March 22, 2018

Family-Friendly Things To Do In Omaha

NOTE: This page is updated almost daily. 

Fall has arrived, which means new exhibits, new stage shows, and lots of outdoor events for families are here. Get the scoop on kid-friendly activities, free events and more fun stuff that will keep your family busy exploring Omaha.

family friendly things to do in Omaha

How to read this post: The first events listed are things to come in chronological order, followed by all the on-going events like exhibits or shows that have already opened. The post ends with weekly activities at recreation centers and libraries (you may want to call ahead to make sure it is happening the day you plan on visiting).

Bruce The Bear Visits Storytime

When: Nov. 9-17; storytimes are on Nov. 9 at Saddlebrook (10 a.m.), Nov. 10 at Benson (10 a.m.), Nov. 13 at Washington (10:30 a.m.), Nov. 14 at Main (10:30 a.m., Nov. 15 at Abrahams (10 a.m.), Nov. 16 at Florence (10:30 a.m.) and Nov. 17 at Swanson (10:30 a.m.)

Where: Various Omaha Public Library branches

Cost: FREE

Sitting Bull’s Great Grandson Q&A

When: Nov. 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Where: The Durham Museum, 801 S. 13th St.

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

Forever Young Family & Children Series “Sherlock Jr.”

When: Nov. 15; check theater for times

Where: Film Streams at Dundee Theater, 4952 Dodge St.

Cost: $10, general admission; $2.50 for children younger than 12

“Wild Kratts Live 2.0!”

When: Nov. 16, 6 p.m.

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

Cost: $25-$100

Battleship

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

Where: Montclair Community Center, 2304 S. 135th Ave.

Cost: $20 per team of 4 (for sixth through eighth graders)

Maker’s Market

When: Nov. 17

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

Cost: Included with admission, which is $12, adults, and $6, children (ages 4-12)

Forever Young Family & Children Series “Warner Bros. Classics”

When: Nov. 17, 18, 22, 24, 25 and 29; check theater for times

Where: Film Streams at Dundee Theater, 4952 Dodge St.

Cost: $10, general admission; $2.50 for children younger than 12

“Santa’s Magic”

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

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

Cost: Included with admission, which is $13 for children and adults, $12 for seniors, and FREE for members and children younger than 24 month

“Yesterday and Today”

When: Nov. 23 through Dec. 31; performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, at 2 and 6:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Cost: $40

Home Depot Workshops For November

When: Nov. 24, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: The Home Depot, various locations

Cost: FREE

Omaha Symphony presents “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert”

When: Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 25 at 2 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $19-$89

Horse & Carriage Rides

When: Saturdays, Nov. 24 through Dec. 15,  1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17305 Davenport St.

Cost: FREE

18th Annual Teen Poetry Bash

When: Dec. 1, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Main branch, 215 S. 15th St.

Cost: FREE (registration required; must be in grades 8-12)

Home Depot Workshop For December

When: Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to noon; DIY activity is Sled With Reindeer 

Where: The Home Depot, various locations

Cost: FREE

Make A Dream Catcher Workshop

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

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

Cost: $10 per dream catcher (for ages 10+; registration required)

Curling World Cup

When: Dec. 5-9

Where: Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St.

Cost: TBD

Family-Friendly Things To Do: Exhibits & Shows Ending Soon

Fall Chrysanthemum Show

When: Through Nov. 16

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.

Cost: Included with regular admission and FREE for members

“Some Illustrator!” Pictures By Melissa Sweet

When: Through Dec. 30, 2018

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: FREE

“Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life In The Wild”

Where: Through Jan. 6, 2019

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

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $11 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children (ages 3-12) and FREE for children younger than 24 months

Game On: This History of Science & Gaming

When: Through Jan. 6, 2019

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

Cost: Included with admission

“Fighting for the Good Life: Nebraskan Memories of World War I:

When: Through Jan. 28, 2019. Opening day activities for kids from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with regular museum admission

“Super Sports: Building Strength, Sportsmanship & Smarts”

When: Through April 14, 2019

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

Cost: Included with admission, which is $13 for children and adults, $12 for seniors, and FREE for members and children younger than 24 months

Weekly Activities For Families & Kids

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

Toddler Tuesdays

When: Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Where: 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

Tots of the Town

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

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

Cost: FREE

Story Time At Barnes & Noble 

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

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

Cost: FREE

Inflatable Fridays

When: Fridays, 4 to 7:30 p.m.

