30+ Ways To Help Omaha Right Now

The joke going around about the global pandemic is that our grandparents were called to serve in the war and we’ve been called to sit on our couch. But, being stuck at home leaves me feeling a bit helpless. And I wonder, How can I really help? This morning, my husband had a great idea to start a fundraiser, “because we all wish we could do something to help.” And that got me thinking – there are so many businesses, people, and nonprofits in Omaha that need are help. How can we help?

And, so, this post was born. If you wish there was a way you could help the Omaha community, here’s a proactive guide to helping your Omaha friends and neighbors:

Want to shop and support the community but can't leave the house, Omaha? Here's how you can shop and support local businesses! List includes shops, restaurants, craft stores, boutiques, and nonprofits.

How to support Omaha stores

Oh, I know. It’s tempting to go to Amazon or Target to get everything delivered for free. But you can find most things you need locally, keeping the money local and businesses open.

What are you wanting to buy that you can buy locally?

Games – You can browse the game inventory of Spielbound and purchase online. You can opt for free curbside pick-up or get it delivered. I tried the pick-up option, and it was super easy. You can also order coffee drinks to-go and six-packs with your game order.

Puzzles, games, geeky stuff – City Limits in the Old Market is open and full of the funniest, weirdest stuff you didn’t even know you need. Head to their Facebook page to see some videos of what they have in stock, then call them to place in your order, and they’ll bring it out to the curb for you.

Toys – Fat Brain Toys’ storefront is closed but you can still order awesome kids’ toys and games online at FatBrainToys.com. And even better, order it by 3 p.m. and they’ll ship it the same day to your own doorstep.

Omaha Children’s Museum has opened a virtual museum gift shop where you can purchase themed gift bags for kids. They’ll be available for curbside pick-up on select days.

Garden supplies – This dreary weather is going to end soon and before you know it, it will be spring gardening time. Mulhall’s has devised a gardening to-go plan for customers to order online and then pick-up your items (they’ll put it in your car for you).

Candy – Already planning Easter baskets? Or are you just stressed out parent who needs chocolate? You can order candy to-go from Hollywood Candy. Chocolat Abeille has to-die-for chocolate creations just in time for Easter. You can order online for pick-up.

Cookies – Because cookies deserve their own category separate from candy. You can order sugar decorating cookie kits to be delivered from Master’s Hand (technically not in Omaha, but close enough).

Clothing – The Four Sisters Boutique storefront is closed but you are still able to order clothes online to pick-up (and even try on before getting them). Gramercy offers local delivery, curbside pickup, and shipping options. A few Regency Court retailers also have some creative ways for getting you your goods.

Books – Books are getting me and my family through these long days at home (after homeschool stuff is finished, of course). The Bookworm has an online store set up, though you can still get curb-side delivery and home delivery within zip codes 68106, 68114, 68124, 68132, 68144, and 68154.

Urban Abbey in the Old Market also has curbside pick-up. Just call ahead to order your books and/or coffee drinks.

Interior decorating Spruce Interiors & Gifts now offers curbside pickup. In addition to interior design items, there are cute items to gift to a friend (or yourself).

How to support Omaha restaurants and bars

Some Omaha restaurants and bakeries have closed temporarily to weather this pandemic, but many have found ways to stay open and serve customers. So, the obvious way you can help is to continue to be patrons at your favorite restaurants…only do it safely (eating at home seems to be the way to go).

Oh, and tip generously.

Leah and Jay at Gastronomblog wrote the best round-up of Omaha restaurants that are still open – whether they deliver, allow walk-ups, or curbside pick-ups.

Blackstone Business Association has set up a fund to distribute monthly support to service industry members in the neighborhood who’ve been affected by business closures or layoffs. If you love restaurants like Stirnella, Butterfish, Mula, Coneflower Creamery — wow, there are so many great places in that neighborhood — then consider donating to the fund.

Related post: More ways you can help Omahans who’ve lost their job

Omaha Blackstone District Takeout Guide

Love the bakeries and shops at Countryside Village? Check out the neighborhood’s Facebook page for updates on individual restaurants and bakeries that offer frozen food to-go, take-out, and more. Restaurants include Le Quartier Bakery Co., Camille’s Bakery, Swartz’s Deli, and Timber Wood Fire Bistro.

And I can’t forget to mention that Midtown Crossing has a lot of places open, too. You remember that fun day I had with my family at Midtown Crossing? I do, and I can’t wait for the day when we can head back there.

Papillion also has a handful of great restaurants to patronize, including those found at Shadow Lake Towne Center. Here’s what’s open now:

Dining guide for Shadow Lake Towne Center

My tip: Don’t forget you can buy gift cards from restaurants and save them for dining out once it’s safe to do so!

How to support Omaha nonprofits

As many of you know, my day job is at a nonprofit, so this is a biggie for me. There are dozens of nonprofits that have had to suspend operations, events, fundraisers, etc. in March. ShareOmaha has a fantastic list of nonprofits that have been impacted and how you can help. It’s not just how to help financially, either.

My tips?

