27 Best & Fun Things to Do in Grand Island (NE)

Grande Island is the county seat of Hall country in the state of Nebraska, United States.

During the 2020 census, the city was said to have a population of fifty-three thousand, one hundred and thirty-one persons.

It is a major city in Grand Island’s metropolitan area, which comprises Howard, Hall, Hamilton, and Merrick counties.

Grand Island was founded in the 1800s by German immigrants, and in the 1900s, it was essential in the railroad sector.

Due to its beautiful and charming areas, Grand Island is home to a wide range of wildlife, especially birds.

Planning an exploration of Grand Island? Here are the best and fun things to do in Grand Island, NE.

Things to Do in Grand Island, NE

1. The Nebraska State Fair

Nebraska State Fair
Credits: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock
Nebraska State Fair

Among what to do in Grand Island, NE is to attend the Nebraska State Fair. The Nebraska State Fair, a popular event in Grand Island, offers 4-H members an opportunity to display whatever they have discovered and achieved throughout the year.

The Nebraska State Fair was created to applaud and rejoice in the hard work of the youths who have learned and developed using 4-H.

It is a chance for the 4-H youth members to develop the skills they learned in 4-H projects and inculcate their life skills and good attributes to work.

Suppose you want to integrate into the local community of Grand Island. In that case, you need to participate in the Nebraska State Fair.

Nebraska State Fair occurs at Fonner Park from the last week of August to the first week of September.

This Fair has been taking place for over one hundred and fifty years, displaying the remarkable culture of Nebraska.

You can enjoy different exciting shows like talent shows and concerts, including fun rides and games with delicious meals during the fair.

Address: 501 E Fonner Park Rd #200, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

2. Eagle Scout Park

Eagle Scout Park
Credits: maxpro / Shutterstock

Another incredible attraction that should be on your list of best places to visit in Grand Island, NE, and a must-visit for adventurous-minded people is Eagle Scout Park.

Eagle Scout Park is a six-acre park featuring many exciting facilities and amenities for everyone to enjoy.

The Park features a playground for children with a large selection of play structures for them to play around with.

There is a hard-surfaced fitness trail of 1.05 miles encompassing the park, perfect for bicycling, jogging, and walking.

Eagle Scout Park also features sports courts and fields, a handicapped-accessible fishing pier, and a lake open for fishing and boating.

There are two enormous parking areas with picnic areas featuring grills and picnic tables where families and friends can have a nice outdoor meal.

Address: 100 East First Street, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

3. Stuhr Museum

Stuhr Museum
Credits: Ali Eminov / Flickr
Stuhr Museum

If you’re curious about the history of the community, add a visit to Stuhr Museum to your list of top things to do in Grande Island, NE.

Stuhr Museum is a two-hundred-acre facility that offers clear pictures of the builders of the pioneer town from the 1800s.

The Museum consists of educational exhibits, historical attractions, and hands-on activities offering you a chance to discover what life was like during the pioneer era of Nebraska.

It is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the early settlers who dwelled in central Nebraska’s plains in the 19th century.

Stuhr Museum features an ancient village known as Railroad Town, which is regarded as a living history designed to illustrate a prairie village from the 1890s.

It was named in honor of a politician and local artist, Leo Stuhr, who was part of the pioneer settlers in the area. In addition, Stuhr Museum features a gift shop where you can purchase distinct souvenirs.

Address: 3133 US-34, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

4. Moonlight Ridge Vineyard

Moonlight Ridge Vineyard
Credits: Alexandr Vorobev / Shutterstock

Moonlight Ridge Vineyard is a family-owned and operated vineyard established by Darin and Karen Placke along with their children, Braxton, Bishop, and Briana.

They had their inspiration from their honeymoon in 1998 in Napa Valley when they discovered how beautiful and captivating vineyards are.

The Vineyard consists of a scenic tasting room elegantly designed with hardwood floors, a cathedral ceiling, glass table tops, and a stone fireplace.

Moonlight Ridge Vineyard features outdoor pavilion sets, which you must definitely check out when you visit.

Address: 8150 US-281, Grand Island, NE 68803, United States

5. The Grand Theatre

Grand Theatre
Credits: Tim Vrtiska / Flickr
Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre is a beautiful theatre that has been successfully preserved to retain its classic architectural art design, which dates back to 1937.

It is a must-visit if you love old theatres and old-fashioned buildings. The Grand Theatre was previously known as the Lydia theater.

It had undergone massive restoration after it was scorched in the mid-1930s by a fire. The Grand Theatre was later reopened and regarded as one of the finest entertainment locations in the 1970s Grand Island.

