November 11, 2014

50 Holiday Activities To Do In Omaha 2014

UPDATE: Season’s greetings! This post is from 2014, so if you found my blog through this post…first, welcome! Second, get some updated events here.

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I love this time of year – there’s so much to do in Omaha!

Need some ideas? I’ve got 50 holiday activities to last you through the end of the year.

  1. It’s time to register your family to Ring a Bell this season for the Salvation Army. Locations are available all over the city.
  2. Get into the holiday spirit with The Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes presented by Omaha Performing Arts* at the Orpheum Theater Nov. 13-30.
  3. Trans-Siberian Orchestra performs a rock concert to remember – featuring their brand of Christmas music and a light show – Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.
  4. What’s a holidays in Omaha post without “A Christmas Carol”? Omaha Community Playhouse presents the exquisite production Nov. 21 through Dec. 23.
  5. Volunteer for the Open Door Mission’s Drumsticks on Wheels on Nov. 22. It’s a family-friendly opportunity! Help deliver 5,000 turkey ‘n fixin’s boxes to low income families in our community.
  6. Get crafty at your local public library. On Nov. 22, teens and adults can make an ornament at the Willa Cather Branch at 11 a.m., while elementary age kids can make a Thanksgiving craft at A. V. Sorensen Branch at 2 p.m. (you’ll want to pre-register for either). There are several more classes for various age groups and at different locations in December, including a family crafting event Dec. 13 at Willa Cather. All are FREE.
  7. Midtown Crossing kicks off the new Holiday Lights Spectacular and Miracle at Midtown on Nov. 22. See the festive window displays then head to Turner Park to see the light show that starts nightly at 7 p.m. through Jan. 1.Amazing Pizza Machine
  8.  Break away from the cold – and relieve holiday stress – at The Amazing Pizza Machine with 150 arcade games, go-karts, bumper cars, laser tag and more, including a 100+ item, made-fresh-onsite buffet. Select from value-priced buffet and play packages and special deals going on now – including gift card sales.Win four RiViT 90 Packs! (Giveaway has ended. Sorry!)

  9. Enjoy a FREE performance of Handel’s “Messiah” sung by the 190-voice choir Voices of Omaha, accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Concert is Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center.
  10. Search for one-of-a-kind and affordable Christmas gifts during the “12-Below Holiday Show” at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd., 405 S. 11th St. Local artists created work that was 12 inches or smaller. Show is open Nov. 25 through Dec. 28 (closed Mondays).
  11.  Start a Thanksgiving tradition and run the morning of Turkey Day. There are several to choose from, but if you want your race fee to go to something good, consider the Turkey Trot 5K benefitting Joslyn Castle (run/walk starts at 9 a.m. at Turner Park) or the Feast and Feathers Trail Run benefiting Food Bank For The Heartland (5K, 10K and half-marathon – first race starts at 8 a.m. at Lake Cunningham).Skyzone Logo With R
  12. Burn off your Thanksgiving indulgence at Sky Zone Omaha, 4215 S. 133rd St. The indoor trampoline center is a fun and active outing for the whole family. Win 30-minute passes for four people! (Giveaway ended. Sorry!)

  13. One of the coolest tree-lighting ceremonies to take place in Omaha is Nov.28 from 4 to 7 p. m. during Christmas at Union Station at the Durham Museum. Besides the countdown, activities include cookie decorating, crafts, singalongs and talking with Santa and Mrs. Claus.1-Santa's-Magic
  14. Join Santa as he greets children by name to hear their holiday wishes during “Santa’s Magic,” which runs Nov. 28 through Dec. 22 at Omaha Children’s Museum. Snow Queen greets children, makes it snow, then Santa himself comes down the chimney and calls each child by name to hear their holiday wishes. Win a pass for four to the museum(Giveaway has ended. Sorry!)


  15. Like your holiday shows to be on the funny side? Check out the farce “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and Then Some!)” running Nov. 28 through Dec. 21 at BLUEBARN Theatre. The name describes it all. This farce includes everyone from Frosty the Snowman to the Grinch to Tiny Tim. Win 4 tickets to see this show! (Giveaway has ended. Sorry!)

