Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha 2023/2024

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Are you in need of a relaxing getaway? Look no further than Omaha, Nebraska. While it may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of relaxation, this Midwestern city has a lot to offer in terms of unwinding and enjoying life. With its blend of Midwestern charm and small-town vibes, Omaha provides a perfect escape from the fast-paced, hectic nature of everyday life. In this article, we will guide you through the top relaxing activities and hidden gems in Omaha, ensuring you have a rejuvenating and memorable experience.

1. Explore the Tranquil Gardens at Lauritzen Gardens

Lauritzen Gardens - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

Lauritzen Gardens, located in Omaha, Nebraska, is a botanical oasis that offers visitors a serene and captivating experience amidst nature's beauty. Spread over 100 acres, the gardens provide a diverse range of horticultural delights, showcasing an array of plants, flowers, and landscapes that change with the seasons.

As you step into Lauritzen Gardens, you are immediately greeted by a sense of tranquility. The meticulously designed gardens feature winding pathways that meander through various themed areas, such as the Victorian Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Japanese Garden. Each area exudes its unique charm, offering a glimpse into different cultural and horticultural traditions.

The vast collection of plants and flowers creates a symphony of colors and scents, immersing visitors in a sensory feast. Whether it's the vibrant hues of blooming flowers in spring or the rich palette of autumnal foliage, every visit promises a new and captivating experience.

For nature enthusiasts and those seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life, Lauritzen Gardens offers the perfect escape. The peaceful ambiance invites you to relax, unwind, and connect with nature. It's an ideal destination for a leisurely stroll, a quiet meditation session, or simply to admire the craftsmanship of the garden's design.

2. Indulge in a Spa Day at One of Omaha's Relaxing Retreats

Valo Wellness Spa - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

Omaha, Nebraska, offers a range of relaxing retreats where you can indulge in a rejuvenating spa day, melting away stress and revitalizing your senses. These tranquil havens provide a perfect escape from the daily grind, allowing you to pamper yourself and embrace self-care.

Upon entering one of Omaha's top-notch spas, you are greeted with a soothing atmosphere, calming scents, and friendly staff ready to cater to your every need. Whether you opt for a full-body massage to soothe tense muscles, a luxurious facial to nourish your skin, or a blissful aromatherapy session to uplift your spirits, the treatments are designed to leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.

Most spas in Omaha offer a variety of services, allowing you to curate your personalized spa experience. You can choose from an array of treatments, such as hot stone massages, body scrubs, facials with organic products, or even holistic therapies like Reiki or reflexology.

As you immerse yourself in the relaxing ambiance, you'll likely find that time seems to slow down, and the outside world fades away. Complementing the treatments, some spas offer access to amenities like saunas, steam rooms, and jacuzzis, further enhancing your relaxation journey.

Indulging in a spa day at one of Omaha's retreats is not just about physical rejuvenation; it's an opportunity to take care of your mental well-being as well. Soothing music, dim lighting, and the gentle touch of skilled therapists create an environment where you can let go of worries and embrace tranquility.

3. Take a Peaceful Stroll Along the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, an architectural marvel spanning the Missouri River, offers a picturesque and peaceful setting for a leisurely stroll. Connecting Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, this unique bridge serves as a symbol of unity between the two states.

As you step onto the bridge, you are immediately greeted with breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding cityscape. The bridge's design and thoughtful landscaping make it an ideal spot for both locals and tourists to unwind and connect with nature.

The wide, paved pathway is perfect for a relaxing walk or jog, and it's also friendly to cyclists, accommodating both pedestrians and bikes in separate lanes. As you make your way across the bridge, you can take in the fresh air and enjoy the gentle river breeze, providing a refreshing escape from the urban bustle.

One of the highlights of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is the stunning panorama of the city skyline, especially during sunrise or sunset. The bridge's strategic location allows you to capture memorable moments with your camera or simply soak in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Throughout the bridge, you'll find various seating areas, making it easy to pause, relax, and take in the view. It's not uncommon to spot people engaged in peaceful activities like reading, sketching, or simply savoring a quiet moment alone.

