Omaha, Nebraska, might surprise you with its rich cultural landscape. This Midwestern city is home to a diverse array of museums that offer something for everyone, from history buffs to art lovers and families looking for fun, educational outings. Let’s explore the 10 best museums in Omaha, Nebraska.

Museums to Visit in Omaha, Nebraska

Joslyn Art Museum

Location: 2200 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68102

The Joslyn Art Museum was established by Sarah Joslyn in memory of her husband, George A. Joslyn, in 1931. The museum’s stunning Art Deco architecture is just the beginning of the treasures inside. The museum’s collection includes works from antiquity to contemporary art, with notable pieces by artists such as Monet and Renoir. Sarah Joslyn wanted to create a lasting tribute to her husband and provide a cultural resource for the Omaha, Nebraska community. Families will appreciate the museum’s interactive spaces and family-friendly programs, making it a perfect destination for art lovers of all ages.

 

Durham Museum

The Durham Museum, housed in Omaha’s historic Union Station, was founded by the Western Heritage Museum in 1975 and later renamed after Charles and Margre Durham, significant benefactors. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history, with extensive collections including vintage trains and automobiles, and intricate exhibits on Native American history. The Durhams wanted to preserve the historical significance of Union Station and create a space where the rich history of the region could be showcased. Interactive displays and hands-on activities make history come alive, ensuring visitors of all ages are engaged and educated. The location of this museum is 801 South 10th Street, Omaha NE 68108

 

The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum

The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, established in 1959 by the Strategic Air Command, aims to preserve the history of the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command and showcase aerospace technology. Located just outside Omaha Nebraska, this museum features an impressive array of aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. General Curtis LeMay, the commander of the Strategic Air Command, was a driving force behind the museum’s creation. The museum also offers educational programs and events that provide deeper insights into aerospace technology and the history of the U.S. Air Force. The location of this museum is 28210 W Park Hwy, Ashland, NE 68003

 

Omaha Children’s Museum

The Omaha Children’s Museum was founded in 1976 by a group of local educators and parents who wanted to create a space dedicated to children’s education and play. The museum is a wonderland of interactive exhibits and imaginative play areas. From the Creative Arts Center to the Tinker Lab, children are encouraged to explore, create, and learn. Special programs and events ensure there’s always something new and exciting happening at the museum, making it a favorite spot for families.

 

El Museo Latino

El Museo Latino was founded in 1993 by Magdalena Garcia to celebrate and preserve Latino culture. As one of the few Latino museums in the Midwest, it plays a crucial role in showcasing Latin America’s art, history, and traditions. Garcia aimed to provide a vibrant and educational experience for visitors while promoting cultural understanding. The museum’s exhibits, community programs, and cultural events further enrich the visitor experience and foster a deeper appreciation for Latino heritage. The location of this museum is 4701 S 25th Street, Omaha, NE 68107

 

Lauritzen Gardens

Location: 100 Bancroft Street, Omaha, NE 68108

Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s botanical center, was founded in 1995 through the efforts of Omaha philanthropists Bob and Mary Lauritzen. The garden isn’t just a garden; it’s a living museum of plants. Visitors can explore beautifully curated gardens, seasonal floral displays, and educational exhibits on horticulture and ecology. The Lauritzens wanted to create a space where people could connect with nature and learn about the importance of plants. The garden’s events, such as the seasonal light shows and plant sales, add to the appeal, making it a year-round destination for nature lovers.

 

Great Plains Black History Museum

Location: 2221 N 24th Street, Omaha, NE 68110

The Great Plains Black History Museum was established in 1976 by Bertha Calloway to preserve and highlight the history and culture of African Americans in the Great Plains. Calloway’s vision was to create a museum that would educate the public about the contributions and experiences of African Americans in the region. The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from the Civil Rights Movement to local African American pioneers. Educational programs and community outreach initiatives help to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of this important history.

 

General Crook House Museum

Location: 5730 N 30th Street #11B, Omaha, NE 68111

The General Crook House Museum offers a glimpse into 19th-century life. Named after General George Crook, this beautifully restored Victorian-era home was opened to the public by the Douglas County Historical Society in 1968. The museum features period furnishings and historical artifacts, providing an in-depth look at the life and times of General Crook. Guided tours offer detailed insights into the history of the house and its former inhabitants, making it a fascinating visit for history enthusiasts.

 

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts was founded in 1981 by Ree Schonlau, Tony Hepburn, and Lorne Falk to support contemporary artists through exhibitions, residencies, and public programs. The center is a hub for contemporary art, providing a dynamic space for artists to create and exhibit their work. Visitors can explore cutting-edge art installations and engage with artists in residence, making it a vibrant and ever-evolving space for contemporary art.

 

Omaha Police Department Museum

Location: 505 S 15th Street, Omaha, NE 68102

The Omaha Police Department Museum showcases the history of law enforcement in Omaha, Nebraska. It was established in 2000 by the Omaha Police Historical Society. The museum’s exhibits include vintage police equipment, historical photographs, and stories of notable cases. The society’s goal was to preserve the history of the Omaha Police Department and educate the public about the evolution of policing in the city. Community outreach programs and educational initiatives make it a valuable resource for understanding the role of law enforcement in Omaha.

 

Conclusion

Omaha’s museums are a testament to the city’s rich cultural and historical tapestry. The next time you find yourself in Omaha, make sure to explore these top museums and immerse yourself in the cultural treasures they offer.