November 20, 2017

Bringing Kids To ‘A Christmas Carol’

I think I’m becoming a Christmas softie. I was always more of a “Scrooged” kind of Christmas story girl, not “A Christmas Carol.” The Dickens classic was a little too sweet. But here I am, joyful after seeing Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of “A Christmas Carol” this past weekend. I get it, now, why families make it a tradition to see every year. I feel like it’s the quintessential show to kick off the holiday season.

This year, I received two complimentary tickets to review the show, so I took my oldest son (he’s almost 8) to see it for his first time.

Thinking of bringing your kids? Here’s what to expect:

What to expect

Jerry Longe is in his 12th year of portraying Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” Photo courtesy Omaha Community Playhouse

– This is a huge production. The cast is quite large, the sets look remarkable, and the costumes are to die for. When the curtain goes up for that first number, you’ll be wowed by this show. It’s community theater at a different level.

– Jerry Longe has played Ebenezer Scrooge for 12 years, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Granted, I’ve seen Dick Boyd in the role many years back and thought the same. But, Longe really has made this role his own. He adds some fun touches that made my son laugh.

– There’s a surprise at the end of the production. Don’t sneak out when you think it’s over. Just wait.

Timing a potty break

Having a drink in the show? Better know when best to time the restroom break.

The first act is 70 minutes long, so if you or your kid has a small bladder, go before the show begins. The intermission is long enough for a restroom break, though, if you can hold it.

The whole show is about 2 hours and 20 minutes with the intermission. If you partake in any of the Christmas cheer in the lobby (AKA, drinks), you might not last until the end.

What ages would like this best?

Cookies are good rewards for sitting nicely through a 70-minute first act.

This is suitable for most ages, though kids under 3 are not permitted. Early grade school ages would be great ages to introduce this show. The length of the show, though, makes me think that it may be a test of attention spans on really young ones.

Also, I will say this: There are a couple parts that may scare young ones. When the ghost of Jacob Marley arrives, he’s accompanied minions. Those little goblin kids are the stuff of nightmares. (I think they bothered me more than my son)

The Ghost of Christmas Future might also scare kids. I remember the big things being a lot scarier, but it wasn’t so bad this time around. Maybe I’ve grown up.

My son’s a second grader and thought the music was one of the best parts of the show, so there you have it.

If your kid catch the acting bug while seeing this show (there are a TON of kids in the ensemble), then I recommend signing them up for the Henry Fonda Theatre Academy at the Playhouse. Here’s my post about the acting class for ages 4-6 and for acting class for ages 7-10.

What’s it about again?

Jerry Longe plays Ebenezer Scrooge during his journey with the Ghost of Christmas Past. “A Christmas Carol” is at Omaha Community Playhouse through Dec. 23, 2017. Photo courtesy Omaha Community Playhouse

“A Christmas Carol” is one of Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition. Grumpy and greedy Ebenezer Scrooge goes on a life-changing journey led by three ghosts.

If you go to “A Christmas Carol”

“A Christmas Carol”

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

When: Now through Dec. 23; performances are Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Thursdays–Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.,
and Sundays, 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. (No performances on Weds., Nov. 22 and Thurs., Nov. 23.)

Cost: Before Dec. 13, tickets start at $38 (adults) and $25 (students). Dec. 13-23, tickets start at $42 (adults) and $29 (students). For groups of 12 or more, tickets are $32 (adults) and $18 (students) for all dates. On sale now at the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com or www.TicketOmaha.com.

November 14, 2017

Best Omaha Christmas Experiences {Giveaways}

A few weeks ago, I shared the following list for a quick game of Omaha Holidays Never Have I Ever. It featured some of most unforgettable Omaha Christmas experiences and holiday traditions. Did you play along? (I got 1 point since I’ve never heard one of the holiday concerts at Joslyn Art Museum…I made up the list, so I guess it’s tilted in my favor.)

With Never Have I Ever, the fewer points the better. When I first shared this list, most people were getting 11 and 12 points.

 

I’ve created lists like this before (like this crazy popular one), and usually, people can brag about how many they’ve done on the list. But, for this list, most people commented saying they hadn’t done ANY of them…or maybe only one of them.

So, let’s fix that. Time to send some readers and their families (or friends) out to enjoy some of Omaha’s most unforgettable holiday experiences.

Omaha Christmast Experience Giveaway

You can enter all giveaways or just pick the ones that interest your family the most. Giveaways start at 7 a.m. on the days listed and winners will be drawn at about that time, as well. Good luck and may this be a holiday season you’ll never forget! Thank you to all the organizations listed below that provided the passes for these giveaways!

 

Win admission for 4 to The Durham Museum

The Durham Museum’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is Nov. 24, 2017. The largest indoor tree around is on display through Jan. 7, 2018. Photo courtesy The Durham Museum

Every year, The Durham Museum kicks off “Christmas at Union Station” with a huge event to light the enormous real tree in the lobby. It’s an unforgettable experience singing with hundreds of others and then joining in the countdown. Winner of this giveaway could use their pass to attend the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. (tree lighting will be around 7 p.m.), or visit another time. “Christmas at Union Station” runs through Jan. 7, 2018, and has quite a few special events throughout the season like nights where you can see Santa at the museum and the Ethnic Holiday Festival.

Giveaway begins: Nov. 14 (winner will be drawn and announced on Nov. 16)

Prize: Admission for four (4) to The Durham Museum

To enter: Visit Oh My! Omaha on Facebook and comment on the post specific to “Christmas at Union Station” for your chance to win admission for four to The Durham Museum!

 

Win 4 tickets to Omaha Community Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol”

Jerry Longe plays Ebenezer Scrooge during his journey with the Ghost of Christmas Past. “A Christmas Carol” is at Omaha Community Playhouse through Dec. 23, 2017. Photo courtesy Omaha Community Playhouse

It’s safe to say that after four decades of presenting “A Christmas Carol” at Omaha Community Playhouse, it’s an Omaha tradition. Charles Dickens’ tale about Ebenezer Scrooge is truly a classic, and OCP has perfected it with exquisite costumes and sets, impressive effects and the great choreography. “A Christmas Carol” runs Nov. 17 through Dec. 23 at Omaha Community Playhouse. I’ve seen it a number of times and I’m pretty excited to take my son to his first performance this year. Stay tuned for my review!

Giveaway begins: Nov. 16 (winner will be drawn and announced on Nov. 18)

Prize: Four (4) tickets to see Omaha Community Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol” on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m.

To enter: Visit Oh My! Omaha on Facebook and comment on the post specific to “A Christmas Carol” for your chance to win four tickets to see this holiday classic at the Omaha Community Playhouse! Tickets may not be exchanged for a different performance.