Beyond its recreational appeal, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge hosts community events and cultural activities, fostering a sense of togetherness among locals and visitors alike.

4. Unwind with a Picnic at Heartland of America Park

Heartland of America Park - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

Heartland of America Park, nestled in the heart of downtown Omaha, is the perfect oasis to unwind and enjoy a delightful picnic. This urban green space, encompassing 31 acres, offers a serene retreat from the city's hustle and bustle, inviting visitors to connect with nature and bask in its beauty.

The park's centerpiece is a stunning lake adorned with a mesmerizing 320-foot water fountain, creating a soothing ambiance with its dancing waters and occasional light shows. Finding a cozy spot along the lake's edge or on one of the lush lawns is ideal for setting up your picnic spread.

As you savor your homemade goodies, you can relish the scenic views of the lake, its tranquil waters reflecting the surrounding trees, and the city's skyline. Ducks and geese may glide gracefully across the water, adding to the picturesque scene.

Heartland of America Park's well-maintained walking paths beckons you to take a leisurely stroll after your picnic. Meandering along the water's edge, you can explore various art installations and sculptures that add an artistic touch to the serene setting.

During warmer months, the park often hosts events, including concerts and cultural festivals, providing additional entertainment and an opportunity to soak in the local culture.

Families can make the most of their time in the park with a visit to the Children's Playground, where kids can frolic and burn off energy on the swings, slides, and climbing structures.

5. Experience Zen at the Omaha Zen Center

Omaha Zen Center - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

The Omaha Zen Center is a haven of tranquility and mindfulness, offering a unique opportunity to experience Zen practice in the heart of Omaha, Nebraska. Founded with the aim of cultivating inner peace and wisdom, the center provides a serene space for individuals to embark on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth.

Upon entering the center, you are welcomed by an atmosphere of serenity, where simplicity and mindfulness are valued. The traditional Japanese Zen garden with its meticulously raked gravel and carefully placed rocks sets the tone for contemplation and reflection.

The center offers meditation sessions, led by experienced practitioners, where you can learn and immerse yourself in various meditation techniques. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced meditator, the guidance provided caters to all levels, allowing you to deepen your practice.

The Zen teachings emphasize being present at the moment and fully embracing the here and now. Through Zen practices such as seated meditation (zazen), walking meditation (kinhin), and mindful activities, visitors can cultivate a sense of inner calm and clarity amidst life's challenges.

The Omaha Zen Center also hosts workshops, retreats, and Dharma talks, providing valuable insights into Zen philosophy and its practical applications in everyday life. The resident Zen teachers share their wisdom and offer guidance on how to integrate Zen principles into one's personal and professional life.

Apart from its spiritual offerings, the center promotes a sense of community among its practitioners. Engaging in group activities and discussions fosters a supportive environment where people can share their experiences and learn from one another.

6. Discover Hidden Gems in Omaha's Old Market District

Old Market District - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

Omaha's Old Market District is a vibrant and historic neighborhood known for its unique charm and eclectic atmosphere. Beyond the well-known attractions, the district is brimming with hidden gems waiting to be discovered by intrepid explorers.

Wandering through the cobbled streets, you'll stumble upon quaint boutiques and art galleries, showcasing the works of local artists and artisans. These hidden spots offer a chance to find one-of-a-kind treasures, from handcrafted jewelry to quirky home decor, making it a paradise for shoppers seeking something distinct.

For food enthusiasts, hidden culinary delights abound in the Old Market. Veer off the main streets and venture into the narrow alleys to find tucked-away cafes and eateries serving mouthwatering dishes from diverse cuisines. From international flavors to farm-to-table experiences, there's something to satisfy every palate.

