The weather is warming up and flowers are beginning to bloom—spring is finally here! In between getting a little sun and working on our spring cleaning checklist, we’re also looking forward to exploring our amazing city during this gorgeous season.
To help you plan your Omaha spring bucket list, we rounded up some of our favorite spring activities in the area. From tackling your garden to experiencing some of the incredible outdoor opportunities the city has to offer—there’s a little something for everyone on this list!
Go to the Botanic Gardens
Regardless of the season, there’s always something beautiful to witness at Lauritzen Gardens. The space is an urban oasis, allowing visitors to view hundreds of unique plant species and engage in fun, socially distanced workshops and events. Meander through the scenic gardens, and then stop by the cafe for a snack! To keep you and their staff safe, they are enforcing a limited capacity. That means you and your family will be required to purchase a ticket before visiting to ensure a spot. Click here to learn more and to make your reservation!
Enjoy a Meal on a Local Patio
Photo courtesy of 1912 Benson
Now that the weather is warming up, we can finally take advantage of the many outdoor patios once again. There are plenty of sun-splashed spaces around Omaha where you can enjoy a meal, ranging from dive bars to French groceries and upscale eateries. In fact, we have an entire list of our favorites! Check it out and then head to places like 1912 Benson, the Bärchen Beer Garden or Mr. Toad and dine socially distanced and al fresco this season.
Spend a Day in Benson
Benson is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Omaha. The area surrounding Maple Street boasts a vibrant culture that is tough to come by—which makes it an attractive place for foodies, musicians, artists and more. Most of the businesses here have made their homes in old theaters and dealerships, revamping the neighborhood, mixing the old with the new, and creating a vibe that is unparalleled to nearby communities. In fact, this historical community is the most “hipster” neighborhood in the state, according to BuzzFeed.
Benson is an incredible place to spend an entire day, so why not take the time to fully explore it this spring? We even have a guide to the area, which includes our favorite restaurants, breweries, shops and more.
Visit a Farmers’ Market
Honestly, meals taste so much better when made using fresh ingredients. And you can get all of the fresh, locally grown ingredients you want at an Omaha farmers’ market this season! Even if you don’t plan on getting groceries for the entire week, wandering around the nearest market is one of our favorite springtime activities. Use our guide to this season’s markets and stock up on fresh produce, warm pastries, colorful flowers and handcrafted trinkets before the season ends in September!
To us, nothing says spring more than an ice-cold mimosa, maple syrup and coffee. So before you hit up your local farmers’ market and get on with your day, make a point to place an order delivery or head to a local restaurant for brunch! We, of course, have a guide to the best spots in Omaha, some of which serve this beloved meal all day while others only offer it on select days. Regardless, we promise you’ll enjoy all of them! We recommend visiting each restaurant’s respective website before heading over in order to comply with their current COVID-19 policies.
Plant Something New
Here in Nebraska, we’re kind of known for our agricultural roots. In fact, farms and ranches take up 92 percent of Nebraska’s total land area, providing a great deal of meat production, corn, soybeans, hay and more to the whole United States. And it’s all because of our amazing soil.
So if you’re interested in using our great soil to grow your own garden or just spruce up your home’s curb appeal—now’s the time! Spring is the perfect time to start planting. Check out our list of the best garden centers and nurseries in the Omaha area to get started. Or look into applying for a plot at a local community garden! There are plenty in the Omaha area, including City Sprouts, The Big Garden, the Dundee Community Garden, Benson Community Garden and so many more.
Fly a Kite
Let’s go fly a kite! The light spring breeze is perfect for tossing up a brand new kite in the air and watching it soar. Picture Pretty Kites brings interesting kites to Omaha from all over the world, providing outstanding customer-service and next-level offerings. If you’re new to kite flying, check out their “Starter Kites” but if you’re a little more experienced, don’t miss their “Stunt Kites,” which introduce a little more difficulty and excitement into the mix.
Play a Round of Disc Golf
Disc golf is a great way to spend the afternoon with friends and family—and Omaha has no shortage of options in the area. Nearby disc golf courses offer differing levels of difficulty and styles, including Hummel Park, Seymour Smith Park and The Links at Lake Cunningham. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, grab your frisbees and get to your nearest course!
Get Ice Cream
The weather is finally warming up and that can only mean one thing: ice cream! Next time you and your family are screaming for a scoop, shake or sundae, check out our list of the top ice cream shops in Omaha and Council Bluffs. These spots are sure to satisfy even the most stubborn sweet tooth!
Sign up for a CSA Program
In addition to local farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture—or CSA programs—are an excellent way to get local meat, veggies, fruit and/or eggs directly from a local farmer. These programs invite people of the community (like you!) to invest in a local farm for the season and those paying members get to enjoy the annual harvest, however abundant it may be. Typically, you pay a one-time fee at the beginning of the season. Then, you get to be a part of the farm community and enjoy a portion of the harvest every week! We even have a list of our favorites. Click here to learn Where to Get Fresh, Local Produce in Omaha During the Pandemic.
Explore Some of Omaha’s Beautiful Parks
The Omaha Parks system maintains a whopping 250 parks, encompassing over 11,000 acres of parkland. The list includes neighborhood pocket parks, larger community parks, golf courses and huge, undeveloped nature areas that are open to exploring. This spring, take advantage of the blooming foliage and warming weather and get outside!
Visit a Community Event
Even in the midst of a pandemic, Omaha plans to celebrate the season—safely, of course. Egg hunts, flea markets, burger battles and more are all on the docket for this season. Many of these events have been reimagined to allow for social distancing and mask-wearing. Click here to explore some of our most anticipated events of the season!
Go on a Self-Guided Public Art Tour
In downtown Omaha, you can find art in the most surprising of places—from the 100 individual bronze pieces in Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Parks to Fertile Ground, one of the largest public murals in the country. And don’t worry! You don’t have to be an expert on Omaha to see the best of our downtown’s art scene — you just need an app.
The Public Art Omaha app is available on all major app platforms and will show you the nearest piece of public art when you’re standing downtown, and, of course, will give you plenty of cool facts. If you’re looking to follow a more guided tour, check out Public Art Omaha’s printable art walk brochure, which will map out all of the must-see pieces in Omaha and show you how to get there!
Paddle Across Zorinsky Lake
Zorinsky Lake is one of Omaha’s most popular recreational areas, boasting a 225-acre lake surrounded by 770 acres of public access land. Here, you’ll find everything from soccer fields to playgrounds to fishing docks, all just west of Omaha. One of our favorite Zorinsky Lake activities is paddling across it. You can take a stand-up paddleboard tour around the water, seeing deer, birds and muskrats along the way.
How do you plan on spending the season? Let us know in the comments!