October 14, 2018

Fun Shows In 18-19 Omaha Symphony Family Series

Love “Star Wars”? I’ve got an Omaha Symphony show for you. Does your kid love pirates? Sit tight, I’ve got another Omaha Symphony show for you. I’ve taken my kids to quite a few Family Series shows to know a good show theme my kids will love, and this year, all three shows in the series are dialed into my kids’ passions: “Star Wars,” magical tales like “Aladdin,” and pirates.

What to expect at an Omaha Symphony Family Series concert, plus details on the 2018-2019 season #partner #orchestra #concert #familyfriendly

I’ve partnered with my friends at the Omaha Symphony to tell you about the 2018-2019 Omaha Symphony Family Series – and throughout the season, I’ll be giving away tickets to each show! Follow Oh My! Omaha on Facebook for those giveaways.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Omaha Symphony. Omaha Symphony provided the tickets for the giveaways. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

What are Family Series shows like?

I think my youngest was about 2 years old when she went to her first Omaha Symphony concert. She was dressed like a little fairy. And she fit in.

My daughter’s was 2 years old when she went to her first Omaha Symphony show, the “Spooktacular.”

Omaha Symphony Family Series is a great introduction to the orchestral music because they’re designed to be short, fun, and super engaging. They’re in the middle of the afternoon, lights are not as dim, and there are plenty of jokes to make everyone smile. Every show is at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Related post: The Family-Friendly Omaha Symphony

What I liked about these shows, too, was that if one kid got a little antsy, it was fine for her to be squirmy in her seat because we were surrounded by other families. 

Signs direct you where to go for the lobby activities held before each Omaha Symphony Family Series show.

My kids’ favorite part is the pre-show lobby activities. Before each show in the Family Series, starting at 1:15 p.m., there are activities in the lobby that may include a craft table, photo opp, and our personal favorite… the instrument petting zoo. 

My kids love the instrument petting zoo because they get to play different instruments and make a lot of noise. 

My son, the pirate, testing out at trumpet at the instrument petting zoo.

They’re pretty affordable, too. Family Series shows are all general admission, and tickets are $15 each. While there are other great concerts coming up by the Omaha Symphony that may appeal to your children, you’ll have a hard time beating that $15 price. Same orchestra, much lower price to hear them play!

2018-2019 Omaha Symphony Family Series

I’m pretty excited about each show in the 2018-2019 Omaha Symphony Family Series. The themes are a lot of fun, plus it looks like some shows are going to have great guests at them. 

Omaha Symphony’s Spooktacular: Out Of This World

My all-time favorite Family Series show is the Spooktacular each year. Not only is most of the audience dressed in costumes, but the musicians on stage are too! 

This year’s show, “Spooktacular: Out Of This World,” has a space adventure theme running throughout, so you’re going to hear some very recognizable theme music. Of course, that means some “Star Wars” music, “Star Trek,” and more. The Spooktacular is on Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.

Related post: What to expect at Omaha Symphony’s Spooktacular

Members of the 501st Garrison will be there, and you’ll want your camera for the lobby pre-show activities and photo opps. 

Plus, there is trick-or-treating after the show! 

Tip: I work at Omaha Children’s Museum and they’ve partnered with Omaha Symphony for an awesome promotion! Visit the Tinker Lab at the museum and make a lightsaber hilt, share a picture on social media (tagging both OCM and OS), and you’ll be entered in to win four tickets to the Spooktacular AND a pass for four to Omaha Children’s Museum. Plus, if your child brings the hilt to the Spooktacular, he/she gets a special prize and their own line to get a picture with a stormtrooper. 

“Aladdin, Cinderella and More Magical Tales”

The next show in the series is “Aladdin, Cinderella and More Magical Tales” on Feb. 10, 2019. This one will be fun to watch because the special guests are dancers from the Heartland Youth Ballet.

This one sounds like an adventure, featuring music from  “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and selections from Prokofiev’s “Cinderella.”

“Pirates Ahoy!”

My kids love them some pirates, so this last show in the series may be their favorite. “Pirates Ahoy!” is on March 31, 2019. There’s a story to this show, and apparently it’s a race against Captain Guerrero and his crew to find Blackbeard’s treasure.

