Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday: Weekend Warrior Daycations: Eugene T Mahoney State Park

As a reminder, I intend for this series of posts to give suggestions of good day trips you can make in and around Omaha with your family. Hopefully it will give some good ideas of things to do close to home for local readers (and for those of you visiting Omaha, it might give you some ideas of what to do while you are here). So far I have talked about The Henry Doorly Zoo here and Adventureland in Iowa here. Today I want to talk about Eugene T Mahoney State Park.

Mahoney's is a GREAT place for a day trip or a weekend getaway! There is SO much to do! There is an aquatic center with pools, lazy river, water slides, and a really fun kids area. There is (and I am quoting their website here) "miniature golf, a driving range, tennis and basketball courts, softball fields, horseback trail rides, crafts, fishing, picnicking, hiking, 70-foot observation tower, nature conservatory, the Denman and Mary Mallory Kountze Theater, hiking and biking trail and beautiful waterway".

You can camp in cabins or tents and there is even a lodge you could stay in! We have as yet not stayed overnight there because we live so close that we just go home to sleep, but a lot of friends go out there for the weekend.

I think I have probably made the point that there is a lot to do there! Our family loves to go spend the day at the Aquatic Center, and it is one of our favorite Daycations to do near Omaha. You do have to pay admission to the aquatic center separately from your admission to the overall park. In fact almost everything has a fee for it, but if you carefully plan what you want to do, it can actually be a fun and fairly inexpensive getaway.

Admission to the park is $4-5 unless you have a State Parks pass. I HIGHLY recommend buying the parks pass as it is only $20 for the year and it grants you admission to all state parks for a year. It you plan to go to any Nebraska State parks 4+ times, you should buy this pass. We buy it each year.

Before you get to the park, look through the activities and choose which ones you want to pay to do. You can read about the available attractions here.

As I said we like to go to the aquatic center, then we sometimes go and play at the playground (which is free). Cost for the aquatic center, is Adults $7 and Children (12 & under) $6. Children two years of age and younger may use the swimming pools at state parks for free. You CAN buy a season pass for a Family of 2-5 people for $270 (we can use this one as our 6th family member falls in the 2 and under free area). We never go enough to make the season pass worth it, but if you go often, the pass is worth while!

I love that if you want to stay overnight at Mahoney's, you can choose what accommodations you want and reserve your spot online! It is really convenient. You can check out all their accommodation options and see how to reserve online here. I know that certain weekends (like Memorial/opening of the season/4th of July) go quickly, so you might need to reserve early for these dates!

What activities have you done and loved at Mahoney? Does your family have a favorite activity there? Please share your Mahoney's experiences with us!!