October 12, 2019

The Family Show Show You’ll Want to See At The Holland Center

For as long as I’ve had this blog, I’ve been cluing you in to the best family shows brought to Omaha by Omaha Performing Arts. I worked there for a few years, and now I’m just a fan. So, here’s the next show you’ve got to see: Scrap Arts Music.

Photo courtesy Omaha Performing Arts

Scrap Arts Music is a percussive group — think “making drums out of everything” kind of thing. They’ll perform “Children of Metropolis” at the Holland Performing Arts Center on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. It’s an all-ages show – so read on to see if it’s right for your family!

Disclosure: Omaha Performing Arts provided complimentary tickets to me and provided the tickets for the giveaways.

The show starts at 7 p.m., but arrive early for the family-friendly lobby activities that start at 6 p.m. One of the activities will be making your own instruments.

Who is Scrap Arts Music?

Scrap Arts Music is a Canadian experimental pop percussion company, which basically means this quintet makes awesome music with found objects like scrap metal, artillery shells, accordion parts and more.

Photo courtesy Omaha Performing Arts

It’s not just music, though. Scrap Arts Music adds athletic choreography to their inventive show.

What’s “Children of Metropolis” about?

“Children of Metropolis” is the latest production by Gregory Kozak and Justine Murdy, the co-founders, artistic directors and designers of Scrap Arts Music.

Photo courtesy Omaha Performing Arts

According to the press release, “It is a fast-paced, all-acoustic percussion show, with sci-fi-inspired film and video projections. The quintet performs with gymnastic agility and percussive drive, demonstrating incredible musical skill while striking, moving and bowing hand-made, mobile sculptural instruments made from recycled and salvaged materials.”

Sounds pretty awesome.

How to get tickets for Holland Performing Arts Shows

Scrap Arts Music will perform “Children of Metropolis” at the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St., on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

Tickets starting at $20 are available at TicketOmaha.com, in person at the Ticket Omaha* Box Office located inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street, or by calling (402) 345-0606. The performance is sponsored by Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. 

*Ticket Omaha is the official retail ticket outlet for all performances at the Orpheum Theater and the Holland Performing Arts Center. Tickets purchased from other ticket retailers such as secondary ticket agencies or brokers may be more expensive and may not be valid. 

How to win tickets to Scrap Arts Music

I’ve partnered with Omaha Performing Arts to give away TWO SETS of family four passes to see Scrap Arts Music perform at the Holland Performing Arts Center! You can enter both giveaways to increase your odds of winning.

Win four tickets entering through the blog

The first giveaway starts right now! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. Tickets are good for the Oct. 25 show at 7 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nitty Gritty: The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. Winner will be contacted via email within 48 hours of the giveaway and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is drawn. Must be 18 or older to enter and tickets are not exchangeable or refundable.

Win four tickets entering the Facebook giveaway

I’ll kick off a flash giveaway on Facebook this Monday! One winner will receive four tickets to see the Scrap Arts Music performance at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Follow Oh My! Omaha on Facebook to stay in the loop and then on Monday, find the post about the giveaway.

One winner will be drawn on Wednesday morning. I’ll be contacting the winner via Facebook for the drawing.

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September 16, 2019

Review: “Annie” The Musical

When Omaha Community Playhouse announced it was staging “Annie,” I knew right away this would be the perfect show to introduce my daughter to OCP productions. So on opening night, she was my date to review the show. Read on for our review of “Annie,” and to see if you think your kid is old enough to enjoy it.

Want to take your child to see musical "Annie"? Here's a review of "Annie" and age recommendations for seeing it.

“Annie” is on stage now through Oct. 13, 2019 at Omaha Community Playhouse. I received complimentary tickets in order to review the production.

What to expect at “Annie”

If you grew up in the 80s, there’s a good chance you grew up wanting to be Annie or Mr. Warbucks. I have a tape somewhere of me and my sister belting out “Tomorrow” to prove it. This stage production lives up to how I remember the movie, with the added touch of a live orchestra.

"Annie" is at Omaha Community Playhouse from Sept. 13 to Oct. 13, 2019.
Photo courtesy Colin Conces Photography

From the start, when with Stella Clark-Kaczmarek starts singing “Maybe,” you know she was perfectly cast in the role of Annie. That young actress can sing!

The other stand-out performances came from the adults in the cast, especially Jay Srygley as Daddy Warbucks and Allison Wissman as the hilarious Miss Hannigan.

The young orphans did a fine job, especially with the number “It’s The Hard Knock Life.” The young girl playing Molly, Brinlee Roeder, was adorable.

But, I’ll have to be honest here. Toby, the dog playing Sandy was the audience favorite. If there were long stretches without Toby on stage, my daughter would ask what happened to him.

