ABA FAM Tours (Operators Only)
Pre-FAM Tour Nebraska- Jan. 7 – 10
Pre-FAM Tour 1: Buffalo Bill’s Rails & Trails West: To experience western Nebraska is to experience the Old West, and on this tour that’s actually what you’ll do. Step back into the 1950s at Cozad’s Ford Garage and then enjoy a stunning view of the North Platte River Valley from atop the 800-foot Scotts Bluff National Monument. Follow western Nebraska’s agricultural history at Legacy of the Plains Museum before visiting Agate Fossil Beds National Monument to view authentic Miocene fossils and valuable artifacts belonging to Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Lakota. We’ll visit the one-of-a-kind Museum of the Fur Trade, the nation’s only museum dedicated solely to the preservation of the fur-trading industry, and the quirky Carhenge, an exact recreation of England’s Stonehenge. Visit the “Cowboy Capital” of Nebraska and experience the true Old West at Front Street before venturing to North Platte to meet Buffalo Bill and his wife Louisa for a guided tour of their stately mansion at Buffalo Bill State Historical Park. Another unique Nebraska attraction is the Golden Spike Tower & Visitor Center where we’ll take in a bird’s eye view of Bailey Yard (the World’s Largest Railroad Classification Yard) from atop the tower’s 8th floor observation deck. An excellently prepared Dutch oven lunch is on the menu at the Lincoln County Historical Museum where we’ll also learn more about the famous North Platte Canteen of WWII.
Pre-FAM Tour 2: The Great Platte River Road: This tour takes us from Nebraska’s Central Flyway region to the state’s capitol and second largest city, Lincoln. Along the way we’ll explore the three-story Archway, a testament to the hardships and determination of the early pioneers. We’ll visit Rowe Sanctuary and Crane Trust Nature Center to learn about the annual
spring Sandhill Crane migration when more than 500,000 Sandhill Cranes rest in Nebraska’s Central Flyway. Next on the itinerary is Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, one of the top ten living history museums in the country, and Hastings Museum where we’ll explore the Kool-Aid exhibit and learn how it became such a popular drink. Next is the Clayton Museum of Ancient History where we’ll learn about ancient Mesopotamia and Rome, and view an exact reproduction of the Western Wall in Jerusalem (visitors are welcome to write and leave prayers there.) Car and racing enthusiasts will have a great time exploring the 135,000 sq. ft. Museum of American Speed, an impressive museum dedicated to preserving the American automotive industry. At a height of 400 feet, the Nebraska State Capitol Building is one of four skyscraper style capitol buildings in the country and after a guided tour of its chambers, enjoy a bird’s eye view of Lincoln from atop the observation deck on the 15th floor. The International Quilt Study Center displays quilts from around the world, some hundreds of years old. Groups can enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at how experts work to protect and conserve the quilts.
Pre-FAM Tour Nebraska- Jan. 8 – 10
Pre-FAM Tour 3: Uniquely Northeast Nebraska: On this tour around northeast Nebraska, we’ll start with a traditional Polish dinner and entertainment at the Polish Heritage Club in Papillion. The next day we’ll start out at Fort Atkinson State Historic Park, site of Lewis and Clark’s first contact with local American Indian tribes, before heading to Master’s Hand Candles where one of the activities include hand-dipping candles. Next is a visit to John G. Neihardt Center to learn about the life and works of the author of Black Elk Speaks. Tour the Elkhorn Valley Museum & Research Center in Norfolk and its impressive Johnny Carson exhibit complete with personal items, videotapes, vintage photographs, his six Emmy Awards, and an interactive home theater showing Tonight Show episodes and monologues. The Andrew Jackson Higgins Memorial features a life-size replica of the Higgins landing craft that helped the Allies win WWII and a bronze eagle statue atop a steel structure made from material salvaged from the 2001 World Trade Center disaster. Established by the federal government, the Genoa Indian School was one of the nation’s 16 Indian Boarding Schools. On our visit, we’ll hear the stories of the students who called the school home. Next, we’ll visit the Horn T Zoo and learn how this family-owned and operated destination works to connect visitors with animals from around the world. Finally, we’ll visit the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, home to one of the largest collections of Cold War aircraft in the country.
