November 1, 2017

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, New Year’s Eve events, and pretty much everything that’s not music, theater or food-related)
  • -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

Gingerbread on Parade

When: Through Dec. 15

Where: Ramada Plaza hotel, 3321 S. 72nd St.

What: Dozens of gingerbread creations built by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This event used to be held at the Mormon Trail Center in north Omaha.

Cost: FREE

Santa’s Wonderland

When: Through Dec. 24

Where: Cabela’s, 12703 Westport Parkway, La Vista, Neb.

What: Bring the family for a free 4×6 photo with Santa and free crafts.
Giveaways for the first 100 kids to have their photo taken Monday-Thursday beginning at 5 p.m.

Cost: FREE

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.

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. 7 & 8, 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

“Elf” Movie Parties

When: Through Dec. 5, various times

Where: Alamo Drafthouse locations, including LaVista and Midtown locations

What: The “Elf” Movie Party features fun props, a themed contest before the film, and a “real” snowball fight in the theater. Ticket holders receive jingle bells, bubbles for a few key scenes, and a special scratch n’ sniff card to Smell-Along with Buddy and his family.

Cost: $15

“Santa’s Magic”

When: Through Dec. 23, multiple shows daily

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

What: An interactive exhibit featuring Santa, the Snow Queen, elves and indoor snow. Be sure to come with your wish list.

Cost: Included with regular Museum admission, which is $14 for ages 2+, $13 for seniors, and FREE for children younger than 24 months and members

Related post: Insider’s Tips For Visiting Omaha Children’s Museum

Santa At The Durham

When: Through Dec. 22; Saturdays, Nov. 30 through Dec. 21, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays, Dec. 1-22, 1 to 4 p.m.; and Tuesdays, Dec. 3, 10 & 17 5 to 8 p.m.

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

What: Share your wish list with Santa beneath the largest indoor tree in the region.

Cost: Included with museum admission

Christmas At The Orchard

When: Through Dec. 21, Saturdays from 4 to 9 p.m. (outdoor lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.)

Where: Ditmars Orchard and Vineyard, 19475 225th St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: See the front of the orchard lit with a drive-by and walk-through display of lights. Lighting ceremony is at 5 p.m. and complimentary photos with Santa are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: FREE

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

Ugly Sweater Workshop

When: Dec. 5 and 12, 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: Bärchen Beer Garden, 6209 Maple St.

What: J.Diane Creations will provide everything you need to walk away with something creative and ugly for this holiday season. All you need to bring is a sweater from your closet or a thrift shop. Feel free to bring any extra materials you would like to add. Happy hour pricing on drinks will be available for participants. There will be holiday beats playing and a photobooth.

Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Party

When: Dec. 6, 10 a.m.

Where: La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Rd, La Vista, Neb.

What: Celebrate the season with holiday stories, songs, and crafts with the popular character, Pete the Cat. Party is recommended for ages 0-5.

Cost: FREE

Holiday Cultural Festival

When:  Dec. 6, 4 to 9 p.m.

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

What: The Holiday Cultural Festival features local cultural organizations proudly displaying their crafts and traditional dress, while musicians and dancers perform throughout the evening.

Cost: Included with museum admission

Family Safari – Boxes, Bags, Ribbons & Bows – Enrichment for the Holidays

When: Dec. 6, 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.

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

What: Spend the night and help make holiday packages for the animals. Guests will be staying in the Wild Kingdom Pavilion and helping to make packages and enrichment items for the zoo’s many species of animals. Cost includes include paid admission, overnight stay, special guided tours, evening snack, breakfast, free day at the zoo and a zookeeper talk. Minimum age for this overnight/workshop is 6 years old.  

Cost: $45 per person

“Christmas Vacation” Movie Party

When: Dec. 6-12; two showtimes each day

Where: Alamo Drafthouse at Midtown Crossing in Omaha and the La Vista, Neb. location

What: “Christmas Vacation” gets the full Movie Party treatment with special props for the audience and special surprises that the host will be bringing into the theater throughout the event.

Cost: $14.98

Winter Wonderland at Sycamore Farms

When: Dec. 6-15; hours are Fridays from noon to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Sycamore Farms (Junkstock), 1150 River Road Drive, Waterloo, Neb.

What: Shop, enjoy photo opps and characters like Elsa and the Grinch, meet Santa at Santa’s Mountain, watch live ice carving and more.

