September 1, 2018

Halloween In Omaha

After years of adding Halloween events to my monthly events roundups, it’s time to just give Halloween its own post. Here’s a list of events, movie screenings, date night ideas, and free activities to celebrate Halloween. Most are kid-friendly, but some are definitely not. 

The following are things to do in Omaha leading up to Halloween 2018. If you know of an event to add, please let me know at ohmyomaha@gmail.com!

A roundup of Halloween events in Omaha including costume balls, trunk or treats, movies, and more ways to celebrate #spooky #kidfriendly #nebraska

Kid-friendly & Teen Halloween Events

Cobweb Castle, Sept. 29 through Oct. 31 during museum hours, Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., included with regular museum admission

Howl-O-Ween Safari, Oct. 5 and 6 at 6 p.m., Wildlife Safari Park, 16406 N. 292 St., Ashland, Neb., $20 for members and $25 for non-members (VIP passes to enter one hour early are $30 for members and $35 for non-members

Planes, Trains & Autos Halloween Event, Oct. 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb., included with regular museum admission

Witches Tea, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mangelson’s 3457 S. 84th St., FREE

Spooky Saturday, Oct. 13 from 3 to 4 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St. (best for ages 5-11), FREE

Spooktacular, Oct. 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, $8.95 for members and $9.95 for non-members 

Teen Hangout: Omaha Urban Legends, Oct. 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Horror Movie Trivia 7: Halloween Edition, Oct. 18 from 8 to 10:30 p.m., The Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St., FREE

LEGO Club: Halloween Edition, Oct. 19 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Tricks & Treats, Oct. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m., Westwood Plaza at 120th and Center streets, FREE

Trick or Treat with the Animals of Gifford Farm, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., ESU#3 – Gifford Farm Education Center, 700 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue, Neb., $5 per trick-or-treater (cash or check only)

Monster’s Masquerade, Oct. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m., Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., $20 for members and $25 for non-members

The Great Hall-oween Haunt, Oct. 23 from 5 to 8 p.m., The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St., included with regular museum admission

Anime Club: Horror Edition (Teens), Oct. 25 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Washington branch, 2868 Ames Ave., FREE

Healthy Trick or Treat Night, Oct. 23 and 30, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., included with regular museum admission

Jeff Quinn’s Spooky Magic Show, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m., Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St., FREE

HETRA’s Stall and Treat Halloween Party With The Horses, Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m., 10130 S. 222nd St., Gretna, Neb., FREE

Teen Halloween Hunger Games Lock-In, Oct. 26 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St., FREE (registration required)

Trick-Or-Treat At The Museum, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Union Pacific Museum, 200 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, Iowa, FREE

Omaha’s Great Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17305 Davenport St., FREE

Saddlebrook Spooktacular, Oct. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook branch, 14850 Laurel Ave., FREE 

DIY Potion Bottles (Teens), Oct. 27 from noon to 2 p.m., Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St., FREE 

Halloween BOO! Cruise: A Family Adventure!, Oct. 27 from noon to 1 p.m., River City Star, 151 Freedom Park Road, $16 for adults, $13 for seniors/military, $10 for children (12 and younger), and $4 for wee ones (ages 18 months and younger)

Haunted Escape Room (Teens), Oct. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m., Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook branch, 14850 Laurel Ave., FREE 

Haunted House, Oct. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m., Omaha Public Library Millard branch, 13214 Westwood Lane, FREE (registration required)

Spooky Science, Oct. 27 from 2 to 3 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Teen Cafe: Halloween Treats, Oct. 27 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St., FREE

Second Annual Halloween Bash, Oct. 27 from 3 p.m. to midnight (poker for adults held at 6 and 9 p.m), VFW 247, 3302 Leavenworth St.

Spooky Science for Teens, Oct. 27 from 4 to 5 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Trick or Treat in the Forest, Oct. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m., Fontenelle Forest, 1111 Bellevue Blvd. N, Bellevue, Neb., $5 each for members and $15 each for non-members, and FREE for children ages 2 and younger

Trunk or Treat, Oct. 27 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Chick-fil-A, 6310 N. 72nd St., FREE

Ghoulish Garden Adventure, Oct. 28 from noon to 4 p.m., Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St., included with regular garden admission

Halloween Hoopla, Oct. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m., Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Highway 380, Papillion, Neb., FREE

Old Market Fall Festival, Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m., various locations in the Old Market, FREE