  • – Renew your memberships to the places that are important to you. I’m talking about places like Omaha Children’s Museum, The Durham Museum, Joslyn Art Museum and the like. If you buy or renew your membership to Fontenelle Forest, you can get access to the trails even while they’re temporarily closed to the general public!
  • – Donate to causes that resonate with you – be it art, animals, literary, history, food scarcity, or children.
  • – And if you have the means, donate without restrictions so nonprofits can apply the funds where they need them most.

So what sort of things can you help with? Here’s a few ways I found on the ShareOmaha site:

  • – Food insecure Omaha neighbors through organization like Abide, Catholic Charities, Food Bank of the Heartland, New Visions Homeless Services, Salvation Army and more.
  • – Donate cleaning supplies to youth shelters via Child Saving Institute, MICAH House, Open Door Mission, Stephen Center, and more.
  • – Support seniors whose families can’t visit them by sending them puzzles, craft supplies and more at Florence Home. I’m sure there are others.
  • – Volunteer. Places that need volunteers include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Heartland Hope Mission, Keep Omaha Beautiful, NorthStar Foundation, The 712 Initiative and many more.
  • – Have a talent for online shopping (don’t we all?). Some organizations have set up Amazon lists including Down Syndrome Alliance, Hope Center For Kids, Siena Francis House and more

How to help seniors in Omaha

AARP has Mutual Aid Groups that you can join. These groups are informal groups of volunteers who help pick up groceries, provide financial assistance, or lend emotional support to neighbors. You can look up local groups or start one.

Feed your creativity with Omaha crafts

Omaha craft stores and creative spaces are, well, creative, so they’ve found ways for you to stay crafty at home.

Mangelsen’s offers DIY craft kits that you can order online.

The Makery sells activity kits for kids and adults, like painting and string art. They range from about $12-$34 and include almost everything you need (find your own hammers). You will have to call in your order and pick it up, curbside!

That Pottery Place offers pottery kits to-go for kids and adults. You’ll be able to bring your pottery back for glazing and firing after you’re finished painting.

It’s Yours Pottery in West Omaha offers Creativity To-Go Kits that can be ordered online. The kits include pottery selection(s), glaze colors (up to five) paint brushes, and an instruction sheet. You can call the studio when you arrive for curbside pickup.

Send a gift from Omaha businesses

Since social distancing is the buzz phrase of the month, we can’t visit our friends and loved ones like we want to. So, we can send them our love in the mail or with a special local delivery.

Hardy Coffee Co. has set up one sweet package: Homemade cinnamon roll delivered with a bag of coffee.

Made In Omaha has a way to support local artisans: Send a care package with locally-made products. There are premade packages to choose from or you can select the items to include.

Urban Abbey is selling care packages that can be delivered locally for $5. Packages are themed and include Easter, Mega Mom, and Girl Power.

Watch movies at home while still supporting your local movie art house

Netflix, you guys. I’m getting a little tired of it. Luckily, Film Streams has come up with a solution for film buffs: They’re offering home movies of the indie film variety. Purchase virtual tickets to stream at home and get more information at filmstreams.org.

How to support the businesses that will be impacted by CWS & Swim Trial cancellations

Can you imagine having the majority of your profits earned in a small window each summer? That’s how many businesses near TD Ameritrade Park and the CHI Health Center Omaha operate. So, the restaurants and stores in NoDo, Capitol District and the Old Market are all facing a rough year financially without all the tourist dollars coming in.

Want to make sure these districts continue to thrive?

NoDo has a mix of restaurants, a brewery, and businesses that need continued support. Slowdown shared a list of their NoDo neighbors that could use your business.

The Capitol District is full of restaurants. Here are the restaurants that are offering carry-out.

Here’s a list of Old Market businesses that are open and what services they continue to offer (and when).

Old Market Omaha Takeout Menu

How to support local farmers

Just a quick drive outside of Omaha and you’ll find a lot of farms, as well as CSAs to sign up for. Here are a few to consider: Plum Creek Farms (who has a discount offer for a limited time due to the excess of chickens they have from restaurant closures); Wenninghoff’s Farm, which tentatively plans to open mid-April, but either way, consider signing up for their CSA by April 10 to get a $10 credit to use in their greenhouse in May; and Big Muddy Urban Farm, which has a CSA that starts at the end of May.

Omaha Farmer’s Market has been deemed “an essential service,” but they’re gathering the public’s opinion on when to open. You can share your thoughts on the survey here.

Help me update this post! If you know of more ways to help Omaha businesses, artists, nonprofits, or neighbors, please leave a comment.

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20+ ways to help Omaha businesses and neighborhoods today!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth At These Tasty Bakeries In Omaha

What’s your vice? Cupcakes? Donuts? Freshly baked croissant that remind you of Paris? Or, how about a taste of Lithuania? Whatever your preference, it seems Omaha has the bakery for you. From Orsi’s to Le Petit, here’s a look at a baker’s dozen of Omaha’s amazing bakeries. 

Wondering if these bakeries deliver or offer curbside pick-up during the COVID-19 pandemic? Read on, I have a section at the post where you can find out how to get your sweet fix.

