September 1, 2018

Halloween In Omaha

After years of adding Halloween events to my monthly events roundups, it’s time to just give Halloween its own post. Here’s a list of events, movie screenings, date night ideas, and free activities to celebrate Halloween. Most are kid-friendly, but some are definitely not. 

The following are things to do in Omaha leading up to Halloween 2018. If you know of an event to add, please let me know at!

A roundup of Halloween events in Omaha including costume balls, trunk or treats, movies, and more ways to celebrate #spooky #kidfriendly #nebraska

Kid-friendly & Teen Halloween Events

Cobweb Castle, Sept. 29 through Oct. 31 during museum hours, Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., included with regular museum admission

Howl-O-Ween Safari, Oct. 5 and 6 at 6 p.m., Wildlife Safari Park, 16406 N. 292 St., Ashland, Neb., $20 for members and $25 for non-members (VIP passes to enter one hour early are $30 for members and $35 for non-members

Planes, Trains & Autos Halloween Event, Oct. 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb., included with regular museum admission

Nebraska Furniture Mart Halloween 5K, Oct. 13, Nebraska Furniture Mart, 700 S. 72nd St., $30 for ages 14+ and $10 for children ages 13 and yougner

Witches Tea, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mangelson’s 3457 S. 84th St., FREE

Spooky Saturday, Oct. 13 from 3 to 4 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St. (best for ages 5-11), FREE

Spooktacular, Oct. 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, $8.95 for members and $9.95 for non-members 

Teen Hangout: Omaha Urban Legends, Oct. 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Horror Movie Trivia 7: Halloween Edition, Oct. 18 from 8 to 10:30 p.m., The Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St., FREE

LEGO Club: Halloween Edition, Oct. 19 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Tricks & Treats, Oct. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m., Westwood Plaza at 120th and Center streets, FREE

Trick or Treat with the Animals of Gifford Farm, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., ESU#3 – Gifford Farm Education Center, 700 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue, Neb., $5 per trick-or-treater (cash or check only)

Monster’s Masquerade, Oct. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m., Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., $20 for members and $25 for non-members

Hoot n’ Howl Glow Ride, Oct. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m., Malvern Depot, 301 W. Fifth St., Malvern, Iowa, $25

LEGO Club Halloween Edition, Oct. 22 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., FREE

The Great Hall-oween Haunt, Oct. 23 from 5 to 8 p.m., The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St., included with regular museum admission

Healthy Trick or Treat Night, Oct. 23 and 30, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., included with regular museum admission

Spooktacular, Oct. 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St., FREE

Elkhorn Hills Trunk or Treat!, Oct. 24 from 5:45 to 7p.m., 20227 Veterans Drive, Elkhorn Neb. FREE

Trunk-Or-Treat, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m., Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, 153 S. McKenna Ave., Gretna, Neb., FREE

Anime Club: Horror Edition (Teens), Oct. 25 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Washington branch, 2868 Ames Ave., FREE

Jeff Quinn’s Spooky Magic Show, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m., Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St., FREE

Annual Carson Businesses Halloween Trick or Treat Night, Oct. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m., Carson Community Center and nearby businesses, 316 S. Commercial St., Carson, Iowa, FREE

HETRA’s Stall and Treat Halloween Party With The Horses, Oct. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m., 10130 S. 222nd St., Gretna, Neb., FREE

Baseballoween at Werner Park, Oct. 26 from 5 to 8 p.m., Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way, FREE

Trick Or Treat With Spider-Man, Oct. 26 from 5 to 8 p.m., Nebraska Furniture Mart, 700 S. 72nd St., FREE 

Teen Halloween Hunger Games Lock-In, Oct. 26 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St., FREE (registration required)

Halloween Howl 5K Run/Walk, Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. (registration opens at 8), New Horizons Presbyterian Church, 30 Valley View Drive, Council Bluffs, Iowa, $25 (benefits Midlands Humane Society) 

Trick-Or-Treat At The Museum, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Union Pacific Museum, 200 Pearl St, Council Bluffs, Iowa, FREE

Saddlebrook Spooktacular, Oct. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook branch, 14850 Laurel Ave., FREE

Benson Boo Bash, Oc. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., downtown Benson, FREE

Omaha’s Great Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17305 Davenport St., FREE

