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Active Omaha: #5

5. Lauritzen Gardens & Kenefick Park

(100 Bancroft St, Omaha, NE)

Talk about beautiful scenery! It’s a great place to walk – but in the interest of full disclosure - it’s more of an attraction than a park (they don’t allow anything more rigorously aerobic than walking - no jogging, biking, frisbees, kites, skateboards, etc.).

They DO have all kinds of exhibits and scheduled events throughout the year though. I’m listing a few examples here of the more active events that they have to offer. You might be interested to know that they also have lots of other fun activities (like gingerbread house building!) – but I’m not going to talk much about those sorts of things, because we are supposed to be talking about ACTIVE options in Omaha. So here we go:

  • They have a Walking Club there every Tuesday morning at 8:30 through Oct 29th (who knew??).
  • And if you hate leaving your canine friends at home, you can bring a maximum of 2 with you to their special Leashes at Lauritzen events (the next date is coming right up on September 9th, but they have dates in October as well). Perhaps a good way to connect with other dedicated canine “parents”?
  • If you’re interested in giving yoga a try, you can sign up for the yoga classes coming up on the 18th (it’s “Yin Yoga” on the 18th – admittedly, I don’t know what that is – but I’m guessing that you yoga lovers out there probably don’t need any explanation anyway J). If I were a yoga person, it seems like Lauritzen Gardens would be a very peaceful place for it.

    Hang on though – don’t start thinking that you have to sign up for something to enjoy Lauritzen Gardens. They have a a whole series of different specialty “Gardens” to enjoy – the beauty of which might escape the youngest subset of us – but for them, there’s a specific “Children’s Garden”; and even better, a “Model Railroad Garden” (runs May through October) – I’ve been to Lauritzen Gardens, but apparently didn’t explore it thoroughly enough, because somehow I missed this, and it sounds pretty cool with 3 train lines and replicas of many of Omaha’s landmark buildings.

    There’s an admission charge for Lauritzen, but I have to say I did not know that the adjacent Kenefick Park is open to the public, at no charge (and free parking at Lauritzen). Those big trains up to the right that you can see as you pass by on I-80 (westbound) as you enter into Omaha are part of this park. I learned recently that those aren’t just any old trains – they’re “Two of the greatest locomotives ever to power Union Pacific Railroad”. You can use the stairs (or opt for the ramp) to get a little bit of exercise, and learn about the history of the railroad in Omaha, what could be better than that.