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

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

Family Fun Night

When: Fridays, 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: SkateDaze, 3616 S. 132nd St.

Cost: $11.99 (skate or play), $3.99 for non-skating parent

Kids Craft Time

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

Where: Mangelsen’s, 3457 S. 84th St.

Cost: $1

Second Saturdays Nature Program

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

Where: Heron Haven Wetland Sanctuary, 11809 Old Maple Road

Cost: FREE

Kidz Kayak Racing

When: Saturdays, 2 to 4 p.m.

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

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

Arts for All

When: Saturdays, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha South Public Library, 2808 Q St.

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

Sunday Funday

When: Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.

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

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

Family Fun & Fitness

When: Sundays, 1 to 6 p.m.

Where: SkateDaze, 3616 S. 132nd St.

Cost: $8 (skate rental is additional $4)

Stay In The Know!

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March 9, 2018

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE In Omaha {Giveaway}

The No. 1 PBS Kids TV series, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” has been made into a popular musical, and the tour has two shows in Omaha. “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King For A Day!” will be at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday, March 31, at 2 and 6 p.m.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mills Entertainment, producer of the show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King For A Day!” and tickets for the giveaway are provided by Mills Entertainment. 

I don’t know about you guys, but my kids watched a whole lot of Daniel Tiger when they were preschoolers. If you’ve never seen it, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” builds off of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and uses the same musical strategies to teach socio-emotional lessons to kids ages 2 to 4.

What’s new with Daniel Tiger this year

This isn’t the first time “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE” has been to Omaha (it’s been touring for three years), so this year, it’s an all-new production. Same beloved characters and trolley, new adventure in Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

In “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King For A Day!,” Daniel learns just what it takes to be King. And it wouldn’t be Daniel Tiger if there weren’t great lessons for kids, so through music and magical moments, kids learn the valuable lessons of kindness, helping others, and being a friend.

If you’re taking the kids, make a date of it! Here are my favorite places for post-theater treats in Omaha.

If you go

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King For A Day!”

When: March 31, 2 and 6 p.m.

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

Cost: Tickets start at $30.25 (plus applicable service fees) and are available online at ticketomaha.com, 402-345- 0606, or at the box office at the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. (get the tickets at the box office to avoid paying some of those fees)

Giveaway

I’m so excited about this giveaway! One lucky winner will receive FOUR tickets to the 6 p.m. performance of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King For A Day!” at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha on March 31. Giveaway ends March 25, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. CST. Must be 18 or older to enter. Tickets have no cash value and cannot be exchanged for a different show or showtime.

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Stay In The Know

Never miss a giveaway! Subscribe to the FREE twice a month(ish)* e-newsletter sharing what’s new in Omaha, giveaways, family travel ideas, and more! Subscribe here. *There are weekly giveaways to celebrate the blog turning 5, so, in March through mid-April, you’ll be getting weekly emails to keep up-to-date.

March 4, 2018

Review Of The Outstanding ‘Seedfolks’

There’s an incredible play at The Rose right now. “Seedfolks” is a little different than what you’re used to at the theater, but it’s exactly why I think you need to see it before it ends this weekend. It’s about the transformation of a immigrant community in Cleveland, all thanks to a community garden that began with one young girl planting seeds.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets so I could write this review.

