Hours of Operation & Admissions

The Fontenelle Forest Nature Center is open daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Raptor Woodland Refuge opens daily at 10 a.m.

Trails open sunrise to sunset for Fontenelle Forest members (with a keyless access FOB) and visitors entering during regular Nature Center hours.

*Keyless access fobs are distributed on request during business hours at Visitor’s Services for $11.21 to access the trails when the Nature Center is closed.

  • Parking is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please pay your admission and pick up a trail map at the Visitor Services Desk.
  • Fontenelle Forest Closure Policy for Inclement Weather: All of Fontenelle Forest properties are closed when Omaha Public Schools cancels classes.
  • Fontenelle Forest’s properties are tobacco-free.

General Admission

$11 per adult
$10 per senior (62+)
$8 per child/student (2-17)
Free for children under age 2
Free for members
(sales tax included)

Purchase admission online. Click here

Fontenelle Forest Members

Admission is Free for Fontenelle Forest Members

Not a Member? Become one today!

 

Maps

Fontenelle Forest

Trail map of all trails at Fontenelle Forest, with parking, and highlighted directions.

Neale woods

Map of Neale Woods Nature Center trails and location in comparison to Fontenelle Forest.

Wetlands

Expanded Maps of Neale Woods and Wetlands.

trail guidelines

Trail descriptions and rules of the forest.

Daily Experiences

Calendar

View our calendar for Fontenelle’s wide range of upcoming programs and events

 

Raptor Woodland Refuge

Thirty feet above the forest floor, this canopy-level exhibit is designed according to the natural habitat of the rescued birds housed within these mews. Each visit is its own unique adventure, story, and memory to share.

Habitat Hollow

At Habitat Hollow, children learn about animals on display and play nature games. An indoor jungle gym, animal costumes for kids, and a puppet show area ensure families can have a great time regardless of weather.

Acorn Acres

Acorn Acres is a one-acre natural playscape that offers children a unique place for unstructured play and outdoor learning and a chance to be delightfully boisterous, physically active, and wonderfully creative.

Baright Gallery

Every season, our Baright Gallery hosts a new art show of local and national artists. These exhibits bring the human relationship with nature to the forefront of their art.

Digital Displays

Kids can play education matching games, families can learn about the history of the Forest, and anyone can learn more about the birds of prey who live outside in our Raptor Woodland Refuge on our touch-screens.

Stroll the Boardwalk

Enjoy a leisurely stroll while observing wildlife, the changing seasons, and beautiful views of the Missouri River on our mile-long, wheelchair accessible boardwalk and 1/3 mile wetlands boardwalk.

Recommended Hikes

Walking our trails is an experience unlike any other in the Omaha metro area. In a single afternoon, you’ll encounter a range of vastly different ecosystems, from deciduous forest to oak savanna, prairie, and wetlands.

Rentals: rent binoculars, power scooters, wheelchairs, strollers, or snowshoes (seasonally) from Visitor Services.

Regularly Scheduled Programs

Families

  • Mud Pies/ Wild Summer Days — Looking for a unique setting in which to have fun with your child while learning about the natural world? Mud Pies is a relaxed, drop-in-and-play program that encourages interaction between adult and child. Each week, a natural science topic is explored through station-based activities, free play, and a guided walk. Come discover the joy of sharing nature with your child! Mud Pies meets every Monday-Thursday from 9:30-11:30 am at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center. This program is for children ages 5 and younger accompanied by an adult. In the summer, the program expands to ages 0-11 and becomes Wild Summer Days! One adult is required for every two children. Mud Pies is $3 per child for members or $5 per child with daily admission. A Mud Pies membership is available for $100 per year. This provides access to Mud Pies and Wild Summer Days for all children in a household for an entire year.
    Get a One-Year Membership to Mud Pies Here
  • Family Sundays in the Forest

 

Children

  • Camps — We are excited to offer another summer of amazing experiences here at Fontenelle Forest. Through games, activities and time to explore, we will provide the framework for a life-long love for the natural world. Learn More!
  • Homeschool Science — Fontenelle Forest’s Home School Science Discovery program introduces students to a different natural science topic each month. The content is matched to the Next Generation Science Standards and focuses on interaction and inquiry. This program is the perfect way for children to connect with nature at an early age. Price: $3 for members / $10.50 for non-members. Members can log-in to receive a discounted price in cart.