The production, directed by Kimberly Faith Hickman, is impressive from choreography to costumes. You can easily forget this is community theater and most people in the show are volunteers, save for production staff.

Timing a bathroom break during “Annie”

The show consists of two acts, the first one lasting close to about 90 minutes. There is a 15-intermission. In all, it’s about 2 and 30 minutes long.

If you’re bringing a little one, you’re going to want to go before the show begins. I say this because there’s a good chance your kiddo will want a cookie or drink at intermission and it will be a scramble to wait in a bathroom line and the drink line.

Is “Annie” kid-friendly?

Of course it is. “Annie” is about as kid-friendly as it gets, with a relatable main character, lots of young actors and actresses on stage, and memorable songs.

The orphans in the Omaha Community Playhouse production of "Annie."
Photo courtesy Colin Conces Photography

However, it is a Broadway-style musical, so it is lengthy for some kids who may not be accustomed to sitting for long. If your kid is on the younger side, I’d recommend getting tickets to a Sunday matinee. It’s a late night if you go to a 7:30 p.m. performance.

What age is recommended to see “Annie”?

“Annie” is billed as an all-ages performance. There is nothing in the production to scare a child, nor any profane language (maybe a “damn” here and there).

I’d say grade-school age kids will enjoy this on up to adults. Anyone younger than 5 or 6 will have a hard time sitting through a 2 hour and 30 minute show.

You know your kid best, though. If he or she has sat through a full-length show before, then this won’t be a hard one to sit through.

Will adults like “Annie”?

Yes. While this is an all-ages Broadway musical, there are layers of to it that you understand better now as an adult than you probably did watching the movie as a kid. I probably didn’t understand half of what Miss Hannigan complained about when I was a kid.

Allison Wissman, center, is Miss Hannigan in the Omaha Community Playhouse production of "Annie."
Photo courtesy Colin Conces Photography

There are some more adult moments. The angry gestures of the ensemble during “We’d Like To Thank You, Herbert Hoover” come mind. Like the context behind the song, kids aren’t going to understand them, so don’t worry about it.

What’s “Annie” about?

“Annie” is the tale of a young girl who never gives up hope of one day reuniting with her parents. After enlisting the help of Depression-era billionaire Oliver Warbucks, Annie finds herself in the tangled web of con artists, kidnappers and, worst of all, Miss Hannigan.

Stella Clark-Kaczmarek as Annie and Jay Srygley as Daddy Warbucks in "Annie," on stage at Omaha Community Playhouse from Sept. 13 to Oct. 13, 2019.
Photo courtesy Colin Conces Photography

The musical is known for timeless songs like “Tomorrow” and “It’s The Hard-Knock Life.”

If you go

“Annie”

When: Now through Oct. 13; performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. On Sept. 22, Wag Therapy provided by CHI Health is at 1 p.m. prior to the 2 p.m. show. ASL performance is Oct. 11 and sensory-friendly performance is Oct. 12.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Cost: Tickets are $32-$50 for adults and $20-$25 for students, and may be purchased at the Omaha Community Playhouse Box Office, located at 6915 Cass St., by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at OmahaPlayhouse.com.

Make a night of it! Here’s my list of 20+ must-try restaurants in Omaha. I took my daughter to Mark’s in Dundee prior to the show.

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.

August 26, 2019

Omaha Events Calendar – Things To Do This Week

Fall is here and there are a ton of things to see and do in Omaha. Check out this Omaha events calendar for upcoming kid-friendly activities, exhibits, stage shows, and more happening in the Omaha Metro Area in October 2019 (and beyond!).

NOTE: This page is updated weekly. 

Looking for things to do in Omaha? Here's a family-friendly Omaha events calendar, featuring exhibits and shows, free activities, festivals and more! #Nebraska #USA

How to read this post: The first events listed are things to come in chronological order, followed by all the on-going events like exhibits or shows that have already opened. Everything is in Omaha, unless otherwise noted in the address.

The post ends with weekly activities at recreation centers and libraries (you may want to call ahead to make sure it is happening the day you plan on visiting).

Family-friendly events in Omaha

The Great Hall-oween Haunt

When: Oct. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

Ghouls & Glow

When: Oct. 24-25, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday nights and 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

Cost: $8-13/member child; $11-16/member adult; $10-15/non-member child; and $13-18/non-member adult.

Healthy Trick or Treat Night

When: Oct. 25, 4 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

HETRA’s Stall and Treat Halloween Party With The Horses

When: Oct. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: 10130 S. 222nd St., Gretna, Neb.

Cost: FREE

Baseballoween at Werner Park

When: Oct. 25 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way

Cost: FREE

Monster Mash

When: Oct. 25, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Oak View Mall, 3001 S. 144th St.

