Omaha's Great Outdoors
All the April showers surely mean Omaha is in store for some spectacular May flowers. So, I’m eyeing spending some time outdoors with my family. As luck would have it, the Metro Arts & Culture Pass is going to help me out this month, offering half-price adult admission to Fontenelle Forest!
Have you been to Fontenelle, 1111 Bellevue Blvd. in Bellevue, lately? I just visited last month for the first time in years and I was so impressed, I can’t wait to go back. My two kids had a ball at Acorn Acres - it’s a play area where kids can climb, dig, make music, build and run wild. Maybe in our next visit, we can make it past Acorn Acres and see what else Fontenelle has to offer.
The Metro Arts & Culture Pass isn’t a physical pass. As long as you have a membership or subscription to one of the participating nonprofits, you can enjoy the discount. Here’s a link to more information and the list of participating institutions.
Here are some additional ideas on free or discounted things to do this month with your family:
- Farmer’s Markets - May is kick off time for the area’s farmers market. There’s no cost to stroll through them. Wohlner’s at Midtown Crossing’s market starts things off on May 1. Many of the area’s farmer’s markets start May 4 and 5, including Benon’s, Omaha Farmer’s Markets in the Old Market and Aksarven Village, and Village Pointe’s. Other starting later in the month or in the summer include Bellevue’s, Charles Drew’s, Florence Mill’s, Council Bluffs’ Main Street’s and Papillion’s.
- Omaha Children’s Museum children’s parade - Kick off summer on May 25 by participating in the free third annual Children’s Parade at 500 S. 20th St. Kids will get a kick out of being in a parade. Comes as you are or wear a costume. Registration is free, but there is a float contest you can pay $5 to enter - decorate your bike, wagon or non-motorized vehicle for a chance to win a prize. Click here for the registration form.
- Joslyn Art Museum - Admission is free to Omaha’s treasured art museum at 24th and Dodge streets starting May 25!
- Boys Town National Research Hospital Memorial Day Run - Here’s a run on May 27 even the youngest members of your family can participate in. The 400-meter kids run is for children 8 and younger; there is also a one-mile run/walk and a five-mile run/walk. The course goes through Boys Town. Parents (and older siblings) don’t have to register if they plan on being with the youngsters running the 400-meter course, but it is recommended that if the whole family wants to participate together, they do the one-miler. What a great way to kick of summer and show families can have fun being active!
- Spraygrounds open - The city’s many spraygrounds are open Memorial Day (May 27) through Labor Day (Sept. 2) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. These are free and a lot of fun for all ages. Locations include: Fontenelle Sprayground,4405 Fontenelle Blvd.; Kountze Sprayground, 1920 Pinkney; Orchard Park Sprayground, 66th and Hartman; Upland Sprayground, 3104 Jefferson St.; Westwood Heights Sprayground, 12334 Seldin Drive; and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge on Omaha side of the Missouri River near Lewis & Clark Landing. In Council Bluffs, you can find a fun sprayground at Bayliss Park.
- Taste of Omaha - This is always a favorite of mine. This year’s Taste is May 31 through June 2. This fun festival features free music and entertainment on six stages all weekend. Lots of great food to try out (not free) and fun rides for all ages (also not free). It’s open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing along the riverfront.