Pioneer Village is the perfect place to pull of the interstate and enjoy some time outside of the car. Just 12 miles south of the interstate, you’ll find a huge collection (over 50,000 items) of priceless midwestern history. Whether you’re driving through Nebraska or call the state home, The Harold Warp Pioneer Village is a fun, family friendly museum that everyone can enjoy. With 28 buildings, 17 flying machines, 100 tractors, over 350 cars and much, much more, anyone can find an area of interest worth checking out there! The Americana museum will not disappoint!
The colossal collection of history, Pioneer Village, is located in the small town of Minden. The history the town of Minden holds is astounding and worth every ounce of time a stop takes! While in Minden, you must also check out the Minden Opera House. This beautiful old building is located in the downtown area and has been there since 1891. The Opera House offers theater productions, art showings, and public events. Check their schedule here to see if there is show when you are visiting at: https://www.mindenoperahouse.com.
If you are heading west after your fun filled time in Minden, another must stop spot is Ft. Kearney State Historical Park and Recreational Area. This fun, summer spot is just 15 minutes from Minden and is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. There are playgrounds, ponds, and camping. The best thing about Ft. Kearney, however, is the gorgeous walking trail that goes through the park and over three bridges that cross the Platte River. It’s a beautiful walk anytime of the day, but at sunset it boasts the great Nebraskan sunsets in a whole new way.
Outdoors not your thing? A different, fun stop heading west would be the Big Apple Fun Center in Kearney. It’s located just one interstate exit west of Minden. The Big Apple is a one stop shop for fun for all ages. They offer bowling, mini golf, laser tag, a giant ball filled playground, and go-carts! With all of these attractions indoors, the fun is available year round. They also offer a menu of kid friendly foods like chicken strips and fries.
If your trip has you heading east after your stop at Pioneer Village, then you must stop at the Rowe Sanctuary (https://rowe.audubon.org). Rowe is another beautiful place to be outdoors. Their mission is to conserve the Platte River and the birds that live there. Here, you can take walks in the wilderness of Nebraska and see the different types of wildlife that live in this area. There are many beautiful views, animals, and plants that you can see here.
Another fun, family friendly stop heading east would be Island Oasis in Grand Island. This is a water park located less than an hour away from Pioneer Village! Island Oasis has a lazy river, a wave pool and two large waterslides. They also have a climbing jungle gym within the shallow end of the pool, an area for small kids to swim and run around, and two more smaller water slides suitable for any age. Island Oasis is a great place to cool down in the summer heat and an amazing stop off of the interstate after a fun visit to Pioneer Village.
Pioneer Village is a definite must stop spot off I-80. Stop there to learn about the history of America and show your kids the very items you or your parents may have used as a child their age! Pioneer Village has such a fun surrounding area and you shouldn’t miss out on what Middle America has to offer on a drive down I-80.