Symphony Spooktacular “Out of this World,” Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. (pre-show activities begin about 45 minutes before the show), Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St., $15

Trick-or-Treat At Regency, Oct. 29, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Regency Court 120, Regency Parkway, FREE

Touch A Truck & Trick-Or-Treat, Oct. 29 from 5 to 8 p.m., Quaker Steak & Lube, 3320 Mid America Dr, Council Bluffs, Iowa, FREE (kids meals are $1)

Tiny Tots Halloween Party, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon, Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch, 4808 Cass St., FREE

Spooky Project Runway Challenge (Teens), Oct. 30 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch, 4808 Cass St., FREE (registration required)

Halloween Fun Fest, Oct. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Omaha Public Library Main branch, 215 S. 15th St., FREE

Haunted Houses

Camp Fear, Riverwest Park, 23301 West Maple Road, Elkhorn, Neb., open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31, depends on the attraction

Dead Manor Haunted House, 7328 S. 179th St., open Oct. 26-38 and Oct. 31, free will donation

Madness Haunted House, 1751 Madison Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa, open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31

Mystery Manor, 716 N. 18th St., $14 (save $2 if purchased online; fast pass is $25), open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31

Ranch of Terror and “Darkness” The Hayride Experience, Bellevue Berry Farm and Pumpkin Ranch, 11001 S. 48th St., open Sept. 21 through Oct. 28, Ranch of Terror and Hayride Experience are $13 each or $22 for a combo, 

Scary Acres, 17272 Giles Road, open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31, $10-11 for each attraction or $25 for a combo of all three

The Shadow’s Edge, 3457 S. 84th St., open Sept. 21 through Oct. 31

Movies to get you in the Halloween Spirit

Drive-In Movies at Falconwood Park, movie starts at dusk, 905 Allied Road, Bellevue, Neb., $7-$20; movies include “Monster’s Inc.” (Sept. 27), “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Oct. 4), “Twilight” (Oct. 11), “Hocus Pocus” (Oct. 18), “Coraline”/”Hotel Transylvania” double header (Oct. 21), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Oct. 25), and “The Craft”/”Zombieland” double feature (Oct. 27)

Nightmare Theater, Sept. 14 through Oct. 31, movie starts at dusk, Riverwest Park, 23301 West Maple Road, Elkhorn, Neb., $5 per person and kids under 5 are FREE (admission is FREE Oct. 29-31); movies include “Children on the Corn” – “Pet Cemetery” (Sept. 14), “House of the Devil” – “Silent Hill” (Sept. 15), “Hotel Transylvania”- “Franken Weenie” – “Hocus Pocus” (Sept. 21 Family Night), ” “The Shining” – “What We Do in the Shadows” – “Orphan” (Sept. 22), “The Bye Bye Man” – “The Crooked Man” – “The Candyman” (Sept. 28), “Jeepers Creepers” – “Happy Death Day” – “The Apparition” (Sept. 29), “Jeepers Creepers 3” – “The Conjuring” (Sept. 30), “The Boy” – “The Lost Boys” (Oct. 4), “Scared Shreckless” – “Beetlejuice” – “Goosebumps” (Oct. 5 Family Night), “The Exorcist” – “Hereditary” – “Insidious” (Oct. 6), “You’re Next” – “Vacancy” (Oct. 7), “House on Haunted Hill” – “The Hills Have Eyes” (Oct. 11), “Evil Dead” – “Cult of Chucky” – “Friday the 13th (original)” (Oct. 12), “IT (2017)” – “Rob Zombie’s “31” – “House October Built 2” (Oct. 13), “Fright Night” – “Poltergeist (original)” (Oct. 14), “Alien” – “Aliens” (Oct. 18), “Nightmare on Elm Street (original)” – “Dark Tapes” – “Prince of Darkness” (Oct. 19), “Texas Chainsaw (1974)” – “Ax Murders of Villisca, IA” – “Annabelle Creation” (Oct. 20), “Ghost House” – “Death House” (Oct. 21), “Mom and Dad” – “The Strangers” (Oct. 25), “Night of the Living Dead” – “Shaun of the Dead” – “Return of the Dead” (Oct. 26), “Rob Zombie Halloween” – “House of 1000 Corpses” – “Devils Rejects” (Oct. 27), “Amityville Horror (2005)” – “Sinister” (Oct. 28), “Halloween (original)” (Oct. 29), “Trick R Treat” (Oct. 30), and “Halloween 3” (Oct. 31)

