Skip to main content

June packed with fun park events for the family

Spend some time this summer in Nebraska’s state parks. During June, a variety of events are planned for those for all ages and interests.

Don’t forget to purchase a vehicle park entry permit to enter the state parks. Get one at or at state park entrances.

Walter Scott Jr. Lodge opening at Platte River SP

The Walter Scott Jr. Lodge at Platte River State Park near Louisville is open for the season and serving meals.

A Sunday Buffet is being served from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday Steak Night will be from 4-8 p.m. and begins May 25. Friday Pizza Night will be from 4-8 p.m. and starts June 7.

Call the park for more information at 402-234-2217.

Rock Creek Trail Days scheduled for June 1-2

Explore a place where road ranches served pioneers along the Oregon-California Trail, Pony Express riders carried mail across the West, and Wild Bill Hickok began a legendary career as a gunfighter. Rock Creek Trail Days is set for June 1-2 at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park near Fairbury.

The event will be open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. June 1 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 2. Scheduled events include Pony Express demonstrations and a narration of the Hickok-McCandles incident at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. June 1 and 1 p.m. June 2.

A free-will donation pulled-pork sandwich lunch will be from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. June 1. At 7 p.m., there will be a buffalo stew cookout and guest speaker Chris Sayre will share songs brought to Nebraska by various European ethnic groups. The visitor center will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.

Living History Weekend at Fort Atkinson is June 1-2

Travel 200 years back in time and experience history on the Great Plains at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park near Fort Calhoun. The park will celebrate its Bicentennial Anniversary during its June 1-2 Living History Weekend.

Volunteers can watch or help reenactors plant crops, including corn, beans and squash. Guest speaker Nancy Gillis from Nebraska Humanities discuss women in the fur trade. Reenactors will demonstrate 1820s surgical procedures, and visitors can interact with reenactors portraying ethnic groups at the fort.

Ongoing demonstrations featuring military and civilian life of the 1820s will occur from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. throughout the park. Reenactors portray fur traders, coopers, blacksmiths, carpenters, tinsmiths, weavers and other period trades. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the reenactors.

Admission to the Harold W. Andersen Visitor Center is $4 for those age 13 and older and $1 for children 3-12. For more information, contact the park at or 402-468-5611.

Author event at Ponca State Park June 6

Enjoy a summer author event co-hosted by the Ponca Carnegie Library and Ponca State Park featuring authors and editors Ryan Allen and Brian T. Hazlett at 7 p.m. June 6. This free event will be held in the Oxbow Room of the park’s Resource and Education Center.

Allen and Hazlett will discuss “On Common Ground: Learning and Living in the Loess Hills.” This is a collection of essays, poetry, and art inspired when they brought together writers, scientists, theologians, artists, poets and students to explore and reflect upon the threatened landscape of the Loess Hills. The book is a mix of information about the plants, animals, soils, and weather of the Missouri River valley and the Loess Hills that surround the river.

Chadron State Park to celebrate 103rd anniversary

Chadron State park will celebrate its 103rd anniversary June 7-8.

June 7’s schedule includes food vendors, a beer garden and live music.

On June 8, the day starts with the Run for the Hills road races. There also will be paddle boat rides, a car/bike/truck show, craft vendors, canoe regatta, food vendors, beer garden, and various exhibits.

For more information, call the park at 308-432-6167, or to view a full schedule, see the calendar event listing at

Enders Outdoor Extravaganza set for June 8

Come to Enders Reservoir State Recreation Area south of Imperial on June 8 and enjoy a full day of activities for all ages with the Enders Outdoor Extravaganza.

This family-friendly event, which will celebrate 50 years of hunter education in Nebraska, will take place at the Area A Campground from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mountain time.

Activities will include a 5K run, craft show, tractor show, Dutch oven cooking, BBQ smoke-off, outdoor games, kayaking, petting zoo, bounce house, live music, and more.

For more information on the day’s schedule of events, see the calendar event listing at

Learn kayaking at Red Willow SRA

Learn to kayak June 12 at Red Willow State Recreation Area near McCook during Family Fun Night.

Instructors and volunteers will be on hand from 6-8 p.m. to teach guests everything they need to know about kayaking. All equipment, including life jackets, will be provided, but participants may bring their own life jackets. Meet at the boat launch near the marina.

A s’mores station will be set up, with a campfire, ingredients and roasting sticks.