History buffs will be captivated by the district's past, and they can delve into it further by visiting lesser-known museums and historical sites. Unassuming entrances lead to fascinating exhibits, showcasing Omaha's rich heritage and significant role in the development of the American West.

Music lovers can seek out hidden venues and bars that feature live performances by local musicians, offering an intimate setting to enjoy soulful tunes and support the city's thriving music scene.

As night falls, the Old Market's nightlife reveals more hidden gems. Secret speakeasies and rooftop bars offer a chance to unwind with handcrafted cocktails and stunning views of the city lights.

7. Embrace Nature at Fontenelle Forest

Fontenelle Forest - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

Fontenelle Forest, located just a short drive from downtown Omaha, offers an enchanting escape into nature, allowing visitors to embrace the beauty of the wilderness. This 2,000-acre forest sanctuary is one of Nebraska's oldest conservation areas, and it provides a haven for both nature enthusiasts and those seeking peaceful respite.

Upon entering Fontenelle Forest, you're immediately surrounded by a lush and diverse ecosystem, featuring a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees, native plants, and winding trails that beckon you to explore further. Whether you're an avid hiker or a casual walker, the forest offers trails of varying lengths and difficulties, ensuring there's an adventure suitable for everyone.

As you traverse the forest's pathways, you might encounter a variety of wildlife, including deer, wild turkeys, foxes, and an array of bird species. Birdwatchers will especially delight in the opportunity to observe a myriad of feathered friends in their natural habitat.

One of the highlights of Fontenelle Forest is the elevated boardwalk that guides you through the wetlands and offers spectacular views of the Missouri River valley. The tranquility of the wetland environment, combined with the captivating scenery, makes it a photographer's dream.

Fontenelle Forest also boasts an impressive Nature Center, where visitors can learn about the area's unique flora and fauna through interactive exhibits and educational programs. The Nature Center serves as a gateway to understanding and appreciating the significance of conservation and ecological preservation.

For families, the forest offers various kid-friendly activities, including nature-themed play areas and engaging educational programs tailored for young adventurers.

8. Enjoy a Relaxing Riverboat Cruise on the Missouri River

The Missouri River - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

A relaxing riverboat cruise on the Missouri River offers a delightful and unique way to experience the beauty and charm of Omaha, Nebraska. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor, stepping aboard a riverboat allows you to unwind and enjoy picturesque views while drifting along the historic waterway.

As the boat sets sail, you'll be captivated by the scenic landscapes that unfold before your eyes. The Missouri River, with its gentle currents and meandering course, reveals a different perspective of the city's skyline and surrounding natural beauty. The soothing sounds of the water and the gentle breeze create a serene atmosphere that immediately puts you at ease.

Riverboat cruises in Omaha often come with a range of amenities and offerings. You might have the option to enjoy a delicious meal on board, complete with a selection of local delicacies, or simply savor a refreshing drink as you take in the surroundings.

Throughout the cruise, knowledgeable guides provide fascinating commentary, sharing intriguing historical anecdotes about the river, its significance to the region, and the landmarks that dot the shoreline. You'll gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural and historical heritage of the area as you relax and soak in the stories.

A riverboat cruise on the Missouri River is also an excellent opportunity for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for various bird species, including eagles, herons, and pelicans, as well as glimpses of other wildlife that might appear along the riverbanks.

9. Find Serenity at the Joslyn Art Museum

Joslyn Art Museum - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

The Joslyn Art Museum, located in Omaha, Nebraska, is a haven of serenity and artistic inspiration. This world-class museum, with its stunning architecture and impressive collection, offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the world of art and culture.

As you step into the grand entrance of the Joslyn Art Museum, you are immediately greeted by its elegant design and welcoming atmosphere. The museum's remarkable mix of contemporary and classical architecture creates a sense of harmony and invites exploration.

The collection at the Joslyn Art Museum spans various periods and styles, showcasing both European and American art. From renowned works by artists like Monet, Renoir, and El Greco to modern masterpieces, the museum's galleries provide a diverse and enriching experience.