DIY Potion Bottles (Teens), Oct. 27 from noon to 2 p.m., Omaha Public Library Florence branch, 2920 Bondesson St., FREE 

Halloween BOO! Cruise: A Family Adventure!, Oct. 27 from noon to 1 p.m., River City Star, 151 Freedom Park Road, $16 for adults, $13 for seniors/military, $10 for children (12 and younger), and $4 for wee ones (ages 18 months and younger)

Haunted Escape Room (Teens), Oct. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m., Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook branch, 14850 Laurel Ave., FREE

Halloween Bash!, Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m., Hy’Vee at 3410 N. 156th St., FREE

UNO Mav Kids Halloween Party, Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m., UNO HPER Building, 6001 Dodge St., FREE

Haunted House, Oct. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m., Omaha Public Library Millard branch, 13214 Westwood Lane, FREE (registration required)

Spooky Science, Oct. 27 from 2 to 3 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Teen Cafe: Halloween Treats, Oct. 27 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Abrahams branch, 5111 N. 90th St., FREE

Second Annual Halloween Bash, Oct. 27 from 3 p.m. to midnight (poker for adults held at 6 and 9 p.m), VFW 247, 3302 Leavenworth St.

Spooky Science for Teens, Oct. 27 from 4 to 5 p.m., Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St., FREE

Trick or Treat in the Forest, Oct. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m., Fontenelle Forest, 1111 Bellevue Blvd. N, Bellevue, Neb., $5 each for members and $15 each for non-members, and FREE for children ages 2 and younger

Trunk or Treat, Oct. 27 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Chick-fil-A, 6310 N. 72nd St., FREE

Meet & Treat, Oct. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m., Southeast Precinct, 25th and Vinton streets, FREE

Omaha Zombie Walk – Roarin’ 20s, Oct. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m., Benson (56th St. NW Radial to 62nd Street & Maple), FREE

Ghoulish Garden Adventure, Oct. 28 from noon to 4 p.m., Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St., included with regular garden admission

Halloween Hoopla, Oct. 28 from 1 to 3 p.m., Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Highway 380, Papillion, Neb., FREE

Carved at Rockbrook Village, Oct. 28 from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Rockbrook Village, 2800 S. 110th Court, FREE

Old Market Fall Festival, Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m., various locations in the Old Market, FREE

Symphony Spooktacular “Out of this World,” Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. (pre-show activities begin about 45 minutes before the show), Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St., $15

Trunk-Or-Treat, Oct. 28 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Emanuel Lutheran Church, 2444 N. Broadway, Council Bluffs, Iowa, FREE

Community-Wide Trunk-Or-Treat, Oct. 28 from 3:30 to 5 p.m., New Horizon Presbyterian Church, 30 Valley View Drive, Council Bluffs, Iowa, FREE

Trunk or Treat, Oct. 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Play By Play Kidzone, 13540 Discovery Drive, FREE with canned food donation or $1 donation to Food bank for the Heartland

“Ballad of Anna The Brave” Radio Show, Oct. 28, Gallery 1516, 1516 Leavenworth St., FREE

100 Block Trick or Treat for the Kids, Oct. 29 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., 100 block of West Broadway, FREE

Trick-or-Treat At Regency, Oct. 29 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Regency Court 120, Regency Parkway, FREE

Touch A Truck & Trick-Or-Treat, Oct. 29 from 5 to 8 p.m., Quaker Steak & Lube, 3320 Mid America Dr, Council Bluffs, Iowa, FREE (kids meals are $1)

Tiny Tots Halloween Party, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon, Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch, 4808 Cass St., FREE

Spooky Project Runway Challenge (Teens), Oct. 30 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Omaha Public Library Sorensen branch, 4808 Cass St., FREE (registration required)

Halloween Fun Fest, Oct. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Omaha Public Library Main branch, 215 S. 15th St., FREE

Kids In Costume Eat Free, Oct. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to close, McAlister’s Deli locations, FREE (for 12 and younger)

La Vista’s Halloween Safe Night, Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 7 p.m., 
La Vista Community Center, 8116 Park View Blvd., La Vista, Neb., FREE

Haunted Houses

Camp Fear, Riverwest Park, 23301 West Maple Road, Elkhorn, Neb., open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31, depends on the attraction

