10 Things to Do for Under $5 in the Omaha Metro Area
Omaha was my home for over 6 years, and while I enjoy living a more rural existence, I still frequent the metro for exciting entertainment options and unique shopping excursions. And while five bucks won't buy you the largest sized blended drink at Starbucks, it can get you admission to these ten other hot happenings in the Omaha metro area. Check out these frugal hot spots in the Big O!
Joslyn Art Museum – This isn't your average rinky dink art gallery. Thousands of top-notch art exhibits have made their way through the halls of Joslyn in the years it has been open to the public. Past favorites have included Karl Bodmer, William Joyce, Denise Fleming, and pieces rescued from the New Orleans Museum of Art. Many fine pieces make their permanent home at the Joslyn, including Du Bois, Mary Cassat, and Degas. Senior Citizens, children, and college students get in for $5 or less anytime, but on Saturdays from 10am – noon, it's free for EVERYONE! Their phenomenal series of Jazz on the Green shows have ended for the year, but activities such as College Night (Sept 12) offer food, music, and culture for absolutely no money!
Take in the memorials – Remembering those who have come before us may not always seem like a lively way to spend a free afternoon, but there is much to learn while visiting these monuments: Gerald Ford Birth site and Monument, Boys Town Hall of History (which includes the world's largest ball of stamps), and Cancer Survivors Park, Memorial Park (honoring WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veterans).
Skate! - Omaha has several top-notch ice skating rinks to choose from. The cheaper one to go to is the Motto McLean Arena (where you can skate for $2.50 plus a $1.50 skate rental.)
Support local art – Take in the sights and sounds of the Old Market and some unique artistic talent at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Located in the upper floors of the historic buildings, artists live and work where visitors can see!
Mahoney State Park – For the price of a daily park pass, you can get into the newest state park setup this part of the state has to offer! Located near Gretna, beautiful scenery, a nature conservatory, and an activities center (featuring $2 admission, cheap archery, an indoor playground, and ice skating) are just a few of the perks this park has to offer!
Gene Leahy Mall – This is the perfect place to stroll! This ten-acre park is right smack dab in the middle of historic downtown Omaha. Completely free and open until 11pm daily, you can explore waterfalls, gardens, the amphitheater and sculptures.
Heartland of America Park – Right next to the Gene Leahy Mall (in historic downtown), this park sports a breathtaking 300-foot fountain from April to Nov. Grab a boat ride for just $2 a person.
These are just a few of the better-known free and cheap attractions in Omaha. (I clearly left off the buffets that you can find for less than $5... not everyone enjoys cheap noodles.) Locals will have more fun hang-outs that they can share, but this list is a great place to start!