Summer is almost here and it’s brought summer vacation with it! School’s out and children are hankering for fun things to do around town. Luckily, Omaha isn’t lacking in the family-friendly activities department!
Omaha is packed full of entertainment centers, educational opportunities and some amazing playgrounds. But when there are so many options for outdoor play, how are you supposed to know the best places to go?
Don’t worry! We’ve done the hard work for you, scouring Omaha to find the best and coolest FREE places to play in the area. Below, you’ll find 17 of our favorite playgrounds, offering everything from slides to climbing walls and spinning cups to monkey bars. Have fun!
Want to find the coolest playground near your home? Check out our handy interactive map below!
The Benson Park Playground is located on a 217-acre park along the Benson Park Lagoon. In addition to all the water-related activities and fun this park offers, your kids will also have a blast playing on their state-of-the-art playground, featuring slides, monkey bars, climbing structures and more.
The Chalco Hills Recreation Area, located in southwest Omaha, is the Metro area’s premier recreation facility. Here, you can fish, picnic, hike or jog along more than 7 miles of trails. The playground is currently going through a redesign, featuring new sections to honor Dominik Walters, a 4-year-old, Chalco Hills playground lover who passed away in late 2018. You can learn more about the project here.
Located in Lake Manawa State Park, Dream Playground is the largest ADA-accessible playground in Iowa. Inspired by local students, the playground was designed and built in the ’90s based on their ideas. In 2017, about 1,800 local children submitted drawings for the Dream Playground Re-Imagined Project. Their drawings inspired the playground’s new $1.3 million renovations making it ADA accessible so that all children may utilize it. Please note: non-Iowa residents must pay a $5 entrance fee at Lake Manawa State Park. You can also invest in the $40 annual pass if you plan to visit frequently.
Located in North Omaha, Fontenelle Park is home to a popular lagoon, a playground, and long, meandering paths perfect for walking, jogging or bike riding. There are also two basketball courts, four tennis courts, two football fields and a nine-hole golf course. The playground itself features the usual climbing and slide structure–along with a nearby spray ground to keep you and your family cool on hot days.
Halleck Park is located just a quarter mile to the east of the intersection of Washington and Lincoln Streets in downtown Papillion. With 70 acres of parkland, the park offers extensive walking trails, athletic fields, shelters and a large pavilion. The playground, which is a local favorite, is three stories tall, boasting several exciting slides and climbing options. There is also a counterbalanced swing set so you can swing face-to-face with your kiddos!
Spread out over several acres and featuring tennis courts and sloping hills (perfect for sledding in the winter!) Hillsborough Park is a hidden gem that you should definitely explore this season! The playground structure is large and packed full of fun slides, climbing opportunities, educational sections and more.
Zorinsky Lake has more than 255 acres offering two exciting, modern playgrounds, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a football field, hiking and bicycling trails, and a universally accessible fishing dock! The colorful play structure offers slides, ladders, stairs, monkey bars and more. There are also several swings across the playground, including a baby swing and adaptive swing seat.
This gorgeous, lakeside park features plenty of open space, no-wake boating, fishing, playground, picnic tables, and a large playground that the whole family can enjoy! Watch your favorite American Ninja Warriors climb up and down large climbing structures, swing on the swings and hang from the monkey bars—all with an incredible lake view.
Maple Village Park
A small neighborhood park, Maple Village is perfect for those looking for a quiet afternoon of play! Enjoy a large play structure, spinner bowls, swings, monkey bars, large slides, firemen poles, and so much more.
Playsets and tennis courts, walking trails and sledding hills—Pacific Meadows has it all! This small neighborhood park is a favorite for many, featuring a large play structure with curvy slides, a massive climbing tower and swings for all ages.
Pepperwood Park, located on Hamilton Street, offers a wide, open field area to play with a large play area perfect for kids of all ages! The play structure features large, medium and small slides; monkey bars; a slide bar; a tunnel; and a soft sand ground. Adults can opt to play with their kids on the play structure or seek shade on the nearby gazebo, bridge or walking path.
Ralston Park, located just outside of Omaha, is an expansive recreation area full of pavilions, sports fields, picnic areas and more! This park’s massive play structure is one of our favorites, boasting several unique slides, bridges, climbing bars, towers and more.
Often regarded as the Rockbrook area’s best kept secret, Rockbrook Park is one you might miss if you aren’t looking for it. You may remember it as “Rocket Park” as it used to feature a rocket slide that now sits out of commission outside the entrance. These days, it boasts a sand ground, large playground structures, swings, climbing opportunities and more.
6802 Harrison Street, Omaha
Seymour Smith Park Playground—also known as the AllPlay Complex—is the finest barrier–free sports and recreation complex in the nation. The $1.5 million complex utilizes barrier–free design concepts that allow people who have mobility impairments and other disabilities to fully enjoy sports and recreation. The complex is open to the public and free to use during Seymour Smith Park’s hours (5am – 11pm) daily, but certain features of the complex may be closed when reserved for programs, activities, and events for organizations that provide services for persons with disabilities.
Named for the Ponca leader Chief Standing Bear, Standing Bear Lake is a day-use–only facility that offers a unique playground, fishing, no-wake boating, 3.3 miles of hiking and bicycling trails, a field for radio-controlled model airplanes, a picnic area and picnic shelters. The play structure is one of the most unique in town, featuring childhood classics like slides and swings along with ropes, fake canoes, caves, rubber bears and more.
Located in the popular Aksarben Village, Stinson Park is home to some of our favorite outdoor events and activities in Omaha. The playground is a classic, featuring slides, swings and climbing structures, but the neighborhood atmosphere—along with the tower views and access to nearby shops and restaurants—make it a must-visit.
Nestled near Millard, Walnut Groe Park is a beautiful, rarely crowded urban park offering picnic pavilions, picnic tables, benches, a playground and more. While the interesting play structure, spring rider ponies and swings make it worth the visit, we are also big fans of the nearby lagoon and walking paths!
The Omaha area is packed full of even more amazing playgrounds, so we know we missed a few. If we missed your favorite playground, make sure to let us know in the comments below!