Dead Manor Haunted House, 7328 S. 179th St., open Oct. 26-38 and Oct. 31, free will donation

Gateway of Chaos, Mills County Fairgrounds, Malvern, Iowa, open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31, $10 per person, $8 with two non-perishable food item donations and $6 with two non-perishable food items and two household item donations

Madness Haunted House, 1751 Madison Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa, open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31

Mystery Manor, 716 N. 18th St., $14 (save $2 if purchased online; fast pass is $25), open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31

Ranch of Terror and “Darkness” The Hayride Experience, Bellevue Berry Farm and Pumpkin Ranch, 11001 S. 48th St., open Sept. 21 through Oct. 28, Ranch of Terror and Hayride Experience are $13 each or $22 for a combo, 

Scary Acres, 17272 Giles Road, open Sept. 14 through Oct. 31, $10-11 for each attraction or $25 for a combo of all three

The Shadow’s Edge, 3457 S. 84th St., open Sept. 21 through Oct. 31

Movies to get you in the Halloween Spirit

Drive-In Movies at Falconwood Park, movie starts at dusk, 905 Allied Road, Bellevue, Neb., $7-$20; movies include “Monster’s Inc.” (Sept. 27), “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Oct. 4), “Twilight” (Oct. 11), “Hocus Pocus” (Oct. 18), “Coraline”/”Hotel Transylvania” double header (Oct. 21), “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Oct. 25), and “The Craft”/”Zombieland” double feature (Oct. 27)

Nightmare Theater, Sept. 14 through Oct. 31, movie starts at dusk, Riverwest Park, 23301 West Maple Road, Elkhorn, Neb., $5 per person and kids under 5 are FREE (admission is FREE Oct. 29-31); movies include “Children on the Corn” – “Pet Cemetery” (Sept. 14), “House of the Devil” – “Silent Hill” (Sept. 15), “Hotel Transylvania”- “Franken Weenie” – “Hocus Pocus” (Sept. 21 Family Night), ” “The Shining” – “What We Do in the Shadows” – “Orphan” (Sept. 22), “The Bye Bye Man” – “The Crooked Man” – “The Candyman” (Sept. 28), “Jeepers Creepers” – “Happy Death Day” – “The Apparition” (Sept. 29), “Jeepers Creepers 3” – “The Conjuring” (Sept. 30), “The Boy” – “The Lost Boys” (Oct. 4), “Scared Shreckless” – “Beetlejuice” – “Goosebumps” (Oct. 5 Family Night), “The Exorcist” – “Hereditary” – “Insidious” (Oct. 6), “You’re Next” – “Vacancy” (Oct. 7), “House on Haunted Hill” – “The Hills Have Eyes” (Oct. 11), “Evil Dead” – “Cult of Chucky” – “Friday the 13th (original)” (Oct. 12), “IT (2017)” – “Rob Zombie’s “31” – “House October Built 2” (Oct. 13), “Fright Night” – “Poltergeist (original)” (Oct. 14), “Alien” – “Aliens” (Oct. 18), “Nightmare on Elm Street (original)” – “Dark Tapes” – “Prince of Darkness” (Oct. 19), “Texas Chainsaw (1974)” – “Ax Murders of Villisca, IA” – “Annabelle Creation” (Oct. 20), “Ghost House” – “Death House” (Oct. 21), “Mom and Dad” – “The Strangers” (Oct. 25), “Night of the Living Dead” – “Shaun of the Dead” – “Return of the Dead” (Oct. 26), “Rob Zombie Halloween” – “House of 1000 Corpses” – “Devils Rejects” (Oct. 27), “Amityville Horror (2005)” – “Sinister” (Oct. 28), “Halloween (original)” (Oct. 29), “Trick R Treat” (Oct. 30), and “Halloween 3” (Oct. 31)

October Fright Night Series, Oct. 4-27 on select nights at 10 p.m., Majestic Cinema of Omaha and Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue, $5; movies include “The Shining” (Oct. 4-6), “Candyman” (Oct. 11-13), “It” (Oct. 18-20), and “The Exorcist” (Oct. 25-27)

“Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween” Family Parties, Oct. 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to noon, Majestic Cinema of Omaha and Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue, FREE (does not include movie)

