Choosing to get married in Nebraska gives you the chance to select from a wide range of venues. Brides who have dreamed of an outdoor wedding surrounded by the woods, flowers, or in front of a gorgeous fountain can have their wishes come true. Alternatively, you can get married in a historical building, a high-class hotel, or a cozy inn that has romantic accommodations for your first night as husband and wife. With so many wedding venues in Nebraska, you are sure to find the ideal location for your special day, whether you prefer an intimate ceremony, a gala with all your friends, or something in between. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
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Historic Joslyn Castle will gladly host weddings in an unforgettable venue that makes the bride feel like a princess. The castle has 5.57 acres of land, including a historical building and perfectly landscaped grounds. Take photos in front of majestic trees, the two ponds that form a figure eight with a footbridge, the seasonal flower beds, and more. The team at Joslyn Castle works with brides to create their ideal wedding after outlining all the possibilities. Because of the vast space and range of options available, there are choices for all wedding budgets. You can have the ceremony and reception on site, even in completely different areas of the property.
3902 Davenport St., Omaha, NE 68131, Phone: 402-595-2199
2.Bellevue Berry Farm
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Bellevue Berry Farm and Pumpkin Ranch is a great choice for weddings in one of their five lodges. The lodges can seat between 25 and 400 guests, allowing for weddings of all sizes. The farm specializes in catered parties, so you get a delicious all-you-can-eat meal with drinks such as ice tea, lemonade, coffee, tea, and water throughout the party. You can also add on mixers, juices, and sodas, and they can provide alcohol. If you want to get married at the farm as well, there are four gorgeous ceremony sites to choose from and you can also have your rehearsal dinner on site.
11001 South 48th Street, Papillion, NE 68133, Phone: 402-331-5500
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Country Pines delivers a gorgeous venue with views of the property’s vineyard and country landscape. There are 80 acres of land for photos, the ceremony, and the reception, yet the property is just minutes from downtown. The barn features an outdoor deck with room for 275 and full coverings from the sun and rain, or you can enjoy the interior of the bar with its newly installed wood flooring. To enhance your wedding, you can also opt for additional pieces like barn doors, a side board cake table, shepherd’s hooks, tree slices, a chalkboard, mason jars, and a horse trough. The venue also provides catering.
6305 West Adams St., Lincoln, NE 68524, Phone: 402-470-3665
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4.10 Below Night Club & Event Venue
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10 Below is the largest space for events at Barry’s Bar & Grill and it includes the Outback and the Ice Bar rooms. You can rent both for your larger wedding and open up the sliding barn doors separating them. With the full venue, you can accommodate 350 standing guests, and this includes ten folding tables plus eight granite cocktail tables. This is the location for exciting weddings with options like a DJ booth, LED dance floor, beer pong tables, and corn hole games. The Outback has a full bar with space for four bartenders and is ideal for 50 to 60 guests for a catered meal. The Ice Bar is more casual, with TVs and leather couches plus space for 40 to 90 guests seated.
235 North 9th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 402-525-2244
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5.Wedding Venues Near Me: A View in Fontenelle Hills
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A View in Fontenelle Hills is a premier wedding venue with floor-to-ceiling windows that let you and your guests enjoy the outdoors while staying in a climate-controlled environment. The windows show off trees lining the horizon for the perfect backdrop. Have an outdoor cocktail hour at the pool area or use the 1,800-square-foot deck with views of the manicured golf course. To ensure a stress-free day, rental includes guest tables with linens, Chiavari chairs, Edison lighting, a china package for the dinner buffet, chair sashes in your choice of over 50 colors, LED uplights, private lounges, a catering prep area, and high-speed internet.
1102 Country Club Court, Bellevue, NE 68005, Phone: 402-933-2929
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6.A View West
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A View West delivers a contemporary, modern space with a hint of elegance and a convenient location within Northwest Omaha. Make use of the courtyard area and private patio for your cocktail hour or even an outdoor ceremony in the shade of the trees. The interior space includes a 30-foot atrium, huge windows, elegant lighting, a large dance floor, and Chiavari chairs. All weddings at this venue include an event coordination for the day of the event, china for the buffet, chairs, tables, linens, a high-definition projector with a portable down screen, and an outdoor patio featuring custom furniture.