  16. Want to wow your kids with indoor snow? Head to Center Court at Regency Court on a Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. It’ll snow on the hour from 1 to 5 p.m.
  17. Visit downtown Papillion’s Winter Wonderland Nov. 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. for FREE activities that evening include carriage rides, bonfire, Santa, popcorn, hot chocolate, photos with live reindeer and more.
  18. Want a movie night at home? ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas starts Dec. 1. Family-friendly films will be shown every night through Dec. 25.
  19. Christmas at Boys Town features three Nativity scenes on display, including the main crèche, created by a Holocaust survivor, that adorns the historic Music Hall near the main entrance – it can be seen for miles. Displays are FREE to see Dec. 1 through Jan. 11, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Boys Town, 137th Street and West Dodge Road.
  20. Stop the Durham Museum in the evenings on select Tuesday nights for a chance to chat with Santa and meet his reindeer and make holiday crafts. Tuesday Nights with Santa are Dec. 2, 9 and 16 from 5 to 8 p.m.
  21. Joslyn Art Museum’s “Holiday Under Glass” kicks off on Wednesday, Dec. 3. The FREE noon concerts are in the atrium and are held Wednesdays and Fridays, Dec. 3-19. Stick around after for a gallery tour starting at 1 p.m.**
  22. Adopt-A-Family this holiday season. Star 104.5 partners with Salvation Army to host a radiothon Dec. 4 and 5. Your family can pledge to adopt a family of any size, purchasing a gift for each family member.
  23. Santa will make a special appearance during Family Night Dec. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Dodge House, 605 Third St., Council Bluffs. “Christmas at the Dodge House” runs Nov. 26 through Dec. 31, during which the Victorian-style General Dodge House is decorated for the holidays, featuring more than 20 trees decorated by local organizations.
  24. The Holly Jolly Night Hike is Dec. 5 at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Iowa (about 20 minutes from Omaha). The moderate hike is designed to introduce visitors to walking at night and includes activities to engage each of the senses.Christmas_Story-4
  25. The holiday classic film is now a musical! Go see “A Christmas Story” at The Rose Dec. 5-28. The show is recommended for ages 5 and up. Win 4 tickets to see this show! (Giveaway has ended. Sorry!)

  26. See a movie and donate to a good cause. AngelFlix is Dec. 6 starting at 9 a.m. at Aksarben Cinema. The admission includes a movie, kid-friendly breakfast and refreshments, plus a visit from Santa and a holiday trinket bag. The event benefits Angels Among Us.
  27. See holiday characters scuba dive in a shark tunnel! Saturdays in December, part of the festivities planned during Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium’s Holiday Happenings at include special dives at 10:45 a.m. Get to the tunnel early to stake out a good spot, it gets crowded.
  28. Hot Shops Art Center’s Holiday Open House is Dec. 6, noon to 8 p.m., and Dec. 7, noon to 5 p.m. The free event features open studios, live demonstrations and a lot of shopping opportunities.
  29. Ballet Nebraska will perform the annual favorite “The Nutcracker” Dec. 6 and 7 at the Orpheum Theater and the Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College. **
  30. The Jan Brett Book Tour “The Animals’ Santa” stops at Omaha Police Union Hall, 13445 Cryer Ave., Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. for a FREE event. The New York Times bestselling author will give a book talk and an illustration demonstration.
  31. Visit various downtown arts and cultural institutions during the Family Festival Dec. 7 from noon to 5 p.m. It’s all FREE, from the hands-on activities for children to the transportation between participating locations.
  32. Check out the traditional Irish Christmas displays Dec. 8-15 at “Irish Christmas at Father Flanagan’s Historic Home.” Tour the home for FREE, exploring celebrations of his homeland and see Christmas quilts, antique toys and ornaments from the 1920s to 1940s. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  33. Be one of the first 100 people at Lauritzen Gardens on National Poinsettia Day (Dec. 12) and get a free poinsettia! Doors open at 9 a.m. Can’t make it that day? The Holiday Poinsettia Show is from Nov. 28 through Jan. 4, 2015. Kids will love the trains that go around the indoor display.
  34. Unseasonably warm winter day? How about a hike? Some of my favorite kid-friendly trails can be found at Mahoney State Park, Platte River State Park and Hitchcock Nature Center.
  35. Enjoy a FREE holiday concert at your local library, then have you kids check out some seasonal book. The South Omaha branch will feature a pianist on Dec. 10, guitarist George Walker is at Swanson on Dec. 16, Metro Omaha Handbells is at the Millard branch on Dec. 19 and a strings performance is Dec. 20 at the Willa Cather branch.
  36. Sure, it’s cold outside, but that’s no reason to pass up ice cream. Local ice cream shops Ted & Wally’s and eCreamery usually offer seasonal flavors. One year, eCreamery had White Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips & Peppermint Flakes.
  37. Amp up your Christmas cheer by strolling through the Old Market in the evening on select Saturdays. Sounds of the Season features live music along Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6,13, 20 and 27 from 7 to 8 p.m.
  38. See a Christmas classic on the big screen. Film Streams will show “Miracle on 34th Street” on Dec. 13, 14 and 18; and then you can catch “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the nonprofit cinema Dec. 20, 21 and 25.UglySweaterLogo
  39. Dig out your family’s ugliest sweaters and take part in The Ugly Sweater Run 5K Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. starting from the Century Link Center in downtown Omaha. Runners enjoy hot chocolate, or a tasty beer if you’re in the 21+ crowd, and can clown around with big inflatables, photo stations, and holiday tunes. Kids 5 and younger run FREE! Win 4 entries to The Ugly Sweater Run (because it’s more fun to run with friends)! (Giveaway has ended. Sorry!)

