May 8, 2018

Girls Night Out Event At Omaha Children’s Museum

This blog has been overdue sharing a girl’s night out information. The last official roundup of Girl’s Night Out suggestions was in 2013 (eek!). More recently, I shared tips on painting and drinking, making Knotty Nail art, and going to the theater. Most involved wine. I have one more girls night out idea that will likely involve a glass of wine: A night out at Omaha Children’s Museum.

What?! I know. The museum is having its first-ever Mom’s Night Out on June 9 and I’m here to share the details.

Stick around because I have a promo code for Buy One, Get One tickets!

Full disclosure: I work at Omaha Children’s Museum. Plus, I’m receiving complimentary tickets for writing about the event.

What’s Mom’s Night Out

Mom’s Night Out at Omaha Children’s Museum is a night for women ages 21 and older. If you want to be pampered, and you’re 21 or older, this is for you. You don’t have to be a mom to attend, by the way. All ladies of legal drinking age are welcomed.

As you guessed, since it’s a 21 and older event, there will be alcohol, and your admission fee covers one drink. There will also be food, shopping, and a place to chill with your friends and watch John Hughes movies. Sounds great, right?

BOGO Ticket Deal

Tickets are $15 each. Oh My! Omaha readers can use the promo code happymothersday to buy one, get one ticket FREE! Because really, you’ll want to bring a friend along. Or you know, make it a Mother’s Day present and buy one for your mom. You can purchase tickets online at here.

If you go

Mom’s Night Out

When: June 9, 8 to 11 p.m.

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

Cost: Tickets are $15 each. Use promo code happymothersday to get a second ticket FREE. Purchase tickets online here.

 

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May 7, 2018

New ‘BODY’ Exhibit In Omaha + Giveaways

The touring exhibit “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” is in Omaha for a few months, and I was invited to tour it recently. I brought my 8-year-old so I could get his thoughts on the exhibit and gauge how other kids might react to it.

Our Body Exhibit On Tour

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by “OUR BODY: The Universe Within.” All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own. 

You can see “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” in The Capitol District through July 31, 2018 (with the possibility of extension). Keep reading to find out how you can win tickets!

What in the exhibit ‘OUR BODY’

The exhibit “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” exposes the inner workings of human anatomy by presenting actual human specimens, anatomical displays, reproductions of historic anatomical artwork and much more. It’s considered appropriate for all ages.

The touring exhibition, “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” includes 15 whole body specimens, like this guy playing chess. The exhibit is open in Omaha through July 31, 2018.

Basically, this “BODY” exhibit is literally an inside look at the body using real human bodies. The exhibit includes approximately 15 whole body specimens and 49 display cases containing more than 110 organs and specimens.

Everything in the “OUR BODY” exhibit has been preserved through a process called polymer impregnation or “plastination” – a process that replaces the body’s water and fat with reactive plastics. If you want to learn more about how they create the exhibit “OUR BODY,” read this.

The exhibit includes the opportunity to touch a real liver, brain, kidney and/or heart. When we were there, we touched a diseased lung, a heart and half a brain. Due to the “plastination” process used to preserve them, they felt unreal and not all that squishy.

What to expect at ‘OUR BODY’

The exhibit is divided into different sections exploring the six primary systems of the human body: Musculoskeletal system, head and nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary and reproductive system, and the cardiovascular system.

A look at the blood supply of the kidney. The exhibit “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” explores the six primary systems of the human body.

I like that visitors are eased into the experience, starting first with something familiar to me, skeletal displays.

You can probably expect some giggling if you’re bringing children. Most of the bodies in the exhibit are male, and, so, you’re going to see everything male, if you know what I mean: The male body playing basketball and the male body sitting down to a chess game, for example.

I’ve been to a different touring “BODY” exhibit, and like that one, “OUT BODY” has a section with fetuses. It is separated from other areas and there are signs stating that some people may find it disturbing. There are preserved fetuses at different months of growth as well as a full-term baby. It is easy to bypass, if it makes you uncomfortable.

Prepping kids to go to a “BODY” exhibit

“OUR BODY: The Universe Within,” as mentioned earlier, is appropriate for all ages, but you should be the judge on whether your child is ready for it or not. It’s wonderful for children curious about science. It can also be unsettling, though, for a child who realizes that every body on display was once a living person.

