As a college student, I know what it’s like to be on a budget (and by a budget I mean broke). I’m constantly on the hunt for new, interesting and most importantly CHEAP places to explore. These 5 places in Lincoln and Omaha will keep you entertained and won’t break the bank.


Hollywood Candy– Omaha

Hollywood Candy in Omaha opened in 2007 and is now home to Hollywood Candy, Hollywood Pinball and Arcade Museum, Fairmont Antiques & Mercantile, and the Fairmont Diner. Although there is a lot to spend your money on in the store, I meandered around the huge store for two hours without spending a dime. My favorite part of the whole place was the free movie theatre tucked in the back, it took a while to find but it was worth it!

Courtesy of Omaha CityVoter

Pioneers Park– Lincoln

Pioneers Park in Lincoln features 688 acres of prairies, wetlands, woodlands, and streams. Explore the parks 8 miles of trails and visit the nature center for education on wildlife in the park. My favorite part of the park is sitting by the lake doing my homework on the picnic tables and of course petting dogs as their owners walk them by!

Courtesy of Ganzelgroup

Nine Mile Prairie– Lincoln

Nine Mile Prairie is a 230 acre tallgrass prairie owned by the University of Nebraska Foundation.  You can observe 392 plant species and over 80 species of birds just nine miles outside of Lincoln. Nine Mile Prairie has served as a fantastic way for me to get away from it all and really soak in nature without interruption.

Courtesy of Michael Forsberg

Joslyn Art Museum– Omaha

The Joslyn Art Museum is home to hundreds of pieces of art from around the world. The museum was built in 1931 and is one of the finest examples of art-deco architecture in the nation. You can meander through the galleries, 1000 seat concert hall, fountain court, education technology gallery, lecture hall, classrooms cafe and shop. Although I have never visited the museum, it is one of my “Nebraska Bucket List” items.

Courtesy of Joslyn Art Museum

Haymarket Farmers Market– Lincoln

Every Saturday from May-October the Haymarket in Lincoln hosts a farmers market. The farmers market runs from 8 a.m. to noon, rain or shine. The market features local arts and crafts and local produce. You can walk through the market without spending a dime, as long as the free samples of the vendor food do not tempt you to purchase a full-size item. My favorite part of the farmers market is the atmosphere you experience while there. The mood is simply Nebraskan, happy, calm and polite.

Courtesy of American Planning Association


Overall, there’s a little something for everyone to be found in these free places in Lincoln and Omaha. Of course, there are plenty of other places to explore, you just have to willing to be adventurous!

-By Katie Bresnahan

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