Things to do in Grand Island Nebraska

Before I lived in Grand Island Nebraska, I thought cows and corn were the only residents of this flat and farmland state. Now that I have lived in Nebraska and I have driven across every road in the state, I know it is a hidden gem that everyone should come visit. In Grand Island Nebraska you will experience kind people with a small town feel. You may be wondering, what are some things to do in Grand Island Nebraska?

I moved to Grand Island because we had to work, not because I wanted to live in the middle of nowhere nebraska. When I first arrived I was frustrated by the lack of options for activities I could take my family to. It took several months before I became a member of the hidden activities of Grand Island Nebraska club. However, I do not think it should be so difficult for people to find things to do so I am writing this post to share what I learned during my time living in Grand Island Nebraska.

Are you looking for a fun and exciting destination for your next vacation? Look no further than Grand Island, Nebraska! This charming city in the heart of the state offers plenty of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Here are just a few of the things you can do during your stay in Grand Island:

History of Grand Island

Grand Island, Nebraska, was originally home to several Native American tribes, including the Pawnee, Otoe, and Sioux. The area was later explored by French fur traders in the early 18th century.

In the mid-19th century, settlers began to arrive in the area, and Grand Island was established pioneer life as a town in 1857. The town grew rapidly, thanks in part to its location on the Platte River and the Union Pacific Railroad’s decision to build a railroad line through the town in 1866.

Grand Island became an important railroad center, with multiple rail lines converging in the town. This led to the development of industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and meatpacking.

pioneer life During World War II, Grand Island was home to an army airfield, which trained thousands of pilots for the war effort. After the war, the airfield was converted into the Central Nebraska Regional Airport.

Today, Grand Island is the fourth-largest city in Nebraska, with a population of over 50,000. The city is known for its diverse economy, including manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare. It is also home to several attractions and events, including the Nebraska State Fair and the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer.

Most Popular Grand Island Activities

1. The Stuhr Museum

The Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, Nebraska, is a unique museum that offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of Nebraska’s early prairie pioneer life. One of the Stuhr museum’s main attractions is the Stuntzner-Gerber Barn, which has been converted into a Stuntzner-Gerber Barn Museum of Early Trades and Industries.

The Stuhr Museum Prairie Pioneer exhibt features exhibits on a variety of trades and industries that were common during the pioneer era, including blacksmithing, weaving, woodworking, and more. At the Stuhr Museum prayer pioneer experiences show and do not just tell they story of grand island. Visitors can see demonstrations of these trades in action and learn about the tools and techniques that were used.

In addition to the trades and industries exhibits, the Stuhr Museum also features a variety of historic buildings that have been relocated to the site. These buildings include a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, and several homes and farm buildings. They tell the local history of grand island and prairie pioneers. 

One of the most unique features of the Stuhr Museum is the living history prairie pioneer demonstrations that take place throughout the year. These prairie pioneer demonstrations at the Stuhr Museumfeature costumed interpreters who reenact daily life in the pioneer era, including cooking, farming, and other activities. Visitors can interact with the interpreters and learn about the challenges and triumphs of life on the Nebraska prairie.

Overall, the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer offers a fascinating and immersive experience for visitors who want to learn about Nebraska’s rich history and culture. Whether you’re interested in trades and industries or just want to experience life in a different time, the Stuhr Museum is definitely worth a visit.

2. Island Oasis Water Park

The Island Oasis Water Park is a popular destination located in Grand Island, Nebraska. It is a family-friendly water park that offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages.

The water parks main features several water slides, including a 35-foot tall slide that drops riders into a pool below. There is also a wave pool that simulates ocean waves, a lazy river where visitors can float on inner tubes, and a kiddie pool with smaller water slides and interactive features.

In addition to the water attractions, the Island Oasis Water Parks facilities also include several amenities for visitors to enjoy. There are picnic areas and shaded pavilions where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal or snack, as well as locker rooms and showers for changing and storing belongings.

The park also hosts special events and activities throughout the season, including movie nights, live music, and pool parties. There is even an adult-only night where visitors 21 and over can enjoy the park without any children present.

Overall, the Island Oasis Water Park is a fun and exciting destination for families, groups, and individuals who are looking for a way to beat the summer heat and have a great time in Grand Island, Nebraska.

3. Attend the Nebraska State Fair

The Nebraska State Fair is an annual event held in Grand Island, Nebraska that celebrates the state’s agriculture, industry, and culture. The fair takes place over ten days each August and features a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

The Nebraska State Fair began in 1868 and has been held in various locations throughout the state over the years. Today, it is held at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Grand Island, which includes over 160 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibit space.

