A long, roofed bike powered by a group of revelers rolls leisurely down the streets of Omaha, leaving the echoes of laughter and upbeat music in its wake. Under the helm of an affable guide, this heavy-duty bicycle—Omaha Patio Ride’s preferred mode of transportation—makes the rounds about town, safely ferrying riders between a carefully chosen assortment of bars and restaurants. An onboard solar-powered music system equipped with a mixer and MP3 plug-in contributes a sense of festiveness to the excursions, backing outings with a soundtrack without the hassle of hiring The Three Tenors to run alongside the bike. Omaha Patio Ride staffers pilot bikes along themed routes that include a Sombrero tour bolstered by stops for margaritas and Tex-Mex treats and a Sushi tour replete with breaks at renowned Japanese joints.
When a major flood hit the Missouri River in 2011, it drastically changed the riverfront, creating new sights across its banks. With this fresh face, the river serves as a scenic stage for tours on the River City Star, a riverboat featured in USA Today's August 2009 article ?10 Great Places to Stream Through Cities?.
At the wheel of a classic, double-decker riverboat is one of River City Star's three captains, Captain Ken, Captain Dave, or Captain Steve. Accompanied by an expert crew, the captains ferry passengers over the serene waters that make up Omaha's riverfront. They pass by antique structures such as the historic Old Iowa-Nebraska Swing Bridge, and newer fixtures including the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge, described in USA Today as ?a one-of-a-kind design that looks like an art installation across the river.?
On dinner cruises, cooks prepare a lineup of cuisine that changes monthly, as passengers dance to the sounds of live jazz or island music. Back on land, weddings unfold beneath a 40'x80' tent set up at Miller's Landing.
Carl Busskohl began his career as a mail carrier in 1928, but soon he found he had passengers other than parcels. When folks increasingly asked to ride along on his route between Norfolk and Sioux City, Carl saw another opportunity: he traded his 7-passenger Buick in for a 25-passenger bus, making it the first vehicle of the Arrow Stage Lines fleet. After more than 80 years, Carl's enterprise has grown to include more than 160 luxury motorcoaches?all equipped with air conditioning, reclining seats, and spacious restrooms?that ferry groups, athletic teams, and big-window fan clubs to new destinations or on local and long-distance tours.
It's an unmistakable sound?and one that sends terror right down your spine. Nearby, someone has just fired up a chainsaw. Could it be that they're just cutting up some firewood, or a really big birthday cake? That's unlikely, given that you're inside The Shadow's Edge, a notoriously haunted house that's struck fear into the community each fall for well over a decade. Different scares wait around every corner: a deranged clown, an axe-wielding psychopath, or any number of other terrors designed to push your mental limits.
As Halloween approaches, dozens of macabre vistas appear across the country, frightening but somehow also beckoning groups of visitors. The masterminds behind these apparitions? America Is Haunted, a company that has fear down to a science. That starts with the element of surprise, as each location holds its own secrets and scares. Six terrifying mazes, eight mini-shows, more than 300 monsters, goblins, and ghouls including larger-than-life rats, spiders, and gargoyles, as well as interactive experiences, gory vignettes, and costumed actors await throughout each attraction. The escorted journey may begin with a disorienting, technicolor maze where each turn brings guests face to face with some new horror. Other locales might include a maximum-security prison where the inmates run wild or a grocery store where the cereal is all the healthy kind.
The Omaha Health Expo encourages visitors to lead an active lifestyle?not just in the future but during the expo itself. It hosts a 5K run, multiple bike rides, and a biathlon, which combines biking and running into a single challenging event. In addition to trying your hand at the races or cheering on participants, you can also visit the weekend expo's eclectic group of exhibitors and speakers, who range from NFL players to psychics who can help guests predict the color of their next pair of running shoes.