Family-Friendly Movie Screenings, Oct. 14-31 on Saturdays at 10 a.m., Sundays at 11 a.m. and on Halloween at 5 p.m., Hollywood Candy, 1209 Jackson St., FREE; “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (Oct. 14), “Back To The Future” (Oct. 20), “Twilight Zone” (Oct. 21), “Hocus Pocus” (Oct. 27 and 31), and “Once Bitten” (Oct. 28)

Drafthouse of Horrors “The Blob,” Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., Alamo Drafthouse, 12750 Westport Parkway, $8.60

Adults-Only Halloween Events

Need an excuse to dress up? Here are some events you’re not going to want to bring the kids to:

Wizards Assemble Pub Crawl, Sept. 13 from 4 to 10 p.m., starts at Old Chicago, 1111 Harney St., $20 (price will increase)

Boos and Birdies 1st Annual Halloween Scramble, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m., Knolls Golf Course, 11630 Sahler St., $60 per person (4-person scramble)

I Love The 90s Bar Crawl, Oct. 13 from 2 to 10 p.m., $15

Spooks & Spokes Bike Scavenger Hunt Ride, Oct. 20 at noon, start at Pint 9 Brewery, 10411 Portal Road, suite 104, Papillion, Neb., $40 for a team of two (includes T-shirt)

Halloween Party, Oct. 20 from 7 p.m. to midnight, Wired Pub & Grill, 5338 N. 103rd St.

Cursed Quarters, Tuesdays Oct. 23 through Nov. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. (films are “The Old House,” “The Haunting,” “The Amityville Horror,” “Poltergeist” and “House”), Film Streams Dundee Linder Microcinema, 4952 Dodge St., $125 for general, $100 for students/teachers/seniors/military, and $75 for members

Sip + Paint / Dia de Muertos, Oct. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m., El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St., $30 (includes two drink tickets)

A Night At The Leaky Cauldron, Oct. 25 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Mercury Drinks + Food, 329 N. 16th St., cost of drinks

Halloween Cookie Decorating, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon, Jen’s Custom Cookies, 51st and Jefferson streets, $31.50

Masquerade at the Castle, Oct. 26 and 27 from 7 to 11 p.m., Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St., $85 for general admission or $76.50 for Keyholders

Halloween Party, Oct. 27 at 8:30 p.m., New Frontier Bar, 8516 N. 30th St., FREE (maybe?)

Secret Weapon’s Annual Halloween Bash, Oct. 27 at 9 p.m., The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., $10

Cult Classic Live, Oct. 30 at 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.), Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave., $10 in advance & $12 at the door

Hip Hop Halloween, Oct. 31 from 9 p.m. to midnight (doors open at 8 p.m.), Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave., $8

Want more ideas?

These aren’t necessarily Halloween events, but they’re great fall activities:

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October 10, 2017

Vala’s Scavenger Hunt

A day at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, Neb., is not enough to see and do all the free activities. I’ve tried. There’s plenty to do just walking around and stumbling on fun activities. But, if you’re a regular at Vala’s or a season pass holder, here’s the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt to spice up your next visit.

Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, Nebraska
Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area and it’s only open about 45 days a year!

This scavenger hunt is great for groups. I know this since I did a version of it during a work outing recently. I’ve altered it some, but the fun tasks and hard-to-find items are all the brainchild of two Omaha Children’s Museum colleagues, Amy and Grace. It’s great when you work with such creative people!

Vala’s Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt is specific to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch and the unique things found there, so it won’t work at other pumpkin patches. That said, if you think you know Vala’s, this hunt is going to prove you wrong!

Oversized chicken piano at Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Nebraska
Sure, the Henway Piano is easy to find, but good luck finding everything else on the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt,

Here are a few suggestions for the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt. You don’t have to use these rules, but they helped with our hunt:

– Teams must stick together to complete the scavenger hunt. Splitting up is not allowed.

– Set a time limit. Our time limit was strict, and any team that arrived late was docked 25 points for each minute past the end time. This kept things pretty fair.

– Make sure at least one member on each team has a phone with a lot of storage space for the photos and videos.

Download the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt

Headed to Vala's Pumpkin Patch this fall? Get the free printable scavenger hunt to try! #Omaha #Nebraska #pumpkinpatch

Download the scavenger hunt here! This is free to use for personal use. Please do not reshare this on any other site without my permission.