4141 N. 156th Street, Omaha, NE 68116, Phone: 402-933-2929
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7.Apothecary Lofts & Ridnour Room
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All part of Haymarket Square, there are three event venues to choose from, including the North Apothecary Loft, the South Apothecary Loft, and the Ridnour Room. These have 3,300, 2,700, and 7,000 square feet, respectively, allowing for weddings of all sizes. To make your day even better, these venues can come with packages that include things such as the rehearsal dinner, a sleepover/bachelorette party, pre-wedding brunch, accommodations for the bride and groom on the night of the wedding, and more in addition to the ceremony and reception. The venues also give you complete control over food and beverage catering, allowing for excellent savings and personalization.
140 N. 8th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 402-474-1838
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8.Nebraska Wedding Venues: Arbor Hall
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Arbor Hall prides themselves on delivering stress-free weddings via all-inclusive packages and transparent pricing. They help with everything you need for your big day, from the amazing venue and the floral arrangements to the catering and the cakes. In addition to the interior space, there is a sunny garden with a floral arbor to set the mood and make for gorgeous photos. The elegant hall has chandeliers and the venue can set up the dance floor to be candle-lit. Every rental also includes tables, padded oak chairs, linens, cloth napkins, flatware, glassware, china, and your choice of house centerpiece. They can even provide custom dessert stations, handmade invitations, and an in-house DJ.
14040 Arbor Street, Omaha, NE 68144, Phone: 402-884-2269
9.Heritage Hall at Slattery Vintage Estates
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Slattery Vintage Estates is the ideal location for a picture-perfect wedding you will not forget. The vineyard is at its most gorgeous between May and September, with grapes and foliage serving as a backdrop for photos. The vineyard typically hosts weddings between 100 and 150 guests but can accommodate up to 250. The property has 84 acres of land filled with rolling hills, making it perfect for a rustic wedding. Just some of the highlights of the property include fountains, ponds, gazebos, and waterfalls plus the vineyard itself. There is an on-site chef and beer, wine, and spirits are available.
8925 Adams Street, Nehawka, NE 68413, Phone: 402-267-5267
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10.Nebraska Wedding Venues: Il Palazzo
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Il Palazzo is the only Italian-style venue in Omaha and is perfect for weddings. They offer all-inclusive planning, including visual and audio needs, the timeline, food, beverages, setting up and tearing down the ballroom, and more. There are multiple extravagant ballrooms to choose from, with options to fit up to 400 guests. The venue has experience hosting a wide range of weddings, including multicultural affairs, elegant settings, casual receptions, and everything in between. The food and service consistently get rave reviews and the space is highly versatile, allowing brides to take advantage of having exactly what they want for their big day.
5110 N 132nd Street, Omaha, NE 68164, Phone: 402-493-8888
11.Wedding Venues Near Me: Lied Lodge and Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm
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Lied Lodge and the Arbor Day Farm set an ideal backdrop for your special day, complete with an experienced team to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. The on-site wedding manager can assist with special touches, such as unique menu concepts, in-room gift baskets for guests, signature drinks, and historical trolley rides. Lied Lodge allows for your choice of settings, from the rustic Steinhart Lodge and spacious ballrooms to outdoor historical barns or the Arbor Lodge with its regal beauty. You can also enjoy in-house catering choices, gift opening, personalized tree seedlings as wedding favors, and a hospitality suite.
2700 Sylvan Road, Nebraska City, NE 68410, Phone: 402-873-8705
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12.Nebraska Wedding Venues: Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall
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The Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall has been hosting events since 2000 and can accommodate weddings with as many as 300 people seated. Enjoy modern conveniences along with affordable elegance. For convenience on the big day, you get to choose your own catering company and access the property’s commercial kitchen. The rental includes a lighted backdrop for the cake and dessert table, centerpiece items, a host or cash beverage service, and dimmable lighting. Those who want additional services on their big day can also enjoy extra decorations and a photo booth. The photo booth includes a CD with all the photos from the event and props to enhance the images.
