Winter has its way of making people feel cooped up.
Fortunately, there are great and relatively inexpensive means to help you elevate your winter energy with some new activities you may have not considered.
Here are nine ways to beat cabin fever in Omaha, with things to do both outdoors and indoors.
Explore winter wilderness therapy
- Heron Haven: 11809 Old Maple Rd |(402) 493-4303
- Hummel Park Nature Center: 3033 Hummel Rd |(402) 444-4760
- Fontenelle Forest: 1111 Bellevue Blvd N, Bellevue |(402) 731-3140
- Hitchcock Nature Center: 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA |(712) 545-3283
You may have your ideal spot to hike and explore in the warm months, but have you seen how gorgeous it is in the winter?
Heron Haven is a perfect place to take an afternoon stroll for bird watchers, hikers, and others who want to learn about nature up close.
Hummel Park has several intermediate trails and a forest that you can check out during the daytime.
Fontenelle Forest is another peaceful hidden gem for people who love strolling through the wilderness during winter.
In Hitchcock Nature Center, you can hike through multiple trails lining the woods, check out the wildlife, and take in the sea of trees.
Level up at your local arcade
- Dave and Buster’s Omaha: 2502 S 133rd Plaza Ste 111 | (402) 778-3915
- Omaha Virtual Reality: 14450 Eagle Run Dr #250 | (402) 983-0707
- Beercade: 6104 Maple St |(402) 932-3392
- Arcade 33: 3301 Leavenworth St
According to a 2021 study by the University of Oxford, video games can improve your well-being, so head to the following arcades for a pick-me-up.
Dave and Buster’s offers a sprawling arcade, food, and adult beverages, and if you go from 4-7 p.m., you can score happy hour pricing.
Beercade was voted the 2022 Reader’s Choice for being one of the best bars to spend an internet date, and the bar has more than 50 beers on tap.
Omaha Virtual Reality lets you celebrate any occasion with friends, with several rooms to explore the cutting edge of the virtual gaming space.
For a custom experience, you can rent out Arcade 33 for $75 an hour and have access to all of the machines.
Take a brisk journey to the dog park
- Beardmore Freedom Dog Park: 410 Fort Crook Rd N, Bellevue, NE | (402) 275-5863
- Hanscom Park Pavilion: 3201 Woolworth Ave | (402) 444-5920
- Dewey Park: 550 Turner Blvd | (402) 932-2027
Your dogs don’t stop needing to go on an outside adventure with their human just because winter comes, so visit the dog park the next time you all need to take a stroll.
First, Bellevue’s Beardmore Freedom Dog Park gives your pups two designated dog areas throughout its sprawling grounds. Guests can help themselves to the free waste bag dispensers that are easily accessed throughout the park.
Next, Hanscom Park, known for its pool and playground during the summer season, also has a fenced-off dog area that rocks just as hard during the wintertime.
Finally, Dewey Park lets your dog run without a leash and try their paws at a dedicated obstacle course.
Take a load off at a comedy club
- The Backline Comedy Theatre: 1618 Harney St |(402) 720-7670
- Funny Bone: 17305 Davenport St |(402) 493-8036
- Blackstone Theater: 3624 Farnam St
For how long has laughter served as the best medicine? When all bets are off, get out of the cold and visit a comedy club to heal up indoors this winter.
The Backline Comedy Theatre in Omaha hosts a lineup of comedians throughout the month, offering amateur nights for anyone wanting to give stand-up a chance and classes for anyone interested in learning the basics of live comedy.
You can count on Funny Bone to host a touring comedian every weekend; you can also depend on the kitchen to serve some solid food—the best of both worlds!
One spot you may not have checked out yet is the Blackstone Theater, which hosts live comedy shows every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening, and the venue can comfortably seat up to 75 guests.
Catch a show at the Slowdown
- Slowdown: 729 N 14th St |(402) 345-7569
Most months, they keep their calendar full of events with performing bands, both local and out of town, and February will be no different.
