If you find yourself visiting Omaha with kids (or live near Omaha), then spending time at the Omaha Children’s Museum is a must! It’s one of our favorite places to take the boys while we’re back in Nebraska. The 60,000 sq. foot facility has a seemingly endless supply of activities to do. One of the boys’ absolute favorite things is the HUGE “Super Gravitron” ball machine. They could have played in just this area for hours! In the same area as the Super Gravitron, is a “tornado machine”. Very cool! Big Brother was completely fascinated by watching a tornado develop. For a kid that has NO experience with tornadoes since we don’t live in a tornado-prone state, he couldn’t get enough of this! A great learning opportunity! All of that is part of the Charlie Campbell Science and Technology Center, but the museum has a number of great hands-on permanent exhibits including Zooland (a fun play place with animal slides), an Imagination Playground (where you’ll find perfect “pretend play” areas like a farm, firehouse, market, etc.), a Creative Arts Center where kids can unleash their inner artist, and the new Walker Tire Auto & Service Center. So many ways for kids to pretend, play, and learn! I LOVE this museum!!
In addition to all the permanent exhibits, the museum also offers world-class traveling exhibits and fun special events. While we were there (and still going on through mid-April of 2014), the special exhibit was Things That Go! In this exhibit, kids can explore the concept of “GO” in everything from vehicles, water, energy and more. With 3 energetic little boys, this was definitely a hit! About the exhibit (from the OCM website):
Slide into the driver’s seat of a kid-powered semi-truck, climb aboard a real Metro City Bus or take a “ride” inside a Children’s Hospital and Medical Center ambulance. Little engineers will be able to build a pinewood derby car then race it down a winding track, create a pinball rollercoaster with lights, ramps and jumps, and shoot balls and bottles with air powered cannons inside the launch cage.
Get your hearts racing and hop on bikes that convert kid-energy into electricity, a trike track with speedy trikes, or race boats through obstacles in a giant water table! Be in two places at once as you use the internet to send you across the room, or even across the globe, with giant video chat screens. Use mind and muscle as you speed through the Energizer and find the fastest route to the top of this 40 foot vertical maze! Get both body and mind moving in this fast-paced exhibit that is full of energy!
There were so many things for the boys to explore here…and different ways for them to be active. It was a great exhibit for us. While they had a lot of fun exploring all the different vehicles, the hands-down favorite was shooting balls with the air powered cannons! It’s LOUD! But, the boys (both the young ones and the adult one) had SO much fun with this! If you have kiddos that are interested in “things that go”, I definitely recommend paying the extra few dollars to check out this special exhibit! Lots of fun! We only ended up having only about 3 hours to spend and there was SO much more we could have done. So, depending on your kids and their interests, I think you could easily spend at least half a day here or more. If we lived in Omaha, this is one place that we would definitely have a membership to!
So, if you’re in the area with kids, we highly recommend the Omaha Children’s Museum! Just keep in mind that the museum is closed on most Mondays and major holidays throughout the year. Children under 2 are free!
Have YOU been to the Omaha Children’s Museum?
Interested in more family friendly attractions in Omaha? You can check out the Omaha Destination Guide that I wrote for Family Vacation Critic. You’ll find information about Omaha-area attractions, hotels, and restaurants! Also, you can check out our Omaha summer staycation post!
Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to the museum for the purposes of review. However, all opinions, experiences, and photographs are entirely our own.