241 Victory Lane, Lincoln, NE 68528, Phone: 402-477-6001
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13.Wedding Venues in Nebraska: Lucile’s Old Market
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Lucile’s Old Market is a historic building with a unique character, perfect for that one-of-a-kind wedding. There is innovative architecture with intimate nooks, large spaces, and everything in between. The venue includes a foyer, the Grand Living Room, a dining room, and a courtyard. The foyer features 30-foot ceilings with skylights and a spectacular staircase that leads to the balcony and is perfect for photos. No matter which room or rooms you use for your wedding, you will celebrate in a building covered in history, such as stained-glass windows, historical doors, leaded windows, and ornate crown moldings. The eclectic mix of salvaged historical pieces creates a unique wedding site and unforgettable photos.
510 S. 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68102, Phone: 402-341-3100
14.Wedding Venues in Nebraska: Orpheum Theater
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The Orpheum Theater is just one of several event venues at the Omaha Performing Arts Center. This theater can accommodate 230 for dinner at round tables, or if you choose to have your ceremony in the space as well, there is space for 150. The rental fee includes set-up, tear-down, tables, chairs, and on-site event coordination. If you want, you can also add projectors and a screen to share your own videos as well as wireless internet, valet parking, a sound system, and help with linen rentals. If you prefer, there are also other venue choices from the Orpheum Theater and Holland Center, including the Scott Recital Hall with room for 300 seated at dinner, the Conagra East Lobby for 200, the First National Bank Lobby for 80, Zinc for 70, Mammel Courtyard for 400, or Ovations with space for 300 for a cocktail reception.
409 South 16th Street, Omaha, NE 68102, Phone: 402-661-8555
15.Pla Mor Ballroom
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The Pla Mor Ballroom has been part of the Lincoln community for more than 85 years, hosting concerts, dance classes, ballroom dancing, and events like weddings. This venue prides itself on transparent pricing without any hidden fees, and you get to choose your caterer and bartending service without any extra fees from the venue. The grand ballroom can hold between 150 and 700 guests and there is a dance floor of up to 4,000 square feet, perfect for brides and grooms who love to dance. Prices always include set-up and tear-down of tables and chairs plus linens s well as the staff to help on your big day.
6600 West O Street, Lincoln, NE 68528, Phone: 402-475-4030
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16.Places to Get Married: Simply Ballroom
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Simply Ballroom provides dance classes, but also gladly hosts events such as your wedding. You can even take wedding dance classes with them ahead of time for the perfect first dance. The specialists at the venue have choreographed hundreds of wedding dances. You can also rent the entire facility, including both ballrooms, without any extra fee for having the ceremony on site as long as your reception is there as well. The rental rate includes tables, chairs, linens, skirting, chair covers, centerpieces, white lights, lighted archways, backdrops, Roman column pillars, a photo slide show on big-screen TVs, security, and banquet staff.
2679 Farnam Street Suite 204, Omaha, NE 68131, Phone: 402-933-6678
17.Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing
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Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing can provide a gorgeous wedding venue for you and your guests. This business is family owned and operated, delivering personalized attention for planning and executing your special day. You can choose from the various packages for facility rentals, including great choices for weddings. You can fit up to 120 guests in the Platte View Room with views of the Platte River Valley, or even accommodate a whopping 2,500 guests with a full facility rental that includes the Platte View Room, decks, lawn, tasting room, outdoor amphitheater, and gazebo. Of course, having your wedding here gives you access to delicious wine and brews for your guests.
17111 S 138th Street, Springfield, NE 68059, Phone: 402-253-2479
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18.Wedding Venues Near Me: Suite One Eleven
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Suite One Eleven prides itself on offering a flexible space that works well for a range of events. It has a luxurious and elegant reception hall with space for 350 seated guests or 400 for a cocktail hour. The team helps with planning as well as coordination, so everything goes off without a hitch. They also work with trusted vendors to save you the hassle of having to weed through a long list of options. Packages are completely customizable but usually include professional bar services, tables, table cloths, Chiavari-style chairs, an integrated sound system, event supervision, cater-in kitchen, wall curtains, and a fully stocked bar.