Cost: FREE

“Ella Enchanted: A New Musical”

When: Oct. 25 through Nov. 10; performances are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 5 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: $20, non-members; members receive four tickets

Superhero Spootacular

When: Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

Farnam Hill’s Trunk OR Treat

When: Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Zen Coffee Co., 230 S. 25th St.

Cost: FREE

There are A LOT of free Halloween activities in Omaha this week. See the complete list here!

Trick Or Treat The Museum

When: Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE

Hallo-Weekend

When: Oct. 26 and 27

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

Cost: Included with regular museum admission; children ages 12 and younger are admitted FREE in costume

Halloween Village

When: Oct. 27, 2 to 5 p.m.

Where: City Sprouts South location, 1815 N St.

Cost: FREE

Bison Night at the Museum

When: Nov. 1, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Where: Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE

Art Of The Book

When: Nov. 3, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (family activities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: FREE

The Bookworm Presents “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Wrecking Ball Show”

When: Nov. 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Westside High School, 8701 Pacific St.

Cost: $19.99, solo ticket, and $22.99 to admit one child and one adult (ticket includes copy of the new book with pre-personalized bookplate signed by Jeff Kinney, photo with Kinney, and entry into the show)

Paddington Bear At Story Time

When: Nov. 15-23; story times are on Nov. 15 at 10:30 a.m. (Florence), Nob. 16 at 10:30 a.m. (Sorensen), Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. (Elkhorn), Nov. 19 at 10:30 a.m. (South Omaha), Nov. 20 at 10:30 a.m. (Main), Nov. 21 at 10:30 a.m. (Millard), Nov. 22 at 10:30 a.m. (Swanson) and Nov. 23 at 10:15 a.m. (Benson)

Where: Various Omaha Public Library branches

Cost: FREE

Looking for even more ideas of things to do in Omaha? I always check the Visit Omaha calendar for special events!

Dinos On The Loose

When: Nov. 15, 4 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $14 for kids and adults, and FREE for kids under 24 months

Ailey II

When: Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m.

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

Cost: Tickets start at $20

“Music Of Vince Guaraldi and the Peanuts”

When: Nov. 17, 2 p.m.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: $20, adults; $10, children

Omaha Exhibits & Shows Ending Soon

The exhibitions and theatrical performances have been on this Omaha calendar of events for weeks, but they’re ending soon!

If you want more ideas for cultural attractions to see in the city (even if there isn’t a must-see temporary exhibit), check out this list of 20+ Omaha museums you should visit.

Opera Omaha at Storytime

When: Through Oct. 25 ; storytimes are at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 9 (Willa Cather), Oct. 11 (Florence) and Oct. 25 (Swanson)

Where: Omaha Public Library various locations

Cost: FREE

“HUIPILES, Indigenous Textiles from Guatemala”

When: Through Oct. 26

Where: El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St.

Cost: $5, general admission; $3.50 for kids grade K-12; FREE for kids under 3 and members

Cobweb Castle

When: Through Oct. 31

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

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $13 for kids and adults, $12 for seniors, and FREE for kids under 24 months and members.

The Great Pumpkin Celebration

When: Through Oct. 31 at various times

Where: Cabela’s, 12703 Westport Parkway, La Vista, Neb.

Cost: FREE

“A Bucket of Blessings”

When: Through Nov. 3

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: $10, members; $12, nom-members

Fall Chrysanthemum Show

When: Through Nov. 17

Where: Laurizen Garden, 100 Bancroft St.

Cost: Included with museum admission

“RACE: Are We So Different?”

When: Through Jan. 5, 2020

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

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for children 3-12; and FREE for members and children
age 2 and under. Admission is FREE to all on Sept. 29 from 1 to 5 p.m.

“Louder Than Words: Rock, Power & Politics”

When: Through Feb. 2, 2020

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

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

“Diggin’ Dinos”

When: Through April 11, 2020

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

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

“Influence”

When: Through Aug. 20, 2020

Where: KANEKO, 1111 Jones St.

Cost: FREE

Fun things to do in Omaha with kids - This Omaha event calendar lists upcoming shows, exhibits, free activities and more things happening in the city and nearby. This list is great for finding things to do with kids in Omaha!

Weekly Activities In Omaha For Families & Kids

These activities are on-going and held on the same day each week. Still, it’s a good idea to call ahead before going, just to be sure.

Toddler Tuesdays

When: Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Where: =The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St. (gym or at the pool starting at 10:30)

Cost: FREE for members; non-members participate by paying a $4 activity fee for your toddler (age 9 months to 4 years) and the attending parent is FREE.