The Grand Theatre was restored to preserve its significant historical value in the community, which it has gained over the years.

You get to learn about several past stories when you visit the theatre. Don’t forget to take nice pictures of the different sections in the theatres.

Address: 316 W 3rd St, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

6. Stolley Park

Stolley Park
Credits: Grand Island Tourism / Flickr
Stolley Park

The best way to begin your expedition in Grand Island is by visiting Stolley Park, a 34-acre park that is open to all.

Stolley Park is home to the William Stolley House and a beautiful disc golf course where players of all skill levels can explore.

The Park features a greenhouse and the Kid’s Kingdom, specifically for children featuring play equipment for them to enjoy.

There is a duplicate of a pioneer’s cabin and a wading pool where you can relax and run for some rounds.

Stolley Park features a trail open for biking, jogging, and walking, with numerous parking spaces scattered throughout the area.

The Park features a baseball/softball field, two lighted tennis courts, and shaded picnic areas with a concession stand, making it excellent for family picnics.

Address: 2103 W Stolley Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

7. Railside

Credits: Grand Island Tourism / Flickr

Railside, an enormous commercial destination, is the number one attraction for everything leisure in the city.

So, if you’re seeking exciting activities like entertainment, dining, and shopping, visiting Railside is one of the best things to do in Grande Island, NE.

Railside comprises numerous boutiques, restaurants, and stores offering various commodities and services.

One of the major highlights of this place is the stunning historic buildings encompassing the area and the Grand theater of the 1930s.

Move around the property and shop for unique items, both locally made and internationally imported goods.

Railside features a good number of microbreweries and restaurants, including spits where you can catch live concerts and events.

Address: 300 N Wheeler Ave, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

8. The Heartland Public Shooting Park

Heartland Public Shooting Park
Credits: Rionegro / Shutterstock

The Heartland Public Shooting Park is a public shooting park featuring four hundred and twenty acres of shooting ranges.

It is a one-of-a-kind attraction featuring six well-lighted shooting ranges, a sporting clay range of 10-station, and four trap shooting ranges.

The Park offers ranges filled with pistols and rifles with yards ranging from 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 to 600.

The Heartland Public Shooting Park consists of a full Archery 3D range with a meeting space that can accommodate up to sixty persons.

The Park has organized several national events, such as the National 4-H Shooting Championships, the Super Retriever Series Trials, FMG Publications Industry Shooting Masters, and more.

For more adventure and recreation, one of the best things to do in Grand Island, NE, is to visit the Heartland Public Shooting Park.

Address: 6788 W. Husker Highway, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

To the east of Nebraska is Iowa, check out our guides on things to do in Ames, things to do in Cedar Falls and things to do in Council Bluffs for a memorable trip.

9. Raising Nebraska

Raising Nebraska
Credits: Grand Island Tourism/ Flickr
Raising Nebraska

Raising Nebraska, home to an enormous interactive display, features a 25,000-foot exhibit relating to the region’s history.

Raising Nebraska majorly showcases the rich cultures of Nebraska, including its agricultural and scientific history.

The outdoor and indoor exhibits take you on a journey through Control the Flow, Combine Drive, Grain Bin Theatre, and Agri-House.

All the exhibits offer viewers different kinds of facts to learn through their captivating and unique historical information.

Raising Nebraska educates the public about the cultures, innovation, global economy, and community you probably didn’t know about.

Address: 501 East Fonner Park Road, Suite 100, Inside the Nebraska Building at Fonner Park Between State Fair Boulevard and Fonner Park Road, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States.

10. L.E. Ray Park

L.E. Ray Park
Credits: Pressmaster / Shutterstock

A charming park in Grand Island, L.E. Ray Park is a place every child would love to spend their entire day just having fun.

L.E. Ray Park features a good number of exciting facilities and amenities open to both locals and tourists, irrespective of their ages.

The Park also features a simple but exciting disc golf course where players of all skill levels can play, ranging from learners to intermediate and professionals.

For those who would like to take their four-legged friends on an amazing treat at the dog park in the Park, there is a spot that is open for cool outdoor activities such as boating and swimming.

L.E. Ray Park features picnic areas with picnic shelters and picnic shelters where loved ones can have an unforgettable experience.

There are trolls, parking areas, restrooms, and a playground fully equipped with several play structures for kids.

Address: 3315 S. Blaine St., Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

11. Fonner Park Race Track

Fonner Park Race Track
Credits: Grand Island Tourism/ Flickr
Fonner Park Race Track

A premiere entertainment destination in Nebraska, Fonner Park is a favorite place for many locals and visitors alike.

