Guide To The Best Girl’s Night Out At Board and Brush

My friends and I like planning unique nights out in Omaha, looking for something a little beyond the typical dinner and bar thing. So, we’ve thrown axes, beat an escape room, and now, we can add woodworking to the mix. I recently gathered a group of girls and we went to Board and Brush to weather and paint wood. And it was a blast. There are a few things I’d recommend to make it the best girl’s night out, so read on for my tips to going to Board and Brush.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Board and Brush. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

Board & Brush workshops are a great girl's night out! Here are tips for getting the most of your night out with friends, including what to bring, what to expect and how long a typical workshop takes. #sponsored #Omaha #boardandbrush

Tips for the best girl’s night out at Board and Brush

Gather the right group: Ours was a small group of four. The table could fit up to about six people comfortably, so if you have a larger group, you may need to split up. Each person needs to make a reservation and you can request to be seated with the people in your group. 

There was a bachelorette party at the two tables next to us, so it totally is possible to enjoy yourself even at two tables.

Pick your project ahead of time. When you reserve your spot at Board and Brush, you have to pick what project you work on. They prep your personalization ahead of time. Know that some pieces are going to be more difficult than others, so if you don’t want to be the one holding up your whole group, pick something not too elaborate. 

Board and Brush Girl's Night Out - Select your personalization for your project ahead of time.

A lot of people the night we went chose to paint signs. However, there are dozens of projects to choose from, ranging from planters and clocks to serving trays.

Don’t be afraid to request any changes to your personalization. I had made a mistake on my order, but the instructors happily fixed it for me. Ask early on if you need to make a change.

Bring treats and refreshments. Board and Brush is a BYOB place, and my group decided that we’d bring some treats to go with our wine and beer (that’s right, we brought both). Our spread was the stuff of envy. There was cheese, crackers, caramel popcorn, and sliced apples. The Omaha Board and Brush had a counter space away from the workspace to leave our stuff.  

Girl's Night Out at Board and Brush in Omaha - Your group can bring snacks and drinks for the three-hour workshop. This was the spread my group made.

You’ll be spending about three or so hours at Board and Brush, so you’re going to want snacks at the very least. But a good prosecco is pretty nice to sip on, too.

Listen to the directions. The staff goes through all the directions and demonstrate exactly what you need to do to at each step of your project. It’s pretty tempting to keep on talking with your group (so I hear), but it’s best to listen up. And when they say to wear ear plugs or to layer the gloves before staining your board, follow their recommendations. They make these suggestions based on experience.

Relax. You are faced with quite a few choices throughout the night: What stain to choose, what color of paint(s) to use, effects to do, etc. Trust yourself and don’t overthink things.

Plus, even if you do make a mistake – which happens – the staff at Board and Brush can fix anything. Anything. And my friends and I certainly tested them with some of our mistakes.

Girl's Night Out at Board and Brush - Instructors help with difficult steps in projects, if you want them to.

Just don’t feel rushed. They will not shut the lights off on you if you’re taking longer on your project than everyone else. I mean, don’t just dawdle, and go for the record on how long it takes to paint a sign, but don’t stress out either. It’s supposed to be fun.

Take a picture. Don’t just rush out when everyone in your group is finished. Have the staff take a picture of your finished work.

GIrl's Night Out at Board and Brush - My GNO group posing with our finished projects at the Omaha location.

Related post: Read this post for more girl’s night out ideas in Omaha.

More things to know about Board and Brush

– Board and Brush often has themed workshops, including a Christmas in July theme coming up. You can deck out your home with personalized projects following all of their seasonal offerings.

Board and Brush in Omaha - A few of the holiday projects available

– There are square projects available as add-ons to your main project. Two of my friends opted to add on these quick side projects. They’re only $15 each. I loved how they turned out! 

There are mini workshops that are drop-in sessions to make these projects for the same price. Check the calendar to see when there’s a drop-in session coming up.

Board and Brush - An example of one of the add-on projects you can pick during your session

– Board and Brush is primarily for adults, just due to the detailed steps involved. We had to hammer boards and then stain them. Then there’s painting and then waiting, and then maybe some more hammering. 

However, there are sessions specifically for families. I was told kids as young as 4 have enjoyed them but they’re best for kids ages 6 and older. You may still need to help with some steps, but if you want to have a fun day out with your kiddo, look into these kid-friendly sessions.

If you go

Board and Brush

Where: 539 N. 155th Plaza in Omaha. There are locations throughout the U.S.

