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Hastings Museum, Hastings

#18 of 91 in Museums in Nebraska
Must see · Natural History Museum · Museum
The Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History is located in Hastings, Nebraska. It claims to be the largest municipal museum between Chicago and Denver. It is housed in a building funded by the Works Progress Administration and dedicated on June 15, 1939. The museum exhibits include Kool-Aid, natural history dioramas, local history, weapons, life of pioneers on the Plains, rocks, minerals, fossils, antique vehicles, coins, and a planetarium.

The Museum is under the jurisdiction of the City of Hastings and all employees are personnel of the Hastings government. The museum is governed by a 7-member board, with each member serving a term of 5 years. The board has the power to adopt rules and regulations as they deem appropriate and has exclusive control of expenditures of the Museum fund. The board is responsible to the Mayor and City Council of Hastings, Nebraska. It is also supported by a Foundation to increase awareness and support, which was incorporated in 1985.
The Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History preserves, displays and interprets artifacts, provides research and shares knowledge pertaining to the natural and cultural histories of Hastings, Adams County and the Great Plains of Nebraska. Founded in 1926 by Albert Brooking, it became home to many exhibits including Brooking's personal collection of Native American artifacts, fossils, and mounted birds. Albert Brookings’s bird collection was one of the largest in the United States. Other exhibits include natural history dioramas, an extensive armaments collection, and the history of Edwin Perkins, a local merchant famous for inventing Kool-Aid in 1927. The museum hosts an annual Native American festival. The Hastings Public Library and Adams County Historical Society are both located at the museum.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
112 reviews
  • took my son's family to this museum. super afternoon. Kool-Aid is properly present. The place is clean and orderly. Very pleasant and nicely lit.  more »
  • Stopped because of the Kool Aid Connection but was impressed with the collections of birds, animals, weaponry and more. Along with the Kool Aid Man statue (Oh, Yeah!) outfront, there is a statue of.....  more »
  • An outstanding community museum! Three floors of exhibits covering a wide range of interests. Antique autos, wildlife dioramas, antique rifles, local and state history, mineral and bird exhibits, and an area dedicated to the history of Kool-Aid which was created in Hastings, NE. A large format theater and a planetarium are also on site.
  • Two words, "Oh yeah!!!" - Kool-aid man

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