At the fair, visitors can enjoy live music and entertainment, carnival rides and games, agricultural and livestock exhibits, food and drink vendors, and much more. There are also a variety of competitions and contests, including baking contests, talent shows, and livestock shows.

One of the highlights of the Nebraska State Fair is the Grandstand Concert Series, which features nationally known musical acts performing on the fairgrounds. Past performers have included artists such as Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and Reba McEntire.

The fair is also known for its unique food offerings, which include traditional fair favorites like corn dogs and funnel cakes, as well as more unusual options like deep-fried Oreos and alligator on a stick.

Overall, the Nebraska State Fair is a beloved tradition in the state and a great way to celebrate all that makes Nebraska special. Whether you’re interested in agriculture, entertainment, or just having a good time with family and friends, the fair has something for everyone.

Hidden Gems in Grand Island

4. GI Escape

GI Escape is the first and only escape room in Grand Island. GI Escape is an escape room attraction located in Grand Island, Nebraska. It offers a fun and challenging activity for individuals, families, and groups to solve puzzles and escape a themed room within a set time limit.

At GI Escape, visitors can choose from several different escape rooms, each with its own unique theme and storyline. For example, one room may be set in a haunted mansion while another may be set in a bank vault. The rooms are designed to be immersive, with realistic props and clues that help players solve the puzzles and escape the room.

Escape rooms are popular because they offer a fun way to exercise problem-solving skills and teamwork, as players work together to solve the puzzles and unlock the clues. It is a great activity for groups of friends, families, or coworkers, as it promotes communication and collaboration.

GI Escape also offers corporate team-building events and private parties, making it a versatile attraction for various occasions. The staff at GI Escape provides an introduction to the escape room and its rules before the start of the game, ensuring that everyone is clear on the objective and the rules of the game.

Overall, GI Escape is a fun and challenging attraction in Grand Island, Nebraska, offering visitors a unique way to spend time with friends and family. Whether you’re a seasoned escape room enthusiast or a first-timer, GI Escape is a great way to put your problem-solving skills to the test.

5. Axe Holes – Axe Throwing

Grand Island is cool enough to join the Axe Throwing trend. Axe Holes is a fun activity for date night or hanging with friends. Axe Holes is an axe-throwing attraction located in Grand Island, Nebraska. It offers a unique and exciting activity for individuals, groups, and parties to try their hand at throwing axes at targets.

At Axe Holes, visitors can book a reservation for a private lane and receive instructions on how to throw an axe safely and effectively. The staff at Axe Holes provides guidance and tips to help visitors improve their technique and hit the targets.

Axe throwing is a growing trend in recreational activities, offering a fun and thrilling way to relieve stress and try something new. It’s also a great activity for groups, providing a fun and competitive environment to challenge friends and family.

In addition to the axe-throwing lanes, Axe Holes also offers a lounge area with seating and a bar where visitors can relax and socialize. The bar serves beer, wine, and soft drinks, as well as snacks and other refreshments.

Axe Holes is a great option for private parties and events, offering a unique and memorable experience for birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate events, and more. The staff at Axe Holes provides everything needed for a fun and safe experience, including safety equipment, axes, and instruction.

Overall, Axe Holes is a fun and exciting attraction in Grand Island, Nebraska, offering visitors a chance to try something new and challenge themselves in a unique and thrilling way.

6. Spring City Trampoline Park

This Trampoline Park is an indoor trampoline park located in Grand Island, Nebraska. It offers a fun and active attraction for individuals, families, and groups to enjoy jumping, bouncing, and flipping on trampolines in a safe and controlled environment.

At Spring City Trampoline Park, visitors can enjoy a range of activities, including free jump, dodgeball, basketball, foam pits, and a ninja course. The park has multiple trampoline areas with different features, providing a variety of options for visitors to explore.

Trampoline parks have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a fun and active way to exercise, socialize, and have fun with friends and family. Spring City Trampoline Park is a great option for people of all ages and skill levels, with different areas designed for different levels of ability and experience.

In addition to the trampoline areas, Spring City Trampoline Park also offers party rooms for private events, making it a great option for birthday parties, corporate events, and other special occasions. The park provides everything needed for a fun and safe experience, including safety equipment and instruction.

Overall, Spring City Trampoline Park is a fun and exciting attraction in Grand Island, Nebraska, offering visitors a chance to bounce, flip, and jump in a safe and controlled environment. Whether you’re looking for a fun way to exercise or a unique activity for a party or event, Spring City Trampoline Park is a great option.

7. Bargain Barn

Imagine paying major discounted prices for items you would buy at target. You can do that at Bargain Barn. This company somehow gets the unsold items from Target and other stores, and they sell the items at a fraction of the cost. It is fun to walk around because you never know what deals you will find. They even do a system like goodwill where on certain days certain items will be as cheap as $1!