The following are three events that The Slowdown will host during the upcoming month. The Bob Marley Birthday Bash (featuring Rhythm Collective) will take place on February 4, the Smells Like Nirvana show will kick off on February 10, and Vinyl Williams & Dendrons will punctuate the month on February 27.
Admission for the Bob Marley celebration and the Nirvana tribute is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the show; Vinyl Williams/Dendrons costs $12 beforehand or $15 on the day of.
Vinyl Williams, known for their neo-psychedelic music accompanied by imaginative art, and Dendrons, a Chicago-based post-punk and pop group, will share the stage with local acts Cat Piss and Pagan Athletes, who are known to draw a gnarly crowd.
Go for a blustery walk, run, or stroll
- Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge: 705 Riverfront Dr | (402) 444-5900
- Keystone Trail: 27 miles-long trail
Are you looking for three ways to get fresh winter air without paying a dime? Or just looking for a way to spend your time as a single person in this world?
Surrounding the Bob Kerrey bridge, the windy river can be peaceful if you don’t forget to bundle up and bring a thermos of coffee or soup. Bring a camping blanket, take a beat, and have a seat on the epic steps. Or, if non-stop movement is more your speed, you can time yourself cycling, running, fast-walking, etc., on the bridge itself.
The Keystone Trail, stretching 27 miles, is so vast and long that you could drift off somewhere along the way, stumble across a local business, and return to the path. With plenty of entryways that make the trail easy to access, test your cycling or jogging skills and hit the ground running.
Escape the cold at the movies
- Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater: 1340 Mike Fahey St |(402) 933-0259
- Marcus Majestic Cinema of Omaha: 14304 W Maple Rd |(402) 445-0617
- Film Streams’ Dundee Theater: 4952 Dodge St |(402) 933-0259
- ACX Cinema 12+: 6200 S 205th St |(402) 979-8153
Even though the moviegoing experience has evolved, the human experience of seeing a great film in a dark movie theater—where everyone is on the same wild journey as you, where you can escape reality just as much as you can dive into truth—lives on!
The Film Streams Dundee location is the oldest neighborhood cinema operating today, and the Ruth Sokolof building has served the community with credible indie flicks since 2007.
Marcus Majestic shows something for everyone, serves adult drinks at the bar, and has 19 giant screens.
ACX Elkhorn is a new theater with an expansive seating option that’s more than worth checking out.
Visit the Old Market, Benson, and Blackstone
- Old Market: Old Market
- Blackstone: Blackstone
- Benson: Benson
You can count on three city hubs—The Old Market, Benson, and Blackstone—to stay alive even during the cold season, offering great refuges when you need to take a break from everything.
Go downtown to the Old Market, exploring different shops you haven’t before or revisiting your favorites, like The Amazing Imaginarium and The Dubliner. Bring your lunch and take a seat outside when the sun is shining. And on chilly days, wear your coziest gear and stroll with a hot drink in hand.
The Benson Entertainment District offers a variety of shops, bars, and other entertainment venues, including Beercade and Benson Theatre.
Blackstone has a bunch of rad local businesses that you can find in a condensed area in Midtown, like Ground Floor Guitar and Noli’s Pizzeria, and plenty of drinking establishments.
Blow off steam indoors
- Le Smash: 4105 Harrison St |(402) 915-4040
- Craft Axe Throwing: 2562 Leavenworth St #100 |(402) 313-8240
- Flying Timber Axe Throwing: 1507 Farnam St |(402) 933-5577
There is no shame in needing a little inspiration to stay physically active this winter.
Located in Bellevue, Le Smash opened in 2018 and has been a resounding success, operating as a place where you can safely break things into a million tiny bite-size pieces.
Craft Axe Throwing allows you to live like an axe-wielding warrior or craftsperson, with plenty of space for you, your friends, and a small niche of people doing the same thing. There’s a bar where you can order great drinks, and if you are worried about your own amateurism, don’t be: each lane comes with an instructor. Admission costs roughly $25 per person.
If you want the option of axe throwing and ninja stars, Flying Timber is the place you want to go. Renting a lane will cost you $20 per hour, or $35 for two, and they offer several other pricing packages and rental options.