15 Best Things to Do in Kearney, NE

15 Best Things to Do in Kearney, NE

The land of the kind, warm, and loving people- Nebraska does not get all the attention that it deserves. However, we are here today to talk about one of its hidden gems- Kearney- the place full of scenic beauty and grace. While planning a trip, we often tend to overlook this place. There are some beautiful tourist attractions here in Kearney along with some warm people. Be it sitting by the river and watching the migratory cranes as they fly by or walk along the brick streets of Downtown Kearney- the place is wholesome! So, next time you drive by the city- just stop and take a look at the top 15 things to do in Kearney, NE.

Take a glimpse of the Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes in Kearney
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If you are a bird lover or a bird expert, then there is no better place for you to hang out other than Kearney! Interested in Sandhill Cranes? Learn all you can about them right here! Ornithologists from all over the world flock to Kearney to have a look at these migratory birds. You can find a lot of correct information about them that you cannot find elsewhere.

Also, sitting during the dusk, and looking at these beautiful birds is a nice way of spending time here in Kearney. The Rowe Sanctuary is a nice place if you want to hang out and get to know about some birds.

Catch a show at the World Theater

The World Theater
C.S. Imming, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of Kearney’s finest tourist attractions- World Theater is one of the biggest movie theaters you will come across. Have you missed out on a movie? Worry not, for there are eight screens in the World Theater, and chances are that movie is running here. The place has a vintage feel to it, and is one of the cutest places in Kearney for a perfect date night!

Did you know that there are days where they even offer free popcorn? Yes, Mondays and Tuesdays are the lucky days, where they will supply unlimited popcorn too! All the more reason to go, right?

Take a look at some of the best cars at Classic Car Museum

Are you interested in some classic cars? Does your heart beat faster when you see vintage cars? If you are one of those car buffs, then Kearney has the best place for you to hang out at. The Classic Car Museum has some of the best car collections. There are so many cars present there that you won’t know where to start from.
Cars of historical importance like DeLorean or even modern cars that are rarely seen or just vintage gorgeous cars- everything is assembled here in the museum just for fanatics like you! They even restore certain cars and put them up for exhibition. There might even be cars that you have ever heard of before!

Have some fun indoors at the Big Apple Fun Centre

Tired of the outdoors? Are you ready to have some fun indoors now? The Big Apple Fun Centre is here for your enjoyment. It is way better than any amusement park, and you can easily spend a lazy Saturday afternoon right here with your friends or family.

From laser tag to mini golf- The Big Apple Fun Centre has everything for you! They even have go carts available. So, if you feel like the weather is sunny and it is time for some go-kart, it is available for you. People of all ages can find something to do in this place.

Gulp down some beer

Kearney has one of the best craft beer scenes here in Nebraska. So, why not try some and see for yourselves? If you are someone who is into locally brewed beer and wines- Kearney just might be the lucky place for you!
There are several fantastic spots where you can find craft beers and even beers on taps. The collection or the variety is huge, and will indeed give you a huge range to make your choice from. So, sit back, relax, and drink to your heart’s content as this is one of the best beer places you can get your hands on.

Enjoy the local delicacies

Are you a foodie? Do food spots attract you more than tourist spots? Or are you just tired after a long day of sight-seeing? Either ways- Kearney has some of the best food joints, food trucks, stalls or even restaurants for you! The options are just endless. The burgers of this town are just our personal recommendation. And, let’s just face the facts- burgers, shakes, and fries after a day not eating anything sounds heavenly! Nebraska is well known for its steaks, bacon, waffle fries, and gravy. So, dive in, and eat till you cannot get up anymore!

Take a walk around Downtown Kearney

Downtown Kearney
Ammodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the nicest places in Kearney has got to be Downtown Kearney. A place that is paved like the European roads, filled with cafes, food stalls, and shops- Downtown Kearney is indeed a nice place where you can walk around all day and never get bored. Bargain at the shops, or sip a coffee as you walk hand in hand with your loved one! The place is lively with a lot of people roaming around, shopping, and eating as well. You can hear the music that is being played at the street corner too!

