5 free things to do in Lincoln, Nebraska

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 24, 2014 at 8:11 am •  Published: July 24, 2014
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lincoln may be famous for Husker football, but Nebraska's capital city also welcomes visitors with free attractions for history buffs and families on a budget.

Here are five free things to see and do in Lincoln.

THE NEBRASKA CAPITOL

Few places speak to Nebraska's independent spirit as well as the state Capitol. Home to the nation's only one-house, nonpartisan Legislature, the Capitol is famous for its unusual design: It was the first to break from the traditional, "federal dome" look that most state capitols adopted. The 400-foot (122-meter) tower stands high over the Plains, with an observation deck that offers sweeping views of Lincoln. It's the second-tallest state capitol in the nation, behind Louisiana's.

The Capitol was built in stages between 1922 and 1932, but the work was halted because of the Depression. Just this year, lawmakers approved $2.5 million to place a fountain in each of the Capitol's four open-air courtyards — the final, unfinished feature envisioned by architect Bertram Goodhue. The project is set for completion by 2017, when Nebraska celebrates its 150th anniversary a state.

THE RAILYARD

Amid the restaurants and bars, Lincoln's new entertainment district offers free entertainment for families and young professionals.

Admission is free for the district's new, outdoor ice-skating rink that's open during the winter months (there's a fee to rent skates). In warmer seasons, the rink is converted into a public courtyard. Visitors can watch movies, television shows and sporting events on the Cube — a set of digital screens perched on a building over the courtyard. The larger, 35-by-15-foot (10-by-5-meter) screen faces the courtyard, while a second 14-by-15-foot (4-by-5-meter) screen faces Canopy Street.

The Railyard sits across the street from the new Pinnacle Bank Arena, in the city's popular Haymarket District. The Haymarket also hosts a regular Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, usually from May to mid-October. It's all less than a mile from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's main campus and Memorial Stadium, where the Husker football team plays.

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