June 15 is National Marina Days at Lewis and Clark SRA

Enjoy National Marina Days, a summerlong celebration, on June 15 at Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area near Crofton.

The daylong schedule starts with yoga at 9 a.m. From 1-4 p.m. there will be fish-cleaning demonstrations, a fishing clinic, boat tours, touch tanks, ranger station, water safety, bounce house, lure making, bass catching, and a scavenger hunt. Hayrack rides will be given from 6-8 p.m.

For more information, call the park at 402-388-4169, or see the calendar event listing at

Enjoy stargazing at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Come to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park near Ashland on June 15 and enjoy some summer stargazing.

Telescopes will be provided so visitors may get a glimpse at the night sky beginning at dusk. Meet behind the park’s golf shack for this free event. Remember to bring camp chairs or blankets.

Bob Tichota Fire Prevention Fun Day is June 15

Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area will host the Bob Tichota Fire Prevention Fun Day on June 15.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the group lodge on Lake No. 16, visit with local rural fire departments, law enforcement, Omaha Public Power District, and other safety entities to learn about fire safety awareness and firefighter and law enforcement job duties.

For the kids, there will be fire truck rides, free food, face painting, seat belt simulator, and much more.

Tichota was a volunteer firefighter and fire prevention advocate. He also was a campground host at Fremont Lakes for more than 25 years.

Pony Express re-ride exchange at Rock Creek Station SHP

Come to Rock Creek Station State Historical Park on June 18 for the 2024 Pony Express Re-Ride Exchange.

Each June, the National Pony Express Association recreates the Pony Express in a commemorative re-ride. Letters are carried by horseback over the original trail stretching from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California. The 1,966-mile, eight-state event is conducted 24 hours a day over a 10-day period until complete. On June 18, riders will exchange the mail at Rock Creek Station’s East Ranch at approximately 1:45 p.m. The re-ride will reach Fort Kearny State Historical Park on June 19 at approximately 6 a.m.

Arrive early, as the times are estimates and the Pony can be ahead of or behind schedule.

Visit for a complete ride schedule and to track the ride as it happens.

Contact the park for more information at or 402-729-5777.

Take a Round Raft Adventure at Schramm

Visit Schramm Park State Recreation Area near Gretna on June 25 and go on a Round Raft Adventure.

Round Rafts are the perfect watercraft for floating around in a pond. Look for the Round Raft Adventure trailer in the park from 3-6 p.m.

Rafters must fit in a life jacket to participate (sizes XXS to 4XL).

Gypsy Cowbelle presenting at Fort Kearny SHP

Visit Fort Kearny State Historical Park on June 26 for a 1 p.m. presentation on Modern Day Homesteaders by Miss V, the Gypsy Cowbelle.

Miss V offers intriguing glimpses into American culture, history and lore. Her musical performances pair a diverse selection of original ballads with traditional cowboy, country and Americana covers. Compelling lyrics accompanied by solid rhythms on the guitar and her homemade plank banjo define her signature “Genuine Cowbilly” sound.

Explore Nature at Nightfall at Schramm

The Schramm Education Center near Gretna will host Nature at Nightfall at 5 p.m. June 28.

This an evening celebration of nature is a chance to meet live animals, view the night sky, go on a night hike, observe bat netting science, discover moths, find pond critters and more. At arrival, look for park staff handing out program maps with a list of activities. 

The education center will be open late, from 5-8 p.m., with special education-rate admission fees of $2.50 youth, $3 adults, 3 and under are free.

Get muddy at Mahoney on June 29

Come to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park on June 29 and get muddy! It’s Mudville from noon to 5 p.m. at the Outdoor Pavilion. Just don’t forget to bring a change of clothes.

Make mud pies and mud art, dig in dirt and discover the slip-and-slide with a very muddy twist. Just dress for a muddy mess.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at or 402-471-5008.

Related Articles

Campground Electricity Among Chadron State Park Improvements

Feb 16, 2023

Campground Electricity Among Chadron State Park Improvements

Campers at Chadron State Park soon will have more power — more electrical power, that is. Later this

Read More
Venture Park Region Discovery Fair scheduled April 8

Feb 27, 2023

Venture Park Region Discovery Fair scheduled April 8

Discover summer activities and job opportunities at the Venture Parks April 8.

Read More
Memorial Run to help boost mental health awareness

Feb 28, 2023

Memorial Run to help boost mental health awareness

Registration is open for an annual race aimed at raising awareness of mental health.

Read More