Toddler Tuesday

When: Tuesdays, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Fat Brain Toys, 16909 Burke St.

Cost: FREE

Crafty Tots

When: Wednesdays, 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

Cost: FREE

Tots of the Town

When: Second Thursday of the month, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Shadow Lake Towne Center, 7775 Olson Drive, Papillion, Neb.

Cost: FREE

Story Time At Barnes & Noble 

When: Fridays at 9:30 a.m. (Crossroads) and Saturdays at 11 a.m. (Crossroads and Oakview)

Where: Barnes and Noble at Crossroads, 7400 Dodge St., and Barnes and Noble at Oakview, 3333 Oakview Drive

Cost: FREE

Inflatable Fridays

When: Fridays, 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: FREE to members; non-members pay daily entry fee of $5 per youth, $7 per adults

Kids Craft Time

When: Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Mangelsen’s, 3457 S. 84th St.

Cost: $1

Second Saturdays Nature Program

When: Second Saturday of every month, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Heron Haven Wetland Sanctuary, 11809 Old Maple Road

Cost: FREE

Kidz Kayak Racing

When: Saturdays, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: FREE to members; non-members pay daily entry fee of $5 per youth, $7 per adults (for ages 8-12)

Arts for All

When: Saturdays, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha South Public Library, 2808 Q St.

Cost: FREE (ages 8-12, registration required)

Sunday Funday

When: Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: FREE to members; non-members pay daily entry fee of $5 per youth, $7 per adults (for ages 8-12)

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.

July 31, 2019

20+ Omaha Museums You Should Visit

Whether you’re visiting Omaha for the first time or you’ve lived here for 20 years, there’s a museum out there waiting for you to visit. Whenever someone asks for suggestions on things to do in Omaha, I almost always recommend visiting one of our museums – we have something for everyone.

Looking for things to do in Omaha, Nebraska? Visit a museum! Here's a guide to Omaha museums and galleries, including the must-see attractions. #guide #Omaha #Nebraska

Top Omaha museums to visit

Below I share some of my favorite museums in Omaha and the ones that are considered the must-visit cultural attractions. They’re the ones that are the most-visited and happen to be the ones I’m most familiar with.

For the six museums featured in this post, I share tips on what’s the must-see thing at each and what makes each unique. You’ll also find some other tips that I think are helpful for planning, like roughly how much time you may spend there and if there is food available for purchase.

The second section includes museums and galleries that are notable but I may not be as familiar with or haven’t visited yet. I’m not about to give you tips for museums I haven’t visited yet, so for the list, I provide a description on what you can expect.

At the end of the post, you’ll find a section of museums near Omaha that are easy enough to include in your itinerary if you’re a visitor, though technically, they’re not in Omaha.

Things to know about to Joslyn Art Museum

Top museums in Omaha - Omaha's largest art museum, Joslyn Art Museum, is a free attraction you should visit.

Where: 2200 Dodge St. (downtown Omaha)

What makes it unique: A beautiful building, a visit Joslyn Art Museum is one of the best free things to do in Omaha. 

Must see thing: I’m a particular fan of the small Impressionist collection, which include Degas, Monet and Cassatt. The museum has a large collection of American West and Native American art. Don’t leave without dipping your toes in the fountain out front. In the summer, kids often will wade through it. 

How much time: Allow between 2 to 3 hours; if you’re there with kids, expect to spend about an hour in the Art Works area.

Cost: FREE, though special exhibits are often an additional fee. Often, there is a discount to see the special exhibit on Thursday nights. One recent exhibit was free on the first weekend of each month.

Is it kid-friendly? It can be very kid-friendly. Head to the lower level to visit Art Works, an interactive space for making art related to exhibit pieces. Also, you can check out themed backpacks with activities for kids. Read my guide to visiting Joslyn Art Museum with kids.

Cafe? Yes, it’s located in the atrium. The food is pretty good, if a bit pricey. No special food items that are necessarily just for kids. Do not try to bring your own food in. You can picnic in the sculpture garden.

Things to know about The Durham Museum

Omaha's best museums - Learn about local and regional history and railroading history at The Durham Museum in downtown Omaha.

Where: 801 S. 10th St. (downtown Omaha)

What makes it unique: Housed in Union Station, The Durham Museum is a large museum celebrating the region’s history, with a particular emphasis on the railroad. 

Must see thing: Walk through the restored trains on the lower level. 

How much time: You can easily spend at least 3 hours at the museum (more if you like to read descriptions).

Cost: $11, adults; $8, seniors; $7, children (ages 3-12); FREE, children 2 and younger

Is it kid-friendly? Yes, there’s a hands-on play area on the lower level, plus no kid can resist the huge model train display. Read my guide to visiting The Durham Museum with kids.

