Family fun at Pioneers Park Nature Center


Lincoln is full of fun and festive parks to spend an afternoon, but none are quite as diverse as the Pioneers Park Nature Center. In their own words, Pioneers Park has “668 acres of tallgrass prairie, woodlands, wetlands and a stream.” Protected grasslands, Nebraska native wildlife, and natural beauty expand as far as the eye can see. Consider just a few of the wonderful perks this fascinating park has to offer.

The Nature Center Trails: The Pioneers Park Nature Center has been adding acres upon acres of grassland and trails to its park since 1963. Tour guides are happy to take you through the various trails and point out the wildlife along the way. An adventurous bridge offers a lovely view of the Pioneer’s Park stream, and beyond that there are seemingly endless trails that could easily fill an entire afternoon, either alone or with friends and family. You can also admire the rehabilitated animals, like owls, hawks, and various birds, all safely housed in cages.

Buffalo Wildlife: Who isn’t completely enamored with the gentle beast that is the Nebraska buffalo? Not gentle enough to feed or pet, but you can spend quite a bit of time just enjoying their majestic presence. Elk are housed nearby, and even if you aren’t a self-proclaimed animal lover, it’s hard not to be fascinated with these creatures. If you’d like to get a little more up close and personal, head on over to the water fowl feeding area. Geese are anxious for a good meal provided by you, and if you’re lucky a painted turtle or snapping turtle might enjoy your snack as well.

Pinewood Bowl: Whichever sort of arts you enjoy, the Pinewood Bowl has you covered. Comedians, artists, shows, and musicians frequent this outdoor amphitheater during the summer for a relaxing atmosphere and great entertainment. All you need is a comfy blanket and some great company to enjoy the evening, entertaining, and the beauty of a Nebraska evening.

Play Equipment: Of course, every park needs a slide. Pioneers Park offers a large play area with slides, swings, and various play equipment for all ages. Best of all? You can wrap up the playground fun with a quick hike over to the iconic Native American Statue. It’s a small hill to climb, but totally worth the historical art at the top.

Rental Areas for Parties: Rent a picnic area for your next birthday party or family reunion and enjoy everything Pioneers Park has to offer. Grills, covered picnic tables, and every perk of this 668 park makes for an epic get-together. Just make sure to call ahead for a reservation.

Day Camps: Pioneers Park preschools and day camps are “a place where it’s ok to get a little dirty.” And there’s no harm in a little dirt. Little ones love to be immersed in nature, but with the Pioneers Park children’s program, they’re also immersed in knowledge. Take a look at the different programs offered, and find the right one for your child to follow their passion.


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