Spring Break getaways with your dime and time in mind


By Jenn Czuba, Contributor


Within a few short days, Spring Break will be upon us. While some of you might have plans to go on extensive trips, the rest of us are likely stuck here due to pinch time or pinch funds.

But every now and then, we need a break. Even if it’s only for an hour or two, a break is a break. 

Rather than surfing the net or checking Facebook a hundred times, or vegging out in front of the TV, maybe Spring break would be better spent in an afternoon picnic at a nearby state park, or a stroll with your close friends through Fontenelle Forest or an overnight stay in Nebraska City.

These simple detours can help make our spring more enjoyable for little or no cost at all. Plus all these ideas are very near, meaning you won’t have to use more than one tank of gas.

Visiting a state park is a close and inexpensive way to escape for a while. Cost to each state park is $5 per car.  If you get a group of close friends together, pile them in one car, you can enjoy a afternoon at a state park.

The most familiar park Is Mahoney. Mahoney is only about 25 miles away, and a straight trip down Interstate 80 at exit 426. It’s easy to get to.  

There’s plenty of picnic shelters and plenty to do, like climb the tower, walk along the trails or simply just lounge out at a picnic shelter and have a cookout.

                   Another hidden treasure in Bellevue is a nature center tucked away near the Missouri river with pathways and one mile boardwalk engulfed within the woods of Fontenelle Forest.

                  Cost is $7 a person. Within a few minutes of Omaha you can be transported to a serene place that seems hundreds of miles away.

Now if you are feeling a bit more exploratory and willing to shell out a little bit more cash, why not take a trip to Nebraska City? The Lied Lodge has what they call on their site (www.liedlodge.org)  “Hot deals”.  Usually these rates are under $100.

If you have the funds, even if only for one night, it’s worth the splurge to make it a girls’ night out.  It’s an even better idea if you’re part of a sorority.  Get the girls to pool some money and it’s a lot more affordable.

If an overnight stay is out of the question, just going down for quick afternoon visit is well worth the time. Spending a few moments in the lodge and taking in the decor and the atmosphere is worthwhile.

Hopefully these tips inspire you to take advantage of your break and open you up to some local ideas you haven’t thought of.  It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves that we have things around here that we can take advantage of, especially when they are easy on our wallets and our clocks as well.