Cafe? Yes, Union Station’s soda fountain is the cafe. Don’t leave without trying a root beer float or phosphate. Outside food is not permitted.

Things to know about Omaha Children’s Museum

Museums of Omaha to visit with kids - The top museum to visit with young children is Omaha children's Museum.

Where: 500 S. 20th St. (downtown Omaha)

What makes it unique: Omaha Children’s Museum is the best place to go for hands-on play with an educational emphasis for kids under the age of 10. It’s also the most-visited museum in Nebraska.

Must see thing: The Imagination Playground is the most popular permanent exhibit. I personally think the Tinker Lab is pretty unique and worth a stop. Read my tips for visiting Omaha Children’s Museum.

How much time: You could spend a day here, but kids may start to tucker out after 3 hours. If your kids don’t take naps anymore, expect to spend at least 4 hours here.

Cost: $13 for kids and adults ages 2 and older; $12 for seniors; free for children younger than 24 months. If you have a membership to another science center or children’s museum, you may get a discounted admission (or FREE!). Read more about reciprocal museum admission here.

Is it kid-friendly? Of course! There’s a family bathroom near the Imagination Playground, as well as a nursing room.

Cafe? There is a small cafe upstairs offering pizza by the slice, hot dogs and other kid-friendly fare. You’re also welcome to bring your own food.

Things to know about KANEKO

One of the museums and galleries found in downtown Omaha is KANEKO, where the exhibit space features mostly temporary exhibitions like this sound playground.

Where: 1111 Jones St. (downtown Omaha)

What makes it unique: KANEKO is truly a creative space that’s hard to define. It’s part gallery, part performance space, part gathering space for creatives.

Must see thing: KANEKO is an ever-evolving space so the must-see thing is usually whatever the special exhibit happens to be. When I visit with my family, there’s usually at least one area that appeals to the kids, something they’re allowed to touch. And every so often, it’s much like an art gallery where everything is “no touch.”

How much time: Expect to spend about 1 to 2 hours here.

Cost: FREE

Is it kid-friendly? Some special exhibits are more accessible to kids than others. We almost always find something pretty cool there that’s OK to touch and therefore OK for kids. There are occasional family-friendly events there.

Cafe? No

Things to know about Bemis Center For Contemporary Art

Bemis Center For Contemporary Art is an Omaha art gallery to visit near the Old Market.

Where: 724 S. 12th St.

What makes it unique: The Bemis Center For Contemporary Art has an excellent artist residency program. Take advantage of the open studio days to meet the artists and see what they’re working on.

Must see thing: Much of this space is temporary art exhibitions, so you never know what you’re going to find. But, one thing you can find there is the Art-o-Mat, an art vending machine that dispenses real, one-of-a-kind art!

How much time: You can expect to spend about an hour here unless you’re visiting during one of their special events like open studios or a family day. Then, plan on about 2 hours.

Cost: FREE

Is it kid-friendly? The art itself may or may not appeal to kids when doing a self-guided tour, so try to visit during open studios or one of the family days. I find the art here to be more thought-provoking than other places, which sometimes just doesn’t register with younger kids.

Cafe? No.

Things to know about Boys Town Hall of History & Father Flanagan’s House

Learn about this history of Boys Town by visiting the Hall of History, Father Flanagan's home and stopping by the Visitor's Center (which is home to the world's largest ball of stamps).

Where: 14057 Flanagan Blvd, Boys Town, Neb. (West Omaha)

What makes it unique: What was started by Father Flanagan in 1921 for a few orphaned boys is now the National Historic Landmark Boys Town. Visit the Hall of History, tour Flanagan’s home and stop by the Visitor’s Center to learn all about it.

Must see thing: Everyone says the world’s largest ball of stamps at the Visitor’s Center is a must-see, but I prefer the Hall of History with its replica bus to climb aboard and the memorabilia from the Spencer Tracy movie “Boys Town.”

How much time: Plan about an hour or 2 hours to visit.

Cost: FREE

Is it kid-friendly? Yes, though it’s not very hands-on.

Cafe? Yes, breakfast and lunch is available at a cafe in the Visitor’s Center.

More galleries and museums in Omaha to visit

Hot Shops Art Center in NoDo Omaha features dozens of work studios and galleries of work made by local artists.

Omaha has a lot of smaller galleries and museums that are worth visiting. Many on the list below are quite niche. Expect to spend about an hour or less at each.

Artist Co-operative Gallery – This Old Market art gallery features more than 30 artists and artisans. Expect to find unique paintings, sculptures, textiles and more. Exhibit openings are a great time to visit and meet some of the artists.