“OUR BODY: The Universe Within” is considered appropriate for all ages, and there’s a downloadable guide to prep kids before their visit.

When I asked my son how the exhibit effected him, he was reluctant to say. (It’s like prying teeth getting him to expand upon ideas, so this isn’t surprising) Eventually, he told me he thought it was amazing. However, I’ll add that more than once while we were there, he loudly exclaimed somethings were gross. So, that’s an 8-year-old in a nutshell.

There are helpful guides available to prep your child before you go and to unpack what you saw following a visit. The guides for older children are for class visits, but parents may find them helpful, especially the section with terms. Here are the guides:

For families – This has fun facts and a very basic explanations for each area in the exhibit.

For kids in grades 6-8

For kids in grades 9-12

Is it “gross”?

I’ve been asked by friends and on social media if the exhibit is “gross.” To answer that, I guess it depends on what grosses you out. To me, it was more like a textbook brought to life. So, it was fascinating.

What I found most fascinating was seeing arteries and veins of different organs. But, teeth and fingernails? Those to me are “gross” to me.

As far as comfort level, I can see how this exhibit could make some people squeamish. There are some dissections that, to me, were both fascinating to examine and a little unsettling. The continuous horizontal dissection of a male body is one such dissection.

If you go

“OUR BODY: The Universe Within”

Where: The Capitol District, 225 N. 12th Street

When: May 5 to July 31, 2018

Cost: Adult tickets start at $15; seniors (65+), military & family, students $12; children ages 5 to 14, $10; and Children age 4 and younger, FREE. An adult must accompany all children under the age of 12.

 

Giveaways!

One reader is going to win FOUR passes to see “OUR BODY: The Universe Within” while it’s here in Omaha. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. Must be 18 or older to enter. Passes have no cash value. Giveaway ends May 20 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Winner will be contacted via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are THREE more ways to win!

1. Be sure you follow Oh My! Omaha on Facebook. I’ll have a giveaway for four passes on May 20.

2. Follow Fun Things To Do In Omaha & Beyond. There’s a flash giveaway for four passes on May 7. Winner will be drawn on May 8.

3. Subscribe to Oh My! Omaha. One random subscriber will be drawn on May 20 to receive four passes. It’s FREE to subscribe, and e-newsletters are sent out twice monthly sharing things to do in Omaha, travel inspiration, and details on giveaways like this.

May 4, 2018

Bloggers From Omaha: LeAnna Brown

Kim’s note: The Bloggers From Omaha series introduces different voices from around Omaha. Each week Whenever I can, I’ll introduce a different Omaha blogger, what his or her blog is all about, and since I love getting recommendations as much as I love giving them, I’ve asked each person to share some Omaha tips. Today’s blogger, LeAnna at Well Traveled Nebraskan, is on the hunt for all of Nebraska’s most amazing hidden gems. Want to be featured in this series? Let me know!

 

Your name: LeAnna Brown

Blog: Well Traveled Nebraskan

Find @welltravelednebraskan at: Instagram and Pinterest

 

Describe your blog in five words.

Inspiring Nebraskans to travel in our own backyard (oops- 8!)

 

What are the two most popular posts on your blog? What makes them so good?

Glamping in Nebraska

The Breathtaking Sandhill Crane Migration: A Nebraska Phenomenon

Seeing the Sandhill Cranes in Kearney, Neb. Photo courtesy LeAnna Brown

As a BRAND SPANKING NEW blog, I’m so excited to bring some fresh, new content that highlights Nebraska “Beyond the cornfields and quilt museums.”

I have a feeling my most popular posts are not going to be about specific places to go but instead on amazing experiences that you never knew you could have right here in the Cornhusker State! (think things like skydiving, wine tasting, glamping, cliff diving and more!)

 

What social media channel are you on the most and why?

I actually love Pinterest. I have surprisingly found it to be a great travel research tool for my own personal travels so I love creating Pins that others can also get inspired to find a remarkable pin and say “What!? That’s in Nebraska!?” You can follow all my pins about Everything Nebraska Travel Related here.

I also have been trying to be better at Instagram, since I know that’s where all the cool kids play 😉 And as the blog gets off the ground and more established, I LOVE doing Facebook Lives that cover really important travel tips for people who aren’t sure how/why to travel locally like “How to find the perfect accommodation” or “How to survive a long road trip with children!”

