June 16, 2015

Play At KANEKO Through August 16

KANEKO has a great, kid-friendly exhibit called “Play” that you have to check out before it ends on Aug. 16.

Kaneko 9

It’s FREE, so you really have no excuse not to go.

I liken it to children’s museum featuring all the cool toys at your favorite locally-owned toy store that you can’t afford to buy…because you want them all.

The first space of "Play" at Kaneko.

The first space of “Play” at KANEKO.

What is KANEKO?

Good question. It’s not really a gallery, though they have rotating exhibits of various kinds (a few months ago, they had various textile exhibits including one with Hawaiian shirts). Pretty much, it’s a non-profit described as an open space for your mind, a place to explore and encourage the process of creativity.

The entrance to KANEKO.

The entrance to KANEKO.

Established in 1998 by international artist Jun Kaneko and his wife Ree, KANEKO has four major programming themes: Design, Ideas, Performance and Innovation.

To that end, in addition to exhibitions, KANEKO regularly hosts talks and events to spark creativity, as well as camps.

I hadn’t been to KANEKO except for a private event held by another organizations. Most of the exhibitions had something that appealed to me, but they were a stretch for me to think my kids would get much out of them just yet…so I hadn’t visited.

Until now.

About “Play”

A portion of the large magnetic wall at "Play."

A portion of the large magnetic wall at “Play.”

“Play” is designed to demonstrate the importance of play in all facets of life – exploring play at home, work, alone or with a group, for young, for old. It’s a big ol’ playground that on the surface looks like a lot of toys and kiddie things.

Just try to go there and not play with something.

Just try to go there and not play with something.

Dig a little deeper (or just read the signage) and you’ll learn about the science and philosophy of play, and how it’s different around the world. Research proves that play is vital in providing the mental, social, and physical foundations necessary for success and happiness.

Farley was in his element with all the different building toys.

Farley was in his element with all the different building toys.

It’s an understatement to say my kids loved it.

We went on a Saturday afternoon and on Sunday morning they asked if we could go back. (We held off and went the following Saturday)

My son was drawn to the building activities.

Here's a car he built.

Here’s a car he built.

They had blocks of all sizes.

He kept going back to different building stations.

My daughter liked the blocks, too.

My daughter liked the blocks, too.

I assumed all the blockers were going to be the highlight for him, but he said he enjoyed the mirrored triangle thingy the most.

The inside of a large orange triangle had mirrors, which Farley loved. Mooch decided the outside was a perfect climbing all. Both were entertained.

The inside of a large orange triangle had mirrors, which Farley loved. Mooch decided the outside was a perfect climbing wall. Both were entertained.

What is that thing called, anyway?

My 3-year-old said she loved this horse and dinosaur the most.

Mooch's favorite spot in "Play."

Mooch’s favorite spot in “Play.”

Though the kid would not leave the kinetic sand alone.

Minutes later, Mooch would take her shoes off and step barefoot into her own private beach, scaring off the others.

Minutes later, Mooch would take her shoes off and step barefoot into her own private beach, scaring off the others.

And she liked standing on the tall blocks in the main hall. And she liked the stage. And the foam blocks.

She was all over the place.

You don’t need a kid to go to “Play.”

I call this ball thing "Ball 'o Frustration."

I call this ball thing “Ball ‘o Frustration.”

In fact, don’t, so you can play with what you want to play with instead of chasing around your excited kids. 🙂

You have to check out the rocket launchers on the second level.

Target practice.

Target practice.

Our whole family had fun playing with them.

The only downside to “Play” is the space is all concrete. My youngest bumped her head trying to lay on the foam blocks.

Dr. Stuart Brown

You might not be familiar with Dr. Stuart Brown, but if you ever murmured to yourself that your kids should spend more time playing than [insert annoying activity here], than you ought to be. He founded the National Institute of Play, dedicating to unlocking the human potential through play in all stages of life using science to discover all that play has to teach us about transforming our world.

“Play is how we are made, how we develop

The exhibit “Play” uses Dr. Stuart Brown’s philosophy and research as a foundation to get people talking about play and why it’s important. They do this through all the hands-on examples of play on display now (and ready for your family to play with). These examples are meant to show how play can enhance everyday life – in the home, classroom, office, and community.


