Midwest Living Review
Two miles of paths wind through 18 formal gardens, a model railroad garden and an arboretum with wild turkeys along the Missouri River south of Omaha's Old Market district. Tram tours are available. There's something beautiful to see here every season of the year; one of our favorites is the annual Poinsettia Show, which starts in late November and runs through early January. Thousands of poinsettias -- in shades of red, pink, white and in patterned combinations -- flare against the gardens' tropical foliage. The centerpiece at this time of year is the 20-foot poinsettia tree, comprised of 700 plants. The staff at the Lauritzen Gardens strings twinkle lights in the trees and decorates evergreens with white ribbons and ornaments. Model trains click along more than 300 feet of track, passing miniature versions of Omaha landmarks, including the Rose Theater and the Desert Dome of the nearby Henry Doorly Zoo, made from natural materials. Visit on a weekend, and you'll likely be treated to music by a visiting pianist, flutist or violinist. A pleasant way to finish the day is with a slice of red velvet cake at the cafe. Watch the calendar for Santa's annual visit. Admission charged.