 

You get one hour to spend on writing, where in Omaha do you go?

I’m actually really lucky and have a converted bedroom into a home office. My toddler is surprisingly good at knowing that if someone is in the office then that means they are working. For a quick hour of work, I grab a cup of coffee, run upstairs, turn on my favorite Pandora station and get to work! If I must work out of the house, I’m a sucker for Scooter’s!! I’ll take a caramel latte any day!

 

If friends visit from out of town, what three places would you take them to?

LeAnna Brown’s family hosts an Oktoberfest party every year. Photo courtesy LeAnna Brown

Typically, my guests already want to go to the Zoo (duh!) and Omaha Children’s Museum is always on their radar if they have kids, but I love showing them other sides of Omaha in addition to the “musts” or the “usuals.”

1) My first place I like to take visitors is on a “self guided” walking tour downtown. We start at the Lewis and Clark Landing and “The Bob,” make our way through the Heartland of America Park, go on to the Gene Leahy Mall (a stop at the slides is a must!) and then go and wander through the Old Market, ending in a great dinner or lunch at any of the local favorites.

2) Depending on where they are from, as corny as it sounds, I love taking them to Runza for a lunch! It’s just something so “Nebraskan” that you don’t find elsewhere!

3) Having lived in Germany for six years, we are a sucker for a good beer. It’s great to take friends out to a local brewery and show the “hipster” side of Omaha! (In fact, we loved our time in Germany so much that we’ve even started an annual “Oktoberfest” at our house here in Omaha, complete with Liederhosen, polka music and home-made Bavarian pretzels! It’s a great way to supplement all the other amazing Oktoberfests (Gerda’s, American German Society, Huber-Haus, etc).

 

What’s your favorite free thing to do in Omaha?

This is actually SO hard for me to choose! I LOVE Omaha in the summer because there are just so many free things to do from Jazz on the Green to fantastic farmer’s markets. But honestly, I love finding some really awesome paths around local lakes right here in the heart of the city like Shadow Lake, Zorinsky and more. It feels so great to “get away” from the city at times and have a moment with nature without the long drive!

 

More about LeAnna

Photo courtesy LeAnna Brown

As a born and raised proud Omahan, LeAnna has had the opportunity to live and travel throughout the world. But even through all the amazing adventures, she still calls Omaha her “Homaha!” After learning so much about travel, it is now her passion to help fellow Nebraskans see that amazing travel, experiences and memories are right here in our own backyard of Nebraska. She shares these experiences and how-tos at Well Traveled Nebraskan, where you’ll be shocked and inspired with what is possible right here in the Cornhusker State!

April 27, 2018

Nebraska Authors {Giveaway}

I may have mentioned a time or two (or 100) that I wrote a book last year. “Lost Restaurants of Omaha” – it’s a good read. 😉 I’m in good company – a few of my fellow bloggers have become Nebraska authors, publishing fantastic books in recent months, too. These helpful nonfiction books are dedicated to saving you money or suggesting things to do in Omaha and across Nebraska. Basically, read them all so you can save money to explore Nebraska.

Read on because once you learn about these new books, you’re going to want to read them on the NEW Kindle Fire 7 tablet we’re giving away!

Disclosure: Giveaway not affiliated with or associated with Amazon. Oh My! Omaha is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

Five books have been published by myself and fellow bloggers in the last six months – “Lost Restaurants of Omaha,” “100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die,” “The Extraordinary Art of Budgeting,” “The Extraordinary Art of Meal Planning,” and “Detour Nebraska: Historic Destinations and Natural Wonders.”

“The Extraordinary Art” Series

Local author, Nicole McDonald, shares money saving advice on her blog MomSavesMoney.net and teaches classes in the Omaha area. This year she released two new books in her popular Extraordinary Art series. Her expert advice in “The Extraordinary Art of Meal Planning” will help you take back family dinner while saving time and money. If you are ready to live debt free and in financial freedom, check out her third book in the series “The Extraordinary Art of Budgeting.”

money saving books

Learn a bit more about Nicole in this Omaha Bloggers feature!