6891 A St. Suite 111, Lincoln, NE 68510, Phone: 402-417-6540
19.Wedding Venues Near Me: Talon Room
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The Talon Room used to be known as Spaghetti Works and sits in downtown Lincoln, so you and your guests have easy access to this wedding venue. The Talon staff help with every detail while the venue’s local vendor partnerships make planning a breeze. Wedding rentals include setting up and tearing down of tables and chairs, a full-day rental of the space, linens, and fees for both cleaning and bartenders. You can also opt for a catered wedding via the Talon Room’s partnership with ChefauChef Catering, which adds in a dinner buffet with a 150-person minimum. The venue also has an extensive drink menu for your wedding.
230 N 12th St Suite 1, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 402-641-0943
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20.Indoor Wedding Venues Near Me: The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel
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The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel has 29 total event rooms with a maximum of 22 breakout rooms for the ability to invite as many as 1,100 people to your wedding. The grand ballroom fits this number of guests in its 10,545-square-foot space. Enjoy the state-of-the-art sound system. Your guests are able to stay right on site, as can you in one of the romantic suites. There are a range of wedding tools, such as group lists and rooming lists. You can also choose your wedding menu from a range of delicious options and packages that include services like cake cutting, overnight accommodations for the newlyweds, photos on the grand staircase, and more.
333 South 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 402-474-7474
21.Wedding Venues in Nebraska: The Living Room
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The Living Room provides a wedding venue with industrial brick, clerestory windows, and exposed ceiling timbers to set the mood. The space covers 3,500 square feet and is flexible enough to handle your ceremony, reception, and a dance floor. Fit as many as 225 seated at tables or 450 just in chairs. Wedding parties also get access to the kitchen with its commercial fridge, a parking lot with space for 300 cars, gorgeous natural light, top-of-the-line AV equipment, remote-controlled shades, a custom sign, and your choice of round, rectangular, and/or cocktail tables. There is also a landscaped outdoor area, so you can have some events inside and some outside.
1111 North 13th Street, Omaha, NE 68102, Phone: 402-739-9154
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22.Wedding Venues in Nebraska: The Rococo Theatre
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In addition to hosting a range of shows, the Rococo Theatre also gladly hosts special events such as weddings. The theater delivers a magical backdrop for your special day, particularly if the bride and groom have a love for theater. You can have both your ceremony and reception on site for convenience. There is also the choice of three caterers who work on the premises. The Rococo Theatre also provides bar service and you can book your own DJ or band. There is enough space in this facility for 500 seated guests, allowing for weddings of nearly any size at the venue.
140 N 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 402-476-6540
23.Places to Get Married: Wick Alumni Center
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Part of the Nebraska Alumni Association, the Wick Alumni Center has 30,000 square feet with a contemporary design over three stories. As a wedding space, there is room for 275 guests. You will be drawn to the two dramatic staircases, the Pascale Great Hall with its vaulted ceilings, and the magnificent windows. All of these architectural features allow for eye-catching wedding photos and your choice of backdrops for your wedding ceremony. In addition to the great hall, there are four more rooms to choose from and your choice of five caterers. All rentals include audiovisual equipment, a dance floor, standard centerpieces, and an on-site event manager.