If you go

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

Where: 12102 S. 180th St., Gretna, Neb.

When: Opened seasonally starting mid-September through Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


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October 15, 2014

Omaha Symphony’s Halloween Shows + Giveaway

The Omaha Symphony is getting into the Halloween spirit this season, presenting two shows themed around Halloween. I’m pretty psyched about both of them – but I have to tell you, the second one is a perfect show for the whole family. 

Symphony new logo

The first one is “Scary Movie Music” this Saturday. You’ll hear the thrilling, chilling music from “Beetlejuice,” “Bride of Frankenstein,” “Harry Potter,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and more. Cool, right?

This isn’t for youngsters, mind you. There won’t be any visuals accompanying the songs, but given the titles of some of the movies included, you’ll be replaying scary scenes in your head as the music is played.

You’re encouraged to come in costume. This would be a fun night out with friends!

The show you’ll want to bring your kids to see: 

Symphony Spooktacular Logo copy

On Sunday, Oct. 26, families will want to attend the annual “Symphony Spooktacular.”

This year, magician Keith West will be a part of the show!

Magician Keith Brandy will be in the Omaha Symphony's "Symphony Spooktacular" on Oct. 26, 2014, at the Holland Center.

Magician Keith West and his assistant will be in the Omaha Symphony’s “Symphony Spooktacular” on Oct. 26, 2014, at the Holland Center.


I brought both kids last year (they were 2 and almost 4 at the time) and it was fun! Read my review and see instrument petting zoo pictures here.

The show starts at 2 p.m., but you want to arrive early to enjoy the hands-on activities in the lobby. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes, after all, the musicians will be in costumes, too. There will be a little trick or treating following the show. 

The Spooktacular is part of the Omaha Symphony’s Family series, kid-friendly shows in the daytime (LOVE that) that are short enough for most attention spans. I find toddlers will need a break before the end of the show, though. Each show that I’ve attended have been engaging and entertaining without dumbing a single thing down for kids. My 4-year-old has sat through every one he’s attended.


If you go

“Scary Movie Music”

When: Saturday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St., Keiwit Hall

Purchase tickets


“Symphony Spooktacular”

When: Sunday, Oct. 26, 2 p.m. (Tip: Arrive early and pick seats before doing the activities. If you have a young kid, you’ll want an aisle seat for easy exits)

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St., Keiwit Hall

Purchase tickets



Want to see “Symphony Spooktacular”? Omaha Symphony has provided four tickets for one lucky reader to attend the show on Oct. 26! Giveaway ends Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 11:59 p.m. Prize is valued at $48.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Omaha Symphony for writing this post. Omaha Symphony provided the giveaway tickets. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


October 30, 2013

Review: Symphony Spooktacular – The Kids Sat Still!

Mooch and the cello.

Mooch and the cello.

My kids went to a symphony concert and sat through almost all of it. I know!

OK, this wasn’t just any symphony concert. Omaha Symphony put on its annual “Symphony Spooktacular” on Sunday – an hour-long production that catered to the tastes of antsy youngsters in itchy costumes. Farley was enthralled for the entire show. Unexpectedly, Mooch sat through most of it (only two potty breaks). This is a huge step for the 2-year-old.

Have you ever gone to any of shows in the symphony’s Family Series? I think I’m sold on these. For the cost, you can’t beat the intro to orchestral music.

What to expect

Family Series shows start at the kid-friendly 2 p.m. time slot. An hour before the show starts, the lobby comes alive with activities based on the performance and the instrument petting zoo. Since this was a Halloween concert, there were spooky photo opps (including a fun photo booth). You might want to claim some seats before exploring the pre-show fun since it’s general admission. Tips: Don’t sit too close, no matter how much your kid begs, and aim for the center section for a good overall view of the orchestra. If your kid is likely going to need a potty break or a time out, claim the coveted aisle seat.

The petting zoo was crowded but my kids got to try their hand at a few instruments.

A trumpet-playing pirate. And by trumpet-playing, I mean he touched a trumpet and made no sounds.

A trumpet-playing pirate. And by trumpet-playing, I mean he touched a trumpet and made no sounds.

Don’t worry, they clean those things.