Hungry in Omaha? Here are 13 must-try bakeries in Omaha. See what local pastry chefs and mom & pop shops are making, from tortes and cakes to donuts, cupcakes and French pastries. #Omaha #Nebraska #MidwestIsBest #eatlocal #resturants

Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria

Where: Little Italy at 621 Pacific St.

Omaha’s oldest Italian bakery, Orsi’s opened its doors in 1919. The bakery has made fresh bread and rolls without preservatives almost daily for more than 100 years. The Italian twist loaves are perfect for dipping with marinara sauce. The store also bakes fresh rye bread, pumpernickel, and garlic bread.

Orsi's Italian Bakery & Pizzeria can be found just outside of the Old Market, in a neighborhood that was once a bustling Little Italy.

Orsi’s has long been a stalwart of the Little Italy neighborhood. When the bakery was destroyed by fire in the late 1990s, locals rallied to help the owners rebuild. The home of Omaha’s Sicilian pizza, as well as other Italians goods, such as fresh olives, authentic pasta, and a deli, Orsi’s is a popular stop for Omahans from all neighborhoods.

You’ll want to take your goodies home, as the bakery has limited seating.

Related post: Old School Omaha – A Review Of The Pizza At Orsi’s

Olsen Bake Shop

Where: South Omaha at 1708 S. 10th St.

Olsen Bake Shop is your typical neighborhood bakery. Located in a small building, The bakery features two cases showing off the daily offerings – kolaches (pastries with fruit filling, jams, and other treats in the middle), donuts, other pastries, and cookies.

Donuts from Olsen Bake Shop

The South Omaha staple has been offering delicious pastries since 1942. 

Related post: Olsen tops the list of the 13 best donut shops in Omaha

Lithuanian Bakery

Where: South Omaha at 5217 S. 33rd Ave.

Open for nearly 50 years ago, the Lithuanian Bakery was created by Lithuanian immigrants and continues to be a family-owned bakery. Famous for its torte, the dessert takes three days to make and consists of eight layers of wafers, each coated with vanilla buttercream and lemon extract, with a layer of apricot in the middle.

The popular dessert has people arriving early and willing to stand in line every Saturday, when the torte is available. Try their chocolate torte for a change of taste.

The bakery also creates delicious bread, such as sourdough rye and country rye. The “Kommis Brot,” a thinly-sliced pumpernickel, is made in the old country tradition.

The bakery has a second location, Lithuanian Bakery and Kafe at 7427 Pacific St., which features “old country” recipes and the bakery’s treats. 

Omaha Bakery

Where: 608 S. 72nd St.

Known in its early days as Alotta Brownies in Fremont, Michelle Kaiser rolled the dice and moved the bakery to Omaha, changing its name to Omaha Bakery. Located about a block north of the world-famous Nebraska Furniture Mart, Omaha Bakery is known of its delicious brownies and cheesecakes.

Interior of The Omaha Bakery in Midtown Omaha

The baker also makes cakes, including wedding cakes, as well as bread. Omaha Bakery has also added a keto menu.

International Bakery

Where: South Omaha at 5106 S. 24th St.

Deep in the heart of 24th Street, the South Omaha stronghold has been a fan favorite for nearly 20 years. A visit to International Bakery offers a fun experience, as donuts and pastries have Spanish names.

Even if you don’t speak the language, part of the fun is choosing a delicious-looking treat. Your taste buds will commend your choice.

Take your order to go and enjoy eating at a nearby plaza, where you can enjoy people watching, as well as the beauty and colors of the neighborhood. While a second International Bakery is located on Vinton Street, it is owned by relatives but isn’t associated with the original bakery.

Culprit Café

Where: Downtown at 1603 Farnam  St.

The original Culprit Café, along Farnam Street, features an open kitchen, where you can watch the staff create everything form cookies and pastries to the lunch specials.

Chocolate cake at Culprit Cafe

Known for its homemade bread and cannoli, the café often changes its menus, so you may find new treats during your visit. Order a flavorful coffee to enjoy alongside your pastry. You can also treat yourself to breakfast or lunch, and then enjoy a pastry as dessert.

A second location opened at Midtown Crossing in 2018, which features a separate menu from the original.

Jones Bros.

Where: Aksarben Village at 2121 S. 67th St.

It started with a family chat at the kitchen table. Bill and Brad Jones, along with family members, created Jones Bros. Cupcakes, as a “dessert restaurant.” They opened their first location in Aksarben Village in 2010.

Jones Bros. quickly established itself as one of Omaha’s best places to go for great desserts, including cupcakes and cakes, even cheesecake. Made from scratch, cupcakes include fan favorites red velvet, vanilla, and strawberries and cream. From giant-sized treats, which require a fork, their cupcakes have earned them having been named as the best in Omaha several times.

Cupcakes from Jones Bros. Cupcakes

The eatery has also been featured on national television programs, including Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” With competition from local restaurants, Jones Bros. Cupcakes added sandwiches, soups, and salad to its menu.