Bargain Barn is a discount store located in Grand Island, Nebraska. It offers a variety of products at affordable prices, including clothing, home decor, electronics, and more.

At Bargain Barn, visitors can browse through the store’s selection of discounted items, which can include overstocked items, closeouts, and other special deals. The store offers a range of products, including clothing for men, women, and children, as well as shoes, accessories, toys, and home decor.

Bargain Barn is a popular destination for shoppers looking for deals and discounts on a variety of items. The store’s inventory changes regularly, so visitors can always find something new and interesting to explore.

In addition to the retail store, Bargain Barn also offers online shopping, making it convenient for visitors to browse and purchase items from the comfort of their own home.

Overall, Bargain Barn is a great option for shoppers looking for affordable products and deals in Grand Island, Nebraska. Whether you’re looking for clothing, home decor, electronics, or other items, Bargain Barn offers a diverse selection at discounted prices.

8. Community Field House

The Field House is a massive building for indoor sports. Here you will find basketball courts, soccer courts, and even an indoor playground.

The Community Field House is a multi-sport indoor facility located in Grand Island, Nebraska. It offers a range of athletic and recreational opportunities for individuals and groups, including sports leagues, training sessions, and open gym times.

The Community Field House features an indoor turf field, basketball and volleyball courts, batting cages, and other amenities. It provides a climate-controlled environment, making it a great option for sports and activities year-round.

The facility is used for a variety of sports and activities, including soccer, football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, and more. It also offers fitness classes, training sessions, and camps for athletes of all ages and skill levels.

The Community Field House is a popular destination for individuals and groups looking for a fun and active way to exercise and stay fit. It’s also a great option for sports teams and leagues looking for a reliable and convenient location to practice and play.

In addition to sports and recreational activities, the Community Field House also hosts events, such as craft fairs, trade shows, and other community events. The facility can be rented for private events and parties as well.

Overall, the Community Field House is a versatile and useful facility in Grand Island, Nebraska, offering a range of athletic and recreational opportunities for individuals and groups. Whether you’re looking to stay active, train for a sport, or host an event, the Community Field House is a great option.

9. The Grand Theater

Movie theaters have evolved over the years. Most people do not even go to the movie theaters anymore now that they cam skip the movie theaters for streaming services. Experience modern movies inside this historic movie theater. The Grand Theater is a historic movie theater located in downtown Grand Island, Nebraska. Originally opened in 1920, the theater has been a beloved fixture of the local community for over 100 years.

The Grand Theater features a single screen and seats over 400 people. This is a fun experience as compared to modern day movie theaters. The theater has been updated over the years to include modern amenities such as digital projection and sound, but still retains its classic charm and ambiance.

In addition to showing popular new releases found in new movie theaters, The Grand Theater also hosts special events and screenings throughout the year. This includes classic films, holiday movies, and special showings of cult classics and fan favorites.

The Grand Theater is more than just a place to catch a movie – it’s an important part of the local community and a symbol of the city’s history and culture. The theater has undergone several renovations over the years to maintain its historic character while also modernizing the facilities to ensure the best possible movie-going experience for patrons.

Overall, The Grand Theater is a must-visit destination for movie lovers and anyone looking to experience a piece of Grand Island’s history and culture. Whether you’re in the mood for the latest blockbuster or a classic film, The Grand Theater offers a unique and memorable movie-going experience. Maybe you will switch the Grand Theater out to replace your current movie theaters because the old school feel just makes the movie better!

10. Raising Nebraska

Explore Nebraska at Raising Nebraska. Raising Nebraska is an interactive agriculture exhibit located at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Grand Island, Nebraska. The family fun exhibit is designed to educate visitors about the state’s agriculture industry and promote understanding and appreciation for the role of agriculture in our lives.

The family fun exhibit covers a wide range of topics related to agriculture, including plant and animal sciences, food production and processing, and environmental sustainability. It features interactive displays and displays that allow visitors to learn about the different aspects of agriculture in a fun and engaging way.

Some of the highlights of Raising Nebraska include an interactive exhibits of virtual reality experience that lets visitors explore a modern farm, a greenhouse featuring hydroponic and aquaponic growing systems, and a farm-to-table exhibit that showcases the journey of food from farm to plate.

Raising Nebraska also hosts educational programs and events throughout the year, including workshops, classes, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

Overall, Raising Nebraska is a unique and informative exhibit that offers visitors a chance to learn about the important role of agriculture in our lives. Whether you’re a student, educator, or just curious about the industry, Raising Nebraska is a must-visit destination in Grand Island, Nebraska.

