Ticket prices in Omaha are pretty reasonable when you compare to attractions at similar cities. We’re lucky. But night out still can get expensive, right? Prices keep increasing, and so it’s pretty understandable that people want to know about all the possible Omaha discounts out there. So, if you’re looking for the best way to save money around Omaha, I’ve gathered up all my tips right here for you!
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Where to find the best deals on Omaha discounts
There are some long-time discount sites that still occasionally offer discounts to shows and admission tickets to Omaha attractions. The two major ones to check: Groupon and LivingSocial.Don’t throw out coupon value pack mailers in your mailbox without checking them first. I’ve seen discounts advertised in mailers like ValPak for productions by American Midwest Ballet as well as several locally-owned restaurants.
Also, as a general rule, check your local public library before you go to any museum or attraction. You may be able to check out an Omaha Public Library Partnership Pass that will get your family free admission for the day! Plan ahead, though, since these are popular. The Council Bluffs Public Library offers a similar pass program, but for even more places like Scatter Joy Acres and el Museo Latino.
And don’t forget that many restaurants and bars have Happy Hours with hard-to-beat discounts on food and drinks. I’ve collected a list of more than 100 Omaha restaurants with Happy Hour specials!
Venues and arts organization discounts
- El Museo Latino: If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for family day admission to the museum.
- Fontenelle Forest: If you’re an Omaha resident, you can check out a family pass from the Omaha Public Library and it’s good for a single visit.If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for admission to the forest.
- Lauritzen Gardens: If you’re an Omaha resident, you can check out a family pass from the Omaha Public Library and it’s good for a single visit.If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for family day admission to the gardens.
- Ticket Omaha (Official ticket seller for O-Pa, Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha and Omaha Community Playhouse): Any time of year, you can save a few bucks on each ticket simply by buying them at the Ticket Omaha box office, located inside the Holland Performing Arts Center. Another thing to remember is the Black Friday sale each year, which always has phenomenal discounts of up to 40% off to various shows by all four organizations.
- O-Pa specific savings: Another easy “trick,” create your own season package and tickets may be discounted (you’ll need to pick at least three shows for it to be a package).
Be sure you are subscribed to O-Pa’s emails because that’s where you’ll find out about discounts like Student Rush tickets (when students with an ID can receive a huge discount on a show’s ticket) and lottery tickets for some touring Broadway shows (I saw “Hamilton” and “Six” for $30 per ticket).
- Omaha Children’s Museum: If you’re an Omaha resident, you can check out a family pass from the Omaha Public Library and it’s good for a single visit. If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for family day admission to the museum.
If you are a family on WIC or SNAP, you may qualify for a Welcome Fund Family Membership. These super discounted Family Memberships are $5. Alternatively, admission is always $5 the last hour of the day.
If you’re visiting from out of town, check if you have a membership to an ASTC member museum or science center AND your home museum is more than 90 miles away. If so, you can get free reciprocal admission for up to four people!
- Scatter Joy Acres: If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for admission to the farm.
- The Durham Museum: If you’re an Omaha resident, you can check out a family pass from the Omaha Public Library and it’s good for a single visit. If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for admission to the museum.
Take advantage of other attractions in Omaha with special offers
Beyond the excellent museums and cultural attractions around the Omaha metro, there are even more entertainment venues and parks to enjoy. And if you’re looking to save some money, there are deals out there for coupons or discount admission:
- Aksarben Cinema and ACX Cinema 12 in Elkhorn: Tickets to all movies are $5 on Tuesdays. *Know that there is a fee for purchasing tickets online (so, like, $5.35).
- AMC Theatre Westroads: Tickets to all movies are $5 on Tuesdays. The theater chain also has $5 Fan Favorites.
- Amazing Pizza Machine: Members of the Amazing VIP Club, which is free to join, can save $2-$4 off everyday admission tickets for the various play + buffet packs when purchasing them online. You can also save a couple of dollars off add-ons (again, when purchased online and as a member).
- Heartland B Cycle: If you’re an Omaha resident, you can check out a family pass from the Omaha Public Library and it’s good for unlimited bike trips in 24 hours.If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for free one-hour bike rentals.
- Marcus Theaters at Village Pointe, Twin Creek, and Majestic: The cinema chain offers several types of deals. A popular series for families is the Kids Dream Winter Film Series, during which the selected show is $3 per person (visit the website to learn about downloading a FREE voucher for this series). On Tuesdays, the chain celebrates Value Tuesdays with discounts on tickets, food and drinks. On Fridays, Young At Heart deal is for anyone age 60 and over can see any film before 5:30 p.m. for $6.
- Motto McLean Ice Arena: The City of Omaha manages Motto McLean and offers public ice skating year round. Check Groupon before you go, as I often see discounted tickets for that ice rink.
- Nebraska State Parks: There are a few state parks near Omaha – Mahoney State Park, Platte River State Park, Louisville SRA and Two Rivers SRA – that require a vehicle entry permit most days. Enjoy free entry into those parks (and all others in the Nebraska State Park system) on the Saturday before Memorial Day, when things open up for Free Fishing and Park Entry Day.
- Pottawattamie Parks (Iowa): If you’re a Council Bluffs resident, you can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for day vehicle pass to Pottawattamie County Conservation parks, including Arrowhead Park, Botna Bend Park, Hitchcock Nature Center, Narrows River Park, and Old Town Park.
- Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard: Tickets will be less expensive if you visit in late August or September versus the busiest month, October. You can also save $2-$5 per ticket by purchasing tickets online.
What are the best ways to save money on a visit to the zoo?
The No. 1 question I see in Facebook groups is about finding cheap tickets to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. The world-renowned zoo is not a cheap place to visit (though in my opinion it is worth the admission price). In the summer, admission for anyone age 12 and older is $29.95. So yeah, I can see why people look for discounts for a family visit.
There’s no secret coupon out there to save on a zoo visit any time of year, unfortunately. Here are a few not-so-secret ways to save:
- Purchase your tickets online to save $2 off each ticket, any time of year.
- Plan a two-day visit (consecutive days) during the summer and your second tickets will cost between $10-$15 less. This is only valid May 31 – September 5.
- Visit in the off-season to save $10-$11 off each ticket. While the adult admission ticket is $29.95 in the summer, from Dec. 1 through Feb. 29 it is $18.95.
- Omaha area residents with a library card can reserve a family day pass to the zoo through their public library branch. These are limited in availability in each branch and typically run out before the end of the promotion.
- Similarly, Council Bluffs residents can check out a Discovery Pass from the public library for family day admission to the zoo.
Tips to making sure you get the best prices on your next outing
Why pay full price when you can save a couple of dollars? What’s more: Why pay way over the ticket value when you don’t have to? It just makes sense to pay attention to Omaha ticket deals.
Here are a few final tips I want to pass on to you in regards to getting the best deal possible:
- When it comes to live performances, buy tickets in person to save on online convenience fees. This works the same for TicketMaster as it does for Ticket Omaha.
- When it comes to attractions, though, check online ticket prices vs. in-person ticket prices. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy those online. (I know, it’s confusing)
- Do not buy from ticket resellers unless you have to (ie. the show is sold out and you really want to go). Always check the official ticket seller first before you buy so you can do some price comparison. I’ve seen astonishing mark-ups to shows that still had ticket availability.
And one final thought: Omaha has world-class theaters and museums (and obviously, a world-class zoo), so even if you can’t snag a discount, admission is worth it. Even full-price admission.