While the original location continues to anchor the franchise, Jones Bros. Cupcakes also expanded to two more locations in Omaha – Lakeside and Westroads’ Flagship Commons.

Pettit’s Pastry

Where: North Downtown at 502 N. 16th St.

Not far from the campus of Creighton University, Pettit’s Pastry has called the North Downtown area home since 1954. Located in the neighborhood long before it became a trendy development area, Pettit’s Pastry adds an old-school touch to the modern buildings going up around it.

Home to old-fashioned pastry treats, such as rolls, donuts, and fruit-filled turnovers, order a flavored coffee, cappuccino, or latte, and you can mix old-guard bakery treats with a modern take on coffee. Take your order to go and enjoy it during a stroll around Creighton University’s beautiful campus.

Whisk + Measure

Where: 2505 S. 133rd Plaza

Whisk + Measure isn’t your typical bakery. Home to all types of baking, they pride themselves on creating cakes and treats that include vegan, paleo, and keto diets. They also offer gluten-free and dairy-free options.

While cakes, cupcakes, and cheesecakes are among the most popular items at the bakery, its menu includes muffins, scones, cookies, and bear claws. Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee – they use local distributor Reboot – with your treat in the comfortable seating area.

Farine + Four

Where: Midtown at 3020 Leavenworth St.

Home is where the heart is, they say. But, after some time in New York, a Nebraska woman returned home to open her own bakery. Farine + Four is the vision created from the days in New York for Ellie Pegler.

Coffee cake and coffee at Farine + Four, a bakery in Midtown Omaha

Today, the Omaha bakery creates outstanding pastries, bread, croissants, and bagels, using organic flour and no preservatives. Along with breakfast sandwiches and freshly-brewed coffee, a visit to Farine + Four provides a worldly experience. Grab an order of chocolates to enjoy at home. 

Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop

Where: Cathedral Neighborhood at 813 N. 40th St.

Located in the Cathedral neighborhood, Sweet Magnolias is a boutique bakery, whose menu features delicious cinnamon rolls, scones, cookies, and more.

Known for its cardamom cake, Sweet Magnolias is owned and operated by a Nebraska native, who grew up learning to cook and bake from her parents and grandparents.

Located next door to Lisa’s Radial Café, grab your treats to go and take a walk around the area, taking in the views of St. Cecelia Cathedral and Joslyn Castle.

Cupcake Island

Where: 1314 S. 119th St.

Omaha’s original cupcake shop, Cupcake Island opened in 2006, offering a unique take on cupcakes. With flavors like Pink Champagne, Strawberry Shortcake, and Devil’s Food Among Us, there is no shortage of cupcakes to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s been my family’s go-to spot for birthday cakes for years, too.

Pirate ship cake from Cupcake Island

When Ed LeFebvre decided it was time to sell the bakery and head off to retirement, he sold Cupcake Island to sisters Melany Dean and Crystal Ryczko in 2018. They’ve added to Ed’s original concept – why mess with success? – with their own specialties. Melany is a chocolate connoisseur, while Rachel enjoys making cheesecakes.

Cupcake Island annually competes for “Best in Omaha” honors.

Le Petit Paris Bakery

Where: Pepperwood Village at 567 N. 155th Plaza

Travel to Paris without leaving Omaha with a visit to Le Petit Paris Bakery. Like its neighbor, Le Voltaire French Restaurant, the bakery is also owned by world-renowned Chef Cedric.

The bakery features croissants made with pure butter, handmade eclairs, and macarons, as well as bread, pastries, and other sweets.

Imagine life along the Champs-Elysees by adding a cup of rich coffee and enjoying your croissant or other treat at an outdoor table, just like in Paris. The bakery is closed on Monday.

Which Omaha bakeries open during the pandemic?

This post was written before we had heard much about COVID-19, so it’s totally fine to wonder if they’re open “business as usual” these days. So, here’s my update on each business’s situation*:

  • Orsi’s – Business as usual, since it is mainly a take-out operation anyway. Call (402) 345-3438 to place an order.
  • Olsen Bake Shop – Closed until further notice.
  • Lithuanian Bakery – The 74th street store is still serving lunch with limited seating. They take to-go orders, so call ahead to order at (402) 391-3503. 
  • Omaha Bakery – They do take-out and curbside pick-up. Call (402) 991-9200.
  • Culprit – Both locations are closed until further notice.
  • Jones Bros. – Takeout is available to order online here for the Aksarben and West Center locations, or you can place a phone order for Askarben at (402) 884-2253 or West Center at (402) 905-9701. The West Center location also has a drive-thru.
  • Pettit’s – Pettit’s downtown location is still open. You can come in the small lobby to order or pre-order over the phone at (402) 345-1111.
Cupcakes from Jones Bros. Cupcakes
  • Whisk + Measure – You can order your coffee, pastries, Dough-to-Go and special orders at their website: whiskandmeasure.com/menu. To-go orders are available from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday curbside pickup available with over the phone payment.
  • Farine + Four – The bakery offers carry-out, curbside and neighborhood delivery from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (402) 905-2432 or for advanced orders, you can email hello@farineandfour.com.
  • Sweet Magnolia’s – The bakery is closed until further notice, but you can still support the bakery by ordering a gift card to use when they reopen.
  • Cupcake Island – The bakery is open and will bring your order out to the car. You can place an order by calling at (402) 334-6800.
  • Le Petit Paris – The bakery remains open and you can place your order over the phone at (402) 934-9374.