Cost: $5, adults (weekend pass is $10), and kids 12 and under are FREE

Scheels SantaPalooza

When: Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Scheels, 17202 Davenport St.

What: Santa and Mrs. arrive by carriage at 10 a.m. Come inside to tell Santa your Christmas wishes, and enjoy free face painting, balloon art, Ferris wheel rides, and more.

Cost: FREE

Winter Open House

When: Dec. 7 and 8, noon to 8 p.m.

Where: Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas St.

What: 80+ artists open their workshops and display their newest artwork. Demonstrations in bronze pouring, clay work, iron forging, glass blowing, painting and more will take place throughout the weekend.

Cost: FREE

Santa At Hy-Vee

When: Dec. 7, 14, and 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Hy-Vee

What: Kids can visit with Santa.

Cost: FREE

Santa at the Farm

When: Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Gifford Farm Education Center, 700 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue, Neb.

What: Santa will take photos with the kids and hear their wish lists. There will be cookies and hot chocolate, music and crafts, storytime, and animal visits. Write a letter to Santa and receive a letter back in the days before the holiday!

Cost: $4 each child (accompanying adults are FREE). Bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank and receive $1 off admission.

Santa Goes To Space

When: Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

What: Santa Claus and the Imperial Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion join forces for a fun-filled family day. Young guests will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and experience Space Day. Space-related booths, free pictures with Santa and Star Wars Characters, free activities, and holiday music are part of the day.

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $12, adults; $11, military/seniors; $6, kids ages 4-12; and FREE for kids 3 and under

Physicians Mutual and WOWT Holiday Market

When: Dec. 7 and 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Aksarben Village, 67th Street and Mercy Road

What: A classic German-style open-air market housed under heated tents, featuring food, wine, jewelry, photography, decorations for the home – and more – from over 55 local vendors. Santa’s Workshop by Omaha Children’s Museum will be held both days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Forever Young Film Series featuring “The Muppet Christmas Carol”

When: Dec. 7, 8, 12, 14, 15 & 19

Where: Film Streams at Dundee Theater, 4952 Dodge St.

Cost: $10, general admission; $7.50, seniors, students, teachers, military & those who arrive by bike or bus; $5, members; $2.50 for children ages 12 and younger

Christmas In Germany

When: Dec. 8, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: German-American Society, 3717 S. 120th St.

What: Celebrate the holiday season with German traditions, including German music and dance, a visit from St. Nikolaus, shopping at a Christkindlmarkt, and German food.

Cost: FREE

A Night in Bethlehem: A Hands-on Holy Land Experience

When: Dec. 8, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 1031 Sunset Trail (corner of 61st and Western streets)

What: As soon as you set foot into the church, your family will travel back to ancient Bethlehem. Explore the city of Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. You’ll taste, see, and smell what daily life was like when Jesus was born. You’ll find shops and activities for kids of all ages.

Cost: Free

Story Time with Santa

When: Dec. 12, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Highway 370, Papillion, Neb.

What: Santa and Mrs. Claus will read one of their favorite Christmas stories and then take pictures with families.

Cost: FREE

Holiday Cheers

When: Dec. 12, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: This 21 and older event includes the holiday poinsettia show, the lights of Merry & Bright, games on the patio, Lite-Brite trees, and live music by Skretta etc.

Cost: $20, or $10 for members if purchased before Dec. 5

Holidays At Hummel

When: Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Hummel Park Nature Center, 3033 Hummel Park Road

What: An all-ages event with a nature story time at 10 a.m., nature bingo at 11 a.m., crafts, hikes, outdoor games, and hot cocoa. They will collect non-perishable food items to be donated.

Cost: FREE (pre-registration recommended)

Santa Visits Costco

When: Dec. 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Costco, 12515 Portside Parkway, La Vista, Neb.

What: Meet Santa and enjoy a cookie. Event is open to non-members, as well as members.

Cost: FREE

Classic Christmas

When: Dec. 14, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Mahoney State Park, 28500 West Park Hwy, Ashland, Neb.

What: Classic Christmas is a fun event for the whole family that takes place in the Peter Kiewit Lodge. Families can participate with their children decorating a sugar cookie, making a holiday ornament, and creating a greeting card for a veteran. Enjoy a free trolley ride for a memorable and unique tour of the park, weather permitting. Free portraits with Santa.

