Papillion, NE Area Guide
Welcome to Papillion! Affectionately nicknamed “Papio” by residents, Papillion is a vibrant community located just south of greater metropolitan city Omaha, in peaceful Sarpy County. Papillion is conveniently located twenty minutes from Interstate 80 and I-29, putting Papillion residents under a half-hour’s distance from Omaha’s Eppley Airport. Our city’s proximity to the larger metro city of Omaha allows access to all the city has to offer, without sacrificing the harmony and slower pace of life that Papillion residents cherish. As a suburb of Omaha, our 2009 estimated population of 23,739 placed “Papio” at the ninth-largest city in Nebraska. In 2009, our community was recognized by Money Magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the United States”, ranking Papillion at #3, a rise from our 2007 ranking of #6. As of 2012, Papillion continues to rank in Money magazine’s Top Ten, with a showing of #5, continuing our community’s trend of offering residents an unparalleled quality of life. Life in Papillion is characterized by a healthy economic climate, the lowest crime rate in the state, a productive work force, top-quality public schools, an inclusive atmosphere of cultural diversity and a “Heartland” community spirit. Entrepreneurs, businesses and professionals are drawn to Papillion because of its rapidly growing economy, providing a solid platform for area businesses. As one of Nebraska’s fastest growing suburbs, our city is gaining momentum as a center of growth for the area's burgeoning private and business sectors. Papillion welcomes new neighbors from all walks of life—families, students, professionals and retirees find that the opportunities in Papillion are endless. Papillion is one of the Midwest’s last great frontier cities, whose design was modeled on 18th century Parisian city structuring, giving our city an appearance that is every bit as unique as the character of its residents. Find out what’s waiting for you in Papillion—we’re waiting to welcome you home!
The Omaha area is known as “The Gateway to the West”, due to its place in our country’s history as a stopover point on the pioneer trails. Today, our region is a destination in itself, with boundless excitement, attractions and opportunities available to enjoy. Papillion’s closeness to Omaha puts its residents close to everything, but away from it all—the quick pace of the city is convenient when you want it, and far enough away when what you crave is the peace and quiet, a sanctuary from the hustle of urban living. Papillion residents don’t have to travel to the “big city” to find culture, art and entertainment—but if they do, they’re only a short trip away. Papillion’s community prides itself on offering a comprehensive selection of art galleries, unique restaurants, locally owned shops and businesses, attractions and events. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the fun destinations waiting for you in your own backyard!
Beat the heat at Papio Bay Aquatic
Park! The facilities are operated and maintained by the City of Papillion and
offer private parties, swim lessons, birthday parties, rentals and seasonal
events. Grab your towel and get ready to make a splash!
Sumtur Ampitheatre at Walnut Creek is Papillion’s premier venue for special events. The ampitheatre’s fixed seating capacity is 350, with hillside seating accommodating 2,000 additional guests. Sumtur’s events schedule is varied, offering theatrical productions, live music, dance performances and family entertainment throughout the year.
For family fun, look no further that Bellevue Berry Farm and Pumpkin Ranch—we’re here through the seasons! From spring to fall, pack up the kids and head over to pick strawberries, raspberries and pumpkins. The barn is available for rentals and private events, and be sure not to miss our haunted house at Halloween! Other amenities include designated picnic and playground areas and daily hay rides.
At a challenging 18 holes, Eagle Hills Golf Course meanders through wetlands, wooded areas and open hills, presenting shot making decisions that will puzzle the neophyte and the pro golfer alike. U.S.G.A. regulation greens, fairways and Kentucky Bluegrass tee boxes will give you a sight to behold, as well as a challenge for your golf game.
Tour the facility and learn about the art and technique of brewing. The Nebraska Brewing Company is locally owned and operated, featuring handcrafted ales and casual American fare.
The Papio Fun Park offers fun for all ages, so bring the whole family! Go-karts, mini-golf, Lazer Runner laser tag, batting cages, arcade games and water wars provide hours of activity and entertainment. When you’ve worked up an appetite, hit the concessions stand. Get ready for serious fun at the Papio Fun park!
