kearney archway logo

Spanning I-80 at Exit 275, the Archway offers a unique historical exhibit that brings American history to life and so much more.

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ABOUT US

Since it opened in the year 2000, the Archway has stood as an enduring tribute to the adventurers who traveled the Great Platte River Road though Nebraska and helped to build America. Over the years, we have welcomed and inspired over 1.5 million visitors with our story.

The Archway celebrates the American spirit of adventure.

Our Mission

The Archway preserves our history, shares our story, and inspires our visitors to participate in the American adventure of discovery, innovation, and leadership.

Staff Members

Kellie Risk
Guest Services/Volunteer Coordinator
krisk@archway.org
Sharmond R. Loeffler
Assistant Director
sloeffler@archway.org
Amber Clement
Marketing/Event Coordinator
aclement@archway.org

What’s Happening

Need the latest on The Archway? With our newsletter, guests and supporters can read about the latest events The Archway hosted as well as upcoming events, recent press releases and announcements. Please contact Marketing / Event Coordinator Amber Clement (308.237.1000 | aclement@archway.org) with any questions.

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4 weeks ago

Kearney Archway
Take advantage of this beautiful weather by turning your trip through Central Nebraska into an Epic Adventure! Visit the Archway at I-80 Exit 275 in Kearney, NE. Go back in time to follow the stories of how the pioneers built Nebraska! Then head outside to check out the amazing bronze sculptures and sod house. We're open Mon-Sat 9-5 and Sun 12-5. Archway.org ... See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

Kearney Archway
Join us at the Archway for Jingles & Gingerbread to create a milk carton gingerbread house! Then enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, and festive holiday music! Sunday, December 5th, from 2:00pm-4:00pm. $5/person, limited supply, so please register online at archway.centeredgeonline.com/class/classdetails/456da47f-faa3-44cf-baf3-ae08e674d203 ... See MoreSee Less
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4 weeks ago

Kearney Archway
The Archway's Soda Fountain Sundae is on Sunday November 14th at 2:30pm. Michael McDonald will perform traditional cowboy poetry and "Nighthawk Tunes,". Then, we'll get together for root beer floats served from the Archway's vintage soda fountain. This performance is FREE! ... See MoreSee Less
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UPCOMING EVENTS

Tri-City Food Fight

Start date: November 14, 2021

End date: December 31, 2021

Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: The Archway

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Join the Tri-City Food Fight against the Stuhr Museum and Hastings Museum! Starting November 14th through December 31st, please bring donations of non-perishable food to the Archway and help to care for our neighbors in need. All donations are distributed to to local food pantries. Drop off your donations in the Archway lobby during regular hours Mon-Sat 9-5, and Sun 12-5.

Jingles & Gingerbread

Date: December 5, 2021

Time: 2:00pm-4:00pm

Location: The Archway

Gingerbread House 4

Join us at the Archway to create a milk carton gingerbread house! Then enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, and festive holiday music! $5/person, limited supply, so please register online at Archway.org/events.

Click the link to the left to register.

Archie’s Science Camp Adventure

Date: December 10, 2021

Time: 8:00 am - 3:00pm

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Everyone knows that science is fun if you do it right! Join us as we explore the wide world of science. During this day-long camp, we’ll learn about rainbows and make one of our own. Then, we’ll use a cabbage leaf to observe the way that plants absorb water. Our “lava lamp” project shows that oil and water don’t mix. And, we’ll all have a blast making a “rainbow lemon volcano.” Lunch and snacks are provided during this day-long camp. Register now and join the fun.

Click the Link to the left to register.

Cookies with Santa

Date: December 16, 2021

Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm

Location: The Archway

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Join us at the Archway to decorate cookies. write a letter to Santa, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, sing along to Christmas music, then take your picture with Santa! $5/person, limited supply, so please register online at Archway.org/events.

Click the link to the left to register.

Archie’s Construction Camp Adventure

Date: January 17, 2022

Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Let’s work together as we explore the world of building and construction. During this day-long, hands-on experience, we’ll design and build our own simple marble maze, and a model bulldozer. Then, we’ll test our engineering skills by building a balsa wood bridge. Will the bridge hold up under a heavy load? We’ll put it to the test and see! Snacks and lunch are provided during this day-long camp. Come and build with us!

Click the link to the left to register.

Archie’s Music Camp Adventure

Date: February 16, 2022

Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Join us as we discover the magic of music. During this day-long, hands-on camp, we’ll learn all about sounds and the ways that they come together to make music. We’ll play a dance game and musical chairs. And, we’ll make our own instruments, like flutes made from straws and popsicle stick xylophones. Lunch and snacks are provided during this day-long camp. Don’t let this parade pass you by. Register online, today!

 

Click the link on the left to register.

