November 15, 2016

Omaha’s Huge Holiday Events List

If you wanted to, you could enjoy holiday events nearly every day through Christmas. From elaborate theatrical productions to special meals with Santa (or penguins), this list has it all.

holiday-events-in-omaha

 

November

Nov. 15-20, “White Christmas,” Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Nov. 17, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Nov. 18 through Dec. 23, “A Christmas Carol,” Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Nov. 20 and Dec. 3-4, Omaha Ballet presents “The Nutcracker,” Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College (Nov. 20) and Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. (Dec. 3-4)

Nov. 22, Iowa Western holiday jazz ensemble, Iowa Western Community College Arts Center, 2700 College Road, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Nov. 23, Shadow Lake Tree Lighting, Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Highway 370, Papillion, Neb.

Nov. 25 through Dec. 18, “Prancer,” Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony, Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

Nov. 24, Holiday Lights Festival concert, Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Nov. 25, Tree Lighting Ceremony, The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Nov. 25 through Dec. 19, “The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged),” The Bluebarn, 1106 S. 10th St.

Nov. 25 through Dec. 23, Santa’s Magic, Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Nov. 25 through Jan. 1, 2017, Ethnic Trees Exhibit, The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Nov. 25 through Jan. 4, 2017, Holiday Poinsettia Show, Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

Nov. 26, Milk and Cookies With Santa, Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Nov. 26 and 27, Handmade Omaha Craft Show, Bancroft Street Market, 2702 S. 10th St.

Nov. 26 through Jan. 1, Holiday Lights Spectacular, Midtown Crossing, 30th and Farnam streets

Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, Sounds of the Season, Gene Leahy Mall and Old Market

Nov. 27, Santa’s Sleigh Ride, route begins west of 84th Street from approximately 3 to 5 p.m. and he’ll conclude east of 84th Street

Nov. 28, Santa at Freddy’s Steakburger, 5210 S. 136th St.

Nov. 28 through Dec. 27, “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” Mahoney State Park Kountze Memorial Theatre, Ashland, Neb.

Nov. 29, “An Advent Celebration” with Kenneth Bé, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 239 Frank St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Through Dec. 31, Gingerbread Festival, Mormon Trail Center, 3215 State St.

Through Dec. 31, Gingerbread at the Tabernacle, Kanesville Tabernacle, 222 E. Broadway St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

 

Have a holiday event to add to this list? Leave a comment with event details like the date and location, and I’ll add it!

December

Dec. 1, “Home for the Holidays” with The Ten Tenors, Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Dec. 1, Bit of Bronze Holiday Handbell Choir, Omaha Public Library Millard branch

Dec. 2, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guest Catherine Russell

Dec. 2, First Friday Family Date Night – Winter Wonder Fun, Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Dec. 2-17, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Circle Theatre at Urban Abbey, 1026 Jackson St.

Dec. 2 and 4, “Christmas at the Cathedral” with Omaha Symphonic Chorus and Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra

Dec. 2, Christmas concert at College of St. Mary, 700 Mercy Road

Dec. 2, Cocoa With A Cop, Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

Dec. 2, Ethnic Holiday Festival, The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Dec. 3, Saddlebrook Welcomes Santa, Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook branch

Dec. 3, Christmas in the Village, 24th and Lake streets

Dec. 3, Holiday Music with Cecilia Jensen, Omaha Public Library Willa Cather branch

Dec. 3, Santa in the Village, Rockbrook Village, 2800 S. 110th Court

Dec. 3, Handmade Holiday for Kids: Gingerbread Houses, Omaha Public Library Willa Cather branch

Dec. 3 and 4, Hot Shops Art Center Holiday Open House, 1301 Nicholas St.

Dec. 3, 10 and 17, Holiday Happenings, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Dec. 3-24, Holiday Concert Series, The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Dec. 4, Wells Fargo Family Festival, Various downtown Omaha locations

Dec. 4, Salem Baptist Church Choir “Joyful Noise,” Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Dec. 4, Old Towne Christmas, Bellevue Volunteer Firefighters Banquet Hall, 2108 Franklin St., Bellevue, Neb.

