Lauritzen Gardens and Keenefick Park Botanical Garden

Located northeast of the Henry Doorly Zoo, this beautiful botanical garden is a must-see for Omaha family travel. Explore the diverse woodland areas, marvel at the charming waterfall, and inspect a model railroad system.

Two of the greatest locomotives to ever power Union Pacific Railroad stand on grand display here. They are visible to drivers on Interstate 80 and welcome travelers into Nebraska. Click here for more info.

Old Market

One of the most interesting things to do in Omaha is visit the Old Market. It’s a fun neighborhood with cobblestone streets, cute window shopping stops, and plenty of great restaurants and pubs.

It’s a little like walking through a time machine as you walk along the Old Market. This historic Omaha neighborhood is lined with brick buildings that give visitors the feel of stepping back into 1920s America.

There are also plenty of popular attractions located in the Old Market, including the Joslyn Art Museum, the Durham Museum, and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The Pedestrian Bridge is a 3,000-foot footbridge that connects the cities of Omaha, Council Bluffs, and Iowa. It’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the view of downtown Omaha. The bridge is open all year and is free to use. It is very popular during the winter when they set up an outdoor ice skating rink. This is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy.

The Waterfall

There are few things more magical than wandering through perfectly manicured gardens, but this spectacular botanical garden in Nebraska delivers plenty of fairytale magic close to home. Make sure to check their opening times and admission prices before you go.

The garden features a wide variety of intriguing plants like the Chinese tree peony and other Asian-influenced focal points. It also features a huge collection of roses that are a treat to see all summer and fall until frost.

Two of the greatest locomotives to ever power the Union Pacific Railroad sit high on a hill overlooking the park welcoming people to Omaha. They’re Centennial No. 6900 and Big Boy No. 4023 and are an impressive sight to see for all those driving down Interstate 80. The park is named after John Cooper Kenefick who was a senior official of the railroad company and known for his innovations that greatly aided its growth. The park also includes several plazas, seating areas, “canyon” stone walls, and interpretive signage. A must-see place!

The Model Railroad Garden

As you explore this 100-acre natural escape, every part of the garden connects to nature. Even the parking lot is a botanical garden with black-eyed Susans, prairie grasses, dwarf red plains coreopsis, and lemon mint on the asphalt. The entrance to the gardens is a 17,500-square-foot conservatory with tropical plants and a waterfall.

When the sun goes down, a spectacular light show in the Conservatory sets the mood. And the nighttime experience is even better with a live orchestra playing popular musical favorites.

Lauritzen Gardens offers many ways to learn and enjoy four-season plant displays and family-friendly events. Plan your visit around special attractions such as the Antiques Show, Sweet Corn Festival, or Holiday Poinsettia Show.

For railroad fans, Lauritzen’s model train garden is a must-see attraction. It features seven bridge-chugging, tunnel-zooming G-scale train lines that wind through miniature replicas of Omaha landmarks. During Railroad Days, the garden opens to allow you to see two of the greatest locomotives that ever powered the Union Pacific Railroad – Centennial No. 6900 and Big Boy No. 4023.

The Conservatory

The 100 acres of this botanical escape are arranged in themed areas that feature permanent exhibits and seasonal events. The rose garden, spring flowering walk, and tree peony garden are some of the most popular attractions. A festival garden with colorful annual plantings hosts a number of annual events; the Victorian garden combines characteristics of English and Victorian gardens; Song of the Lark Meadow is reminiscent of Nebraska’s prairies; and a 4-acre arboretum and bird sanctuary demonstrates seven regional plant communities and how to attract Midwestern birds.

Take a trip into the past at Union Pacific Railroad’s Centennial No. 6900 and Big Boy No. 4023, the world’s largest locomotives at Kenefick Park. Explore the grounds on a narrated tram tour. Visit the greenhouse, a garden-inspired gift shop, and the ConAgra Cafe. See the horticultural library and educational wing and attend special programs and events like an antiques show scavenger hunt or holiday poinsettia show. Click here for the next blog post.


Driving directions from Panneton Dental Group to Lauritzen Gardens/Kenefick Park

Driving directions from Lauritzen Gardens/Kenefick Park to Heartland of America Park at The RiverFront