 

Win 4 passes to Lauritzen Gardens’ Holiday Poinsettia Show

Laurtizen Garden’s Holiday Poinsettia Show runs Nov. 24, 2017 through Jan. 4, 2018. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

Lauritzen Gardens displays thousands of poinsettias each year in its gorgeous Holiday Poinsettia Show inside the floral display hall. The 20-foot tall poinsettia tree is impressive for sure, and kids are certain to love watching the model train move around the display featuring miniature Omaha landmarks. Keep tabs on special holiday events planned through the season, or when you can see the Holiday Poinsettia Show AGLOW, here. The poinsettias are on display Nov. 24, 2017 through Jan. 4, 2018.

Giveaway begins: Nov. 20 (winner will be drawn and announced on Nov. 22)

Prize: Admission for four (4) to the Lauritzen Gardens

To enter: Visit Oh My! Omaha on Facebook and comment on the post specific to “Holiday Poinsettia Show” for your chance to win admission for four to Lauritzen Gardens!

 

Win 4 tickets to Ballet Nebraska’s “The Nutcracker”

Nebraska Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. the Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs and Dec. 2 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater. “The Nutcracker” is an annual tradition and must be seen at least once! Set to one of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s most famous scores, it includes a cast of 130 professional and student dancers, and features lavish sets and more than 250 beautiful costumes.

Giveaway begins: Nov. 22 (winner will be drawn and announced on Nov. 24)

Prize: Four (4) tickets to see Ballet Nebraska’s “The Nutcracker” on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.

To enter: Visit Oh My! Omaha on Facebook and comment on the post specific to “The Nutcracker” for your chance to win four tickets to see this holiday classic at the Orpheum Theater! Tickets may not be exchanged for a different performance.

 

 

Win admission for 4 to Omaha Children’s Museum

“Santa’s Magic” runs Nov. 24 through Dec. 23 at Omaha Children’s Museum. Photo courtesy Omaha Children’s Museum

Full disclosure: I work at Omaha Children’s Museum. Omaha Children’s Museum has its annual holiday interactive show, “Santa’s Magic,” that runs Nov. 24 through Dec. 23. The show includes includes indoor snowfall (AKA, bubbles), which I’ve seen first-hand a number of times and it never gets old watching children delight in the magic. It’s also a pretty awe-inspiring experience for kids to have Santa call them by name to hear their wish list.  The show is included with admission.

Giveaway begins: Nov. 27 (winner will be drawn and announced on Nov. 29)

Prize: Admission for four (4) to the museum

To enter: Visit Oh My! Omaha on Facebook and comment on the post specific to “Santa’s Magic” for your chance to win admission for four to Omaha Children’s Museum!

 

Win 4 tickets to Omaha Symphony’s “Christmas Celebration”

Every year, Omaha Symphony presents a family-friendly holiday show called “Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration,” complete with soaring classic and contemporary Christmas songs (of course) and the always-memorable dancing Santas. Broadway singers join with conductor Ernest Richardson and the Omaha Symphony in the show. I’ve brought the kids to it before and I can affirm this show appeals across generations. “Christmas Celebration” is at the Holland Performing Arts Center Dec. 9-17.

Giveaway begins: Nov. 28 (winner will be drawn and announced on Nov. 30)

Prize: Four (4) tickets to Omaha’s Symphony’s “Christmas Celebration” on Friday, Dec. 15.

To enter: Visit Oh My! Omaha on Facebook and comment on the post specific to ” Omaha’s Symphony’s Christmas Celebration” for your chance to win four tickets to the Dec. 15 performance! Tickets may not be exchanged for a different performance.

 

There are dozens more holiday performances, shows and FREE activities around Omaha in 2017. See the Ultimate Omaha Holiday Events List for details.

 

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November 8, 2017

My STEM Gift Guide

You can find STEM activities for kids all over Omaha these days. I see it at my work (Omaha Children’s Museum), and it pops up at places like The Durham Museum’s latest exhibit and you’ll see it daily at Do Space. Kids got a taste of it this summer at KANEKO’s special exhibit, too (with a little art added for some STEAM). It’s no wonder it’s making me think of STEM gift gifts this Christmas.

Experiences at those four places inspired this STEM gift guide (though, sorry Nano lovers, I didn’t include any in it). You can gift experiences or you can gift these toys with a purpose. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, a purchase made through the link helps me earn a small fee for referring you. Thanks in advance!

My STEM Gift Guide

This STEM gift guide covers a variety of ages, though, the more for the early elementary school ages because that’s what I’m most familiar with. In case you’re wondering which toy my kids return to over and over again, it’s the Magna Tiles. They’re so worth investing in buying more than one set.

 

Pictured in the gift guide (clockwise from top left): Crazy Scientist Lab Water Gel Science (ages ), $22.99; Cyber Robot (ages 13+), $54.95; Magna Tiles 32-piece set (ages 3+), $49.99; Robot Turtles Game (ages 4+), $24.99; Coggy (ages 6+), $14.95; Offbits (ages 6+), $14.95 Learning Resources Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set (ages 5+), $59.99 (note: the price quoted is from Amazon, but it’s $4 cheaper right now at Fat Brian Toy).

Gift STEM Experiences

While gifting a STEM experiences is not something Santa can get away with (unless it’s a Disney trip, right?), but great relatives can. What I mean by “experience,” is doing something with the child rather than giving them a thing. With a kid who has a December birthday, I’m all for urging family to give him experiences instead of more stuff to add to the birthday bounty he just received.

Here are some ideas:

– One of the kids’ aunts gifts them one-day camps or classes. She goes with them to the classes so it’s a fun day out for the kids. My kids love animals so those suggestions don’t fit the definition of STEM, but they are gifts I can vouch that kids loved. The recent favorites have been a HETRA summer camp (great for the young horse lovers out there) and Omaha zoo LION programs (so many to choose from and for many ages).

– You can gift a kid (or let’s be honest, the kid’s parents) a family membership where STEM exploration is encouraged. I’m totally biased, by Omaha Children’s Museum is perfect for the under 8 crowd. They offer a gift membership. I’m not 100% what the equivalent would be for older kids. Anyone have recommendations?

 

Share your STEM gift ideas in the comment section!

 

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November 1, 2017

Ultimate Omaha Holiday Events List

Omaha is the best place for a family to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 2017. You can find free activities, every kind of live performance from ballet to orchestra to rock, and a ton of chances to meet Santa around town.

Got a kid-free night ahead of you? Good, I also included some activities that are perfect for a holiday date night.

Pin this post because I will add to this list often!

 

 

Holiday Decor 

When: Nov. 4 through Jan. 7; weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: General Crook House Museum, 5730 No. 30th St. 11b

What: Tour the museum while enjoying complimentary apple cider and cookies. The Victorian-style home is decorated throughout for Christmas.