Pre-FAM Tour Iowa- Jan. 7 – 10
Pre-FAM Tour 4: Savor the Flavors: A culinary tour featuring French, Swedish, Danish and German cuisine, you’ll be immersed in the unique culture and history of the immigrants who settled in small town Iowa. Stops include a French Icarian Village, Swedish Heritage and Cultural Center, the Danish Windmill, VikingHjem, and Manning Hausbarn-Heritage Park. Indulge in award-winning wines, fresh cheeses, breads, spritz cookies, and more– including a visit to the Ice Cream Capital of the World – Le Mars, Iowa! You’ll enjoy live entertainment in the historic Brown’s Century Theatre and visit a picturesque sheep and goat dairy farm nestled in the rolling Loess Hills.
Post-FAM Tour Nebraska- Jan. 15 – 16
Post-FAM Tour 1: Land of the Pioneers: We’ll start our tour of southeast Nebraska at Offutt Air Force Base, headquarters of the U. S. Strategic Command, Air Force Weather Agency, and the 55th Wing of the Air Combat Command before heading to one of the most haunted museums in the world. The Museum of Shadows houses more than 1,300 verified haunted artifacts, and during tours visitors have said they’ve experienced seeing full figure apparitions, items moving on their own, and children laughing. No visit to southeast Nebraska is complete without a visit to Arbor Day Farm where an experienced Nature Interpreter provides an informative tour of the farm. Arbor Lodge State Historical Park was the home of J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day. Costumed guides walk groups through rooms filled with authentic furnishings and displays. Homestead National Monument of America offers exceptional exhibits, living history demonstrations, and historical activities that tell the stories of our nation’s early pioneers and homesteaders. We’ll visit the Welsh Heritage Center to hear the interesting stories of the region’s Welsh immigrants before heading to Lincoln for a lunch filled with entertainment at Screamers Dining & Cabaret. At a height of 400 feet, the Nebraska State Capitol Building is one of four skyscraper style capitol buildings in the country and after a guided tour of its chambers, enjoy a bird’s eye view of Lincoln from atop the observation deck on the 15th floor. The International Quilt Study Center displays quilts from around the world, some hundreds of years old. Groups can enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at how experts work to protect and conserve the quilts.
Post-FAM Tour Iowa- Jan. 15 – 17
Post-FAM Tour 2: Hollywood in the Heartland: Lights! Camera! Action! Explore Iowa’s legacy with the silver screen. From silent films in the early 1900s to today, Iowa’s impact in Hollywood is notable. This tour will begin with a visit to the birthplace home of Big Band leader, Glenn Miller. Tour the bridges that inspired the Robert J. Waller novel and major motion picture, The Bridges of Madison County. Visit John Wayne’s birthplace and tour the Duke’s childhood home. Step back in time and experience the last concert site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson at the historic Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Learn about famous Mason City native Meredith Willson, composer of The Music Man. Visit the famed Bil Baird World of Puppets featuring the marionettes from the film, The Sound of Music. Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa! Discover the Field of Dreams Movie Site – a mecca for lovers of America’s favorite pastime, and hear the history of how Hollywood made this Iowa farm so famous.
Post-FAM Tour 3: Iowa Feeds the World: Known for having some of the world’s most fertile soil, Iowa plays an important role in feeding the country and the world! On this tour, learn where your food comes from and watch it through the stages of production to your fork. Whether you’re a foodie, an agriculturalist or an interested consumer… this is for you! Since 1986, the World Food Prize has awarded scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and farmers for their tireless efforts to combat hunger across the globe. Learn about this evolving work and Norman Borlaug’s lifelong passion at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates & Educational Exhibit. You’ll discover America’s agricultural heritage and learn about modern-day farming practices and technology. Step back from today’s busy pace, to relish in the comfort of locally crafted foods, furniture, art and more at the Amana Colonies. Enjoy an authentic field-to-fork experience at local restaurants serving local food made with local ingredients.
Sightseeing Tours – January 11 (All Delegates)
Sightseeing Tour 1: The Billion-Dollar Tour: Find out why Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett chooses to live, work, and play in Omaha. Explore Buffett’s stomping grounds and make memories worth a million bucks (maybe even a billion). Take a behind the scenes tour at the Rose Theater, one of the country’s best children’s theaters, and find out its unique connection to the Oracle of Omaha. Tour Buffett-owned Nebraska Furniture Mart, one of the largest furniture stores in the world, and enjoy lunch at Gorat’s, one of Buffett’s favorite Omaha steakhouses.
Sightseeing Tour 2: Train and Track Tour: Hop aboard history in the city where President Abraham Lincoln started the transcontinental railroad. Learn about the most technologically advanced dispatching facility in the country, responsible for the 24/7 operations of Union Pacific. Every train on the 32,000-mile system is tracked at the Harriman Dispatch Center. Tour the Union Pacific Museum and walk through a dining car, lounge car, coach car, and view the railroad’s extensive china collection. Visit the General Dodge House, which was once the home of General Grenville Dodge, known as a major figure in the development of railroads across the country. Tour The Durham Museum, one of the first Art Deco train stations in the country, and get on board President Harry S. Truman’s press train. Stop by the museum’s old-fashion soda fountain for an authentic phosphate.