Archie’s Deep Sea Adventure Camp

Date: March 11, 2022

Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Join us as we explore the mysteries of the undersea world. We’ll learn all about sea creature identification and about life on a coral reef. We’ll make our own model of a jellyfish. Join in the ocean scavenger hunt and make a rainbow paper plate fish. It’s a day full of hands-on activities, games, and fun while we learn. Lunch and snacks are provided during this day-long camp. Remember, don’t rock the boat. Register for Archie’s Deep Sea Adventure Camp, today!

Click the link on the left to register.

Archie’s Weather Adventure Camp

Date: April 14, 2022

Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Join the Adventure Campers as we welcome spring to Nebraska. This day-long camp is filled with hands-on activities that will help us to understand the weather. Learn about our atmosphere and the conditions that bring about snow, rain, and sunshine. We’ll learn about rain clouds and weather safety in extreme weather. We’ll use cotton balls to conduct a wind experiment. And, we’ll make our own tornados in a bottle. Lunch and snacks are provided during this day-long camp. Register soon so you aren’t “left out in the cold.”

Click the link on the left to register.

Archie’s Zoo Adventure Camp

Date: May 9, 2022

Time: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

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In this camp, we’re going wild for wildlife! Join us as we learn about jungle habitat and the animals who live there. Then it’s all fun and games as we learn and practice a variety of animal sounds. We’ll make our own binoculars. We’ll head outside for a safari walk. And we’ll construct our own zoo habitat. Lunch and snacks are provided during this day-long adventure into the wild. Join us!

Click the link at the left to register.

MOST RECENT NEWSLETTER

Experience the American Spirit of Adventure

Since prehistoric times, the path along the Platte River through Nebraska, once known as the Great Platte River Road, has served as a migratory route across the continent. From the Oregon Trail era to today, the Archway brings the story of the Great Platte River Road to life.

The heart of the Archway experience is our historical exhibit that pays tribute to the American spirit of adventure. Using life size figures and personal audio guides, the Archway tells the story of the building of America. At the Archway, you’ll walk with the pioneers over the Oregon Trail. Watch a rider switch horses at a Pony Express Station. Hear Mark Twain’s account of a cross country stage coach trip. Relive the driving of the “Golden Spike” that united the nation’s railroads. Visit a traveler’s campground to hear stories of life on “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway.

Spanning I-80, today’s coast-to-coast travel corridor, at Exit 275, the Archway celebrates the lives of all of the adventurers who follow the river’s path, those of the past, who helped to build our nation, and those of today, who will shape our future.

Archway Origins

The Archway was originally conceived by Frank Morrison, the 31st Governor of Nebraska, who served from 1961-1967. It was his dream to create an enduring monument to the adventurers who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.

Imagine the daring and determination of the people who first traveled the Oregon Trail, the high-spirited adventure of racing to California during the Gold Rush of 1849, the devotion of the Mormons who moved west in search of religious freedom, the entrepreneurial spirit that lead to the creation of the Pony Express, the industry that built the Transcontinental Railroad and the cooperative effort that lead to the creation of “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway and the Interstate Highway System. Individuals of vision and courage found ways to work together to turn their dreams into reality and to contribute to an enterprise that was much bigger than themselves. The Archway tells this evocative story and seeks to inspire current day adventurers to face today’s challenges with courage and tenacity in order to continue to build a nation in which we can all take justifiable pride.

The Archway’s Innovative Structure

The Archway’s historical exhibit, shop, theater and event room are housed in a dramatic structure that spans I-80 at Exit 275. The building’s exterior was designed to emulate a covered bridge. The colors on the arch’s surface represent those of a Midwest sunrise.

Talk about American ingenuity! The engineers in charge of building the Archway were faced with the challenge of erecting a 1,500 ton structure that would eventually be suspended above one of the most heavily traveled highways in the Midwest without impeding the regular flow of traffic.

They decided that the best way to accomplish their task would be to build the two supporting towers on either side of the highway and build the arch portion of the structure separately, at ground level, near the highway. When all of the elements were ready, the most complex segment of the project was implemented. First, using hydraulic jacks, the arch section of the building was lifted 22.5 feet in the air. Then, it was jacked horizontally on to heavy duty, self-propelled modular transporters that would carry the structure across the highway. The process of lifting the structure on to the transporters took eight days.

On August 16, 1999, a section of the interstate was closed and at 10:00pm, the transporters began their work of slowly moving the structure across the highway. By 6:00am on August 17, the arch segment was in place over concrete abutment walls that are 60 feet long, 25 feet tall and 2 feet thick.   The arch segment was welded into place and finishing work began. The Archway opened for visitors on June 9, 2000. Since that time, over 1.5 million visitors have toured the historic exhibit and have been inspired by the Archway spirit of adventure.

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