If you want tickets to any of the shows above, visit OmahaSymphony.org. Also, don’t forget, I’ll be doing giveaways before each show on the Oh My! Omaha Facebook page (First one starts this week!). Follow the page or subscribe to the Oh My! Omaha e-newsletter to get a heads up on each giveaway. 

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Find out why your family will love the Omaha Symphony's Family Series - Pre-show lobby activities like instrument petting zoo and lots of fun during the performance #partner #Omaha #Nebraska #familyfriendly
October 7, 2018

Why Omaha Families Will Like OK Go’s Concert

OK Go is coming to Omaha, you guys. Do you know how many times I’ve watched OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass” with my son? So many, I could recreate their Rube Goldberg Machine in my dreams.

OK Go The Live Video Tour 2018
OK Go performs in Omaha on Oct. 19, 2018 at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Photo courtesy Omaha Performing Arts

So, when I heard the OK Go: The Live Video Tour is exactly what it sounds like – live music and with video – I thought, this show is perfect for him. I’ve got the details on the Oct. 19 concert below and…a giveaway!

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Omaha Performing Arts for this post, who is providing the tickets for the giveaway. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

OK Go: The Live Video Tour In Omaha

OK Go, the rock band famous for their wildly creative videos, brings their unique magic to the stage in 2018. They’re performing at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

Tip: Any chance you get to see a band you like play at the Holland Performing Arts Center, you should take it. 

According to the press release: “As you might expect from the pioneering band who danced on treadmills and in zero gravity, this show is unlike any you’ve seen before: it’s a film screening and a rock concert rolled into one.”

OK Go The Live Video Tour 2018
OK Go: The Live Video Tour is in Omaha on Oct. 19, 2018. Photo courtesy Omaha Performing Arts

Not your typical concert, the band will perform their songs live and in sync with 20 of their iconic videos. There will even be an interactive piece that the audience will perform. Between some of the songs, the band will do a Q&A with the audience. 

“Like the band, the show defies categorization, but bring your family and expect dancing, joy, and wonder,” according to promoters. 

Let’s hear from the band about why this is a show is going to be great for families (the video takes a while to appear on this page, so sit tight, it will appear soon):

If you go

OK Go: The Live Video Tour

When: Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $35-$50. Purchase tickets at TicketOmaha.com or save on ticketing fees and purchase in person at the box office located inside the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Giveaway

You want to go, right? 

I’ve partnered with Omaha Performing Arts to giveaway a set of FOUR tickets to OK Go: The Live Video Tour! Please enter through the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, Oct. 14. One winner will be drawn and contacted via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is drawn. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Tickets have no cash value and may not be exchanged for another show. Good luck!

September 26, 2018

Omaha Annual Holiday Traditions

Omaha’s annual holiday season lasts longer than a month, with a ton of family-friendly celebrations and Christmas traditions you can count on each year. The events usually kick off on Thanksgiving night and run through the first week of January each year. Here are some of my favorite Omaha annual holiday traditions:

Looking for annual Christmas shows, holiday displays and kid-friendly activities in Omaha? Here's a round up of celebrations you can count on each year during the holiday season.

Omaha Holiday Lights Festival

On everyone’s to-do list is to stroll through the Old Market and Gene Leahy Mall where millions of lights are strung up for 40 blocks as part of Omaha’s Holiday Lights Festival. You can count on this festival to kick the holidays off in Omaha – starting with tree lighting and a concert on Thanksgiving Night. The weeks-long festival includes carolers on the weekends, an outdoor ice skating rink, the free Wells Fargo Family Festival, and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Holiday Lights Festival Omaha Ice Rink
The ice rink during the Holiday Lights Festival. Since this picture was taken, the rink has relocated a few blocks to the north.

2019 News: The lights strung around Gene Leahy Mall are one of my favorite parts of the festival. However, starting in 2019, there will be construction that will make it impossible to have the lights up at the mall for a few years. See them this year, before they’re temporarily relocated.

Omaha Attractions With Christmas Celebrations

Omaha’s zoo – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium has a couple of events to note. On some weekends, Holiday Happenings is a fun one to catch. Head to the aquarium at designated times to watch Santa and elves scuba dive in the shark tank. The event is included with admission. For an extra fee, there are holiday events with a meal like Pancakes & Penguins.

Durham Museum Christmas tree
The Durham Museum is home to the largest indoor Christmas tree each year. “Christmas at Union Station” usually begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs through early January.