Dec. 6, 13, and 20, Family Nights With Santa, The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Dec. 7, 9, 14, 16, 21 and 23, Holiday Under Glass concerts, Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Dec. 8, “Creighton’s Classical Christmas: Beethoven Mass in C,” Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra

Dec. 9-17, Ever After Productions presents “Nutcracker Delights,” Bellevue Little Theatre, 203 W. Mission Ave. (Dec. 9-11), and at Kroc Center, 2825 Y St. (Dec. 17-16)

Dec. 9 through Jan. 2, 2017, Conagra Brands Ice Rink, 10th Street and Capitol Avenue

Dec. 10, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical,” Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Dec. 10, Holiday Harp with Karen Larsen, Omaha Public Library Elkhorn branch

Dec. 10, Merry Movie With Santa, Village Pointe Cinema

Dec. 10, Santa Visits Washington Branch, Omaha Public Library Washington branch

Dec. 10Ugly Holiday Sweater Extravaganza, Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook branch

Dec. 10, Ornament Making For Teens, Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch

Dec. 10, Celebrate the Season on Center, Westwood Plaza

Dec. 10, Afternoon with Santa, Omaha Public Library Florence branch

Dec. 10, Holiday Music with Kenny Bowtie, Omaha Public Library Florence branch

Dec. 10, Holiday Princess Tea Party, Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch

Dec. 10-18, Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration, Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Dec. 11, “Gaudete: The Third Sunday of Advent,” with the Omaha Public Schools Mini-Singers and the Omaha Central High School Bel Canto, All Saints Episcopal Church, 9302 Blondo St.

Dec. 13, Christmas Cookie Decorating for Teens, Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch

Dec. 14, Kids Holiday Craft-a-thon, Omaha Public Library W. Dale Clark Main Library branch

Dec. 15, “Lightwire Theatre: A Very Electric Christmas,” Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Dec. 15, Trains and Trees, Union Pacific Museum, 200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Dodge House in Council Bluffs

Dec. 15-18, Supper With Santa, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Dec. 17, Breakfast With Santa, Maple Street YMCA, 7502 Maple St.

Dec. 17, Holiday Open House, Lauritzen Outpatient Center, 4014 Leavenworth St.

Dec. 17, Get Crafty: Gingerbread Houses, Various Omaha Public Library branches (South Omaha and W. Dale Clark Main Library)

Dec. 17, Get Crafty: Ugly Holiday Sweaters, Omaha Public Library Willa Cather branch

Dec. 17, Holiday Strings and Open House, Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch

Dec. 17, The Pathfinder Choirs Annual Christmas benefit concerts at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Fremont (afternoon) and St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Omaha (evening)

Dec. 20, Make and Take Reindeer Food, Omaha Public Library Elkhorn branch

Dec. 22 and 23, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Dec. 22, Kids Holiday Craft, Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch

Dec. 23 and 24, Holiday Family Sing-Along, Omaha Public Library Swanson branch

Dec. 26-30, Penguins and Pancakes, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Dec. 27, Get Crafty: Gingerbread House, Omaha Public Library Washington branch

Dec. 28 and 30, Kwanzaa Celebration, Omaha Public Library Washington branch

Dec. 30, Light The Night, Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Dec. 31, Noon Year’s Eve Party, various Omaha Public Library locations (Saddlebrook, Sorensen, South Omaha, Main and Swanson)

Dec. 31, Noon Year’s Eve, The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Dec. 31, Noon Year’s Eve, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Have a holiday event to add to this list? Leave a comment with event details like the date and location, and I’ll add it!

Note from Kim

Many of these events are FREE (like all library events), but several do require tickets. Make sure you’re purchasing tickets from a reputable ticket outlet or go right to the box office to get them (you avoid service fees if you do that!).

December 17, 2015

Fun Things To Do In Omaha Dec. 18-20

This weekend, I picked out a couple of fun things to do in Omaha that will get your family moving. That way, when you build your gingerbread houses together, you won’t feel bad sneaking a couple bites of the candy trim on the house…

 

Santa in the Forest

fontenelle logo

When: Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to noon

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

Why: You like the idea of combining a Santa visit with a brisk hike.

Who’d like this: Outdoorsy types; kids of all ages; kids on the “Nice” list

 

Build A Gingerbread House

When: Saturday (1 to 2:30 p.m. all ages at the Main Library; 2 to 2:30 p.m. for all ages at Willa Cather; 3 to 4:30 p.m. for teens at Main Library)

Where: W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St., and Willa Cather Branch, 1905 S. 44th St.

Why: Because you can’t bake gingerbread and you forgot to buy a kit, so these FREE options solve both problems.

