Nebraska City is a community just south of Omaha full of things to see and do. The historic city has plenty to offer, including the magical Enchanted Arboretum, the annual Applejack Festival, and it also happens to be the home of Arbor Day!
Yes, you heard us right! The first Arbor Day celebration was held in Nebraska City in 1872. On that first day, an estimated 1 million trees were planted in the state of Nebraska! This year, Nebraska City is hosting its 148th Arbor Day Festival, April 26-28th, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Since we’re so close to this adorable town, it just seems right to spend this tree-loving holiday where it originated. That’s why we rounded up some of the essential events during the festival that you should definitely stop by! On this list, you’ll find a variety of attractions, including Arbor Day-inspired flea markets, historic parades, and Bloody Mary making competitions. So, lumber over to Nebraska City this weekend; we guaran-tree you’ll have an unbe-leaf-able time!
Where: Kimmel Orchard
When: April 26-28, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Spend the weekend celebrating trees at Kimmel Orchard. At their famous Arbor Day Festival, kids can play on the new Pollinator Playground, get your face painted by Happy D Klown and his troupe, or explore the Orchard Nature Trail and Tree Dome Trail on a hayride!
Where: The Keeping Room
When: April 26, 4-5 p.m.
The Keeping Room is located in the heart of downtown Nebraska City and is a local destination for boutique shopping and delicious hometown dining. This Arbor Day weekend, you can stop by to see a gorgeous collection of Nebraska flora and fauna photography and enjoy delicious cocktails and hors d’oeuvres!
Where: Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast
When: April 26, 5:30-7 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast
Enjoy the ambiance of the spring blooming gardens at Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast during a relaxing 45 minutes of yoga and light snacks! This outdoor yoga class is for all levels, and participants are encouraged to bring their own mats.
Where: Old Stone Cabin
When: April 27, 8 a.m.
Get in a little exercise and some beautiful views during the Arbor Day Fun Run this weekend! This race will take you through some of the prettiest scenery in Eastern Nebraska, leading you over gravel, paved and brick roads through Steinhart Park, around the grounds of Arbor Lodge, and so much more. Each participant to cross the finish line will receive a medal and a t-shirt and will be eligible for awards. Plus, pets and strollers are welcome — so bring the whole family!
Where: Finders Keepers Antique Mall & Coffee Shoppe
When: April 27, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Nothing says “Arbor Day” more than recycling treasures at a local flea market! Head over to Finders Keepers Antique Mall this weekend for an outdoor flea market full of funky “junk”, delicious food and a ton of fun.
Where: Arbor Day Farm
When: April 27-28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Arbor Day Farm
Celebrate Arbor Day right where it all began at Arbor Day Farm! Over this holiday weekend, enjoy exploring all 260 acres of this gorgeous campus and participating in fun activities everywhere you turn. The festivities include tree climbing in their Tree Adventure park; a ride on the Discovery Ride where you can learn all about Arbor Day; the chance to taste new wine varieties and an apple slushie at the Apple House Market; and an inside look into J. Sterling Morton’s life, the founder of Arbor Day, at Arbor Lodge.
Where: Eagles Club
When: April 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Getting your home ready for spring and summer? What better way to prepare for the seasons than picking up some homemade home and garden crafts to decorate with? At the Arbor Day Home Craft & Garden Show, you’ll be able to peruse goods from hundreds of local vendors, artisans and makers.
Where: Central Avenue
When: April 27, 1 p.m.
Photo courtesy of the Nebraska City Chamber of Commerce
This is an Arbor Day event you definitely won’t want to miss! The famous Nebraska City Arbor Day Parade is back for the 148th year. Come out and see all of the beautiful floats, bands and locals strolling down Central Avenue and get into the Arbor Day spirit!
Where: Around Nebraska City
When: April 27, 4:30 & 5:30
Grab your family and friends and hop on the trolley for an Arbor Day adventure like none other! On this unique tour of Nebraska City, you’ll get to enjoy the best meals and drinks at Arbor Lodge, Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast, Union Orchard, the Keeping Room and Prairie Chop House. You can get your tickets here.
Where: The Nebraska City Municipal Airport
When: April 28, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Join the Nebraska City Jaycees for their annual Fly-In Breakfast! The delicious breakfast will include pancakes, ham, coffee and juice that you can enjoy while you watch planes arrive and take off from the airport.
Where: The Fox Center
When: April 28, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
One of our favorite Arbor Day Festival events is the Nebraska City Bloody Mary State Championships! If you think you have an incredible Bloody Mary recipe — you can enter by calling (402) 873-6654. Or, if you’re just in the mood to taste some great cocktails, head over to the Fox Center, where you can vote on your favorite Bloody Mary and enjoy some great food and live music!
Happy Arbor Day!
Let us know how you will be spending it in the comments!