The show itself is short by performing arts standards, and not at all boring. It opened with “Thriller,” for crying out loud. Many musicians wore costumes (there was a fun little costume contest during the show). It was all visually appealing, with a little mood lighting, the colorful costumes, the personable conductor Ernest Richardson, and of course, just seeing the instruments themselves.

What kept the show entertaining for the young audience were “the extras”: The dancers, the martial artists (who did a “Star Wars” themed choreographed fight), and the Man in the Moon.

After the performance, the kids were invited to trick or treat in the lobbies of the Holland Center. It was a mad house.

Timing a potty break

Since the performance itself is so short, try to get your kids to go before it begins. The ushers stop you from returning to your seats during a song, so you will have to wait at the door until the song ends.

Will an adult like this?

I can’t vouch for the rest of the shows in the series, but the “Symphony Spooktacular” was a good show. I liked seeing my kids eyes light up when characters danced on stage, the “Whoa!” look on Mooch’s face during a particularly intense moment. Plus, I’m admittedly not able to sit through long symphonic performances, so one hour is good for me too. And everyone in my family liked the casualness of the day. Jeans are OK at shows like these.

If you want to go to the next show

“Mozart’s Missing Memory” is next in the Omaha Symphony Family Series. It is Jan. 19, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the Holland Center. Tickets are general admission for $12.

October 25, 2013

10 Omaha Parks and Rec Halloween Events

Any of you regulars at Omaha Parks and Recreation Community Centers? They kind of get overlooked in our household, though that’s regrettable considering all they offer. Take Halloween for instance. The city sent me a list of everything planned for the next week – most of it is FREE – and it made me rethink my neglect. Maybe you and I ought to visit our neighborhood community center, eh?

Photo by Stunt of the Litter

Photo by Stunt of the Litter

Freaky Friday Halloween Party

A.V. Sorensen Center

Today, 6 to 9 p.m.

Ages 5 and under, $1; 6 -12, $5

Boo Bash

Benson Center

Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m


Halloween Skate

Motto McLean Ice Arena

Saturday, 12:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Fee $3


Saddlebrook Center

Saturday, 1 to 3 p.m.


Trunk or Treat

Camelot Center

Saturday, 5 to 7 p.m.


Halloween Bash

Adams Park Center

Tuesday, 5 to 7 p.m.


Trunk or Treat

Montclair Center

Tuesday, 5 to 7 p.m.


Candy Bar Bingo

Camelot Center

Tuesday, 6 p.m.


Halloween Spooktacular

Florence Center

Wednesday, 6:30 to 8 p.m.


Halloween Party

A.V. Sorensen Center

Thursday, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Ages 5 and under, $1

For more information, visit or call your nearest City of Omaha Community Center.

September 30, 2013

Omaha Haunted House Discounts

There is no shortage of haunted houses in the Omaha area, which means you stand a good chance at not paying full price to go to one. Here are few of the Omaha haunted houses I came across that offered a discount:

Haunted Hollow

120th Street and Old Giles Road

Now open


Discount: $1 off when you use this coupon

Mystery Manor

716 N. 18th St.

Now open


Discount: BOGO on Wednesdays, Oct. 2, 9 and 16 from dusk until 10 p.m. (that’s buy one, get one free for those of you not in the couponing know)

Scary Acres

17272 Giles Road

Opens Oct. 1


Discount: Coupons for $1 off and $2 off here

Discount 2: Bring 1 can of food and receive $1 off any single attraction. Up to $3 off with up to 3 cans of food on Combo Tickets. Please note: You may bring additional cans of food to “help feed the hungry” however they do not provide additional discounts. All discounts are one per person. Any and All discounts are ONLY offered Sunday – Thursday. Bring valid Military ID for $1 off any Single Attraction or $3 off Super Combo. Discount good for one person with ID only. Any and All discounts are ONLY offered Sunday – Thursday.

* No discounts on Fridays and Saturdays

The Shadow’s Edge

3457 S. 84th St. (outside Mangelsen’s)

Now open


Discount: The website has a coupon page where you fill out a form and then you get a $2 off coupon good through Oct. 31 (can’t be used on Fridays and Saturdays, or combined with other offers). Mondays and Tuesdays, admission is reduced to $6.

Edited Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.

Do you have a favorite haunted house to go to in Omaha – or does your kid have a favorite?