 

Adults

  • Yoga — Join us for an hour-long vinyasa style yoga class, Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings, surrounded by nature, designed to de-stress and relax you. This class is accessible for all levels of yogis, from beginner to experienced, and will feature the sounds of the forest as your soundtrack as you move towards complete wellness. A meditative walk will follow the class, ending with tea for those who can stay. This program is free for members or with daily admission.
  • Group Hikes — We have monthly hikes on different topics from the history of the Forest to tracking animals, day and night. Check our calendar for updated hikes and more information.
  • Clubs
  • Join the Fontenelle Forest Guild
  • Volunteer with us

 

Seniors

  • Group Hikes  — We have monthly hikes on different topics from the history of the Forest to birding on the boardwalk. Check our calendar for updated hikes and more information.
  • Seniors Understanding Nature — Many seniors grew up in a time when nature was a big part of everyday life; SUN (Seniors Understanding Nature) programs enhance that experience. Join us at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center on the second Tuesday of each month from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Refreshments served at 9:45 a.m., followed by an indoor program, and completed with an optional nature walk.
  • Clubs
  • Volunteer with us

 

FAQs

Hours

8 a.m. -5 p.m. daily.
Summer hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon-Fri,
8 a.m. -5 p.m. weekends

Prices

$11 per adult
$10 per senior (62+)
$8 per child/student (2-17)
Free for children under age 2
Free for members
(sales tax included)

Fobs

Keyless access fobs are distributed on request to members during business hours at Visitor Services for $11.21. This means you can access the trails when the Nature Center is closed.

• Gate opens 6:45 – 8:00 am – to allow the members access through the gate before the nature center opens.

• Gate opens 5:00 – 5:30 pm –  to allow the members access through the gate after the nature center closes before dusk.

Snow Closure Policy

We follow OPS’s snow closure policies. If there is a snow closure, we will post it on every local news station, the Omaha World-Herald, on our social media, and our website.

Photo Policy

Photos are encouraged at the Forest.
If you plan on doing a professional photo shoot, our sitting fee is $125 for non-members and $100 for members.

Commercial photography will not be allowed in any part of Fontenelle Forest (including Neale Woods) without prior consideration and written consent. For consideration, a formal request must be submitted at least one week prior to the proposed shooting date. Approval or denial will be given after the consideration process. Please contact the director of development and marketing at (402) 731-3140 ext. 1014 for questions or requests.

What is a Raptor?

Birds of prey, such as eagles, falcons, hawks, owls, and vultures, have a vital role in our ecosystem. Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery is focused on the conservation of these birds through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors.

Rentals

Rent binoculars, power scooters, wheelchairs, strollers, or snowshoes (seasonally) from Visitor Services.

 

Managed Hunt

Learn more about the managed hunt at Fontenelle Forest. This is necessary due to a lack of large predators for a healthier forest.

Trail Guidelines

  • Leave all plants and animals undisturbed for others to enjoy; no collecting or picking of any sort is allowed.
  • Stay on the trails.
  • Use caution when crossing the railroad tracks, which remain in active use. Do not walk on the tracks.
  • Camping, jogging, and bicycling are not permitted. No motorized vehicles are permitted beyond the parking lots except for disabled persons’ access.
  • Pets and horses are not permitted.
  • No smoking or fires are allowed.
  • Picnic only in the areas designated for that purpose.
  • Carry your trash out with you.
  • Hunting, fishing, and musical equipment are not allowed, except with prior permission.

Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

Make a tax deductible donation NOW