There is definite wow factor as you enter this grand former train station, with its 65-foot-tall ceilings, copper and glass chandeliers, and patterned terrazzo floor. Life-size sculptures of passengers deliver a recorded history of the station, activated by discreet motion sensors. History exhibits explain the region's development; traveling exhibits lure repeat visitors. Kids will love climbing aboard the old streetcar and passenger trains—and enjoying a phosphate or malt at the historic soda fountain.
The Christmas season at the Durham allows patrons to enjoy not just the normal exhibits, but also what is billed as the city's largest indoor Christmas tree. The annual ethnic holiday festival is a night to remember, with performances, food and merchandise reflecting cultures from around the world. For an extra dose of Omaha history, take one of the four trolley tours through downtown, north and south Omaha, or the Gold Coast mansion district. We enjoyed the Millionaires and Mansions tour. As our trolley passed the grand limestone and brick exteriors, we could imagine the glamorous events that once led U.S. presidents and celebrities to their doors. We loved spotting details like original stained-glass windows, variegated marble and stately porte cocheres and wished we could see the ballrooms and underground tunnels inside.