Adults-Only Halloween Events

Need an excuse to dress up? Here are some events you’re not going to want to bring the kids to:

Wizards Assemble Pub Crawl, Sept. 13 from 4 to 10 p.m., starts at Old Chicago, 1111 Harney St., $20 (price will increase)

Boos and Birdies 1st Annual Halloween Scramble, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m., Knolls Golf Course, 11630 Sahler St., $60 per person (4-person scramble)

I Love The 90s Bar Crawl, Oct. 13 from 2 to 10 p.m., $15

Spooks & Spokes Bike Scavenger Hunt Ride, Oct. 20 at noon, start at Pint 9 Brewery, 10411 Portal Road, suite 104, Papillion, Neb., $40 for a team of two (includes T-shirt)

Halloween Party, Oct. 20 from 7 p.m. to midnight, Wired Pub & Grill, 5338 N. 103rd St.

Halloween Cookie Decorating, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon, Jen’s Custom Cookies, 51st and Jefferson streets, $31.50

Masquerade at the Castle, Oct. 26 and 27 from 7 to 11 p.m., Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St., $85 for general admission or $76.50 for Keyholders

Halloween Party, Oct. 27 at 8:30 p.m., New Frontier Bar, 8516 N. 30th St., FREE (maybe?)

Cult Classic Live, Oct. 30 at 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave., $10 in advance & $12 at the door

Hip Hop Halloween, Oct. 31 from 9 p.m. to midnight (doors open at 8 p.m.), Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave., $8

Want more ideas?

These aren’t necessarily Halloween events, but they’re great fall activities:

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August 17, 2018

Top Fall Shows To See In Omaha

Fall is the live theater fan’s favorite time of year…at least it is for me. The 2018-2019 season starts at most theater. If you need help narrowing down what to see, or have no idea where to even start, let me share with you the shows I think are the best to see through November. Here are my top fall shows to see in Omaha.

Let’s begin with theater:

Omaha Community Playhouse

Top Pick: “Fun Home” opens this weekend and runs through Sept. 18. It’s a five-time Tony Award winner, and one I heard A LOT about when I was working at Omaha Performing Arts.  It’s about a woman exploring her childhood playing in her family’s funeral home and discovering her own sexuality. It’s not for kids, by the way.

For the kids: “Shrek The Musical” runs Sept. 14 through Oct. 14. I’ve seen the Broadway tour with my son and it’s a fun one. It has the familiar characters and full of jokes. The only thing to note, and I don’t know how it will be done locally, but the dragon scared my kiddo back in the day. Just FYI.

Related post: Guide To Raising A Theater-Goer (includes tips on judging age-appropriateness of a show.

Omaha Performing Arts

So many shows! How to pick a favorite?

Top Pick: “The Phantom of the Opera” is a classic and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve got to catch the Broadway tour of it when it’s at the Orpheum Theater Nov. 21 through Dec. 2. The set is lush, the music is phenomenal and the acting, and the story is captivating. Definitely a good date night option. Second place goes to Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends and the “New Worlds” on Sept. 30. It’s probably more music than literature, but come on, it’s Bill Murray.

For the kidsiLuminate is a dance troupe you may have seen on “America’s Got Talent.” The twist is they’re in glow-in-the-dark suits. They perform on Oct. 6 at the Orpheum Theater. Second runner-up is the “Wild Kratts 2.0!” on Nov. 16. The real life Kratt brothers will be on stage, and it’s good show if your kid is a fan.

The Rose

Top Pick: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites” is a black light puppet show that was popular when it first was performed in the metro. See it again, or for the first time, Sept. 28 through Oct. 14. It’s just a smidge over an hour, so it’s good for all ages.

Theater honorable mentions

  • – “Big Fish: The Musical,” Bellevue Little Theatre, Sept. 14-30
  • – “Circle Mirror Transformation,” Blue Barn Theatre, Sept. 27 through Oct. 21

You might be interested in have a post-show treat. Check out my guide to the best places to get dessert or snacks after going to the theater. I include Midtown and downtown Omaha suggestions.

Moving on to live music, here are few concerts and performances I think you all would love. 

Omaha Symphony

Top Pick: With or without kids, the show to see for those a reluctant to go to a symphony show is “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert.” The orchestra plays the score while the movie plays on a big screen. Imagine what that sounds like? Fantastic, I tell you. Two chances to see it: Nov. 24 and 25.

