Apr 26, 2023 Communities

The Much-Anticipated Kiewit Luminarium is Now Open in Omaha

After much anticipation and excitement, the Kiewit Luminarium is now open in downtown Omaha! The museum opened their doors on Saturday, April 15, drawing eager crowds despite the rainy weather that day.

This interactive, hands-on museum is “a place for people of all ages, identities, and backgrounds to explore astonishing phenomena at the intersection of science, art, and human perception.”


A Place for Curious Humans of All Ages

This new addition is especially exciting for families, as the space is specially designed with our littlest ones in mind. But it’s a place for everyone!

Mayor Jean Stothert welcomed the community during the ribbon cutting ceremony alongside Luminarium founder, the CEO, and the Board of Directors.

“The Luminarium, it’s a place for big thinking,” Stothert said. “It’s a place for what-if ideas, for learners, teachers, the curious, the creative, and the inspired.”


Exhibits + Experiences

Kiewit Luminarium Omaha, Nebraska
Photo Courtesy of the Exploratorium

The 82,000-square-foot museum contains more than 120 interactive exhibits and a range of engaging programs for visitors to experience.

In the Catch Waves exhibit, you will explore the fundamental physics and universal phenomena that shape our world. Here, you’ll engage in colorful, multisensory experiences, such as swinging pendulums, making waves, seeing your body heat, and more.

In Dig Deeper, you’ll explore how we live within our environments by experimenting with stream dynamics, turning gears, building structures, digging in warm compost, and more.

In Find Yourself, you’ll explore different aspects of being human and a part of the larger social world by exploring your cells, your self, and your community.

And the list goes on! There is so much to see, do and experience at the Kiewit Luminarium.


Revitalizing the Riverfront

Photo Courtesy of Kiewit Luminarium

The Kiewit Luminarium is part of the larger $400 million RiverFront revitalization project that is already underway in downtown Omaha. This project encompasses three riverfront parks: Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park, and Lewis & Clark Landing, which will be collectively referred to as The RiverFront.

Community leaders, government officials and local stakeholders are working together to restore the riverfront area as a desirable destination for visitors and residents alike. The Luminarium plays a major role in accomplishing this goal!


Accessible for All

Kiewit Luminarium Omaha, Nebraska
Photo Courtesy of the Exploratorium

The Luminarium is not just a place for fun and exploration. It is also committed to making science and discovery accessible to all members of the community, no matter their economic status. The museum is working with groups such as the Latino Center of the Midlands and Girls Inc. to provide free family memberships to those who are economically disadvantaged.

Otherwise, there is a discounted family membership option available to anyone if cost is a roadblock. Their flexible and innovative membership program is designed “to engage people of all ages, identities, and backgrounds.” It is “relationship-driven, with generous benefits and pricing that reflects real world income distribution.”


Fig Restaurant

Fig Restaurant Omaha, Nebraska
Photo Courtesy of Fig. Cafe

From the team behind Lola’s in Dundee, Fig. is a new café situated on the southeast corner of the Luminarium, offering beautiful river views. While the restaurant is an entirely different concept than Lola’s, they have the same focus on high-quality ingredients and sustainable sourcing. Fig. serves well-executed breakfast, lunch, and happy hour menus, as well as bakery items like sourdough bread and pastries. Plus, there is a simple and affordable kids’ menu with options like schnitzel strips, a cheeseburger, a turkey sandwich, and more. Adults can pair their meal with a glass of wine or beer, or opt for a non-alcoholic drink, like a fresh juice or seltzer. The owners have also formed a creative partnership with the Luminarium to explore science and culture through food, offering weekly adults-only nights where visitors can explore exhibits and enjoy educational programs focused on food and drink. Fig. is open at 10 a.m. every day except Tuesday, when the museum is closed.


Night Light

While the Luminarium is popular for kids, they have a unique experience designed exclusively for adults. Every Thursday night, the museum hosts Night Light, an adults-only program with “exhibits and provocative programs that will expand your brain and spark joy.” This unique 18+ event takes place from 7–10 p.m. on Thursdays. Tickets may be purchased on site but reservations are highly encouraged!


Admission + Hours

Kiewit Luminarium Omaha, Nebraska
Photo Courtesy of Kiewit Luminarium

All tickets to the Luminarium are timed-entry, to ensure a pleasant experience for all visitors. Tickets are $24.95 for adults (18+), $19.95 for youth (5-17), and free for kids (4 and under). There are special discounts for teachers, students, seniors, and active military, as well as children of teachers and active military. If you are planning a visit to the Luminarium, purchase your timed-entry ticket in advance to ensure entry!

The Luminarium is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.


Become a Member

Kiewit Luminarium Omaha, Nebraska
Photo By Dan Schwalm © 2023 HDR / Courtesy of HDR, Inc.

Of course, the above-mentioned admission fees are completely waived if you become a Luminarium member! And if you sign up soon, you’ll have the opportunity to become a Founding Member of the museum. Founding Members enjoy a number of benefits, including unlimited free daytime admission for one year, a reduced price for adults-only Night Light, a 10% discount at Fig, and a 10% discount at the Luminarium store.

You can choose to pay full price for your membership or a reduced price, if needed. Both memberships include options for families, grandparents, two people, or individuals. And keep in mind all membership options are fully tax-deductible!


Experience the Luminarium Yourself

Enough talk — the best thing to do is experience this awe-inspiring museum yourself!

The opening of the Kiewit Luminarium marks yet another exciting addition to Omaha’s already thriving cultural scene, further cementing the city’s status as a destination for those who appreciate art, science, and history. Luminarium founder Bruce Grewcock said it best: “We don’t have oceans. We don’t have mountains. But we have the Luminarium.”

Apr 26, 2023 Communities
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