October 18, 2017

The Knotty Nail In Omaha

My latest girls night out was last weekend making art with The Knotty Nail. The good thing? I didn’t have to go anywhere to do it. The Knotty Nail came to me.

I was asked to host a Sips & Strings Workshop and get my nail artwork for free in exchange for writing about it.

What is The Knotty Nail?

The Knotty Nail is pretty new to Omaha. Becky Pospisal launched it in 2016 in Des Moines as a workshop helping participants make unique artwork they get to keep. She has a studio space in Des Moines for The Knotty Nail. It’s caught on so she’s expanded the business to Omaha and Council Bluffs, where workshops are pop-up workshops that can be done in homes and businesses.

My set up for The Knotty Nail: I received a stained wooden board and all the supplies needed for my art (I supplied the wine and food).

Typically, workshops last two to three hours. My friends and I must have had laser focus (to be honest, it didn’t seem like it, though). We finished in two hours. And that included a wine break.

Each participant gets a 10×10 walnut stained wood, unlimited string, one of three patterns to choose from, scissors, glue, pliers, hammers, nails, etc. After you pick the design, you hammer it into your wood, then left the paper out and begin wrapping string. It’s easy. And then it’s not. String has a way of springing out from your wrapped nails if you’re not careful.

The Knotty Nail instructor guides you on the best way to wrap the nail for your design. The paw print? That’s a tough one!

Our instructor, Vicki (also Becky’s sister-in-law) stuck with us every step of the way, helping where needed and offering encouragement when string suddenly sprung.

 

How to book

Head to The Knotty Nail to pick a workshop type and date. Then you just invite your friends. These kind of workshops are best for adults, but if you have a kid who’s pretty crafty, Becky has some kids workshops available with the designs already nailed into the boards.

The instructor arrives about 15 minutes before the party is to start, and she begins setting up. All the materials are ready to go at the start of the party. Guests pick their design, start hammering, pick their string colors, and start crafting. Vicki helped us finish our pieces by gluing all the string so nothing would unravel.

In a couple of hours, everyone walks away with a new home decoration.

Some of the artwork my friends and I made during our Sips & Strings Workshop. The little heart in the middle was the hostess surprise gift from The Knotty Nail.

At our party, the hostess and one guest also got to walk away with an additional cute nail art surprise.

The cost per participant is $40, which includes all the materials prepped and ready to go.

 

If you want to book The Knotty Nail in Omaha

The Knotty Nail

Where: Workshops like the Sips & Strings Workshop can be held within the Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa area

Website 

 

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October 16, 2017

Forever Forest At Omaha Children’s Museum

Omaha Children’s Museum had a sneak peek of its winter special exhibit, “Forever Forest,” last week. And it. Was. Awesome. It’s open now, so you can see it for yourself. There’s a giveaway at the end of this post to make your next visit FREE!

Ok, full disclosure, in addition to being a blogger here, I work at Omaha Children’s Museum. So, No. 1, last week wasn’t the first sneak peek of the exhibit for me. No. 2, I’m an employee there, so you know I’m biased.

But, it’s still awesome.

What to expect

From transportation to home construction, “Forever Forest” covers many areas where trees play a role in our lives.

“Forever Forest” is simply teaching families how we live, work and play thanks to trees. To do so, there is a part of the exhibit that reflects the forest, forest life, and recreation in the forest; then there’s the transportation of lumber and processing it into the everyday products we use. And finally, the real-life applications of what we use wood for.

Pretend fishing at Omaha Children’s Museum. The fish and poles have magnets on the ends.

There’s a lot packed into this space, and I envision a lot of time spent here on cold winter days.

What’s next for “Forever Forest”

Omaha Children’s Museum is taking “Forever Forest” on the road for its first-ever national touring exhibition. After Omaha, 2,000 square feet of the exhibit will begin a tour to other children’s museums, science centers and other cultural institutions for several years (likely, 10).

The termite colonies inside the “Forever Forest” exhibit at Omaha Children’s Museum. Kids can use a magnifying glass or camera to see the termites up close.

If you’re good at math and measuring, and have seen the museum’s upstairs exhibit space, you know that there is way more than 2,000 square feet up there. We’re lucky in Omaha, and have a lot more space than the typical museum has for a traveling exhibit. So, here in Omaha, you’ll see a lot more than what hits the road.

Some of the things unique to the Omaha exhibit:

– Climbable tree trunks donated by Fontenelle Forest (one has a verse etched into it by local artist, Watie White)

– Toddler space with a little playhouse

– Camp Cottonwood, where the museum’s education department will hold four different programs

– Termite display (way more fun for my kids than I expected)

– Kayaks and camping area with a pretend pond perfect for fishing.