For the kids: I’ve written about the Omaha Symphony Family Series before, and I cannot emphasize it enough that you should take your kids to at least one show. And if it’s just one show, make it their annual Spooktacular. It’s fun, kids can dress up (the musicians do too), they can enjoy pre-show activities in the lobby, and it’s music they will recognize. The show is Oct. 22 at a kid-friendly time of 2 p.m. (and it’s short).

Omaha Performing Arts

Top Pick: If it was acceptable, I would put it all in caps lock: Go see Black Violin on Oct. 4 at the Holland Center. The talented Kev Marcus and Wil B. perform a blend of classical and hip hop music that is so cool, so outstanding, that I dare any of you to go and not like it. Plus, this show is great for families as much as it would make a great date night.

Opera Omaha

Top Pick: I’ve been to my fair share of operas thanks to a previous career in reviewing shows for a newspaper. Opera is hard to go to if you’re first-timers, so when Opera Omaha puts on something like Opera Outdoors, consider it an open invite to hear opera’s greatest hits in a casual setting. The absolutely FREE event is Aug. 24 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing.

Music honorable mentions

This category is tough because who knows what you all are into. Country? Pop? Christian rock? I’ll just picks some concerts that seriously age me:

  • – Smashing Pumpkins, Aug. 20, CenturyLink Center Omaha
  • – Counting Crows & +Live+, Sept. 23, Stir Concert Cove
  • – Ray LaMontagne, Oct. 22, Holland Performing Arts Center
  • – Cursive, Nov. 18, The Waiting Room
  • – John Prine with special guest Conor Oberst, Nov. 17, Holland Performing Arts Center
The top live theater and concerts to see in Omaha in the fall #Nebraska #concert #onstage #touring #localtheater

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July 18, 2018

Omaha History Tours By Trolley

This summer, I took my first history tour thanks The Durham Museum. While I’m pretty familiar with Omaha’s history as explained through the museum’s exhibits, this tour was on a trolley and took us past many of the sites I’ve only read about (or wrote about). Keep reading – I’m going to share what you can expect if you take a River City History Tour.

Learn about Omaha history with trolley tours by The Durham Museum

Disclosure: I was provided complimentary tickets for a tour so I could tell you all about it. This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, making a purchase after clicking an affiliate link earns me a small payment to help me keep doing what I love best – writing. Thanks!

River City History Tours

The Durham Museum’s River City History Tours include seven different choices of tours, each exploring an interesting side of Omaha history. Beer? There’s a tour for that. Crime? There’s a tour for that.

Each tour starts and ends at The Durham Museum. There’s a tour guide well-versed in history pointing out things along the way and sharing interesting stories related to the tour topic.

Tablet used for the Gritty City tour

Some tours include a tablet with photos from The Durham Museum Photo Archive. While some buildings are still standing, many on the Gritty City tour were not, so it was helpful to see photos of how things once were.

Guests on some tours, like ours, include are given a tablet with a photo slide show. During the tour, the guide connects the historic photos we see on the slides to places we past. It’s a fascinating way to see history as it was and then see what things look like today. Those tours are: Gritty City, On Tap!, Expositions to Jazz Musicians and The Great Escape.

What my trolley tour was like

Durham Museum's River City History Tours trolley

The trolley for each River City History Tour departs and returns to The Durham Museum in downtown Omaha.

I brought Mr. Wonderful with me for a history-filled date night learning about Omaha’s seedier times in the tour Gritty City. I was hoping for some real dirt, and maybe some things connected to the crimes that happened at some of the restaurants in my book, Lost Restaurants of Omaha. Alas, this was just a taste of crime history, and more about how Omaha grew from a “rough and tumble town” to a thriving city. I think I would’ve enjoyed a tour like “Last Call for Alcohol” if I wanted to hear more about bootlegging and organized crime.

We boarded our trolley, Porkchop, and began the tour past the Old Market and then through more of the downtown area. Our tour included the tablet, which was a great idea. Our tablet was missing some of the photos the guide was talking about, so that got a little frustrating.

Tours last an hour and a half. Sunday tours start at 2 p.m. and Tuesday tours start at 6 p.m. We opted for 6 p.m. to make it a date. Of course, we’re lame and did not go out for a night cap after our tour, but the option was there.

Are the tours kid-friendly?