Who’d like this: Families on a budget; artsy types; kids of all ages

Tip: There are a lot of FREE activities going on at various branches of the Omaha Public Library this weekend. Get the list here

 

Spirit of the Season Ice Skating

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When: Sunday, 3:30 to 7 p.m. (ice skating show is at 3:30, open skate from 5 to 7)

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

Why: Your kids are into ice skating…or thinking about it so you want to try it out for FREE first. The entire event is FREE, even the ice skate rentals.

Who’d like this: Active families; families on a budget

December 10, 2015

Fun Things To Do In Omaha Dec. 11-13

Another December weekend, another time I can’t narrow down my list of things to do.

First off – there’s so much good stuff is on the Omaha stages right now! Read all about The Rose’s “Peter & The Starcatcher” (ticket giveaway ends tonight!), “The Wizard of Oz” at the Orpheum Theater and the Omaha Symphony’s “Christmas Celebration” (you can win tickets!) at the Holland Center.

But, I set a self-imposed “3 picks” and do it I must. Here they are, three fun things to do in Omaha this weekend:

ConAgra Foods Ice Skating Rink

Holiday Lights Festival logo

When: Friday through Jan. 3, 2016; hours are Sundays through Thursdays, 1 to 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to midnight; Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, 1 to 5 p.m.; and closed Christmas and New Year’s Day

Where: ConAgra Foods Campus, 10th and Harney streets

Why: Ice skating under the lights outdoors? How fun and Christmas-y can you get? Plus, this Holiday Lights Festival activity is fairly low-cost ($5, includes skate rental and 100% benefits Food Bank for the Heartland. Kids under 5 skate FREE).

Who’d like this: Outdoorsy/cold weather types; active families

 

Holiday Happening

Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism

When: Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

Why: It’s the ideal time to visit the poinsettia show – there will be holiday music, the ever-popular trains running around the flowers, Santa, and for $3 per child, you can make some holiday crafts. Bonus, the new conservatory is connected to the great hall so you don’t have to go outside to visit the tropics there.

Who’d like this: Flower lovers; those who hate outdoor stuff in the winter; preschoolers and older

Tip: Saturday is National Poinsettia Day and the first 100 households to the gardens gets a free poinsettia (gardens open at 9 a.m.).

 

Afternoon With Santa

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

Where: Florence Community Center (story time in the library; Santa and activities in the gym)

Why: It’s a FREE way to spend an afternoon – a little story time, a little Santa, and, hopefully, a lot of activities in the gym to tire the littles. Includes refreshments! (Register at the community center)

Who’d like this: Families on a budget; Santa’s little helpers

 

Want some more ideas? Check the local website Out With Sprout and discover more fun things to do here.

December 9, 2015

Omaha Symphony’s Christmas Celebration + Giveaway

You’ve heard of the Omaha Symphony’s Christmas show, right? It’s quite possibly the most anticipated show in the Omaha Symphony season – every year! This year, the “Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration” will run for 10 performances this Saturday through Dec. 20 at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Omaha Symphony Christmas  Celebration

I’m bringing the kids to one of the shows for the first time! They’ve done really well at the Family Series concerts, so we’re taking it up another step for an all-out full evening performance. This isn’t any run-of-the-mill, ordinary concert, though.

Along with the 68-piece orchestra, there will be Broadway singers and dancers, the famous dancing Santas, falling snow, a cute dog or two, and, wait for it…. flying reindeer. My kids are going to love it.

Conducted by Resident Conductor Ernest Richardson, each performance will feature a carol sing-along, the show-stopping “O Holy Night,” and “Sleigh Ride” performed with the help of pint-sized audience members. New sequences include a “Downton Abbey”-style Christmas set in England circa 1919, which will feature elegant moments in a family’s celebration. In another highlight, a young boy searches for the magic of Christmas with his dog, while Santa seeks a child who still believes in the power of Christmas. This third story in the symphony’s recent “North Pole Trilogy” showcases the work of New York City puppeteer Eric Novak, who adds a polar bear this year to the symphony’s stable of handcrafted reindeer.

I can just picture my kids’ reactions to all of this, can’t you?

 

If you go

“Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration”

When: Dec. 12-20; performances are Saturday, Dec. 12, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 13, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 19, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 20, 2 and 7 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Tickets: Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased here. Student Rush tickets are $10 each and are available with a valid student ID starting one hour prior to the concert (may purcahse up to two Student Rush tickets).