1520 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 888-353-1874
23 Best Wedding Venues in Nebraska
- Joslyn Castle, Photo: Courtesy of nataliakabliuk - Fotolia.com
- Bellevue Berry Farm, Photo: Courtesy of myronovychoksana - Fotolia.com
- Country Pines, Photo: Courtesy of leon - Fotolia.com
- 10 Below Night Club & Event Venue, Photo: Courtesy of IVASHstudio - Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues Near Me: A View in Fontenelle Hills, Photo: Courtesy of Mirza - Fotolia.com
- A View West, Photo: Courtesy of manifeesto - Fotolia.com
- Apothecary Lofts & Ridnour Room, Photo: Courtesy of myronovychoksana - Fotolia.com
- Nebraska Wedding Venues: Arbor Hall, Photo: Courtesy of Africa Studio - Fotolia.com
- Heritage Hall at Slattery Vintage Estates, Photo: Courtesy of Yulia - Fotolia.com
- Nebraska Wedding Venues: Il Palazzo, Photo: Courtesy of illustrissima - Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues Near Me: Lied Lodge and Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm, Photo: Courtesy of Yulia - Fotolia.com
- Nebraska Wedding Venues: Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall, Photo: Courtesy of Aliaksei Smalenski - Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues in Nebraska: Lucile’s Old Market, Photo: Courtesy of photobyjoy - Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues in Nebraska: Orpheum Theater, Photo: Courtesy of romsvetnik - Fotolia.com
- Pla Mor Ballroom, Photo: Courtesy of Anja Heyde - Fotolia.com
- Places to Get Married: Simply Ballroom, Photo: Courtesy of Zdenka - Fotolia.com
- Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing, Photo: Courtesy of maryna babich - Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues Near Me: Suite One Eleven, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues Near Me: Talon Room, Photo: Courtesy of davit85 - Fotolia.com
- Indoor Wedding Venues Near Me: The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, Photo: Courtesy of LElik83 - Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues in Nebraska: The Living Room, Photo: Courtesy of fotosr52 - Fotolia.com
- Wedding Venues in Nebraska: The Rococo Theatre, Photo: Courtesy of MISHA - Fotolia.com
- Places to Get Married: Wick Alumni Center, Photo: Courtesy of romeofoto - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boswell - Fotolia.com
More Ideas & Attractions: Nebraska State Capitol
Located in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, the historic Nebraska State Capitol building serves as the home for the state’s executive, legislative, and judicial government branches and is open to the public for guided tour opportunities. Following the opening of the Nebraska Territory in 1854, the village of Omaha City was chosen by Governor Thomas B. Cuming as the seat of government.
Throughout the city’s tenure as the territory’s capital, two buildings housed territorial government, a two-story brick structure used between 1855 and 1857 and a building used until 1867 located at the current site of Omaha Central High School. After the territory’s selection of Lincoln as its new capital in 1867, a new building was constructed by Chicago architect John Morris, but its use of limestone facilitated early structural decline. In 1881, a Renaissance Revival structure was commissioned by architect William H. Willcox as its replacement, but foundational structural issues led to its closing seven years later.
The construction of a third statehouse for the state of Nebraska was authorized with the 1919 passing of House Roll 3, which organized a commission overseeing the project’s development and instated a property tax to fund its completion. The commission hired American Institute of Architects president Thomas Rogers Kimball to organize a competition to select an architect for the building’s design, which eventually chose Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue as its winner. Goodhue, the designer of New York buildings such as St. Bartholomew’s Church and the Church of the Intercession, designed the Capitol building according to Classical principles of form mixed with elements of Byzantine and Assyrian architecture, evoking a Greek Cross plan with a central domed rotunda. Ground was broken for the project in 1922 and primarily overseen by associates of Goodhue’s after his death in 1924. Following the building’s completion in 1932, landscape architect Ernst Herminghaus was hired to complete the building’s grounds. In 1976, the building was designated as a National Historic Landmark, a listing that was extended in 1997 to include its grounds.
Permanent Attractions and Tours
Today, the Nebraska State Capitol building still serves as the state’s seat of government, housing all primary executive, legislative, and judicial offices, including all offices for the Nebraska Legislature, which serves as the country’s only unicameral legislative body. Nicknamed the “Tower on the Plains,” the building is distinctive for its 400-foot central tower, which can be seen from a distance of up to 20 miles and ranks the building as the second-tallest statehouse in the country behind the Louisiana State Capitol building. Until the 1969 construction of the Woodmen Tower, the building also held the distinction as the tallest building in Nebraska.
A three-story square base anchors the building around the central tower and contains most of the building’s public offices, including the offices of the state’s governor, the Nebraska Legislature, and the Nebraska Supreme Court. Though Goodhue’s original designs called for the tower to be used to house the Nebraska State Library’s collections, decisions by the Capitol Commission in 1925 dictated that the structure be used for additional office space. The building’s four-quartered construction is meant to evoke the drama of the human experience, with the tower representing human ideals of agriculture and societal nobility. The building’s main portal area features balustrades with relief panels honoring the indigenous nations of the Great Plains area, along with inscriptions honoring 19th-century European American pioneers and the virtues of governance principles.
