Holiday Weekend Getaways From Omaha

Weekend getaways are nice, and sometimes, much needed. All you need is an hour in the car and you’ve escaped. Even overnights can provide a much-needed breather from reality and routine.

Want to get away for a little bit this holiday season? Check out what’s going on in some nearby cities (Grinches may want to look elsewhere)!


Holiday (1)

Lincoln (53 miles from Omaha)

Santa Celebration 

Santa at South Pointe Pavilions in Lincoln
Santa at South Pointe Pavilions in Lincoln

When: Nov. 28, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: SouthPointe Pavilions, 2910 Pine Lake Road, Lincoln, Neb.

What: Join Santa as he makes his grand entrance with a cast of holiday characters including live reindeer.  There will be music, activities, performers, refreshments and giveaways, too.  

Cost: FREE


“A Christmas Carol”

When: Dec. 3-6 and Dec. 10-13, Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Where: NWU McDonald Theatre, Huntington Avenue, Lincoln, Neb.

What: NWU Theatre’s Christmas tradition continues in 2015 with miserly Scrooge, a trio of frightening and enlightening ghosts and a whole lot of good cheer.  This event is at NWU McDonald Theatre.

Cost: $10, adults; $7 seniors and students (K-12, college)


Holiday Spectacular 

Lincoln Children's Museum Holiday Spectacular is Dec. 4. Photo courtesy Lincoln Children's Museum
Lincoln Children’s Museum Holiday Spectacular is Dec. 4. Photo courtesy Lincoln Children’s Museum

When: Dec. 4, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Children’s Museum, 1420 P St., Lincoln, Neb.

What: It’s a night of song, dance, storytelling, indoor snowball fights, decoration making and special guest appearances, including Santa, who opens the world’s most famous toy shop right in the Discovery Gallery. For more information call (402) 477-4000 or visit here.

Cost: FREE for members, $4.75 non-members


Candy House Funshop


When: Saturdays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.; Sundays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.; and Thursdays, Dec. 10 and 17, 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Where: The Lincoln Children’s Museum, 1420 P St., Lincoln, Neb.

What:  The Lincoln Children’s Museum will supply the 15-inch house frame, frosting and a variety of candies and decorations, and all you have to do is bring the fun. For more information, call (402) 477-4000 or visit

Cost: $25 for Museum Members, $30 for Non-members (includes 2 free admissions); $25 take-home kits


North Pole Express

Santa at the Lincoln Children's Zoo's North Pole Express.
Santa at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo’s North Pole Express.

When: Dec. 5, 6, 12 and 13, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Children’s Zoo, 1222 S. 27th St., Lincoln, Neb.

What: The North Pole Express is Lincoln’s only train offering services to Santa’s Village!  After departing the train, your travels will take you through Candy Cane Lane where you’ll stop at The Hive to write your official letter to Santa and see some of his favorite animal friends.  Continue down Candy Cane Lane to meet the Big Man himself!  After visiting Santa, enjoy treats made by the Elves, hot chocolate and candy canes.  Be careful not to fill up on candy canes because your next stop is the Mrs. Claus Bakery to decorate your very own cookie! All activities are indoors.

Cost: $6.95+tax for members, $9.95+tax for non-members; Santa Photo Package extra


Holiday Decorations at the Thomas Kennard House

When: Dec. 6, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Thomas Kennard House, 1627 H St., Lincoln, Neb.

What: Dedicated as the Nebraska Statehood Memorial in 1968, the Kennard House is the oldest standing structure in Lincoln’s original plat.  This 1869 italianate structure is home to Nebraska’s first Secretary of State, Thomas P. Kennard.  The house will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas complete with a tree, candles, toys, presents, and decorative greens.

Cost: FREE


Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration

When: Dec. 6, TBA

Where: State Capitol Rotunda, 1445 K St., Lincoln, Neb.

What: The 67th annual Nebraska State Tree Lighting happens in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. In 1942 the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministerial Association held the first carol sing on the steps of the Capitol for the servicemen stationed at the Lincoln Air Base.  

Cost: FREE


Holidays In The Haymarket Friday

When: Dec. 11 and 18, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: The Haymarket (downtown Lincoln)

What: Featuring free horse and carriage rides, entertainment at Seventh and P Street, and Santa strolling the area.

Cost: FREE


Haymarket Unwrapped

When: Dec. 12, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: The Haymarket (downtown Lincoln)

What: The day starts with Breakfast With Santa from 8 to 11 a.m. in the lower level of the candy factory Eighth and P Street. Starting at 10 a.m., many Haymarket business will offer special sales. There will be entertainment throughout the area, strolling Santa, and other events to be announced at a later date.

Cost: FREE


Nebraska Brass: Brass Across Nebraska – A Nebraska Brass Christmas

When: Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

Where: First Methodist Church, 2723 N. 50th St., Lincoln, Neb.

What: Seasonal favorites will be played during this concert.

Cost: $15, adults; $12, seniors; FREE for students and children


Make Believe Midnight


When: Dec. 31, 6 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Children’s Museum, 1420 P St., Lincoln, Neb.

