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Survive and thrive: let your many interests guide you into solo fun or adventures with friends! You don’t have to be in a relationship to make the most of this town.

Take any of these ten ideas for a spin and transform being single in Omaha into whatever you make it. Some options are free, most are affordable, and the rest are worth the investment.

Learn the sign-up customs, meet other performers, be supportive, and tip your bartenders! Found on Unsplash

Be YOU at the open mic

First, The Dubliner hosts a weekly Monday comedy open mic starting at 9 p.m. You get five minutes to be extra funny!

But remember, Shakedown Street also hosts a weekly function on Monday with an 8 p.m. start divided into 20-minute sets.

Then, don’t forget Backline‘s comedy open mic every Wednesday starting at 8 p.m., where comics get four minutes.

Next up, the weekly Wednesday Down Under variety open mic starts at 8 p.m., featuring 15-minute slots. Musicians note the open jam every third Thursday!

Finally, the historic 40th Street Theatre hosts monthly open mics in that third Thursday slot. Sets are 15 minutes. 

Don’t expect to meet your soulmate sweating at the gym: work on yourself by investing your time, energy, and hard-earned cash. Found on Unsplash

Join the right gym for your go-getting

Sometimes fitness goals mean finding a gym right for your needs — from the equipment to the fees.

First, for all-around gym buffs, Life Time Fitness sells monthly ($30-$99) and one-day memberships ($30). 

But for lifters and weight lovers, Omaha Barbell offers $45/$50 monthly or $480 one-year memberships. Test out the gym for $10! 

Next, Planet Fitness has a no-frills monthly option for $10 ($39 initiation) or a cushier $24 version ($1 startup). Both have a $39 annual cost with no commitment.

Another option, Blue Moon, sells four weekly memberships, starting at $2.50 ($99 startup). Others with amenities range from $7.50 ($.33 to join) to $10 ($.33 to join) and $40 ($29 initiation).

Lastly, YMCA has monthly memberships with initiation fees from $19-95, covering youth to seniors and household packages. 

From a dozen great libraries to several local book shops, here is where you can take your reading journey next. Found on website

Explore the joys of reading

Reading is where it’s at, no matter your age or status. Drum up some solid finds!

First, for a traditional experience, check out Bookworm. The shop hosts 100 active book clubs and local authors, crediting you for your average spent for every twelve books during your next purchase.

But Jackson Street Booksellers has a unique vibe for those who love wandering. Used and rare books sit stacked chaotically on the floor and towering mazes of shelves.

Then get to Dundee Book Company. This storefront may look small, but it’s got new and old gems, with events regularly updated on its social media pages. 

Finally, with a dozen top-tier Omaha Public Libraries, you can read, use computers, and explore programs for casual readers and professional writers. Each library is a haven for all walks of life!

If coffee is your thing, finding a home base is a must. Friendly, knowledgeable coffee-loving friends await! Found on Unsplash

Chat with friends over coffee

Omaha loves coffee! Discover new flavors of this citywide passion with these shops.

To begin, Myrtle & Cypress is a solid all-around coffeehouse with renowned espresso-based drinks starting at $3. 

Second, Dundee Double Shot Coffee has the patio perfect for a chill day nursing a chunky monkey latte, starting at $3.45. 

But if you want something different, the 100% vegan café Amateur Coffee has delicious eats and drinks — like cold brew in a jar for $7.

Next up, Archetype has three beloved regional locations. See why they are a national force to be reckoned with by ordering one of their $3 espressos. 

Lastly, if you’re after the bag, A Hill Of Beans is a shop that roasts, distributes, and sells top-tier blends – including the Mexico Chiapas Decaf for $16.95.

Fontenelle Forest was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1974. Found on Facebook page

Find your place in nature

Though humans and nature appear at odds, the two go together like peanut butter and ice cream.

First thing is first: Fontenelle Forest has 1,400 acres, with exhibits each month. Become a member starting at $50. Or, if you want a free day pass, check one out, like a book, at one of the Omaha, Bellevue, or Council Bluffs Public Libraries!

Another spot, Heron Haven, is a tiny forest and wetland sanctuary perfect for taking pictures of awe-inspiring birds! There is no admission cost.

