Fun Things To Do In Lincoln, Nebraska

Fun Things To Do In Lincoln, Nebraska

Check out this complete list of fun things to do in Lincoln, Nebraska. And the best part? Most of these Lincoln attractions are free!

 

Fun Things To Do In Lincoln, Nebraska

When we visited Lincoln, we loved how much there was to do. Since we’re on a budget, we also loved that many of the activities around town were free to do. Below are what we think are the most fun things to do in Lincoln.

 

National Museum Of Roller Skating

This was definitely one of our favorite places to visit in Lincoln. It sounds kind of quirky, but it ended up being so fascinating and we realized how interesting the world of roller skating is! There are artifacts from the 1800s that show the evolution of roller skates, shiny outfits, and trophies that give visitors a glimpse into the world of competitive skating. Oh, and it’s also one of the best free things to do in Lincoln.

 

Did you know that from the 1870s to the 1890s, roller skating rinks were the place to be? It was inexpensive, so it was perfect for families. But it was also a popular hang out spot for young adults. It was the place to see and be seen and the place to go on dates. There were drawings showing young men gallantly rushing to help young women to their feet after they had “accidentally” fallen.

 

Besides learning the history of roller skating, we also saw just how popular skating still is. There are competitive roller derby leagues and other ways to skate competitively. We saw the trophies and medals! Oh, and speaking of medals, make sure to take your photo on their podium holding a medal. It was a fun photo op!

 

one of the fun things to do in Lincoln Nebraska is visit the National Museum of Roller Skating

National Museum of Roller Skating

Roller skates have come a long way!

Roller skates have come a long way!

Free things to do in Lincoln NE include visiting the National Museum of Roller Skating

Artistic skating outfits were quite glamorous!

Photo op at the National Museum of Roller Skating

I’m a roller skating champion!

 

Nebraska History Museum

Another one of the fun and free things to do in Lincoln is visit the Nebraska History Museum. Inside, visitors will learn all about the different people and cultures that have called Nebraska home. There are Native American artifacts and photos that tell the stories of early cowboys. There are also temporary exhibits at the museum.

 

During our visit, there was an exhibit called “Don’t Touch That Dial: Kalamity Kate and the George Churley Puppets.” It was all about a children’s show that ran during the 1950s and 60s that was a big part of the state’s television history.

 

Fun things to do in Lincoln Nebraska include the Nebraska History Museum

Nebraska History Museum

Learn about Native Americans in Nebraska

Learn about Native Americans in Nebraska

See how cowboys lived

See how cowboys lived

Nebraska has a proud television history

Nebraska has a proud television history

 

Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol is one of the most beautiful state capitols we’ve ever been to. It can be seen from miles away, as it is 400 feet tall. But what is really impressive are the mosaics inside. It felt cathedral-like! We also really liked going up to the observation area and seeing some views of Lincoln.

 

We recommend taking one of their free guided tours so that you can really get a sense for how remarkable this building is. The tours are done at the top of every hour, except noon. Before you leave the capitol, make sure to walk over to the Lincoln Monument which is on the west side of the building.

 

Fun Fact: The Lincoln Monument was made by Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon, 10 years before they created the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

 

Nebraska State Capitol

Nebraska State Capitol

Beautiful mosaics adorn the inside of the capitol building

Beautiful mosaics adorn the inside of the capitol building

The view of Lincoln from the state capitol observation deck

The view of Lincoln from the observation deck

Lincoln Monument on the west side of the Nebraska State Capitol

Lincoln Monument

 

Pioneers Park Nature Center

Just a short drive away from downtown Lincoln is Pioneers Park Nature Center. If you’re traveling to Lincoln with kids, this should definitely be a place you visit. It’s also another one of the free activities in Lincoln you can do.

 

There are trails where you can walk and explore the prairie and wetlands that are native to Nebraska. You can see birds, bison, elk, white-tailed deer, and other animals. You can also stop in to any of the buildings and learn about the natural history of Nebraska and the central great plains.

 

Pioneers Park Nature Center is perfect for visiting Lincoln with kids

Pioneers Park Nature Center

Learning about the natural history of Nebraska and the central great plains

Learning about the natural history of Nebraska and the central great plains

There are over 8 miles of trails at the Pioneers Park Nature Center

There are over 8 miles of trails!

 

Sunken Gardens

The Sunken Gardens in Lincoln are a source of pride for many locals. It has won awards like the “300 Best Gardens to Visit in the U.S. and Canada” by National Geographic Guide to America’s Public Gardens (the only Nebraska garden on the list). It’s also one of the popular wedding venues in Lincoln because of it’s pavilion and waterfall.

 

Unfortunately, on the day that we visited they were doing a lot of replanting. But we can imagine just how beautiful it is when it’s in full bloom.

 

Lincoln Sunken Gardens

Lincoln Sunken Gardens

This would be a beautiful place to take wedding photos in Lincoln!

This would be a beautiful place to take wedding photos in Lincoln!

The Sunken Gardens look like a nice place to relax

The Sunken Gardens look like a nice place to relax

 

Sheldon Museum of Art

Located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus is the Sheldon Museum of Art. Inside, visitors will find over 12,000 pieces of art in various forms of media. There are landscapes, American Impressionism, Modernism, geometric abstraction, pop, minimalism, and contemporary art. Additionally, there are over 30 sculptures scattered throughout campus.

 

Sheldon Museum of Art

Sheldon Museum of Art

One of the many interesting pieces we saw at the Sheldon Museum of Art

One of the many interesting pieces we saw at the Sheldon Museum of Art

 

Lincoln Public Art

Speaking of art, we think one of the most fun things to do in Lincoln is search for public art. There are murals in Lincoln, as well as sculptures, fountains, and even walls covered in what look like chocolate candies! To see a list of public art in Lincoln and their locations, click here.