What: For nearly 20 years, families have celebrated New Year’s Eve at Make Believe Midnight. Guests wave goodbye to Father Time before welcoming Baby New Year and watching the ball drop at 8 p.m. This Lincoln tradition is known for its bubble wrap stomp, dance party, fun party favors and, the most exciting, balloon drop. This year’s event will be even more exciting with the popular balloon drop happening over Cuckoo Construction, the museum’s new, largest exhibit that opens this month.

Cost: $10, member; $13, non-member


No visit is complete without some good eats!

For a nice cup of coffee/or cocoa for the little ones visit The Mill in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket (800 P St.).


Syracuse (47 miles from Omaha)


The Tannenbaum Trot in Syracuse takes place on Dec.
The Tannenbaum Trot in Syracuse takes place on Dec. 6. Photo courtesy  Otoe County Visitors Committee

When: Dec. 6, starting at 4 p.m.

Where: Syracuse (downtown)

What: The activities will start off with a visit from Santa at the library. The Friends of the Library will host their annual soup dinner in the meeting room at the library starting at 4 p.m. The Living Nativity will be held in front of the Christmas Tree on Main Street starting at 5 p.m. Upon the conclusion of the Living Nativity, the Christmas Tree will be lit. Luther Memorial Luther League will selling hot cocoa and cookies starting at 3 p.m until after the tree lighting. Several downtown businesses will be open for extra Christmas shopping from 3 to 7 p.m. The Beer Stein will hold a wine tasting after the tree lighting.

Cost: FREE


Nebraska City (45 miles from Omaha)

Grand Thanksgiving Buffet

When: Nov. 26, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Lied Lodge & Conference Center, Timber Dining Room, 2700 Sylvan Road, Nebraska City, Neb.

What: A delectable buffet dinner in beautifully inspiring surroundings.

Cost: Adults, $35; children (5-12), $14.95; 4 and younger, FREE


Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights

The Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights is on the weekends in Nebraska City. Photo courtesy Otoe County Visitors Committee
The Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights in Nebraska City runs every Friday and Saturday in December. Photo courtesy Otoe County Visitors Committee

When: Fridays and Saturdays in December (Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26), 7 p.m.

Where: Starting from Lied Lodge & Conference Center, 2700 Sylvan Road, Nebraska City, Neb.

What: Climb aboard the Arbor Day Farm trolley for a one-hour tour of Historic Nebraska City and the best show of Christmas lights. During the ride, you’ll enjoy a reading of the classic Christmas book, “The Polar Express.”

Cost: Adults, $12.50 + tax; children (3-12), $10 + tax; children 3 and younger, FREE


Holiday Tea

Holiday Tea at Whispering Pines B&B is Dec. 5 and 6 in Nebraska City. Photo courtesy Whispering Pines
Holiday Tea at Whispering Pines B&B is Dec. 5 and 6 in Nebraska City. Photo courtesy Whispering Pines

When: Dec. 5, 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., and Dec. 6, 12:30 or 2:30 p.m. (RSVP by Dec. 1)

Where: Whispering Pines B&B, 2018 Sixth Ave., Nebraska City, Neb.

What: Invoke your holiday spirit with tea at Whispering Pines B&B in the glow of festive decor. Bring your appetite and indulge in tasty cakes, dainty sandwiches, and assorted sweets served with a variety of exquisite teas in old fashioned tea cups.

Cost: $20, adults; $10, children younger than 12 (includes unlimited tea and delectable treats). Receive a $5 off discount if you book an overnight stay.


Reindeer Chase & Make-and-Take Ornaments

When: Saturdays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19

Where: Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, 2611 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, Neb.

What: Get into the holiday spirit with fun traditions and activities including: Free hot apple cider while you shop and hike the trails; make-and-take ornaments from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and scavenger hunt for Santa’s wooden reindeer along the trails (all day, on-your-own activity).

Cost: Included with admission, Adults, $13; children (3-12), $8; children 2 and younger, FREE


Brunch with Santa

When: First three Sundays in December (Dec. 6, 13 and 20)

Where: Lied Lodge & Conference Center, 2700 Sylvan Road, Nebraska City, Neb.

What: Special children’s buffet during Sunday Brunch. Visit Santa in front in the fireplace of the lobby of Lied Lodge.  

Cost: TBD


Heirloom Christmas

When: TBD

Where: Wildwood Historic Center, 420 Steinhart Park Road, Nebraska City, Neb.

What: Enjoy holiday music played by Angie Madison on the 1883 Steinway Parlor Grand piano as you stroll through Wildwood House all decked out for a Victorian Christmas—just as families would have done in the past. Refreshments will be served in the Barn among displays of vintage china set up just as elaborately as in the 1800s.

Cost: Adults, $3; children (12 & younger), $1; 68410 residents, FREE


Christmas at the Mansion

When: Saturdays, Nov. 21 through Dec. 19, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Where: Arbor Lodge at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, 2600 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, Neb.

What:  Tour the home of J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day, decorated for Christmas.  Light refreshments and music in the mansion.

Cost: Adult, $10; child, $7 (package with overnight stay at Lied Lodge available)


No visit is complete without some good eats!

Here are some restaurants recommended to me for visiting people over the holidays: Timber Dining Room at Lied Lodge, El Portal Mexican and Valentino’s.


Know of more holiday events in Lincoln, Syracuse, Nebraska City or another nearby town? Please send me your recommendations and I’ll add them to the list. Email ohmyomaha (at) gmail (dot) com! Thank you!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.