If you’re a fan of racing, exploring Fonner Park should be on your list of fun things to do in Grand Island, NE. It hosts conventional springtime horse races.

Fonner Park hosts annual events such as the Nebraska State Fair, the Hall County Fair, national livestock shows, sporting events, wedding receptions, concerts, and more.

In the middle of the park is the race meet of live thoroughbreds, extending from February to May.

The live meet involves recreational shows, family activities, craft shows, giveaways, special races, and more.

After watching an exciting live horse race at Fonner Park, you can stop by the Fonner Keno Casino or Finish Line Restaurant for delicious meals.

Address: 700 E Stolley Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

12. St. Mary’s Cathedral

St. Mary's Cathedral
Credits: Ammodramus / Public Domain
St. Mary’s Cathedral

Why not take a break from all the fun activities to relax and enjoy some solemn moments? St. Mary’s Cathedral is a beautiful historic 1869 Gothic structure.

St. Mary’s Cathedral was established in the 1860s as Nebraska’s western Catholic diocese, founded by Catholic families who immigrated to Grand Island.

After being eradicated in the late 1800s by a windstorm, the church underwent a massive restoration.

Gradually, the church increased and grew through the congregation’s efforts. Currently, it is rated as one of the major religious centers on Grand Island.

The church is known for its programs, such as cultural and educational schemes, including community outreach targeted to touch people’s lives.

St. Mary’s Cathedral encourages people from different sectors of life, skin color, gender, tribe, and so on to visit the church.

Address: 112 S Cedar St, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

13. Westside Bowling

Westside Bowling
Credits: AS photostudio / Shutterstock

Bowling is for sure one of the fun things to do in Grand Island, NE, and the perfect place to do this is at Westside Bowling.

Westside Bowling features a fantastic bowling alley that attracts many people from different parts of the city.

Bowling, of course, is regarded as a classic game that families and friends can play and strengthen their bonds.

The center features a large number of bowling lanes where friendly competitions can be held between friends.

Westside Bowling is a host of tournaments where you get to play against some of the best bowlers in Grand Island.

Address: 112 Kaufman Ave, Grand Island, NE 68803, United States

14. Prairie Pride Brewing Co.

Prairie Pride Brewing Co.
Credits: id-art / Shutterstock

Whenever you feel like relaxing and cooling off after a long day, visit Prairie Pride Brewing Co. in Grand Island.

Prairie Pride Brewing Co. believes crafting beer is more than just an attitude. It is for the bold only. Their bold attitude led to the realization of their brand’s symbol, the Hopffalo.

The drinks produced are inspired by this creature, comparing every style they used in brewing to a large perimeter of flavors asking to be used.

What better way to come together with friends and family than around a few bottles of craft beers in their tap room located in the middle of the Railside District of Grand Island?

Prairie Pride Brewing Co. features a taproom of more than 1,000 square feet, offering a comfortable and warm environment.

They also offer brewery tours, including private tastings guaranteeing a memorable experience.

Address: 115 E South Front St #1, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

15. Jackrabbit Run Golf Course

Jackrabbit Run Golf Course
Credits: Bohbeh / Shutterstock

For a fantastic golfing experience in Grand Island, Jackrabbit Run Golf Course is the perfect place for you and your family.

Jackrabbit Run Golf Course is a premier 18-hole golf course that has become a popular destination in Nebraska.

The golf course offers players a nice open layout with widespread greens, which makes it ideal for both beginners and professionals.

As a championship layout of 6,700 yards, Par 72, the golf club features a long driving range and an excellent putting green.

Jackrabbit Run Golf Course is also known for being a venue for many golf outings, junior camps, and leagues for people of all ages.

They offer an impressive dining menu, golf lessons, club fittings, and other services they render.

Address: 2800 N Shady Bend Road • Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

16. Indianhead Golf Club

Indianhead Golf Club
Credits: Mikael Damkier / Shutterstock

How about playing golf on a standard golf course in the United States? One place to visit is Indianhead Golf Club.

Indianhead Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course that officially opened its doors in 1990, spanning one hundred and sixty acres.

This golf course has served numerous golf players from different parts of the state and other surrounding regions.

It features a teaching and practice facility for those amateurs in sports. In addition, there is a golf store offering club rentals, club fittings, pull cart rentals, and re-gripping.

Indianhead Golf Club is open throughout the year as long as weather permits offering lessons headed by professional instructors.