“100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die”

Omaha is often called the best-kept secret in the United States. Once they’ve been there, visitors tend to fall in love with the city and its people. Referred to as the Gateway to the west, Omaha has so much to offer, from history, hiking, and an exciting local beer scene to great food. Tim and Lisa Trudell from the popular travel blog, The Walking Tourists, take you on a tour of Omaha’s unique and interesting sites and include some fun facts and helpful tips in their new book, “100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die.” Whether you are up in Omaha, call yourself an Omahan now, or are just passing through, this book will make you stop and say, “I didn’t realize that was in Omaha.”

things to do in Omaha

Learn more about Lisa and Tim in this Omaha Bloggers feature! I created my own Omaha Challenge inspired by the book.

“Detour Nebraska”

“Detour Nebraska: Historical Destinations and Natural Wonders” explores both the familiar and lesser know places worth exploring across Nebraska. Author Gretchen M. Garrison finds Nebraska to be a fascinating state. She started writing about the people and places or Nebraska both past and present on her blog, Odyssey Through Nebraska. Whether you are an armchair explorer or an adventurer, this book is your guide to knowing more about Nebraska.

I wrote more about the things in “Detour Nebraska” that I want to add to my Nebraska Bucket List in this post.

“Lost Restaurants of Omaha”

“Lost Restaurants of Omaha” shares the stories and photos behind some of Omaha’s iconic restaurants that have closed. The history of famous eateries go beyond the food on the menu and dive into the families that ran them and the roles they may have played in historic moments in the city. Restaurants featured in the book include French Café, Piccolo Pete’s, Mister C’s, Ross’s and Bohemian Café, and more than two-dozen more.

“Lost Restaurants of Omaha” is written by yours truly, Kim Reiner. Interested in author appearances? Bookmark this post; I update it regularly.

Nebraska Authors’ Giveaway

To celebrate the release of our new books, we are giving away a Kindle Fire 7 Tablet – 8 GB ($49.99) to one lucky winner. Easy entry using the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be selected May 13 and contacted via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 22, 2018

8 Great Parks In Omaha

There was a great Facebook conversation going on about parks in Omaha recently. Everyone has an opinion about parks and what makes them the best: Sand vs. non-sand, themes, variety, location, crowd levels. So I’ll chime in below with my favorite parks.

This “8 Great” list is the first in the series I’ll be doing on the blog with reader input on what to include. Check back for future ones on breweries, restaurant patios, and more! If you’re bored with your neighborhood park, here are some of my family’s favorite parks in Omaha. If you’re looking for parks with hiking trails, here’s a list of seven great trails for families near Omaha.

Omaha parks

Benson Park & spray ground

Where: 7002 Military Ave.

Size: 217.3 acres

Why: This park’s playground is outstanding–and a no-sand playground to boot–and it’s next to a fun (and popular) splash pad. The small lake is nice for a stroll and fishing is allowed.

Sand: No

Summer time at Benson @omahaparks!

A post shared by Kim Reiner (@ohmyomaha) on

 

Elmwood Park

Where: 802 S. 60th St.

Size: 216.4 acres

Why: This park’s playground was recently updated, with some nice climbing areas added to it. Elmwood is one of my favorite parks because of the open space and the trails surrounding it. Take a short walk through the woods to imagine a little escape from the city. And if you’re so inclined, there is a fitness area right next to the playground where you can sneak in some weight-bearing exercises in while the kids play (I’m never so inclined).

Sand: Yes

 

Hanscom Park

Where: 3201 Woolworth Ave.

Size: 58 acres

Why: Omaha’s oldest park often gets overlooked by shinier new parks. However, its playground was updated in 2017, and it’s a great one. This park also has the perk of lots of gorgeous trees, a nice little lake, a pool, and a dog park.

Sand: Yes

 

Hummel Park

Where: 3033 Hummel Park Road

Size: 202 acres

Why: This is our favorite city park for hike! It also has the best special events (so check the city’s calendar from time to time). The playground consists of rather large metal slides. They look cool, and my kids love them, but if you’re a nervous parent, I’d stay clear until your kids are steady climbers.

Sand: No

 

Lawrence Youngman Park

Where: 192nd Street and West Dodge Road

Why: This lakeside park has a pretty sizeable playground, a boat ramp, and fishing is allowed. And the covered picnic area is a nice bonus.