Sonja Parks portrays 20 characters in the play “Seedfolks,” on stage at The Rose through March 11, 2018.The show was originally developed by the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Photo by Alex Myhre

What to expect

“Seedfolks” is a one-woman show featuring Sonja Parks playing 20 different characters. She does this seamlessly through voice and posture, and with the help of light and music changes sometimes. I loved it. It was a challenge for my younger daughter, who’s 6, to keep track of everything, though.

Parks explained in a press release: “With ‘Seedfolks,’ the biggest challenge is the sheer number of characters that I need to play, coupled by the fact that some of them not only talk to each other, but interact with each other…And every single one of those characters [is] me! Several characters are from different countries and speak different languages. It was necessary for me to research the culture of each country to understand and honor their traditions, to work with a dialect coach every day getting each accent correct and, in some cases, to learn my lines in another language.” 

Seedfolks promo photo

“Seedfolks” stars Sonja Parks, who worked with a dialect coach to get the accent of each of her characters correct and learn some of her lines that were in another language. Photo by Alex Myhre

The set is minimal, though there are video projections to help set the scene.

This show is recommended for ages 8 and older. There are some themes that you don’t typically encounter with children’s theater, or at least, for the shows I’ve been to with my kids since only one has recently turned 8. There are mentions of marijuana, gang shootings, and racial tension. The characters in this community are realistic and dealing with very real problems.

Pre-show music is pretty awesome and you might feel like dancing.

Post-show, plan on sticking around for the Q&A with Parks.

Timing a potty break

This show is one hour without intermission. Go ahead of time.

Is it kid-friendly?

It’s children’s theater, and only an hour long, but not for the itty bitty. I’d stick to the 8 and older recommendation. My 6-year-old said she liked it, but I could tell it was hard to follow and not as exciting as some of the shows she’s seen at The Rose. She got antsy toward the end.

My 8-year-old seemed pretty into the show the entire time.

As mentioned before, some of the characters in this realistic play talk about troubling things.

Make it a complete date and check out my favorite places for post-theater treats in Omaha. Ice cream, anyone?

Will an adult like this?

Yes. This is children’s theater at its best. It was thought-provoking. It had funny moments. It was fantastically performed by one actress.

What was it about again?

“Seedfolks” is based on a book by Newbery Medal-winning Paul Fleischman about an immigrant neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, that is transformed by a community garden. Aided by video projection and a lively mix of recorded music, a dozen distinct and diverse characters are brought to life by Ivey Award-winning actor Parks, named a featured artist by TIME Magazine and one of “Seven Artists You Must See” by American Theatre magazine.

“Seedfolks” begins as 9-year-old Kim plants the first seeds in the vacant lot next to her apartment building. They are six lima bean seeds, planted in honor of the father she never knew. Soon, each member of Kim’s neighborhood finds a reason to plant their own seeds, resurrecting a derelict lot and uniting a fractured neighborhood.

The show was originally developed by the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis under the direction of show director Peter C. Brosius, and The Rose is has brought that CTC production to its mainstage. In May 2017, CTC’s production of “Seedfolks” was selected from over 800 works worldwide to represent the United States at the prestigious ASSITEJ International (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) World Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

 

If you go

“Seedfolks”

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St.

When: Through March 11, 2018; performances on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m

Cost: Tickets are $20. Discount ticket vouchers are available for $16 at area Hy-Vee stores. Members of The Rose receive four free tickets to the production. Purchase tickets here.

 

Stay In The Know!

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

February 15, 2017

Odd Squad Live! Coloring Contest

I love the Omaha Performing Arts’ Family Series. Doesn’t matter if I’ve never heard of the performer or show, if it’s in that series, I know my kids will love it.

The final show in the 16-17 Family Series is “Odd Squad LIVE!”, which some of you are probably familiar with if your family is a PBS kind of family.

In advance of the March 2 “Odd Squad LIVE!” show at the Orpheum Theater, Omaha Performing Arts is offering a fun way for kids to win tickets: A coloring contest.