Cost: FREE (valid 2019 Nebraska park entry permit is required)

Christmas by Candlelight Tour

When: Dec. 14, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Historic Gen. Dodge House, 605 S. Third St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: Experience Christmas as it was in the last quarter of the 19th century. Enjoy the General Dodge House and the Beresheim House with all the lights off illuminated only by flickering (artificial) candlelight and over a dozen beautifully decorated and lighted trees. Refreshments served in the Ballroom.

Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Las Posadas

When: Dec. 18, 6 to 8 p.m. (traditional Posada is at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St.

What: Celebrate the tradition of Las Posadas, with hands-on activities for children, music, and snacks.

Cost: FREE

Live Nativity & Reindeer

When: Dec. 21, 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Scattered Joy Acres, 4966 Newport Ave.

What: This drive-thru, living Nativity gives families a chance to have one-on-one interaction and to be educated with the animals from the birth of Christ.

Cost: TBD

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

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

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

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

Holiday Under Glass

When: Wednesdays and Fridays, Dec. 4-20, noon to 12:45 p.m. (optional tours of special exhibitions and the permanent collection follow the concerts at 1 p.m.)

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

What: This annual concert series is held in the museum’s atrium and features concerts of holiday classics and classical arrangements performed by choral groups and high school groups. Arrive early for seating and if you plan on purchasing lunch.

Cost: FREE

Canadian Brass Christmas Show

When: Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: Deck the halls with Canadian Brass! The world’s most famous brass group brings festive Christmas carols and Yuletide tunes to the Holland Center in an energetic, entertaining performance that will put the whole family in the holiday spirit.

Cost: Tickets on sale Aug. 19

“Joyful Noise: A Gospel Christmas featuring Salem Baptist Church”

When: Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 4 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: Enjoy the harmonious sounds of Omaha’s nationally recognized Salem Baptist Church choir! This Christmas tradition returns to the Holland Center with a combination of holiday classics and new music. The Grammy-nominated choir features the soaring voices of more than 70 members! This upbeat celebration includes exciting special guest artists, theater and choreography.

Cost: $15

Omaha Symphony’s “Physicians Mutual Christmas Celebration”

When: Dec. 19-22; performances are Thursday & Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: It’s the merriest way to celebrate the season! Ernest Richardson, the Omaha Symphony, and a stellar cast of Broadway singers and dancers send your spirits soaring with festive favorites and Christmas classics.

Cost: $19-$91

Home Free “Dive Bar Christmas Tour”

When: Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

What: Experience the rich Southern harmonies of Home Free this holiday season. It’s an evening of upbeat Nashville-dipped pop hits, country standards and quick-witted humor.

Cost: $19.50-$118.50

Mariachi Herencia de México “The Posada: A Christmas Tradition”

When: Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

What: In a special holiday show, the ensemble brings the Latin American tradition of the posada to life. The celebration includes Mexican and American holiday favorites! Enjoy the songs of the season such as “Feliz Navidad,” “Los Peces en el Rio,” “Ave Maria” and “Jingle Bells.”

Cost: $10-$25

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

When: Dec. 21 and 22; performances are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

What: The group’s Christmas concert is full of multimedia special effects and has become an annual holiday tradition at the Orpheum Theater.

Cost: $38.25-$78.25

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

“Holidays at Hogwarts”

When: Through Dec. 21; performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. (Dec. 20 performance is for adults only)

Where: Apollon, 1801 Vinton St.

What: Be transported to the Wizarding World for a Happy Holiday Feast at Hogwarts School. During your magical stay, you will receive lessons taught by the Hogwarts Professors and Wizards, visit Diagon Alley for wands and other necessary wizarding supplies and gifts, and enjoy a grand feast.

Cost: $35, general admission; $60, VIP ticket

“A Very Die Hard Christmas”

When: Through Dec. 22; performance are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Performance are also on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 18; and Sunday, Dec. 1, at 6 p.m., Dec. 8, at 2 and 6 p.m. and Dec. 22 at 2 p.m.

What: An outrageous take on the Most. Beloved. Christmas Movie. Of. All Time. You’re cordially invited to the company Christmas party at Nakatomi Plaza! All NYPD Blue’s John McClane wants is to come to the coast, get together with his estranged wife, and have some laughs. But when a team of well-choreographed, vaguely European terrorists start taking hostages as part of their nefarious plot to…who cares? John has to cowboy up!

Cost: $35

“Elf: The Musical”

When: Through Dec. 22; performances are Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays at 2 p.m.

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St.