Address; 4100 W Husker Hwy, Grand Island, NE 68803, United States

17. Fairbanks Pottery Studio

Fairbanks Pottery Studio
Credits: Everyonephoto Studio / Shutterstock

Fairbanks Pottery Studio is one place you should visit in Grand Island, NE, for lovers of arts.

Fairbanks Pottery Studio is owned and operated by Nancy, a passionate and experienced potter, teacher, and sculptor.

She has been exploiting clay for more than thirty years and now considers it as who she is, not what she does.

Every piece of her work portrays her personality and heart, making them unique and full of details different from conventional pottery or modern clay.

As an award-winning artist, she focuses on clay sculpture, bronze, and pottery operating one of the few pottery studios in Nebraska offering pottery workshops and classes.

Fairbanks Pottery Studio offers wheel-throwing lessons to individuals of all ages from Grand Island and surrounding areas.

She is 100% ready to show you how fascinating it is to create something gorgeous and unique from clay.

Address: 3034 W Schimmer Dr, Grand Island, NE 68803, United States

18. The Platte River

The Platte River
Credits: Erin/ Flickr
The Platte River

The Platte River spreads over three hundred miles. It is the central river in Nebraska and the Missouri River’s tributary.

In various points on the Platte River in the middle of Nebraska in March, a migration usually occurs annually, including geese, sandhill cranes, geese, and other birds.

The River has a record of receiving almost eight hundred thousand birds during spring 2019. The surrounding of the Platte River is stunning, where birds reside for the night.

The Platte River seeps a huge part of the Great Plains, offering several recreational activities in Grand Island.

This is an excellent place for the entire family as it is open for tubing, swimming, and fishing.

Address: Grand Island, NE 68803, United States

19. Showplex Cinemas Mall Stadium 7

Showplex Cinemas Mall Stadium 7
Credits: Syda Productions / Shutterstock

If you’re searching for what to do in Grand Island, NE, to enjoy a fantastic time with your loved ones, see a movie at Showplex Cinemas Mall Stadium 7.

Showplex Cinemas Mall Stadium 7 was previously known as Dickinson Mall Stadium, housed in Conestoga Mall.

Regularly referred to as AMC Classic Grand Island 7, it features an upgraded projector with a standard sound system.

The cinema comprises the latest digital style that offers a true 3D experience with comfortable seats for better relaxation and enjoyment.

Showplex Cinemas Mall Stadium 7 is adequately maintained and always clean, with a welcoming and polite staff.

There is a concession stand that offers popcorn, allowing guests to pour the butter themselves, including other packages like parties, game nights, and more.

Address: 3404 W 13th Street, Grand Island, NE 68803, United States

20. The Wine Bar

The Wine Bar
Credits: sama_ja / Shutterstock

On a cool evening, visit the Wine Bar on Grand Island when you want to chill alone or with a group of friends.

The Wine Bar is located in the Grand Old House, offering a homey and classic background where you can have a glass of wine.

The Bar is open every day of the week from Tuesday to Saturday except on Monday and Sunday from 3:30 pm.

They offer more than three thousand varieties of brands for visitors to pick from, with four various wine rooms.

These rooms are perfect for gatherings or parties of different sizes, offering wine tastings in the evenings, which is very popular amongst the locals.

You can purchase their wines at incredibly affordable prices. They also offer tasty tapas and wine by the glass.

Address: 313 W 3rd St, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

To the north of Nebraska is South Dakota, check out our guides on things to do in Sturgis, things to do in Hot Springs and things to do in Hill City for a memorable trip.

21. Conestoga Mall

Conestoga Mall
Credits: Sasquatch4510 [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Conestoga Mall
An indoor shopping mall, Conestoga Mall was founded in 1974. It has been serving the public ever since.

Conestoga Mall is owned and operated by Namdar Realty Group, occupying a facility of 611,719 square feet.

The Mall features more than sixty-five stores, including three empty anchor stores once occupied by JCPenny, Younkers, and Sears.

The main store is Dillard’s, including other stores, Hallmark, American Eagle Outfitters, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy, and more.

For a shopping spree, Conestoga Mall is one of the best places to visit in Grand Island, NE. In addition, there are different restaurants where you can stop for some delicious dishes.

Address: 3404 W 13th St, Grand Island, NE 68803, United States.

22. Afternooner’s

Credits: INTHEBLVCK / Shutterstock/center>

Housed in the Regional Airport Passenger Terminal of Central Nebraska, Afternooner’s is a laid-back restaurant in Grand Island.

Afternooner’s restaurant is a nicely designed joint where people can meet with friends and have a nice meal.

The restaurant is currently owned and operated by Kalani Hose after she fully acquired it from the previous owners, Doug and Terry Brown, her parents.