Wandering through the galleries, you can discover an array of paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and artifacts that reflect the cultural richness and creativity of different eras. The carefully curated exhibits offer insights into historical periods, artistic movements, and the individual stories behind each masterpiece.

Beyond the art, the museum's spacious and light-filled interior provides a tranquil setting for reflection and contemplation. Numerous seating areas throughout the galleries allow visitors to pause, admire the artwork, and absorb the beauty of each piece.

The museum also hosts special exhibitions and cultural events, bringing a dynamic element to the space and offering fresh perspectives on contemporary art and global cultures.

For those seeking a moment of peace amidst the bustling city, the museum's surrounding grounds and sculpture garden offer a serene escape. The outdoor spaces, with their well-tended gardens and art installations, invite visitors to embrace nature while engaging with art in a different setting.

10. Relax and Recharge at Omaha's Unique Bed and Breakfasts

Breakfasts - Relaxing Things to Do in Omaha - Planet Travel Advisor

Omaha, Nebraska, offers a range of unique and charming bed and breakfasts, providing a perfect setting for travelers to relax and recharge while enjoying personalized hospitality and a touch of local flair.

Each bed and breakfast in Omaha has its distinctive character and ambiance, making the choice a delightful part of the experience. Whether you prefer a historic Victorian mansion, a cozy cottage tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, or a stylish urban retreat, there's a bed and breakfast to suit every taste.

The warm and inviting atmosphere of these accommodations sets the stage for a memorable stay. Many bed and breakfasts feature beautifully appointed rooms with carefully curated decor, ensuring a comfortable and intimate experience for guests.

One of the highlights of staying at a bed and breakfast is the delicious homemade breakfast served each morning. You'll wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and mouthwatering dishes prepared with love and attention to detail. Some establishments even accommodate dietary preferences, adding a personal touch to your dining experience.

The innkeepers of these charming establishments often double as local guides, providing insider tips and recommendations on the best places to explore in Omaha. From hidden gems in the Old Market District to nearby attractions and cultural events, they can help you make the most of your visit to the city.

The serene and often secluded locations of these bed and breakfasts create a peaceful retreat where you can unwind and escape from the hustle of everyday life. Many properties offer lovely gardens or outdoor seating areas, perfect for reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea, or simply basking in the tranquility of nature.


In general, Omaha, Nebraska, offers a plethora of relaxing activities that provide a welcome escape from the daily grind. From serene gardens to captivating museums, the city's diverse offerings cater to various interests and preferences, inviting visitors and locals alike to unwind and recharge.

Lastly, embracing the serenity of a unique bed and breakfast in Omaha completes the city's relaxation offerings. These charming accommodations offer personalized hospitality, making guests feel right at home while creating lasting memories.

Source of Video: Apricot Wanderers Youtube


What are some of the best parks in Omaha to relax and unwind?

Omaha offers several beautiful parks for relaxation. Some of the best ones include Lauritzen Gardens, Heartland of America Park, Zorinsky Lake Park, and Fontenelle Forest.

Are there any meditation centers or yoga studios in Omaha for relaxation?

Yes, Omaha has several meditation centers and yoga studios where you can practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques. The Omaha Meditation Center and various yoga studios across the city offer classes and workshops.

Where can I find information about live jazz performances in Omaha?

You can find information about live jazz performances in Omaha by checking local event listings, visiting jazz clubs and bars in the city, or following the websites and social media pages of jazz musicians and venues.

What are some of the best spas in Omaha for a relaxing day of pampering?

Omaha boasts several excellent spas for relaxation and pampering. Some popular ones include the Spa at the Hotel Deco, Oasis Massage and Spa, and Karma Relaxation Spa.

Are there any sunset spots in Omaha with a great view?

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a popular spot to catch a stunning sunset over the city. Additionally, Heartland of America Park and certain riverfront areas can also provide beautiful sunset views.

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