first time or when he saw the animals at the zoo was so worth it. (It didn’t hurt that he did pretty awesome on both the flights and long drive!)
In the end, our first trip with a newborn made me more excited to travel with a baby in the future.
Related Blog Posts:
- Road Trip with Baby: How to Survive Long Car Rides
- Flying with a Baby: Tips for Before and During Your Flight
- 12 Reasons to Travel with Children Under 2
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