Museums & Attractions
The Plainsman Museum was designed and built to showcase the history of the permanent settlement of Hamilton County alongside Native American artifacts. From a replica covered wagon and authentic sod house to a 1800’s boardwalk, with 20 replica buildings, exhibits take visitors back in time. Additional buildings on the museum campus include the Wesley Huenefeld Agricultural Building, general Delevan and Lana Bates House, District 66 One Room Schoolhouse, Greiser Blacksmith Shop and Burlington Northern Caboose. For more information visit Plainsmanmuseum.org.
The Edgerton Explorit Center is Nebraska’s center for hands-on science. The center explorit zone is filled with interactive exhibits that continually change. In addition to exhibits about strobe lights honoring namesake, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, visitors of all ages can participate in various experiments from Lego race car challenges to using brain waves to move a ball. For more information visit Edgerton.org.
The Leadership Center is an ideal venue for weddings, corporate retreats and various meetings and reunions. Located on 43.5 acres on the edge of Aurora, the Leadership Center has more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space for guests. The property boasts an indoor pool, gymnasium and fitness center, outdoor recreational activities and on-site sleeping accommodations. For more information visit TLCAurora.org.
The 12th Street Cinema, is owned by Hamilton Recreation, Inc. This 120-person theater brings the latest movies to residents at a low cost as it is operated each weekend by local volunteer organizations. For more information call 402-694-4000.
Prairie Plains Resource Institute consists of eight properties used for education and recreational activities. Events such as the Summer Orientation About Rivers (SOAR) camp are held annually to meet their goal of creating education about the land and its connection to agriculture, history, culture, water, wildlife and rural communities. For more information VisitPrairieplains.org.
Timberlake Ranch Camp offers youth camps, adult retreats and specialty programing throughout the year. The 700-acre grounds are utilized for hiking, swimming, games, crafts, horseback riding, fishing, climbing wall, high ropes course and more. There is a 220-bed capacity during the summer and 88 beds in the winter along with camper access. For more information visit Timberlake.org.
There are six city parks in Aurora covering 80 acres. Cole Park has a splash pad, trails, picnic shelters, restrooms, and playground equipment. Streeter Park is equipped with a swimming pool, walking trails, campgrounds, playground equipment, two lighted ball fields, and picnic shelters. Refshauge Park is equipped with one lighted baseball field, skate park, playground equipment, disc golf course, picnic shelters, and rest rooms. Optimist Park, Eckerson Park, and Edgerton Park are also located in Aurora. The Aurora Dog Park was built in 2016 and consists of two areas with fences.
Poco Creek Golf Course is a nine-hole course with a driving range. The clubhouse also offers apparel, golf supplies and snacks. For more information call 402-694-3662.
Penner Athletic Courts offers two collegiate-sized basketball courts with a divider separating the two sides allowing for four volleyball courts at once. The PAC has 12 basketball hoops complete with locker rooms, portable bleachers and upper viewing deck for spectators. For more information visit Pennerathletics.com.
Bader Park is located northwest of Aurora offering space for campsites and trails year-round. The park contains seven fishing ponds and ¾-mile of Platte River riverfront property. A swimming pond with sand beach, shower house, and 24 RV sites with hookups and 15 tent sites are on the premises. For more information visit BaderPark.com.
Tooley Park is located north west of Aurora offering space for campsites and trails year-round. There is a one-mile nature trail for hiking and biking. Primitive restrooms and campsites are available. Canoeing is permitted
Aurorans 4 Diamond Sports is a four-field baseball/softball complex with concession stand and restrooms, where tournaments, Aurora High Schools softball, and Legion Baseball games are hosted. Aurora Soccer Complex is a four-field site for high school and youth programs. Aurora field turf was a grassroots effort to raise funds to install field turf at Aurora High School in 2012 to create a safer, user-friendly surface for football and various activities.
Pioneer Trails Recreation Area offers RV and tent camping, outdoor amphitheater, two picnic shelters, restroom facilities, boat ramp, cooking grills and walking trail. This 43-acre lake is stocked with Largemouth Bass, Bluegill and Channel Catfish.
Dark Island Trail provides an opportunity for hikers, bikers, artists and nature enthusiasts to travel 9.5 miles of scenic loose rock trail, which also crosses the Platte River. Motorized vehicles are not allowed.
The Alice M. Farr Library has a variety of items available for children and adults to use. Six computers with internet are available for the public, as are 40,000 fiction, nonfiction and large-print books, magazines, DVDs, books on CD and access to e-books. A meeting room is available throughout the year and is free to most group. For more information visit their website at Alicemfarr.org.
The Frank M. Farr Senior Center serves individuals who are 60 years and older through various activities and programs but is open to the entire community as well. Activities include fitness, games, crafts, classes and Medicare support. Ryde public transportation is available by appointment and noon meals are served during the week. For more information call, 402-694-2176.
The Bremer Community Center has recreational and meeting facilities available for rent or through membership. Recreational facilities available include racquetball courts and a gymnasium for basketball and volleyball. Pickleball, basketball leagues and other classes are offered throughout the year. For more information visit Bremercenter.com.
Aurora Child Care, Inc. employs 19 full-time and 3 part-time staff members and has a capacity of 82 children ages six weeks to 12 years of age. This nonprofit entity keeps children safe with an electronic log-in system, security cameras and two fenced-in playgrounds with age appropriate play. For more information call 402-694-3210.