Czech and Slovak Educational Center and Cultural Museum – This museum tucked in Crossroads Mall in Midtown Omaha is dedicated to the history of Czech and Slovak immigrants.

El Museo Latino – Located in South Omaha, this is the Midwest’s first Latino art and history museum. The museum has several special events worth checking out.

Gen. Crook House – This beautifully restored home of the Civil War hero is found on the North Omaha campus of Metro Community College.

Great Plains Black History Museum – Located in North Omaha on historic 24th Street, the museum preserves the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout middle America.

Historic Florence Bank and Depot Museums – The Florence Bank is Nebraska’s oldest bank. Learn about the Florence neighborhood history at the bank, plus visit the depot that dates back to 1888 and has a caboose and railroad displays.

Hot Shops Art Center – Located in NoDo (North Downtown), this multi-level building is home to galleries and working spaces of more than 80 artists of every imaginable medium. Time your visit during the May or December open house and see demonstrations like glass blowing.

Love’s Jazz and Arts Center – This center preserves and highlights the African American culture of North Omaha, and particularly highlights the impact the neighborhood had on jazz music. The space includes the Preston Love gallery, a performing arts area and an exhibition space. 

Modern Arts Midtown – This art gallery is an extension of Modern Arts Midwest in Lincoln, Neb., and features local and regional contemporary artists. The exhibition space features abstract and traditional art forms ranging from paint, sculpture, photography and textiles.

Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters – The museum and visitor’s center at Winter Quarters tells the history of the migration of 90,000 pioneers to the Rocky Mountains. Displays include a log cabin, covered wagon, oxen and handcart. 

South Omaha Museum – South Omaha Museum preserves and celebrates that which makes South O so unique to this area, like the stockyards and Rosenblatt Stadium. The museum gives tours of the area and presentations.

Split Gallery – This downtown art gallery is a space created by artists for artists. Find exhibitions, pop-up shows and studio sales, as well as performances, lectures, workshops and more.

Museums and historic sites near Omaha

Museums near Omaha - Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum is located about 30 miles from Omaha.

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park (Fort Calhoun, Neb.) – The main draw is the actual fort, though there is a visitor’s center to explore as well. I recommend visiting on one of the living history weekends when they have re-enactors demonstrating what life was like in the early 1800s. Read more about the fort’s living history weekends here.

General Dodge House (Council Bluffs, Iowa) – This stately home of Grenville M. Dodge was built in 1869. Dodge was a major figure in the railroad history of the area, as well as a Union Army general and politician. 

Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, Neb.) – Get up close to aircraft and space travel memorabilia at this Smithsonian affiliate. This large museum is home to to the largest collection of Cold War aircraft and artifacts in the United States.

Union Pacific Railroad Museum (Council Bluffs, Iowa) – This free museum celebrates the long history of Union Pacific. There are interactive exhibits that appeal to kids.

Western Historic Trails Center (Council Bluffs, Iowa) – This small, free attraction has displays about the Lewis & Clark, Oregon, Mormon and California Trails, all of which passed through the region. I visited it with the kids and shared details about it here.

Omaha is home to world class museums and galleries. Here's a guide to visiting the most popular art and history museums and the hidden gems of Omaha. Read this post for tips for visiting the biggest museums in Omaha, as well as suggestions on nearby museums to include on an itinerary. #Nebraska #history #art

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June 18, 2019

What’s At The Durham Museum This Summer

Every year, I wait with anticipation to hear what’s the summer exhibit at The Durham Museum. Without fail, they’ve opened a fun temporary exhibit that my kids (and I) enjoy. This year, the summer exhibit is called “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family.” The exhibit runs through Sept. 1, 2019.

Looking for fun things to do in Omaha this summer? Check out the summer exhibit at The Durham Museum - "Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family"! Get details on the exhibit, when to see, and the kids activities inspired by the exhibit. #Omaha #Nebraska #museums

Disclosure: I have a partnership with The Durham Museum. I was not paid to write this post, but I do receive a complimentary membership in order to visit and write about the exhibits. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

About the Durham Museum summer exhibit

As the name implies, “Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” is about the Tyrannosaurs and the various prehistoric creatures that are classified under that name. It’s not just T.rex, it turns out.

Things to know about The Durham Museum summer exhibit about Tyrannosaurs - The exhibit is a mix of specimens and fossil casts along with interactive screens.

The most fun my whole family had at the exhibit was learning about the family tree by playing the interactive game table. After about three or four rounds, we declared ourselves experts of in the entire Tyrannosaur family tree.

I can see us returning a few times this summer so my kids can try to beat their previous top time on the game.

Things kids love about the Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family exhibit - The interactive family tree is a popular game for kids and even adults.

The exhibit uses both technology and dinosaur specimens. My kids were drawn more to the tech than the casts and models of dinosaurs.

