Omaha has been a fun city for me to explore mainly because it’s so similar to where I’m from, Des Moines, Iowa. 

I would say that Omaha is bigger, so I have felt like there are more things to do here. I haven’t had much of a chance to explore, but the things I have done have been enjoyable. 

Between going to classes, working and clubs, in that order, it’s important for me to have places I can go to have alone time. 

It’s also important for me to have places I can go with my friends to have fun and enjoy the city. 

The first three places I’ll list are places that are great to go to if you need some alone time. 

1. Glacier Creek Preserve 

It’s a little far out in Bennington, but you’ll get there within 20-25 minutes from leaving campus. It’s a University of Nebraska-Omaha park that’s open from sunset to sundown and has an expansive 500 acre field teeming with wildlife and plants that you can walk through. It’s beautiful, and exploring it either alone or with your friends is really a fun activity. 

2. Lake Manawa State Park 

This park is in Council Bluffs and is also about a 20 minute drive from campus, but it’s equally as beautiful. It reminds me a little bit of a lake back home so it’s always nice to sit there, and you can also hike. Being a State Park it’s a lot bigger, so I haven’t had a good chance to explore it yet, but even just a quick visit and drive around the lake is pretty. 

3. The Pedestrian Bridge 

I recommend going here with a couple of friends if you’re bored one night and walking the bridge underneath all the lights. I feel like a lot of people know about this one, but I really enjoyed walking it with some of my friends and it got us out of the dorms and into some fresh air. 

The next couple places are entertainment things I’ve found to be fun on weekends when you want to go out instead of doing homework. 

4. The Joslyn Art Museum 

The Joslyn Art Museum is right by Heider Hall, so you could walk if you don’t have a car and live on campus. The best part about this activity is that it’s completely free! The exhibits are beautiful and they are also very extensive; it’s a large building filled to the brim with art from all over. You and your friends can spend a long time here marveling at the art and not paying a penny. 

5. The Old Market 

The Old Market is a super fun place to go and I’ve enjoyed trying to go into all the different shops. My favorite shops have included the Hollywood Candy shop and The Flying Worm vintage shop. If you want to go shopping with your friends, the Old Market is a good place to start. I feel like most people already know that, but really make sure you’re checking out all the places because some of the best shops are hidden away, out of sight! 

I’ve really liked Omaha so far. It’s felt like home and it has also felt big enough to be different from Des Moines. I’m thankful that I get to keep the cold weather and I look forward to exploring new places this year.

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