And quite a bit more!

 

Forever Forest Giveaway

Want to see it yourself? Omaha Children’s Museum is providing a family four pack of passes for one reader to visit! To enter, just use the Rafflecopter entry form below. Giveaway ends Sunday, Oct. 29, at 11:59 p.m. CST. Must be 18 or older to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to see another new exhibit in Omaha? I’m giving away four passes to The Durham Museum, which just opened “Zoom Into Nano.” Enter the giveaway here (it ends Oct. 22, 2017, so don’t wait).

Don’t Miss Another Giveaway

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October 10, 2017

Vala’s Scavenger Hunt

A day at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, Neb., is not enough to see and do all the free activities. I’ve tried. There’s plenty to do just walking around and stumbling on fun activities. But, if you’re a regular at Vala’s or a season pass holder, here’s the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt to spice up your next visit.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area and it’s only open about 45 days a year!

This scavenger hunt is great for groups. I know this since I did a version of it during a work outing recently. I’ve altered it some, but the fun tasks and hard-to-find items are all the brainchild of two Omaha Children’s Museum colleagues, Amy and Grace. It’s great when you work with such creative people!

Vala’s Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt is specific to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch and the unique things found there, so it won’t work at other pumpkin patches. That said, if you think you know Vala’s, this hunt is going to prove you wrong!

Sure, the Henway Piano is easy to find, but good luck finding everything else on the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt,

Here are a few suggestions for the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt. You don’t have to use these rules, but they helped with our hunt:

– Teams must stick together to complete the scavenger hunt. Splitting up is not allowed.

– Set a time limit. Our time limit was strict, and any team that arrived late was docked 25 points for each minute past the end time. This kept things pretty fair.

– Make sure at least one member on each team has a phone with a lot of storage space for the photos and videos.

 

Download the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt

Download the scavenger hunt here! This is free to use for personal use. Please do not reshare this on any other site without my permission.

 

If you go

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

Where: 12102 S. 180th St., Gretna, Neb.

When: Opened seasonally starting mid-September through Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Website

 

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October 9, 2017

Zoom Into Nano Now In Omaha

The Durham Museum just opened the newest kid-friendly exhibit in Omaha, “Zoom Into Nano,” and I took my two kids, ages 6 and 7, to see it. Could something like nano be explained to children, I wondered. Could it be explained to me?

Yes.

Sorta.

Let me explain.

By the way, if you haven’t been to this museum before, here’s my guide for visiting the Durham Museum with kids. I was not compensated to write this post; I was, however, provided complimentary passes for myself and to use for the giveaway.

What to expect at Zoom Into Nano

If you’re wondering what nanotechnology is, you’re not alone. It’s technology that deals with “dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules.” (dictionary definition)

A model carbon nanotube inside “Zoom Into Nano,” now in Omaha through Jan. 7, 2018.

Or more simply, it’s technology dealing with things on the smallest of small scales. Nano stuff.

This exhibit demonstrates nano in surprisingly simple ways.

Like magnification. There are a few stations that simply help kids (and adults) see everyday things like a butterfly wing or a speck of dust in super, crazy magnification. My kids returned to these “zooming” stations throughout our visit.

Everything in the exhibit is hands-on, which is a kid’s dream. Even my youngest enjoyed practicing with an atom transporter.

I’m sure moving atoms is a lot more difficult than moving these “atoms.”

The three us worked together to dissolve salt crystals (virtually) by generating heat through arm movement.

Is this really a kid-friendly exhibit?

This definitely has the look and feel of an exhibit that’s intended to be enjoyed by families.

Kids can design a model nano town, making sure things are balanced or their surface will tip in one direction.

Really young kids, like toddlers, probably won’t get a whole lot out of the exhibit, though. Maybe, they’ll enjoy some of the molecule building stations or the nano town balance table.

Older kids? Yes, this exhibit is going to be great for them, especially preteens and teens learning about this stuff already.

Magnets are always a hit in an exhibit, and this table was particularly effective at explaining how the smaller the material, the easier it was to move.

My two kids are early grader schoolers and were able to engage with all of the exhibit pieces. One could read and the other could not, so the reader definitely had a fuller experiences.

The room not to miss

There’s a small room at the back of the exhibit that is easy to skip, but probably does the best job at explaining what nanotechonology matters to us. Because, even after playing with all the different exhibit pieces, I was kinda wondering still what nanotechonology was and why it’s so significant (my son would tell me just to read the signs better, but he’s a know-it-all).

Anyway, in this little room, there are a few displays that break it down to layman’s terms, the breakthroughs that nanotechnology has already (waterproof clothes, for instance), and why some people are optimistic and some people are cautious about what the future holds.