One of the more amusing pieces in the exhibit was the interactive augmented reality screen. We watched as life-sized dinosaurs roamed nearby.

My kids may or may not have tried to kick the dinosaurs. Sorry about that!

Interactive things to do in the summer exhibit at The Durham Museum - The augmented reality screen puts you in a scene with life-sized dinosaurs.

Other multimedia experiences and touch screen interactive were interspersed by exhibit pieces, and their were large-scale projections at the exhibit entrance. The projections feature Omaha streetscapes and dinosaurs roaming them.

My son was particularly interested in the interactive piece comparing his strength to that of a T.rex.

The life-sized dinosaur specimens included five complete tyrannosaurs cast skeletons.

The ‘Big’ draw of the exhibit

“Scotty,” the largest and oldest T.rex ever discovered, is a part of this exhibit. Well, the exhibit doesn’t have THE “Scotty.” One of only four casts of the T.rex skeleton is included in this exhibit.

The cast of "Scotty," the largest and oldest T.rex ever discovered, is part of the Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family exhibition at The Durham Museum through Sept. 1, 2019.

It’s an impressive sight, putting the scale of what T.rex was like millions of years ago into perspective.

Another interesting thing to check out in the exhibit is the feathery Guanlong wucaii. This newly-discovered dinosaur is a relative of the T.rex.

It’s easy to walk right past the bird-like dinosaur, though. There’s a big screen nearby that will easily distract you and the kids.

Things to know about the Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family exhibition - The traveling exhibit has a newly-discovered Guanlong wucaii display.

Things to know about visiting the Durham in the summer

The Durham Museum experiences an uptick in visitors in the summer, but you don’t have to be too strategic about when to visit. Why? It’s a huge museum. You won’t feel the crowd.

Things to know about visiting The Durham Museum in the summer - The museum is housed in Omaha's former Union Station, so it's spacious. Summer crowds aren't usually noticed due to its size.

You may feel the crowd, however, in the special exhibit space. Consider going first thing in the morning or at the last hour or two of the day.

We visited about an hour after the museum opened on a Saturday and didn’t have to jockey for position at any interactive exhibit piece. However, once a tour group walked into the exhibit, it did start to feel a little more packed.

If you want more tips for visiting The Durham Museum, especially if you’re bringing children with you, visit this guide to exploring the museum with kids!

Summer exhibit special events

The good thing to know about summers at the museum is that there are usually extra events planned in coordination with the summer exhibit. “Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family” has a few great ones including some for kids and adults.

Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family - The 2019 summer exhibit at The Durham Museum has special events planned throughout the exhibit's run.

For kids: Storytime with Scotty is held every Wednesday through July 31 at 10:30 a.m. Each week features a different dinosaur-themed book and craft led by one of the museum’s engaging education facilitators. Registration is not required and regular museum admission applies. All ages are welcome.

For adults: Dinos and Daiquiris is June 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. Search for hidden “fossils” around the museum to win a prize, and sip on a daiquiri, enjoy the cash bar or visit the Soda Fountain for some snacks and sweet treats. Tickets are $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers, and with the ticket you get admission to the museum after hours and one drink ticket.

For everyone: There are daily tours at 2 p.m. until the close of the exhibit. Each day of the week will have a different topic, complete with trivia and prizes.

Fossil Fridays include crafts, games, guided tours, giveaways from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Aug. 9. The crafts and giveaways are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and there’s a dino-themed game at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Back-to-School Bash is Aug. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be a dino movie on the big screen, a bounce house, and kids can get their faces painted like a dinosaur. There will also be a food truck. This event is included with museum admission and free for members, but reservations are required.

Planning a trip to Omaha this summer? See what special exhibit is on display at The Durham Museum! In the summer of 2019, the exhibit is "Tyrannosaurs: Meet The Family." Get the scoop on special events planned for the exhibit plus what things kids will like there. #Omaha #Nebraska #FamilyTravel

If you go

The Durham Museum

Where: 801 S. 10th St., Omaha

When: Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (during the summer, the museum is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Closed major holidays.

Cost: Adults, $11; Seniors (62+), $8; Children (ages 3 – 12), $7; children 2 years and under, FREE; Members, FREE.

A note on memberships: If you’re going to visit the Durham Museum more than once a year, it pays to get a family membership. It’s $60 for 12 months, and includes admission to the special events like the Great Halloween Haunt and all the Christmas festivities. It also gets you discounts to the gift shop, soda fountain and summer camps.