This family-friendly restaurant is perfect for individuals of all ages, including children offering them unique dining options.

They serve Pastrami Melt, Philly Steak, Chicken Philly, BBQ Pulled Pork, Ruben w/Sauerkraut, Grilled Chicken, Tuna Melt, Fish Sandwiches, Cheeseburgers, Grilled Cheese, Chicken Strips, Garden Salad, Grilled Chicken Caesar, and more.

Address; 3773 Sky Park Rd # 5, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

23. Infinity Lounge

Infinity Lounge
Credits: Shyripa Alexandr / Shutterstock

Infinity Lounge is a bar and lounge in the city found beside Boarder Inn & Suites. It provides a simple but laid-back setting.

The Lounge is open throughout the week, offering delicious microbrews on tap with an impressive selection of wine, vodka, and spirits.

Guests are offered a wide variety of options to choose from; there is absolutely no kind of drink you need that you won’t get here.

The bartender is friendly and helpful, always ready to interact with their guests to find out what they want or may like.

Infinity Lounge features pool and snooker tables, including cozy couches and top tables for guests to relax.

Address: 3333 Ramada Rd, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

24. Island Oasis Water Park

Island Oasis Water Park
Credits: VaLiza / Shutterstock

Island Oasis Water Park is the best place to spend the day, especially on hot summer days when you want to chill.

The park stretches over six acres of property filled with lots of amenities for families to have an unforgettable experience.

There is a wave pool of 350, 000-gallon where you can relax, including its lazy river of 750 feet. You get to experience the true force of gravity when riding one of the high-speed slides.

Island Oasis Water Park features a zero-depth pool with slide and spraying fountains for children, who can also construct sand castles in the sand.

There is a sand volleyball where you can engage in a friendly competition before visiting the patio or concession area for some treats.

Address: 321 E Fonner Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

25. Shady Bend Cafe

Shady Bend Cafe
Credits: Shady Bend Cafe / Facebook
Shady Bend Cafe

Of course, breakfast meals are supposed to be hearty and healthy. Shady Bend Cafe offers meals prepared right in their kitchen directly from scratch using freshly sourced ingredients.

The restaurant offers mouthwatering dishes and an eclectic mix of the rich history of Grand Island.

It is housed in a charming, beautiful building that illustrates the actual definition of an architectural relic. In 2008, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shady Bend Cafe features a fully packed salad bar that offers a variety of salads, fruits, and veggies.

They serve homestyle pies, Prime Rib Dinner, Sausage Link Eggs Hash, Western Omelette Hash Browns and Toast, Foot Long Chili Cheese Dog, Chicken Fried Steak Dinner, Broasted Chicken, French Toast Special, and more.

Address: 3609 Lincoln Hwy, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

26. Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center
Credits: Grand Island Tourism/ Flickr
Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and maintaining the Platte River’s Big Bend area’s biological, hydrological, and physical features.

This area is preserved to serve as a support system for sandhill cranes, whooping cranes, and other migratory species of birds.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center features trails of more than 10 miles open for peaceful walks around the area.

There is an observation tower of 35-foot, informational exhibits, a gift shop, an art gallery, and a bison herd.

The Center offers all the essential tourism information about the Nebraska stage. Blind tours are provided during the spring crane migration, allowing you to have a closer view of the Cranes.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center offers visitors opportunities that fit their budgets, allowing them to also explore the cranes.

Address: 9325 S Alda Rd Exit 305 Towards Alda, Grand Island, NE 68883-9565, United States

27. Grand Island Public Library

Grand Island Public Library
Credits: Michael Sauers/ Flickr
Grand Island Public Library

You can spend your free time in one of the most peaceful environments reading a mind-opening book that you can’t get elsewhere.

Grand Island Public Library is a community Library that is open to the entire public, including children who want to learn more while having fun.

The Library provides a special section for little children to explore before choosing their books.

It offers a large collection of materials with computers that are targeted to encourage learning and education.

Grand Island Public Library features a meeting room, handicapped parking, restrooms, water fountains, and every other necessary item.

Address: 1124 W 2nd St, Grand Island, NE 68801, United States

Explore other cities in Nebraska, check out our list of things to do in Lincoln and hings to do in Kearneyfor a fun time

Plan Your Trip to Grand Island

When searching for a city to visit in Nebraska, Grand Island might not be top on the list, however the city is an amazing place to visit for a vacation or exploration.

It’s perfect for families, groups, couples, or individuals. Regardless of your preference, you’ll find something to enjoy in Grand Island, NE.