If you go


Where: 1111 Jones St.

Hours: Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: FREE (donations are welcome)


Upcoming “Play” events

June 25, 7 p.m., Nebraska Loves Public Schools screening and panel

July 16, 7 to 9 p.m., Spielbound presents Social Board Game Night

July 30, 7 to 9 p.m, Spielbound presents Strategy Board Game Night

Aug. 6, “rePLAY”

August 11, 7 to 9 p.m., Spielbound presents Cooperative Board Game Night


June 10, 2015

A Quick Guide To Omaha

Updated: April 22, 2019

Welcome to Omaha! Whatever brought you to the city, I hope you’ve allowed enough free time to explore.

This guide is geared more toward families, but feel free ask questions in the comment section if you want some tips on where to go without a kids (AKA, you want a drinky drink). Coffee shops, I can suggest a few, and local breweries.

Things To Do In Omaha

I’ve divided this post up into three sections: Things to do in Omaha, Things to do Around the Old Market, and Downtown Omaha Attractions. Sometimes they overlap with suggestions.

2 days in Omaha title

2 Days In Omaha With Kids – Here’s my itinerary for families visiting Omaha for a weekend. It’s where I’d suggest you eat and play for 48 hours.

25 Tips For Visiting The Omaha Zoo – This is the ultimate list of tips for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. If you’re already very familiar with our awesome zoo, read up on this post about things you didn’t know you could do at the zoo.

19 Places To Get Breakfast In Omaha – Start your day off right in Omaha. Here are locals’ suggestions on the best places for breakfast in Omaha.

Best Omaha Restaurants for Families – Want to know where foodie meets family in Omaha? This list includes unexpectedly kid-friendly restaurants that serve outstanding food. Alternatively, this list of must-try Omaha restaurants includes many of these restaurants, plus a few fantastic places that I probably wouldn’t bring my kids to but they’re ideal for date night.

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25 Things to Do In Omaha Under $25 – You can still have fun on a budget in Omaha. Here are 25 things a family can do that cost less than $25. Since I wrote the post a few years ago, a couple things have crept over $25, but I still find them a pretty great bargain.

Where to Find the Best Pizza in Omaha – This post includes locals’ suggestions on where to get the best pizza in the city (and nearby). Plus, it includes the winner of the first-ever Great Omaha Pizza Tournament, a March-Madness kinda of bracket tournament readers voted on one summer.

8 Great Places for Ice Cream in Omaha – Ice cream isn’t just for summer, so no matter when you’re visiting, the city has several fantastic ice cream shops to visit.

Omaha Events Calendar – Want to know what’s going on right this moment in Omaha? This calendar is for you! Find out what’s on stages, which exhibits are open and what the free kid-friendly activities are coming up.

Things to do around the Old Market

Hollywood-Candy title

Discovering Hollywood Candy in Omaha – This quirky, one-of-a-kind store has the great mix of candy, nostalgia, and arcade games.

Free things to do in Old Market

11 Free Things To Do In The Old Market – If you want to just stroll around the Old Market and not spend a dime, you should read this post.

omaha-farmers-market title

Omaha Farmers Market Fun – Omaha’s longest-running and largest farmer’s market is held on Saturdays in the Old Market. It runs from early May to mid-October.

restaurants in downtown Omaha

8 Great Downtown Omaha Restaurants – Most of these restaurants are in the Old Market or near TD Ameritrade Park.

Downtown Omaha Attraction

Durham Title

Exploring The Durham Museum With Kids – Part history museum, part train museum, The Durham is a great place to visit with kids. This post shares details on exhibits and the working soda fountain found at The Durham.

Joslyn Art title

Joslyn Art Museum With Kids – There’s no reason not to visit Joslyn art Museum, admission is FREE. While you’re there, visit the Art Smart Center and then splash in the fountain in front of the museum.

Lauritzen title

Lauritzen Gardens With Kids – From a miniature train garden to a space dedicated to kids, Lauritzen Gardens is fun to explore with little ones.