How to enter the coloring contest

1. Download this coloring page.

2. How your kiddo color it.

3. Enter the contest by snapping a picture and tagging Omaha Performing Arts on social media (@OPerformingArts on Twitter, @OmahaPerformingArtsOrg on Facebook, and @operformingarts on Instagram) – don’t forget to use #OddSquadColoringContest. Your other option to enter is to scan your child’s masterpiece and email it to socialmedia@omahaperformingarts.org.

4. Winners will be chosen on Feb. 24. Two winners will a 4-pack of tickets to the show!

 

What is Odd Squad LIVE!?

Here’s the synopsis: Attention Odd Squad fans! Things are about to get very odd in Omaha, and Ms. O needs YOU to help solve the case. Odd Squad LIVE! is springing into action on stage in this action-packed, laugh-out-loud adventure where kids get to participate in solving a seriously strange case. When agents Orion and Oleanna get turned into grown-ups by villains, it’s up to the kids in the audience to use their math skills and help the agents decode, decipher and unravel clues.

“Odd Squad LIVE!” is filled with the coolest new gadgets, funniest and quirkiest villains  like “Father Time” and “Lady Terrible,” and catchy hit songs from the Odd Squad-favorite band, Soundcheck. The side-splitting humor and oddly irresistible fun that earned the “Odd Squad” writing team a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series” will burst onto the stage in this wonderfully weird, hilarious and interactive live show that is not to be missed!

If you go

“Odd Squad LIVE!” is in Omaha March 2, 2017. Photo courtesy Omaha Performing Arts

“Odd Squad LIVE!”

When: March 2, 7 p.m.

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

Cost: $15-$50

Get tickets here

 

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. Since you’ve stuck around all the way to the end of the post, I’ll let you in on the surprise: I’ll be giving away tickets to the show soon. Stay tuned! 🙂 

November 27, 2016

Review: Prancer World Premier

It’s holidays in full-gear in Omaha. There are so many theatrical performances to see (check out the list here) that will put you into a Christmas-y mood. One that’s a kid-pleaser is “Prancer,” now on stage at The Rose. You can WIN tickets at the end of the post, so stick with me.

prancer-2-small

Chloe Irwin and puppeteer Shannon Wade in “Prancer,” on stage at The Rose through Dec. 18.

We saw a preview of “Prancer” last week, so here’s the low-down:

What to expect:

– This was a more dramatic production than my kids were used to, though that’s not to say there weren’t a few moments that made them chuckle.

– There are some stellar performances, including the young actress that plays the lead, Jessica (Chloe Irwin – keep an eye on her). The cast also includes two of my favorite Omaha actors – Nils Haaland as Jessica’s dad, and Moira Mangiameli as the grouchy Mrs. McFarland. It’s not always typical to see character arcs in children’s theater, but those three characters all had wonderful stories and changes.

– Cool puppetry. Have you seen “War Horse”? That Broadway show definitely inspired the puppeteers in this performance. The Prancer puppet is a beautiful construction and the three puppeteers who move him do so with great skill.

– The main character, Jessica, grapples with being 11 years old and still believing in Santa and flying reindeer. There are several points in the play where her faith is tested, and if you’re a parent who doesn’t like even the hint of “Is Santa real?” in shows, you might squirm a bit. It’s an endearing show, though, and makes everyone a believer in the end.

– Snow. Expect some snow indoors during the performance. Bubble snow blows my kids’ minds, how about yours?

– Suspense. If you haven’t seen the movie this show is based off of, you’ll be wondering whether or not Prancer will fly when he’s supposed to.

Timing a potty break

There is an intermission, but the first half is pretty long, so I’d recommend getting your kids to go to the bathroom before the show starts.

Is it kid-friendly?

Yes. This show is recommended for ages 7 and older. It’s a long one (2 hours), and the first act has more talking than action. Unless you’re child is used to sitting through a longer show, this one might be difficult to sit through. The second act does get more exciting, and the ending is worth waiting for.