Visitors may tour a number of interior areas of the building, including its historic Vestibule, Great Hall, Foyer, and Rotunda areas. On the tower’s 14th floor, a Memorial Chamber features murals by Nebraska artist Stephen Rogers, commissioned in 1996, honoring military, medical, and civic heroism in Nebraska’s history. Inscriptions from Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address are showcased above the murals, with a dome and chandelier suspended in the center of the chamber representing the night sky. Four observation decks are accessible from the chamber, offering 360-degree views of the Lincoln area at a height of 245 feet.
Tours embark on the hour seven days a week, with the exception of major federal holidays. Group tours for elementary and secondary students may be scheduled directly through Capitol offices, lasting approximately one hour and allowing students to observe the Nebraska Legislature in session. Though the building is entirely accessible by elevator, several stairs lead down to the 14th floor’s observation decks, though special accommodation needs may be made directly with Capitol offices for handicapped visitors. Catered sack lunches for tour groups are offered through the Capitol Grille restaurant, and History to Go bags may be rented for school groups with limited tour time needs.
1445 K St, Lincoln, NE 68508, Phone: 402-471–0448
More Things to Do in Nebraska
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More Ideas & Attractions: Sandhills Nebraska
Sandhills Nebraska is an expansive stretch of the Nebraska Highway 2 that spans a total of two hundred and seventy-two miles. This stretch of highway travels from the railroad town of Alliance all the way to Grand Island through the dramatic and impressive Sandhills. This route is known for being one of the country’s ten most scenic routes thanks to its beautiful and diverse scenery. The stunning scenery of the Sandhills Nebraska stretch of the highway features dramatic sandhills, expansive farmland, remote countryside, winding rivers, wetlands, and marshes. The area also includes the country’s largest hand-planted forest.
Wine lovers, both visitors and Nebraska natives, alike can enjoy a refreshing glass of delicious wine as they enjoy the scenery of the South Loup River Valley near Ravenna at the Cedar Hills Vineyard. Anyone visiting the winery should be sure not to leave before they ask for a sample of the blackberry or strawberry sangria. For those more interested in history or photography, a visit to the Custer County Historical Museum may be a good choice for a side trip off the highway. At this museum located in Broken Bow, visitors can look into the faces of those who are responsible for settling this area. Within the museum, guests can also view several original photographs taken by Solomon Butcher, a famed photographer of the Sandhills region.
A stop at Grand Island along the Sandhills of Nebraska allows visitors to experience what life was like for pioneers of long ago in this area. The pioneer life is showcased at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. This history museum is one of the nation’s top ten living history museums. Guests can learn more about the Native Americans of the Great Plains at the museum’s Pawnee Earth Lodge, push a handcart along the Mormon Trail, and explore a railroad town from the 1890’s. Visitors can also take a look at the birth home of Henry Fonda, an Oscar-winning actor.
Located near the town of Halsey, the Nebraska National Forest offers spots to enjoy a picnic and trails with stunning scenery throughout its ninety thousand acres. All sorts of creative pieces of artwork can be seen at Dunning’s Sandhills Pottery. It’s also a great place to learn more about how pottery is made at every step of the process. The pottery studio also offers a selection of pottery pieces that make great souvenirs in its gift shop. Visitors can also find locally created artwork at the Thedford Art Gallery, located in the town of Thedford.
Visitors can head over to the Double R Ranch, located around Mullen, if they’re in the mood for a real experience in ranching. There’s also the Verde Guest Ranch around Hyannis, where guests can be a cowboy for a day at this working cattle ranch. Visitors can relive the days of the Old West in Dobby’s Frontier Town, situated in the town of Alliance. The re-creation of an old Western town features a jail, mercantile, homesteader’s cabin, and much more.
Places to Vist in Nebraska, Things to Do in Nebraska
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More Ideas & Attractions: Harold Warp Pioneer Village
Located in Minden, Nebraska, the Harold Warp Pioneer Village is a 28-building museum complex displaying a collection of more than 50,000 items connected to the early American frontier life of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Pioneer Village was the vision of Harold Warp, an American businessman best known as the inventor of Flex-O-Glass plastic.
