Update: Hydrant parties updated for 2016
Need to ideas for staying cool in Omaha this summer? This city is loaded with options: pools, splash gardens, water parks, etc.
For all budgets, here’s our list of where to go to stay cool in Omaha:
Spraygrounds – Omaha Parks and Recreation Departments offers FREE spraygrounds that are open Memorial Day to Labor Day, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. They are found at:
Fontenelle Park, 4405 Fontenelle Blvd.
Kountze Park, 1920 Pinkney St.
Orchard Park, 66th and Hartman
Upland, 3104 Jefferson St.
Morton, 5724 S. 41st St.
Westwood Heights, 12334 Seldin Drive
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Plaza, 705 Riverfront Drive
Other Spraygrounds: Head over to Council Bluffs’ Bayliss Park to find a small sprayground by the fountain. Head to Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion for their sprayground. First National Bank Tower in downtown Omaha has a sprayground that I can vouch for kids enjoying, and there’s one in front of the Omaha Children’s Museum as well.
Hydrant parties – Omaha has hydrant parties around the city three times a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Here is the schedule:
Noon, 65th & Manderson
1:30 p.m. , 40th & Webster St.
3 p.m., 35th & Davenport St.
Noon, 3920 John Creighton Blvd.
1:30 p.m., 58th & Ohio St.
3 p.m., 53rd & Hamilton
Noon, 96th & Boyd Cir
1:30 p.m., 99th & Ellison Ave.
3 p.m., 93rd & Ellison Ave.
Noon, 440 S 20th St.
1:30 p.m., 25th & J St.
3 p.m., 28th & Harrison St.
Noon, 14850 Laurel Ave
1:30 p.m., 14622 Nebraska Cir.
3 p.m., 2616 N. 102nd Ave.
Noon, 22nd & Woolworth
1:30 p.m., 5115 Hickory St.
3 p.m., 5400 S 51st Ave.
Noon, 46th & Poppleton
1:30 p.m., 1300 S. 27th St.
3 p.m., 10th & William St.
Noon, 29th & Bondesson St.
1:30 p.m., 14th Ave & Ellison
3 p.m., 33rd & Sprague St.
Noon, 10242 Mockingbird Dr.
1:30 p.m., 2304 S. 135th Ave.
3 p.m., 109th & Martha
Noon, 78th & Hascall St.
1:30 p.m., 4808 Cass St.
3 p.m., 106th & Spring St.
Noon, 9270 Cady Ave.
1:30 p.m., Gallagher Park
3 p.m., 7819 Aurora Dr.
Noon, 29th & Bondesson
1:30 p.m., 5701 N 16th St.
3 p.m., 28th & Titus
Noon, 5105 S. 37th St.
1:30 p.m., 4808 Cass St.
3 p.m., 4314 Burt
Events – Splash Bash at La Vista Community Pool on June 29 from 1 to 4 p.m. (DJ, games, free food)
Lake Manawa State Park – A close beach getaway in the metro area lies in nearby Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs. Sandy beach and calm lake waters await. You get in for the price of a vehicle’s day-pass into Iowa State Parks, plus beach admission: $3 for 12 and older, $2 for ages 4-11 and FREE for children younger than 4.
Paddleboat – The nearest paddleboat rental is Platte River State Park. A half-hour rental is $8. Website
Kroc Center – Check out the aquatic center at the Kroc Center – it has two slides (one just for little kids) and a small lazy river. A family of four can get a day pass for $24 ($7 per adult, $5 per kid).
Omaha Pools – A family of two adults and four children can visit any of the Omaha public pools for less than $20. Save money and purchase a household pass for $175; punch cards are $50 and are good for 10 adult admissions or 20 youth admissions to any pool. Outdoor pools in Omaha are: Gallagher Leisure, Miller Water Park, Camelot Traditional, Elkhorn Traditional, Lee Valley Traditional, Roanoke Traditional, Elmwood Leisure, Hanscom Leisure, Hitchcock Traditional, Karen Traditional, Spring Lake Traditional, Cryer Traditional, Deer Ridge Leisure, Oak Heights Leisure, Zorinsky Aquatic Center. Indoor pools: Montclair, Mockingbird and Common Ground
Council Bluffs pools – A family of four can get into Pirate Cove Water Park for $20 (use of water slides) or Katelman Water Park for $16. Save money with a season pass for the family, and get into both all season long for $200.
Other pools: Some state parks offer swimming pools. In addition to the park entry fee, expect to pay less than $15 for a family of four to swim. Platte River State Park is $4 for adults, $3 for children and FREE for children 3 and younger.
RiversWest Park – The launch site for a outfitters on the Elkhorn River is also a little beach area known for camping, music festivals and outdoor movies. You can pay a $5 entry fee per person (kids 12 and younger are FREE) and enjoy the water. Website See the listings below for tubing and tank rentals from this park.
Fun Plex – Fun Plex includes the water park and unlimited rides in one admission pass. Enjoy the Makana Splash, Motion Ocean, Lazy River and slides for $25.95 for guests 54” and taller and $17.95 for guests 54” and shorter. Kids 2 and younger are FREE. And price is significantly cheaper if you go between 4 and 8 p.m. Website
Alaskan Adventure at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – The zoo’s huge Alaskan Adventure splash garden is a destination itself within the zoo. Admission to the zoo is FREE for members and children younger than 2; $18.95 for ages 12+; $17.95, military adult (12+) and seniors; $12.95, children ages 3-11; and $11.95, military children ages 3-11.
Coco Key Water Resort Omaha – For indoor water fun, head here. There are three waterslides, a fun activity pool, Adventure River, and slides and a zero-depth entry area for younger kiddos. A day pass during the is $20 per person 12 and older, $15 per person 3-11, and FREE for 2 and younger. The cost goes up if you visit Friday through Sunday.
Tubing down the Elkhorn River – Families and groups can take a short or long float trip down the Elkhorn River for $20 per person through Tubing & Adventures. Kids have to be at least 8 years old. Uncle Scott Outfitters is another tubing outfitter for Elkhorn River. Price options are $20 and $25 per person, depending on whether you want lunch and games included.
Tank Down the Elkhorn – Another option to cruise down the Elkhorn River in style is to go by (water) tank. The cost is $140 for four adults in a tank (or go on a weekday for $120). Website
Check out these other blogs!
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Haute Bauble’s A 30-Something’s Guide to Omaha Boutique Shopping
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Midwest Mammas’ 15 Things to Do in Omaha Metro This Summer
The Walking Tourists’s Summer Reading “The Humming Bird Way” Book Review/Giveaway
Positively Angel’s Western Iowa & Nebraska Summer Fun