Posts Tagged With: Strategic Air and Space Museum

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

Nebraska Stories: Sharing the Tales of Nebraskans

I promise that I will be posting more about quilts in the next few days.  First I am taking a quick detour.  Normally I am all about going out for adventures.  But tomorrow I am encouraging you to stay home.  Read on to find out why. 🙂 

If I admit that I really enjoy watching public television, does that officially make me old? 🙂  While we do not watch every night, when we do tune in to NET (Nebraska Educational Television), our knowledge increases (as opposed to what happens when we watch most television shows).  I have especially enjoyed the few episodes that I have watched of the show, Nebraska Stories.  Obviously learning about the people and places of Nebraska is always enjoyable for me!

So, when NET approached me about reviewing their latest show that premieres tomorrow night, November 1st,  I was happy to do so.  They combined quite diverse topics into a fluent piece.   Below is a bit about each of the four segments and my own personal take on each topic.  (The “bold” words are  the description directly from Nebraska Educational Television.  The pictures were provided from NET as well.)

DAY OF THE DEAD – Join us on Día de los Muertos as we look death in the eye with humor, music, dancing — and art.


When my kids and I studied Mexico a few years ago, I was a bit taken aback by this holiday that features skeletons.  Although the celebration date is around our Halloween, their holiday is not about creepiness but is instead about honoring ancestors.  While this may not be a holiday that is celebrated in our home, I definitely want my kids to understand the distinctness of other culture’s celebrations. This segment does an excellent job of explaining this Mexican holiday and how the day is celebrated in Nebraska.

And if you want to give your children either an introduction or a follow-up to this holiday, here are some excellent children’s picture books.

Mary Molina and the Days of the Dead by Kathleen Krull

Ghost Wings by Barbara Joose

Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston (He has several  great books about Mexican culture)

NEVER FORGET – A Holocaust education program in Omaha resurrects the music and art of a place called Terezin.

Never Forget4

My grandpa was a liberator in World War 2.  Because of the horrors of seeing those who had survived concentration camps, he did not share too many of his experiences.  But this is a part of history that we must not forget.  The Institute for Holocaust Education is the organization that leads the tours that happen at the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland.  This segment provides a glimpse behind some of the excellent education that they provide to keep the stories alive.

We have a studied a bit about this topic in our homeschool.  I want my children to be aware that the world is not such a beautiful place all of the time.  But I also want them to not be scared.  Here are again some excellent books that I think help with expanding on the segment from NET.

My favorite one: Erika’s Story by Ruth Vander Zee (a true story of sacrifice)

The Harmonica  by Tony Johnston is based on a true story how one boy survived the holocaust

My Secret Camera: Life in the Lodz Ghetto  by Mendel Grossman which gives glimpses into what really happened in these World War 2 ghettos

Music for the End of Time  by Jen Bryant which is based on true on of another way that the arts helped with survival

Here is a link some more educational resources from the IHE.  At our local library, there are many additional books available directly about Terezin.  As I am unfamiliar with most of them, I do not feel that I can recommend any personally, but they would be worth checking into.

MIRACLE ON THE PRAIRIE  – A century ago, in the town of Axtell, a new kind of care began for people with intellectual disabilities.


As we have relatives from the Axtell area, I immediately embraced the story of a community that strives to make a difference in this special segment of people.  I agreed with their philosophy of reaching out to others personally, rather than leaving that up to the government.  I was definitely inspired to continue to love my neighbor, no matter who he or she might be.

To learn more, please visit Mosaic’s website.

DREAM CAR AUCTION  – The sights and sounds of the Lambrecht survivor car auction in Pierce, Nebraska.

Auction 5

My husband happens to own a 1964 Chevy Impala.  Unfortunately for him, the poor car sits under a tarp.  As the appreciation of classic cars runs in both of our families, I know that we would have enjoyed attending this auction of “new” old Chevrolets.  We did not make it to Pierce that week-end. So I am glad that NET did, so that we all can have a small glimpse into what happened at that unprecedented car auction.


November 1, 2013 – 7:30pm on NET1/HD
November 1, 2013 – 10:30pm on NET1/HD
November 4, 2013 – 10:00pm on NET1/HD
Can’t wait?  Here is a preview.
And if you missed their spring episode, you can still watch it online.
Categories: Lewis and Clark, Metro, Prairie Lakes, Recommended Reading, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MathAlive! Exhibit at the Strategic Air and Space Museum Part 1

On September 21st, the MathAlive! exhibit opened at the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland.  While I have been to the museum many times, I had obviously not seen the new display.  They graciously let me come in and take a few pictures.

Math Alive display

Being more of a word girl myself, I was not anticipating being so intrigued by exhibits devoted to math.  But I definitely was!  And I knew that my kids would LOVE it!

Math Alive skateboarding

Learning how math is involved with skateboards?

Math Alive rock wall

And how math relates to climbing rock walls?

Math Alive suspension bridge

And how math affects the building of suspension bridges?  Sign my boys up!

SAC ratio collage

I think my daughter would enjoy all of the activities too, but I know the she would really appreciate recognizing the close up shots of beautiful items.   (They have a similar photo collage on display, but I took photographs of my favorite pictures and made a collage of my own!)

Math Alive musical instruments

And once I saw the musical instruments, I knew that my husband would be delighted with exploring this exhibit as well.  Displays for the whole family!

