Aerial view of the Omaha suburb of Papillion, Nebraska

Papillion, Nebraska

Papillion is a small city situated in Sarpy County in the US State of Nebraska. The city forms a part of the Omaha metropolitan area. One of Papillion's most outstanding features is its parks and leisure system. Within ten miles, one can stumble upon 23 distinct parks.

Geography And Climate Of Papillion

Aerial view of the Omaha suburb of Papillion, Nebraska
Aerial view of the Omaha suburb of Papillion, Nebraska. 

Papillion is located in Sarpy County, about 9 miles southwest of Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska. Papillion is a part of the Omaha Metropolitan Area and the Papillion-La Vista Public School District. The Papillion Creek runs through the middle of the city from northwest to southeast. Papillion covers a total area of 16.76 sq. km, of which 16.71 sq. km is occupied by land, and 0.05 sq. km is covered by water.

According to the Köppen climate classification, Papillion has a humid continental climate characterized by warm-humid summers and dry-cold winters. The average annual temperature is 12°C, with July and January recording the highest (25°C) and lowest (-3°C) average temperatures, respectively. On average, Papillion gets 556.5 mm of precipitation yearly, with June reporting the highest number (70.5mm). 

History Of Papillion

Papillion creek, which runs through the city's center, gave the city its name. The French word (papillon) for butterfly is where the name Papillion comes from. Local mythology claims that early French explorers gave the creek the name “Papillon” because its banks were home to numerous butterflies. Then, the French word was transliterated to change the spelling. Following the railroad's extension to that location, Papillion was platted in 1870. A law passed by the assembly on February 13, 1857, incorporated the town with it serving as Sarpy County's county seat. One of the final Midwestern American frontier cities built in the style of Paris in the late 18th century is Papillion, sometimes referred to as "Papio" by its locals.

Population And Economy Of Papillion

As per the latest US Census, Papillion has a population of 24,159 residents, where 50.2% are females and 49.8% are males. The biggest ethnic groups in the city include 84.2% white (non-Hispanic/Latino), 3% African-American or Black, and 6.8% are Hispanic or Latino. The remaining are distributed among Asians, Native Americans, and other races. English is spoken by 91.9% of the population. The rest speak Spanish (2.6%), Indo-European languages (2.3%), Asian and Pacific Islander languages (2%), and other foreign languages (1.2%). Only 58.1% of the population in Papillion are naturalized US citizens. And veterans make up 14.5% of Papillion’s population, of which 88.3% are males, and 11.7% are females. As of the same 2020 Census, 69% of the population are employed, with a poverty rate of 4%. The homeownership rate in Papillion is 70.7%, where the median gross rent cost is $955 per month, having a median household income of $90,000.

Attractions In And Around Papillion

The Papillion, Nebraska, Municipal Building along Third Street.
The Papillion, Nebraska, Municipal Building along Third Street. Image Credit: Atomic Energy505 via Wikimedia Commons

Walnut Creek Recreation Area

A 105-acre reservoir is the focal point of the 450 acres of rural and tranquil vistas at Walnut Creek Recreation Area. Sumter Amphitheater in Walnut Creek is unique in the area; it has seating for 600 people, excellent acoustics, and a big stage. Performances, films, and other events are held at the outdoor amphitheater throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Papio Fun Park and the Papio Bay Aquatic Center

The six-acre family entertainment complex, Papio Fun Park, features go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, laser tag, an arcade, and many interactive activities. With five acres of swimming and recreation space, the Papio Bay Aquatic Center has a zero-depth pool, two waterslides, multiple diving boards, sand volleyball, and, for younger kids, a wading pool with a butterfly slide and a sand play area.

John Sautter Farmhouse

One must visit the John Sautter Farmhouse, built by a German immigrant farmer in the late 1800s, to get a glimpse of history. One must also see the 1890 one-room schoolhouse right next door. 

Shadow Lake Towne Center

With more than 70 shops, eateries, and services, Shadow Lake Towne Center provides a wide range of dining options, year-round entertainment, and shopping choices.

Papillion still astounds visitors with its ambiance and beauty. The area is notably well-known for its proximity to wonderful outdoor activities like camping, fishing, hiking, bicycling, picnicking, and more. It’s unquestionably not a place to skip when visiting the state of Nebraska.

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