Posts Tagged With: Morrill Hall

Nebraska Passport: Tours Across Nebraska

I must admit I am a rather big Jeopardy fan.   Not very many shows have made my “follow” list, but that is one that I have watched almost daily for years.  One category that they feature is “Common Bonds.”  As for the pictures that I featured on yesterday’s “Wordless Wednesday,” they all had one thing in common: they are all 2014 “Nebraska Passport” stops.  Many of them I have covered on my blog already.  Several are yet to be shown, so for those I plan to keep you guessing.

Can’t Get Enough Tour

1) ?

2) Morrill Hall on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Morrill Hall Z

Forks in the Road Tour

Homestead Brand

3) High Plains Homestead (Home of the Drifter Cookshack and Bunkhouse) on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Hit the Snooze Tour

4) ?

Nebraska Homegrown Tour

Prairie Gounds interior

5) Prairie Grounds Cafe and Gifts on Odyssey Through Nebraska

How We Move Tour


6) Carhenge on Odyssey through Nebraska

7) ?

8) ?

Patchwork Passion

Quilts 5 purposes arch

9) International Quilt Study Center & Museum on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Rare Finds

Unfortunately I have not been to any of these places recently.  My grandparents lived in Laurel, so I did grow up walking into their downtown.  I am pretty sure that I have been to the Apothecary, but I think that it has drastically changed since then.  Hopefully someday I will make it back!

Sips and Suds Tour

Not sure that we will make too many of these places since we do more of the family tour.  But hey, Nebraska Passport has at least one place that will appeal to everyone! 🙂

Stars and Stripes Tour

10) ?

11) ?

SAS copter and plane

12) Strategic Air & Space Museum on Odyssey Through Nebraska

(By the end of the Nebraska Passport 2014 season, which happens to be the end of September, every one of the ? mark places will be featured on this blog!  I also will be featuring several of the places from Lincoln’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” program as well!)

Have you picked up your copy of the 2014 Nebraska Passport yet? This year they have even added a downloadable app, so you can keep track of your places that way.  Achieving prizes for the Nebraska Passport is a bit challenging.  Since the ones I would really want are for 40 stamps and above, I am pretty sure that we will not be getting any.  But, we will be enjoying the stops on the way.  Some familiar and some that are new.  All places to make memories as we travel across the nice state of Nebraska.

Categories: Family Outings, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska Passport, Panhandle, Passport Pursuit Programs, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nebraska Science Festival This Week-end (April 26-27)

Nebraska Science Festival 2014

When I first heard about the Nebraska Science Festival, I felt a bit behind.  How did I miss this huge event going on?  But now that I know that this gigantic science fair of sorts is only in its second year, I realized I am not quite as out of it as I thought.  I must say for this being a relatively new event, they have quite the line-up.  What is possibly the best part?  Free or discounted admission to many places!  NOTE: Tickets are still required.  To print out your complimentary tickets and to see the schedule, please visit their site!

Now to highlight a few of the events that are especially for families … (information taken directly from their website!)

The Expo will be held April 24-26 from 8:30 am to 2 pm at The Durham Museum and The Strategic Air & Space Museum. The Expo on April 26 at The Durham Museum will be held from 9 am to 1pm. It’s expected to attract up to 2,000 plus visitors, so be prepared for a busy day!

City Sprouts Community Garden will have special events happening this morning.  This Omaha place is all about involving the community in planting.  They will feature an Arbor Day theme today with educational stations.

(Unfortunately the “Science of Ice Cream is full at E-Creamery.  Doesn’t that sound like a delicious opportunity?)

Fontenelle Forest

April 26 – 27 | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Stop by the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center on April 26-27 and receive free admission to the forest from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Thanks to a partnership with NET Television, Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie will make a special appearance both afternoons to meet and take photos with children.

I haven’t been to Fontenelle Forest  since I was a child and was trying to figure out how we could make it up there today.  Alas with two baseball practices, a party and a gathering, our visit will have to wait for another day.  Normally it would cost our family $34 to attend, so the free admission is a BIG deal.  Go out and enjoy the free event!

(The “Science of Bacon” at the French Bulldog is also sold out.  I think I am getting hungry …)

The Heartland Organization of Rocketry (T.H.O.R.) had to cancel their plans for the next two days due to the possibility of impending bad weather.

Laurtizen Gardens: I mentioned their TREEmendous Arbor Day Celebration, but I forgot to mention that a kid is admitted free with each paying adult – a definite bargain.  Plus, again the first 100 households leave with a free tree seedling!  (If you have never been to the Gardens, they are absolutely beautiful!)

