Top 5 Things to Do in North Platte
Here are 5 suggestions - what would you add?
North Platte in Lincoln County, Nebraska, is located in the southwestern part of the state. Situated on the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers, expect some fun activities involving messing about on the water. Best known for the historic railways, museums and freight trains are interesting as well. But there’s much more to the area than you might know, and lots of great food, shopping, and outdoor options offer family-friendly experiences. Here are the top five best activities for you to consider during your North Platte vacation.
1) Horseback riding in the Buffalo Bill State Historical Park
The Buffalo Bill State Historic Park also goes by the name of Scout’s Rest Ranch and Dusty Trails provide an opportunity for you and your family to ride horses through the area. Even if you don’t know how to ride, they’ll help you learn as they also offer riding lessons.
The horse riding trails last about an hour and the views along the river make for nice photos. Guests who went there loved the friendly atmosphere and the fun of it all. You may even get to sing along with them as they yell out their Dusty Trails theme song.
Your guides are sure to put you at ease and let you know all about the horse you’ll ride. Even the little kids enjoy a chance to sit on a horse. After your ride, you need not rush off, either. They also have a small petting zoo which the kids and young-at-heart love.
In fact, if you’re feeling hot after your ride, you can even go tanking, kayaking, or tubing with them down the river. However, to ensure your spot, it’s best to call them for a reservation. Find them at 2617 N. Buffalo Bill Avenue, North Platte, NE, 69101. You can call them on (308) 530-0048.
2) The Cody Park Railroad Museum
North Platte’s well known for railways, and the Cody Park Railroad Museum’s a great place to start. It’s not a huge place, but the trains and historical information make it well worth a visit. There’s a depot there with displays and an attendant who’s very happy to answer questions.
Visitors enjoy the trains, and you can even climb up and walk through one of them. Kids enjoy the steam engine which you can climb into and have a good look around. It has a baggage and mail van as well, and its history is well documented. You can also look at the caboose and a Heritage diesel locomotive.
This is an ideal stop for an hour or two as the museum’s located in a park which has a few animals and green space. The kids will enjoy the playground and the carousal. You can walk to the museum past the tennis courts and softball facilities, or drive straight to the side entrance where you’ll find parking for visitors.
Visiting hours are from May 1 to September 22 each year, Monday to Saturday. They open from 9 am to 7 pm and on Sundays, you can visit between 10 am and 7 pm. Entrance costs you nothing, but they do have a donations box.
3) Take in a movie or live theater at the North Platte Community Playhouse
Watch a movie in a real-deal old palace-style theater, or go and watch one of their four mainstage productions each year at the North Platte Community Playhouse. They also host special events, so you’re sure to find some choices when you visit North Platte. Take a trip back in time in the old-style building.
If you visit in the summer, they host a children’s theater camp as well. If you watch one of their plays you may be surprised at the talent from the local community. Enjoy their presentation of shows like “The Little Mermaid,” “Spamalot,” and “The Mousetrap.”
The ambiance is amazing as the whole place has a vintage feel to it. It’s a place where the whole family of all ages enjoy the entertainment on offer. To find out more about their shows you can email them, or call in at 301 E 5th Street on Mondays to Fridays between 1 pm and 5 pm.
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4) Shop at the Fort Cody Trading Post
Roadside stalls get a bit of a bad rep these days, but the Fort Cody Trading Post’s known far and wide for good value. Looking to pick up some mementos of your vacation? Well, there’s something for everyone here. Plus, they have historical exhibits that bring a lot of fun to your shopping experience.
Expect to find tons of things to buy like books, arts, craft, food, T-shirts, and jewelry. To make it a bit more entertaining, they have some old Wild West themed objects and the shops a replica fort.
In fact, as it’s right on the intersection of the 80/83 you may as well call in. In the same area, you’ll also find fast food, accommodation, and restaurants. The kids will enjoy picking up something in the shop and you can also enjoy the Wild West display at the back.
The Fort Cody Trading Post’s located at 221 Halligan Dr, North Platte, NE 69101-7652 and opens from 9 am to 6 pm.
5) Browse and buy art or take a painting lesson at the Prairie Arts Center
The 1913 North Platte Post Office Building now homes the Prairie Arts Center. Located at 416 N Jeffers St, North Platte, NE 69101-3938, it opens from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm.
North Platte’s Creativity Unlimited Arts Council converted a rundown old building into an art center not to be missed by art lovers. They have a full calendar of exhibits, shows, and classes. Learn to make pottery, or crafts and paint.
There’s a big main art gallery, a focus gallery, and exhibition space. Take along your family or friends and immerse yourself in the art world. Whether you make and take, learn to paint or just enjoy the artworks, it’s a nice way to spend a few days. If you love what’s on display, you can buy that special memento to remind you of your time in North Platte.
You can call in, or call, them to find out what exhibitions and classes are on offer. Their phone number is +1 308-534-5121. In fact, you are bound to appreciate the efforts of the volunteers who helped restore this building with wonderful architecture. Add in the exhibits and the gift shop and you have a vacation memory to treasure.
Find out more about great activities in North Platte
North Platte caters to much more than the few activities listed in this article. You can find out much more about other interesting things to do, places to eat, and family fun activities through the North Platte, Lincoln County Visitor Bureau.