Insider’s Guide to Omaha Children’s Museum – Got kids under the age of 8? Don’t skip Omaha Children’s Museum! Full disclosure: I work there, but I promise, it’s super fun. I wrote a post with tips for visiting, including the best times to go.

For even more things to do in Omaha, check out VisitOmaha.com – it’s fantastic!

Planning a trip to Omaha, Nebraska? Here's a quick guide to the city geared toward families. It includes restaurants, attractions and fun thing to do in Omaha. #familytravel #USA #Midwest #travelguide

Your turn, Omaha: Leave a comment with your tips on where CWS fans should go for food, fun and drinks. Thanks!

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June 9, 2015

An Intro To Heron Haven

I like getting email from readers, especially when they clue me in to something I’d never heard of.

In March, Jeremy had written that he’d come across my blog post about Indian Cave State Park and he had a closer recommendation for me to check out:

Heron Haven quote - An intro to Heron Haven, a hidden gem of a refuge in the heart of Omaha, Nebraska

“…just wanted to share with you a nice little place that I take my daughter to quite often when we need a nature break.  Heron Haven.  It’s inside the Omaha city limits and is quite a nice little place.  They have a small nature garden with native plants as well as a wetlands area as well as an Education Center.  If you haven’t visited, it is a very under appreciated part of Omaha near Maple and 120th, kind of across Maple from Mulhall’s.  You can see it on north side of the road as your drive on Maple, but it is easily overlooked.  Link below to their website and facebook page.

Heron Haven

Heron Haven Facebook

May be a little spare right now, though we did notice birds are starting to return for the Spring.  Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does.”

Well, Jeremy, we finally got to visit and I have to say that in May, this little place is a wonderful city escape!

Intro to Heron Haven - A boardwalk at Heron Haven, a small wildlife refuge in the heart of Omaha
Our first trip down the boardwalk at Heron Haven.

We could’ve picked a worse day to go, but the threat of rain at least meant no one else was there during our visit. We were greeted by a kind woman I’m going to presume is a volunteer. She pointed out the areas of interest and explained the pond in view was in the process of becoming a dragonfly pond.

We also found out that the education center is only open occasionally. Your best bet to catch it open are the events shared at the end of this post.

An Intro To Heron Haven Wetland Sanctuary

What is it?

Intro to Heron Haven - A path at Heron Haven, a small wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Omaha
Heron Haven is an urban sanctuary, literally. It lies next to one of Omaha’s busies streets, yet you wouldn’t know it walking the trails (unless you listen hard enough).

It’s called an urban sanctuary and that’s pretty accurate. You’ll hear a steady hum from Maple Street traffic, but you start to tune it out the longer you walk around.

Heron Haven is one of the last riparian oxbow wetlands of the Big Papillion Creek within Omaha’s city limits (got that off the brochure). That pretty much means it’s a curving wetland next to streams and lakes.

Intro to Heron Haven - A lake at Heron Haven, a small wildlife refuge in the heart of Omaha
It’ll take a family with small children about 20 minutes, give or take, to walk to this lake.

It’s probably the best kept secret in Omaha.

And it’s FREE.

I think you can enjoy Heron Haven no matter what the weather is.

What’s at Heron Haven?

Your first stop from the parking lot will either be the butterfly garden or the native grass plot.

We were with kids, so obviously, they chose butterflies.

Intro to Heron Haven - A butterfly garden at Heron Haven, a small wildlife refuge in the heart of Omaha
The entrance to the butterfly garden at Heron Haven.

It smelled lovely, as could be expected.

Flowers in the butterfly garden at Heron Haven in Omaha
Flowers were in bloom at the butterfly garden in May.

In late May, the spring flowers were in full bloom.

Things to do at Heron Haven - Visit the butterfly garden
The kids spot a bird at the butterfly garden. Alas, no butterflies.

But with the weather, no butterflies were spotted.

There are two out-and-back trails. The Upland Trail will take you to a photo blind at a marsh.

Intro to Heron Haven - A duck blind is a great way to watch wildlife undetected
Mooch takes a peek through a duck blind.

You’ll actually find two blinds on that path, but the one you’re heading for is an enclosure with benches.

Intro to Heron Haven - Watch wildlife from the enclosed photographer's blind at the end of a trail at Heron Haven.
An enclosed photographer’s blind at the end of a trail at Heron Haven.

