Columbus’ unique recreational facilities include something for each member of your family. Where else but in a major metropolitan area can you swim in a water park or an indoor pool or a lake with miles of beach?
Or if excitement is what you crave, enjoy the thrills of the stock car races, feel the rush of wind behind the wheel of a power boat or the rush of adrenaline trailing it on a pair of water skis! All this and more is available in the Columbus area.
Platte County Museum – 2916 16th Street
Operated by the Platte County Historical Society, this building, built in 1912, was one of the four original Ward schools. Travel through time in the History Gallery containing discoveries of fossils, artifacts, and photographs of early Platte County. Step into rooms of Victorian clothing, furnishings, and heirlooms. Continue by way of an authentic turn-of-the-century country schoolroom and barbershop. New to the museum is a room filled with World War II memorabilia, complimenting the Andrew Jackson Higgins National Memorial. Additional features include the 1857 Gottschalk Log Cabin, a turn-of-the-century country school and barber shop, a 1913 Indian Motorcycle and a 1914 Chevrolet Baby Grand Touring Car, among other items. The Museum is open mid-May through Labor day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the first Sunday afternoon through the winter months or by appointment. Admission is charged.
Boulevard Lanes – 1819 Howard Blvd
Featuring 12 lanes for league and open bowling as well as a complete pro shop, you’re sure to strike fun for the whole family. The facilities include the Sahara Lounge, Sax’s Pizza, beer garden with sand volleyball, a large game room and KENO.
Westbrook Lanes – 3156 51 Ave
Lanes and lanes of fun with 16 lanes and computerized scorecards. Whether you come for fun (open bowling) or leagues you are bound to bowl like a pro. Visit the complete pro shop or the Lamplighter Lounge & Grill, beer garden with sand volleyball, large game room, or try your luck at KENO.
Take a few swings at one of the 5 golf courses that take advantage of the areas natural ‘hazards’. So come play on the gently rolling hills, bent grass greens and rye fairways of the open prairie. Find information on each course, here.
Columbus and its surrounding communities host over 14 welcoming parks where you can partake in a game of chess, spread out a picnic, or watch one of the games going on at the lighted tennis, lighted baseball, and softball complexes. You can even fish on two small lakes, slide into the state-of-the-art water park, or attend a football or track-and-field competition at the 2,500-seat stadium. To find out more about the amenities of these parks, click here.
Hiking, Biking & Walking Trails
Recreational trails for cycling, walking and jogging are located throughout Columbus. Snaking through tree-lined parks, the main scenic trail meanders along two lakes offering recreational opportunities for riders, runners, rollerbladers, walkers, and wheelchairs. By crossing the footbridge at the end of the paved trail, you enter the Bob Lake Trail for a ride along a gravel trail for five more miles. Walking and biking also happen along a 2-mile trail through Pawnee Park and 1.5 mile trail around the Wilderness Park soccer complex. For more information on each trail, click here.
Ready Set. . .Go! Racing enthusiasts enjoy a six-week season for live parimutuel thoroughbred horse racing and year-long simulcasting at the Platte County Agricultural Park. Or enjoy the thrills of the deafening roar and crashes of stock cars throughout the spring and summer at US 30 Speedway. Find out more about the many races happening in Platte County, here.
Columbus Event Center – 3868 63rd Ave.
Every Friday night is “Kids Night” from 7 – 11 pm. “Family Skate Night” is Saturday night from 5 – 10 pm. Also home to birthday parties, roller hockey, indoor soccer, dodgeball leagues, skate shop, arcade games and more!
Columbus Aquatic Center – 1783 10th Ave.
This Olympic-sized pool is one of the finest indoor pools in Nebraska and has 8 swim lanes, a separate shallow area for the youngsters, a low diving board, a double flume slide and a slide for small children. Call for public swimming hours.
Columbus Family YMCA – 2200 28th Ave.
Everyone wants to do something slightly different? Sporting 3 gymnasiums, weight room, cardio room, aerobics center, group cycling room, 3 racquetball/handball courts, 2 indoor tennis courts, indoor track, indoor golf driving range, men’s and women’s saunas. Programming for all ages and interests.
Pawnee Plunge Water Park – 560 33rd Ave. (Hwy. 30 and 81 South)
Splash ‘n Play the Pawnee Plunge Way! Come experience water fun that is sure to delight the young and the young at heart at the Pawnee Plunge Water Park. Located in one of the largest city parks in Nebraska, the park includes four waterslides for the adventurous, a lazy river, and zero-depth entry pool with many interactive water features loved by children. If you leave here and didn’t get wet, you didn’t experience all we have to offer at Pawnee Plunge. Where there is something fun for everyone.
Horn T Zoo – 37692 State Hwy 22, Monroe
The Horn T Zoo is a family run zoo one block west of Monroe on Highway 22. Stop in, take a look and get up close to exotic animals from all around the world. There are animal for kids to pet, a gift shop & party room available. Open weekends May through October. Admission fee.