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Museums for Every Interest in Nebraska

For fine art, stop into the Joslyn Art Museum next to Creighton University in Omaha. Its permanent collections span the globe and the centuries, and special exhibits showcase works from other institutions. Spend time on a sunny day enjoying the outdoor sculpture garden and the interactive Discovery Garden. There's more fine art at the "official museum of the state of Nebraska," the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney. This museum's focus is the arts of Nebraska.

Experience a day in the past at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island. Step into Railroad Town and you're back in 1897 watching prairie settlers go about their lives. You can also glimpse the past at the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron or at the Durham Museum in Omaha, a Smithsonian affiliate that displays artifacts and documents about Nebraska's history.

There are impressive machines on display at the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland and the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington.

Kids can enjoy playing at the Lincoln Children's Museum and the Omaha Children's Museum. And everyone will enjoy discovering Kool-Aid's history at the Hastings Museum in the Birthplace of Kool-Aid.

Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles

Located along Interstate 80, the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles is set in central Nebraska – just west of Kearney and east of Ogallala. Open daily, the museum consists of 100 military vehicles – everything from jeeps and ambulances to tanks and helicopters.

The Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles also displays uniforms, weapons, and more military equipment back to World War II. Exhibits include U.S.S. Lexington and M*A*S*H replicas – all of which are hands on experiences.

Joslyn Art Museum

As you draw up plans for what to see and where to go in Nebraska, be sure to include a healthy amount of time for exploring Omaha. Near the top of any to-do list for visiting Omaha should be the Joslyn Art Museum.

Found nearly at the heart of downtown Omaha, adjacent to the campus of Creighton University, the Joslyn Art Museum is one of the premier art-based destinations in the state. Established in 1931, the Joslyn Art Museum features a wide range of permanent and revolving exhibits.

Lincoln Children's Museum

A 23,300-square-foot museum, the Lincoln Children's Museum is a wonderful place for children to explore, learn, play, and have fun.

Located in Lincoln in eastern Nebraska, this museum is filled with hands-on exhibits and play centers. The museum also offers year-round camps filled with fun activities for children ages 3 to 10.

The "My Town" area features the Super Market, Little Husker Sports, Medical Center, Police Station, Construction Zone and LES the Light Truck, among others.

The Puppet Theater, Performing Arts Stage, and Discovery Gallery are also popular centers in the Lincoln Children's Museum.

Museum of Nebraska Art

When you embark on your next journey through Nebraska, head for Kearney and visit the Museum of Nebraska Art. Known as the "official museum of the state of Nebraska," the Museum of Nebraska Art, or MONA as many locals call it, was built in 1976.

MONA has a collection of art covering more than 175 years of Nebraska history.

You can find the Museum of Nebraska Art on 24th Street, just east of Central Avenue, right off of the Lincoln Highway. While MONA is closed on Mondays and most major holidays, you'll be able to gain admission nearly all other days of the week.

Many visitors to MONA enjoy exploring the Anne Thorne Weaver Museum Shop.

Museum of the Fur Trade

First opened in 1949, the Museum of the Fur Trade is set in the western Nebraska city of Chadron.

Set on the former site of a trading post from 1833, the museum displays weapons, clothing, and artifacts from not only Nebraska’s pioneer days, but worldwide.

Open daily from May through the end of October, the Museum of the Fur Trade is located along U. S. Highway 20.

Old West enthusiasts may look forward to displays like the buffalo tongue, Native American textiles, and even a parka made from seal intestines.

Omaha Children's Museum

A 45,000 square foot center, the Omaha Children's Museum was established in 1977 in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

Children enjoy discovering how things work in the center's many hands-on exhibit in this educational learning environment.

Kids love learning about science, art, and culture in the Imagination Playground, Creative Arts Center, Charlie Campbell Science & Technology Center, Science & Technology Learning Lab, and Sandy's Splish Splash Garden.

Special events, workshops. and camps are also fun ways to spend time in the Omaha Children's Museum.

Strategic Air & Space Museum

Established in 1959, the Strategic Air & Space Museum is a commemoration to U.S. Air Force military aircraft located in eastern Nebraska.

Set in Ashland just southwest of Omaha, the museum 300,000-square-foot structure featuring a glass atrium, two aircraft hangars, and a 200-seat theater.

The Strategic Air & Space Museum features a permanent collection of aircrafts once operated by the Strategic Air Command, consisting of three Avro Vulcan, a McDonnell XF-85 Goblin, and a Rockwell B-1A Lancer.

Kids are welcome to explore the children's interactive gallery.

Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer

Plan your next trip into Nebraska and head for Grand Island – where you'll want to check out the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. Built as a way to commemorate and preserve the legacy of the early Nebraska pioneers, the Stuhr Museum is just across the Wood River from George Clayton Hall County Park.

At the Stuhr Museum you'll find a living history museum called Railroad Town, which brings to life an 1890s era prairie town.

The Stuhr Museum is named after Leo Stuhr, a Nebraska native, politician, and farmer. He and his family were instrumental in building the infrastructure for a civil and organized Nebraska.

Enjoy Stuhr Museum facility tours, and yearly exhibits like the Annual Fantasy of Trees and Wings Over the Platte Exhibit.

The Durham Museum

Housed in a former Union Pacific Rail Station from 1931, the Durham Museum is an impressive history museum set in Omaha.

After the station was donated to the city in 1973, this modest museum opened in 1975. After extensive renovations in 1995, 2004, and 2007, the museum was expanded with additional galleries and square footage.

In 2002, the museum became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Visit this incredible learning center to view the collection of historical Nebraska artifacts, photographs, documents, and exhibits.

Take your time strolling through the Baright Home & Family Gallery, the Union Station Gallery, and the Bishop Clarkson Community Gallery.

Birthplace of Kool-Aid

Found in the Hastings city museum, the Birthplace of Kool-Aid is located in the central Nebraska city of Hastings, just south of Grand Island and southeast of Kearney.

Inhabiting the first floor of downtown’s Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Kool-Aid Birthplace displays the early inventions and marketing efforts of creator Edwin E. Perkins.

The Birthplace of Kool-Aid is also known as the “Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream” exhibit. Check out early Kool-Aid merchandise, a replica Kool-Aid stand, and the first Kool-Aid Man suit.