Eagle & Tara Golf in the Hills
opened in 1982 as a 9-hole golf course. By 1993, Tara Hills had expanded to
offer 18 holes. The course is extremely challenging, yet forgiving, and will
have pro golfers and novices alike using every club in their bags!
The Walnut Creek Lake &
Recreation Area is a rustic 450 acre mixed-use recreation area, whose
centerpiece is its 105-acre reservoir. Walnut Creek is known for its peaceful
beauty and plentiful fishing, allowing both sportsmen and naturalists to enjoy
its expanse in harmony. Walnut Creek offers picnic areas, RV camping facilities
and scheduled recreational activities for guests to enjoy the park for an
afternoon jaunt or an extended visit. Hiking
trails, bike paths and nature study are just a few of the many ways to get out
into the great outdoors at Walnut Creek.
The city of Papillion was named in honor of the creek flowing through its center. Our unique name is derived from the language of the fur trappers who were some of our regions earliest settlers. In French, our city’s name, Papillion, means “butterfly”. According to our local oral traditions, the French explorers and fur trappers who settled the land that eventually became our city named the creek Papillion because of the amount of butterflies gracing its grassy banks. Today, you can still enjoy the same beauty that distinguished “Papio” to its pioneer forefathers. Papillion Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with Sarpy County, maintains an impressive lineup of outdoor destinations for residents to enjoy, including City Park, Tara Hills Park, Garden Street Park, Triangle Park and Monarch Place Park. Our greenways and trail systems allow guests a wealth of ways to get into nature and enjoy the best of what our beautiful state has to offer. Our temperate climate makes most outdoor activities enjoyable and available throughout the seasons: from hiking and biking to fishing, hunting, swimming, kayaking and canoeing, there’s an adventure awaiting you by land or by water. Equestrian activities, camping, nature watching and picnicking are available at most area parks; no matter what your preference, there’s a place to enjoy it in Papillion. In recent years, park personnel have planted over 400 new trees and maintained a designated tree habitat, making our area parks a breathtaking sight to behold. Be sure not to miss a visit to the favorite of our local residents, the Halleck Nature Trail, which winds through the heart of the city and runs parallel to the crystal-clear waters of the Papio Creek. Halleck Trail is ideal for a weekend bike ride, a brisk run or a leisurely after-dinner walk. Below, we’ve provided just a few of Papillion’s best outdoor destinations to get you started—but don’t forget, nearby Omaha provides Papillion residents with even more to choose from, with state parks and national park preserves and nature refuges all within a convenient distance.
At the heart of the city, find a sweet surprise—nature! Halleck Park is Papillion’s natural treasure, a recreation area that includes trails, open spaces, an arboretum and a number of designated activity areas: Papio Fun Park, Papio Bay Aquatic Park, Papio Pool, and Papio Bowl. In addition to all these amenities, Halleck Park also provides practice and competition lighted tennis courts, three playgrounds, two sand volleyball courts, a horseshoe pit and six basketball courts. For baseball, softball and teeball players, Halleck Park provides E.A. Fricke Field (baseball field), Blondy Ruff Field and Volunteer Field (baseball and softball fields), and Backstop East and Backstop West (teeball fields). To enjoy Halleck Park on the water, there’s a four-acre fishing lake, so pack your fishing pole and stake out a lucky spot! In 2010, the Halleck Park Arboretum became an affiliate site of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, adding one more reason to enjoy your down time at Halleck Park’s 70 acres of exquisite parkland. For picnics and get-togethers, there are three sheltered areas and a large pavilion for guests to make use of.