Cost: Suggested donation is $7, adults, and $5, children

 

“A Christmas Story” Screening

When: Nov. 10, 7 p.m.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, Witherspoon Hall, 2200 Dodge St.

What: See a screening of the movie with special guests, Scott Schwartz (Flick in the movie) and Zack Ward (Scut Farkus). They’ll take pictures with you and sign autographs.

Cost: $24

 

Neighborhood Toy Store Day

When: Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Fat Brain Toys, 16909 Burke St., Suite 131

What: A celebration of Neighborhood Toy Store Day and holiday season kick off with real reindeer, fun photo area, hot chocolate and crafts.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday at Hogwarts

When: Nov. 11, noon to 3 p.m.

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

What: A Harry Potter-themed event with an owlery, forbidden forest, and costume parade.

Cost: $15, general admission; $5, members; and FREE for kids 2 & under

 

Winterfest: Annual Bayliss Park Holiday Lighting 

When: Nov. 16, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Bayliss Park, 599 First Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: An outdoor lighting ceremony.

Cost: FREE

 

Project Reindeer at the Union Pacific Museum

When: Nov. 16, 6 to 8 p.m.

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

What: Meet two of Santa’s backup reindeers.

Cost: FREE

 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

When: Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: Part rock concert, part light show, and a good dose of Christmas spirit.

Cost: $42-$67

 

“A Tale of Two Dickens”

When: Nov. 17 and 18; performances are Friday at 3 p.m. (tea is at 2) and at 7 p.m. (cocktails at 6), and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (beverages at 10) and 3:30 p.m. (tea at 2:30)

Where: The Field Club of Omaha, 3615 Woolworth Ave., except for the Friday evening performance which is at General Crook House Museum, 5730 N. 30th St.

What: Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens, will portray Dickens characters in performances of “A Chance Encounter with Mr. Dickens” (Friday at Field Club at 2 p.m. and Saturday at Field Club at 10:30 a.m.); “A Tale of Two Cities” (Friday at Crook House at 7:30 p.m.); and “A Christmas Carol” (at Field Club Saturday at 3:30 p.m.). The Madrigali et. al. singers will perform traditional Christmas songs during the cocktail hour prior to the performance of “A Tale of Two Cities.”

Cost: Tickets to “A Chance Encounter with Mr. Dickens” Friday at 3 p.m. are $37 for Douglas County Historical Society members and $40 for non-members; “A Tale of Two Cities” tickets are $75 on Friday at 7 p.m.; “A Chance Encounter with Mr. Dickens” on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. is $40 for members with a mimosa, $25 for members with a non-alcoholic drink, $35 for non-member with a mimosa, and $30 for a non-member with a non-alcoholic drink; tickets to “A Christmas Carol” are $37 for a member and $40 for non-member.

 

“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”

When: Nov. 17-19; performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Where: Suckau Memorial Chapel, 840 Pine St.

What: Grace University Theatre Department will present this production.

Cost: $7, general admission, and $10, preferred seating

 

“A Christmas Carol”

When: Nov. 17 though Dec. 23; performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 6:30 p.m., and Wednesday performances on Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, and Dec. 20 at 7 p.m., and Thursdays, Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

What: This is an annual tradition on stage in Omaha. Read What To Expect If You Bring Kids “A Christmas Carol.”

Cost: $38

 

Gingerbread House Display at Historic Winter Quarters

When: Nov. 18 through Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the center closes at 3 P.M. on Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Where: Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters, 3215 State St.

What: It’s an annual gingerbread house display that’s free to visit. This year’s theme is “Pioneer’s Christmas.” See pictures from last year’s festival here!

Cost: FREE

 

Gingerbread House Display at Kanesville Tabernacle

When: Nov. 18 through Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the center closes at 3 P.M. on Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Where: Kanesville Tabernacle, 222 East Broadway, Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: It’s an annual gingerbread house display that’s free to visit. This year’s theme is “Pioneer’s Christmas.”

Cost: FREE

 

Holly Jolly Boutique

When: Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: il Palazzo, 5110 N. 132nd St.

What: A holiday boutique featuring homemade goods from local artisans.

Cost: FREE

 

Bench: MADE Holiday 2017

When: Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: MIDCO Warehouse, 1141 N. 11th St.

What: More than 50 craftsmen and vendors from around the region will showcase and sell their goods.

Cost: FREE

 

Milk and Cookies With Santa

When: Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to noon

Where: Westroads Mall Von Maur Court, 10000 California St.

What: Enjoy milk or OJ and a cookie, and then Santa will arrive, greet the children and read them a story or two. Then, the children will line up and help him walk through the magic doors to his chair to start the holiday season.

Cost: FREE

 

“A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage!”

When: Nov. 18, 1 and 4 p.m.

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

What: A live version of Charlie Brown Christmas.

Cost: $20-$56

 

“Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite”

When: Nov. 19, 2 p.m.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

What: Omaha Symphony members will perform music from “Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite”

Cost: $33

 

NRG Energy Ice Rink

When: Nov. 21 through Feb. 14, 2018; hours are Sundays–Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 1 p.m. to midnight, Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve, 1 to 5 p.m. (opening ceremony is Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.)

Where: The Capitol District, 11th Street and Capitol Avenue

What: Outdoor skating in downtown Omaha.

Cost: $8, includes skate rental (admission is still required for patrons who bring their own skates) and benefits the Food Bank for the Heartland.

 

Holiday Harmony

When: Nov. 22, Nov. 24-26, and Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10, and Dec. 15-23, various times

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: Enjoy live music amid the festive garden surroundings.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

 

Deck The Park

When: Nov. 22 (lights on at dusk)

Where: Midtown Crossing, 33rd and Farnam streets

What: Enjoy discounts at some of the stores and restaurants, plus see the trees light up for the season at dusk.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Lights Festival Downtown Holiday Lights

When: Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2018, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly ( Thanksgiving Lighting Festival event is Nov. 23, 6 to 7 p.m.)

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

What: Trees around the Old Market and mall are lit up for Christmas.

Cost: FREE

 

Making Spirits Bright Holiday Concert

When: Nov. 23, 7 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: This free concert is part of the Holiday Lights Festival kick-off.

Cost: FREE

 

“Santa’s Magic”

When: Nov. 24 through Dec. 23, multiple shows daily

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

What: An interactive exhibit featuring Santa, the Snow Queen, elves and indoor snow. Be sure to come with your wish list.

Cost: Included with regular Museum admission, which is $12 for ages 2+, $11 for seniors, and FREE for children younger than 24 months and members

 

Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: Nov. 24, 4 to 8 p.m. (tree lighting at approximately 7)

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

What: Meet Santa, see the Festival of Trees and countdown the tree lighting at Durham Museum.