  40. Enjoy a holiday-themed puppet show with your kids. Head to the Abrahams branch of the Omaha Public Library for the Holiday Puppet Show Extravaganza on Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. It’s FREE and refreshments are included.
  41. Stay active over Christmas break and visit the ConAgra Foods Ice Rink, an ourdoor ice rink on the ConAgra Foods campus, 10th and Harney streets. It’s open mid-December to Jan. 4, 2015, and only costs $5 to rent skates. All proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank for the Heartland. Try skating under the lights sometime for an incredible memory!
  42. Break out your Hawaiian shirts for this one. “Beach Boys Christmas Show” is Dec. 14 at 7 a.m. at the Orpheum Theater. Christmas at the beach or Christmas in Omaha? Tough choice.
  43. Bring the little one in your home to the Winter Wonderland Party on Dec. 17 at 9 a.m. at the  Saddlebrook Community Center. The tea party will include a story, songs, create-your-own snack and a craft.
  44. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium’s Supper with Santa Dec. 18-21, from 6 to 8 p.m. Dinners includes crafts and pictures with Santa. Visit the zoo’s website for cost and pre-registration.Christmas-Spectacular-Logo-9
  45. Omaha Symphony’s annual tradition “The Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Spectacular” begins its four-day run Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Celebrate the magic, romance, and joy of the season as Broadway stars add to the lush sounds of the Omaha Symphony. It’s a singing and dancing treat for the whole family. Win four tickets to see the show! (Giveaway has ended. Sorry!)

  46.  Omaha Performing Arts* and Broadway Across America presents the Broadway touring production of “Beauty & The Beast” at the Orpheum Theater Dec. 19-21. It’s not exactly Christmas-y but it’s pretty enchanting.
  47. “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” comes every year – isn’t it about time your family checked it out? The group presents two shows, Dec. 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., at the Orpheum Theater. Expect a dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting.
  48. The all-ages Kwanzaa Talent Showcase: Kuumba is Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Washington branch of the Omaha Public Library. It will feature local youth performing and soul food. It’s FREE for the whole family.
  49. Penguins and Pancakes is Dec. 27-29 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. It’s just like it sounds – pancakes and a visit from penguins…plus your ticket includes crafts and a plush toy, as well as admission into the zoo. Visit the zoo’s website to get cost information and to pre-register.
  50. The annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular is Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. View them around Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets, or if you feel like braving the cold winds, head to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.



50 Days Of Holiday Activities Giveaways!

Be sure to check back on the blog to enter giveaways for excellent prizes from the following:

Nov. 14BLUEBARN Theatre

Nov. 15The Rose

Nov. 19Amazing Pizza Machine

Nov. 21Omaha Symphony

Nov 22Ugly Sweater Run

Nov. 26Omaha Children’s Museum

Nov. 28Sky Zone


Disclaimer: Giveaway prizes were provided by participating giveaway sponsors. I was not compensated for any post or mention.

* Disclaimer: I am an employee of Omaha Performing Arts.


  1. This is a seriously fantastic list, Kim. I didn’t even know that so many of these existed! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Cynthia Cover says

    Supper with Santa at the zoo sounds amazing. I didn’t know about that one, thanks for the list!

  3. What an amazing list!! Thank you so much for sharing all of these! I’m taking tons of notes!

  4. Hi Kim,
    Last year there was a Saturday in December where the trolleys were running to different museums, library, OPS stables, etc. With hot cocoa, caroling and crafts. I don’t recall the name of the event. Do you know what I’m talking about, and if that’ll be on again this year?

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