There is something magical about Sarpy County in the spring. It could be all the warm sunshine, the outdoor exploration opportunities or maybe it’s all the gorgeous spring scenery!
Regardless, the communities of Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Gretna, Springfield and Chalco are all perfect locations to enjoy this season to the absolute fullest. Curious what you can and should do in Sarpy County this season? Sift through our list for just a few ideas for springtime fun in the area!
Nestled among the rolling hills of the Platte River Valley, Schramm Park State Recreation Area is a spectacular spot to spend a spring day. Along with offering the state’s first fish hatchery, the park boasts several well-maintained wooded trails that are open all year long. One of the longer routes, which is very popular with local hikers, features a suspension bridge that offers beautiful views of the park. While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to tour the Schramm Education Center, a state-of-the-art facility that allows visitors to learn all about Nebraska’s aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
The Bellevue Little Theater is Sarpy County’s only active and continuously performing arts center, entertaining thousands of people annually with professionally produced performances of live theatre at reasonable prices. This spring, they’ll be putting on a handful of shows, including “Dial M for Murder” which will run through March 21st. In the wake of COVID-19, they’ve put several precautions in place to keep you and their volunteers safe. Masks are required, seating is limited, temperature checks are mandatory and social distancing is encouraged. For more information on their current protocols and to purchase your tickets for their upcoming shows—click here!
Spring means outdoor activities are back on the table and we can’t think of a better way to kick off the season than by kayaking across one of Papillion’s prettiest lakes! Walnut Creek Lake is a 105-acre lake perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing and so much more. If you need to rent a kayak, the nearby Select Sail & Sports offers affordable kayak, kite and boat rentals so you can pick one up on the way to the lake! Afterward, take advantage of the stunning location and have a picnic on the shore—the park features several picnic areas where you can relax and soak in the views.
One of the most stunning pieces of architecture in eastern Nebraska is the Holy Family Shrine, located in Gretna. The incredible piece of art is a transparent chapel, offering sweeping views of the Nebraskan landscape. A stream actually runs through the chapel, which you can hear through small slits in the floor. Before you enter the chapel, you’ll be able to explore the Visitor Center and Gift Shop where you can learn about the purpose of the shrine and how it came to be. The Holy Family Shrine is completely free to visit Sunday, noon-5 p.m. and Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. but it should be noted that professional photography is not allowed.
The extensive menu at Soaring Wings Vineyard will please even the most discerning of palettes, including a large selection of dry wines, sweet wines and even beers brewed in-house. The winery has scooped up more than 400 awards since it opened to the public in 2004, and it’s easy to see why. Owner Jim Shaw and his family have poured so much passion and hard work into their business, and it can be tasted in every sip. Masks are required indoors and social distancing is encouraged throughout the property.
Shop junk, collectibles, furniture, antiques, gifts, crafts and so much more at this vintage and artisan craft market held at the Sarpy County Fairgrounds, April 30-May 2 and May 7-9! This year, you can expect over 75 vendors selling everything from memorabilia to handmade and repurposed pieces. Tickets cost $20 per person for the entire weekend—and parking is absolutely free! Plus, don’t miss the delicious food, goodies and junk galore that will be available. Masks are heavily encouraged; spaces will be cleaned regularly; hand sanitizer will be available all around the property; and social distancing is required. Click here for a full list of Junkstock’s current COVID-19 policies.
Named after a half-liter or 16.9 ounces—a common bottle size—Pint Nine specializes in a variety of beers including American, Belgian and English ales. While we love enjoying a brew in their La Vista taproom throughout the year, there’s just something special about sipping on a cold beer on a warm spring day, especially when it’s outside on their adorable patio. They have a total of 16 beers on tap, which you can preview here before you go, and offer an unbeatable lineup of food trucks every single week.
Fontenelle Forest is one of our favorite places in Nebraska, no matter the season. In fact, it’s on our list of the best places to see fall colors around Omaha! But springtime is for outdoor exploration, and there’s no better spot than this forest full of treehouses, suspended walkways and boardwalks. When you visit, we recommend heading directly to the Raptor Woodland Refuge, where the forest works on the conservation of birds like eagles, falcons, hawks, owls and vultures. The area is located 30 feet above the forest floor and is a canopy-level exhibit designed according to the natural habitat of the rescued birds. It’s open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and you can find a list of bird species currently housed in the center here. Masks and social distancing are required when exploring any part of the forest.
What do you love to do in Sarpy County in the spring? Let us know in the comments!