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for children 3-12; and free for members and children age 2 and under.

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show

When: Nov. 24 through Jan. 4, 2018 (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day);

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: This indoor flower show is perfect for the holidays, plus the indoor model train is always a hit with kids.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

 

Christmas At Union Station

When: Nov. 24 through Jan. 7, 2018

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

What: See the region’s largest Christmas tree, the Ethnic Holiday Tree Exhibit, and meet Santa (Saturdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays, Nov. 26-Dec. 17, 1-3 p.m.; Tuesdays in December, 5 to 8 p.m.). Holiday Concert Series performances are Saturdays at 10 a.m., Sundays at 1 p.m., and Tuesdays (in December) at 5 p.m. Family Nights With Santas are every Tuesday in December from 5 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for children 3-12; and free for members and children age 2 and under.

Never been to The Durham Museum? Here’s a Durham Museum primer for families before your first visit.

 

14th Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Village Pointe

When: Nov. 24, 6 p.m.

Where: Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St.

What: Holiday concert at 6 p.m., Santa parade at 7 p.m., and free carriage rides until 10 p.m.

Cost: FREE

 

Lights of Aksarben

When: Fridays, Nov. 24 through Dec. 15, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Aksarben Village, 67th and Center streets

What: Enjoy treats and hot drinks in a heated tent, carriage rides and face painting, and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Cost: FREE

 

Handmade Omaha Winter Art & Craft Bazaar

When: Nov. 25 and 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Bancroft Street Market, 2702 S. 10th St.

What: Shop locally-made, handmade goods

Cost: FREE

 

Rockbrook Village Holiday Market

When: Nov. 25, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Rockbrook Village, 10819 Prairie Brook Road

What: Shop local makers and vendors from around the Midwest, enjoy churros and chocolate from Little España, and see Santa (from 2 to 6 p.m.)

Cost: FREE

 

Santa Visit

When: Saturdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23, and Sundays, Nov. 26-Dec. 17, noon

Where: Hollywood Candy, 1209 Jackson St.

What: Get a picture with Santa and enjoy crafts in the diner.

Cost: FREE

 

Sounds of the Season

When: Saturdays, Nov. 25 through Dec. 23, 7 to 8 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market

What: Carolers and performers will be performing on Saturday nights.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show AGLOW

When: Nov. 25 and 26; Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 15-23, 26-30; and Jan. 2-3, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: Visit the poinsettia show in the evening to see it in a new light.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

 

Santa’s Sleigh Ride

When: Nov. 26, 3 to 7 p.m.

Where: La Vista, Neb.

What: Santa will begin his route around La Vista at 3 p.m., leaving from the Santa’s Workshop parking lot at 8305 Parkview Blvd. He will be east of 84th Street from 3-5 p.m. and west of 84th Street from 5-7 p.m. Santa will stop for five minutes at each location designated with a stop sign.

Cost: FREE

 

“Elf” Movie Party

When: Nov. 26, 27 and 29; screenings on Nov. 26 at 6 and 7 p.m., and on Nov. 27 and 29 at 7 p.m.

Where: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 12750 Westport Parkway, La Vista, Neb.

What: Screen the movie with  props, a themed contest before the film, and a “real” snowball fight in the theater.

Cost: $12.90 (kids under age 6 are not permitted)

 

Tree Lighting Celebration & Soup Supper

When: Nov. 27, 5:45 p.m. (Santa arrives at 6)

Where: City Hall and Community Center, 8116 Park View Blvd., and Santa’s Workshop, 8305 Park View Blvd.

What:  This annual event includes live entertainment and Santa, followed by a soup supper.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Music by George Walker

When: Nov. 30, noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

What: Free musical performance

Cost: FREE

 

Lights On Dundee

When: Nov. 30, 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: 49th Street to 51st Street along Underwood Avenue

What: Visit local shops for Christmas activities and treats, including Santa at Scout, ornament making at Craft Saloon, and hayrakc rides by Dundee Bank.

Cost: FREE

 

“Cirque Musica Holiday Presents: BELIEVE”

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

Where: CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.

What: An incredible spectacle of performances accompanied by favorite holiday songs performed by a live symphony orchestra.

Cost: $33-$93

 

Elf on the Shelf at Omaha Public Libraries

When: Dec. 1-22

Where: Millard branch and Elkhorn branch

What: Find the Elf on the Shelf each day to win a prize.

Cost: FREE

 

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

When: Dec. 1-23; performances are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., and a 7 p.m. performance on Saturday, Dec. 16

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St.

What: The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. So, when they crash Sunday school and demand parts in the Christmas pageant, the whole town panics. There’s not supposed to be biting in Bethlehem, and while these kids have never even heard the Christmas story, they definitely have rewrites! Soon everyone from the terrified pint-sized shepherds to the furious church ladies are calling for reluctant director Grace Bradley to cancel the whole thing. It’s up to Grace and the Reverend to help their community see the Christmas story (and the Herdman kids) through new eyes in this hilarious musical adaptation of the funny and touching holiday classic. Good for ages 5+.

Cost: $20 for members and $27 for non-members on the main floor, and $15 for members and $22 for non-members on the balcony

 

First Friday Family Date Night – Winter Wonder Fun

When: Dec. 1, 5 to 8 p.m.

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

What: Enjoy winter-themed activities like Hot & Cold Science Show and Snowman Bingo, plus meet Santa and friends inside the special exhibit, Santa’s Magic.

Cost: Included with regular Museum admission, which is $12 for ages 2+, $11 for seniors, and FREE for children younger than 24 months and members

 

Ugly Sweater Night with Santa

When: Dec. 1, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Westroads Mall Von Maur Court, 10000 California St.

What: Put on your ugliest sweater for Santa. (There are a whole lot of details on this one yet)

Cost: ?

 

Santa Goes To Space

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

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

What: It’s Santa Claus and Star Wars, with kids activities and free planetarium shows.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $12, adults; $11, seniors and military; $6, children (ages 4-12); and FREE for children 3 and younger)

 

Morning With Santa

When: Dec. 2, 10:30 a.m. to noon

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

What: Morning includes storytime with Santa, bounce and playtime in the gym, reindeer food making, writing a letter to Santa, coloring and decorating your own “snow globe,” and more! There will be live holiday music and bananas and bagels for snacks.

Cost: FREE

 

Physicians Mutual and WOWT Holiday Market

When: Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Aksarben Village, 1920 S. 67th St.

What: Shop theGerman-style open-air market housed under heated tents with more than 55 local vendors. Santa is there Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Cost: FREE

 

Hot Shops Art Center’s 17th Annual Winter Open House

When: Dec. 2 and 3; hours are Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas St.