Lincoln Children’s Museum

April 26 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Join us for Science Saturday at Lincoln Children’s Museum. We’re teaming up with University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineering and science students to conduct experiments and engineering feats. (NOTE: I heard a rumor that they also have free children’s admission for the first early arrivers today!)

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

April 26 – 27 | 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  

Special stations are happening throughout the zoo!

Omaha Children’s Museum

April 27 | 1 – 5 p.m. (TOMORROW)

Enjoy quirky science with the Mad Scientist Show or the April Fool’s Science Show, immerse yourself in a 360-degree science program in the Discovery Dome Planetarium, or enjoy our newest permanent exhibit, “Maker Space.”  Always a  fun musuem to visit!

University of Nebraska State Museum

April 24 – 27 | UNL’s Morrill Hall and Mueller Planetarium

Today just happens to be “Astronomy Day” with all kinds of activities planned.  Yes, there is still admission.  But how many days do you get to meet an astronaut?

I hope you are able to check out some of these fun events!  They are hoping to make this even more of a statewide event.  So, if this week does not work for you, be watching for it next year!  I know that I am already hoping we can attend the school day portion next year!

P.S. I have no idea why the last half is all in italics.  Sorry about that!  Computers!




Categories: Annual Events, Family Outings, Lincoln, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

People Behind the Places: Nebraska Counties Part 3 K-M

Since I tend to get distracted/interrupted while attempting to write, the fact that I forgot a county last week in my “Peope Behind the Places: Nebraska Counties Part 2 E-J” blog is probably to be expected.  What was surprising was the county that I skipped.  The one where I have spent the most time in my life apart from Lancaster.  A county filled with wonderful people where my mom grew up and where many family members still live.  A place I have loved to visit: Hamilton County.  My sweet cousin is the one who caught my omission, and I still feel a bit embarrassed.  So, I edited the entry to contain Hamilton and am including the information at the beginning here as well, so that you do not have to go back to the previous entry unless you want to do so.

Hamilton: This is one of my favorite counties as my grandparents used to live there, and I still have an aunt & uncle & cousins and their families who make their residence there.  So rather ironic that I accidentally missed this page in the book that I am referencing.  Oops!  So this was added a bit late.   Anyway, you may have guessed that Alexander Hamilton, first United States Secretary of the Treasury is the one that Nebraska honored for county 28.

Now on to K- M

Kearney: Both the county and the town were so named because of Fort Kearny, a major Oregon Trail stopping point.  The fort was named in honor of Major General Stephen Watts Kearny who lived from 1794-1848.  In 1857, the post office made a mistake in the spelling of the town, and they refused to correct their error.  So, there you have it – two spellings of the same last name.

Keith: Morrill C. Keith of North Platte was given this honor.  His grandson, Keith Neville, would actually be the Nebraska governor (1917-1919).  While Morrill did not happen to live in Keith County, his Lincoln County is at least adjacent.

Kimball: A railroad man.  Thomas L. Kimball was vice president and general manager of the Union Pacific Railroad.  (Former name of this county was Cheyenne).

Knox: Renamed for Major General Henry Knox who had served in the Continental Army and became the country’s first secretary of war.  (Ironically he died from infection after he swallowed a chicken bone.  Oh those little tidbits of history that are often glossed over!)  But for 16 years, the county had a different name.  According to Andreas’ History of Knox County, 1882, this is meaning behind the original name.

Knox County was organized by the Territorial Legislature in 1857, and named L’Eau Qui Court, that being the French name for the river named by the Indians Niobrara–both names meaning, in English, Running Water. The name was changed to Knox by a statute passed February 21, 1873, which took effect April 1, 1873.

(More information can be found on the Knox County Nebraska GenWeb project).

Lincoln President Abraham Lincoln was of course given this honor in 1866 after his death.  The county’s original name: Shorter County.  An odd name for such a large county.  Lincoln County has a rich history including Buffalo Bill and Fort McPherson.

Logan: Union General John A. Logan is the recipient.  This was one of the later Nebraska counties as its boundaries were not defined until February 1886.

Loup: Taylor was the original name in 1855 (could not discover who that was for?) Renamed for the Pawnee Loup Indians in 1883.

Madison: Possibly President James Madison.  Or possibly for the German settlers who moved into the area from Madison County, Wisconsin.

McPherson: Famous from the Civil War, Union Army General James B. McPherson had this county named in his honor.