What: This fun-filled musical adaptation of the favorite holiday film that became an instant classic is a stuffed stocking full of song and dance that your family will most definitely want on your Christmas Wish List!

Cost: Main floor tickets are $20 for members and $27 for non-members; balcony tickets are $15 for members and $22 for non-members.

“A Christmas Carol”

When: Through Dec. 23; performances are Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sensory-friendly performance is Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. ASL-interpreted performance is Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Spanish-translated performance is Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

What: This is an annual tradition on stage in Omaha. Read What To Expect If You Bring Kids “A Christmas Carol.” Special events around the show include a gingerbread house buildings parties on Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 prior to the Sunday matinee ($15 per house).

Cost: $40-$50, adults; $26-$30, students

American Midwest Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker”

When: Dec. 7 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

What: “The Nutcracker” is a family favorite. Set to one of composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s most famous works, it transports audiences to the enchanting Land of Snow and the opulent Kingdom of Sweets, featuring a uniquely breathtaking Waltz of the Flowers scene. The Nutcracker includes a cast of 130 professional and student dancers, and features lavish sets and more than 250 beautiful costumes.

Cost: $27-$87

“A Drag Queen Christmas – The Naughty Tour”

When: Dec. 16, 8 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

What: Here come the queens from the VH1 reality TV in their biggest holiday costumes with back-up dancers and a full stage production. All ages welcome. Warning – adult content (because they’re drag queens).

Cost: $43.50 to $170 

Holiday food events 2019

Milk & Cookies With Santa – Friday Family Date Night

When: Dec. 6, 4 to 8 p.m.

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

What: Stay late and play at the museum, plus enjoy special evening performances of “Santa’s Magic” and decorate cookies.

Cost: Included with regular Museum admission, which is $14 for ages 2+, $13 for seniors, and FREE for children younger than 24 months and members

Breakfast with Santa

When: Dec. 7, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Quaker Steak & Lube 3320 Mid-America Drive, Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: In addition to breakfast, enjoy face painting, crafts, prize drawing and photos with Santa.

Cost: $5 and FREE for children 2 and younger

Donuts With Santa

When: Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Cabela’s, 12703 Westport Parkway, La Vista, Neb.

What: Meet Santa, and enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus, crafts, hot cocoa and more.

Cost: FREE (pre-register children)

Lights of Aksarben – Cocoa With A Cop

When: Dec. 13, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Stinson Park at Askarben Village, 2232 S. 64th St.

What: There will be a heated tent, free horse and carriage rides, free face painting, free food and drink, and music.

Cost: FREE

Supper With Santa

When: Dec. 13-21; Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium; held at Lied Jungle and Durham TreeTops Restaurant on Dec. 13 & 14, and Scott Aquarium Conference Center on Dec. 20 & 21.

What: Enjoy a spaghetti dinner, activities, storytime, and of course, pictures with Santa.

Cost: $23, members; $28, non-members; and FREE for children ages 2 and young

Pancakes & Presents

When: Dec. 14, 8 to 11:30 a.m. (There are two timeslots from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

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

What: Tell Santa what you want for Christmas in person while you enjoy special holiday crafts and all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Cost: $13, children; $15, adults (RSVP by Dec. 6)

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.

Adopt-A-Family

When: Dec. 5 and 6; on air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: On air at 104.5 FM and at Westroads Mall

What: The Adopt-A-Family program matches community members and agencies with families and seniors in need to help make their Christmas possible. Listen live to 104.5 FM on Dec. 5 and 6 and call the Adopt-A-Family hotline at 402-898-6050. You can also register in person at Westroads Mall during that time at the first level center court. Registration is already open online at 104Star.com. 

Cost: Cost varies depending on the size of the family adopted.

Toy and Joy Personal Shopper

When: Dec. 10-21; held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays

Where: Open Door Mission (which location TBD)

What: Volunteers ( 18+) will greet people with a warm and welcoming spirit by empowering and assisting parents in choosing free presents through the shop.

Cost: 2 hours of your time.

Cabela’s Wrapping Paper For Open Door Mission

When: Dec. 21

Where: Cabela’s, 12703 Westport Parkway, La Vista, Neb.

What: Sign up to wrap gifts at Cabela’s for free-will donations given to Open Door Mission.

Cost: 2 hours of your time.

Open Door Mission Christmas Eve Banquet

When: Dec. 24, 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.

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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Comments

  1. Mitzi Stinson says

    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…

    • 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.

  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. 🙁

    • 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!

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