Born on a farm near the city of Minden, Warp was the youngest child of 12 of Norwegian immigrants and was orphaned by the age of 11. Along with two of his brothers, Warp developed Flex-O-Glass, a material used for the development of plastic windows, and moved to Chicago in 1924 to patent the invention. After founding the Warp Bros company, Warp’s product line expanded to the development of several other plastic products, which earned him a number of business industry awards, including the 1979 Horatio Alger Award and the 1984 Distinguished Nebraskalander Award. In 1953, Warp purchased a number of extant historic buildings in Minden and opened the Pioneer Village complex as an effort to preserve the culture of American prairie life.
Today, the Pioneer Village complex operates as a private nonprofit educational organization under the supervision of the Harold Warp Pioneer Village Foundation. 28 buildings are housed within the Pioneer Village complex, which is located on a 20-acre plot of land along United States Highway 6 and arranged around a central village green area. More than 50,000 historic items are contained within the museum’s collections, including more than 350 antique automobiles and a variety of pioneer artworks and technologies spanning from 1830 through the present.
The Village’s Main Building serves as a central museum facility, housing a chronological collection of more than 10,000 artifacts, showcasing the history and development of a variety of technologies associated with frontier life, including transportation, building, and military advances. Notable holdings include the 1876 Otto, the first internal combustion engine, and the 1942 P59, the first jet airplane. Exhibits within the building also highlight pioneer art and sculpture.
A number of preserved historic buildings have been relocated to the Village from areas throughout Nebraska and the Great Plains, including Elm Creek Fort, the first log cabin built in Webster County, which served as a fortress for community residents during an 1869 attack by indigenous tribes. The Lowell Depot, which served as the western terminus for the B&M Railroad from 1872 to 1882, showcases two antique locomotives and a narrow gauge caboose, and a preserved one-room Country School from the late 19th century displays original desks, textbooks, and Warp’s personal collection of perfect school attendance certificates. The Bloomington Land Office, relocated from Franklin County, holds a collection of early maps and land records, and an 1884 Church, the first constructed in the Minden area, holds nondenominational services on Sunday mornings during the summer months. Other reconstructed historic buildings include a Pony Express Station, which displays an authentic Buffalo Bill saddle, and a Horse Barn relocated from the Warp homestead.
Replicas of pioneer-era buildings are also displayed, including a People’s General Store modeled after a merchandise store from Stamford, Nebraska, which displays original post office boxes from Fort Kearney. An authentically recreated Sod House is furnished with period-appropriate items such as a trundle bed and skatol, and a two-story Livery Stable recreation showcases a complete harness shop. A recreated Blacksmith Shop also showcases an original Eli Whitney turning lathe and produces items for sale during the summer months.
Several buildings house specific collections of pioneer technologies, including a Fire House which showcases the chronology of pioneer-era and modern firefighting technologies. A 22,400-square-foot Antique Car Building houses more than 100 historic automobiles by major American car companies, including displays of historic Chevrolets, Fords, Buicks, Cadillacs, Chryslers, and Oldsmobiles. Home technologies are showcased in the Homes and Shops Building, the Home Appliance Building, the Hobby House, and the China House. Other buildings showcase Antique Farm Machinery, Antique Tractors and Trucks, and Steam Tractors. A historic Merry-Go-Round offers rides for a nickel, and a Diner sells old-fashioned sandwiches, ice cream, and snacks during summer months.
Ongoing Programs and Events
Group admission rates are offered for groups and organizations of 15 or more visitors, including tour opportunities for elementary and secondary school students. Multiple day admission tickets are also available, with accommodations available at the complex’s 44-room Pioneer Village Motel and adjoining campground facility. Traditional crafting and trade demonstrations are held daily during summer months at the Homes and Shops Building, including weaving, yarn spinning, and broom making demonstrations. Annual public special events include a Sandhill Crane Migration Watching in March and April, a Bandfest competition for area high school marching bands, and a Christmas Traditions Festival featuring a tour of historic homes, a pop-up art gallery, a kids’ carnival, and a 5K run.
138 US-6, Minden, NE 68959, Phone: 308-832-1181
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