5 minute read

Extended Weekend Getaways - April 2022

Things to Do:

Celebrate Arbor Day Weekend

By Kathy Barnett/Managing Editor

In honor of Arbor Day this month, visiting the city where it all began offers a “full-of-adventure” extended weekend getaway for the whole family.

Julius Sterling Morton, the founder of the official Arbor Day holiday, was actually born in Adams, New York. With a love for nature (and newspapers), he attended school at the University of Michigan where he met and maried Caroline Joy French. They left for Nebraska on the day of their marriage where he became the editor of the Nebraska News. Once settled in the prairie lands of Nebraska City, Julius missed the trees from the Eastern states and actively promoted agriculture by supporting better farming methods, conservation programs, and tree planting.

He served as the territory’s Secretary of State and later as acting governor. He left politics between 1878 - 1882 to more actively promote agriculture and during that time helped create Arbor Day, the holiday for planting trees. It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day that is now celebrated in all 50 states.

This year, the Arbor Day celebration is scheduled for the weekend of April 29 through May 1. Continuing a tradition that started 150 years ago, local schoolchildren will celebrate Arbor Day with an educational and entertaining field trip to Arbor Lodge State Park from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the first day.

Explore all of Arbor Day Farm’s 260-acre campus, including a Tree Adventure, a discovery ride, and hunting for 150 hidden prizes. Look for envelopes containing prize hunt certificates hidden in the trees - both inside and outside. When you find one, go to the front desk at Lied Lodge to turn it in and redeem. Prizes include Arbor Day Farm wine, attraction tickets, t-shirts, meals at Timbers and Porter’s, and Lied Lodge overnight stays.

Free admission is offered to visitors of the Arbor Lodge Mansion throughout the weekend in celebration of Arbor Day’s 150th Anniversary. You can take a self-guided tour of this 52-room mansion and learn all about Arbor Day’s history. There is a new display of the women of Arbor Lodge in a recently - opened section of the home.. Take time to explore the park grounds while there, complete with a visit to the arboretum, an Italian terraced garden, and more than 200 varieties of beautiful lilacs.

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Make reservations for accommodations at Lied Lodge right on the Arbor Day Farm. The most popular getaway package includes breakfast at Timbers on location with indoor or outdoor seating available. Carryout and room service options are also available. Another popular package is the Spa Package which includes your overnight stay, breakfast and two 50-minute Swedish massage treatments. The signature apple blossom massage is an exclusive offering from Lied Lodge. It is a full-body massage featuring apple-scented aromatherapy and foot exfoliation with hot towel wrap. Choose from it, a Swedish massage, deep tissue massage or dreamtime facial, hand and foot massage. This activity is sure to relax you and entice you to return. All around Arbor Day Farm, you will find the makings of memories that will last a lifetime. The Tree adventure features a treehouse trail toward a forest canopy at Treetop Village containing 11 different treehouses. They are connected by safe and netted walkways. The first in the United States of its kind, one area has a Wondernet for jumping and another has a huge slide. Be sure to pack closed-toe shoes for this activity. Another not-to-miss activity while visiting is to get a front-row seat to nature on the Discovery Ride, a one-hour journey into the backwoods of Arbor Day Farm. You’ll travel through orchards and vineyards, over streambeds, and all across the 260 historic acres of Arbor Day Farm. Along the way, a Nature Interpreter will share interesting facts, historical tidbits, and conservation information about your natural surroundings. You may even find deer, turkey, fox, raccoons, and other woodland creatures at home in the forest. On Saturday, special entertainment will be provided by Omaha Street Percussion at the Tree Adventure. Two performances are scheduled - one at noon and the other at 2 p.m. Other Saturday celebration activities include a 5K family fun run/walk, a home and garden market, and a grand parade. An open disc golf tournament is scheduled for Sunday as well as the annual Nebraska Bloody Mary State Championship. Start the day out right with a pancake and ham breakfast at the Nebraska City Municipal Airport. For more information, visit https://nebraskacity. com/