Things to Do in Grand Island

Surrender to the natural beauty surrounding the small town of Grand Island, Nebraska


In Grand Island, you'll experience wide-open golden prairies covered in wildflowers; meadows dotted with farmland; and banks lined with rolling sandhills and cottonwood trees along the gentle Platte River. For a bit of rip-roaring fun, splash into a water park or chow down on fried food concoctions at the state fair. Experience Grand Island’s more sophisticated side with a visit to the town’s modest but noteworthy museums and theaters. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, you’re sure to find something to keep you coming back!

Cultural Excursions

Explore Nebraska’s early communities, from Native American tribes to pioneers, at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. Displays include household items, tools and furnishings. Visit a re-created 1890s town and a turn-of-the-century village complete with a church and one-room schoolhouse. End your day at the Grand Island Little Theatre, a community theater with roots in the '60s. Each season consists of four to six shows, including Broadway musicals and plays, all performed at the 330-seat Hornady-Marshall Theater.

Centers for Fun and Learning

Make the 20-minute drive from Grand Island to the Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center in Wood River and admire flocks of majestic migratory birds, including whooping and sandhill cranes, and herds of American bison. Navigate 10 miles of trails across grassland prairies, through a butterfly garden and along the banks of Platte River. At the Heartland Events Center, the massive fairgrounds host concerts, stand-up comedy acts, equestrian shows and roller derby. The Nebraska State Fair rolls into town each summer, serving up family fun with carnival rides, midway games and delectable food. See if Lady Luck is on your side at Fonner Park, which features live horseracing February through May.

Sports and Recreation

Try your hand at a variety of activities at Heartland Public Shooting Park, a large complex with an emphasis on shooting sports. Enjoy a day in the great outdoors as you test your aim on skeet and clay fields, shoot an arrow on the archery range or cast a line in the park's catch and release lake. At Island Oasis Water Park, open from late May through mid-August, cool off with more than 6 acres of wet and wild fun. Soak up the sun as you float down the 750-foot lazy river; race your friends and family down six-story, high-speed slides and hop aboard the perfect wave in the 350,000-gallon wave pool. Wacky slides and fountains await little ones in the zero-depth kiddie pool.

Grand Island Grub

Get ready to load up on meaty goodness, from barbecued ribs to porterhouse steaks, at Texas T-Bone Steakhouse. Before your meal arrives, snack on peanuts from a pail and toss them on the floor in this casual restaurant. The hipster-friendly Chocolate Bar is a coffeehouse, café, bar and bakery all rolled into one. Treat yourself to delectable chocolate treats, such as brownies, cakes and truffles at this laid-back eatery that hosts special events, including live music and dance lessons.

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