Oh My! Omaha Discount: Oh My! Omaha readers can enjoy a $10 off discount on a workshop at Board and Brush. Use the promo code OHMYOMAHA when booking a class. To book a class, start here.

Board & Brush workshops are a great girl's night out! Here are tips for getting the most of your night out with friends, including what to bring, what to expect and how long a typical workshop takes. #sponsored #Omaha #boardandbrush

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Girls Night Out Event At Omaha Children’s Museum

This blog has been overdue sharing a girl’s night out information. The last official roundup of Girl’s Night Out suggestions was in 2013 (eek!). More recently, I shared tips on painting and drinking, making Knotty Nail art, and going to the theater. Most involved wine. I have one more girls night out idea that will likely involve a glass of wine: A night out at Omaha Children’s Museum.

What?! I know. The museum is having its first-ever Mom’s Night Out on June 9 and I’m here to share the details.

Stick around because I have a promo code for Buy One, Get One tickets!

Full disclosure: I work at Omaha Children’s Museum. Plus, I’m receiving complimentary tickets for writing about the event.

What’s Mom’s Night Out

Mom’s Night Out at Omaha Children’s Museum is a night for women ages 21 and older. If you want to be pampered, and you’re 21 or older, this is for you. You don’t have to be a mom to attend, by the way. All ladies of legal drinking age are welcomed.

As you guessed, since it’s a 21 and older event, there will be alcohol, and your admission fee covers one drink. There will also be food, shopping, and a place to chill with your friends and watch John Hughes movies. Sounds great, right?

BOGO Ticket Deal

Tickets are $15 each. Oh My! Omaha readers can use the promo code happymothersday to buy one, get one ticket FREE! Because really, you’ll want to bring a friend along. Or you know, make it a Mother’s Day present and buy one for your mom. You can purchase tickets online at here.

If you go

Mom’s Night Out

When: June 9, 8 to 11 p.m.

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

Cost: Tickets are $15 each. Use promo code happymothersday to get a second ticket FREE. Purchase tickets online here.


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Competitive Wine Tasting For A Cause

UPDATE (April 7, 2019): When last checked, this organization hasn’t been active.

Do good and drink wine.

Now there’s a philanthropic idea I can stand behind.

Allow me to introduce you all to Bacchanalian Society of Omaha. They throw competitive wine tastings that benefit local nonprofit organizations.


The Fall 2015 Gathering is coming up – Oct. 8 – and they invited me to attend so you guys can hear about it. Twist my arm, right?

Here’s the lowdown

1. All Bacchanalian events raise money for a different charity. They try to vary between different types of causes, but all directly serve Douglas, Sarpy, and/or Pottawatamie counties. The Fall 2015 Gathering benefits the Literacy Center. 

2. Prices to fundraisers are kept low to attract younger do-gooders and the rest of us who’d love to be more charitable but can’t afford the price of $100+ gala tickets.

About Competitive Wine Tastings

Photo courtesy The Bacchanalian Society of Omaha
Photo courtesy The Bacchanalian Society of Omaha

I was intrigued by this too, so I asked Katy Spratte, Bacchanalian Society of Omaha Vice President, to give first-timers a primer on what to expect and some tips for bringing the winning wine.

  1. Teams of 1, 2 or 3 people bring three bottles of the same wine fitting the event’s theme. For the Fall 2015 Gathering, white blends will be featured.
  2. Two of those bottles are bagged (to hide what they are) for the tasting; the third is set aside for the winner.
  3. Every attendee gets a set of voting cards, three green for the wines they like, and one red for the one they don’t. 
  4. Start tasting some of that wine, y’all.
  5. Vote.
  6. The teams that brought the five highest ranked wines divvy up each team’s third unopened bottle.
  7. The lowest ranked wine will be returned to the team that brought it.

Tips to winning this thing

  1. Look for wines with mass appeal. Think smooth and mellow stuff.
  2. Since we’re talking whites here, make sure you chill your bottles before the competition.
  3. Wines have ranged from $4 a bottle to $100… most expensive doesn’t always mean better. Katy said the last winner of a white theme (2014’s “West Coast Whites”) won with an $8 bottle purchased at Cubby’s in the Old Market.
  4. Local or Midwestern wines haven’t fared well at past events, so consider that when making a purchase.

Spirit World in Aksarben and Corkscrew in the Blackstone District are offering 10% off for all “bach” attendees who purchase their competition wine there; just mention Bacchanalian Society of Omaha.

If you go

Bacchanalian Society of Omaha Fall 2015 Wine Gathering

When: Thursday, Oct. 8; doors open at 7 p.m. and bottles popped at 7:30.