 

If you go

“Zoom Into Nano”

Where: The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

When: Now through Jan. 7, 2018

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $11, adults; $8, seniors; $7, children (ages 3-12); and FREE for children younger than 3 and members

 

Giveaway

Want to go for FREE?

I’ve partnered The Durham Museum to give away one family pass to one lucky reader. This pass will get up to four people into the museum! To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form. Must be at least 18 to enter. The giveaway ends Sunday, Oct. 22, at 11:59 p.m. One winner will be randomly drawn within 48 hours and will have 48 hours to claim the prize before another name is drawn. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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October 6, 2017

Disney On Ice Presents Dream Big In Omaha

 

It’s a sure bet that anything involving Disney Princesses is going to be a hit with my daughter. Add ice skating and her month has been made. So, it was a no-brainer to get excited about “Disney on Ice presents Dream Big” coming to Omaha. The show is at the CenturyLink Center Omaha in Oct. 12-15!

“Disney On Ice presents Dream Big” is in Omaha Oct. 12-15, 2017. Photos courtesy Feld Entertainment

I included the show on the 10 Shows To See In Omaha This Fall, and now I’m pretty excited to say I’ve partnered with MECA to tell you more about the show. I am not being compensated to write this post, but I did receive complimentary tickets to attend.

What to Expect at Disney On Ice

“Disney on Ice presents Dream Big” is a two-act adventure with Tinker Bell as the guide. There will be eight Disney Princesses – Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White – with scenes, plus favorite characters from Disney’s “Frozen” bringing the movie to life.

“Disney On Ice presents Dream Big” will feature scenes from Disney’s “Frozen” brought to life. Photos courtesy Feld Entertainment

It will have favorite songs, professional ice skaters bringing memorable scenes to life, beautiful costumes, imaginative sets, and a whole lot of special effects. It is Disney, after all.

Fun Facts About Disney On Ice presents Dream Big

The carriage used in the Cinderella scene has 2,005 lights. Eight Disney Princesses have scenes in “Disney On Ice presents Dream Big,” and characters from “Frozen” featured as well. Photo courtesy Feld Entertainment

1. There are 750 costume pieces in the show!

2. There is a waterfall in the show and it uses 125 gallons of water.

3. Cinderella’s carriage is in the show and it has 2,005 lights on it.

4. Elsa’s snowflake chandelier is 3 feet tall and 26 feet wide.

5. The dragon in Sleeping Beauty’s segment is 11 ½ feet tall and 30 feet long.

 

If You Go

“Disney on Ice presents Dream Big”

“Disney On Ice presents Dream Big” is in Omaha Oct. 12-15, 2017. Photos courtesy Feld Entertainment

When: Oct. 12-15; performances are at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 13; at 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m. on Oct. 14; and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 15

Where: CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.

Cost: $15-$82 (plus tax), available through Ticket Master

 

Here’s a clip of the show!

 

Want to know about more events this month? Don’t miss the post 40+ Fun Things To Do With Kids This October.

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October 2, 2017

Putt Putt In Omaha

There’s seems to be a resurgence of putt putt in Omaha and in the neighboring cities. Just over the river in Council Bluffs, the new Pirate Putt opened and all of my CB friend are talking about it.

So I checked it out with one of them last week. It’s exactly the kind of place my kids would love, because, well, pirates.

Pirate Putt opened in the fall of 2017 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Pirate Putt had two 18-hole courses, one definitely more difficult than the other. I went the easy route and still had a horrible score (but beat my friend, so, #winning).

Wondering what other places in the Omaha metro have putt putt? Here you go!

Psst: If putt putt isn’t for you, how about hiking near Omaha or an indoor waterpark?

Omaha’s Putt Putt Courses

Indoor

Family Fun Center XL

10765 M St.

Note: This place often has a Groupon, so check Groupon.com before going!

 

Pirate Putt

1718 Madison Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa (yeah, I know, not “Omaha,” but close enough)

 

Prehistoric Putt

11134 Q St.

 

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

12102 S. 180th St.

Note: Open seasonally, even though it’s indoors

 

Outdoor

These places are going to be open seasonally. Because, who wants to putt in the snow, right? Call ahead to see if they’re open.

Boulder Creek Amusement Park

14208 S St.

 

Fun Plex

7003 Q St.

 

Papio Fun Park

210 E Lincoln St., Papillion, Neb.

 

Papio Greens Golf Center

11050 S. 66th St., Papillion, Neb.

 

Putting Plus

9216 Maple St.

 

Your Turn: Do your kids have a favorite putt putt place? Where is it?

 

 

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