18 Favorite Nebraska Day Trips with Kids

green nebraska road signLooking for a Nebraska Day Trip idea? Travel and adventures are my two favorite things. When I don’t have the time or cash for a long hiatus, I love to explore my home state. Outside of the major cities of Omaha and Lincoln, there are adventures to seek and day trips galore.

Favorite Nebraska Day Trips with Kids

Here are some highlights from my past trips and some of my to-dos. Looking for more? Check out 4 Day Trips Less than 4 Hours from Omaha.

Nebraska Day Trip: State Parks

Indian Cave State Park

This is located near Schubert by the Missouri Border. You’ll find hiking, biking, and prehistoric petroglyphs. This park is a treasure that I can’t wait to take my boys to explore after winter. For more info visit the state website.

Fort Robinson State Park

Complete with buffalo and longhorn herds, this park looks insanely beautiful! This historic park was the death place of Chief Crazy Horse and an outpost from the Indian War until World War II.

Toadstool Park

This is known as the “Badlands of Nebraska“. It’s on my must-see list of hikes!


Fort Kearney

Along with the fort, there are a few monuments, a museum, a preserved blacksmith shop, and a covered wagon. My boys liked playing and climbing in the fort and the cannons while I enjoyed learning about the history.

The Archway Museum

This Nebraska Day Trip is free of charge! Older kids and adults would enjoy the museum which has a self-guided tour with headphones. The lobby has a unique local Nebraskan gift shop. The replica forts in the parking lot have a maze and an adobe hut that my kids enjoyed. Worth the stop.

Pioneer Village

The entire town is a 2 block radius! I recommend spending a half day here!

North Platte

Fort Cody Trading Post

This is a classic Americana road stop located off I-80. The historic fort is a gift emporium for old-west toys. There’s an open play area in the center with a teepee and wagon! Best of all, if you can escape the gift shop, it’s free!

Cody Park

The park offers carnival rides for little ones as well as places to camp, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, concessions, retired engines and rail cars with memorabilia, and native wildlife like buffalo and antelope. My kids loved this place and it is very affordable!

Golden Spike Tower

I recommend this Nebraska day trip for adults and older children. The museum had some interesting old railroad logs, maps, history, and a panoramic view of the impressive Bailey rail yard.

Buffalo Bill’s Ranch

Next on my list to visit!


Pony Express Station

This is a free museum located in the city park/arboretum that is open to visitors in the warmer months.

Lake Maccaughaney

We love Lake Mac! The lake had its beginnings as an irrigation project, and is now the largest reservoir in the state! It’s ranked as one of the best kale destinations in the nation. And check out The Most Unlikely Place for coffee or a bite in Lewellen. You’ll be glad you did!



This is a classic and a must-see! The Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge is massive, always busy, and nostalgic. Fun for the whole family!


The Cowboy Trail

This is an old abandoned railroad track turned trails-runs nearby offering a unique experience for those hoofing it, or on two wheels, and is said to have incredible views.

Niobrara and Snake Rivers

There are plenty of hiking opportunities and parks with waterfalls as well as tanking and tubing.

Valentine also has vineyards, a game preserve, and several museums. A perfect little weekend getaway!

Northwest Nebraska

Chimney Rock

A stop on the Oregon, Mormon, Lewis And Clark trails, travelers can carve their names into it as a right of passage. The museum and the cemetery at the foot of the hill were both interesting. On display are drawings, journals, and early photos that show the site’s significance and change over time.

The Sandhills, Courthouse, and Jailhouse Rock

The other formations, buttes, and bluffs were breathtaking and unique. I was delighted to get my first glimpse of wild antelope grazing on the hillside of Jailhouse Rock.



If you’re unfamiliar with this monument, it is an homage to the mysterious Stonehenge! It is constructed entirely out of old cars. There are other fun sculptures as well, but the novelty of this stop made my day. And it’s free!

What are your favorite places to visit in Nebraska?

This post was originally written in 2019 and updated in 2023. 

Hello Omaha! My name is Mary Mahowald. I am an Omaha native and have lived here most of my life, and I know it’s such a wonderful place to raise a family! I am a single, hard working momma to two little crazies, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sebastian is a 6 year old, whom is heading into 1st grade, and Noah, 4, is preschool bound! Mom works full time as an Customer Support and Rental specialist at our local Freightliner dealership, works a couple of side hustles to support these little dudes, and is also attending the Business Management program through Metro Community College. In my “spare time,” I am pursuing a writing career, and am excited to reach our local community through the Omaha Moms Blog! Happy reading!