Where: Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas St.

Cost: Early birds can register as individuals for $20; price goes up to $25 later. Teams of 2 or 3 can register for $57. Register here. 

5 Things About Big O Bocce

I’ve been thinking about getting in some sort of sports league lately. One to be social but maybe a little active.

So I joined a bocce ball league.

Spoiler alert: My team isn’t going to win this league.

This year.

Didn’t know people played bocce ball in Omaha? And they’re like, our age?

There are 70-odd teams in the Big O Bocce league at Midtown Crossing this spring.



Bocce panoramic


Bocce ball is not a physically demanding sport, and can be played with a beverage in your hand – making it appealing to older folks and college-aged kids alike.

(Wait, does that make me an “older folk”?)


5 Things To Know About Big O Bocce


Bocce title


1. Anyone can play it.

I’ve never played bocce ball until last Tuesday. Nor had any members of my glorious bocce ball team, Joanie Loves Bocce, played. We had to google how to play.

So you can bet we were worthy adversaries.

Luckily our opponents had never played either, so there wasn’t a whole lot of pressure.

In case you were wondering, we lost to Balls Deep. I’ll let you come up with a joke right here.

Joanie Loves Bocce has serious game face, though.
Joanie Loves Bocce has serious game face, though.

Take heed, though, there are some competitive souls out there.

2. Anyone can play it but that doesn’t mean everyone’s good at it.

There is some skill to bocce, so even though we can all throw a ball, it’s not so easy to master. Being a competitive person, I had a hard time coming to terms with this. Kim wants to win.

3. League play is at Turner Park 

Put two and two together – sports and a public park – and you wonder if alcohol is involved. Well. Yes and no. People brought coolers, people purchased beer from Brix. But, it’s a public park so no one was throwing a kegger in Court No. 3. Everyone seemed pretty responsible, but having fun.

Not only can you play with a beverage in hand, you can pretend to measure distances as well.
Not only can you play with a beverage in hand, you can pretend to measure distances as well.

4. The real fun is afterward.

Sponsors of Big O Bocce – Cantina Laredo, Black Oak Grill and Chicago Dawg House – rotate offering post-game specials. We went to Cantina Laredo last week, and they offered $2 tacos and $2 Tecate beers. I’m excited to see what the other places will offer teams.

5. Summer league is on the horizon.

Will Joanie Loves Bocce be back? Who knows. But if you’ve got 5-8 friends, pool together your registration fee of $35 each and join the summer league. Registration starts May 25. You guys get a tshirt and an invite to the end-of-the-year party, and if you’re any good, maybe a trophy. Top scoring fees get money to donate to charities of their choice in addition to a trophy.


Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary registration in exchange for telling you about Big O Bocce. It was kinda unspoken that I wouldn’t tell you any rules or provide any “how to” tips because clearly, I have no idea what I’m doing out there.


Girls Night Out To Mamma Mia

“Mamma Mia” is one of those Broadway shows that have been around for decades and every time you meet a woman who hasn’t seen it, you’re a little surprised. But they’re out there, so I’m guessing when the Broadway touring production stops in Omaha April 24-26, there will be pockets of newbies having a ball watching it for the first time.


"Mamma Mia" runs April 24-26 at Omaha's Orpheum Theater.
“Mamma Mia” runs April 24-26 at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater.

I’ll be there on opening night. Omaha Performing Arts, who is my employer and the presenter of this show along with Broadway Across America, asked me and a few bloggers to write about the show before it comes to Omaha. I’ve seen it once already and I have a few opinions on it, so I agreed to it.


What you need to know about “Mamma Mia”

"Mamma Mia" is about friendship and the bonds between mothers and daughters.
“Mamma Mia” is about friendship and the bonds between mothers and daughters.

  1. It really is a great girls night out show. This is one you’ll want to see with friends, your sister, your mom…anyone but your husband. I took Mr. Wonderful to see this bright, cheerful musical when I was a young newspaper reviewer who always wanted her beau to accompany her to shows no matter what. He kinda dampened my fun (not once would he join in with me in singing “Dancing Queen”). He’s not the target audience; it just wasn’t what he’d call a good time. While he rolled his eyes, all around me groups of women were laughing, dancing, having a ball. Lesson learned.
  2. It’s all ABBA music. You probably already know this. The creators faithfully kept the ABBA songs whole and managed to write a musical around them. It’s not a jukebox musical, but a traditional musical whose story is moved forward each time someone sings a song. It’s a fun time if you enjoy an ABBA song or two (or the whole catalog); it’s a drag if you don’t. Haters gonna hate.
  3. There is a plot to the musical. It’s not complex, and its meaning will seem more profound if you have had a drink before the show, but there’s still a nice storyline to it. It’s about mother-daughter bonds, the bonds between friends, and getting older (but not getting old).

