Omaha, Nebraska offers an interesting array of diverse activities. A city of just under half a million, it is Nebraska’s largest city and sits just a Missouri River-crossing from Iowa. It’s a popular midwestern tourist destination offering just about something for everyone. The city benefits tremendously from tourism dollars that include hosting the annual College World Series and the state’s most popular attraction Henry Doorly Zoo. In 2016, the city will once again serve as the host to the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.
ARTS & THEATER
Omaha is home to some of the midwest’s most visited cultural attractions even surpassing several larger cities. Its theater scene has a very old and storied past with some of the nation’s oldest theater companies or venues located in Omaha. The Omaha Community Playhouse, co-founded in 1925 by Marlon Brando’s mother, is the country’s largest community theater and the theater where Henry Fonda began his acting career.
The Orpheum Theater, established in 1927 and host to Omaha’s Performing Arts, is one of the oldest surviving theater houses in the country dating to pre-Vaudeville and once hosted the likes of W.C. Fields, Bing Crosby, and Al Jolson. The city’s Omaha Theater Company for Young People is one of the oldest in the country established in 1949.
The city does not lack for a diverse array of museums, so if theater doesn’t interest you fear not! The Durham Western Heritage Museum is located in the old Union Station and its mission is to preserve and display western history, including the story of Omaha. El Museo Latino and the Great Plains Black History Museum are just two of several museums representative of the city’s diversity. There are several festivals also representative of the city’s diversity including Native Omaha Days, Day of the Dead and several other ethnic celebrations.
The most important arts museum in Nebraska is located in Omaha. The Joslyn Art Museum has been in existence since 1931 and features several prestigious permanent collections of including some of the world’s great masters.
Children aren’t left out in Omaha’s scene. The Omaha Children’s museum features several permanent exhibitions certain to enthrall the most discerning youngster. The city’s nationally-recognized zoo is the state’s most popular attraction and draws families from both instate and out of state.
The music scene is no less established in Omaha – from the evening live music venues to the city’s prominent symphony. The Omaha Symphony alone offers more than 60 live performances a year with the Omaha Opera not far behind.
Omaha has a rich history well preserved by the city. Boystown is a National Historic Landmark District and open for tours. Children still live, work, and play there today. The Florence Mill, General Crook House, and the birth site of a future president, Gerald R. Ford, are all open for a trip back in time, as is the birthplace of Malcom X. Several other sites include the recently revitalized Old Market district have preserved the area’s history and are well worth a visit. One of the more popular historic sites are the Mormon Trail Center and the Pioneer Cemetery. For more details on individual sites: http://www.visitomaha.com/things-to-do/attractions/historic-sites/
Every June spectators flock to Omaha to watch the top 8 college teams in country compete for the NCAA Men’s College World Series. It’s one of the top tourism revenue-producing events in the state with almost half of the attendees arriving from out of state. The city is home to the newish AAA Omaha Storm Chasers baseball team. There is no lack of spectator sports in Omaha – whether at the amateur, college, or professional level.
The city of Omaha, Nebraska attracts millions of visitors each year and is one of the most popular midwestern destination for all it has to offer from its vibrant theater, music, and restaurant scenes to its museums and sports event.