Tip: Pre-concert entertainment will take place in the lobbies prior to each performance, including the River City Ringers and the Immanuel Chime Choir, Nagosky’s violin students, the Heartland Youth Ballet, and reindeer from Kringle Stables outside in the Holland Center courtyard.

Tip 2: You can bring a non-perishable food item to the Holland Center during to the show for the Food Bank for the Heartland to support ConAgra Foods’ Shine the Light on Hunger campaign.

 

Giveaway!

One reader is going to win a family 4-pack of tickets to the Friday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. performance of “Christmas Celebration”! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Must be 18 or older to enter. Not transferrable to another date or time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary tickets by Omaha Symphony to “Christmas Celebration” in exchange for promoting the performances. All opinions expressed are mine. Giveaway tickets are provided by Omaha Symphony.

December 3, 2015

Fun Things To Do In Omaha Dec. 4-6

This weekend is always the busiest in December. I swear. I could’ve just as easily picked 10 things I’d totally go to (if I didn’t need to sleep and had enough money to spend). But, alas, I’ve settled on three fun things to do in Omaha this weekend:

 

Winter Fun Night

Omaha Children's Museum Winter Fun

When: Friday, 5 to 8 p.m.

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

Why: It’s the best time to visit the museum – wear your kids out right before bedtime! Plus, your “Frozen” fanatic is going to love the special guests there AND you can attend special showings of Santa’s Magic, which is pretty awesome.

Who’d like this: “Frozen” fanatics; grade school and younger crowd

 

Hot Shops Open House

Hot Shops Holiday Open House

When: Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Hot Shops Arts Center, 1301 Nicholas St.

Why: A chance for you to do a little holiday shopping while your whole family enjoys the demonstrations, music & pretty things. Don’t miss the glass blowing demo! Best of all, it’s FREE>

Who’d like this: Shop local supporters; families on a budget; art appreciators; creative types; kids who like colorful stuff but know the no-touch rule

 

Ballet Nebraska’s “The Nutcracker”

Ballet Nebraska Nutcracker

When: Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.

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

Why: The music. The costumes. The graceful ballerinas. It’s all pretty enchanting, even for youngsters.

Who’d like this: Ballet lovers; Sugar Plum Fairy fans; kids who can sit through 2+ hours of dance

 

I wasn’t lying when I said this was the busy weekend in December. Check out all the holiday activities this weekend here (at least 24 different things)! Or go to Out With Sprout and browse their calendars.

November 25, 2015

Fun Things To Do In Omaha Nov. 27-29

Anyone else have an extra-long weekend? I feel like dancing, I love these four-day weekends. I usually work on Black Friday, but not this year, my friends. This year, I’m cleaning the house. Jealous?

I bet.

When I’m done cleaning, there’s a lot to do around town. Tons. It seems half the things on the “85+ Ways To Enjoy The Holidays In Omaha” post start this weekend (including one of my family’s favorite – “Christmas at Union Station”). But I’ve narrowed that list down to three fun things to do in Omaha – indoor things, because I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather.

 

Countdown to Santa

Santa at Regency Court

When: Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Santa’s there starting at 10, “Frozen” characters and live reindeer from noon to 3 p.m.; “snow” falls on the hour at Center Court from noon to 5 p.m.); Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. (no reindeer, but the rest of the stuff is the same)

Where: Regency Court, 120 Regency Parkway

Why: Santa, Elsa, reindeer and snow indoors? For free? My kids are so there.

Who’d like it: “Frozen” fanatics; Santa believers; parents who need to do a little shopping

Tip: There will be many special events at Regency Court in December, with more opportunities to meet “Frozen” characters.

 

“Santa’s Magic”

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When: Friday to Dec. 23 (daily) – Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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

Why: You’re looking for a place your kids can run around and get out a little energy, and what the heck, throw in a little Christmas magic.

Who’d like it: Younger kids; “Frozen” fanatics (the Snow Queen will remind you of someone in particular).

 

“Yesterday and Today Beatles Tribute Show”

Omaha Community Playhouse

When: Friday through Dec. 31; Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Why: You love the Beatles, it’s about time your kids start appreciating them too. This one’s a fun, interactive show, so if you’re kids are already familiar with the music, they can make requests!

Who’d like this: Fans of live music and theater (but not necessarily musical theater); Beatles fans, ovs; Billy McGuigan groupies

 

Need more ideas? Head over to Out With Sprout – they’ve got a running list of events around Omaha.