by Janet Dickelman
The question I receive most often is “what tours are we going on in Omaha?” The wait is over! Below is the 2022 tour agenda. Full tour descriptions and costs will be posted on the convention announce list, the acbconvention website and on the 2022 conference and convention registration form.
Friday, July 1st
Henry Doorly Zoo: This zoo is yearly rated number one or two in the country vying with the San Diego Zoo. This tour involves a lot of walking and is not wheelchair accessible. We will visit the rain forest, the stingray pools, the desert and nighttime exhibits. We’ll travel from area to area via tram, and enjoy a catered lunch.
Friday evening meal event: Details about this tour will be forthcoming, but we are planning visits to a variety of ethnic food venues.
Saturday, July 2nd
City Bus Tour with a Twist: Travel by Olly the Trolley on your guided tour of Omaha! Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the city. (We will have two trolley tours on Saturday.)
Boys Town: Founded 100 years ago by Father Flanagan, Boys Town is “helping America’s youth learn how to choose compassion over indifference, kindness over cruelty and love over hate.” We’ll take a campus tour and visit the museum and Father Flanagan’s house. Lunch will be included, and there is a great gift shop.
Sunday, July 3rd
Malcolm X Center and Black History Museum: Both these venues are rich in history and culture. The Black History Museum has many exhibits with lots of touchable items. Sports fans will enjoy the emphasis on sports memorabilia, including the Heisman Trophy won by Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers! Materials about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are prominently featured at both venues, and the amount of thought-provoking and comprehensive information is very enlightening. When visiting both places you will cry, cheer and be forever changed. Lunch from a locally owned black business will be included.
Mormon Trail: The Mormons traveled through Nebraska from Illinois on their way to Utah. Follow their amazing journey led by knowledgeable LDS members. Visit the cemetery, rooms with various historical themes, and view a film on the Mormons and their travels.
Get Up and Get Moving with a walk across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Bob the Bridge is 9,000 feet long, spanning the Missouri River between Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa. The bridge is lit at night with multi-colored lights, and there are lots of fun things to do, such as dancing across the state line and visiting Omar the blue troll, who lives under the bridge. It’s a fun way to get some exercise and enjoy an evening outdoors!
Monday, July 4th
City Bus Tour with a Twist: Travel by Olly the Trolley on your guided tour of Omaha! Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the city. (We will have two trolley tours on Monday.)
Strategic Air Control and Aerospace Museum: Join this white-glove tour where we’ll be able to have hands-on experience with various airplanes and space crafts. From an A-26 to F-117, you’ll be able to touch and learn about numerous aircrafts and space vehicles. “As the keeper of the Strategic Air Command’s history, the museum is exploring ways to better display its SAC artifacts and more effectively tell the story of SAC’s efforts to preserve the peace during the Cold War. Few, if any, museums are as well positioned to tell the story about this critical time in America’s history.”
Baseball and Fireworks: Take me out to the ball game! Feast on pulled pork, burgers, and hot dogs and then enjoy watching the Storm Chasers, the minor league team for the Kansas City Royals. After the game we’ll stay for the Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza!
Tuesday, July 5th
Outlook Nebraska’s goal is “to positively impact everyone who is blind or visually impaired.” Outlook Nebraska produces and sells SKILCRAFT® quality, sustainable janitorial paper products for government, commercial and industrial use. In addition to visiting and learning about their manufacturing, we’ll check out the technology lab and have fun at their activity tables. Lunch will be included in this tour. Since we will be visiting a manufacturing area, only closed-toe shoes can be worn. No sandals!
Lewis and Clark Visitors Center: Learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition through hands-on exhibits. Roam the gardens and learn about native plants. Take a short stroll on the pedestrian bridge and meet Omar the Troll, who lives under the bridge. Support the National Park Service and their work on audio description, and learn about what is happening with audio description in other national parks.
Adventure tour: We are working with Treerush, where you can climb, zip and swing through the trees. Explore Fontenelle Forest from the treetops.
Wednesday, July 6th
Train Day: We will visit the Durham Museum and the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. Train travel brought Nebraska to the forefront of the westward expansion. We will get up close and personal with train cars, and much train memorabilia. This tour involves a lot of climbing in and out of train cars and going through very small doorways. If that will cause you difficulty, this tour is not for you.
Sweet Tooth Tour: Baker’s Candies is known for their signature meltaways, decadent fudge, and gourmet confections. Built in 1991 and renovated and expanded in 2018, Baker’s is the largest candy store in Nebraska. We’ll hear all about the factory from one of the Baker brothers, try samples and spend time candy shopping.
Riverboat Cruise: Cruise down the Missouri River with a buffet dinner and cash bar. What a way to spend a summer evening!
Friday, July 8th
Brewery tour: We will visit at least three breweries for tasting and brewing information. Lunch will be included.
Crime Dinner: We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and then hear from two amazing speakers who will talk about crimes in Omaha in the ‘20s and ‘30s and the “Squirrel Jail” where the perpetrators were housed. Why the name? Come to the “Do the Crime, Pay the Time” dinner and find out!
Staying in Touch
Want to get the latest and most up-to-date convention information? Subscribe to the convention list by sending a blank e-mail to [email protected]. If you received updates for the 2021 convention, you do not need to re-subscribe to the list.
To make reservations online, go to https://book.passkey.com/event/50221160/owner/22518/home. When asked to select guest type on the main screen, select attendee. For those who wish to call in and make their reservation, call 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667) and reference the name of the group block, American Council of the Blind. The group code if needed for those calling in is ACB. Room rates at the Hilton are $96 (single or double occupancy) with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room. Room tax is currently 18.16%. One night’s stay will be charged to your credit card when you book your reservation.
For any other convention-related questions, please contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair, at (651) 428-5059, or via email, [email protected].