All About Omaha!
Smack dab in the middle of America.* If you ever make it to Omaha, we are not slouching off compared to other cities. Let me tell you about it. We don't have LA's traffic jams, crime, or its high percentage of sunshine days. We don't have New York's traffic and crime. We don't have Chicago's traffic and crime. We are not crime free, and we are not traffic free, after all, we are a growing metropolitan area of 877,110 as of 2011 or 723,662 as of 2010 (per Census Bureau) even though the US Census has an estimate of only 518,777 for 2010 for the entire Douglas county! * Per the Nebraska Poublic Power istrict, Omaha city proper has a population of 408,958 as of 2010 or an estimate of 410,269 per the US Census. We are the largest city in the state of Nebraska. Together with Lincoln, the only other metropolitan city in Nebraska, we make up over half the population of Nebraska. Omaha started as Omaha City in 1854* and incorporated as Omaha in 1855. We haven't stopped growing ever since.
Omaha is centrally located so we have our seasons. Omaha's temperature ranges from the sub-zeros in the winter to over 100 degree summer days. Wind-chill and heat index means something in Omaha! It doesn't matter how hot or cold it gets, Omaha people are active.
There are plenty of things to do in Omaha. That is what this website is about, "What-to-do." In addition to leading productive business lives, we enjoy our off time. From learning tidbits of our history to fun things to do, we have it for you, all entertaining. Omaha has so many different ways to offer us recreation activities. In winter months, we aren't afraid to enjoy the snow from sledding in town to snowmobiles in rural areas. The frozen ponds, lagoons, and park areas offer ice-skating and ice hockey. Our colder periods only energize us to enjoy the warmer months even more. We have lots of lakes and rivers nearby so there is no shortage of fishing, sailing, and boating opportunities.
Spring and summer means lots of outdoor sports activities, sightseeing, bird watching, shopping, and attending arts, entertainment, and celebration events, such as festivals, fairs, and even rodeos. We have theatre, ballet, concerts, special shows, music in the parks, even Shakespeare in the parks. When the weather cools back down, we support our favorite sports team by filling the stadiums, outside at the tailgate parties, or home in front of the big screen.
If you are new to Omaha, pick up an Omaha Weekly Reader paper and read about some of Omaha's best.
Anyone that thinks there is nothing to do around Omaha hasn't visited this site. Look at all the choices that have further information on the web. Read on, you will learn more about Omaha, its opportunities, and some of its curious and fascinating history.
Omaha (named for the Omaha Indians) is located on the west bank of the Missouri River that separates Nebraska and Iowa. Long before any white man set foot on the Great Plains, the area was inhabited by several Native American groups, including the Oto/Otoe/Missouri, Pawnee, and Omaha nations. Since North American natives were more migratory back then, there were other natives that crossed the area. More about Omaha's history.
Omaha has continued to grow from its early beginnings. We grow west since we are limited by the Missouri River. Omaha's downtown area has revitalized itself every so often and currently we have been in the process of doing the same with the addition of new venues such as the Omaha (Century Link) Convention Center and Arena. The Century Link Convention Center is located right next to the I-480 Freeway in the northeast part of downtown. To have easy access to the Century Link Convention Center from the airport, several streets have been reorganized.
Omaha has been chosen as the location for the Gallup Organization. In addition to conducting business, the Gallup Campus has its own training center. The National Park Service has also built a new headquarters on the riverfront.
We also have new buildings going up or just completed as downtown businesses Union Pacific, Omaha World Herald, and First National Bank have built new headquarters. The new bank building is 40 stories tall, making it the tallest building anywhere around. We not only are growing out, we are growing "up."
There are lots of things Omaha is known for. Most people think of Boy's Town, Creighton, Mutual of Omaha, College World Series, SAC Headquarters, Omaha Steaks, and Union Pacific Railroad.
In the western part of Omaha is Father Flanagan's Girl's and Boy's Town located in the village of Boys Town USA (started in 1917). The area has been absorbed into Omaha as the city grew out and around it. The village still maintains its own identity complete with its own zip code and mayor (chosen by the youth). Formally known as Boys Town, Girl's and Boy's Town has made it official, reflecting what has been going on for quite some time, Girl's and Boy's Town helps young boys and girls get the leadership they deserve.
Omaha is also home to ConAgra and Woodmen of the World. While these are not the only large businesses located in Omaha, they have stood the test of time and are more universally known.
Omaha is known worldwide, especially in our "Sister Cities." Omaha's first sister city was Shizuoka, Japan. Now, we have six sister cities.* You can learn all about our sister cities at the Omaha Sister Cities website.
Omaha has several museums showing our historic, artistic, and cultural diversities. Our old train depot has been converted into the Durham Western Heritage Museum showing some great exhibits of our earliest history. The El Museo Latino in South Omaha shows cultural art. The Period Gallery features different types of art, as do a number of other galleries around town. We also have several locations where art is on display such as the Artists' Cooperative, and the Passageway, both in the Old Market. The Omaha Cultural & Academic Cooperative combines education with museums, a unique program based at our zoo. Omaha also has an Artist in Residency program in the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, which also has art exhibitions.
Omaha has a strong arts community. We love arts and especially art festivals. During the summer months, we have quite a few art festivals in Omaha and the surrounding communities. You don't want to miss the Countryside Village Art festival (first weekend in June), the downtown Summer Arts Festival (late June), and the Rockbrook Village Art Fair (following labor day weekend).
We are also proud of our performing arts. We have the Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, and many theatrical productions. The Orpheum Theater was restored in the 1970s and features local and touring productions. The Omaha Community Playhouse has the greatest plays, including the best "Scrooge" play anywhere. The Omaha Theatre for Young People introduces theatre to our youngest citizens, not only in plays that are interesting to the younger generation but they also are the performers.