We spotted two geese there. The wildlife spotted along the way, though, was way more exciting for the kids.

Toads at Heron Haven
We didn’t have much luck spotting birds at Heron Haven, but toads? Toads we could find.

They found toads in one of the ponds, and tons of snails on our path.

Things to do at Heron Haven - Look for snails
Mooch’s favorite discovery were all the snails at Heron Haven.
Snail at Heron Haven
Hello, snail.
Things to do at Heron Haven - Look for worms.
Mooch’s second favorite find at Heron Haven: Worms.

The Upland Trail isn’t too strenuous but if it’s been rainy, expect mud. This trail, by the way is not stroller- or wheelchair-friendly.

Things to do at Heron Haven - Walk a short, kid-friendly trail
Limestone paths turn into dirt paths that turn quite muddy in the spring.

The other trail takes you to the boardwalk.

It’s a quick one, just a quarter-mile, but it does lead to the boardwalk that extends over the wetlands.

Things to do at Heron Haven - Walk a short, kid-friendly trail
It’s an even faster trail if you run it.

It is an accessible trail if you’ve got a stroller or wheelchair.

Things to do at Heron Haven - Walk the boardwalk
Who knew Omaha had a board walk like this out over the water?

Rather than just leaving you to your own devices, there are several signs throughout the wetland area, telling you what trees you’re seeing, or explaining how to behave around wildlife with new chicks, etc.

Wildlife warning sign at Heron Haven
A helpful little sign to explain why geese are so crotchety.

What you may see at Heron Haven

Wildlife to spot at Heron Haven -  Kingfishers, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, wood ducks, Canada geese, painted turtles, frogs, snails, hummingbirds, butterflies
We were on the lookout for frogs.

Wildlife: Kingfishers, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, wood ducks, Canada geese, painted turtles, frogs, snails, hummingbirds, butterflies

Plantlife: Blueflag Iris, Arrowheads, Cattail, Duckweed, Sedges, Swamp Milkweed

Important rules at Heron Haven

Heron Haven can be a serene place within Omaha.
Heron Haven can be a serene place within Omaha.

No pets or bicycles allowed.

Trails are open from dawn to dusk everyday.

Bug spray is a must.

If you go

Heron Haven 7

Where: Heron Haven, 11809 Old Maple Road, Omaha, Neb.

When: Open daily from dawn to dusk


Family-friendly educational programs are held on the second Saturday of the month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. (probably weather dependent).

Heron Haven is a hidden gem in the heart of Omaha, Nebraska. Read about this small sanctuary with trails and wildlife viewing. Get tips on what you'll see there, what not to bring, and when to visit for special events. #Omaha #Nebraska #USA #outdoors

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April 21, 2015

25+ Things To Do With Kids In West Omaha

West Omaha was my stomping grounds growing up. Now that I live in Midtown and work downtown, that sprawling section of the city has been filed in “out of sight, out of mind” in my world. But I’m ready to make up for it because there is a lot of things to do with kids in West Omaha. It’s not a comprehensive list, but this will keep you busy for a while.

This post was first written in 2015 and updated in 2019 to reflect closures and new businesses that have opened. If you see something on this list that has closed, please let me know!

West Omaha is full of fun things to do with kids, including entertainment centers, putt putt and museums. Here are 25+ things to do in West Omaha! #Nebraska #Guide #familyfriendly

By the way, if you arrived at this post looking for things to do in downtown Omaha or other parts of the metro area, this post is only showing you a sliver of things to do. I’ve got post dedicated to Omaha parks, free things to do in the Old Market, and even a list of all the free summer movies and concerts.

Related post: Ultimate List Of Things To Do In Omaha In The Summer

Free things to do in West Omaha

Free things to do with kids in West Omaha - Visit Boys Town and its Hall of History

Pottery Barn Book Club, a kids storytime every Tuesday at 11 a.m., 120 Regency Parkway, Suite 120

Westwood Heights splash garden, 12334 Seldin Drive

Chalco Hills Recreation Area, South 154th Street

Heflinger Park (BMX biking), 11111 West Maple Road

Ta Ha Zouka Skate Park, 905 Elkhorn Drive, Elkhorn, Neb.