Werner Park is located just three miles west of Papillion city proper on highway 370, convenient to I-80, and is the proud new home of Nebraska’s Triple-A minor league baseball team. In 2011, after 42 years at south Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium, the Omaha Royals relocated to Papillion and became the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League. The ballpark features 6,434 fixed seats and with its spacious berm and standing room areas, can accommodate up to 9,023 people for baseball games and other events. The venue encompasses 31 acres and offers state of the art audio and visual equipment, concession areas and ample on-site parking. Werner Park is not only a great place to watch a ballgame, but the venue is available for special events rentals. The amenities offered make Werner Park an ideal location to host business expos, motivational seminars, concerts, athletic tournaments, conventions, corporate seminars, religious gatherings or agricultural shows.
Schwer Park and Recreation Area is popular throughout the seasons, but it’s without a doubt Papillion’s summertime favorite! The park is home to a 7-acre fishing lake for lazy summer days with your rod and reel. A walking trail circles the lake and is perfect for mixed use; enjoy a leisurely stroll, a brisk run or take a spin on your bike or Rollerblades. A large pavilion is available for shelter on rainy days, picnics, get togethers or to relax outside with a good book. Schwer Park also provides full service restrooms and a picnic area, but the wildly popular Splash Pad is what makes it a summertime favorite.
Cool off at the Schwer Park Splash Pad when the sun is beating down! The Splash Pad features a variety of ways to beat the heat without breaking the bank—the Splash Pad is free and open to the public. Shower flowers, dumping buckets, spray cannons and rainbow rings keep guests cool when the weather’s hot. The Splash Pad is a perfect way for parents and kids to enjoy the summer together, so pack your bathing suit and a towel and head over to Schwer Park!
Visit the official website for a detailed index and complete list of facilities and amenities available at the Parks in Papillion!
For over 65 years, Papillion neighbors have come together to celebrate their diversity as individuals and their unity as a community at the annual Papillion Days event, hosted by the Papillion Community Foundation. The festivities include live entertainment, carnival rides, vendor booths, specially scheduled events and the pinnacle of Papillion Days, the Papillion Days Parade, where civic groups and local businesses put their “best float forward” in a spectacular caravan that winds throughout the city’s main thoroughfares. Come as neighbors, leave as friends—it’s what Papillion Days are all about!
Sponsored by the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce and hosted at Tiburon Golf Course, the annual golf tournament is a lively four-person scramble to benefit local businesses and promote Papillion’s local economy. Sponsors can choose from a variety of entry levels, from a beginner’s “Caddy Pack” all the way up to Platinum sponsorship. The day-long event allows sponsors to choose from individual games of golf or foursomes, and concludes with a sit-down dinner for participants. Throughout the event, pin prizes, games and raffles will be held, adding to the fun of the tournament.
Enjoy budget-friendly summer fun with music under the stars! Each summer, join your neighbors on Thursday nights at the Sumtur Amphitheater for the Swingin’ at Sumtur Concert Series, featuring the best bands of the Greater Omaha area performing and presented free of cost to the public! Gates open at 6:30 with the tunes beginning promptly at 7:30, ideal for after-supper family time. Or have dinner with us—concessions are available at the concerts, with burgers, brats and hot dogs fresh from the grill, as well as ice-cold beverages and wine. The best way to enjoy the music and the summer is out under the stars, so get ready to swing at Sumtur!
The Best of Sarpy Expo, sponsored by the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce and hosted at the La Vista Conference Center is an opportunity for residents to explore the local businesses who provide goods and services in their community, as well as a chance for local entrepreneurs to promote their businesses to a broad audience! The Expo is open to the public and free of cost with the donation of a canned food item, so head over to check out what’s new in the neighborhood! Over 100 local vendors come together to network at the Expo, with regular Omaha Storm Chasers updates and prizes given away every half hour throughout the event. Get a “Taste of Sarpy” at the Expo—coffee, samples and lunch are provided by local restaurants, as well as free beer and wine tastings as the event draws to a close. All donations benefit the Tri-City Food Pantry and Project Wee Care, so make some contacts and support a great local cause at the Best of Sarpy Expo!
For a detailed schedule of community
events, please visit the Papillion
Community Events Calendar!
Interested In Living Here? Learn more about Papillion, Nebraska!