Holiday Fun Runs In Omaha {Updated For 2019}

Looking for a holiday-themed fun run in Omaha? The Omaha area typically has several 5K and 10K races or walks in November and December.

Update: This post was first published in 2013 and has been updated to have 2019 races. Help me keep this updated! If you know of a 2019 holiday fun run, leave a comment with the details.

Dressed for a Thanksgiving Day fun run in Omaha.

I’m one of those crazy people who occasionally run on Thanksgiving. It’s not an annual thing, but every once in a while, a few family members of mine get the idea that we ought to trudge out to some park in the freezing cold on Thanksgiving morning and run with a bunch of other crazies. It helps justify what we plan to eat later in the day.

Holiday races in Omaha in 2019

This time of year, you can find all sorts of themed holiday runs, most of them are just fun and not at all meant to competitive.

Turkey Trails 5k / 10k

When: Nov. 16, 8 a.m.

Where: Millers Landing, 151 Freedom Park Road

What: Turkey Trails is a Thanksgiving-themed run that is perfect for the whole family. The fun includes great swag (designer shirt, custom medal), chip-timing, live results and awards, free photos, costumes, free kids dash, great post-race food, and plenty of fun activities.

Cost: 5K & 10K are $32 (price increases on Oct. 27; Register here)

Feast & Feathers Trail Run

When: Nov. 28 at 8 a.m. (half-marathon), 8:10 a.m. (10K & 5K) and 10:30 a.m. (Lil’ Gobbler Trot)

Where: Glenn Cunningham Lake, Omaha (use Park Entrance #1 off State Street)

Cost: $60, half-marathon; $35, 10K; $30, 5K (price increases after Nov. 1 to $75, $50 and $30); Lil Gobbler Trot is five canned foods. (Register here)

Omaha Turkey Trot 5K

When: Nov. 28, 8:30 a.m.

Where: Lewis & Clark Landing and Riverfront Park, 515 Riverfront Drive

Cost: $36.99 for adults & $9.99 for kids 11 and younger (price increases Nov. 13 or next 250 sign ups; Register here)

Fremont Family YMCA Turkey Trot

When: Nov. 28, 8:30 a.m. (5-mile) and 8:35 a.m. (2-mile and 1-mile)

Where: Fremont YMCA, 810 N. Lincoln Ave., Fremont, Neb.

Cost: $20 (until Nov. 4), then price increases incrementally up to $35; walkers are FREE unless they want a T-shirt. (Register here)

Omaha Running Club Thanksgiving Fun Run

When: Nov. 28, 9 to 11 a.m. (4 miles)

Where: Lake Zorinsky, 3808 S. 156th St. (meet at boat ramp)

Cost: FREE (Details here)

Omaha Running Club Holiday Lights Fun Run

When: Dec. 8, 6 p.m. (4 miles)

Where: 10th and Harney streets

Cost: FREE (Details here)

Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run

When: Dec. 14, 8:45 a.m. (Reindeer Dash), 9 a.m. (10K) and 9:15 a.m. (5K)

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

Cost: Runners and teams set fundraising goals. (Register here)

Candy Cane 5k / 10k

When: Dec. 15

Where: Seymour Smith Park, 6802 Harrison St.

What: The annual Candy Cane Course is a Christmas-themed run for the whole family. The fun includes great swag (designer shirt, custom medal), chip-timing, live results and awards, free photos, costumes, free kids dash, great post-race food, and plenty of fun activities.

Cost: Adult 5K & 10K, $32; youth 5K & 10K, $16 (Register here)

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Now that you’ve planned on a fun run, find more things to do in Omaha this holiday season. Here’s the ultimate guide to holiday events in Omaha for 2019!

Omaha has several annual holiday traditions!

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Omaha Holiday Theater Guide

One thing few outside of the Omaha theater world may realize is that we are blessed with a vibrant performing arts community here. Check out Theatre Arts Guild and see how many companies we have out there. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.


Lucky for us, many of those creative types love Christmas. Well, that’s my assumption since each year we get a great variety of holiday plays and musicals to choose from.

Here’s a rundown of some of the 2013 holiday theater productions in Omaha (both kid-friendly and adults only):


Omaha Community Playhouse

Jerry Longe is Ebenezer Scrooge in Omaha Community Playhouse's "A Christmas Carol."
Jerry Longe is Ebenezer Scrooge in Omaha Community Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol.”

