Posts Tagged With: Nebraska Great Park Pursuit

Tuesday Travel Tips: So Many Nebraska Places, So Little Time

Looking over my folder crammed full of options, I can see …

20 parks on the Nebraska Great Park Pursuit

80 Nebraska Passport Places

32 options in Lincoln: Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown

Several Lincoln places are on both lists: The Capitol, Morrill Hall, International Quilt Study Center and the Lincoln Zoo.  That still leaves ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY EIGHT PLACES to go.  This does not include all of the places that did not make one of the passport tours this year.  Or the places from last year.  Or the festivals that one can find in Nebraska (To find these fun events, check out this list by by Family Fun in Omaha compiled with help from The Walking Tourists )  Or the extra 21 places that just were added to our list of “must-go” places (thankfully there are a few locations that duplicate other lists!  More on those soon!) And they say that there is NOTHING to do in Nebraska?  I say there is TOO MUCH to do!

Just noticed this building, a part of the Lincoln skyline, and I am not sure I have ever been inside.  Yet another place to explore!

To avoid being overwhelmed at all the possibilities, following these suggestions will help you.

First, set your goals.  How many places do you want to visit? One or two per month?  One per week?  Several in one day ?  We tend to do the latter now that my kids are older.   At the same time, I am committed to spend at least one day per week at HOME!   We need that to stay balanced.   Another question: is going to the travel program places important to you?  Last year, we traveled to Northwest Nebraska. Since we do not have long distance travel plans yet, I know that we will probably not get as many Nebraska Passport stamps this year. Because we are sticking close to home, we hope to hit 30 of the “Lincoln: Be a Tourist in your own Hometown” places. As we needed a challenge, we are going for the platinum level!

One of the 8 Lincoln passport stops we made today.

Second, pick a theme or a focus. Much to family’s amusement, I am teaching art at our cooperative this fall. While I am creative, my artistic skills might be lacking.  Yet I know that I can improve and grow in this content area. Going to art galleries is a part of that process for me. Today  we saw an original Warhol, and the kids were amazed at the price tag.   This focus has been rather enjoyable !  Need inspiration?  Check out the Nebraska Passport “tours” for suggested themes. Even if you cannot make their specific locations, possibly you have similar places near you.

Third, involve your children in the process.  Ask them where they want to go, but at the same time, give them parameters.   Would you rather go here or there ?  Which place do you want to go first?  Without giving them direction, you could end up on an unexpected three hour tour. Another necessity when traveling with children is to mix learning with play.  Even our children, who have gone to countless places, would not handle going to multiple places without taking play breaks!

An impromptu short game of hide-and-seek.  Can you see the children?  Thankfully they did not hide very often. Not too keen on this particular activity in busy public spaces!  🙂

How do you narrow down your travel options?  How do you pick your travel destinations?  Wherever you decide to go, I hope your family’s journey is an enjoyable one!

Categories: Family Outings, Great Park Pursuit, Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Nebraska Passport, Passport Pursuit Programs, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Travel Tips Tuesday: Passports and Pursuits are Back

This is a fun time of year to be a tourist in Nebraska.  All three of the programs that we enjoy participating in as a family are back.  Basically you go to their suggested places and get rubbings or stamps to show that you visited.  Then you are eligible for prizes.  Best yet you get to make memories as you travel around our great state!

Nebraska Great Park Pursuit (Explore 20 of Nebraska’s state parks and recreation areas!)

Back Home


Nebraska Passport (80 options across the state on several tours including “Forks in the Road” and “Stars and Stripes”

Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown (Lincoln): This one just started again YESTERDAY, so the links may not be up quite yet.

Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau

You can pick up the passports at participating locations.  I will be featuring many of these places over the next several months on my blog!  Go out and explore – today is supposed to be a beautiful day!

Categories: Annual Events, Great Park Pursuit, Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Nebraska Passport, Passport Pursuit Programs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

And a Winner for the 2nd time in the Lincoln Passport …

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My 2nd son!  We received the call on vacation that Zechariah was a winner for the 2nd time.  Several years ago, he actually happened to win the grand “gold” prize for the kids division.  That included a box at the Salt Dogs as well as him getting to throw out the first pitch at a game.


So to find out what he won this year, Z and I went to a dinner at the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, along with all of the other winners.

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We were both rather excited about the evening and the Fazolis dinner that we would get to enjoy.  Z especially liked the breadsticks and the fact that I let him have a Mountain Dew at suppertime (that RARELY happens).

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A distant shot of the winners – my son is near the left.  I did not take too close of a shot on purpose since I did not stand on top of the table to ask permission to publish the picture or anything.  🙂 

Well, right after dinner, they got right down to handing out the prizes to all the winners.  If you completed 6-10 Passport stamps, you were eligible for a “silver” prize; 11 or more: a silver OR gold prize.  30 or more stamps: the grand prize (A box at a Lincoln Saltdogs game again). (Close to 250 people turned in passports that were eligible to win a prize.  But, only 8 people completed 30+ stamps – possibly represented by only 2-3 families – you had a good chance to win if you went to over 30 places!)

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The Lincoln Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director, Jeff Maul, explained the program and then enjoyed “fist bumping” all of the winners.