Parent & Tot Gym Time at Saddlebrook Community Center, 14850 Laurel Ave. (nearly free)

Crafty Tots at Saddlebrook Community Center, 14850 Laurel Ave., Wednesdays from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Vibes Summer Concert Series at Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St., Thursdays during the summer at 6:30 p.m. Looking for more free concerts? You’ll want to read this post!

Lakeshore Learning, 12005 W. Center Road, offers free crafts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday for kids ages 3 and older

Boys Town, West Dodge Road between 144th and 132nd streets

Things to do with kids in West Omaha - Ride the Ferris wheel at Schools, a sporting goods store at Village Pointe. Rides are inexpensive.

Things to do in West Omaha that are about $25 for family of 4

Zorinsky Aquatic Center, 3808 156th St.

GO! Kids Gym, 4223 S. 120th St.

Bounce U, 1144 Q St.

Goldfish Swim School Family Swims, 2502 S. 133rd Plaza. Learn more about Goldfish Swim School in West Omaha here.

$5 movies every Tuesday at participating Marcus Theaters (in West O, those are Majestic Theatre of Omaha, 14304 West Maple Road, and Village Pointe Cinema, 304 N. 174th St.). Kid-friendly film series each winter (February and March) feature recent films on Saturday and Sunday mornings for $2 admission. Village Pointe participates in this and you can get FREE tickets to the shows through participating agents at American Family Insurance.

Storm Chasers game with Berm seating at Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, Neb.

Scheels ferris wheel, 17202 Davenport St. (this is a lot less than $25 per family)

Koch Family Tennis Center, 12440 West Maple Road

Family Fun Swim at Mockingbird Hill Community Center, 10242 Mockingbird Drive, the first Saturday of every month (November-April) from 1 to 4 p.m.

Montclair Community Center and Pool, 2304 S 135th Ave., open swim

Related post: 25 Things To Do In Omaha Under $25

Fun things to do with kids in Omaha - Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park is a West Omaha destination for families.

More things for kids to do in West Omaha (costing $25+ for family of 4)

Amazing Pizza Machine,13955 S. Plaza

Sky Zone Omaha, 4215 S. 133rd St. (indoor trampoline)

Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, 15364 Weir St.

Boulder Creek Amusement Park, 14208 S St.

Papio Fun Park, 210 E. Lincoln St., Papillion, Neb.

Medieval Putt, 20915 Cumberland Drive, Elkhorn, Neb.

Prehistoric Putt, 11134 Q St.

Common Grounds, 1701 Veterans Dr., Elkhorn, Neb., open swim

Pottery Tots class at It’s Your Pottery, 2518 S. 132nd St.

Create, 2949 N. 204th St. #105 , Elkhorn, Neb., drop in and paint (call ahead if there are four or more of you)

Looking for things to do in Omaha? Check out the fun attractions, entertainment venues and more that are located in West Omaha, a suburb of the city. Here are 25+ things to do, including free activities and inexpensive options. #guide #Omaha #Nebraska

Have something to add to the list? Email me at ohmyomaha (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

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February 4, 2015

10+ Valentine’s Day Events For Families

Yesterday it was all about romance and a date night to remember (read this date night idea post!). Today is more like a reality check for parents: What are you going to do with the kids? Here are a ton of FREE or inexpensive activities to do on Valentine’s Day  in Omaha to make your little lovies feel all special.

Kids Valentine's DAy

Valentine’s Day Activities

When: Feb. 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Cost: $9, ages 2 to 59, $8 for ages 60+, free for 2 and younger


Valentine’s Day Party

When: Feb. 14, 10 a.m.

Where: Saddlebrook Community Center, 14850 Laurel Ave.

Cost: FREE

Tip: You’ll make a special craft, play games in the gym and jump in a bounce house. No pre-registration necessary. Ages 5 and under.


Valentine’s Day Storytime

When: Feb. 14, 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Benson branch of Omaha Public Library (Meeting Room), 6015 Binney St.

Tip: Geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, but all ages are welcome.