What: View artist studios, demonstrations, and shop the galleries.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Open House – Live Piano Music

When: Dec. 2, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

What: Hear piano students perform songs.

Cost: FREE

 

Ballet Nebraska’s “The Nutcracker”

When: Dec. 2 and 3; performances are Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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

What: The enchanting ballet set to one of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s most famous scores.

Cost: $27-$87

 

Small Guy Promotions Holiday Fair

When: Dec. 2, 2 to 6 p.m.

Where: Hope Skate, 2200 N. 20th St.

What: Shop local with some of our small businesses and also meet some of the great non-profit organizations in our community.

Cost: FREE

 

Winter Wonderland

When: Dec. 2, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Fontenelle Forest

What: See the forest after hours to see the holiday lights, meet Santa in the woods, and enjoy s’mores, cocoa and caroling by the fire pits.

Cost: $3 for members, $13 for non-members

 

Breakfast With Santa

When: Dec. 2, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Quaker Steak and Lube, 3320 Mid America Drive, Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: It’s exactly like it sounds! Since it’s a fundraiser, you’ll pay a little extra to get a picture with Santa.

Cost: $5 (photos with Santa are $5 more), benefits Make-A-Wish Iowa

 

Visit Santa’s Workshop

When: Dec. 2, 5, 9 & 16, 9 a.m. to noon, and Dec. 7 & 14, 4 to 7 p.m.; on Dec. 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. school aged kids can write letters

Where: La Vista Falls Clubhouse, 8305 Parkview Blvd., La Vista, Neb.

What: Visit with Santa, decorate cookies, enjoy hot chocolate and explore his workshop! Reindeer will be present on Dec. 7 and 14. Santa will not be present on Dec. 6.

Cost: FREE

 

The Rooftop Rink at Midtown Crossing

When: Dec. 2 through Feb. 25, 2018; hours are

Where: Parking garage near Wohlner’s Neighborhood Grocery & Deli, 3253 Dodge St.

What: Ice skate on a synthetic ice rink on the rooftop of a parking garage.

Cost: $5 donation (includes skates), benefits Salvation Army

 

Holiday Happenings

When: Dec. 2, 9 and 16, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

What: Catch a glimpse of special holiday characters as they dive into the shark tunnel inside the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium. Enrichment activities for zoo residents throughout the day.

Cost: Free to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium members or with regular paid Zoo admission.

 

Wizard’s Yule Ball

When: Dec. 2, 6 to 10:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Comfort Inn & Suites Central, 7007 Grover St.

What: A Harry Potter-themed holiday event.

Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 4-10, and children younger than 4 admitted FREE. Adult tickets go up to $15 after Nov. 1. Tickets available here.

 

Wells Fargo Family Festival

When: Dec. 3, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Wells Fargo Bank, 1919 Douglas St.; Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.; Omaha Police Mounted Patrol Barn, 615 Leavenworth St.; The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.; W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St.; and Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

What: Each location has special activities planned, or just the opportunity to see exhibits and/or pay. Some locations will have treats or hot cocoa. Trolley rides are available, for free, to each location.

Cost: FREE

Read my Beginners Guide To the Family Festival here!

 

Joyful Noise: A Gospel Christmas featuring Salem Baptist Church

When: Dec. 3, 4 and 7 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: An upbeat celebration featuring musical performances, theater and dance.

Cost: $15

 

Lindsey Stirling: Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour

When: Dec. 4, 8 p.m.

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

What: Lindsey was the “hip-hop violinist” on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2010.

Cost: $39.50-$269

 

Christmas Creepers and Minecraft Fun

When: Dec. 5, 4 p.m.

Where: La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road, La Vista, Neb.

What: Make Minecraft-related crafts for yourself or to give as gifts. Bring your own handheld device
with Minecraft on it to play at the library.

Cost: FREE

 

Santa Party

When: Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Omaha Public Library Sorenson branch, 4808 Cass St.

What: Read stories about Santa and his reindeer and making Santa crafts, plus enjoy the gym and bounce house.

Cost: FREE

 

“The Madrigal Christmasse Feaste”

When: Dec. 5-8, 6 p.m. warming time and dinner/show begins at 7 p.m.

Where: Omaha Marriott Hotel, 10220 Regency Circle

What: Celebrate Christmas Renaissance-style with a yearly interactive dinner theatre.

Cost: $54 per person

 

Crafty Tots Holiday Activities

When: Dec. 6 and 20, 11 a.m.

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

What: On Dec. 6, make a doily snowman craft and on Dec. 20 make a footprint reindeer. Activities are for children younger than 5 years old. Supplies available for the first 30 children.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Under Glass

When: Wednesdays and Fridays, Dec. 6-22, noon

Where: Joslyn Art Musem

What: Holiday concert over the lunch hour.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Music

When: Dec. 6, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

What: Anita Jaynes will perform holiday favorites on the harp.

Cost: FREE

 

Straight No Chaser: The Speakeasy Tour

When: Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.

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

What: An a cappella group that will perform holiday and popular tunes.

Cost: $29-$74

 

Pete The Cat Saves Christmas Party

When: Dec. 8, 10 a.m.

Where: La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road, La Vista, Neb.

What: Songs, crafts and Pete the Cat holiday stories

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday PJ Night With Santa

When: Dec. 8, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Westroads Mall Von Maur Court, 10000 California St.

What: It’s a PJ party at the North Pole. (There are a whole lot of details on this one yet)

Cost: ?

 

Out & About Storytime at Hy-Vee with Santa

When: Dec. 9, 10 a.m.

Where: Hy-Vee, 15603 West Maple Road

What: Read books, sing a song, and get pictures with Santa.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Music 

When: Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Willa Cather branch,

What: Holiday music performed by Cecilia Jensen

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Creations, Coffee & Cocktails

When: Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Hotel RL, 3321 S. 72nd St.

What: Shop and enjoy drinks made at the coffee bar

Cost: FREE

Read my review about Hotel RL and the waterpark here!

 

Library Holiday Open House

When: Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road, La Vista, Neb.

What: Holiday music, refreshments and view the library’s doll houses

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Happening

When: Dec. 9 and 10, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: Get pictures with Santa Claus, make a craft, listen to festive carols from local performance groups, tour the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory, enjoy holiday treats in front of the crackling fireplace in the café and walk through the beautiful holiday poinsettia show.

Cost: A $3 program fee for all participating children is charged, along with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children (6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

 

 

Boys Town Christmas Family Festival

When: Dec. 9, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Boys Town, 137th and West Dodge Road, Boys Town, Neb.

What: The festival around the campus includes craft making, cookie decorating, and meeting Santa and his reindeer.