 

Constellation Studios Mural in Lincoln

Constellation Studios Mural

This mural shows the diversity in Lincoln Nebraska

This mural shows the diversity in Lincoln

Candy Box by Donald Lipski in Lincoln Nebraska

Candy Box by Donald Lipski

 

Blue Blood Brewing Company

We already recommended Blue Blood Brewing Company in our post about places to eat in Lincoln, but we wanted to mention it again here because of the caves underneath the brewery. Created mostly in the late 1860s, are 5,000 square feet of sandstone cave tunnels known as Robber’s Cave. Supposedly the notorious outlaw Jesse James hid in these caves after a heist in Minnesota.

 

Blue Blood Brewing offers tours of the caves three days a week. They can last 45 minutes to an hour, depending on group size and questions. If you’re over 21 you get a beer while on the tour (we got a cider). We recommend buying your tickets online ahead of time as they sell out quickly. This was a fun way to learn about some of Lincoln’s history.

 

Heading down into the caves underneath Blue Blood Brewing Company

Heading down into the caves underneath Blue Blood Brewing Company

Touring Robber’s Cave at Blue Blood Brewing in Lincoln NE

Touring Robber’s Cave

Sometimes concerts are held in the caves underneath Robber's Cave!

Sometimes concerts are held in these caves!

 

Nebraska Holocaust Memorial

This may not be considered “fun” but we wanted to include it in this post because we thought it was an important memorial and an educational experience. Plus, these events should never be forgotten.

 

The Nebraska Holocaust Memorial is located inside the Wyuka Cemetery, the largest all-faith cemetery in Lincoln. The memorial is dedicated to the memory of those who died during the Holocaust and honors all of the liberators and survivors of the Nazi concentration camps.

 

Nebraska Holocaust Memorial

Nebraska Holocaust Memorial

The Star of Remembrance

The Star of Remembrance

 

Where to Stay In Lincoln

If you’re ready to visit Lincoln and are wondering where to stay, we recommend the Graduate Hotel Lincoln. It’s a fun hotel with a unique design that pays homage to the local community.

 

where to stay in Lincoln NE? The Graduate Lincoln has fun details like this room key.

This was our room key. Did you know Edwin Perkins invented Kool-Aid in Nebraska?

The Graduate Lincoln even has video games in its lobby!

The Graduate Lincoln even has video games in its lobby!

 

Final Thoughts On Fun Things To Do In Lincoln

I don’t think we’ve been to a city that had so many free and fun things to do. So if you’re traveling through the Midwest, we highly recommend a visit to Lincoln, Nebraska!

 

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Click to read this complete list of fun things to do in Lincoln, Nebraska. And the best part? Most of these Lincoln attractions are free!

**A big thank you to the Lincoln CVB for helping us arrange such a fun itinerary. As always, all opinions are our own.**

 

19 Comments
  • V and B; I dig that rollerskating museum. Even though I cannot roller skate a lick LOL.

  • Thanks for this article and great photos!

  • nicole says:

    The sunken gardens look like a great place to relax. How fun to have a roller skating museum too. Congrats on the medal!

  • Christina says:

    Looks like a good list of fun things in Lincoln, Nebraska. I like the roller skating museum. That photograph of the old skate is really interesting.

  • Medha says:

    To me, the nature centre is probably the most attractive because I love exploring the outdoors more than museums. Having said that, the State Capitol’s architecture & interiors also seem interesting and the museum of roller skates sounds intriguing! There’s so much to do in Lincoln, Nebraska!

  • Ami Bhat says:

    These are such unusual museums and places . The roller skating one should be fun. I like the sound of the Nebraska museum too. It would be fun to know how the native Indians lived and what their life was like. I see that the exhibits well showcase the same.

  • sara says:

    What a great list of things to do in Lincoln, Nebraska. And hello free factor!!

    The National Museum of Roller Skating would have been one of my fave places to visit too. Hopefully one day I will get to experience it for myself. the State Capitol is very impressive indeed. I would be taking advantage of one of those free guided tours for sure!

  • Buddy the Traveling Monkey is one of my favorite travel blogs–you give the best information! I haven’t been to Lincoln, Nebraska but I am definitely interested now, especially to visit the museum of roller skating. How cool!

  • Dave Ellison says:

    Too bad that you didn’t visit the Museum of American Speed while in Lincoln. 160,000 Sq. Ft. of automotive history sprinkled with pedal cars, lunch boxes, guitars, cookie jars. A surprise around every corner.

  • Drew says:

    I love that Lincoln has a roller skating museum. Who knew one of those existed? I enjoy finding those quirky, slightly off-the-wall destinations in cities around the US. Looks like Lincoln is no exception. The sunken gardens look beautiful as well!

  • Seems like Nebraska has numbers of museums. That skating museum tho is one of the most interesting ones. It doesn’t snow in my country but we have some skating places indoor that I have tried. Tho it’s more fascinating to learn about the history and story of skating! And take photos here, too! And the Candy Box by Donald Lipski is super cute!

  • My wife used to play roller derby so I’m 100% sure she’d be super excited to visit that roller skating museum. I on the other hand would love to check out those caves at the Blue Blood Brewing Company! And I’d most definitely love to see a gig there, so cool. That’s Lincoln Nebraska firmly added to the bucket list 😉 Great guide, thanks for all the info.

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Hi! I'm Vicky, a South Florida-based blogger traveling around the world with my stuffed monkey Buddy. Tired of the 9-5, we recently sold all of our stuff and started traveling full time. Click on the photo to learn more!

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