Sand: Yes

 

Standing Bear Lake

Artist rendering of the new Standing Bear Lake playground.

Where: 6404 N. 132nd St.

Size: 685 acres

Why: I like Standing Bear Lake for the lovely trail, but soon, it’s getting a new playground with a Native American them. The good news is: It won’t have sand.

Sand: No

 

 

Zorinsky Lake Park

Where: 3808 S. 156th St.

Size: 1,023 acres

Why: This is my absolute favorite park to run the trails, and they’re good for bike rides, too. The trail to the west of 168th Street is so wooded, you’ll feel removed from the city. The main playground near the boat ramp is huge and a hit with kids.

Sand: Yes

 

Plus one beyond Omaha

If you look beyond the Omaha metro, you’ll encounter more fun parks to visit. One to keep on your radar is in Council Bluffs:

Dreamland Park

Where: Lake Manawa State Park, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Why: This large, wooden park located in Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was originally designed by kids’ submissions of what the perfect playground would look like. It’s pretty cool, though a bit rundown. The good news is that Dream Playground Reimagined is in the works and it may, someday, get a makeover. Until then, it’s still fun to visit (just look out for splinters). Lake Manawa State Park also has trails and a small beach.

Sand: Yes

 

I’d love to know your favorite parks in Omaha! Please leave a comment with your favorites.

 

Stay in the know

Subscribe to the FREE twice a month(ish) e-newsletter sharing what’s new in Omaha, giveaways, family travel ideas, and more! Subscribe here.

April 16, 2018

How To Start A Hefty® EnergyBag™ Program Routine In Your Home

Earlier this month, I shared details on the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program. At the same time, I started using them in my own home. Since then, I learned a few things about teaching the whole family what goes in the orange bags.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hefty®. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.

 

 

Want to start using Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags in your home? Here are my tips for getting started:

Buy the bags

Seems obvious, but you have to know where to buy these special orange bags in Omaha. Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available at all Omaha Hy-Vee grocery stores. I shared a list of the locations here.

Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available at area Hy-Vee stores.

I recommend calling customer service before your visit to make sure your closest Hy-Vee has the orange bags in stock.

Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags are available in packs of 20. I estimate my family of four fills almost two bags a week.

Keep the Hefty® EnergyBag™ Non-Recycled Plastics list visible

A lot of plastics can be placed in the orange Hefty® bags. To remember what you can put in the bags, think of this: “If you don’t bin it, bag it.”

– Potato chip bags and other snack bags
– Candy wrappers
– Granola bar and energy bar wrappers
– Plastic and foam cups, plates and bowls
– Shredded cheese packages
– Salad bags
– Plastic pet food bags
– Frozen fruit & vegetable bags
– Pudding cups
– Stand-up pouches
– Squeezable baby food pouches
– Foam to-go boxes
– Packing peanuts
– Plastic utensils
– Plastic straws and stirrers
– Cake mix liners and other dry powder mix liners
– Plastic toothpaste tubes
– Condiment packets
– All other non-recycled plastic bags

There was a list inside the Hefty® EnergyBag™ pack I purchased, so I taped it on the wall near our recycling bin so everyone can refer to it.

If you have a family command center, wall calendar, or some other space in your home where you keep important family information and dates handy, I recommend adding this list to reference.

Remind everyone regularly

My family was used to throwing a lot of plastics away, so it wasn’t easy to change that habit. Straws, wrappers, salad bags always went in the trash because we knew they couldn’t be recycled. Now these items can go in the orange bags.

I put the non-recyclable plastic items like a frozen veggie bag or straws in the orange Hefty® bag.

What works best for my family is gentle and frequent reminders of what can be put in the bag. I’m pretty specific about it, too, suggesting what should be placed in the Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags and what should be thrown away or put in the sink.

Put the full bags out with the recycling

The full orange bags are picked up along with your regularly scheduled recycling pick-ups.

The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program was easy to integrate into our weekly trash day routine, because it is picked up along with our recyclables. You can put the full Hefty® EnergyBag™ orange bags into your recycling bin; it will then be picked up as part of normal service and schedule. If you’re wondering what happens to those plastics next, read this post.

Stay in the know

Subscribe to the FREE twice a month(ish) e-newsletter sharing what’s new in Omaha, giveaways, family travel ideas, and more! Subscribe here.