Which circles me back to why this is a great girls night out show: No guy can relate to the difficult but profoundly meaningful relationship that is the mother-daughter relationship.


What guy wouldn't want to see a musical with ABBA music that focuses on female friendships? I mean, really.
What guy wouldn’t want to see a musical with ABBA music that focuses on female friendships? I mean, really.

Maybe I’ll see you there on April 24! I won’t be there with my husband.


If you go

“Mamma Mia”

When: Friday, April 24, through Sunday, April 26. Performances are Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1:30 and 7 p.m.

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

Get tickets 

Tip: Do not wait to get your tickets! Tickets are selling well and will not get any cheaper.


Heritage Opens In Downtown Omaha

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. My meal and drink was provided by the restaurant in order to experience all Heritage has to offer. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Omaha’s newest restaurant, Heritage Food and Wine, held a soft opening this past weekend. Located just north of the Orpheum Theater in downtown Omaha, it’s in a downtown area that’s becoming a known for good, locally-sourced food.

Heritage is located on South 15th Street in downtown Omaha.
Heritage is located on South 15th Street in downtown Omaha.

My dinner companions were fellow bloggers and social media hotshots – Lisa at and, Dana at (and also and part of, Janelle at, Sarah from (and Yelp), Liz at and Kris, a brand-builder extraordinaire.

Bakes in Slippers and Momsgoodeats, AKA Janelle and Dana.
Bakes in Slippers and Momsgoodeats, AKA Janelle and Dana.

The atmosphere

It’s pretty modern looking with some interesting light fixtures.

Look up.
Look up.

The lights were dim for the evening, so if you’re thinking on wooing someone with some mood lighting, here you go.

Foodies are going to flock Heritage since many working here have come from places like V. Mertz, Dante’s and The Boiler Room. If that’s not your scene, you won’t be impressed by that, and you probably avoid places that attract foodies anyway. However, if you like to eat good food, you’ll want to try this place out.

The straight forward menu. You want something from the garden? Got it. Want something from the sea? Easy.
The straight forward menu. You want something from the garden? Got it. Want something from the sea? Easy.

You can be adventurous in ordering or stick to what you know. Menu’s pretty straight forward.



I first noticed the beer list – small but a great selection (Delirium Tremens, folks). Then I pondered the extensive wine list – now we’re talking my territory – but my crew that night was ordering craft cocktails, so I followed suit.

I joined Liz in requesting “something fruity with rum.” I’d tell you to get it if I knew what it was. The bartenders know their stuff, though, so if you’re a cocktail novice like me, just tell them something vague and they’ll make something spectacular.

It turns out I would’ve been more than fine getting wine. They have a certified sommelier on staff, which explains the enviable wine cellar. Next time, I’m pairing stuff with wine.


The food

That’s what you really want to know about, right? It’s comfort food.  Things are served family-style, which I liked a lot since it allowed for us to try a lot of food instead of being saddled with one entree and wishing you could sample someone’s food.

Huge fries and biscuits with honey, yes please.
Huge fries and biscuits with honey, yes please.


Being family-style, things come on small plates and there’s no appetizer, entree, dessert order to things. Instead, the menu is divided into garden, pasture, sea and coop (and cave – the charcuterie option).


Sweet potatoes like your mama never used to make.
Sweet potatoes like your mama never used to make.


Among the dishes I like: Sweet potatoes with carmelized white chocolate and marshmallows; house pickles; smoked salmon and gravlox; roasted vegetables; and the creamed kale that came with the duck breast. There were some incredible homemade biscuits too.


There's no way to photograph creamed kale and make it look good. Just take my word for it, it was good.
There’s no way to photograph creamed kale and make it look good. Just take my word for it, it was good.

Would I bring my kids?

I wouldn’t feel out of place doing it – there were some dishes I mentally checkmarked as things I bet they’d eat. I could see bringing them along if we were having a nice dinner out with their Grammy and Grampy.

However, this seems more to me like a great date spot to hit before a show. Or even better, to go with a group of friends so you can order a bunch of plates and taste a lot of stuff.


If you go

Heritage Food and Wine
Where: 316 S. 15th St.
For reservations: (402) 991-0660