I grew up in Fremont and always loved the novelty of Bennington when we drove through town. Back then, K-12 was all in one school, and there was just “Old Town” Bennington, surrounded by a lot of farmland—no big neighborhoods, no fancy lake communities. There was just a quaint, quiet, small town with a water tower.
Shortly after I moved back to Omaha from the Denver area in 2007, Bennington had grown substantially. We started looking at places to build our forever home to raise our family, and put it at the top of our list. After a lot of thought and prayer, we finally settled in Bennington in 2010.
Here are my favorite things about living in our community for the past 8 1/2 years.
It’s a small-town feel, close to the city.
One of the best things about living in Bennington is the small-town charm. From the old downtown area, the water tower to the multiple neighborhoods that keep popping up, our community still feels like a small town.
However, we still have the conveniences and urban opportunities that the Greater Omaha area offers.
For example, I’m only 6-10 minutes away from Target or Hy-Vee (priorities, am I right?). My gym is only a 20 minute drive (there are closer ones and even a gym in Bennington now)! We can get to downtown Omaha in less than 30 minutes. Considering I had similar commute times to these places when we lived in Omaha, living a little farther out wasn’t a deal-breaker for us.
Oh, and if you want to stop by and enjoy one of Bennington’s small-town restaurants, we have those too! The Warehouse is one of our family’s favorites. It’s conveniently located off 156th St. and Highway 36. Everytime we visit, we run into other neighbors and friends. The menu is huge, and the food and service are excellent.
There are great athletic opportunities for kids.
Bennington has a soccer club, recreational and select baseball/softball leagues, flag and tackle football teams, a wrestling club, and in-school programs for kids of all ages. These sports teams give children and parents alike a greater sense of community, while staying healthy and active. Plus, our practice and game facilities for most leagues are in the heart of town. Who doesn’t love their kid playing soccer across the street from a corn field?
All 3 of our older kids have participated in at least one of these activities within Bennington over the years. It brings back my own memories of being on the same team with my own neighborhood friends. There’s something special about that.
Every summer, the community hosts a weekend of exciting events for the entire family. Bennington Daze brings everyone together with days that are packed with fun. Our family’s favorite activity is the parade that takes place the Saturday morning of the weekend each year. It ends in Centennial Park, which is in the old downtown area and central to all the action. There are carnival games in the park right after the parade.
We also have a running race, free BBQ, fireworks show, live entertainment, street dance, food trucks, pancake feed, and so much more. Even if you’re not a Bennington local, bring the family and enjoy the small town fun! This year’s event will take place June 7-9 and gives our kids something to look forward to in the heart of summer.
We have many awesome places to enjoy the great outdoors!
We’re an outdoorsy family. I’m thankful to have many nearby places to run, bike, or hike. I enjoy different options for a change of scenery when I want to go for a run or a ride.
Waterford Lake, off 150th and Ida, is a residential neighborhood with a nice 2 mile paved loop. Newport Landing is another residential path (about 4 miles) that goes around Bennington Lake near 168th and Bennington Rd.
Standing Bear Lake and the new Flanagan Lake are also very close with great paved trails. Since these two locations are owned by the City of Omaha, they also offer public access for kayaking and fishing. Standing Bear has a lot of off-road opportunities for trail running and hiking too!
We have a top-notch public school district.
Bennington Public Schools was one of the top factors for our family when we considered our forever home. Our friends had excellent experiences here and raved about the schools. We weighed many options on locations and schools when we decided to build.
For the past 8 1/2 years, this school district has been an excellent fit for our family. It’s home for our kids. I love our schools. We have a kid in each of the schools: elementary, middle school, and high school. Despite the booming growth in our community, the district has been diligent in planning ahead and building new schools to accommodate all families. We now have 3 elementary schools (with the 4th under construction now), a newer middle school, and a high school that has undergone multiple expansions.
Families have many reasons for preferring a school district over others. For ours, it was knowing Bennington had smaller class sizes without sacrificing quality of education in any way. While no district is perfect, Bennington is the best match for our family, and our kids are thriving here.