Antelope Park

Part of Antelope park’s large playground, a tall tower leads to a blue slide, and a purple spiral slide. There is a lower, smaller red slide. The play surface is rubber tiles and large trees provide shade to the nearby picnic tables and benches.

Antelope Park is located 23rd and "N" Streets to 33rd & Sheridan Boulevard in Lincoln, Nebraska. It has an assortment of attractions including the Sunken Gardens, Veterans Memorial Garden, Hamann Rose Garden and Strolling Garden, Ager Golf Course, Elks baseball field, facility rentals, and the largest playground area in the city. Running along the Antelope Creek, the Billy Wolff Trail and Rock Island Trail run through the park. 

The park is unofficially recognized into three sections: North, Triangle, and South.

 Acres: 92.93 

History of Antelope Park

In 1905 the City of Lincoln purchased a 31-acre tract of land located southeast of 27th and D streets. This would eventually stretch from O Street to South Street along Antelope Creek to Sheridan Boulevard along the Rock Island railroad tracks. 

Several contributions of land by generous individuals extended the initial purchase. The first of these occurred in 1907 when Lincoln native William Jennings Bryan offered the city 10 acres of his farm at Fairview. This land was located south and east of 30th and A Streets. 

In 1915 the Antelope Park community extended the 27th and D streets park all the way to O street due to an increase in activity. The idea behind this extension was to develop a swimming pool and other recreational areas for the park. While development took place at the north end of the park, additional land became available southeast of 30th and Everett streets. Lincoln banker W.T. Auld gave the City of Lincoln 15 acres in this area for park purposes. In recognition of this large gift, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department created a stone gateway to Antelope Park that is still standing today. In this same area, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department created the Auld Pavilion in recognition of the donations that W.T. Auld gave to the City Parks Department. The Auld Pavilion, which has been standing since the 1920s, still works today as a premiere reservation spot in the Parks Department and a premiere ballroom dance hall. 

Shortly after Antelope park was extended to O Street, the City received a gift of several columns from Cotter T. Bride, a friend of William Jennings Bryan. The City acquired the columns in 1916 and they were erected at the O Street entrance of the park. These columns were relocated to Pioneers Park in observance of the United States Bicentennial.

"Antelope Park North"

The northern park space is most recognized to include the Lewis Ball Fields. Located at South 23rd and "L" Streets, the multi-sports field complex is home to many of the youth NFL Flag Football league games and recreational team sports like softball and kickball during summer months.

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Just north of the ballfields is the Muny building, a local landmark built in 1921 and designated in 2014 as a historic site.

  • The Fiske & Meginnis Muny Building of 1921 has Spanish Colonial Revival features and is significant as an early example of Lincoln's substantial commitment to parks and outdoor recreation and to dignified civic architecture. It also gained significance as the site of long, persistent, ultimately successful struggle for equal access to community facilities for all residents. The leadership of Rev. Trago T. McWilliams and his son, Rev. Trago O. McWilliams, in civil rights activities spanning several decades is a significant chapter in Lincoln’s heritage. 

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"Antelope Triangle"

Located northeast of the 27th and A Street intersection, this park space is well known for any Lincolnite. The area includes Sunken Gardens, Hamann Rose Gardens, Rotary Strolling Garden, Cascade Fountain, all next to the beloved Lincoln Children's Zoo. Our Public Gardens staff maintain these gardens.

 

 

 

“Like the water of a fountain flowing endlessly on, the work of a teacher affects eternity.”

  • Inscription on the commemorative bronze plaque at the site

In 1973, the Nebraska Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) embarked on an effort to commemorate the nation’s Bicentennial with a goal to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the city. In collaboration with the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, the decision was made to raise money to build a fountain. 

Fundraising efforts were creative and widespread, including door-to-door canvassing, public events, and Table Festivals hosted by prominent Lincolnites, such as then Mayor Helen Boosalis, Senator Shirley Marsh, and Patricia Exon, then-First Lady of Nebraska. Donations from the Lincoln Foundation and the Nebraska American Revolution Bicentennial Commission also helped in the NRTA’s efforts. 

By February of 1977, arrangements were finalized to begin construction for the Cascade Fountain. It was a triumph on part of the NRTA, who had taken the fountain on as a special bicentennial project. A projected date of completion for the fountain was set on October 1, 1977.

What the hopeful city and retired teachers did not see coming were multiple roadblocks between their dreams and their reality.

From the start, the initial construction of the fountain was behind schedule. A construction workers’ strike completely halted production throughout most of the summer. By the end of August, only around a month before the projected completion date, the Cascade Fountain was only 65 percent complete. Parks and Recreation Director Don Smith officially announced that the Cascade Fountain would now be completed two weeks after the original October 1 completion date. 