Cost: FREE

 

Afternoon With Santa

When: Dec. 9, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

What: Enjoy a lively telling of the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” sing holiday songs in the Florence Branch’s Meeting Room, get pictures with Santa in the gym, and make crafts and activities. Groups of 5 or more, should call ahead.

Cost: FREE

 

Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration

When: Dec. 9-17; performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: An annual tradition on stage featuring the orchestra, dancing Santas, singers and more.

Cost: $19-79

 

Holiday at Hogwarts

When: Dec. 9-23; performances are Dec. 9, 14-16, 21-23 at 7:30 p.m. (door opens at 7)

Where: Apollon Art Space, 1801 Vinton St.

What: An interactive performance and dinner.

Cost: $35 and Deluxe Package tickets are $60 and are available here

 

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

When: Dec. 9, 8 p.m.

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

What: A dozen dancers, a DJ and an electric violinist reimagine a holiday classic.

Cost: $20-$60

 

Beer Corner USA Christkindl Holiday Market

When: Dec. 10, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: The Huber Haus German Bier Hall, Farnam St.

What: Shop local vendors and enjoy warm drinks.

Cost: FREE

 

Winter Family Craft

When: Dec. 10, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

What: Family crafting activity making holiday decorations

Cost: FREE

 

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” Screening

When: Dec. 10, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Hollywood Candy, 1209 Jackson St.

What: Visit the coolest Old Market candy shop and watch the movie in their small theater. There will be treats available for purchase.

Cost: FREE

 

Light Up Cards Craft

When: Dec. 12, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch, 4808 Cass St.

What: Take a lesson in light-up cards using Chibitronics electronic stickers and various other supplies. Registration is required. There’s a session for kids and one for teens.

Cost: FREE

 

Story Time With St. Nick

When: Dec. 13, 10 a.m.

Where: La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road, La Vista, Neb.

What: Sing Christmas songs, listen to Santa read a story and get your picture taken with him! For children ages 5 and younger.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Harp Music

When: Dec. 13, 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

What: Hear holiday music performed by performed by Grace Spath, harpist & singer. Refreshments will be served.

Cost: FREE

 

Supper with Santa

When: December 13-17, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

What: Enjoy a spaghetti dinner, cookie decorating, craft stations, story time, exploring Scott Aquarium and of course pictures with Santa!

Cost: $18 per person for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium members, $23 for non-members and children 2 and under are FREE. Reservations are required for this all-inclusive event. Reservations will open in December.

 

Holiday Music 

When: Dec. 14, noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard branch,

What: Joyce Miller’s Bit of Bronze will perform holiday favorites on bells.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Craft: Snow Globes & Reindeer Food

When: Dec. 14, 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Elkhorn branch, 2100 Reading Plaza, Elkhorn, Neb.

What: DIY snow globes and reindeer food activity for children in preschool through elementary. Parents should assist their young children.

Cost: FREE

 

Jazz Piano Holiday Music

When: Dec. 15, noon to 2 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St.

What: Enjoy holiday music performed on jazz piano by Robert Glaser.

Cost: FREE

 

Yule Ball Lock-In

When: Dec. 15, 5 to 9 p.m.

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

What: Come dressed as your favorite witch or wizard (dress robes are optional). Magical food, games, and activities will be available. This event is open to 30 participants, ages 12-18. Registration is required.

Cost: FREE

 

Gingerbread House Making

When: Dec. 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St.

What: Build a gingerbread house (all supplies are included at this drop-in event).

Cost: FREE

 

Santa Visits Storytime

When: Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Washington branch,

What: Sing songs and listen to story time with Santa.

Cost: FREE

 

Ugly Holiday Sweaters

When: Dec. 16, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Willa Cather branch, 1905 S. 44th St.

What: Make an ugly sweater during this craft time.

Cost: FREE

 

Teen Movie Day & Hot Chocolate Bar

When: Dec. 16, 3 to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

What: Vote on a winter movie and enjoy hot chocolate while watching it.

Cost: FREE

 

Milk & Cookies With Santa

When: Dec. 16, 6 to 9 p.m.

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

What: It’s an after-hours special event story time with Santa Claus and an exclusive showing of Santa’s Magic, crafts, milk & hot chocolate bar, cookie and stocking decorating, and unlimited train and carousel rides. Each family gets a free printed picture with Santa, as well.

Cost: $20 per person for members and $35 per person for non-members.

Nebraska Brass Band Christmas Carol Service

When: Dec. 16, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Where: 2825 Y St.

What: 20 different groups will perform as one to celebrate Christmas.

Cost: FREE with a toy donation

 

Christmas with the Annie Moses Band

When: Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College, 2700 College Road, Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: Christmas with the Annie Moses Band stands on the PBS charts as one of the most played specials of the season.

Cost: $29-$39

 

Forever Young Family & Children’s Series “Muppet’s Christmas”

When: Dec. 16, 17 & 21

Where: Film Streams at Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

What: Forever Young is a film series especially for families with low-price kids tickets.

Cost: $10, adults; $7.50, seniors, students, teachers, military; $5, members; $2.50, kids (12 and younger)

 

Sugar Cooking Decorating

When: Dec. 19, 4 p.m.

Where: La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road, La Vista, Neb.

What: Decorate cookies and listen to holiday music! All ages including teens and ‘tweens are invited.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Craft Hullabaloo

When: Dec. 19, 4 to 6 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Benson branch, 6015 Binney St.

What: All ages crafting activities with refreshments and music.

Cost: FREE

 

Get Crafty: Holiday Edition

When: Dec. 20, 5 to 6 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St.

What: Create light up holiday cards using Chibitronic LED stickers and make DIY gifts. For ages 8-12.

Cost: FREE

 

Get Crafty: Holiday Craft

When: Dec. 21, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch, 4808 Cass St.

What: It’s a holiday-themed family craft time.

Cost: FREE

 

Christmas Colorpalooza

When: Dec. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road, La Vista, Neb.

What: Christmas coloring and doodling sheets for all ages (parental participation required)

Cost: FREE

 

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

When: December 22 and 23, 7:30 p.m.

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

What: A holiday concert full of multimedia special effects.

Cost: $38.25-$78.25

 

Forever Young Family & Children’s Series “It’s a Wonderful Life”

When: Dec. 23, 24, 25, 28, 30 & 31

Where: Film Streams at Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

What: Forever Young is a film series especially for families with low-price kids tickets.

Cost: $10, adults; $7.50, seniors, students, teachers, military; $5, members; $2.50, kids (12 and younger)

 

Penguins and Pancakes

When: Dec. 26 – 30, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

What: Enjoy pancakes from The Pancake Man, crafts and animal visits from the African penguins.

Cost: Member cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-11). Non-member cost is $25 for adults and $20 for children (ages 3-11). Children 2 and under are FREE. Reservations are required. Ticket purchase includes a pancake breakfast, plush penguin toy and admission to the Zoo. Reservations will open in November 2017.

 

Gingerbread Houses

When: Dec. 28, 2 to 3 p.m.

When: Omaha Public Library Washington branch, 2868 Ames Ave.

What: Build a festive “gingerbread” house out of graham crackers, icing, and candy. Registration required; all supplies provided.

Cost: FREE

 

Hogwarts Holiday Lock-In

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

Where: Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

What: Witches and wizards are encouraged to wear their holiday robes for this night of feasting, questing and camaraderie. This program is limited to 24 attendees and they must be between the ages of 7 and 12. Registration is required and a parental permission slip must be signed.

Cost: FREE

 

Noon Year’s Eve

When: Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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

What: Celebrate the New Year with a countdown, bubble wrap stomp and a balloon drop.

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for children 3-12; and free for members and children age 2 and under.

 

Noon Years Eve

When: Dec. 30, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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

What: Dance party, reading areas for family reading, gaming in the teen room, bounce and play in the gym, and a 1,000-balloon drop countdown at noon.

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Nerf Party

When: Dec. 30, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

What: Holiday-inspired Nerf games, pizza and refreshments. Registration required must be between the ages of 11-15. Limited to 20 attendees.

Cost: FREE

 

Noon Year’s Eve

When: Dec. 31, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

What: Entertainment from Joe Cole’s Magic Show, fun activities and an early countdown to 2018 complete with a beach ball drop at noon. Event schedule is as follows: 11:59 a.m. Beach ball drop countdowns begin in the Education and Conference Center in the Scott Aquarium and the Wild Kingdom Pavilion; 12 p.m. Beach balls will drop in the Education and Conference Center in the Scott Aquarium and the Wild Kingdom Pavilion; 12:15 p.m. Joe Cole’s Magic Show in Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Pavilion Auditorium.

Cost: Free to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium members or with regular paid Zoo admission.

 

New Year’s Bash

When: Dec. 31, 6 to 8 p.m.

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

What: Celebrate New Year’s Eve with an evening at the children’s museum with face painting and balloon artist. Special activities include making your own cardboard float for the end-of-night parade and fun countdown.

Cost: $15 per person for members and $25 per person for non-members

 

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular

When: Dec. 31, 7 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

What: Omaha’s big fireworks display to welcome 2018 happens downtown!

Cost: FREE

 

 

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October 23, 2017

Things To Do In Omaha This November

November is the month with an abundance of things to do with your kids, including several top-notch theater performances and free library events.

It’s also the kick-off to the holidays around Omaha, so you’ll find a lot of concerts, Christmas displays and more on this list. If you have an event that should be added, please email me at ohmyomaha (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

 

Llama Llama Visits Story Time

When: Nov. 3, 10 a.m. (Saddlebrook); Nov. 4, 10 a.m. (Benson); Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m. (Millard); Nov. 7, 10 a.m. (Washington); Nov. 8, 10:30 a.m. (W. Dale Clark); Nov. 9, 10 a.m. (Elkhorn); Nov. 10, 10:30 a.m. (Swanson)

Where: Various Omaha Public Library locations

Cost: FREE

 

Out & About Storytime

When: Nov. 3, 10:15 a.m. (Aromas Coffeehouse, 6051 Maple St.); Nov. 3, 10:30 a.m. (Azria Health Montclair, 2525 S. 135th Ave.); Nov. 17, 10:30 a.m. (Do Space,7205 Dodge St.); Nov. 21, 10:30 a.m. (Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.)

Where: Various locations

Cost: FREE

 

Family Night 

When: Nov. 3, 5 to 7 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

First Friday Family Date Night: Superhero Night

When: Nov. 3, 5 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $12 for adults and children, $11 for seniors, FREE for members and children younger than 2

 

Teen Gaming Lock-In

When: Nov. 3, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Charles B. Washington Branch, 2868 Ames Ave.

Cost: FREE (for ages 10-18; registration and permission slip required)

 

“Van Gogh and Me”

When: Nov. 3-12; performances are Fridays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays at 2 and 5 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. (bonus performance on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 5 p.m.)

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: $20; discount vouchers at HyVee food stores’ customer service desks.

 

Three shows on this list are included in the 10 Must-See Shows This Fall in Omaha List! Read about them here.

 

Bird Banding Demonstration

When: Nov. 4, 9 to 11 a.m.

Where: Hitchcock Nature Center lodge, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, Iowa

Cost: FREE, vehicle park entry fee is $2 daily or $10 annually

 

International Games Week Celebration

When: Nov. 4, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library W. Dale Clark (Main) branch, 215 S. 15th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Popping Dance Class

When: Nov. 4, 2 to 3:15 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

Cost: FREE (must be 10 or older)

 

Games Day

When: Nov. 4, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St.

Cost: FREE

 

Blood Drive & Free Day At Fontenelle Forest

When: Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE for those who donate blood to the Red Cross that day

 

Festival of South African Dance

When: Nov. 5, 7 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $15-$30

 

De-Stress Fest

When: Nov. 7, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

Cost: FREE (teens only)

 

Omaha Performing Arts presents “Disney’s The Little Mermaid”

When: Nov. 7-12; performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 and 7 p.m.

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

Cost: Tickets start at $35

 

Mystery at the Library: Tween/Teen Lock-In

When: Nov. 10, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

Cost: FREE (must be 10-15 years old; registration and permission slip required)

 

“A Christmas Story” Screening

When: Nov. 10, 7 p.m.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, Witherspoon Hall, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: $24

 

Veteran’s Recognition Day

When: Nov. 11 during regular hours

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium and Wildlife Safari Park

Cost: FREE admission for veterans and their immediate families; regular admission applies to everyone else

 

Get Smart: Aviation

When: Nov. 11, 10 to 11 a.m.

Where: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Included with museum admission

 

Neighborhood Toy Store Day

When: Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Fat Brain Toys, 16909 Burke St., Suite 131

Cost: FREE

 

A Holiday at Hogwarts

When: Nov. 11, noon to 3 p.m.

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

Cost: $5, members, and $15, non-members

 

Teen Poetry Workshop

When: Nov. 11, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St.

Cost: FREE (recommended grades are 8th through 12th)

 

“The Wizard of Oz” Screening

When: Nov. 11, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Hollywood Candy, 1209 Jackson St.

Cost: FREE

 

Fall Family Craft

When: Nov. 12, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

Cost: FREE

 

S.T.E.A.M. Stations

When: Nov. 15, 3 to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams branch

Cost: FREE (registration required; for elementary and middle school grades)

 

Princess & Superhero Party

When: Nov. 16, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Elkhorn branch, 2100 Reading Plaza, Elkhorn, Neb.

Cost: FREE (recommended for ages 5 and younger)

 

Winterfest: Annual Bayliss Park Holiday Lighting 

When: Nov. 16, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Bayliss Park, 599 First Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE

 

Project Reindeer at the Union Pacific Museum

When: Nov. 16, 6 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

When: Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: $42-$67

 

“The Art of the Brick”

When: Nov. 17 through Feb. 19, 2018

Where: The Capitol District, 222 N. 12th St.

Cost: $20, adults; $18.50, military; and $17.50, children

 

Star Wars Party

When: Nov. 17, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

Cost: FREE (registration required, recommended ages 5-12)

 

“A Christmas Carol”

When: Nov. 17 through Dec. 23; performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 and 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, at 7 p.m.; and Thursdays, Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse,

Cost: $38

 

KinderNature: Seeds Please

When: Nov. 18, 10 to 11 a.m.

Where: Hitchcock Nature Center lodge, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, Iowa

Cost: $5 per child (ages 3-5), vehicle park entry fee required ($2 daily or $10 annually)

 

Milk and Cookies With Santa

When: Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to noon

Where: Westroads Mall Von Maur Court, 10000 California St.

Cost: FREE

 

“A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage!”

When: Nov. 18, 1 and 4 p.m.

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

Cost: $20-$56

 

DIY Fidget Spinners – Teens

When: Nov. 18, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

Cost: FREE

 

“PJ Masks LIVE”

When: Nov. 20, 6 p.m.

Where: Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St., Ralston, Neb.

Cost: $21.50-$95.50

 

NRG Energy Ice Rink

When: Nov. 21 through Feb. 14, 2018; hours are Sundays–Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 1 p.m. to midnight, Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve, 1 to 5 p.m. (opening ceremony is Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.)

Where: The Capitol District, 11th Street and Capitol Avenue

Cost: $8, includes skate rental (admission is still required for patrons who bring their own skates) and benefits the Food Bank for the Heartland.

 

Full STEAM Ahead

When: Nov. 21, 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Benson branch, 6015 Binney St.

Cost: FREE

 

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

When: Nov. 21, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: LaVista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road, LaVista, Neb.

Where: A teen/tween meetup to watch the movie and enjoy snacks.

Cost: FREE

 

Helping Hands Community Event

When: Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: The Wonder Nook, 10806 Prairie Hills Drive

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Lights Festival Downtown Holiday Lights

When: Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2018, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly ( Thanksgiving Lighting Festival event is Nov. 23, 6 to 7 p.m.)

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

Cost: FREE

 

Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: Nov. 24, 4 to 8 p.m. (tree lighting at approximately 7)

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

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for children 3-12; and free for members and children age 2 and under.

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show

When: Nov. 24 through Jan. 4, 2018 (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day);

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

 

Sounds of the Season

When: Saturdays, Nov. 25 through Dec. 23, 7 to 8 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show Aglow

When: Nov. 25 and 26; Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 15-23, 26-30; and Jan. 2-3, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

 

Omaha Symphony and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™”

When: Nov. 25 and 26; performances are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $19-$79

 

“MJ Live”

When: Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m.

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

Cost: $35-$150

 

“Shopkins Live! Shop It Up!”

When: Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m.

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

Cost: $25-$100

 

Holiday Music by George Walker

When: Nov. 30, noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

Cost: FREE

Things to do November

More Fun November Events

The following events are on-going, or had started in a previous month:

“Point A to Point B”

When: Through Nov. 12, performances are on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.; and Mondays at 10 a.m.

Where: The Rose, Hitchcock Stage, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: $12

 

“Zoom into Nano”

When: Through Jan. 7, 2018

Where: 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.

Read more about the exhibit here!

 

“Forever Forest”

When: Through April 15, 2018

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

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $12 for adults and children, $11 for seniors, FREE for members and children younger than 2

Read more about the exhibit here!

 

Toddler Tuesdays

When: Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Where: 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.

 

Crafty Tots

When: Wednesdays, 11 to 11:30 a.m.

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

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

 

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)

 

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October 18, 2017

The Knotty Nail In Omaha

My latest girls night out was last weekend making art with The Knotty Nail. The good thing? I didn’t have to go anywhere to do it. The Knotty Nail came to me.

I was asked to host a Sips & Strings Workshop and get my nail artwork for free in exchange for writing about it.

What is The Knotty Nail?

The Knotty Nail is pretty new to Omaha. Becky Pospisal launched it in 2016 in Des Moines as a workshop helping participants make unique artwork they get to keep. She has a studio space in Des Moines for The Knotty Nail. It’s caught on so she’s expanded the business to Omaha and Council Bluffs, where workshops are pop-up workshops that can be done in homes and businesses.

My set up for The Knotty Nail: I received a stained wooden board and all the supplies needed for my art (I supplied the wine and food).

Typically, workshops last two to three hours. My friends and I must have had laser focus (to be honest, it didn’t seem like it, though). We finished in two hours. And that included a wine break.

Each participant gets a 10×10 walnut stained wood, unlimited string, one of three patterns to choose from, scissors, glue, pliers, hammers, nails, etc. After you pick the design, you hammer it into your wood, then left the paper out and begin wrapping string. It’s easy. And then it’s not. String has a way of springing out from your wrapped nails if you’re not careful.

The Knotty Nail instructor guides you on the best way to wrap the nail for your design. The paw print? That’s a tough one!

Our instructor, Vicki (also Becky’s sister-in-law) stuck with us every step of the way, helping where needed and offering encouragement when string suddenly sprung.

 

How to book

Head to The Knotty Nail to pick a workshop type and date. Then you just invite your friends. These kind of workshops are best for adults, but if you have a kid who’s pretty crafty, Becky has some kids workshops available with the designs already nailed into the boards.

The instructor arrives about 15 minutes before the party is to start, and she begins setting up. All the materials are ready to go at the start of the party. Guests pick their design, start hammering, pick their string colors, and start crafting. Vicki helped us finish our pieces by gluing all the string so nothing would unravel.

In a couple of hours, everyone walks away with a new home decoration.

Some of the artwork my friends and I made during our Sips & Strings Workshop. The little heart in the middle was the hostess surprise gift from The Knotty Nail.

At our party, the hostess and one guest also got to walk away with an additional cute nail art surprise.

The cost per participant is $40, which includes all the materials prepped and ready to go.

 

If you want to book The Knotty Nail in Omaha

The Knotty Nail

Where: Workshops like the Sips & Strings Workshop can be held within the Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa area

Website 

 

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