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Take a Historic Ride (or Walk!) Through THE CITY

The past comes alive during River City History Tours at The Durham Museum! River City History Tours are historically accurate, entertaining and share the fascinating history of Omaha. Explore the city’s vibrant past aboard a comfortable shuttle bus and hear stories that highlight the unique history of various neighborhoods and locations in Omaha, ranging from the city’s infamous bootlegging past to the site of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. Select from several unique tours throughout the season, including our walking tours of downtown Omaha and our brand new Happy Hour History tour.

  • Bus tours cost $30 for museum members and $35 for non-members. All tours last between 90 minutes to 2 hours, with the exception of our Happy Hour History tour (approximately 60 minutes). Tours take place on a shuttle or charter bus, which is climate controlled. We recommend dressing in comfortable layers and encourage guests to bring a water bottle (only water is allowed on the shuttle). Tour vehicle subject to change.
  • Walking tours cost $20 for museum members and $25 for non-members. These tours last approximately 90 minutes. Comfortable walking shoes and a water bottle are highly recommended. If cancelled due to weather, guests will be notified and granted a full refund.

All tours include admission to the museum (you can visit the museum before and/or after your tour depending on museum operating hours). To reserve a seat for the tour, register below or call us at 402-444-5027. Payment is due at the time of reservation. Membership discount applies only to those in the household (Note to members: Your discount will be applied near the end of the online registration process). Full refunds will be granted for cancellations requested two weeks in advance.

(Tour vehicle subject to change)


Brandeis building

The Durham Museum Photo Archive, Bostwick-Frohardt Collection/KM3TV


Friday, June 28 (4PM, SOLD OUT!) • Friday, July 19 (3:30PM, SOLD OUT!) • Friday, August 16 (4PM)

Sips on 10th

Inspired by Omaha’s rough and tumble past, “The Gritty City” explores the growth and challenges the city faced as the country expanded west.  Omaha was at times a sophisticated urban setting and other times a throwback to the days of the Wild West. The tour will conclude in time for happy hour at Sips on 10th where guests can enjoy a complimentary signature cocktail made just for the occasion. It’s a great way to kick back and relax on a Friday afternoon!

MAKE IT A PRIVATE TOUR! Looking for a team building outing with your organization? The Durham Museum is happy to offer this experience as a private tour for your group throughout the summer on Friday afternoons. Please email education@durhammuseum.org or call 402-444-5027 to inquire and book your private tour. Tour dates subject to availability.


President Wilson

The Durham Museum Photo Archive, Bostwick-Frohardt Collection/KM3TV, BF398-053, 1916

2024 marks an election year, and The Durham Museum is excited to present a new two-part tour focusing on American presidents and their influence on Omaha and the wider region. As guests will learn, Omaha has played a role in shaping the world’s most powerful office and those who have held it. Sign up for both tours (Parts I & II) to experience the full story spanning 200 years of American history, or sign up for one. We can assure you, each tour is a rich experience all on its own!

  • Part I – Sunday, June 2 (1PM) • Tuesday, July 16 (6PM) • Sunday, October 13 (1PM): From the days of Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase to Franklin Pierce and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, to Abraham Lincoln’s vision for a trans-continental railroad, American presidents shaped Omaha’s formative years. But a number of crises developed during the 19th and 20th centuries that tested the White House as well as our local community. Join us as we discuss triumphs, trials and tribulations from Jefferson to T. Roosevelt, and how they and Omaha addressed those important moments.
  • Part II – Sunday, June 9 (1PM) • Tuesday, July 30 (6PM) • Sunday, October 20 (1PM): Omaha’s rise to prominence in the 20th century was marked by contradiction. Periods of incredible industry and creativity were coupled with stark divisions and deadly riots. Throughout it all, FDR brought his Fireside Chats to the Omaha household and Eisenhower built interstates through the city. Join us on a journey from Taft to Ford as we explore the paradoxes of Omaha in the 1900s and how the presidency, and the nation more widely, mirrored and shaped the local community.

From Expositions to Jazz Musicians

Saturday, May 18 (1PM, SOLD OUT!) • Saturday, July 6 (1PM)

In 1898, Omaha hosted the Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition, an event that brought millions to Omaha to learn about life west of the Mississippi River. Visit the former site of the expo and see the stately homes, parks and jazz halls that followed in its path. Plus, enjoy a stop at the historic Florence Mill!

Last Call for Alcohol
Last Call for Alcohol: Omaha’s Bootlegging History

Tuesday, June 25 (6PM, SOLD OUT!) • Tuesday, August 27 (6PM) • Sunday, September 22 (1PM, SOLD OUT!)

By the time prohibition was the law of the land in the U.S., Nebraska had been “dry” for two years and organized crime syndicates had established a well-oiled machine to turn profits. Local and federal authorities spent years putting together a case that ultimately brought down the “kingpin” of Omaha’s crime scene, Tom Dennison. This tour, based on Dennison’s 1931 federal indictment, takes a look at hotels, speakeasys and other key locations in prohibition-era Omaha.

Omaha’s Parks and Boulevards

Saturday, May 11 (1PM) • Saturday, August 3 (1PM) • Sunday, September 29 (1PM)

Did you know that Omaha developed a beautiful parks and boulevard system beginning in the late 1800s? In fact, much of this system remains today linking popular parks like Elmwood and Hanscom with gorgeous tree-lined streets such as Happy Hollow and Lincoln Boulevard. The “Parks and Boulevards” tour will take you along the beautiful path developers laid out so many years ago.

Remember the Ladies
Remember the Ladies! The Women of Early Omaha

Saturday, July 20 (1PM) • Saturday, August 17 (1PM) • Sunday, September 8 (1PM)

Hop on a tour with us in honor of the founding ladies of Omaha. This tour will introduce you to a few of Omaha’s first women, from factory workers and business owners to religious leaders and activists, who contributed to the growth and success of Omaha today. Destinations on this tour will include driving through Omaha’s previous “Red Light District,” the Paxton Hotel, St. Cecilia Cathedral, and so much more!


Note to members, your discount will be applied near the end of the registration process.

River City History Tours


Join us on select Saturdays between May-October for a walking tour of historic downtown Omaha! Each tour begins at 10AM at The Durham Museum and proceeds to the Old Market where you’ll enjoy visiting locations ranging from the sites of speakeasys to the well-known Old Market Passageway. Hear the stories of important early Omahans such as political boss Tom Dennison and early pioneers Rachel and William Snowden, before wrapping up at the Downtown Farmer’s Market or heading back to the museum to enjoy our current exhibitions.


Note to members, your discount will be applied near the end of the registration process.

Private River City History Tours

Available year-round for groups of various sizes; please inquire for pricing based on group size

RCHT bus toursGrab your friends, co-workers or family members and hit the streets for a private River City History Tour. Pick a date, time and tour theme (subject to availability) and have the whole bus to yourself!

For us to provide you the best experience possible, we kindly ask that any private tour inquiries be submitted at least FOUR WEEKS prior to the anticipated tour date.

For more information or to schedule a private tour, contact The Durham Museum Education Department at 402-444-5027 or education@durhammuseum.org.


(Testimonials from tour attendees)

“This tour, given by an informed and passionate guide, was an exceptional means to learn and see the history of our city. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Sign me up for the next one!”

“A pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon while learning about Omaha.”

“Love the tours! We have learned so much! Great tour guides!”

“I would highly recommend these tours to learn more about the history of Omaha. Time well spent.”