*Businesses update their hours and modes of operation daily (or even faster) during this unprecedented time. Please have patience and call ahead before going to any of the bakeries, just in case.

Which Omaha bakery is for you?

Looking for Omaha desserts and sweet treats? Here are 13 of Omaha's best bakeries, offering tasty pastries, breads, donuts, and more specialities! These are locally-owned shops. #Omaha #localrestaurants #desserts #cupcakes

Whether you’re looking to pick up a dozen donuts for home or enjoying a true dining experience, Omaha’s bakeries offer the best of all worlds. Whether you want a good old-fashioned donut or maybe a classically-designed cupcake or pastry, you can travel around the world for the best treats, all without leaving Omaha.

From Omaha’s oldest Italian bakery celebrating more than 100 years in business to new owners of local classics, enjoy visiting the city’s best bakeries.

Link to more stories about Omaha restaurants

Going Out In Omaha When You’re Worried About Getting Sick

There’s a lot of unknowns at this time about COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus. Because of the unknowns, people are understandably being cautious and practicing social distancing. This is going to have a huge, negative impact on our local community as the medical advice has been saying, it will help “flatten the curve.”

Updates: I thought I was going to be able to update this post daily, but things are changing faster than 24 hours.

To get up-to-the-minute information, keep tabs on the Omaha Tourism Update on COVID-19. Additional resources locally include Nebraska Medicine, Douglas County Health Department (this one is helpful as it lists where community exposures have occurred) and Nebraska Department of Health.

I encourage you to keep tabs on what local health officials are recommending, as well as following your own gut. If you don’t want to go out, don’t go out. If you do…and wash your hands. The current advice, as of March 16, is to avoid crowds of 50 or more people.

Things to do in Omaha when there’s a pandemic

Well, not surprisingly, there isn’t much recommended. Many attractions and tourist destinations, from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium to Omaha Children’s Museum, and many performing arts venues have halted shows at least through the end of March. Most theaters and arenas are offering refunds or will be rescheduling the shows.

With the weather starting to warm up, I’m making plans to be outside with my kids more.

Biking by The Bob, the pedestrian bridge over the Missouri River

Here are some go-to parks in Omaha that my family likes and kid-friendly trails and hikes near Omaha. I’m also partial to the nearby state parks, including Platte River State Park and Mahoney State Park.

We’re also big on biking, so if you’re looking for a couple of bike trails to explore with your kids, I’ve got you covered.

Omaha events that are cancelled due to Coronavirus

So in a matter of 24 hours, things change quite a bit. Here’s just some of the Omaha events that have been canceled:

  • – Opera Omaha has postponed the 2020 ONE Festival slated to begin March 25. Patrons with tickets are encouraged to can contact the box office at 402-346-7372 x2 between the hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to discuss options. Subscription sales will continue for our 2020-2021 Season.
  • – NCAA canceled the entire men’s basketball tournament, which was going to have first- and second-round men’s basketball games on March 20 and 21 at the CHI Health Center.
  • – NCAA’s Men’s College World Series has been canceled. It was going to be from June 13 through June 23/24 at TD Ameritrade Park.

The fate of the U.S. Olympic Team Swim Trials from June 21-28 at CHI Health Center is still unknown. From what I’ve heard, it’s still going as planned.

Precautions you can take if you need to go out

OK, let’s say you have to run to the pharmacy or you’re out of toilet paper (good luck with that). Now what?

CDC wash your hands sign

Here’s what the CDC is recommending to protect yourself if you go out:

– The best way to avoid getting COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to it. Sound advice. But if you have to go out, what can you do. Well:

– Keep calm and wash your hands.

– Seriously. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. No soap and water available? Use hand sanitizer.

– Follow regular preventative measures:

  1. Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes, especially with unwashed hands.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing – DON’T cough or sneeze into your hands. Wash your hands afterward. 
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects in your home and car.

– If you are part of a high-risk group (or your child is), stay home.

– If you’re sick, stay home.

Link to more Omaha stories

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How To Get Lion King Discount Tickets

If you haven’t heard, “Disney’s The Lion King” is returning to Omaha in 2020. I saw the Broadway musical the first time the tour came to Omaha and it was jaw-dropping gorgeous. The return engagement will be at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha April 15 through May 10, 2020.

As of March 24, 2020, O-pa had to suspend all performance in April due to crowd restrictions put in place due to COVID-19. That means the performance WILL NOT be in Omaha this spring and Kids’ Night On Broadway WILL NOT occur.

While it is definitely long even by Broadway standards, the show is familiar and fun and great for kids. So, if you want to take the whole family, read on for the discount ticket promo.

Disclosure: I partnered with O-pa for this post so I could share the Kids’ Night On Broadway details with you. I received complimentary passes to the show. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

What’s the show about?

