Things to do in Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska, may have a small-town feel, but it’s also a state capital and home to several colleges and universities. There’s always something to do here. For a list of upcoming events, visit the community calendar at Lincoln.org.

Here are a few of our recommendations.

Top free activities

Illustration of the Nebraska state capitol

Nebraska State Capitol

1445 K St., Lincoln, NE 68508
capitol.nebraska.gov
Mon–Fri: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sat: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sun: 1:00–5:00 p.m.

The Nebraska State Capitol is one of four skyscraper capitols in the country. This jewel is home to the only non-partisan, one-house state legislature in the nation. Inside, elegant mosaics illustrate Nebraska’s pioneer spirit, culture and history.

Illustration of a building

Historic Haymarket

335 North 8th St. Suite B,
Lincoln, NE 68508
http://lincolnhaymarket.org/

Take a walk and experience the history, food, shops and artwork that fill this vibrant area. The Haymarket reflects Lincoln’s early beginnings; in its heyday it was a wholesale and retail center. Today, it is a fine dining, shopping and entertainment district.

Illustration of flowers

Sunken Gardens

South 27th St. and Capital Pkwy,
Lincoln, NE 68502

This terraced garden features thousands of annuals, reflecting ponds and waterfalls. Donated and engraved concrete pavers, memorializing special people and events, fill the pathways. ADA accessible.

Illustration of roller skates

National Museum of Roller Skating

4730 South St., Lincoln, NE 68506
rollerskatingmuseum.com
Mon–Fri: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Open weekdays only, this museum is devoted to wheeled fun, from recreational skating to roller derby and inline skating. Some features include displays of skates and costumes and videos of competitions.

Illustration of a painting

Sheldon Museum of Art

12th and R Streets, Lincoln, NE 68508
sheldonartmuseum.org
Tues: 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Wed–Sat: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sun: Noon–5:00 p.m.

This museum houses both the Sheldon Art Association collection founded in 1888 and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln collection, initiated in 1929. This collection includes prominent holdings of 19th-century landscape and still life, American Impressionism, early Modernism, and so much more.

Illustration of a flower

Pioneers Park

3201 South Coddington Ave.,
Lincoln, NE 68522
lincoln.ne.gov/city/parks/naturecenter

This 1,100-acre park includes public art, an outdoor amphitheater, picnic areas, hiking/biking trails, ponds, a sled run and a golf course.  You can check out the 668-acre Nature Center and eight miles of walking trails, where herds of bison, elk and deer, wild turkey, hawks and owls are exhibited in their natural habitat. Suggested donation for the Nature Center is $3-5.

Illustration of a tractor

Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum

35th Fair St., Lincoln, NE 68583
tractormuseum.unl.edu
Tues–Fri: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Sat: 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Learn about the 90-year history of tractor testing while walking through the world’s first tractor testing laboratory built in 1919. This restored historic building honors former tractor testing engineer Lester Larsen. Suggested donation is $3.

Illustration of Nebraska

Nebraska History Museum

15th and P Streets, Lincoln, NE 68508
nebraskahistory.org
Mon–Fri: 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sat and Sun: 1:00–4:30 p.m.

Exhibits feature the lives of Native Americans of the Great Plains and pioneer settlers. Kids can participate in hands-on learning in the Investigation Station from 1-4 p.m. each day, where they investigate historic artifacts and pretend they are members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Suggested donation is $2.

Illustration of a tree

Antelope Park

23rd and N to 33rd and Sheridan Blvd.

The extensive facilities include Rose Gardens, fountains, statues, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, a recreation center, a play center, trails system, tennis courts and several playground areas. (Note: several venues, including the zoo, recreation center and play center are not free.)

Activities under $15

Illustration of a chimpanzee

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

1222 South 27th St.,
Lincoln, NE 68502
lincolnzoo.org
Daily: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Adults: $8.95 + tax
Children (ages 2–12): $7.95 + tax

It’s not just for kids! At the zoo, visitors can feed domesticated animals, watch butterflies at Laura’s Butterfly Pavilion, touch anthropoids from around the world, and hear zookeepers talk about a different animal every hour at the Critter Encounter Show. The 10-acre area features 300 animals from 90 species.

Illustration of a paint pallete

Paint Yourself Silly

4107 Pioneer Woods Dr. #103, Lincoln, NE
701 P St. Suite #103
paintyourselfsilly.net
Mon–Wed: 10:00 a.m.–6:00p.m.
Thurs–Sat: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sun: 1:00–5:00 p.m.
Prices vary by piece.

Make your own masterpiece!  This shop has an assortment of pottery for you to choose from, so you can bring back Grandma a mug or paint your sibling a piggybank.

Illustration of a rocket

Strategic Air and Space Museum

28210 West Park Hwy,
Ashland, NE 68003
sasmuseum.com
Open 7 days a week.
May 24–Sept 1: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sept 2–May 23: 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Adults: $12.00
Children (ages 4 –12): $6.00
Senior citizens (65+): $11.00
Active/retired military: $11.00

Visitors can ride the motion simulators, including two helicopter rides and five roller coaster rides. You can also tour the displays on the Holocaust, the life of astronaut Clayton Anderson, and a Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Illustration of a VW bus

Museum of American Speed

599 Oak Creek Dr., Lincoln, NE
museumofamericanspeed.com
Seasonal hours; call 402.323.3166
Closed weekends & holidays
$10.00

Speed demons love this museum! The indoor/outdoor exhibits feature hundreds of souped-up hot rods and racing vehicles. Other displays showcase engines, transmissions and other inner components.

Illustration of a joystick

Lincoln Laser Tag and Arcade

6600 North 27th St., Lincoln, NE 68521
lincolnlasertag.com
Call 402.476.4824 for hours.
15-min session: $8.00 + tax
30-min session: $12.00 + tax
60-min session: $18.00 + tax

Play a game of laser tag with your friends and family. Challenge each other to a duel or work in teams!

Illustration of Nebraska

University of Nebraska State Museum

645 North 14th St., Lincoln, NE 68588
museum.unl.edu
Mon–Sat: 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Thur: 9:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Sun: 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Adults (19+): $6.00
Children (ages 5–18): $3.00
Young children (4 and under): Free

Visitors have the chance to play with an interactive map explaining geology, view Don Doll’s photographs of Native American children in regalia and explore fossils found over the last 50 years when Nebraska’s highways were being built.

Illustration of bowling pins

Parkway Bowling Lanes

2555 South 48th St., Lincoln, NE 68506
48bowl.com/parkwaylanes
Mon–Thurs: 7:30 a.m.–midnight
Fri: 7:30 a.m.–1:00 a.m.
Sat: Noon–1:00 a.m.
Sun: 2:00–10:00 p.m.
Adults
Weekdays before 6 p.m.: $4.00
Weeknights after 6 p.m.: $5.00
Youth (13 and under) and Seniors (55+)
Weekdays before 6 p.m.: $3.50
Weeknights after 6 p.m.: $4.00
Shoe rental: $3.00

Enjoy a friendly game of bowling here—it’s only about 1 mile from the Union College campus!

Illustration of a trampoline

Defy Gravity

345 Sporting Village Dr. Suite #1
defygravitylincoln.com
Sun:11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Mon–Thurs: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Fri–Sat: 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.
Open Jump
30 minutes: $8.95
60 minutes: $13.95
90 minutes: $18.95
30 additional minutes: $5.00

Defy Gravity is the first trampoline park in Nebraska where you can actually bounce off the walls, play dodgeball on the trampoline, act like you are in the Mission Impossible movies inside the laser maze, impersonate your favorite basketball star at Dunk City and test your stunt skills at Free Fall!