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One of the adult gold prizes – a huge basket from Hillis.  Plus I think that winner also got a gas gift card -something we all can appreciate these days!

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My son won hockey tickets, Champions Fun Center game bands and a licorice gift certificate.  Plus, he was sweet and asked if he could bring home a breadstick for his sibling and Dad.  That was the winning moment for me – when he thought of others.  (Although we did deplete what would have been a nice lunch the following day for the Chamber staff – sorry again!)

I was impressed again with the Lincoln “Be a Tourist in your own Hometown” program.  We will definitely continue to participate and hope others will join us.  Maybe next year we will try for the grand prize …  Thanks to Lincoln Convention and Visitor’s Bureau staff and especially a BIG thank you to Tracie Simpson who coordinates this program.  She has done a great job with it!

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P.S. You have less than 2 weeks to complete your Nebraska Passports if you want to be eligible for their prizes.  I am glad that these two passport programs exist, as well as the Nebraska Great Park Pursuit.  They definitely motivated our family to get out and experience more of what Nebraska has to offer.  Even if we do not win any more prizes through either of the other programs, we definitely won with the experiences that we had.  (I should go into PR 🙂  )




Categories: Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Passport Pursuit Programs | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A (somewhat sad) tale of two (Nebraska) lakes

Going to college in Minnesota, I loved living such a short driving distance from many lakes.  I would go for walks along the shore and even attempt to complete homework in the serene locations.  So, when I have a chance to go see a big lake in Nebraska, I am really excited.

Lake # 1

On our way home from the Panhandle Monday, I convinced my husband to drive a bit out of the way to drive by Lake McConaughy on our way back home.  We had packed a picnic, and I thought that we could not find a lovelier dining setting.  (Plus the lake is a part of the Nebraska Great Park Pursuit, and the kids & I were wanting to get another post rubbing).


One of our first glimpses of the lake.


The lake was definitely beautiful.

2LakeMac area

And so was the surrounding shoreline!

We stopped at just one portion of the lake.  Area 2.  Near the showers and the post.  We had the area to ourselves.  Well, almost.

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What we did not anticipate: flies.  Everywhere.  At first I was annoyed with my children about their complaining about the flies.  (And the heat, but that’s another story!)  Then I became annoyed with the flies.  Actually rather mad especially once they started biting.  And even drew blood.  Ouch!

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A view near the rubbing post (we did at least get that!)

Suddenly, we could not wait to leave.  The view from the minivan was much more attractive than the great outdoors.  (Obviously we may not make great campers!)  The kids finished their lunch in the car, and I took a few more pictures out of the window.  Much more comfortable.


Should have brought forth a peaceful, easy feeling – instead was still feeling stressed about the picnic failure.

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A slightly blurry view of the dam.

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A museum is near the official entrance to the lake and dam.  They feature information about water conservation and the lake.  At this point, we were just ready to leave the area.  End of Lake Experience # 1.

Lake # 2

This adventure actually took place a day later (you think we would have been tired of being in the car).  But no, the kids and I were determined that we were going to get one last Great Park Pursuit rubbing.  So, since we were in Waverly and halfway there, we headed out to find Lake Wanahoo near Wahoo.  My grandparents lived up in northern Nebraska, so I think we drove by this lake different times growing up.  But we had never stopped, so I was looking forward to getting out and exploring.

But, I tend to be a bit optimistic on timing.  On how long the completion of a task really takes.  That day was no exception.  Our timing was later than I hoped, and my daughter had gymnastics we needed to get back for.  So while wandering around was no longer an option, I still wanted to get to the post.  I did not pay enough attention to the fact that the post was 1/2 mile away.  That usually means a trek across grass and a harder one to spot – different than the ones near parking lots.   We could not find the post.  Anywhere.  Finally we called the NGPP and asked for assistance.  Eventually we found this sign.

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So one of my sons (the one with the allergies) joined me on my sprint across the prairie to find the rubbing quickly to hopefully make it back to Lincoln in time for a 4:30 event that we had scheduled.  (We were both a bit stuffy later!)  We ran part of the way (he at least had tennis shoes) and felt like giving up this point.  But we were so close, so we didn’t.  We successfully found the post (after 20+ minutes of being at the park).  We ran back to car.  The other kids had climbed out in the meantime, and a bee had flown in.  So, now I got to be exterminator (thankfully he flew out when I swooped at him).  But this did delay us further.  I snapped a couple of pictures of the lake.


A lovely little lake!


We could see the rain beginning to fall nearby …


There was even a winding path.  Untraveled by us due to timing!

Then headed home (where we were 10 minutes late, so my daughter had to skip practice)!  This lake was also not what I expected – hopefully we will make it back someday when we can actually enjoy what the lake has to offer.  End of Lake Experience # 2.

Maybe someday my Nebraska Lake experiences will work out better.  We did get our Nebraska Great Park Pursuit rubbings sent in yesterday.  If you participated in the Park Pursuit, your entry needs to be postmarked by Monday.  So, it’s not too late to join in the fun. Now that the Husker game is over, you have the rest of the week-end to go out  and experience one of the great Nebraska State Parks.  Hopefully your trips will go better than ours did!  At least we made some long-term memories.


Categories: Great Park Pursuit, Metro, Passport Pursuit Programs, Prairie Lakes, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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