Well, if you’ve seen the movie, then you are pretty familiar with “Disney’s The Lion King.” What I remember most of the show from the first time I saw it was the stunning puppetry. The opening scene is impressive.

"Disney's The Lion King" ensemble
Photo courtesy O-pa

Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. And as the music soars, Pride Rock emerges from the mist.

More than 100 million people around the world have experienced the visual artistry, the music and the theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular.

Kids’ Night On Broadway

UPDATE: Kids’ Night On Broadway has been canceled for this show.

And now, here’s what you’ve come for: How to get discount tickets to the show! OK, there is one night when you can enjoy Buy One, Get One Free tickets. Each year, one Broadway touring production in Omaha participates in Kids’ Night on Broadway, where an adult can bring a child up to age 18 to the show. It’s for one night only.

Kids' Night on Broadway The Lion King logo

Kids’ Night on Broadway is for the April 22 7:30 p.m. performance of “Disney’s The Lion King.” Use promo code KIDSNIGHT to get Buy One, Get One tickets at Price Level 1 to Price Level 3 for one adult and one child up to 18 years of age. It’s only valid for April 22, while supplies last.

Be sure to go through Ticket Omaha, the official ticket seller for shows at the Orpheum Theater. You can purchase tickets online at TicketOmaha.com, by phone at 402-345-0606, or save the handling fee and go to the box office located inside the Holland Performing Arts Center at 1200 Douglas St.

Kids’ Night On Broadway isn’t just about getting a free ticket to a Broadway show for your kiddo. There will be fun pre-show activities for kids in the lobby and a Meet & Greet with the show’s Young Cubs! Plus the first 200 children will receive a “Disney’s The Lion King” bag filled with treats (first come first served).

The nitty gritty details: Code processed as buy one get one free when two or more tickets are selected. Please be sure to purchase your intended number of tickets. Offer not valid on prior purchased tickets and may not be combined with any other offer. Not all seats are discounted. 

ALL SALES FINAL. No exchanges or refunds. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. Standard service fees apply to online and phone orders. Dates, times, prices, and cast subject to change without notice. Offer may be revoked without notice. Limit nine tickets per person. All prices include a $2.25 facility fee and $2 city user’s fee. Offer expires on April 22, or while supplies last.

Scene from the Broadway touring production of "Disney's The Lion King"
Photo courtesy O-pa

Make a night of it in downtown Omaha

Part of the fun of going to the theater is making it a complete date. I compiled a list of some of my favorite downtown restaurants for families.

Of course, if you’re taking teens, you may be able to broaden the scope of restaurants for your night out, so here’s a complete guide to Old Market restaurants.

Link to more stories about things to do in Omaha

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10 Of The Tastiest Italian Restaurants In Omaha

“All in the Famiglia” can be the name of most Italian restaurants in the Omaha area. Locally-owned ristorantes seem to be family affairs, with everyone from Nonno or Nonna to children barely able to see over the counter. There’s a role for everyone in the family. And with that family connection comes some of the best Italian cuisine you will ever enjoy. We wanted to sample a bit of the menu in Omaha, and here are some of the best Italian restaurants in the Omaha Metro area.

Need dinner ideas for Omaha? Here are some of the best Italian restaurants in the city! This is a local's guide to Omaha Italian restaurants, and includes restaurants that make their own pasta, use wood-fired ovens, and Italian desserts. #Omaha #Nebraska #BestoftheMidwest #localtourist

Roma Italian Restaurant

Where: Bellevue

Featuring homemade dishes from scratch, Roma Italian Restaurant has been serving huge portions of classic Italian dishes since 2016. From classics such as spaghetti with meatballs and chicken parmigiana to unique combinations such as shrimp and scallop alfredo, dinner at Roma can be shared with a dining partner or you’ll be guaranteed enough leftovers to have a meal or two afterward.

Located in a former La Mesa restaurant building, the Italian eatery is located along Fort Crook Road.

Mangia Italiana

Where: Irvington

You would think that with name like Mangia Italiana, the ristorante would feature an upscale menu with white table cloths and a wine list that may require a second mortgage. Instead, you’ll find a casual family restaurant high on serving great pizza and Italian classic entrees.

The combo pizza is considered the most popular pie, featuring sausage, beef, pepperoni, onion, mushrooms, and black olives. You can go with the specialty pizzas, which also include buffalo chicken and veggie, or you can create your own. No matter which route you choose, you’ll enjoy one of Omaha’s best pizzas.

Mangia Italiana’s classic dishes feature Italian and Sicilian traditions, which feature your choice of pasta (spaghetti, mostacciolli, fettucine, or bow tie) which a variety of sauces, including Sugo, an authentic Sicilian sweet and spicy tomato sauce with meat.

Orsi’s Italian Bakery and Pizzeria

Where: 621 Pacific St. in Little Italy

Omaha’s oldest Italian eatery, Orsi’s Italian Bakery and Pizzeria opened its doors as bakery in 1919. Now, more than 100 years old, Orsi’s may lay claim to “Omaha-style pizza,” with its rectangular pie featuring fresh toppings on top of special sauce.