Is it grownup-friendly?

I liked the show for sentimental reasons – I saw the movie growing up and thought it was magical. It’s very much inspired by “Yes, Virginia, there is Santa Claus,” if you love that message, you’ll like this show.

What was it about again?

"Prancer" stars Chloe Irwin as Jessica. The Christmas show runs through Dec. 18 at The Rose in Omaha. Photo by MJB Photography

“Prancer” stars Chloe Irwin as Jessica. The Christmas show runs through Dec. 18 at The Rose in Omaha. Photo by MJB Photography

Young Jessica Riggs’ family has fallen on hard times. Still, she keeps her belief in Santa Claus and the idea that there are miracles in the world. When an injured reindeer appears in Jessica’s backyard, she believes it is Prancer. While she is nursing the creature back to health, the whole community of Three Oaks eventually learns about Prancer, causing big problems for Jessica as she tries to return the reindeer home. Based on the cherished film, “Prancer,” this piece uses a heartwarming story and breathtaking puppetry to bring light into your family’s holiday season.

If you want to go

“Prancer”

When: Through Dec. 18, with performances on Fridays at 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 3, the performance will be interpreted for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Saturday, Dec. 17 performance will feature audio description for audience members who are blind, but arrangements must be made at least two weeks prior to the show date; call (402) 502-4637.

Where: The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: Tickets are $27 Main Floor and $22 Balcony. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores through a purchase of a Kid Cuisine product. Members of The Rose receive discounted tickets to the production. For reservations, call (402) 345-4849, go to www.rosetheater.org, or visit the box office.

Win tickets!

One reader can win four tickets to any performance of “Prancer” at The Rose! Winner will receive four vouchers, good for any performance of “Prancer,” but the winner must call the box office and make a reservation for the show. Must be 18 or older to enter. Ticket value is $108.

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September 27, 2016

5 Things To Know About Shrek The Musical {Giveaway}

“Shrek The Musical” has a special place in my heart: It was the first Broadway musical my son has seen. Though I find it impossible that he remembers any of it, he swears that he does.

So I’m super excited to see that this twisted and fun fairy tale will be staged at The Rose Theater starting this Friday! If you’ve been thinking of going, read on – there’s a chance to win tickets at the end of post!

5 Things To Know About Shrek The Musical

shrek-the-musical-title_small

photo by MJB Photography

1. This version of “Shrek The Musical,” which has been adapted specifically for young audiences. This version is 75 minutes long with no intermission, making it a condensed version of the Broadway version. It still has “Let Your Freak Flag Fly,” so don’t worry.

2. The familiar characters from the movie are in the musical, including Dragon, the tiny Lord Farquaad and Gingy. I bet you’re curious how costume designer Sherri Geerdes created the look for Lord Farquaad, aren’t you?

3. It has an important message for children: All of us have a place in this world.

4. Members to The Rose receive four FREE tickets to the performance – and if you’re thinking of buying a membership now, don’t wait. Rose memberships are limited, and are close to selling out. The Rose does not expect memberships to be available for purchase beyond the production of :Shrek The Musical.”

5. This show is recommended for ages 5 and older.

 

If you go

“Shrek The Musical”

Where: The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

When: Sept. 30 through Oct. 16; performances are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 5 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. There will be additional performances on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16, at 5 p.m. The 2 p.m. show on Saturday, Oct. 8, will be interpreted for people who are deaf or hard of hearing; the 5 p.m. show on Saturday, Oct. 8, is designated as sensory-friendly, with special accommodations made for families attending with a child on the autism spectrum.

Cost: $20; discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores. Members receive four FREE tickets. Purchase tickets online here.

Win tickets

shrek

photo by MJB Photography

The Rose has teamed up with me to give one reader FOUR tickets to see any 5 p.m. performance of “Shrek The Musical.” It’s easy to enter using the Rafflecopter form below! Must 18 or older to enter.

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