I wouldn’t take my kids on the tour, but I could see how teens could get something out of the trolley tour if they’re learning about some of the topics in school. There’s nothing necessarily inappropriate about the tour, though some subjects that came up on ours was prostitution and lynching. History isn’t the prettiest.

However, given the length of the tour and the subject, young kids are not going to sit well on a trolley. Plus, if your kids are anything like mine, they get SO EXCITED about trolleys, that they would surely be a distracting bundle of energy.

Remaining Omaha history tours for 2018

Unfortunately, you guys missed the bulk of the River City History Tours this summer, but they still have some that go through the fall. The remaining tours are:

From Expositions to Jazz Musicians Tour – Aug. 5

Millionaires and Mansions South Tour – Aug. 14 and Oct. 7

The Great Escape: Exploring Omaha’s Historic Theaters – Aug. 26 and Oct. 21

Millionaires and Mansions North Tour – Sept. 9

Magic City Tour – Sept. 18

Last Call for Alcohol Tour – Sept. 23

Gritty City Tour – Oct. 16

The other tour that’s done for the year is On Tap! Omaha’s Brewing History. To register for a tour, go to durhammuseum.org. Tours are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Membership discount
applies only to those in the household.

These are the kinds of tours that would make great gifts to history buffs in your life. If you have a foodie in your life, take a look at Omaha Culinary Tours.

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June 26, 2018

Things To Know About Nashville Row Omaha

A new country music series is starting in Omaha, with the goal of bringing up-and-coming singers and songwriters here. Read on to learn more about Nashville Row Omaha and get the details of the first concert in the series.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Nashville Row Omaha. Al thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

What’s Nashville Row Omaha

The creator behind Nashville Row Omaha, Troy, was inspired by trips to Nashville where there’s an incredible performer playing in some bar every night of the week. The bars mostly surround Nashville’s Music Row, home to music recording studios. Inspired by the sheer talent, Nashville Row Omaha was created to bring some of those up-and-coming stars to Omaha.

Nashville Row Omaha logo

According to Nashville Row Omaha’s website: “Perhaps we just got lucky on our trips, but we ran into many performers in the bars and restaurants around the famed ‘Music Row’ that were not only incredible talents but also seemed to be performing for the pure joy of it (most feel lucky to get stage time and work for tips). We began to think of ways we could bring some of this talent to Omaha. Now we are going to do it!”

Troy told me he intends the lineup to be more female singer-songwriters or female-fronted duos, because he has a daughter, and who doesn’t want their daughter to be inspired by talented women living their dream? I love it.

Who are the artists playing Nashville Row Omaha

The first band performing is The Young Fables, who will play at The Side Room at the Ralston Arena on July 13. This talented duo consists of “American Idol” alum Laurel Wright and guitarist/vocalist Wesley Lunsford.

They have two albums under their belt, “Two” and “Old Songs,” and have appeared with performers like Lauren Alaina, Josh Turner, Sara Evans. It’s my kind of country with gifted songwriting and beautiful vocals. Things more along the lines of traditional country rather than modern country. It’s the kind of stuff that wowed me when we went to the Grand Ole Opry.

Nashville Row Omaha performers

Nashville Row Omaha brings The Young Fables to Omaha on July 13, 2018.

Troy saw these The Young Fables at The Row Kitchen and Pub in Nashville, and now, he’s booked them to be the inaugural Nashville Row Omaha act.

I’ve never been to The Side Room at Ralston Arena, but it’s much intimate than an arena show, seating about 300 people. Troy said the show is going to be “a little bit cocktail party, a listening event and little bit like a game show,” in that it’s more interactive than a typical concert and they’ll have a lot of giveaways.

Want to have a say who’s next?

Nashville Row Omaha is building its email list to show performers there is a demand for them to play in Omaha, plus it’s a way to share the series’ progress and to solicit feedback on what artists who’ve played. If you want to join the community, head to nashvillerowomaha.com and sign up.

Oh My! Omaha discount on tickets

Want to see The Young Fables when they play in Omaha on July 13? Oh My! Omaha readers get $3 off tickets! Click here to buy your tickets and the discount will automatically be applied.

It’s fun to think that if you go to this show, you can say you were at the first Nashville Row Omaha show ever, and crossing fingers, we’ll see some country stars before they were country stars.