So consider this a teaser … scenes with potential.  We have a field trip scheduled to the MathAlive! exhibit soon.  I can’t wait to explore the displays with my fingers as opposed to only looking from behind a camera lens.  The exhibit will be at the Strategic Air and Space Museum until the first part of January.  You do not want to miss the fun!

Math Alive ceiling art

Categories: Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Families in Flight: The Strategic Air and Space Museum for Kids & Parents

As if seeing airplanes up close and personal was not enough, the Strategic Air and Space Museum has all sorts of options and activities available that are specifically geared for children and families.  For one, they frequently bring in special exhibits with an educational slant.  (More on their MathAlive! current exhibit in another entry).  Here are just a few ways that the museum caters to children …

Whether you have just a few minutes

SAS simulators

Various army “vehicles” for the young ones to try and flight simulators for older children.  Put your child in motion for a small fee.

Or you have all day …

For only five dollars, you can enjoy the museum’s space shuttle slide and bouncer.  (Members are free).

SAS bouncy slide and plane

You can see a glimpse of the tall slide behind one of the airplanes.

Or maybe you have all night …

SAS Night at the museum

Groups of 75-150 youths can sleep the night away under a plane!  (1 adult for every 5 kids is required).  Besides touring and interacting with museum exhibits, overnight guests will also have a snack and watch a movie.  Cost is generally $15 per adult and $25 per child.  This option is a great one for Scout groups.


Flying High on your birthday …

Ages 3-14 can choose to celebrate their birthday in “plane” style and various party options are available including over the moon, cadet, ace and top gun packages.   Prices vary and are substantially cheaper for members.

SAS Science Zone

The Science Zone is open right now on the week-ends as another great family friendly option!

Still not enough to do?  A variety of field trips are available year round.   You should also check out their summer camps and scouting and merit badge programs.  And if you cannot make it to the museum, the museum will come to you.  With its mobile observatory and outreach laboratory and cool science to go, the museum’s goal is to make science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) more accessible to children.

If you want to know more about how S.A.C. came to Nebraska, stay tuned for my Flashback Friday tomorrow.  And I will be posting an entry all about their current featured exhibit, MathAlive! a little bit later on this afternoon.  (By the way, normally the Strategic Air and Space Museum operates a planetarium.  But due to the extensiveness of the math exhibit, the planetarium will not be operational until January when the traveling display is done.)

Categories: Metro, Military and Memorials, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strategic Air and Space Museum: High Flying in Nebraska

SAS outside

Name/Location Strategic Air & Space Museum: Exit 426 between Lincoln & Omaha: Ashland
Open hours/Contacts 10-5 daily; (800) 358.5029; Facebook Page
Cost Adults: $12; Retired/active military: $11; Children ages 4-12: $6: Free to members
What to Know This is a very large museum with so much on display.  Allow several hours to begin to see all of the displays; wheelchair accessible.
Group Tours Tours; daily public ones at 11 a.m.; private for groups of 20+ with discounted rates (all money collected at once); 2 weeks notice needed
Museum Manners Some planes can be boarded – some cannot.  Large space where children may want to run but hard surfaces prevail (concrete & more)
Recommended Ages Planes for any age but do bring a stroller – lots of space to cover for little ones.  The featured exhibits are usually for school age children

Despite being a civilian, I have flown in a military plane before.  Thanks to the military program that gets educators up in the air, I got to experience flying above a stealth plane as it was refueled.  An amazing experience.  But I will confess that while I enjoy seeing the planes, I can tell you very little about them, other than that they fly.

SAS copter and plane

The educator in me desperately wants to be able to identify every plane by its name and characteristics.  The pragmatist in me knows that this would take a lot of time.  (Plus the chance of me being inaccurate is rather high.)  I was definitely relieved to discover that the museum identifies all of the airplanes on their website.  But I have to say that while this information is helpful, the facts are still a poor substitute for experiencing the planes themselves.

SAS glimpses of planes

With over 300,000 square feet of display space, you can walk among these giants of flight and envision what an experience flying them must have been.  Or if you are like me, you imagine being the person riding in the jumpseat.  (To be responsible for such a large flying machine would make me too nervous!)

SAS Air Force Plane 0198

Since you may not be able to drop everything and go today, here are some more photographs that document why you should feel compelled to visit soon!

SAS interior rocket view

The museum architecture adds a dimension of beauty to the displays.

SAS line of planes

And oh, the possibilities to explore from one hangar …

SAS hanger display

To the other hangar!

SAS fan propellers

Even the ceiling fans have propeller blades!

SAS flag quilt

Reflections of patriotism intertwine throughout the museum.  More on that in another post someday!

SAS tomcat

Pretty sure this would not look as cute if you were on the other end of it!

SAS apollo

And you can view parts of NASA history as well. 

While these airplanes may no longer be accessible by flight (no nearby landing strip!), the drive to see them is definitely worth it!  This post just featured the airplane aspects of the Strategic Air and Space Museum.  In my next post, I will be exploring the educational opportunities that the museum has for families and children!

P.S. If you did not guess where we were yesterday that might have been the fact that I mixed in both pictures of their permanent and featured exhibits.  In another blog post I will be telling about their incredible new featured exhibit.  The school subject that enters into everyday life in surprising ways!  By the way, a big thank you to my friend, Alicia!  She was the one who accompanied me on this quick photo op and gave some great suggestions as to shots that I needed to take!

Categories: Metro, Military and Memorials, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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