It’s no surprise that we think Omaha is a fabulous place to live. We’re one of the best places to raise a family and one of the best places for millennials, among hundreds of other accolades.
Unfortunately, sometimes tried-and-true Omahans have to leave our amazing city, whether it’s for a job, a spouse, family or the military, and can find themselves feeling homesick (we don’t blame them).
One of our favorite ways to combat homesickness and to remind our loved ones of home is to send them an Omaha-themed care package! On this list, you’ll find our favorite Omaha goodies that are perfect gifts for a nostalgic Omahan—from Archetype coffee to a growler from Upstream Brewing. Happy packing!
An Omaha T-Shirt
Photo courtesy of Made in Omaha
Since October of 2018, Made in Omaha has been opening their doors to artists and makers throughout the city, giving them a new platform to reach customers. On their shop, you can purchase several of the items on this list—from Benson Soap Mill products to a Wax Buffalo candle. One of our favorite items in their store, both online and in person, is the Omaha-themed t-shirts! Most of the t-shirts and other apparel are screen printed by local printers, including the popular OMA Heart shirt that you’ve been seeing everywhere around town lately. Insider tip: Made in Omaha offers ready-made Omaha-themed care packages so you don’t have to worry about putting one together yourself!
A Nebraska-Made Album
Omaha just happens to have one of the best and most diverse music scenes in the United States. In fact, National Geographic just named Omaha as one of the “musically grooviest” cities in the country. Renowned bands Bright Eyes and 311 are from the area and the well-known Indie label, Saddle Creek Records, is located right here—making an Omaha-made album the perfect addition to a care package.
Upstream Brewing Company was Omaha’s first brewpub, founded in 1996. Upstream has been serving in-house, crafted brews alongside artisan pub fare to Omaha locals ever since. If you have enough room in your box, there’s nothing better than a growler or a half growler full of freshly fermented beer—especially Upstream’s popular Flagship IPA or American Wheat—to help remind your loved one of Omaha’s growing beer culture.
We’re firm believers that you can never have too much #Mavs gear. Thankfully, the University of Nebraska Omaha is chock full of fan items to ship off—from coffee mugs to scarves. Grab your loved one a Maverick-themed beanie for the cold weather or a sticker for their car. And if you want to do something truly special for the Mavs fan in your life, you can purchase some tickets to an upcoming hockey or basketball game to attend the next time they’re in town!
Considered one of Omaha’s most popular coffee shops, Archetype Coffee is at the forefront of Omaha coffee culture, making sure we all know how important each step in the production process is. They roast their coffee in-house from beans grown by farmers they have personal relationships with. Stop in for a cup of Joe (and a few pastries) for yourself and leave with a new Archetype Coffee mug and a bag of freshly roasted coffee to send off!
A Movie Featuring Omaha
Over the years, Omaha has become a hotspot for filmmakers. Not only are we the birthplace of famous director Alexander Payne, but we also have the annual Omaha Film Festival, which showcases feature-length films, shorts and documentaries. To help remind your special person of home, why not pick up a movie that showcases some of our beautiful scenery? Election, directed by Alexander Payne, was filmed mostly in Bellevue, La Vista, Papillion and Omaha. Terms of Endearment was filmed partially in Kearney and Lincoln. And Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, features scenes filmed at Eppley Airfield.
Photo courtesy of Melonie Langan via Wax Buffalo
Wax Buffalo creates high-quality, “beautifully imperfect” candles from American-made pure soy wax, high-quality essential oils and unbleached cotton wicks. Their signature amber jar, white metal lid and white X decal is a staple decor piece for Omaha locals. Each of the candles is hand-poured in Lincoln, Nebraska but can be found in plenty of Omaha area shops and seasonal markets!
A Plushie From the Zoo
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is consistently ranked as one of the best in America — and it’s not hard to see why! The zoo is home to the world’s largest indoor desert, the Desert Dome, which spans 84,000 square feet on two levels, and the world’s largest indoor rainforest, the Lied Jungle. But one of our favorite spots in the park is the gift shop, which features a massive plushie wall full of stuffed animals for you to enjoy! No matter what your loved one’s favorite animal is, you’ll be able to find a toy version at the gift shop to remind them all about our world-famous zoo.
Photo courtesy of Tim Maides via Benson Soap Mill
Ryan Cook and Tim Maides are just two guys who love soap and the Omaha community. In their Benson shop, they’ve combined their two passions—providing all-natural soaps and beauty products, while using as many locally sourced products as possible. From their ingredients to the product packaging, everything is created by utilizing local Nebraska small businesses, making it the most Nebraskan soap you can buy!
It’s All About Bees has a rich history dating back to the 1930s when co-owner Margi Fletcher’s grandfather started keeping bees in Homer, Nebraska. In 2000, the Fletcher family started to make and sell products made from honey and beeswax, developing their recipes using all-natural ingredients. Today you can find them at their shop in Ralston, still making their food and body care products by hand, along with a wide variety of bee-themed merchandise. While you can’t go wrong with a bottle of local honey, we recommend picking up a jar of their homemade Nebraska Honey Butter, which is absolutely delicious on anything.
What About You?
What would you put in an Omaha-themed care package? Let us know in the comments!