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June 15, 2018

15+ Fun Outdoor Activities For Families In Omaha

Summer is a great time to get outdoors as a family, and while I have my favorite go-to spots (like these nearby hikes), I love finding new things to do. One of the best resources I’ve come across is the list of the 2018 Cub Scouts’ outdoor activities that are open to families In Omaha and in areas just outside the metro. These summer activities aren’t only for Scouts and their families – you don’t have to have a Cub Scout in your family to attend. These activities are open to EVERYONE.

Fishing derbies are held throughout the summer and offer a free chance to try out fishing as a family. Photo courtesy Boy Scouts of America Mid-America Council

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Boys Scouts of America Mid-America Council. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

This summer is all about finding ways to Get Out and Scout. My family has only dabbled in Scouting, and I think all of these events are a great way for my family (and yours) to learn more about Scouting and have a ton of fun. Girls are definitely welcomed to participate, because now they can become Cub Scouts.

And the best part of all the events below? A lot of them are FREE!

If you see an event that interests you, visit the Cub Scouts calendar for more details or to register.

Complete list of 2018 Summer Programs

Cub Scouts is a program for boys and girls grades K-5 to experience the outdoors together as a family. The following programs take place in Omaha unless otherwise noted. You may find Scouts from your school at these activities, but know that you are welcome to join in the fun as a guest.

Storm Chasers Overnighter

When: June 22-23

Where: Werner Park in Papillion, Neb.

What: The Omaha Storm Chasers are excitement enough – but we celebrate the game all night long by camping out on the baseball field and watching movies on the mega-tron!

Cost: $19

 

Carter Lake Fishing Day

When: June 28, 4 to 8 p.m.

Where: Carter Lake in Carter Lake, Iowa

What: Grab your pole (or use one of the provided poles) and join us for a relaxing evening of catch and release!

Cost: FREE

 

Dutch Oven Cooking

When: June 29, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Louisville State Recreation Area

What: Learn to prepare and enjoy a tasty outdoor meal.

Cost: $10

 

Wildlife Safari Hike

When: July 1, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari in Ashland, Neb.

What: Feel like you are on an actual safari, coming face-to-face with North American plants and animals such as elk, white-tailed deer, bison and waterfowl.

Cost: $15

 

Wakonda Day Camp

When: July 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Camp Wakonda in Bellevue, Neb.

What: Enjoy a day of Scouting with a raingutter regatta, Scout skills obstacle course and campfire with patch trading (patches provided)!

Cost: $5

 

Campmaster Radios

When: July 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Camp Wakonda in Bellevue, Neb.

What: Utilize radio technology to find a hidden transmitter and learn more about this method of communication.

Cost: FREE

 

Zorinsky Fishing Day

When: July 17, 4 to 8 p.m.

Where: Zorinsky Park

What: Enjoy the beautiful setting of Zorinsky Park while we play a game of catch and release.

Cost: FREE

 

NE Highway 66 Concourse Classic

When: July 21 & 22

Where: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Neb.

What: This premier classic automobile show featuring exclusive vintage and collectable cars, hot-rods and motorcycles – all nestled among the historic aircraft of the museum.

Cost: $6 youth/$11 adult

 

Elmwood Twilight Camp

When: July 26, 4 to 8 p.m.

Where: Elmwood Park

What: Take your passport to adventure out of this world with a visit to UNO’s planetarium, climbing the moon rock wall and ice giants experiments with liquid nitrogen!

Cost: $10

 

Cunningham Day Camp

When: July 28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Lake Cunningham Park

What: The ultimate experience with trail rides, shooting sports and much more!

Cost: $30

 

Waterfront Weekend

When: Aug. 3-4

Where: Little Sioux Scout Ranch in Little Sioux, Iowa

What: Make a splash with this single overnight experience packed with swimming and boating activities!

Cost: FREE

 

Family Fun Carnival

When: Aug. 4

Where: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum

What: Experience the Big Top with magicians, face painting, bounce houses and more!

Cost: $6 youth/$11 adult

 

Think Like a Citizen Scientist

When: Aug. 5, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari in Ashland, Neb.

What: Get a better understanding of the world around you and what you can do to protect it.

Cost: $15

 

Campmasters Shooting Sports & Pool Party

When: Aug. 10-12

Where: Covered Wagon Scout Ranch in Cedar Bluffs, Neb.

What: Shooting and swimming…two favorite outdoor activities in a single overnight experience!