Enjoy a day at the Campus

The campus of The University of Nebraska-Kearney is a fun place to hang out! Now, you might be wondering- ‘What do you even do on campus?’ But, here, the campus is a fun place to hang out. You can meet some of the coolest people there.
The fields are huge, and you will see the college students playing sports in them. Also, the campus is quite well decorated. You can find art pieces or graffiti drawn across walls. There are speakers where the art students are playing a guitar or singing. Overall, the campus is a fun way to spend an afternoon!

Get energized with some coffee

What more do you expect from a town that hosts one of the best universities of the States? Like every college town- Kearney is home to some of the best cafes! We know, college students live and breathe on caffeine! So, the least they can do is open up some of the best cafes that serve steaming hot coffees.
There are many local baristas that are even owned by the residents of town. You will get to taste some exclusive flavors that you didn't even know existed. Afterall, college goers know their coffee! Sit in one of the cafes in town, and sip on a warm cup of coffee, breathing in views of the surrounding sceneries.

Admire the art in the Museum of Nebraska

Museum of Nebraska art
C. S. Imming, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Nebraska Art is famous all over Nebraska for its amazing collection of art and sculpture. Being located in the prime region of Downtown Kearney, the museum attracts a lot of people to it.

Apart from having some of the well known international pieces, it promotes the local artists too! This is what draws people more. It brings out the talents of the local artists of Nebraska and their art dedicated to Nebraska itself. They also execute several exhibitions all throughout the year to help these artists sell their paintings. There is also a special event where they display several art about the migratory Sandhill Cranes of Kearney.

Learn about the history at the Archway Monument

Archway Monument in Kearney
Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com

The Archway Monument has an important role to play in the history of Kearney. If you are someone who is interested to know about the different ancient historical things of any state- then you must check out the Archway Monument of Kearney, Nebraska.

Are you aware of the revolution that occurred throughout the 1800s where the native people walked across different parts of the country to search for a life better than the ones they were leading? If not, this is a nice place to learn about the tough history. People following the California, Mormon, and Oregon trails actually went across Kearney that earned it its significance in the American history. The ground transportation started from here!

Gaze at the fine interior of the Frank House

Frank House is one of the hidden gems of Kearney located inside the University of Nebraska-Kearney Campus. The building is of great historic significance and has been standing here for a long time! Having been constructed in 1886, The Frank House is a huge hit among the tourists. It has been declared as one of the historical houses since 1973.

It has some of the best art pieces in all of Nebraska. However, you can find some gorgeous European pieces here as well. The story of the collection is quite cute too- A passionate man along with his wife travelled wide and far for all the exclusive antique pieces. Upon their death, the house was given to the University itself! The collection is said to be priceless and is much loved by locals as well as foreigners.

Go on a hike

Are you more of a hiking/trekking outdoor kind of person? Do you want to feel the fresh Kearny breeze against your face? We might have the perfect solution for you. However, it might be a long one! There are a vast number of public trails in Kearney just for you to hike! It covers an area of more than 25 miles. You can hike whenever you want, however you want! Just from the Cottonmill Park till the Kearny State Recreation Area- you can hike till you fall asleep!

Become a potter for a day

Want to bring out the artist inside you? Paint Paradise Paint Your Own Pottery is one of the best places in Kearney where you can get creative and show your artistic side! The shop is just located downtown, and is a warm cozy place to hang out. They even let you do whatever you want! Want to paint on glass using ceramic glazes? Want them to finish a pot for you? They will do everything for you! Bonus point: They will even let you take home the masterpiece you created or rather had them create it for you!

Learn about new things at the Firefighter’s Museum

Nebraska Firefighters Museum
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The museum is quite close to the Archway Monument and is entirely dedicated to the firefighters of Nebraska. The interior is decorated with several pieces of art and craft related to the ambulance services as well as firefighters. You can even spend an evening looking at the several fire trucks, pumps, and gadgets that have helped in extinguishing some dangerous fires in the past!

They also provide different educational sessions and tours for kids and students. Also, you should go and check out the memorial dedicated to the Nebraska’s firefighters. The brave men and the women of Nebraska have fought till their last breath to save people from fire!

These were some of the best things to try out when you are in Kearney. So, the next time you are here, don’t get confused about what to do. Sit down, watch the cranes, grab a burger or a beer, and enjoy your stay!