Ultimate Omaha Holiday Events List {Updated For 2019}

Omaha is the best place for a family to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 2019. You can find free kids’ activities, every kind of live performance from ballet to orchestra to rock, and a ton of chances to meet Santa around town. Read on for the 2019 Omaha holiday events list!

Note: This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated with 2019 holiday events. If you have an event to add or see an error in the schedule, please leave a comment or email me!

The ultimate holiday events list for Omaha {updated for 2019!} -If you want to find things to do in Omaha in November and December, for Christmas or New Year's festivities, this is the list! Find holiday concerts, theater, dance, and Christmas displays in Omaha and nearby. #holidays #Omaha #Nebraska #Christmas #Guide #USA

Got a kid-free night ahead of you? Good, I also included some activities that are perfect for a holiday date night or a friends’ night out.

Pin this post because I will add to this list often! I’ve divided the post into sections:

  • -Omaha holiday events (including tree lightings, parades, and holiday displays, and pretty much everything that’s not music, theater or food-related)
  • -New Year’s Eve events
  • -Holiday concerts
  • -Christmas theater & dance
  • -Holiday food & drink
  • -Charitable events & gift drives

Having a difficult time choosing just one holiday event to attend? Check out this list of classic Omaha holiday traditions – they’re the kind of events that you should go to at least once in your life!

Omaha holiday events in 2019

A Log Cabin Christmas

When: Through Dec. 29, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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

What: The museum’s historic log cabin will be decorated for Christmas, and a docent will be present to show guests the cabin and share pioneer holiday traditions.

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

Santa’s Rock N Lights

When: Through Dec. 31; event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays (and some Sundays), and from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays (not all Sundays)

Where: Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, Neb.

What: It’s a drive-thru light show featuring nearly a full mile of 1,000 programmable elements and more than 100,000 animated lights dancing to Christmas music.

Cost: Online prices are $24.99 per vehicle up to six people on weekdays and $29.99 per vehicle up to six people on weekends and Dec. 19-24 (additional $5 per individual beyond the six)

Holiday Poinsettia Show

When: Through Jan. 5 (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day); the Bright Nights is 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 14-23, 26-30 and Jan. 2-5.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: This indoor flower show is perfect for the holidays, plus the indoor model train is always a hit with kids.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

Holidays In The Old Market

When: Through Jan. 6

Where: 11th and Howard streets

What: Stroll the historic streets in the glow of thousands of twinkling lights. Historic buildings are lit up from top to bottom with lights, greenery, and bows.

Cost: FREE

Looking for holiday fun runs? Here’s the list of 2019 Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed races that are in or near Omaha.

Christmas at Union Station

When: Through Jan. 5

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

What: See the largest indoor tree in the region, as well as Holiday Cultural Trees Display. Christmas at Union Station includes several events, and live performances as well.

Cost: Included with museum admission

Holiday Decor at General Crook House

When: Through Jan. 12

Where: Gen. Crook House Museum, 5770 N. 30 St., #11b

What: The house is decorated for the season and festivities are planned with the theme “Books: Keys to Life’s Treasures.”

Cost: $6, adults; $5, students/seniors/military; $3, children (ages 6-11); and FREE for children younger than 6.

New Year’s Eve Events In Omaha

Family Safari – “Noon Year’s Eve” Safari 

When: Dec. 30, 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

What: Spend the night in the Scott Aquarium and then stay and ring in 2020 early (at noon on New Year’s Eve). Event is specially made for everyone who doesn’t want to stay up late to celebrate!. Cost includes include paid admission, overnight stay, special guided tours, evening snack, breakfast, free day at the zoo and a zookeeper talk. Children must be at least 4 years old, and one adult is required to attend with every 10 youth.

Cost: $45-$48 per person

Noon Year’s Eve

When: Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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

What: Children of all ages will enjoy this fun-packed party with live music by Dino O’Dell and the T-Rex All-Stars, special crafts and activities. Ring in the noon year in handmade party hats while enjoying the celebratory bubble wrap stomp and the balloon drop at noon in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall.

Cost: Included with museum admission

Noon Year’s Eve Party

When: Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

What: Celebrate the New Year with a dance party, blow-ups, games and a balloon drop.

Cost: FREE

Bubbly New Year’s Eve Party

When: Dec. 31, 4 to 8 p.m. (bubble drop will be at around 7:45 p.m.)

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

What: Celebrate the New Year without staying out late! The celebration will include a lot of bubbles, and a “midnight” countdown at around 7:45 p.m.

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

2019 New Year’s Eve Fireworks Buffet

When: Dec. 31, 6 p.m. to midnight

Where: Omaha Press Club, 1620 Dodge St., suite 2200

What: Buffet and live music by Soldiers of Soul, plus fireworks viewing.

Cost: $65 per person, tax and gratuity included

Holiday Lights Festival – New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular

When: Dec. 31, 7 p.m.

Where: New location near CHI Health Center and TD Ameritrade Park. Free parking to view the up-close show will be in Lot A, Lot B and Lot C of the CHI Health Center.

What: The New Year’s Eve fireworks display is one of the largest in the region and is the last signature event of the Holiday Lights Festival. The display is choreographed so that each shell explodes on cue to a unique themed medley of “One-hit Wonders.” Spectators are encouraged to tune in to STAR 104.5 to enjoy the accompanying music while watching the dazzling show. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early.