11. The Happy Brush

Have a Coffee and paint at Happy Brush. The Happy Brush is a family-owned and operated paint your own pottery studio located in Grand Island, Nebraska. The studio offers a fun and creative experience for people of all ages and skill levels.

At The Happy Brush, customers can choose from a wide variety of pottery pieces to paint, including mugs, plates, figurines, and more. The studio provides all the supplies needed, including brushes, paints, and glazes.

The process is simple: customers choose their pottery piece, select their colors, and then paint their design. Once finished, the piece is glazed and fired in a kiln, creating a permanent and durable finish.

The Happy Brush is a great destination for family outings, birthday parties, and other special occasions. The studio also offers private events and parties for groups, as well as classes and workshops for those interested in learning new techniques and skills.

Overall, The Happy Brush is a fun and unique activity in Grand Island, Nebraska that offers a creative outlet for people of all ages. Whether you’re looking to create a special gift or just want to try something new, The Happy Brush is a great place to let your artistic side shine.

12. Grand Island Little Theater

Get ready for some live theater with Grand Island Little Theater. The Grand Island Little Theatre (GILT) is a community theater group located in Grand Island, Nebraska. The group has been active since 1965 and is dedicated to bringing quality theatrical productions to the local community.

GILT produces a variety of shows throughout the year, ranging from classic plays to contemporary musicals and everything in between. The group includes actors, directors, technicians, and other theater enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

In addition to producing shows, GILT also offers educational opportunities for people interested in theater. This includes workshops, classes, and other events designed to help participants learn about various aspects of theater production, from acting and directing to set design and stage management.

GILT performs in the historic Grand Theatre, which has been a fixture of downtown Grand Island for over a century. The theater provides an intimate and welcoming setting for audiences to enjoy the shows produced by GILT.

Overall, the Grand Island Little Theatre is a vital part of the local community, providing entertainment, education, and creative opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you’re a seasoned theater-goer or new to the world of theater, GILT is a must-see destination in Grand Island, Nebraska.

13. The Scarecrow Patch (Only In Fall)

This is a magical place for a date night or a fun time with the family. The scarecrow patch and pumpkin patch have everything you need for a perfect activity during the fall in Grand Island. The Scarecrow Patch is a seasonal attraction located in Libory, Nebraska, which is about a 30-minute drive from Grand Island. It is a family-owned and operated pumpkin patch and corn maze that offers a fun and festive experience for visitors of all ages.

During the fall season, The Scarecrow Patch offers a variety of activities, including picking pumpkins, navigating a corn maze, taking a hayride, and enjoying other farm-themed activities. There is also a petting zoo with farm animals that visitors can interact with.

The highlight of the attraction is the corn maze, which is designed with a new theme every year. The maze can be challenging and is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit.

In addition to the seasonal activities, The Scarecrow Patch also offers educational tours for school groups and other organizations. These tours provide an opportunity to learn about agriculture and farm life in a fun and interactive way.

Overall, The Scarecrow Patch is a great destination for families and anyone looking for a fun and festive fall activity in the Libory area.

14. Stolley Park

Explore Stolley Park for a romantic stroll or a family outing. Stolley Park is a popular park located in Grand Island, Nebraska. The parks and recreations department in Grand Island Nebraska covers over 100 acres and offers a wide variety of recreational activities for visitors of all ages.

Some of the features of Stolley Park include:

  • Playgrounds: There are multiple playgrounds throughout the park that offer a range of activities and equipment for children.
  • Disc Golf: The park features a challenging 18-hole disc golf course that is popular with local enthusiasts.
  • Tennis and Basketball Courts: There are multiple tennis and basketball courts throughout the park that are free to use.
  • Walking Trails: Stolley Park has several walking trails that wind through the park’s natural areas and around the lake.
  • Picnic Areas: There are many picnic areas throughout the park, including covered shelters that can be reserved for larger groups.
  • Train: During the spring, summer, and fall a wonderful group runs a miniature train that families can ride and enjoy. During Halloween season they put on a spectacular halloween event that is family friendly.

Stolley Park is also home to several annual events, including the Independence Day Celebration and the Christmas Fantasy Light Show. These events draw large crowds and are a highlight of the year for many Grand Island residents.

Overall, Stolley Park is a great destination for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors and engage in recreational activities in Grand Island, Nebraska. Whether you’re looking to play sports, take a walk, or simply relax with a picnic, Stolley Park has something for everyone.


Whether you’re traveling solo or with your family, Grand Island offers plenty of things to see and do. From museums and outdoor activities to amusement parks and cultural events, there’s something for everyone in this charming Nebraska city. So start planning your trip today and get ready to experience all that Grand Island has to offer!

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