Exterior of Omaha's oldest restaurant,  Orsi's Italian Bakery and Pizzeria
Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria can be found just outside of the Old Market, in a neighborhood that was once a bustling Little Italy.

Pizzas come in three sizes – quarter (six slices), half (12 slices) and full sheet (24 slices). Pizzas are ordered to go, as Orsi’s has little room for dine-in orders. The dough is made fresh daily and you can watch team members toss it as they prepare pizzas. Try the Goudarooni, a double-crusted pizza that will challenge your appetite.

The bakery also supplies fresh rolls to several Italian restaurants around the city. Orsi’s doesn’t use preservatives, so the bread is truly fresh and you won’t find day-old rolls in restaurants. Orsi’s also sells deli meat and a small section of Italian sweet peppers, and more.

The bakery also supplies fresh rolls to several Italian restaurants around the city. Orsi’s doesn’t use preservatives, so the bread is truly fresh and you won’t find day-old rolls in restaurants. Orsi’s also sells deli meat and a small section of Italian sweet peppers, and more.

Tip: This is the longest-running restaurant in Omaha! Find out more about Orsi’s and its history in this restaurant feature.

Vincenzo’s Ristorante

Where: 15701 Pacific St. in West Omaha

Offering the Omaha area great Italian cuisine for more than 25 years, Vincenzo’s Ristorante shares its heritage through dishes such as penne diavolo, with penne pasta, Italian sausage, onion, black olives, mushrooms, and sweet peppers tossed in a roasted red pepper cream sauce.

Baked pasta dishes include lasagna (meatless), ravioli, and manicotti. With a house wine available at each table, Vincenzo’s features a full bar, as well as non-alcoholic drinks. You may want to order cannoli for dessert.

Dante

Where: 16901 Wright Plaza suite 173 at Shops of Legacy

Nick Strawhecker rolled the dice and opened a wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzeria during the Great Recession. More than 10 years later, his concept not only succeeded but inspired a series of copycat restaurants. None of them came close to the originality, taste, and style that Strawhecker has created with Dante.

Interior of Dante in West Omaha

With a menu that focuses on farm-to-table options, Dante is considered one of the best pizzerias in Omaha. Besides the thin-crust pizzas that are ready within 90 seconds, as they’re baked in a wood-fired oven approaching 800 degrees Fahrenheit, Dante’s menu also features seasonal pasta and chicken dishes. The restaurant features a world-class wine list.

Related post: Looking for a date night restaurant? Dante is one of my top picks for West Omaha!

Malara’s Italian Restaurant

Where: 2123 Pierce St.

Caterina Malara came to America from Italy through Argentina. She and her husband immigrated to the United States to start a new life together. Sadly, her husband died in a work-related accident.

Forced to find a way to provide a good life for her four children, Caterina, then in her early 30s, started selling ravioli out of her home. After several years passed, she found a spot at the former Rotella’s Bakery on the corner of 21st and Pierce streets. She primarily sold sandwiches out of a small window. Later, a friend lent her money to buy the building when Rotella’s decided to sell the building.

Turning the building into a new restaurant, Malara’s Italian Restaurant opened its doors in 1984. Caterina, after more than 35 years, continues to work in the kitchen, overseeing the prep work and kitchen staff. The restaurant still uses the pasta maker that she used in her home when making ravioli. The pasta has a unique texture and the red sauce matches with a special taste of its own.

If you are a fan of trying new things, order the pasta with brascioli, a meatball rolled around bacon stuffing.

Lo Sole Mio Ristorante

Where: 3001 S. 32nd Ave. in South Omaha

A favorite among celebrities and locals alike, Lo Sole Mio is a story of love. Don and Marie Lo Sole opened the South Omaha restaurant in 1992, but it seems like Lo Sole Mio has been around for much longer.

A favorite for special events and family reunions, everything about Lo Sole Mio says classic Italian. From the serving staff’s uniform dress to the dinner salads, soups, and the delicious bread and rolls (you’ll beg for more), it sets the standard for an outstanding dining experience.

With classic dishes such as veal piccata, pasta reggio, and baked lasagna, a visit to Lo Sole Mio creates memories. As you wait for your table (everyone in your party must be present before you’re seated), check out the pictures on the wall of famous diners, such as Tony Bennett, Tom Osborne, and Tony Lasorda.

Via Farina

Where: 1108 S. 10th St. in Little Italy

Via Farina’s pizza dough is similar to a fine wine, it needs time to age. In this case, the chic pizzeria takes about three days to curate its pizza crust. Using a wood-fired oven, Via Farina bakes its pizza for less than two minutes in temperatures approaching 900 degrees.

Wood-fired pizza at Via Farina in Omaha's Little Italy neighborhood

Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant on 10th Street features unique pizzas such as patata pizza, with potato confit, black pepper, and oregano, among other toppings, and pasta dishes such as ricotta cavatelli. Via Farina also delivers in the Little Italy via Vespa scooters.

