Kearney Things to Do

  • This 2014 booth featured artwork focused on Maine!
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Best Rated Things to Do in Kearney

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    The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument

    by Rich62 Updated Jul 13, 2012

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    IT EXTENDS COMPLETELY OVER INTERSTATE 80
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    Kearney happens to be located on the main highway of American History. Going through or right by Kearney are: The great Transcontinental Railroad, the Pony Express, the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the first Transcontinental Highway in America.

    These are all commemorated in one of the most unusual museums in the world. It is actually located in the air space above Interstate 80, two miles east of the Kearney exit! (but note: you must take the Kearney exit to get to it, at least until a new interstate exit is completed, perhaps in 2013.)
    This museum is a very modern, interactive museum of the westward movement in America. At the end of your visit, you can look out at the cars zooming underneath you on the interstate and even see what their speed is on radar guns. Figure about an hour or an hour and a half to make this visit. It is not a tourist trap; I think anyone who would enjoy learning about the westward movement would enjoy the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. whew! It probably also has the longest name of any museum in the country!

    3 photos attached.

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    Museum of Nebraska Art

    by Basaic Written Sep 13, 2013

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    Museum of Nebraska Art
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    If you are a big fan of art stop at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney. It offers 11 galleries with a nice collection of art by Nebraska artists, and about Nebraska, from the earliest times to hot artists of today. The collection shows the history of the state and its people and is well presented. The museum is housed in a very interesting neo-classical designed building completed in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hours are 11 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday. It is closed on Mondays and all major holidays. Admission is free; but they appreciate donations.

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    Kearney and Buffalo County

    by Basaic Updated Oct 12, 2013

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    Buffalo County Courthouse
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    Kearney is a small city of almost 32,000 (up 16% since 2000) located just off Interstate 80, along US Highway 30, in Central Nebraska. Kearney was named for nearby Fort Kearny which was named after Colonel Stephen Kearny. The origin of the extra "e" in the town's name seems open for debate. One story says it was an error by the post office. Kearney is the county seat of Buffalo County. Buffalo County was established in 1855 and was named for the plentiful buffalo in the area (then not now). Actress Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy) and radio personality Charlie Tuna are from the area (as is distinguished VTer Rich62). The Kearney National Guard Armory (photo 2) is located just across from the courthouse and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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    History and "The Bricks"

    by Basaic Written Oct 12, 2013

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    The Bricks
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    Kearney has an extensive historic district with quite a few buildings of historical and/or architectural interest. Many of these are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I really liked the area called "The Bricks" where they have retained the brick streets. The Bricks is also home to some trendy botiques and restaurants/bars along with a few entertainment venues. A neat place to hang out when in Kearney.

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    Fort Kearney Museum

    by Basaic Written Oct 12, 2013

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    Fort Kearney Museum

    This museum boasts a wide variety of historical artifacts from around the world and the only glass bottom noat rides in the midwest. Having grown up in Florida I have taken lots of those. The museums sounded interesting and I stopped here but it was closed even though it was during the advertised hours. Not sure if it was bad luck or ????. Hours are advertised as 10:30 AM to 5 PM Thursday through Saturday and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sunday; Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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    Firefighters Museum

    by Basaic Written Oct 12, 2013

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    Firefighters Museum

    The Nebraska Firefighters Museum in Kearney houses an impressive collection of firetrucks and other firefighting memorabilia to delight and educate people of all ages. See the old trucks, learn about how the Maltese Cross and the Dalmation became symbols of firefighting and more. This is also the home of the Nebraska Firefighters Hall of Fame; and take a solemn moment to contemplate the memorial to those firefighters who died in the performance of their duties. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM daily (although the day I visited they opened 20 minutes late). Admission is $6 for adults.

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    SEE THE FLOATING SCULPTURE

    by Rich62 Written Jun 20, 2005

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    IT FLOATS!  IT MOVES!

    This sculpture not only floats, but it is a kinetic sculpture, which means it also moves! The Nebraska wind causes several of the stainless steel panels to move, all while the entire sculpture is floating. This is just one sculpture in Nebraska's "400 Mile Sculpture Garden". The state has commissioned sculptures to be located in many of Nebraska's Interstate 80 Rest Stops.

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    Great Platte River Road Archway Monument

    by KiKitC Written Oct 10, 2005

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    Sorry, no time to stop for a better picture
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    The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument is an interactive expierience paying tribute to the pioneers headed west. We didn't get to stop, but it would make a great stop from the long highway trip.

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    VISIT MONA

    by Rich62 Updated May 7, 2007

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    "MONA" IS THE MUSEUM OF NEBRASKA ART, the designated museum for the primary collection of art by Nebraska artists or art concerning Nebraska subjects.

    FOR EXAMPLE, during Kearneys "Cruise Night" festival of classic cars, MONA had a special exhibit of antique pedal cars. There was also a display of fiber art, and of course many paintings and sculptures.

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    GET A FREE COOKBOOK!

    by Rich62 Updated Apr 12, 2007

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    COOKBOOK CAPITAL OF THE U.S.
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    Visit Morris Press, which is a major publisher of cookbooks all over the United States. If you visit you can pick out one free cookbook and can purchase others from nearly every state in the union.

    CLICK THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE THE SIGN AND TO SEE ANOTHER PICTURE.

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    HE'S GOING HOW FAST?????

    by Rich62 Updated May 4, 2005

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    THE MODERN OREGON TRAIL?
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    At the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, Nebraska, you can man a radar gun and check speeds as traffic whizzes underneath you on Interstate 80. Your trip through time in this amazing museum-in-the-air takes you from the speed of wagons pulled by oxen to the interstate traffic of today.

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    Free Sunday Evening "Concerts in the Park"

    by llprice Updated Jun 6, 2005

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    Wild Clover Band

    Free concerts will be held on most Sunday evenings at the historical "Art Deco" Sonotorium in Harmon Park during the summer. Sponsored by the Kearney Area Arts Council, the music starts at about 7 p.m. The programs include a bit of country, pop, blues, to light jazz. The atmosphere is picnic informal, with background noise that includes a mix of local traffic, adult chatter, and children playing.

    On Fridays June 10, July 15, and Aug. 12, 2005, additional free concerts will be held at the new Yanney Heritage Park (only a few blocks from most of Kearney's motels and connected by a hike-bike trail.)

    Bring your own lawn chair or pull up a park bench.

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    Great Platte River Road Museum

    by Toughluck Written Aug 12, 2007

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    What a place. The setting is the most unusual for the middle of the U.S. See my travelogue that includes pictures of the museum. It was a 1-1/2 hour stop that was well worth the time.

    Platte River Road travelogue
    Oregon Trail travelogue

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    REINACTMENTS

    by Rich62 Updated Feb 26, 2007

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    A SKILLED REINACTOR TAKES YOU BACK IN TIME
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    The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument features skilled reinactors who help make your journey down the Oregon Trail more interesting. Each reinactor assumes the role of an actual person, based on extensive research.

    Cost: adults $10, ages 13-18 $6, ages 6-12 $3, older than 62 $8.50, 5 and younger free.

    Hours: May 27 - Sept. 4: 9 to 6. otherwise 9 to 4. open daily.

    5 photos attached.

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    Visit the Peterson Senior Activity Center

    by Rich62 Written Jan 27, 2010
    MAIN ENTRANCE
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    Got a little grey in your hair, like me? Visit the sparkling new (in 2010) Senior Center in south Kearney. You can have lunch there for a $3.50 donation ($5 if under 60 years of age), use exercise equipment, play pool or shuffleboard, maybe a game of cards, and so on.

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