The Durham Museum – One of my favorite ways to kick off the season is the tree lighting ceremony at The Durham Museum. It’s held the day after Thanksgiving each year, and while it’s always super crowded, it’s worth fighting the crowds to be a part of it. It also kicks off Christmas at Union Station, which runs throughout the holidays and includes the Holiday Cultural Tree Exhibit, pictures with Santa, concerts, and the Holiday Cultural Festival.

Santa's Magic annual show Omaha Children's Museum
“Santa’s Magic” runs Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 each year at at Omaha Children’s Museum. In addition to the Snow Queen who makes it snow indoors, children can get one-on-one time with Santa. Photo courtesy Omaha Children’s Museum

Omaha Children’s Museum – If your kids are younger, there’s nothing more magical than “Santa’s Magic,” which runs from Black Friday through Dec.. 23 typically, at Omaha Children’s Museum. It’s an interactive show with an Elsa-like character who makes it “snow” indoors, elves, and Santa arriving by chimney. Kids get a turn talking to Santa at the end.

Holiday Poinsettia Show at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha
Laurtizen Garden’s Holiday Poinsettia Show is an annual flower show indoors, usually running the weekend after Thanksgiving through early January. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s botanical gardens have the annual Holiday Poinsettia Show. Kids will like that the model trains run around the displays. While I’m there, I enjoy stopping by the conservatory. It’s a tropical oasis in the winter. For the past two years, the Poinsettia Show has been lit at night for visitors in the evening.

Christmas Concerts In Omaha

There are a few things you can be sure of, and one is that there will be an abundance of Christmas concerts to choose from each year in Omaha.

Omaha Symphony – “Christmas Celebration” has been an annual tradition for years. While the show changes with music and featured performers, you can be sure that Santa will be there (and many “Santas” who will be dancing at one point).

Santa and Omaha Symphony
Santa arrives at the Omaha Symphony’s “Christmas Celebration” one year. Photo courtesy Omaha Symphony

Handel’s Messiah – I have yet to catch this annual performance by Voices of Omaha, but this concert features a long concert choir singing. It’s usually held in mid-November.

Holidays Under Glass – This is a free lunch-time concert series at the Joslyn Art Museum. If you go, you may want to arrive early to make sure you get a seat in the atrium.

Making Spirits Bright Concert & Sounds of the Season – A big part of the Holiday Lights Festival is music. There’s a free concert every year on Thanksgiving night called Making Spirits Bright at the Holland Performing Arts Center. You’ll also find carolers on the weekends in the Old Market and in Gene Leahy Mall for free mini concerts (AKA, Sounds of the Season).

Christmas on Stage In Omaha

Omaha is home to a thriving performing arts scene, and there are quite a few traditional holiday shows performed each year. Plus, many theaters like The Rose will have a holiday show this time of year.

Omaha Community Playhouse – OCP has been performing “A Christmas Carol” for decades and its perfected the musical.  It’s great to introduce to elementary age kids or older (it’s kinda long). The sets, costumes, music and choreography is top notch every year.

A Christmas Carol in Omaha
Jerry Longe is in his 13th year of portraying Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” in 2018. Photo courtesy Omaha Community Playhouse

American Midwest Ballet – Nebraska Ballet is now American Midwest Ballet, the regions only professional ballet company. They’ve been performing “The Nutcracker” for years, and you can usually catch it at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha or Iowa Western Community College’s Art Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Holiday at Hogwarts show in Omaha
The toast before the first sip of butter beer during the annual show “Holiday at Hogwarts” at Apollon Art Space in Omaha.

Apollon Art Space – A little untraditional, but still it feels like a holiday show, “Holiday At Hogwarts” is an annual dinner theater show at Apollon Art Space. During this interactive show held in December, you’ll talk with familiar characters from Harry Potter’s world in a dining room decorated for Christmas. It’s pretty kid-friendly, so you’re fine going with or without kids. Read more about the show here.

Gingerbread Displays In Omaha

Gingerbread Festival – Each year, dozens and dozens of gingerbread creations are on display at the Mormon Trail Center in North Omaha. The free Gingerbread Festival has a different theme each year and they’re made by children, families and, what I have to guess, are semi-professional gingerbread engineers.

Gingerbread train at Magnolia Hotel in Omaha
Each year, the chef and his team at Magnolia Hotel in downtown Omaha create an elaborate gingerbread scene. It’s free to visit, and located just off the hotel’s lobby. 

