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Old 01-09-2003, 03:05 PM
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ajrsmom ajrsmom is offline
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In the heart of Nebraska, you can learn about science, history and art in one great trip. Your first stop is Hastings Museum of Natural History, just 15 minutes south of I-80 on U.S. Hwy 281, at 14th Street. Hastings Museum is famous for its I-Max Theater, but it offers so much more. With its lifelike nature displays, fascinating exhibits and children's Discovery Center, it is considered one of the best museums in North America.

Be sure to take in a show at the J.M. McDonald Planetarium, which is free with your admission. Kids will enjoy the exhibit on the history of Kool-Aid, which was invented in Hastings. Hours and admission prices vary. Call 800-508-4629 for more information.

Close by you'll find a McDonald's with a great outdoor playland and the original Champions Family Fun Center (402-462-6220), featuring with three water slides, hot tubs, Adventure Challenge indoor playland, Treadwall, Spaceball, Wee Village, Racquetball, video games, fitness center, go-karts, mini-golf and much more.

You can visit one of our nation's largest living history museums in Grand Island, just four minutes north of I-80 Exit #312, the intersection of Hwy. 281 & 34. The Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer is famous for its Railroad Town, complete with a school, church, blacksmith's shop, woodworking shop, general store, several Pioneer houses and more. Demonstrators in period costumes add to the fun on weekends. Plus, two large buildings house lots of historical exhibits. Hours and admission prices vary. Call 308-385-5316 for more information.

While you're in Grand Island, you can also visit the Heritage Zoo (308-385-5416), which is free with a Lincoln Children's Zoo Pass, and the Crane Meadows Nature Center (308-382-1820), featuring seven miles of hiking trails, a spacious Interpretive Center and special sandhill crane-viewing tours.

From Grand Island, take the historic Lincoln Highway, U.S. Route 30, to 24th and Central in downtown Kearney. There you'll find the Museum of Nebraska Art, the only museum in the state composed entirely of works by Nebraska artists. Come experience our state's great heritage of art, from the historic artistic reporting of the Artistic-Explorers to contemporary regional works. The museum is in the renovated Post Office Building, a beautiful architectural work in itself. The museum is free, and it is open from 1-5 P.M. on Tuesday through Sunday.


There is so much to see and do in the Bluegrass State

If you are searching for the perfect place to spend your family vacation, try Kentucky. Regardless of the ages and interests of your family, Kentucky has places and spaces for everyone. Visit Kentucky Down Under, take the kids on the thrill of their lives as they brave the world's longest standing roller coaster, and explore the world's longest cave system-- it's all in the Bluegrass State.
You don't have to go to the zoo to see a wallaby. Kentucky Down Under in Horse Cave offers a taste of Australia. Venturing into this park, you will find yourself in the outback coming into contact with kangaroos, emus, sheep, and other unusual creatures native to Australia. This park literally takes you down under for an exploration of Kentucky Caverns, a decorative cave. Call 1-800-762-2869 or 502-786-2634 for more information on this Australian adventure.

If your kids like the outdoors, the Daniel Boone National Forest and Cumberland Gap are filled with hiking trails that follow the paths of some of Kentucky's first pioneers. The Land Between the Lakes area offers some of the best water activities in the nation, including boating, fishing, skiing, sailing, and swimming.

In the most scenic locations of the state you will find Kentucky's state resort parks. These parks offer many activities for outdoor and indoor entertainment along with excellent lodging. Each park has its own unique activities, from horseback riding to swimming. At Cumberland Falls State Resort Park you can enjoy rafting tours taking you by the second-largest waterfall east of the Rockies and the only place where you can see a moonbow! Lake Cumberland, Lake Barkley, and Kentucky Dam Village state resort parks, as well as the new lodge at Dale Hollow State Resort Park, all offer great boating, fishing, skiing, and swimming. Call 1-800-255-PARK for more information on the exciting events taking place at the state parks.

The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area offers the excitement of white-water rafting, canoeing trips, and the scenic railway.

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