Location: Nebraska City, Nebraska
Type of Venue: Off-site, farm and conference center
Capacity: 380 guests
Rooted in a passion for nature and legacy of conservation, the Lied Lodge and Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska, has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world since it was dedicated in 1993. Nestled within Arbor Day Farms, land once owned by Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton before it was designated as a National Historic Landmark, the center was originally designed to be a gathering space for like-minded individuals to commune among the 260 wooded acres where the center still stands.
The Lied Lodge and Conference Center underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2015 and now features 140 spacious guest rooms and suites with more than 14,000 square feet of flexible event and meeting space. The center is home to two on-site dining facilities, the Library Lounge and the Timber Dining Room, and one of the best spas in Nebraska. Guests can spend the day exploring the nearby Arbor Lodge Mansion, playing in a 50-foot-tall treehouse, touring the on-site Greenhouse and Fuelwood Energy Plant or taking a few laps in the Olympic-size swimming pool. Arbor Day Farms grows a variety of grapes on-site, making delicious wines that can be sampled in the Lied Lodge lobby most Friday and Saturday evenings.
As part of the Arbor Day Foundation, the Lied Center’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices exceeds even the strictest standards, from locally grown food served during meetings and events to six all-masonry fireplaces that surpass Environmental Protection Agency requirements for wood-burning particulate emissions.
The original environmental ethos that gave root to this ecological lodge has sprouted over the years into a passion for growing inspiration and inciting fresh ideas among its overnight and meetings guests. Today the lodge is frequented for family reunions, business conferences, weddings and more, offering event planners a serene location in the heart of America.
The lower-level conference space at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center features 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Spaces and their capacities are the Rosenow Room, 380 guests; the Steinhart Room, 350 guests; the Marcotte Room, 50 guests; the Terrace Room, 70 guests; the Executive Boardroom, 10 guests; and the Steinhart Lodge, 210 guests. A couple of cozy spots within the guest room wing offer small conference spaces perfect for business meetings. In addition to the conference spaces, the Historic Morton Barns, Steinhart Lodge and Tree Adventure are set along the acreage and are venues that can bring the farm experience to life.
The food and beverage team at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center strives for excellence, serving locally sourced food and beverages in the restaurants and meeting spaces throughout the venue. The team can create special menus with personalized touches to serve any size group, but also offers a range of preset menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner to make the selection simple. Alcohol is offered during mealtimes in the Timber Dining Room and the Library Lounge, and the center offers in-room portable bar options for group gatherings. Lied Lodge serves specialty brews and Arbor Day Farm creations.
Although groups are allowed to bring in their own entertainment, the events team at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center has a comprehensive list of options that include music, team-building activities like life-size Jenga and make-and-take canvas painting activities in the orchards. There’s always a unique experience at the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, such as a murder mystery dinner at the mansion or a wine-and-cheese tasting in a treehouse. Groups willing to get their hands dirty can opt for a cooking class with the culinary team or take part in a commemorative tree-planting ceremony. Most tours include a free tree for guests to take home to plant.
On the Farm
Before and after events, groups meeting at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center can catch a hayrack ride to the Morton Oak Bonfire area and share s’mores, or schedule a trolley ride for the team to enjoy the city tour and catch the beautiful lights each night around the town. The on-site team of naturalists at Arbor Day Farm specializes in personalized guided hikes and custom tours of the farm. Groups can also arrange behind-the-scenes tours to learn about the farm’s sustainability practices.