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Omaha’s Ultimate List Of Christmas & Holiday Events (2023)

Searching for the best holiday events in Omaha in 2023? Look no further than Omaha. This city comes alive during the festive season, making it a prime destination for families, couples, and friends alike. From memorable kids’ activities to diverse live performances, ranging from ballet and orchestra to rock, Omaha is a hub for holiday celebrations. And let’s not forget the multitude of opportunities to meet Santa! Whether you’re a local or planning a visit, our guide answers the question “Are there any good holiday events near me this year?” (The answer: YES!) While many events are perfect for families, we’ve also highlighted some special occasions just for the kid-free crowd. Dive in and discover the magic of the holidays in Omaha.

UPDATED: This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated in October 2023 with this year’s holiday events. If you have an event to add or see an error in the schedule, please leave a comment or email me!

Candle display at the Omaha Holiday Market in Aksarben Village

Can’t-miss holiday events near Omaha

Not sure what you want to do? I’ve got a chronological list of events in Omaha, all would be a great way to get into the holiday spirit! Visit this post for all the free things to do this Christmas season and holiday lights displays in Omaha.


When: Nov. 17 through Dec. 30, 2023; hours are 6 to 9 p.m. (and 10 p.m. on weekends). Thursday nights are for ages 21+.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

What: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium welcomes the holiday season with an all-new wildly bright tradition: Zoolightful presented by Chesterman Co. Coca-Cola. Visitors will experience the Zoo like they’ve never seen before, as it transforms into a world of immersive lands with unique and enchanting experiences, dazzling light displays and unforgettable holiday fun.

Cost: $16 for kids, $20 for adults (members receive 50% on tickets on select nights)

Santa’s Rock N Lights Drive Thru Christmas Light Show

When: Nov. 17 to Dec. 31, 2023; open daily from 4:50 to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. on weekends)

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

What: An animated drive-thru show of lights synchronized to music.

Cost: $25.99 to $34.99 per vehicle with up to 6 people ($7 extra per person over 6 people); tickets must be purchased online in advance

A Christmas Carol

When: Nov. 18 through Dec. 23; Sensory friendly performance (Dec. 2), shadow interpreted performance (Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.), audio described performance (Dec. 17)

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St., Omaha, Neb.

What: Experience Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition, “A Christmas Carol,” as Ebenezer Scrooge takes us on a life-changing journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas. This is a must-see holiday event for the entire family, filled with stunning Victorian costumes, festive music and crisp, wintry sets. 

Cost: Tickets are $40. 

Holiday Poinsettia Show

When: Nov. 18 through Dec. 30, 2023; open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on November 18-19, 22, 24-26 and December 1-3, 8-23, 26-30 when last entry is at 3 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets, Omaha, Neb.

What: This indoor flower show is perfect for the holidays, and includes a 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree. The indoor model train is always a hit with kids.

Cost: Included with admission

Bright Nights display at Lauritzen Gardens
Bright Nights at Lauritzen Gardens

Bright Nights

When: Select nights on runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on select dates in November and December: Nov. 18, 19, 22, 24, 25 & 26, and Dec. 1-3, 8-23, 26-30

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets, Omaha, Neb.

What: The floral display hall and the conservatory will be adorned and enhanced with light as the garden extends its hours to celebrate the beauty of the season. gather around the crackling fire, write letters to Santa, shop for thoughtful holiday gifts in the gift shop, purchase a S’mores kit to roast a marshmallow, enjoy the family-friendly activities in the Family Chill Zone, create art in the Lite-Brite Forest, and more.

Cost: Advanced tickets required; $15 admission (ages 13+), $9 admission (ages 3-12); Garden members: $7.50 admission (ages 13+), $4.50 admission (ages 3-12); ages 2 and under are free and do not need a ticket  

Christmas at Union Station

When: Nov. 24 through Jan. 7, 2024; hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 

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

What: See the largest indoor tree in the region will be on display and special displays. Holiday Cultural Trees Display is located in the museum’s galleries.

Cost: Included with museum admission

A Very Die Hard Christmas

When: Nov. 24 through Dec. 17, 2023 (SOLD OUT)

Where: BLUEBARN Theatre, 1106 S. 10th St., Omaha, Neb.

