During the summer, visiting Downtown Omaha is best enjoyed with organic conversations and unplanned encounters. Of course you can visit the old market shops & make reservations for a fancy dinner for two. Or you can just grab your keys, call a friend and just walk out the door! Spontaneity makes the world go round in this case. The idea is to set no expectations and you’re bound to have the time of your life!
When I plan on visiting downtown, I don’t think about planning what to do when I get there. I just plan to get dressed and get in my car. It’s much better that way because you don’t run the risk of being disappointed (if your expectations are set too high) and you are surprised with how much fun you have by the end of the night. The reason why I say this is to remind all of the young and semi-young YPs who have lived most of their lives here, that there is in fact a way to have fun in this city!
Below are a few treasure finds that I have learned to love over the past couple of years:
- Antique Furniture Stores like Back in the Day and Imaginarium
- Pedestrian Bridge Friday summer concert series – just plan to take a walk!
- Summer Arts Festival & other downtown festivals
- Taste of Omaha (First weekend in June)
- Slam Poetry
- House of Loom
- Art Galleries (First Fridays) like The New Blk, Omaha Market Artists Gallery, Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, Durham Museum, and the Bemis Arts Center.
You can always visit a few places to get your live music fix at places like Havana Cigar Bar or Downtown Blues (1512 Howard St.). If you want a quiet peace of heaven, I would recommend Jackson Street Bookstore or Aroma’s Coffee. If you come to visit during the week, the magic starts after 3p when restaurants offer happy hour specials. And if you don’t like to drink, there’s still room to enjoy yourself often with live music or artist performances on the street corner!
Overall, I would have to say that Downtown Omaha is a few miles of healthy anticipation and fun, as long as you have a positive perspective. But don’t be surprised to run into an old high school crush or childhood friend while your out! Omaha is big enough to enjoy a good night of fun, but small enough to occasionally cross paths with memories of your past.