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June 3, 2019

Guide To The Best Girl’s Night Out At Board and Brush

My friends and I like planning unique nights out in Omaha, looking for something a little beyond the typical dinner and bar thing. So, we’ve thrown axes, beat an escape room, and now, we can add woodworking to the mix. I recently gathered a group of girls and we went to Board and Brush to weather and paint wood. And it was a blast. There are a few things I’d recommend to make it the best girl’s night out, so read on for my tips to going to Board and Brush.

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

Board & Brush workshops are a great girl's night out! Here are tips for getting the most of your night out with friends, including what to bring, what to expect and how long a typical workshop takes. #sponsored #Omaha #boardandbrush

Tips for the best girl’s night out at Board and Brush

Gather the right group: Ours was a small group of four. The table could fit up to about six people comfortably, so if you have a larger group, you may need to split up. Each person needs to make a reservation and you can request to be seated with the people in your group. 

There was a bachelorette party at the two tables next to us, so it totally is possible to enjoy yourself even at two tables.

Pick your project ahead of time. When you reserve your spot at Board and Brush, you have to pick what project you work on. They prep your personalization ahead of time. Know that some pieces are going to be more difficult than others, so if you don’t want to be the one holding up your whole group, pick something not too elaborate. 

Board and Brush Girl's Night Out - Select your personalization for your project ahead of time.

A lot of people the night we went chose to paint signs. However, there are dozens of projects to choose from, ranging from planters and clocks to serving trays.

Don’t be afraid to request any changes to your personalization. I had made a mistake on my order, but the instructors happily fixed it for me. Ask early on if you need to make a change.

Bring treats and refreshments. Board and Brush is a BYOB place, and my group decided that we’d bring some treats to go with our wine and beer (that’s right, we brought both). Our spread was the stuff of envy. There was cheese, crackers, caramel popcorn, and sliced apples. The Omaha Board and Brush had a counter space away from the workspace to leave our stuff.  

Girl's Night Out at Board and Brush in Omaha - Your group can bring snacks and drinks for the three-hour workshop. This was the spread my group made.

You’ll be spending about three or so hours at Board and Brush, so you’re going to want snacks at the very least. But a good prosecco is pretty nice to sip on, too.

Listen to the directions. The staff goes through all the directions and demonstrate exactly what you need to do to at each step of your project. It’s pretty tempting to keep on talking with your group (so I hear), but it’s best to listen up. And when they say to wear ear plugs or to layer the gloves before staining your board, follow their recommendations. They make these suggestions based on experience.

Relax. You are faced with quite a few choices throughout the night: What stain to choose, what color of paint(s) to use, effects to do, etc. Trust yourself and don’t overthink things.

Plus, even if you do make a mistake – which happens – the staff at Board and Brush can fix anything. Anything. And my friends and I certainly tested them with some of our mistakes.

Girl's Night Out at Board and Brush - Instructors help with difficult steps in projects, if you want them to.

Just don’t feel rushed. They will not shut the lights off on you if you’re taking longer on your project than everyone else. I mean, don’t just dawdle, and go for the record on how long it takes to paint a sign, but don’t stress out either. It’s supposed to be fun.

Take a picture. Don’t just rush out when everyone in your group is finished. Have the staff take a picture of your finished work.

GIrl's Night Out at Board and Brush - My GNO group posing with our finished projects at the Omaha location.

Related post: Read this post for more girl’s night out ideas in Omaha.

More things to know about Board and Brush

– Board and Brush often has themed workshops, including a Christmas in July theme coming up. You can deck out your home with personalized projects following all of their seasonal offerings.

Board and Brush in Omaha - A few of the holiday projects available

– There are square projects available as add-ons to your main project. Two of my friends opted to add on these quick side projects. They’re only $15 each. I loved how they turned out! 

There are mini workshops that are drop-in sessions to make these projects for the same price. Check the calendar to see when there’s a drop-in session coming up.

Board and Brush - An example of one of the add-on projects you can pick during your session

– Board and Brush is primarily for adults, just due to the detailed steps involved. We had to hammer boards and then stain them. Then there’s painting and then waiting, and then maybe some more hammering. 

However, there are sessions specifically for families. I was told kids as young as 4 have enjoyed them but they’re best for kids ages 6 and older. You may still need to help with some steps, but if you want to have a fun day out with your kiddo, look into these kid-friendly sessions.

If you go

Board and Brush

Where: 539 N. 155th Plaza in Omaha. There are locations throughout the U.S.

Oh My! Omaha Discount: Oh My! Omaha readers can enjoy a $10 off discount on a workshop at Board and Brush. Use the promo code OHMYOMAHA when booking a class. To book a class, start here.

Board & Brush workshops are a great girl's night out! Here are tips for getting the most of your night out with friends, including what to bring, what to expect and how long a typical workshop takes. #sponsored #Omaha #boardandbrush

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