What: BLUEBARN’s holiday smash hit is back! It al takes place at Nakatomi Plaza as John McClane battles Hans Gruber with Christmas itself on the line. This madcap celebration of 1980s nostalgia will have you rolling in the aisles, whether you’re a “Die Hard” virgin or you know every line of the movie by heart.

Cost: $44

Santa’s Magic

When: Nov. 24 through Dec. 23, 2023

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

What: Santa’s Magic is an immersive, short show followed by a chance to visit with Santa and get a picture taken with him. It’s an annual temporary exhibit at the museum.

Cost: Included with admission; pictures are an additional fee

Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold

When: Nov. 24 through Dec. 23, 2023

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St., Omaha, Neb.

What: “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” is a holiday extravaganza full of laughs and audience participation. A brassy and bossy nun formally known as “Sister” retells the nativity story and unwraps the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages—whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? Employing her scientific tools, assisted by a local choir and audience banter, Sister delivers a humorous and irresistible satire that will keep you on your toes.

Cost: $40

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

When: Dec. 1-23, 2023; the Dec. 16 performance at 2 p.m. will include ASL services and Audio Description services, and it will also be a sensory-friendly show.

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St., Omaha, Neb.

What: The beloved TV classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” soars off-screen and onto the stage! Join Santa, Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph in this puppet-filled musical spectacular that speaks to the misfit in all of us.

Cost: Tickets are $37 on the Main Floor and $32 on the Balcony. Members receive a discount.

A girl talks to Santa at the Physicians Mutual Holiday Market held annually at Aksarben Village
Physicians Mutual Holiday Market

A Christmas Story – The Musical

When: Dec. 7-10 and Dec. 14-17, 2023

Where: Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center, 1001 S. Sixth St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: Nine-year-old Ralphie Parker wants one thing for Christmas, and one thing only: An Official Red Ryder Range Model Carbine Action BB Gun. There’s only one problem: everyone else is convinced he’ll shoot his eye out! Undeterred, he begins his saga of convincing all the necessary players, from his sweet but protective Mother, to his straightlaced teacher, Miss Shields, all the way to Santa Claus himself, that he needs that gun for the protection of his loved ones, and maybe even a little cowboy glory to call his own. Filled with quirky and lovable characters, this zany, heartfelt, and nostalgic musical is as delightful as the biggest, shiniest present under the tree on Christmas morning.

Cost: Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $20 for students

“Holiday Lights: Winter’s Wonderful Gift”

When: Dec. 7-17, 2023

Where: Benson Theatre, 6054 Maple St., Omaha, Neb.

What: Holiday Lites is Brigit Saint Brigit’s love letter to the myriad of year-end traditions we collectively find comfort and joy in every fall– and the plethora of ways we find to enjoy them. A true partnership production, Holiday Lites weaves the technological artistry and beauty of Benson Theatre with the immersive charm of the Brigit Saint Brigit Theatre Company to create a magical delight and truly eclectic evening of live theatre that invites the audience into the world of the play.

Cost: $35

Ugly Sweater holiday fun run in Omaha

Winter Wonderland 

When: Dec. 9, 2023 to Jan. 2, 2024, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nature Center hours extended until 7 p.m. on some evenings. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day

Where: Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, 1111 Bellevue Blvd. N, Bellevue, Neb.

What: Winter Wonderand is a festive holiday display of decorated trees and wreaths in the Great Hall, and outdoors, walk along the lighted Riverview Boardwalk.  

Cost: Included with admission

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered

When: Dec. 11, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Lied Education Center for the Arts at Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, Neb.

What: El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered is a Christmas oratorio written for, and performed by, the American Modern Opera Project. The rarely performed work envisions the nativity story though celebration of Latin American poets and voices of women. El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered ruminates on the notion that with the promise of new life, there is the equal threat of inexplicable violence and sacrifice.

Cost: $35

The Office Trivia – Christmas Edition

When: Dec. 14, 2023 from 6 to 8 p.m. (sign up starts at 6; trivia starts at 6:15)

Where: Omaha Dog Bar, 1231 S. 14th St., Omaha, Neb.

