by Melanie Stewart
photo credit: freeimages.com/BrainLary
Memorial Day celebrations are wrapping up, signaling the unofficial beginning of summer! That means school is out and now the fun challenge of keeping kids occupied (without a screen) is here. Did you know that spending time in nature is great for kids and adults and can improve health? There are lots of inexpensive ways to spend time outside whether you are a seasoned naturalist or a newbie, and you don’t even have to leave the area.
Most of you are probably aware of options like the Henry Doorly Zoo and Lauritzen Botanical Gardens, but LiveGreen would like you to know there are LOTS of options in and around this area: hiking, biking, fishing, bird watching, trains, camping, relaxing, there’s something for everyone. Everything below is linked to easily allow you to find details and make plans for your weekends or staycations (and some have day camps for kids and teens):
- Fontenelle Forest
- Two Rivers State Recreation Area
- Chalco Hills & Wehrspann Lake
- Mahoney State Park
- Hitchcock Nature Center
- Neale Woods – which includes the Millard Observatory
- Heron Haven
- Boyer-Chute National Wildlife Refuge
- Loess Hills State Forest –did you know that Loess is a soil found in only two places on earth?
- Ponca State Park
- Kramper Lake at Danish Alps
- Omaha City Trails
- Prairie View Recreation Area
- DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge
- Gifford State Forest
- Blackbird Marsh County Preserve
- Fremont State Recreation Area
- City of Omaha Parks (lists all parks, locations, and amenities)
- Schramm Park State Recreation Area and Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium
- Platte River State Park
- Prairie Queen Recreation Area
- Fort Atkinson State Historical Park
- Lake Manawa State Park
- Douglas County Parks with access to rivers
- Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari (Check out the calendar so you can time your visit to see enrichment activities for the Wolves and Bear. Go in the summer but make sure you come back in the fall to hear the elk “bugle”, it’s an experience you won’t forget!)
- Nebraska Game and Parks
Have fun and enjoy your summer!
P.S. Know of something we forgot? Feel free to share it in the comments below!