Cost: FREE

 

Fishing Derby

When: Aug. 11, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Viking Lake near Stanton, Iowa

What: Catch some rays and some fish on this relaxing morning!

Cost: $10

 

Scouts for Wildlife Conservation

When: Aug. 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Henry Doorly Zoo & Lauritzen Gardens

What: Recognize the importance of wildlife and the conservation of its natural habitats in this two for one experience

Cost: $18

 

World of Water

When: Sept. 8, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Chalco Hills Park

What: Learn about the importance of water conservation from experts in the field while having fun in the great outdoors.

Cost: FREE

 

 

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June 4, 2018

Everything To Know About Railroad Days 2018

Railroad Days 2018 celebrates trains and the railroad history of Omaha and Council Bluffs. Held on July 14 and 15, you have two days to explore each of the five venues participating in the event. I’ve taken the kids to Railroad Days in the past, so I can vouch for it being it being an affordable event for families. Keep reading – there’s a giveaway ahead!

guide to Railroad Days Omaha

Railroad Days 2018 venues

This event is definitely one for train aficionados, but even if trains aren’t your thing, you’ve got plenty to see and do. I always think of Railroad Days as a great staycation option to see Omaha and Council Bluffs attractions for one price.

Each location is open as usual, so in addition to the special activities planned for the weekend, this is a good time to explore their permanent exhibits, gardens, and historic artifacts.

Families can get up close to real trains during Railroad Days. Photo courtesy The Durham Museum

The Durham Museum (801 S. 10th St., Omaha) – New this year is The Durham Museum‘s largest model railroad display ever in the Swanson Galley featuring actual locations in the Midwest. There will also be music by “Freight Train” Frank and the chance to talk with model railroad experts by the House of Trains on Track Level. Behind the museum, you can get up-close to Union Pacific’s Chicago and North Western Heritage locomotive. While there, don’t skip the special exhibit American Adventure.”

Lauritzen Gardens (100 Bancroft St., Omaha) – The activities at Lauritzen Gardens are always a hit with my kids, especially the free mini train rides. Things to see:Centennial No. 6900 and Big Boy No. 4023 locomotives at Kenefick Park, model train railroad garden, LEGO brick rail yard, and Paul Siebert performing railroad ditties.

RailsWest Railroad Museum (1512 S. Main St., Council Bluffs) – Don’t miss the chance to visit the train yard, climbing aboard old steam engines, cabooses and cars. Indoors, there’s a large H.O. scale model train layout operated by the Carter Lake Model Railroad Youth Club.

Union Pacific Railroad Museum (200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs) – Head to the “Wheels of War” exhibit to learn about the history between the military and the railroads in every American conflict since the U.S. Civil War in the “Wheels of War,” exhibit. Another exhibit to check out is “Working on the Railroad,” an up close and personal experience with modern Union Pacific operations. My kids also like pretend to “detonate” explosives – go look for it in one of the permanent inside the museum.

Historic General Dodge House (605 Third St., Council Bluffs) – Here’s the chance to walk through the house of the man called “the greatest railroad builder of all time.” The 1869 Victorian home is on a National Historic Landmark.

Food at Railroad Days

Each location has food/snacks and beverages available for purchase. I’ve only dined at Lauritzen Gardens and The Durham Museum. If you’re looking to cool off, the Durham soda fountain sells a delicious root beer float.

Food and beverages are not included in the ticket price.

Railroad Days Family Passes

Family passes are quite the deal. Family Passes are $15, and available for purchase at any participating venue during the event. The Family Pass for Railroad Days gets two adults and their dependents (or grandchildren) under the age of 18 in to the venues as well as admission to the trolley/bus transportation between the locations.

Climb aboard train cars and engines at the RailsWest Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs. Admission is included with the Family Pass during Railroad Days. Photo courtesy RailsWest Railroad Museum

Even if you’re just purchasing the pass for yourself, you save money on admission to each place – the regular price of admission for a single adult to visit all five venues is $35.

A $5 pass is also available for one adult with the purchase of a Family Pass (limit one). Keep the wristbands on and they will be valid both days.

Railroad Days 2018 Giveaway!

Want to go to Railroad Days 2018? I’m giving away TWO (2) Family Passes on the blog. It’s easy to enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway ends Sunday, June 17, at 11:59 p.m. I’ll contact the winners within 48 hours via email. Winners have 48 hours to respond before another winner is drawn. Must be 18 or older to enter. Family Passes have no cash value.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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