What: Teams of up to six can play, with prizes going to the top teams. Wear your ugliest sweater for a chance to win a prize for most ugly/original sweater/outfit. If you bring your dog, pups must be leashed during trivia. All pups must be registered in our membership portal, have updated vaccine records, and be spayed or neutered of over the age of 1.

Cost: FREE, but if you bring your pup, normal day rates apply if you are not an Omaha Dog Bar member.

Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration

When: Dec. 14-17, 2023

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St., Omaha, Neb.

What: Ernest Richardson, the Omaha Symphony and a stellar cast of singers and dancers send your spirits soaring with festive favorites and Christmas classics.

Cost: Tickets are $20-$89  

Christmas Bingo & Photos With the Grinch

When: Dec. 15, 2023 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Infusion Brewing Co. Southwest, 6271 S. 118th St., Omaha

What: A family-friendly evening at the brewery! Bingo is free to play with purchase of a drink. Presents are under the tree for bingo winners and all kids. Kids also receive coloring pages.

Cost: FREE

Holiday Movie Trivia & Ugly Sweater Happy Hour

When: Dec. 15; Happy Hour is from 5 to 7 p.m. with the Ugly Sweater Contest at 6:45 p.m. Holiday Movie Trivia starts at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center, 1001 S. Sixth St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE

“Elf” Interactive Movie

When: Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. and Dec. 22 at 2:15 p.m.; doors open 15 minutes before the start

Where: The Dec. 15 screening is at Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave., and the Dec. 22 screening is at Omaha Public Library Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane.

What: The fun-filled interactive movie experience starts with a read-aloud of the book followed by crafts (while supplies last) and activities during the movie. Families may bring blankets and pillows and food is allowed with the expectation that each family will clean up after themselves.

Cost: FREE

Winter Warm and Cozy Movie Series

When: Dec. 15-21, 2023

Where: Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mile Fahey St., Omaha, Neb.

What: Enjoy classic holiday films “White Christmas” (1954), “Little Women” (2019) and “The Holiday” (2006).

Cost: TBD

The Muppet Christmas Carol

When: Dec. 16 & 17 and Dec. 23 & 24, 2023 at 10 a.m.

Where: Film Streams’ Dundee Theater, 4952 Dodge St., Omaha, Neb.

What: Film Streams’ Forever Young Film Series features the 1992 film “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine).

Cost: $5 per person

Christmas Movies and Music Trivia

When: Dec. 20, 2023 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Where: Observatory Bar & Grill, 14525 West Center Road, Omaha

What: There will be four rounds with five questions each of Christmas Movies and Music. At the end, bet all or nothing for a Jeopardy-style question!

Cost: FREE

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis

When: Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 23 at 8 p.m.

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

What: The program includes dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting.  

Cost: Tickets start at $39.

More Omaha Christmas events and Santa visits

If you’re still looking for MORE things to do this holiday season, you’re in luck!

2023 New Year’s Eve Events In Omaha

For a complete list of Noon Year’s Eve for families, fireworks and New Year’s Eve parties for adults, check out this list of 2023 Omaha New Year’s Eve Events.

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

Looking for the most complete list of Christmas events in Omaha, Nebraska? Here's a roundup of displays, shows, charity drives and more, including New Year's Eve festivities. List has been updated for 2020 changes.

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Aja O'Brien

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Great List Kim! Thank you!


Tuesday 13th of December 2022

I see you have the family-friendly movie series at Barrel & Vine listed. For a kid-free night back at Barrel & Vine, there's also the December 23 Christmas Party with One2Go!

You can even come dressed in costume or pajamas or whatever brings out your Christmas spirit!

More info about One2Go and the event at https://www.facebook.com/one2goband

Nancy Cesario

Saturday 19th of November 2022

How about including the Sarpy County Historical Museum , 2402 Clay St., Bellevue in your events listing? Here is always something going on there! Free admission. Tuesday-Saturday 10-4. There’s a holiday event coming up there too! Check out their web site: www.Sarpy county museum.org .


Monday 4th of November 2019

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. :(


Monday 4th of November 2019

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!

Mitzi Stinson

Tuesday 4th of December 2018

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...


Tuesday 4th of December 2018

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.

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