Finally, in the summer of 1978, the Bicentennial Cascade Fountain, located at S. 27th Street and Capitol Parkway, was completed and dedicated to retired teachers throughout Nebraska.

After 40 years, the Cascade Fountain was experiencing significant wear and tear. The mineral-stained concrete structure was no longer its pristine white. The ductile iron pipe that supplies the fountain’s water is corroded and will fail in the future. Current Director of Lincoln Parks and Recreation, Lynn Johnson stressed the need to refurbish or reconstruct the area. The public was alerted of the need to consider alternative options for the fountain, along with different options for improvements.

Learn about the Cascade Restoration Project

"Antelope Park South"

Also referred to as "Memorial Park"

Starting at South 30th Street and "A" Streets, Antelope Park South includes the largest playground in the city, rentable shelters including the Auld Pavilion, Veterans Memorial Garden, Bandshell, Elks ballfield, the Jim Ager Golf Course, special public garden spaces, and multiple public art pieces. The Rock Island Trail runs along the west edge of this section of Antelope Park.

A new play structure was installed in 2021 on the far south end of this park space. The structure is designed with the young child in mind, ideally 2-5 years of age. This new play area is next to the well known "fire truck" structure and swing set just north of the S. 33rd and Sheridan Boulevard roundabout.  

 

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Rental FAQ's

Parks facilities categories

Most of our park areas are open for your enjoyment but we do offer specific areas to use for special events like weddings, gatherings, picnics, and larger events.

  • Wedding Locations: Special events deserve special spaces. These spaces may be used for other events but are typically used for sharing of wedding vows or another memorable experience.
  • Enclosed Shelters: Fully enclosed buildings with electricity and restrooms. Great year round events!
  • Open Shelters: These structures are open to enjoy the park atmosphere. Perfect for spring, summer, and fall events!
  • Master Tables: Large picnic style-tables that are not covered. Perfect for reunions and picnics!
  • Special Events or locations: Special Use Permit is an application to request a park area/trail for a complex event that would need additional preparation (ie: closure of street, high volume of attendees, etc.). Completed application including fee must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event. Please note that a Certificate of Liability Insurance of $1,000,000 aggregate claiming the City of Lincoln as an additional insured.




FAQ

When can I reserve the space?

  • Shelter, classroom and golf reservations can be made one year in advance of your event.
  • Online shelter reservations for the next week close on Tuesdays at 4:30pm, or in person at the Parks and Recreation office on Wednesdays at 4:00pm.

How old must I be to make a reservation?

  • All individuals signing any agreement must be 19 years of age.

Can I bring or serve alcohol at the facility?

  • Alcohol is not permitted in or on any park area.

What do I get for my reservation?

  • Your designated rental time includes set up and clean up – no early arrivals. This allows all guests and staff to set up and take down within the scheduled timeframe.
  • Enclosed shelters will have tables and chairs available. Wedding open venue areas reserve the space but do not include any additional seating unless otherwise noted.

Do I have the entire space for my own use?:

  • Park areas are open to the general public during periods reserved for weddings and associated activities. Limited park maintenance may also occur during wedding reservation periods.

Shelter conditions:

  • Although the Parks and Recreation Department strives to keep shelters in a clean condition, unscheduled use before your reservation may affect the shelter condition.

License Agreements

How does Parks and Recreation determine if I need a License Agreement?

  • If your organization is planning on meeting at a city park shelter on a set date and time on a recurring basis, for an extended period of time, a License Agreement is required.

How does the process work?

  • The process would start by contacting our Reservations Staff. Our staff will take down information about the shelter being used, time, and dates and will receive payment for the rental fees. With this information, the staff will prepare a License Agreement to be signed by your organization's representative and the Parks and Recreation Director. Please note that a current Certificate of Liability Insurance with the City named as an Additional Insured is required.

I have never had to go through this process before, why now?

  • The Parks and Recreation Department review the current processes periodically and modifies them as needed along with the guidance of the Law Department and our Compliance Administrators. It was determined that in order to fulfill our legal requirements, a License Agreement is needed between the City of Lincoln and interested parties.

Is there an additional cost?

  • There is no additional cost - besides the rental fees (if applicable)

How long is the License Agreement for?

  • The standard License Agreement is prepared for a one (1) year term. The duration of the agreement can also be modified according to the need of the parties involved.



Location

3200 Veterans Memorial Dr Lincoln, Lincoln 68502  View Map

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