We almost can’t believe it—summer is almost over. The Fourth of July has come and gone and your family will be shopping for back-to-school bargains before you know it.
But don’t worry! We still have a few weeks before the season is officially finished, which gives us plenty of time to squeeze in a little more summer fun. From enjoying some cold ice cream to meandering through local museums, here are some of our must-do end of summer activities for you and your kids.
Spend the Day at the Fun-Plex
If you haven’t already visited Omaha’s most popular summer attraction a million times this summer, stop by the Fun-Plex and cool off at one of their many waterpark attractions. After you’re done in the water, play some games in the Breezeway, take a ride on the Speedway or hop on the Balloon Ferris Wheel!
Scream for Ice Cream
While we definitely love to enjoy ice cream year-round, for some reason, it just tastes better in the summer. Good thing the Omaha and Council Bluffs area is bursting with delicious ice cream spots where you can say a sweet goodbye to the season. Visit Ted & Wally’s for high-quality, scratch-made ice cream that will knock your socks off. Or, for a more modern ice cream experience, head over to Helado’s Santa Fe in South Omaha, where you can get exotic flavors like papaya and cactus at their adorable shop!
Omaha is home to an abundance of outdoor exploration opportunities that you can enjoy all year long. Not only are we home to several bike trails, camping sites (and even a few glamping spots), and rolling golf courses, there are also some fantastic lakes and rivers surrounding us on all sides where you can fish! Before school starts, head out to one of our favorite fishing spots in the area and spend a relaxing day on the water with your kiddos!
Cool Down at a Sprayground or a Local Pool
There’s nothing better on a hot day than splashing around in some clean, cool water! Take advantage of our local lakes, community pools and water parks before the season ends using our handy guide. And if you’re looking for a quicker summertime activity that your kids will love—visit a local spray ground! Local parks with fun water features include Benson Park, Fontenelle Park, Kountze Park, Seymour Smith Park, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Plaza and more, but you can also find splash pads and spray grounds at the Omaha Children’s Museum, the Joslyn Art Museum and the Shadow Lake Towne Center.
Marvel at the World’s Largest Ball of Stamps
Located right here in the Omaha area, a world-record-breaking marvel awaits! The world’s largest ball of stamps is located in Boys Town and a visit is the perfect cherry on top to a great summer. While you’re at it, make an afternoon of exploring the neighborhood! Boys Town has been a National Historic Monument since 1985 and is home to plenty of historical landmarks that you can visit, including the Hall of History, the Boys Town Visitors Center and the Father Flanagan House—all of which are completely free!
Explore a Museum
Photo courtesy of the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
One of our favorite ways to spend a day in the Omaha area is learning something new! Thankfully, there’s no shortage of museums and exhibits where your family can soak in a little knowledge. If your little one is a train lover, stop by the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, located in downtown Council Bluffs. The museum offers fascinating exhibits on the Union Pacific Railroad (you’ll even be able to spot a few artifacts from NP Dodge’s founding fathers!). Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.
And if your kiddos dream of space exploration, the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum is the perfect spot to explore. With exhibits on everything to do with space—including military operations, black holes, astronauts and veterans—there’s a little something inside for everyone.
Go on a Sculpture Scavenger Hunt
Omaha is home to some larger-than-life art displays sprinkled throughout the city. Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage parks consist of more than 100 individual bronze pieces that cover more than six city blocks. Make a day out of trying to find them all!
Take a Day Trip to Standing Bear Lake
Paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming await at Standing Bear Lake. The day-use facility is located in the northwest side of Omaha and is a summertime paradise. Here, you’ll find 3.3 miles of hiking and cycling trails, a picnic area, shaded shelters, a playground and the lake, which is perfect for a quick splash! Bring the whole family for a fun-filled day under the sun.
If your child is a board game aficionado, head to Spielbound where you can grab a cup of coffee and a pastry and spend the day playing one of their 2,400 board games! You can purchase a membership or just spend $5 for a day pass. All of the proceeds go towards helping them find and acquire new classic board games for the café.
Don’t just say goodbye to summer—send it off with a bang at SeptemberFest! This year, there will be a rib cook-off, a Labor Day parade, some live music, local vendors, exhilarating rides, family-friendly games and more!
Bonus tip: With a Mega-Ride Pass you can ride any ride at the festival as many times as you’d like! You can get a discounted pass at any area Hy-Vee store starting August 13th.
We Hope You Had a Great Summer!
The end of summer is always bittersweet. While we’ll miss spending warm days by the water and exploring the city with our little ones—we can’t wait to make even more memories this fall. Let us know how you’re planning on spending the last days of summer in the comments!