Actors don period apparel and bring 19th-century Nebraska to life at the Stuhr Museum. This isn't one of those stodgy institutions with galleries of dusty exhibits behind glass. The Stuhr spreads over 200 acres and includes a railroad town, a farmstead, a log-cabin settlement and a Pawnee earth lodge.
Visits begin at the impressive Stuhr Building, surrounded by a wide moat holding fish and ducks. Here, guests can purchase tickets, browse the gift shop and check out exhibits including a few hands-on displays for kids. The biggest attraction, though, is the railroad town, complete with an operating blacksmith shop, a planing mill, mercantile and even the home where actor Henry Fonda was born. The site is so authentic that it’s been used as a filming location for several made-for-television movies.
Plan to spend the better part of a day if you go during a special event; otherwise, a couple of hours are plenty. It’s a big place, so prepare to do a lot of walking. We enjoyed gaining a better appreciation for the hardships of prairie life, but we were frustrated by the lack of handicapped accessibility in some of the buildings. And the enthusiasm levels of the costumed interpreters varied widely. Adult admission is $8 in the summer; $6 from Labor Day through April.