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Things To Do In Lincoln

As both the capital of Nebraska and the second largest city in the state, Lincoln is home to a wide variety of cultural hotspots and historic landmarks. Whether you’re interested in the beautiful Sunken Gardens or the Johnson Museum of the Odd, Lincoln has plenty to offer nature lovers and city slickers alike. Keeping reading to learn about things to do in Lincoln, including hidden gems and local favorites.

If you’re looking for a starting point to explore the city, think of downtown Lincoln. The downtown area is packed with things to do in Lincoln. The city is only a short drive from several scenic destinations.

Some of the best things to do in Lincoln include:

  • Touring The Nebraska State Capitol, the tallest building in the city
  • Exploring the Sunken Gardens, a verdant park built in 1930
  • Touring the Sheldon Art Museum, featuring works from the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Visiting the Haymarket District, a historic neighborhood filled with gram-worthy shops and restaurants
  • Watching the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at Memorial Stadium

The midwestern cities keep it hospitable, and Lincoln is no exception. Local establishments are warm, inviting, and affordable above all.

Cheap or free things to do in Lincoln include:

  • Touring the city’s museums and art galleries on the First Friday Art Walk
  • Tasting the free samples at the Lincoln Farmers’ Market
  • Enjoying the last days of summer during the Big Red Welcome at UNL
  • Taking advantage of the free ice skating rink at The Railyard
  • Getting a free student ticket for performances at the Lied Center for Performing Arts

Lincoln, Nebraska may not have the name recognition of Chicago or New York City, but it still has plenty of activities for both tourists and visitors.

A few popular attractions near Lincoln include:

  • The National Museum of Roller Skating, the biggest museum of its kind in the world
  • The Hyde Memorial Observatory, one of the top observatories in the state
  • The Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum, featuring more than 40 historic tractors
  • The International Quilt Study Center & Museum, home to the largest collection of quilts in the world
  • The Museum of American Speed, an educational facility dedicated to cars and racing

Lincoln is home to several fun activities and interesting places that can help you change up your daily routine.

Get to know the city’s local cuisine and cultural flavor with a few of these Lincoln things to do:

  • Sing your heart out during karaoke night at Grata Bar & Lounge
  • Take a Nacho Ride, a weekly bike tour that ends with nachos and mexican food
  • Stop by Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill for a classic cheeseburger and fries
  • Treat your tastebuds at Blue Orchid, a trendy Thai food restaurant in the Grand Manse building
  • Try a new kind of sandwich at Bánhwich, a popular Vietnamese fusion restaurant in north Lincoln

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As a quintessential college town, Lincoln is no stranger to nightlife. The downtown area is filled with fun things to do in Lincoln tonight. Between 12th and 16th, is the perfect place for a bar crawl.

A few other nighttime activities near Lincoln include:

  • Listening to live music at Barrymore’s, a downtown bar that specializes in martinis
  • Sipping a strong drink and watching the big game at Jake’s Cigars
  • Playing pool at Duffy’s Tavern, a local favorite that serves fish bowl-sized cocktails
  • Dancing the night away at Rule G Night Club, a sleek club with a rooftop patio
  • Visiting The Starlight Lounge, a vintage bar underneath Buzzard Billy's Armadillo Bar 'N' Grillo

In Lincoln, football is a part of the local culture. However, this college town is also home to museums, live music, and more. Spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday living like a Lincoln local with the following things to do on the weekend.

Things to do in Lincoln this weekend include:

  • Listen to the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra at the Lied Center for Performing Arts
  • Learn about local history at the University of Nebraska State Museum
  • See a live musical performance at the Pinnacle Bank Arena
  • Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at the Saturday Farmers’ Market
  • Visit the Frank H. Woods Telephone Pioneer Museum, an educational facility dedicated to the history of the telephone industry

Lincoln is home to a healthy selection of kid-friendly stores, activities, and museums, so it’s easy to plan outings for the whole family.

A few of the best family-friendly things to do include:

  • Sun Valley Lanes, a kid-friendly bowling alley with a full-service bar and grill
  • The Lincoln Children’s Zoo, home to more than 40 endangered species
  • Toys from the Past, a vintage toy store that specializes in action figures
  • Rocket Fizz, a local sweets shop with a huge assortment of candies
  • The Lincoln Children’s Museum, an educational facility with interactive exhibits about nature and science

Planning a romantic evening on the town? Fortunately, Lincoln is home to several tasty restaurants with intimate seating arrangements.

Some of the best date night spots near Lincoln include:

  • Ivanna Cone, a local ice cream parlor with creamy, slow-churned ice cream
  • The Green Gateau, a trendy European bistro inspired by the art of Claude Monet
  • FireWorks Restaurant, an environmentally friendly restaurant with a wood-fired grill and cozy seating arrangements
  • The Lincoln Community Playhouse, a local theatre that features shows like The Wizard of Oz and Mamma Mia
  • The Ross, an alternative movie theater that shows a variety of independent films and documentaries

Grab your selfie stick, and call up your friends. With everything from sporting events to annual festivals, it’s easy to plan group activities in Lincoln.

Some of the top things to do with friends include:

  • Putting your problem solving skills to the test at the Lincoln Escape Room
  • Strolling through the streets during the annual Zombie Walk
  • Rock climbing with friends at the Outdoor Adventure Center
  • Catching the latest blockbuster at the Lincoln Grand Cinema
  • Watching the Cornhuskers Women’s Volleyball team, one of the most decorated teams in the entire sport

During the winter, Lincoln Nebraska can be one of the coldest cities in the country. As such, this midwestern town has plenty of charming places to warm up.

A few of the best indoor activities include:

  • Taking a hot yoga class at the Lincoln Yoga Center
  • Receiving a deep tissue massage from Bella Skin Care & Massage Therapy
  • Sipping a vanilla latte from the Coffee House, a locally owned bakery and café
  • Learning about the cosmos in the Mueller Planetarium
  • Tasting both red and white wines at the Deer Springs Winery

Located in the heart of the Midwest, Lincoln is home to several green spaces and more than 120 miles of hiking trails.

Some outdoor activities and things to see in Lincoln include:

  • Hiking from Lincoln to Omaha on the Mopac Trail
  • Hosting a family barbeque next to Pawnee Lake
  • Exploring the sculptures and plant displays in the Sunken Gardens
  • Riding a bike from downtown Lincoln to Holmes Lake Park on the Billy Wolff Trail
  • Practicing archery at the Nebraska Outdoor Education Center

As one of the oldest cities in the state, Lincoln is home to plenty of hole-in-the-wall restaurants, local favorites, and dives.

A few must-see places near Lincoln include:

  • Johnson Museum of the Odd, a small museum dedicated to kitschy memorabilia
  • The Other Room, a prohibition-era speakeasy with a hidden door and password
  • Grateful Bread, a vegan restaurant with a tasty take on macaroni ‘n’ cheese
  • Pioneers Park Nature Center, a local park that houses four pillars from the original U.S. Treasury Department
  • The Nebraska State Capitol building, featuring a mosaic floor that details the entire history of Nebraska

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