There will be riots if the nation’s largest community theater ever decides to stop its annual tradition, “The Christmas Carol.” Riots, I tell ya. Going on it’s 114th year of its run – my rough estimate – this is the granddaddy of Christmas productions. It always has exquisite scenery and costumes, the cream of the crop in area talent and flawless production. You’ll want to start bringing the kids to this when they’re in grade school – the ghost of Christmas Future might spook the littles, plus it’s a little long for short attention spans. This year, it runs Nov. 22 through Dec. 23. (FYI, tickets prices go up later in the run)

The Rose

I took two silly nieces and my son to see "Madeline's Christmas" last year at The Rose.
I took two silly nieces and my son to see “Madeline’s Christmas” last year at The Rose.

Another sure bet for holiday fare is The Rose, and a guaranteed kid-friendly production even for the younger set. Last year, they presented “Madeline’s Christmas” and my son – who was a tad over 3 when we went with two of his cousins – still talks about it. This year, they present “Narnia” Dec. 6-29. Not a flat-out Christmas production, but I think some of the messages tie nicely with the season. While the productions they tend to put on December aren’t as elaborate as their summer show-stopper, they’re usually one of my favorites of The Rose’s season each year.

Bluebarn Theatre

This theater is also almost a sure bet for a holiday show, but like most of its productions, what they put on will not be your mainstream fare. That’s why I like the place so much (besides the fact that my sister-in-law works there – hi, Amy!). Usually, they put on the kind of show for those sick of the happy jolly sugary goodness that usually is found in music and theater this time of year. You know, stuff for the discerning Scrooge. Last year’s production involved solving Santa’s murder. So yeah. This year, they’re putting on “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” a show I enjoyed immensely when they staged it a few years ago. This is for grown-ups only. Expect incredibly talented actors, a storyline that will entertain you and zero dancing Santas. The show runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 22, and being such a small venue, get your weekend tickets ahead of time because it will likely sell out.

Now for a few other holiday productions and where to find them:

Orpheum Theater

Omaha Performing Arts and Broadway Across America present “Elf the Musical” Nov. 19-24 at the Orpheum (disclosure: I work for OPA). Since this opens tomorrow, I can’t vouch for it just yet, but since I love the movie, I’m willing to expect the best. If you’re wondering whether or not it’s kid-friendly, I’d say it depends on the kids and your tastes. I’ve heard the New York production might have a swear word in it (b****, if you were wondering); but I don’t know if the tour has it. That’s not a huge concern for me, so I’d still take consider taking my almost 4-year-old to a matinee. My concern is that as a Broadway production, it is loooong for a kid. He’d probably it through it fine, but not every pre-k kid is that way. Older kids, yeah, definitely take them. They’d love it. Heck, leave them home and make it a date night.

Boys Town

I stumbled across this theater listing this year: “Gift of the Magi” presented Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Music Hall in Boys Town. I can’t find much information on the production, whether or not it’s annual or a one-time thing. However, I loved the O. Henry short story, so how neat would it be to see it staged? This story about love and sacrifice is performed by Boys Town youth, and following the short performance, everyone will walk over to the Christmas Tree Lighting together. See more here.

Ibsen Costume Gallery

Ibsen has been putting on a merry Christmas production for 23 years. “The Madrigal Christmasse Feaste” is presented Dec. 3-6 at Regency Marriott Ballroom, 10220 Regency Circle. Reading the description, I’m thinking it’s like Medeival Times meets “Tony and Tina’s Wedding,” where you’ll dine on a multi-course meal in a setting of an old English castle while everyone from your waiter to the musical performers is involved in the show. Since I tend to like the blue-haired type thing, this actually sounds entertaining to me, but I’m certain Mr. Wonderful will suggest I go with my mom (not that my mom is a blue-hair …. I love you, Mama Sue, ignore that last comment). Details here.

Red Theater Omaha

Here’s an untraditional theater option: Red Theater Omaha’s “Feliz NaviRed,” which is presented Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at Bancroft Street Market, 10th and Bancroft streets. At this show, the audience determines the order in which 30 Christmas-themed “playlets” are performed. 60 minutes, 30 playlets, game on. Admission is $8 at the door.

Your turn: What holiday show do you look forward to each year? If you don’t have one, are you thinking of seeing one that’s listed here?

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We have a winner in the “Elf the Musical” ticket giveaway! Elisha G., congratulations! Check your email for details on your tickets.

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