Cost: FREE

A Roaring New Years Eve: Party like it’s 1919

When: Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: The Gatsby, 1207 Harney St.

What: A 21+ party with sparkling champagne, VIP lounges, and music to dance the decade away.

Cost: Cost/cover unknown

New Year’s Eve at the Slowdown

When: Dec. 31, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.

What: A 21+ event with DJ, dancing and a champagne toast.

Cost: $10, advance; $20, day of show; $75, VIP

Secret Weapon’s Annual NYE Bash

When: Dec. 31, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: The Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St.

What: A 21+ event with Secret Weapon playing 80s movie songs played like never before, plus a New Year countdown.

Cost: $10, general admission; $150, VIP

Looking for more things to do when it’s cold outside? Here are 30+ things to do in Omaha in the winter.

Omaha holiday concerts in 2019

Most 2019 holiday concerts and holiday concert series have ended.

Christmas theater & dance in Omaha 2019

Omaha Christmas theater shows in 2019 include "A Christmas Carol" at Omaha Community Playhouse
Photo courtesy Omaha Community Playhouse

Most holiday performances in 2019 have ended.

Holiday food events 2019

Penguins and Pancakes

When: Dec. 26-30; seating times are at 9 to 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. seating. 

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium at the Scott Aquarium Conference Center

What: Enjoy pancakes from The Pancake Man, an animal visit from an African penguin and keeper talk, as well as a special penguin plush to take home.

Cost: $20, adult members, and $25, adult non-member; $15, child member (ages 3-11), and $20, child non-member (ages 3-11); and FREE for children ages 2 and younger

2019 charitable events & gift drives in Omaha

Project Santa

When: Ongoing

Where: You host the drive, but it is connected with Open Door Mission. Drop-off toys at one of the Open Door Mission’s locations: Timberlake Outreach Center at 2107 E. Locust St., Elkhorn Outreach Center at 1620 N. 203rd St., Elkhorn, Neb., or Council Bluffs Outreach Center at 1612 Ave. D, Council Bluffs, Iowa.

What: Project Santa provides toys to needy boys and girls. As a host of the toy drive, you collect the toys and deliver them to one of the Open Door Mission locations. Here’s the overview of the program.

Cost: It’s free to register and host; you will have to rally friends, family, and co-workers to donate items.

Open Door Mission Christmas Day Brunch & Banquet

When: Dec. 25, 8 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

Where: Open Door Mission Garland Thompson Men’s Center, 2705 N. 20th St. E

What: Open Door Mission will be holding a banquet-style meal on this special day to help hungry and homeless men, women, and children celebrate Christmas. Volunteers are needed to help serve the meal, prepare the food, and/or clean the kitchen. School-aged children are welcome to help at this family-friendly event, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Cost: 3 hours of your time.

Diaper Unloading Party

When: Dec. 27, 10 a.m.

Where: Timberlake Outreach Center at 2107 E. Locust St.

What: Help unloading diapers that were donated during 94.1’s annual Diaper Drive. After unloading, there will be chili, chicken noodle soup, and hot chocolate available. Please wear a hat, coat, gloves, and appropriate footwear. If you are not wearing appropriate attire, you will be re-assigned to an indoor job.

Cost: A few hours of your time.

Open Door Mission New Year’s Eve Brunch & Banquet

When: Dec. 31, 8 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

Where: Open Door Mission Garland Thompson Men’s Center, 2705 N. 20th St. E

What: Open Door Mission will be holding a banquet-style meal on this special day to help hungry and homeless men, women, and children celebrate the new year. Volunteers are needed to help serve the meal, prepare the food, and/or clean the kitchen. School-aged children are welcome to help at this family-friendly event, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Cost: 3 hours of your time.

Open Door Mission New Year’s Day Brunch & Banquet

When: Jan. 1, 8 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

Where: Open Door Mission Garland Thompson Men’s Center, 2705 N. 20th St. E

What: Open Door Mission will be holding a banquet-style meal on this special day to help hungry and homeless men, women, and children celebrate the new year. Volunteers are needed to help serve the meal, prepare the food, and/or clean the kitchen. School-aged children are welcome to help at this family-friendly event, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Cost: 3 hours of your time.

Please leave a comment or email me at ohmyomaha (at) gmail (dot) com if you know of an event or gift drive to include in this list!

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4 thoughts on “Ultimate Omaha Holiday Events List {Updated For 2019}”

  1. hi Kim i was wondering if you knew of some hotels in Omaha that decorate for Christmas? I am wanting to come and stay in Omaha Christmas weekend, and would like to be surrounded by beautiful decorations and great food. thanks…

    Reply
    • Hi Mitzi – Good question! The one place I know for certain is Magnolia Hotel downtown. It has a large gingerbread display each year. I’m fairly certain that Embassy Suites in the Old Market will be decorated too, or at the very least, it’s right by all the gorgeous downtown lights. I’m going to ask around though. If you follow Oh My Omaha on Facebook or Twitter, I’ll see what people respond with.

      Reply
  2. Is the yearly concert that used to be held after the Gene Leahy tree lighting ceremony at the Holland no more? That makes me really sad. It was something we enjoyed every year. 🙁

    Reply
    • I have a feeling it will return once construction is over on the Gene Leahy Mall. At least, I’m crossing my fingers that it all returns once it’s finished!

      Reply

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