Sightseeing Tour 3: Around The World in 4 Hours: Tour 1: Visit the tropics with a tour of the Lauritzen Gardens’ conservatory, a 17,500 sq. ft. garden under glass. From tropical soaring palm trees to blooming azaleas, this ever-changing botanical beauty will take you out of this world. Then it’s on to Greece with a tour through the stunning St. John’s Greek Orthodox Church where you’ll learn the meaning behind the elaborate gold and traditional décor. You’ll have lunch in Italy where you’ll feast on traditional pasta and pizza at Via Farina Pizza & Pasta, known for
fresh ingredients and authentic flavor.
Sightseeing Tour 4: Around The World in 4 Hours: Tour 2: Visit the German American Society and enjoy energetic, audience participation-filled entertainment including singing and dancing. At The Tea Smith, sample teas from around the world with unique presentations – including the history of tea, the growing process, and serving techniques. Enjoy authentic southern cuisine with lunch at Big Mama’s Kitchen, featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Sundance Channel’s Ludo Bites America and Travel Channel’s 101 Tastiest Places to Chow Down (ranked #56).
Sightseeing Tour 5: Around The World in 4 Hours: Tour 3: Travel back to 1903 with a stroll through the Joslyn Castle, a 30-room Scottish mansion filled with decorations from around the world. Next, travel to Lithuania (The Lithuanian Bakery) and sample authentic tortes, breads, and signature coffees. End the international adventure in France with a flavorful lunch from Le Voltaire’s menu – filled with cuisine from every region in the country.
Sightseeing Tour 6: Hot Stops in Omaha: Explore your inner artist, watch glass blowing demonstrations, and find a one-of-a-kind Omaha souvenir at Hot Shops Art Center. Travel back in time and discover candy and memorabilia from every decade at Hollywood Candy, a massive antique warehouse. Go wild at one of the world’s best zoos. With over seven acres of indoor exhibits, Omaha’s zoo is home to the world’s largest indoor desert, and North America’s largest indoor rainforest. One visit and you’ll find that Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is a different kind of animal.
Sightseeing Tour 7: A City Built On History: Visit the home of Civil War General George Crook and experience life as a frontier hero. Enjoy an inspiring and patriotic tour of a factory producing toilet paper for U.S. military bases around the country. Visually impaired employees create this everyday product and visitors take home a useful souvenir. Tour the world-renowned Boys Town campus with a visit to the Hall of History and founder Father Edward Flanagan’s home before having lunch.
Sightseeing Tour 8: A Sweet Tour of Art & History: Explore Omaha’s Old Market Entertainment District, cobblestone streets lined with unique shops, restaurants, and galleries. Stop into locally owned galleries and view eclectic art collections. Visit Tannenbaum, a year-round holiday shop filled with hundreds of unique ornaments and decorations. Then satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade treats at The Old Market Candy Shop and Dolci Ice Cream & Desserts, and enjoy a chocolate honeybee tea and chocolate tasting at Chocolat Abeille. End the tour with lunch inside a pink marble masterpiece. The Joslyn Art Museum is an art powerhouse filled with more than 11,000 works of art.
Sightseeing Tour 9: Wise Guys & Flapper Gals: Explore Omaha’s prohibition history as Omaha Culinary Tours takes you back to a time when gamblers, thieves, and “ladies of the night” ruled the city. Then head to Omaha’s speakeasy, the Wicked Rabbit, for a trip through the looking glass and into a wonderland-themed experience featuring a craft cocktail tasting with flair. Back in the real world, Monarch Prime and Bar will create a special menu tasting for the culinary curious. End the tour at Berry & Rye for a craft cocktail tasting at an intimate lounge.
Sightseeing Tour 10: Barstools & Brews: Omaha’s craft beer scene has a lot brewing … literally. Craft breweries are sprinkled throughout the city and each one offers unique and seasonal beers. Benson Brewery will treat guests to a craft beer tasting featuring some of its most popular housemade brews. Lunch will be at Upstream Brewery, a longtime Omaha favorite with
handcrafted beers and hearty, comfort-inspired dishes. Brickway Brewery takes inspiration for its craft brew from the city’s lively past, and serves up a craft brew tasting featuring beers made from locally sourced ingredients.