Sweethearts Brunch

When: Feb. 14, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: $6, members; $8, non-members (register by Feb. 11 at the Welcome Desk)


Valentine’s Day Story Time

When: Feb. 14, 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Benson Public Library, 6015 Binney St.

Cost: FREE

Tip: This is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers.


Lowes Build & Grow Workshop – Sweetheart Picture Holder

When: Feb. 14, 10 a.m.

Where: Lowes locations

Cost: FREE (pre-register to avoid standing in line longer than you need to. For more tips, see this post).


Sweetheart Swim

When: Feb. 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Mockingbird Hills Community Center, 10242 Mockingbird Dr., and Montclair Community Center and Pool, 2304 S. 135th Ave.

Cost: $2 per person

Valentine’s Day Games

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

Where: W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 West Dodge Road

Cost: FREE

Tip: Bring parents, grandparents, the whole family or just one special person.


Get Crafty: Valentines

When: Feb. 14, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Florence Public Library, Meeting Room, 2920 Bondesson St.

Cost: FREE

Tip: This is for the whole family, and includes refreshments. All ages are welcome.


Valentine’s Day Craft for Teens

When: Feb. 14, 2 to 3 p.m.

Where: A. V. Sorensen Branch – Library Teen Area, 4808 Cass St.

Cost: FREE

Tip: Registration required.


Valentine’s Day Craft for Kids

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

Where: A. V. Sorensen Branch – Library Storytime Area, 4808 Cass St.

Cost: FREE

Tip: Registration required.

You want to plan an entire week’s worth of Valentine’s Day fun? Check out the big list of events at Family Fun in Omaha.

Your turn: What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Are you into these sort of planned activities or is it just another day for your family?

December 23, 2014

New Year’s Eve In Omaha With Kids

NYE in Omaha

I know! It’s not even Christmas, how dare I write about New Year’s Eve?!

Well, I’m a planner. It’s around the corner.

New Year’s Eve means something a little different when you have kids. It means you can’t stay up too late with the bubbly because kids never sleep in. Never.

Fortunately, there are plenty of places around Omaha that understand our needs. We want to have fun, but we have these kids that depend on us, so our fun has to be in the daytime. And it has to be kid-friendly.

Fun things to do on New Year’s Eve in Omaha with kids

Noon Year’s Eve

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

What: Live music, special crafts and activities. Ring in the “noon year” in your handmade party hats while enjoying the celebratory bubble wrap stomp and the spectacular balloon drop at noon in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall.

Cost: Museum admission is $9, adults; $7, seniors (62+); $6, children (3-12); FREE for members and children 2 years and under


Ring In The New Year At Omaha Children’s Museum

When: 10 a.m.to 4 p.m.

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

What: Enjoy New Year’s Eve themed crafts, science shows, dance party and final countdown into the New Year at 3 p.m.

Cost: Museum admission is $9 for adults and kids; $8 for seniors; FREE for members and children under 2.


Noon Year’s Eve

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

What: Entertainment from Joe Cole’s Magic Show, fun activities and an early countdown to 2015 complete with a beach ball drop at noon.

Cost: Zoo admission in the winter is $13.50 for adults (12 and over); $12.50 for seniors (65+) and military adults (12 and over); $9, children (3-11); $8, military child (3-11); FREE for members and children 2 and younger)


ConAgra Foods Ice Skating Rink

When: 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: ConAgra Foods Campus, 10th and Harney streets (outdoors)

Cost: $5, includes skate rental (admission is still required for patrons who bring their own skates) and benefits Food Bank for the Heartland. Kids under 5 skate FREE.


Family Canvas

When: 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Village Canvas & Cabernet,  6457 Frances St., Suite 180

What: This is a family-friendly paint class where participants paint an upside down snowman. For ages 6+.

Cost: Adults, $35; child (6-14), $25 and includes all supplies


Holiday Lights Festival’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular

When: 7 p.m.

Where: From Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall

Cost: FREE


And if you still feel like celebrating on New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day fireworks and holiday lights finale

When: Jan. 1, 7:20 p.m. (Holiday Lights Spectacular starts at 7 p.m., fireworks begin immediately after that concludes)

Where: Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, near 33rd and Turner streets

Cost: FREE