Magnolia Hotel – Stop by the downtown hotel’s lobby during the holidays to see the chef’s creations. One year, it was a gingerbread train and town.

Holiday Shopping In Omaha

For holiday shopping in Omaha, there are a couple events that I particularly look forward to.

Hot Shops Winter Open House – Hot Shops is a collection of studios and galleries of local artists working in different media. Twice a year, the open house invites the public in to see their work, watch live demonstrations (check out the glass blowing) and, of course, shop. The open house is typically the first weekend in December.

Hot Shops glassblowing demonstration during open house
Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and watch artist demonstrations during the Hot Shops open house, typically held the first weekend in December.

Holiday Market – The Holiday Market is Omaha’s answer to Christmas markets in Europe, though definitely not as big. Shop booths of local and regional artists and food vendors in tents at Aksarben Village. Santa is usually found somewhere in the market, too. The Holiday Market is typically the first weekend in December.

Round up of annual holiday events, shows, and festivals in Omaha. These are events you can plan on if you're visiting for the first time or you want to start a holiday tradition.  #Christmas #Santa #holidays

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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

Nebraska Furniture Mart Halloween 5K, Oct. 13, Nebraska Furniture Mart, 700 S. 72nd St., $30 for ages 14+ and $10 for children ages 13 and yougner

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

Hoot n’ Howl Glow Ride, Oct. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m., Malvern Depot, 301 W. Fifth St., Malvern, Iowa, $25

LEGO Club Halloween Edition, Oct. 22 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., FREE

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

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

Spooktacular, Oct. 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St., FREE

Elkhorn Hills Trunk or Treat!, Oct. 24 from 5:45 to 7p.m., 20227 Veterans Drive, Elkhorn Neb. FREE

Trunk-Or-Treat, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m., Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, 153 S. McKenna Ave., Gretna, Neb., FREE

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

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

Annual Carson Businesses Halloween Trick or Treat Night, Oct. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m., Carson Community Center and nearby businesses, 316 S. Commercial St., Carson, Iowa, 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

Baseballoween at Werner Park, Oct. 26 from 5 to 8 p.m., Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way, 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

Trunk or Treat, Oct. 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Play By Play Kidzone, 13540 Discovery Drive, FREE with canned food donation or $1 donation to Food bank for the Heartland

100 Block Trick or Treat for the Kids, Oct. 29 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., 100 block of West Broadway, FREE

Trick-or-Treat At Regency, Oct. 29 from 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

Kids In Costume Eat Free, Oct. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to close, McAlister’s Deli locations, FREE (for 12 and younger)

La Vista’s Halloween Safe Night, Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., 
La Vista Community Center, 8116 Park View Blvd., La Vista, Neb., 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

Gateway of Chaos, Mills County Fairgrounds, Malvern, Iowa, open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31, $10 per person, $8 with two non-perishable food item donations and $6 with two non-perishable food items and two household item donations

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)

October Fright Night Series, Oct. 4-27 on select nights at 10 p.m., Majestic Cinema of Omaha and Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue, $5; movies include “The Shining” (Oct. 4-6), “Candyman” (Oct. 11-13), “It” (Oct. 18-20), and “The Exorcist” (Oct. 25-27)

“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” Family Parties, Oct. 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to noon, Majestic Cinema of Omaha and Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue, FREE (does not include movie)

Family-Friendly Movie Screenings, Oct. 14-31 on Saturdays at 10 a.m., Sundays at 11 a.m. and on Halloween at 5 p.m., Hollywood Candy, 1209 Jackson St., FREE; “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (Oct. 14), “Back To The Future” (Oct. 20), “Twilight Zone” (Oct. 21), “Hocus Pocus” (Oct. 27 and 31), and “Once Bitten” (Oct. 28)

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.

Cursed Quarters, Tuesdays Oct. 23 through Nov. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. (films are “The Old House,” “The Haunting,” “The Amityville Horror,” “Poltergeist” and “House”), Film Streams Dundee Linder Microcinema, 4952 Dodge St., $125 for general, $100 for students/teachers/seniors/military, and $75 for members

Sip + Paint / Dia de Muertos, Oct. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m., El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St., $30 (includes two drink tickets)

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 #Nebraska #historic #tour

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:

River City History Tours logo

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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