When the Joslyn Art Museum opened in 1931, more than 25,000 people lined up to see the exhibits. It had taken three years of construction and $3 million to create the splendid art-deco building, which was inlaid with more than 38 types of marble imported from around the world. The force behind this enormous effort was philanthropist Sarah Joslyn, who had the building built in honor of her late husband. But instead of standing front and center, Sarah quietly mixed in with the crowd. "I am just one of the public," she said to people who recognized her.
Sarah truly viewed the museum as a gift to the people of Omaha. And for more than 80 years, they've cared for it like one. With the 58,000-square-foot addition addition of the Walter & Suzanne Scott Pavilion, a sculpture garden, and other enhancements, the museum has grown with time. Visitors today find more than 11,000 works of art inside, with collections and exhibitions that include pieces of ancient Greek pottery, Renaissance and Baroque paintings by Titian and El Greco, and Impressionist works by Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Claude Monet.
After admiring the peasant portraiture of 19th-century French realist Jules Breton, guests can cartwheel over to a collection of 18th- and 19th-century American artwork, which includes portraits by James Peale and landscape images by Thomas Cole. Pieces from the 20th century from artists such as Grant Wood transition visitors into viewings of more contemporary works or attempts to find a 3-D Magic Eye picture in Jackson Pollock's Galaxy.
Sugar Clay owners, vintners, and winemakers Frank and Amy Faust shake up palates with handcrafted pours and other treats during tastings. Visitors can choose from nearly a dozen releases for their two full pours (up to a $10 value) and discounted bottle, such as a clean, pineapple-kissed German-style edelweiss with a light caramel finish, Sugar Clay's most popular white ($16/bottle). The Faust Haus Rosa, a catawba grape nostril-wowwer, starts with a bouquet of strawberries and roses and ends with hints of spices and future honeymoons ($13/bottle). Bandana Red, the winery’s dark star, soothes mouths with a velvety mélange of deChaunac and marechal foch grapes and notes of dried cherries and blackberries ($15/bottle). A tray of gastro-intelligent bites, with ham, salami, cheeses, veggies, and french bread, complements the day’s toasts (an $11 value).
Trent Meyer and Derek Bergman are committed members of the United Methodist Church, and sometimes choose to practice their faith through tree climbing, zip lining, swimming, and laser tag. They direct the Methodist-run Camp Fontanelle, a year-round outdoor camp sprawled across more than 180 wooded acres of donated land. Both Trent and Derek draw from backgrounds as campers—and Trent from six years as a teacher—to lead summer camps for preschool through high-school students. They lead a team of camp counselors who coordinate harnessed-rope tree climbing, activities on low-ropes courses, archery lessons, and outdoor laser-tag matches.
They also draw visitors at different times of year with water slides, a 35'x65' jumping pillow and bounce houses, a petting barn filled with alpacas and goats, and pony rides. During the autumn-harvest season, they unveil the annual theme of a 10-acre corn maze filled with 5 miles of trails. A 3-acre pumpkin patch contains small and large carving pumpkins, gourds, mums, and Indian corn, which visitors can harvest and stuff into a large, horn-shaped wicker basket.
Superior Estates Winery grows a myriad of delectable Midwestern varietals in its two Republican River Valley vineyards. Sample five of the estates' meticulously crafted wines, such as the Dry St. Vincent, which has soft, buttery flavors, or the Dry Vignoles, which delights taste buddies with honey and tropical-fruit aromas. With grapes including chardonel, chancellor, traminette, marechal foch, cayuga white, and catawba in its fermented arsenal, Superior Estates has a taste superb for both dinner with a loved one or breakfast deep in a coal mine. While you taste, a grape-savvy guide will explain each wine and recommend recipes to pair with the drink. Then, fully wine-wooed, you'll receive one bottle of your choice, plus two etched glasses.
The seasoned outdoors enthusiasts at Oak Creek Sporting Club shepherd guests through enjoyable outings of clay shooting on scenic courses, well-equipped stands, and stunning heartland-prairie vistas. The meticulously groomed grounds and more than 20 automated shooting stations in the sporting-clay course replicate countless natural shots encountered in the field, from migrating geese gracefully landing in a pond, to ceramic dishes haphazardly frisbeed into the sunset. During a two-person two-hour outing, a guide with more than five years of shooting experience carts visitors through the beautiful upland fields and ponds of Oak Creek, helping patrons lock on to soaring targets at shooting stations at the course or stands. The 5-stand challenges shotgunning skills with new computerized Promatic target machines, which hurl disks in a variety of shots, including outgoing, incoming, springing teal, left crossing, right crossing, and teleporting.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.