Next, Memorial Park is a popular summer spot for outdoor concerts. But it’s also a wonderful place to stroll among the rose gardens and green grounds. 

Finally, Hummel Park is one of the most elusive local parks, thanks to myths stretching back generations. Check out those mysterious disappearing steps!

If you want to catch as many movies as possible while scoring deals that make your wallet happy, check out available membership options. Found on Unsplash

Go to the pictures

Last year was a great one for movies. Get out to the cinema and experience what the great filmmakers of our generation have to offer!

First up, Film Streams’ is the theater house for indie film heads, though it shows some mainstream titles. Memberships start at $35-$50 — or snag a regular adult ticket at $12. 

Next, visit the last AMC in Omaha. Get $5 movies every Tuesday, 30% off tickets before 5 p.m. daily, or, for $20 a month, three movies weekly as a member. 

Of course, Aksarben Cinema is perfect for adult cinema lovers. Have fun before, during, and after the show bellied up to the bar! Adult tickets start at $9.10.

But don’t forget Alamo Drafthouse. The two locations show current and classic movies, with food available for order, delivered to your seat. For $20 per month, see one film daily. Tickets start at $9 before 4 p.m. daily, then $12 after. 

There are several prime, dog-friendly parks to choose from and explore. Remember your pet waste bags! Found on Unsplash

Take your pup to a dog park, or borrow one

Yes, your dogs are babe magnets and magnets for everyone else, too — like other dogs. Grab your leash and mingle!

First, Beardmore Freedom Dog Park is ADA-accessible and open late, featuring two spacious dog-friendly sections and waste bag dispensers.

Next, the spread-out serenity of Chalco Hills features a small fenced area, but you can follow any one of the branching paths.

But another spot you should visit is the social Hanscom Park — which features a separate, fenced-in area for dogs to play.

Finally, Dewey Park is an off-leash spot with an agility course and a splash pad during the hot summer.

Einstein said, “education should commence at birth and cease only at death.” A bit morbid, but true. Found on Unsplash

Learn something new in a class

Even if you had a bad experience in a Nebraska social studies class, you can still learn something new, make friends, and have fun. 

First, if you dig art, visit The Kaneko. The exhibits are thoughtful, and many workshops, like this biweekly one for poets, are free. 

Next, for those yearning for shop class, visit Bench, and you will be woodworking as a pro in no time. The intro class is $100 for non-members and $75 for members.

Of course, PACE in Council Bluffs also hosts hands-on art classes and lectures — including youth ceramics ($10-15) and floral arranging ($30-35). 

Finally, if you are trying to dive into photography more seriously, Rockbrook Camera offers photo basics classes twice a month for $39. 

if you have not yet visited every corner and crack of this downtown marvel, you can make a game out of exploring the uncharted territory with your loud, respectful buddies. Found on Facebook page

Try something new downtown

The Old Market has roughly 40 businesses and a rotating cast at the seasonal Farmers’ Market. But if you think you’ve seen it all, try something new!

To start, Berry & Rye is the original craft cocktail bar in the area, perfect for exquisite drinkers. Sip on a popular Trinidad Smoke drink and sink into the cozy atmosphere daily.

Upstream is known for all-day eats and pub drinks that pair well with intimate conversation or a game of pool. Visit for happy hour during the weekdays from 3-6 p.m.

Next, Block 16 is a bit flashier than your average sandwich shop, but menu items like the Croque Garcon burger are guaranteed to impress your taste buds.

Lastly, Trini’s is perfect for anyone looking for dank Tex Mex, like the fish tacos and ice-cold margaritas by the pitcher. 

You could even try Scrabble at a Benson bar. Found on Benson Neighborhood Association’s Facebook page.

Switch it up in Benson

A sibling to the Old Market, the Benson Entertainment District offers a variety of live entertainment and frosty cold ones best enjoyed as you are.

First, if it merely means playing a new game at Beercade, like the OG Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or trying a new craft draft beer, switch things up.

Then again, the 1912 Benson is an upscale pub with a seasonal rooftop bar perfect for those late summer evenings.

Of course, The Waiting Room Lounge has been named Readers’ Choice Best of the Big O and draws quite a crowd with concerts year-round.

Finally, be sure to check out some of the smaller functions, no less impressive, at the B Side of Benson Theatre.


Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to thereader.com and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

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