Pasta Amore

Where: 11027 Prairie Brook Road in Rockbrook Village

Lillo “Leo” Fascianella immigrated to Omaha with his parents as a young boy. Calling Omaha home since 1972, the chef has created one of Omaha’s best-known Italian restaurants, opening Pasta Amore in 1986.

With a menu starring traditional Italian fare, such as eggplant parmigiana and lasagna, Chef Leo describes his work as edible paintings. With a wine list to complement each entrée, Pasta Amore ensures it challenges the most-finicky palate.

La Casa Pizzaria

Where: 4432 Leavenworth St.

From the day it opened in 1953, La Casa Pizzaria was popular with diners across Omaha. Using a square pan to make its pizza, La Casa developed its reputation as one of Omaha’s best Italian restaurants with its unique pizza that features a special sauce and Romano cheese. Its pasta dishes, such as spaghetti, lasagna, and mostaciolli, are topped with marinara or spicy rosa sauce.

Square pan pizza at La Casa Pizzaria in Omaha, Nebraska

A visit to La Casa is a throwback to the early days of Omaha’s classic Italian ristorantes.

Omaha’s Italian heritage shines through with its restaurants. From traditional fare to adding a twist to classic dishes, you can find an Italian restaurant that delivers a unique dining experience.

10 great restaurants for Italian food in Omaha! Learn about the charm of restaurants like Dante, La Casa Pizzeria, Via Farina and others. #OmahaRestaurants #Nebraska #NebraskaRestaurants #ItalianFood
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12 Great Leap Day Events In Omaha

I have a cousin turning 6 this year and he owns his own home. Yeah, he’s a Leap Day baby. For those birthday “kids” excited to be celebrating Leap Day in Omaha, as well as the general public, there are some fun activities to look forward to.

Disclosure: I partnered with Altitude Omaha for this post and received complimentary admission in trade. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.

Fun things to do in Omaha on Leap Day 2020 | Leap Day events for families as well as events that are 21+. One of the highlights will be a Leap Day Birthday Party at an Omaha trampoline park. #familytime #leapday #Omaha #familyfun

Where to celebrate Leap Day in Omaha

It happens only every four years: Leap Day. Since it takes 365 1/4 days to go around the sun, an entire day is added to the month of February every four years. And 2020 is a Leap Year, making Feb. 29, 2020 Leap Day.

As you can imagine, trampoline places are all over the “leap” in Leap Day. Altitude Trampoline Park in Omaha actually has Leap Week planned to celebrate. It’s a 10-day celebration that runs from Feb. 21 through March 1.

The big day, Feb. 29, is an all-ages promotion for Leap Year babies. It’s a birthday party with gifts and free birthday jump passes for life!

Other promotions running during Leap Week: Two for $20 jump special; $50 off birthday parties; and $5 Toddler Time. 

Altitude Omaha features more than 34,000 square feet of attractions, including Battle Beam; Extreme Dodgeball and Volleyball; The Foam Pit, High-9 Reaction Wall; Trampoline Basketball; The Main Court (wall-to-wall trampolines); Kid’s Court; Gymnastics Tumble Tracks, Wipeout; Performance Trampolines, Trapeze Swing and Rock Wall.

Altitude Trampoline Park basketball hoop
Photo courtesy Altitude Trampoline Park

More 2020 Leap Day events in Omaha

While not a massive birthday party for Leap Year babies, there are several other fun events planned for Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.

Coffee: From Seed to Cup with A Hill of Beans – 10 a.m to noon at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Advanced registration required.

Sip N’ Shop | A Leap Day Event – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hardy Coffee Co. inside the Highlander Building, 2112 N. 30th St. It’s a shopping event featuring local makers.

SuperMART Leap – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (games start at noon) at Nebraska Furniture Mart, 700 S. 72nd St.

Succulent Bar! – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Makery, 12100 West Center Road, Suite 612. Select the container, succulent, and decorations and pay for the type/number of components chosen. Don’t forget to use TAGG with your purchase. All Ages.

Omaha Royal Princess Ball – 12:30 p.m. for earliest admission at Courtyard by Marriott Omaha Bellevue at Beardmore Event Center, 3730 Raynor Parkway, Bellevue, Neb. Regular tickets are $25 and early admission tickets are $40.

Celebrate Black History with Vaunda Micheaux Nelson – 1 to 3 p.m. at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. Reservations are required and regular museum admission applies; free for members. All Ages.

Omaha Fashion WeekEvolve Featured Designer Showcase” – 6 to 10 p.m. at the Omaha Design Center, 1502 Cuming St. Reserved seats are $45.

Dierks Bentley presented by WoodhouseGives – 7 p.m. at CHI Health Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St. Tickets are $40-$255 and benefit Food Bank Backpack Program.

Omaha Mom Prom – 7 to 11:30 p.m. at Soiree Room, 7040 N. 102nd Circle. SOLD OUT.

“Stomp” – 7:30 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. Tickets are $30-$89.

Back to the 80s Party – 9 p.m. at Driftwood Inn, 2701 Harry Langdon Blvd., Council Bluffs, Iowa.

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