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8 Fun Things to Do in Lincoln, Nebraska

When it comes to Lincoln, you’ll find that the smallest places make the biggest impact. Whether you’re a Husker revisiting your glory days or an out-of-towner in search of what the heartland is all about, you’ll find all that and more at Graduate Lincoln. 

Our Heartland retreat is both team central for all Huskers happenings and connected to the heart of the historic Haymarket District, keeping you close to Lincoln’s best attractions both on campus and off. 

Immerse yourself in the Husker state of mind with these eight fun things to do, see, and eat in and around Lincoln.

1

Sheldon Museum of Art

With sculptures outside and countless galleries within, the Sheldon Museum of Art will challenge your view of the world in more ways than one. Sheldon Museum of Art prides itself on giving visitors new ways of looking at things, whether that’s a metallic sculpture of a tree or a particularly poignant painting. 

Since 1888, the Sheldon Museum of Art has served the University of Nebraska and broader Lincoln community by both housing the Sheldon Art Association’s collections as well as welcoming rotating collections from around the world.

Insider Tip

The museum stays open until 7 pm every first Friday of the month.

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2

Hurts Donut Co.

If you’re in search of really, really good donuts, look no further than Hurts Donut Co. They’ve been sweetening mornings in Lincoln for years, along with nearly a dozen other locations across the midwest. Get your donut fix in the morning, afternoons, evenings, and any time in between, as Hurts Donut Co prides themselves on being open 25 hours a day, eight days a week. 

Choose from their selection of over 70 varieties of donuts, each of which they say is a love letter to their customers. Sink your teeth into classics like Bavarian cream or maple bacon, or satisfy your sweet tooth with unique donuts like the E.T. (topped with Reese’s pieces) or the S’mores (with a toasted marshmallow right on top).

Insider Tip

They have new flavors every day – so stop by for breakfast more than once during your stay. 

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3

Boiler Brewing Company

Bold beers are best served in Lincoln’s historic Grand Manse building. At least, if you ask Boiler Brewing Company. This U.S. post office and courthouse turned brewery pours a rotating list of beer, cider, and mead, alongside some of the best bites in downtown Lincoln. 

Taste everything from the Coconut Killa imperial stout to the fruited gose Sedonah’s Sunrise Mimosa to red ales, lagers, IPAs, and even mead. Savor your pint in the tap room or get a crowler to go to enjoy back in your hotel room.

Insider Tip

The first Sunday of every month at 2 PM is the Boiler Brewing Company Brewery and History Tour. Sip on samples while you tour the Grand Manse building, brewery and taproom. 

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4

Tavern on the Square

Tavern on the Square is as cozy as they come, with exposed brick walls and rustic wood ceilings reminiscent of the 1800s. Their old-world spirit is fitting as the tavern is flanked by buildings built over 300 years ago, all of which make up Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket Square. Whether you belly up to the bar or catch some sun in the outdoor courtyard, Tavern on the Square is a place you can stay a while. 

Their daily specials change with the season, but what remains is local craft beer, inventive cocktails, and a neighborhood bar atmosphere you just can’t beat. 

Insider Tip

There are plenty of leagues at The Tavern to sign-up for year round. All leagues are free to enter with regular league season play and a seeded tournament at the end. Gifts and prizes are handed out at the end of tournament time to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. Although, mostly it’s about the bragging rights around here.

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5

The Oven

A family-owned restaurant, The Oven is part of a 27-year-old legacy of Indian food—but not just any Indian food. The Oven serves up Northern Indian cuisine specifically, which is unique for its colorful foods, bright aromas, and unmistakable depth of flavor. The Haymarket location first opened in 1988 and has been a Lincoln dinner staple ever since.

Dig into classic Indian appetizers like samosas or pakoras, but save room for entrees like tandoor chicken, chicken tikka, and more, all with a hearty helping of Indian bread.

Insider Tip

Situated below the Oven Haymarket, The Cellar features a full service bar with premium liquor, a variety of appetizers, and a dining area with a full menu.

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6

Indigo Bridge

Reading lists and staff recommendations can guide your way through Indigo Bridge. Though they do have shelves piled high with books modern and classic, they stay true to their “more than books” slogan by creating a space for Lincoln’s (and the nation’s) underrepresented voices.

Part bookstore, part community space, Indigo Bridge hosts special events like open mics, book readings, and other gatherings that create a safe space for artistry of all kinds.

 

Insider Tip

True to their mantra “more than books”, Indigo Bridge also offers Subscription Boxes. They have curated boxes for any bookworm, and you can also check out their playlist of the month on Spotify.

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7

3 Daughter Boutique

A thoughtful outfit isn’t just about the clothes, but about the person wearing them. This is the belief of 3 Daughter Boutique, created to be a welcoming place where women of all ages can socialize, shop, and get one outfit closer to their best selves. 

Look and feel good in their tanks, camis, tees, jeans, skirts, dresses, and more. 3 Daughter is also home to a unique collection of game day goodies, making it a great place to channel your Huskers spirit.

Insider Tip

Local owner Stephanie Johnson wants to connect mothers and daughters through shopping together at 3 Daughters. As the mother of three daughters, and one of three daughters herself, she wanted to create a space where multiple generations of women could come together.

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8

Sunken Gardens

When you think of Nebraska flora and fauna, you likely think corn fields—hence the Huskers. But what you’re missing is the Sunken Gardens, not only one of the best gardens in Nebraska but also among the most magnificent public gardens in the United States and Canada.

This 85-year-old annual display garden was actually once a neighborhood dump site. In 1930, waste was replaced with garden beds, creating one of Lincoln’s most memorable outdoor attractions. Meander the brick paths that wind through this 1.5 acre park past trees, shrubs, perennials, sculptures, and other garden displays. 

 

Insider Tip

Sunken Gardens is the only Nebraska garden listed in the “300 Best Gardens to Visit in the United States and Canada” by National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens.

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