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402.932.7243                                                                                           

402.932.7243   

1299 Farnam St., #300

Omaha, NE 68102

 

OMAHA  ATTRACTIONS

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Omaha is blessed with attractions and events that draw residents and visitors alike on a regular basis to visit Omaha attractions.

 

If you would like to get your favorite Omaha attraction on the priority list, contact us at info@omahanebraska.com or call us at 402.932.7243. It was hard to start with just six!

 

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NORTH OMAHA

OmahaNebraska.com begins our Omaha  Attractions series  with six important attractions. Here are three: Henry Doorly Zoo,  Durham Museum, College World Series.

 

Henry Doorly Zoo

 

The zoo was founded as Riverview Park in 1894; in the next four years, a rudimentary collection of animals was established. By 1952, the Omaha Zoological Society was founded to manage what was a growing zoo.

 

In 1963, Henry Doorly’s widow, Margaret Hitchcock Doorly, donated $750,000 to the zoo, with the stipulation that it be renamed for her late husband. Two years later, the Omaha Zoological Society was reorganized as a nonprofit organization.

 

The zoo is noted for a number of exhibits: the Cat Complex, opened in 1977; the Lee G. Simmons Free-Flight Aviary, opened in 1983; Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Pavilion, opened in 1987; the Lied Jungle, opened in 1992; the Walter and Suzanne Scott Kingdoms of the Seas Aquarium, opened in 1995; the Desert Dome, opened in 2002; Kingdoms of the Night, opened in 2003; the African Grasslands, opened in 2016; and the Asian Highlands, set to open in 2019. Many of these exhibits were largest or second-largest in the world at the time they opened.

 

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

3701 S. 10th Street

Omaha, NE 68107

Guest Services: 402.733.8401

http://www.omahazoo.com

 

Durham Museum

 

The Durham Museum is located in downtown Omaha in the former Union Station, erected from 1929-31 on the site of a previous railroad station. Union Station closed in 1971; four years later, the Western Heritage Museum opened on the site. The museum was closed for six months in 1995 for renovation; two years after the renovation was completed, it was renamed for Charles and Margre Durham, who spearheaded the renovation. In 2008, “Western Heritage” was dropped from the name, and it became known simply as the Durham Museum.

 

The Durham Museum hosts a number of traveling exhibits in history, science, and other areas, as well as the Byron Reed coin collection and permanent exhibits of Omaha history. In 2002, the museum became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. In 2016, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

 

Durham Museum

801 S 10th Street

Omaha, NE 68108

402.444.5071

https://durhammuseum.org

 

College World Series

 

The College World Series was begun in 1947 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, then moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1949 before moving to its permanent home in Omaha in 1950. Held in mid-June, the CWS is a college baseball tournament held among the top eight teams in the NCAA Division I. The CWS was held at Rosenblatt (Municipal) Stadium until 2010, then it moved to the downtown TD Ameritrade Park the following year, where it has been held since.

 

The University of Texas holds the record for the most CWS appearances, with 35, while the University of Southern California holds the record for the most CWS championships, with 12, 5 of which were consecutive.

 

College World Series of Omaha, Inc.

808 N. 13th St.

Omaha, NE 68102

402.554.4422

http://www.cwsomaha.com

SOUTH OMAHA

Henry Doorly Zoo

Durham Museum

College World Series

Henry Doorly Zoo

Durham Museum

College World Series

Joslyn Art Museum

Lauritzen Gardens

Old Market

The next three articles for our Omaha  Attractions series  has more Omaha tourist and Omaha visitor  favorites: Joslyn Art Museum,  Lauritzen Gardens, Old Market.

 

Joslyn Art Museum

 

The Joslyn Art Museum opened November 29, 1931 as a concert hall surrounded by art galleries. Taking three years to build, it was a gift to the people of Omaha by Sarah Joslyn, the widow of George Joslyn, who had made his fortune in the paper business. Some 38 types of marble were used in the construction of the Art Deco-style building.

 

The museum was expanded in 1994 with the construction of the Walter and Suzanne Scott Pavilion on the north side and again in 2009 with the addition of a sculpture garden. The museum houses a permanent collection and also hosts a number of traveling art exhibitions. Since May 2013, general admission to see the permanent collection has been free, as the museum was until the mid-1960s. Some traveling exhibits do require an admission fee, however.

 

Joslyn Art Museum

2200 Dodge Street

Omaha, NE 68102-1292

402.342.3300

https://www.joslyn.org

 

Lauritzen Gardens

 

Lauritzen Gardens was first proposed in 1980 by Omaha World-Herald Garden Parade columnist Helena Street.

 

A bluff west of the Missouri River was selected for its rolling hills and terraces. Construction began on the first gardens in 1995: a rose garden, a shade hosta garden, a children’s garden, an herb garden, and a spring garden walk. Further gardens have been added every year: a parking garden, an arrival garden, a festival garden, a Victorian garden, and a woodland trail. The Garden in the Glen was added in 2003, a rose garden staircase and waterfall in 2004, the Sunpu Castle Gate and Mt. Fuji replica in 2005, the tree peony garden in 2006, the model railroad garden in 2007 (expanded the following year), and the Garden of Memories in 2009.

 

In 1998, the land on which the visitor center stands was purchased, bringing the total acreage to 100 acres. Construction on the visitor center began in 2000, and the center opened in 2001. Across the parking lot from the center is Kennefick Park, on which are located two retired Union Pacific locomotives.

 

The park is named for the Lauritzen family, whose generous contribution helped make the gardens possible. The gardens are funded through a combination of admission fees, facility rental fees, memberships, event sponsorships, and capital campaign contributions.

 

Lauritzen Gardens

100 Bancroft St.

Omaha, NE 68108

(402) 346-4002

https://www.lauritzengardens.org

 

The Old Market

 

The Old Market is a neighborhood section of downtown Omaha bounded by Farnam Street on the north, Jackson Street to the south, 10th Street to the east, and 13th Street to the west. It began as an area of wholesale and retail grocers and today hosts a variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries, as well as apartment complexes and office space. The area is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places; a number of its buildings also are listed separately on the register.

 

The Old Market is noted for its brick buildings dating from the 1880s, 1890s, and early 20th century, as well as its brick streets, with covered sidewalks in some areas. In the Market, you may see entertainers performing on the street, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, or take a walking tour available through the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.