Merrick The only county named for a woman.  Elvira Merrick was the wife of a Dodge County legislator. Since she probably shared his last name, was not the county named for him as well?  Of course his first name is not mentioned in the Merrick County Nebraska Historical Society Document, so maybe it truly was for her? Hmmmmmm …

Morrill A University of Nebraska Regent, Charles Hentry Morrill, not only got a county named for him but also the name of the building that houses the University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History.  Maybe the fact that he donated the building helped with that decision.  He participated in the Civil War as a musician (didn’t realize that was a possibility).  But later he did travel across Nebraska gathering up land, Indian artifacts and dinosaur remains, contributing much to the collections of our state.

More to come thanks to Perkey’s Nebraska Place Names!

P.S. You may have noticed a few counties have not been mentioned (including Lancaster) because they are actually “Places Behind the Places,” being named for locations rather than people.  So, they will be mentioned eventually.  If I do forget a county named for a person, please let me know.  As is evident with Hamilton, that is certainly a possibility.

Categories: Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Nebraska History, Panhandle, People Behind the Place, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marvelous Morrill Hall (Discovery Center): Hands On Learing in Lincoln

DSCN3648_697August Nikon 13

Yesterday for Wordless Wednesday, we were at Morrill Hall – specifically in the Discovery Center downstairs.  My kids could stay in that room for a VERY long time.  And we were probably there at least an hour and did not even begin to see half of what is contained in that room. This room is crammed with so much to see and do that I decided to use pictures to show, then adding captions to tell what you are seeing, rather than including lots of text.  Since my pictures were definitely a bit cryptic yesterday, I will start by including a complete picture of the four close-ups featured yesterday.

DSCN3622_683August Nikon 13

Cuter than they probably are in real life!

DSCN3629_689August Nikon 13

Reminds me of a Georgia O’Keefe photograph

DSCN3640_693August Nikon 13

Am fine with seeing this animal mounted rather than live and in person!

DSCN3626_687August Nikon 13

Their “tree” demonstrates the different seasons and also explains about different animals.  You can see the puppet show/stage in the background.

DSCN3652_700August Nikon 13

You can take down a box, then illustrate what you see!  Great for those who have an artistic eye.

The remaining pictures were actually taken by my son, Zechariah.  He has decided that he may want to be a photographer someday.  So, he practiced at the museum and snapped 234 shots (not including the ones he deleted to make room on the SD card for more pictures).  He wanted me to attach them in a file for you, but I decided instead that I would just include a few favorites! 🙂  (You’re welcome!)

DSC03128_407Ferg & Gov8.13

You can pretend to “dig” for dinosaurs with Ashfall (located in Northern Nebraska) pictured in the background).

DSC03123_403Ferg & Gov8.13

Both “animals” for crawling under, not climbing on top!

DSC03124_404Ferg & Gov8.13

DSC03137_416Ferg & Gov8.13

Collections to play with, and you can see just a glimpse of the puzzles and books underneath.

DSC03134_413Ferg & Gov8.13

Collections to observe (strangely reminiscent of a project I completed in 4th grade long ago!)

DSC03083_388Ferg & Gov8.13

Just outside the door – the closest I ever want to get to one of these!

If you never made it to Morrill Hall, now is your chance.  Admission is FREE tonight and next Thursday from 4:30-8:00.  For active military members, this is also a Blue Star Museum – free admission still for a few more weeks.  The rest of the museum also happens to be fabulous.  (Although I will say from a personal viewpoint, I do not completely agree with some of their evolutionary conclusions, but …) I will write more blog posts in the future on some of Morrill Hall’s additional areas.

DSCN3690_723August Nikon 13

My little photographer

!DSCN3657_703August Nikon 13

Somehow my oldest only made it into this picture.  Another great area in the museum for another day!

Place at a Glance

Name/Location University of Nebraska Museum of Natural History (14th & Vine in Lincoln)
Website/Facebook The museum is also known as Morrill Hall; Museum on Facebook
Open hours Monday-Saturday 9:30-4;30 (Thursdays until 8); Sunday 1:30-4:30
What to Know This museum features natural and cultural history items
Cost Adults: $6; Children 5-18: $3; under 4 free; maximum cost for a family is $13; additional cost for planetarium;   UNL students & faculty are free; Blue Star Museum
Parking Free parking outside museum; must write down license plate #
Group Tours Self-guided tours are free; extra for gallery or planetarium tours
Museum Manners Many items are irreplaceable; supervision is necessary for much of the museum; discovery room is kid friendly but still requires child observation
Recommended Ages Stroller accessible; most kids and adults any age would enjoy the visit
Categories: Blue Star Museum, Lincoln, Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Metro, Wordless Wednesdays: Where Were We in Nebraska? | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: