January 19, 2018

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Every year I write a Valentine’s Day post, and Valentine’s Day 2018 will carry on the tradition. Most of these ideas, though, work for date nights any day of the year. If you’re looking for specific types of dates, below, I offer some ideas for splurge-worth nights out, night outs for cocktail drinks, and free date night ideas.

 

Date Night Splurges

Tasting Menu Dinner: Make a reservation for a restaurant like V. Mertz or Au Courant Regional Kitchen, and then opt for the tasting menu. I’m recommending those two since I’ve been to both recently, can vouch for their quality, AND if you have the Together A Greater Good app (TAGG), those restaurants will donate 5% of your receipt to the charity of your choice. Tasting menus are meant for slow eating, so dinner is your whole night out, probably. Tip: Both places have menu items, so you don’t have to do the full tasting menu.

“An American In Paris”: The Broadway touring production of “An American In Paris” will be at the Orpheum Theater, with a show on Feb. 14. Spend a little extra so that you get the best seats available. The show is in Omaha Feb. 13-19, so you don’t have to go on Valentine’s Day if you don’t want to. Pro tip: You can pre-order your drinks for intermission. It’s a smart way to skip the line. Snack tip: There’s something special about the malt balls sold at the Orpheum. I’m not sure what’s in them, but they are addictive.

Date Night Drinks

It’s very rare that Mr. Wonderful and I go out and simply hang out over a drink. But it has happened. I think three years ago. Anyway…

Challenge The Bartender: It’s going to sound funny suggesting you go to a wine and booze shop for a date, but hear me out about going to Spirit World at Aksarben Village. I recommend you order some food, sit at their little bar, and have the bartender make you a new-to-you drink. When I told the bartender I didn’t like gin, he set out to prove me wrong. And I’m glad he did. Read about our date night at this locally-owned store here. Spirit World is another participating TAGG restaurant, so don’t forget to scan your receipt so 5% of your night out can go to charity!

Specialty Drinks: OK, even more rare for us is to go to a fancy craft cocktail bar and spend more than $10 on one drink. But, The Berry & Rye in the Old Market will wow you with their drinks. And the atmosphere is ideal for a date night. If you’re looking for unique places for a drink in Omaha, I’ve heard great things about the tiki bar Laka Lono Rum Club (which is just a stone’s throw from The Berry & Rye in the Old Market) and Omaha’s own speakeasy, Wicked Rabbit (you have to go through a cigar store and say the magic word to enter in the hidden bar).

– Not a drinker? If you’re looking for healthy date night ideas, revisit this old favorite, 7 Healthy Date Ideas In Omaha.

Free Date Night

Free Things To Do On Valentine’s Day: Ever since my penny-pinching days working at a newspaper, I’ve maintained a mental list of free things to do in Omaha. Some of my favorites make memorable date nights, including visiting KANEKO, which has a special exhibit called “light” that’s FREE to see and really cool to experience. The gallery is open until 8 p.m. on Valentine’s Day. There are galleries near KANEKO that may be open that night, too, and you can stroll through them for FREE. Check out Bemis Contemporary Art Center, Artist Co-Op, or visit the shops at The Passageway.

– If you want more budget-friendly ideas, I suggest you read the post Cheap Date Nights In Omaha.

 

Your turn: What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Where do you recommend others go for Valentine’s Day?

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December 27, 2017

Big List Of January Events & Activities For Families

Has cabin fever started to kick in yet? I admit, I’m daydreaming of traveling somewhere warm (like returning to this island). But, realistically, I’ll settle for one of these tropical escapes in Omaha…and then head off to several things on this list. Read on for FREE things to do in January, including fun live shows and kid-friendly exhibits that entertain and educate!

Area High School Art Exhibit

When: Jan. 2-28 (opening reception is Jan. 5, 6 to 9 p.m.)

Where: Artist Cooperative Gallery, 405 S. 11th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Meet Forest Creatures with Papio Missouri NRD

When: Jan. 2 & 3, and March 9, 15, 16, 20 & 23; programs are at 10:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:15 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $12 for ages 2 and older, $11 for seniors, and FREE for children under 24 months and member families

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show Aglow

When: 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.

 

Winter Break Maker Day

When: Jan. 3 & 4, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Millard Branch Escape Room

When: Jan. 3-5, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

Cost: FREE (registration required; for kids in grades 2-4 and grades 4-6)

 

Winter Break Fun Day

When: Jan. 4, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Main branch); Jan. 4, 2 to 3 p.m. (Abrahams)

Where: Omaha Public Library various locations

Cost: FREE

 

S.T.E.A.M. Stations

When: Jan. 4, 3 to 4:30 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE (elementary ages)

 

Pajama Night at the UP Museum

When: Jan. 5, 5 to 7 p.m. (pj parade at 6 p.m.)

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

Cost: FREE

 

The Great Train Show

When: Jan. 6 and 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Cost: Adults tickets, $11 for both days (if purchased on site); kids under 11 are admitted FREE

 

Holiday Lights Festival Fireworks Spectacular

When: Dec. 31, 7 p.m. Postponed until Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

Cost: FREE

 

Lil’ Sprouts – A White Whirlwind

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

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

Cost: $8 for members, $14 for non-members (advanced registration required)

 

Tots on the Towne- Eric Carle: A Colorful Adventure

When: Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Sprint at Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Highway 370, Papillion, Neb.

Cost: FREE

 

Robot Recess

When: Jan. 11, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE (must register; grades 4-12)

 

“PAW Patrol Live!”

When: Jan. 12 and 13; performances are Friday at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m.

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

Cost: $23.25+

 

“Energy Explorers”

When: Jan. 13 through April 23

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

Cost: Included with admission, $12 for adults, $6 for children

 

Indoor Air Show

When: Jan. 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with admission, $12 for adults, $6 for children

 

 

Star Wars Night

When: Jan. 13, 6 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $12 for ages 2 and older, $11 for seniors, and FREE for children under 24 months and member families

 

Omaha Symphony presents “Bernstein Grooves!”

When: Jan. 14, 2 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $15

 

Full STEAM Ahead

When: Jan. 16, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

“Arctic Wonderland”

When: Jan. 20 through April 8

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

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $12 for ages 2 and older, $11 for seniors, and FREE for children under 24 months and member families

 

“Metamorphosis”

When: Jan. 20 through March 12

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

Cost: $10, adults; $5, children (ages 6-12); and FREE for children younger than 6 and members

 

Books to Art

When: Jan. 20, 2 to 3 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Pride Players: A Rose Teens ‘N’ Theater Production

When: Jan. 25, 27 & 28; performances are at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25 and 27, and 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 28

Where: Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: $6 (appropriate for ages 13+)

 

Dinosaur Visits Storytime

When: Jan. 26, 10 a.m. (Saddlebrook); Jan. 27, 10:30 a.m. (Sorensen); Jan. 29, 10:30 a.m. (Millard); Jan. 31, 10:30 a.m. (Willa Cather); Feb. 1, 10 a.m. (Elkhorn); Feb. 2, 10:30 a.m. (Florence); Feb. 3, 10 a.m. (Benson)

Where: Omaha Public Library various branches

Cost: FREE

 

Out & About Storytime: Benson Park Goodwill

When: Jan. 26, 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Where: Benson Park Goodwill, 4805 N. 72nd St.

Cost: FREE

 

“The Meaning of Maggie”

When: Jan. 26 through Feb. 11; 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, or four FREE tickets to members

 

Cathedral Flower Show

When: Feb. 27 and 28; hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: St. Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N. 40th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Moscow Festival Ballet presents Cinderella

When: Jan. 27, 8 p.m.

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

Cost: $20-$45

 

More Events in January

The following events are on-going or began in previous months:

Holiday Lights Festival Downtown Holiday Lights

When: Through Jan. 1, 2018, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show

When: Through Jan. 4, 2018 (closed 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.

 

“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!

 

Christmas At Union Station

When: Through Jan. 7, 2018

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.

 

NRG Energy Ice Rink

When: Through Feb. 14, 2018; hours are Sundays–Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 1 p.m. to midnight, New Year’s Eve, 1 to 5 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.

 

The Rink at Farnam

When: Through Feb. 25, 2018; hours are Thursdays & Fridays, 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturdays & Sundays, 1 to 10 p.m.

Where: 3409 Farnam St.

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

 

“The Art of the Brick”

When: Through Feb. 19, 2018

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

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

 

“light”

When: Though March 31, 2018

Where: KANEKO, 1111 Jones St.

Cost: FREE

 

“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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December 11, 2017

This Place Puts You In The Middle Of The Show

There’s a performance space in the historic Vinton Street area that’s regularly has interactive shows. It’s called Apollon Art Space. We went to a performance at Apollon Art Space recently–it was my second time taking the kids–and again, the kids and I loved the experience. This interactive element isn’t found in too many other theaters in Omaha.

Apollon Art Space is in the charming Vinton Street Neighborhood, not too far from the zoo in Omaha.

What is the Apollon

I go into detail about the theatre venue & experience here, but briefly, it’s collaborative theater where there’s the performer, there’s you, and then there’s what goes on between the two of you.

And there’s food.

“Holiday at Hogwarts” involved dinner served family-style at banquet tables. Houses were allowed to mingle, so my Hufflepuff kin could sit with me.

We attended the super popular “Holiday at Hogwarts” opening night this past weekend. I bought tickets, but then Apollon upgraded them from regular to Deluxe so that I could review the experience for you.

Frankly, my review’s not needed. Nearly every performance is sold out. BUT, if you want a ticket, you can go solo to one of the remaining shows with a seat. Check dates here. Next year, buy tickets to “Holiday at Hogwarts” early.

Taking Kids To Apollon

You may have noticed at the end of a show’s listing the following: “This event is intended primarily for adults, but is suitable for all ages.” I’m guessing the experience is a lot of fun with a group of adult friends. I don’t know. I keep bringing my kids. But everyone around us was a group of adult friends and they were having a blast. Maybe Mr. Wonderful and I should go without the kids sometime?

The toast before the first sip of butter beer. Deluxe tickets to “Holiday at Hogwarts” includes a complimentary non-alcoholic butter beer. The show runs through Dec. 30, 2017 at Apollon Art Space in Omaha.

But bringing a kid can be pretty special (and if you ask me, it really tests the actors’ improv chops and reflexes).

For “Holiday at Hogwarts,” our excitement started with the acceptance letter arriving by mail. Shock. That’s the look on their faces. I got several “!!!” on a text from my niece after she got hers, so there you go. To get a ‘tween excited about anything, you know it’s special.

Tip: The Deluxe ticket to “Holiday at Hogwarts” includes a Hogwarts acceptance letter, souvenir ticket, VIP wand service and wand at Ollivanders,10% discount at all Hogsmeade shoppes, complimentary stationary and owl service to send a letter from the Hogsmeade Post Office, one free glass of butterbeer, and everything you get with the standard ticket (Hogwarts classes, Christmas feast).

Once we were in the theatre space on Vinton Street, my kids were all in, especially my 6-year-old. She and my son were definitely the youngest ones there, but also enthusiastic participants. My daughter went to every professor multiple times to learn more magic (she was totally sold on her wand and its abilities).

Melanie Prentice as Trelawny looking into her crystal ball between classes at “Holiday at Hogwarts,” the annual Christmas show at Apollon Art Space in Omaha.

Trelawny read my daughter’s fortune and gave her some little trinkets and now she has a plastic baggie in her room with her scribble on it stating “Pretty things.” It’s adorbs.

But there are some down sides. The show doesn’t start until 7:30 p.m., and goes on past 10, which makes for a late night with kids. Plus, for this show, the food is served family-style and if you child is the slightest bit picky, he or she will find something wrong with what’s served. We had roasted chicken (acceptable for both kids), bangers (sausage, not acceptable), potatoes and carrots (not acceptable), bun (acceptable), and three kinds of desserts (only the chocolate frog was acceptable).

 

We also had drink tickets for butter beer with the Deluxe tickets. There’s alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. My niece liked the butter beer, but my two off-spring did not. I tried both versions and say to you adults, drink up the alcoholic stuff. It’s costs a little more, but tastes so much better.

Adult butter beer at Apollon Art Space had vanilla ale and butterscotch schnapps added to the classic version.

And lastly, part of the show’s activities were held at Hogsmeade, located in a muggles’ art supply store across the street. This freed up space in the Apollon, but also required us to cross a street at night. If you’ve been to the Vinton Street area, you know muggles don’t take that curve slowly. You should definitely not skip Hogsmeade, especially if you got the Deluxe ticket. You pick out wands, send Owl Mail, and if you’re my kids, beg and beg for a magical pet (hand-knit animals for sale there).

Want to go to Apollon Art Space?

There are different types of performances that occur at Apollon Art Space. Like I said before, “Holiday at Hogwarts” is nearly sold out. Check for tickets here.

The next show is a murder mystery dinner experience called “Murder in a Jerkwater Town.” My 6-year-old thinks it sounds like a delight. I’ll step in and say this sounds like a fun date night or friends-night-out more than a family date night. Tickets are $25 each and include dinner. Cash bar. Purchase tickets here.

If you go

The Apollon

Where: 1801 Vinton St.

Parking: Park on the street, and if you can’t find a spot, there’s overflow parking at the Supermercado Nuestra Familia, 1826 Vinton St.

Website 

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December 9, 2017

PAW Patrol Live! In Omaha {Giveaway}

My daughter’s been in about a year-long love affair with “PAW Patrol,” and all of her friends too. So you bet when I heard “PAW Patrol LIVE! Race to the Rescue” was coming to Omaha, I knew it was going to be a big deal.

“PAW Patrol Live!” is at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha Jan. 12 and 13, 2018. © 2016 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 2016 Viacom.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the show, as well as vouchers to giveaway, in exchange for sharing all the fun details.

The show, featuring Marshall, Chase, Ryder, and the whole gang, will be at the Orpheum Theater Jan. 12-13, 2018.

Keep reading to find out how you can win FOUR tickets to the show!

What’s it about

It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. PAW Patrol to the rescue! Ryder summons Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma and Everest to rescue Mayor Goodway and to run the race in her place.

There is some audience participating in “PAW Patrol Live!” © 2016 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 2016 Viacom.

This is, indeed, a live show. It’s based off the animated show, but it should be a new experience watching the characters on stage. According to the Ticket Omaha website for the show, “The performance features up-tempo music and special interactive video that allows the audience to participate via interviews, solve clues with the Pups, follow Mayor Goodway and much more.”

If you want to go

PAW Patrol Live Omaha

© 2016 Spin Master PAW Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 2016 Viacom.

“PAW Patrol LIVE! Race to the Rescue”

When: Jan. 12 and 13, 2018; performances are Friday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., and Sunday at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m.

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

Cost: Tickets are $23.25 to $124.25 (additional fees may apply; purchase tickets at the Ticket Omaha box office to avoid handling fees). The VIP package includes premium seat, special gift, and an exclusive meet & greet with Chase, Ryder and Skye after the show. Each adult and child (age 1 and up) in a group must have a VIP ticket. Tickets are available at ticketomaha.com.

Tip: Know that Ticket Omaha is the official ticket seller for shows at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha. If you purchase tickets from a ticket reseller, know you may pay highly marked up prices. I used to work at Omaha Performing Arts, the nonprofit that manages Ticket Omaha, and I’ve heard horror stories of jacked up prices. You’ve been warned.

 

Win tickets to the show!

One reader will receive four vouchers to “PAW Patrol LIVE! Race to the Rescue,” at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha Jan. 12 and 13, 2018. The vouchers are good for tickets to the winner’s choice of performance at the Orpheum Theater. Use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter. Must be 18 or older to enter. Each voucher is good for one $48.50 ticket. Vouchers are exchangeable for hard tickets while supplies last; vouchers are not tickets and must be redeemed at the box office for tickets. Vouchers are good only for the Omaha performances. Giveaway ends on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 11:59 p.m. One winner will be randomly chosen on Friday, Dec. 22, and contacted via email within 48 hours. Winner has 48 hours to respond before another entry is selected. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 26, 2017

70+ Things To Do In Omaha In December

This could be the busiest December I’ve ever seen in Omaha. There are so many special events this month geared toward families. Below you’ll find a big list of December events (not just holiday events) for kids of all ages.

 

Fun things to do in Omaha this December

Looking for date night holiday events (for a kid-free night out)? This isn’t your list. You’ll find those mixed in with family-friendly fare in the Ultimate List of Holiday Events in Omaha.

 

Lights of Aksarben

When: Fridays, Dec. 1-15, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Aksarben Village, 67th and Center streets

Cost: FREE

 

Elf on the Shelf at Omaha Public Libraries

When: Dec. 1-22

Where: Millard branch and Elkhorn branch

Cost: FREE

 

Grand Opening of “Working on the Railroad”

When: Dec. 1, 5 to 7 p.m. (ribbon cutting at 5:15)

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

Cost: FREE

 

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.

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

 

“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.

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

 

“Polar Express” Pajama Storytime

When: Dec. 1, 7 to 8 p.m.

Where: Barnes & Noble, 7400 Dodge St.

Cost: FREE

 

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.

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

 

Archery On Fire

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

Where: Platte River State Park, 14421 346th St., Louisville, Neb.

Cost: FREE, but must park entry fee for your vehicle

 

Morning With Santa

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Physicians Mutual and WOWT Holiday Market

When: Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Santa is there Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.)

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

Cost: FREE

 

Photos With The Grinch

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

Where: Nebraska Furniture Mart, 700 S. 72nd St.

What: Free photos with the green guy.

Cost: FREE

 

Seventh Annual Christmas in the Village

When: Dec. 2, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: 24th and Lake streets

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.

Cost: $27-$87

 

Winter Wonderland

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

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

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

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.

Cost: FREE

 

Santa Visit

When: Saturdays, Dec. 2-23, and Sundays, Dec. 3-Dec. 17, noon

Where: Hollywood Candy, 1209 Jackson St.

Cost: FREE

 

Olde Towne Bellevue Library Christmas

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

Where: Bellevue Public Library, 1003 Lincoln Road, Bellevue, Neb.

Cost: FREE

 

Sounds of the Season

When: Saturdays, Dec. 2-23, 7 to 8 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show Aglow

When: 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.

 

Holiday Happenings

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Cost: $15

 

Lindsey Stirling: Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour

When: Dec. 4, 8 p.m.

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

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.

Cost: FREE

 

Santa Party

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Crafty Tots Holiday Activities

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Pete The Cat Saves Christmas Party

When: Dec. 8, 10 a.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Out & About Storytime at Hy-Vee with Santa

When: Dec. 9, 10 a.m.

Where: Hy-Vee, 15603 West Maple Road

Cost: FREE

 

The Rink at Farnam

When: Dec. 9 through Feb. 25, 2018; hours are Thursdays & Fridays, 4 to 10 p.m., and Saturdays & Sundays, 1 to 10 p.m.

Where: 3409 Farnam St.

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

 

PHVFD Kids Christmas Party

When: Dec. 9, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Ponca Hills Volunteer Fire Department Auxillary, 12919 Ponca Road

Cost: FREE. Donations for the teddy bear drive will be accepted.

 

Boys Town Christmas Family Festival

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Afternoon With Santa

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Owl Prowl

When: Dec. 9, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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

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

 

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.

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.

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.

Cost: $20-$60

 

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.

Cost: FREE

 

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” Screening

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

Where: Hollywood Candy, 1209 Jackson St.

Cost: FREE

 

Hispanic Cultural Festival 2017

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

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

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.

Cost: FREE

 

Story Time With St. Nick

When: Dec. 13, 10 a.m.

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

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.

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 Craft: Snow Globes & Reindeer Food

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Yule Ball Lock-In

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Breakfast with Santa and his Reindeer

When: Dec. 16, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Hy-Vee, 10808 Fort St.

Cost: FREE. Kids buffet is FREE with purchase of adult buffet (limit one child per adult).

 

Gingerbread House Making

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Santa Visits Storytime

When: Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Washington branch,

Cost: FREE

 

Ugly Holiday Sweaters

When: Dec. 16, 2 to 4 p.m.

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

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.

Cost: FREE

 

Milk & Cookies With Santa

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

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

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

 

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.

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

 

Santa Claus Visit

When: Dec. 17, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: Thunderbowl/McCoy’s, 1900 Madison Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE to meet Santa

 

Dinner With Santa

When: Dec. 18, 5 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: Kids eat for 99 cents with purchase of an entrée.

 

Sugar Cooking Decorating

When: Dec. 19, 4 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Craft Hullabaloo

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Get Crafty: Holiday Edition

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

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

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.

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.

Cost: FREE

 

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

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

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

Cost: $38.25-$78.25

 

Free Zoo Admission for Children Under 12

When: Dec. 23 and 24

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Cost: FREE for children younger than 12 with a paying adult (up to 6 children per adult)

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cost: FREE

 

Noon Year’s Eve

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

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.

 

Noon Year’s Eve

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Holiday Nerf Party

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

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

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.

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

 

Noon Year’s Eve

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

Where: Swimtastic Swim School, 7051 S. 181st St.

Cost: TBD

 

New Year’s Bash

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

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

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. Postponed until Jan. 6, 7 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

Cost: FREE

 

On Going December Events 2017

Below are on-going events that started before December.

“Santa’s Magic”

When: Through Dec. 23, multiple shows daily

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

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

 

“A Christmas Carol”

When: 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.

Cost: $38

 

Holiday Lights Festival Downtown Holiday Lights

When: 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

 

Holiday Poinsettia Show

When: 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.

 

“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!

 

Christmas At Union Station

When: 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.

 

NRG Energy Ice Rink

When: 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.

 

“The Art of the Brick”

When: Through Feb. 19, 2018

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

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

 

“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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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.