November 1, 2017

Ultimate Omaha Holiday Events List

Updated: Oct. 18, 2018

Omaha is the best place for a family to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 2018. You can find free activities, every kind of live performance from ballet to orchestra to rock, and a ton of chances to meet Santa around town.

Got a kid-free night ahead of you? Good, I also included some activities that are perfect for a holiday date night.

Pin this post because I will add to this list often!

Omaha Holiday Events in 2018

A Holiday At Hogwarts

When: Nov. 10, noon to 3 p.m. (VIP entry is at 11:30 a.m.)

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

What: A Harry Potter-themed event in the forest with crafts and activities.

Cost: 15 for members, and $25 for non-members; 100 guests may purchase VIP tickets as well

Holiday Decor 

When: Mid-November to early January 2019; weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: General Crook House Museum, 5730 No. 30th St. 11b

What: Tour the museum while enjoying complimentary apple cider and cookies. The Victorian-style home is decorated throughout for Christmas.

Cost: Suggested donation is $7, adults, and $5, children

Neighborhood Toy Store Day

When: Nov. 10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Fat Brain Toys, 16909 Burke St., Suite 131

What: A celebration of Neighborhood Toy Store Day and holiday season kick off with real reindeer, fun photo area, hot chocolate and crafts.

Cost: FREE

“A Tale Of Two Dickens”

When: Nov. 10; performances are at 3 p.m. at The Field Club of Omaha and 7 p.m. at theGeneral Crook House Museum

Where: Field Club of Omaha, 3615 Wolworth Ave., and General Crook House Museum, 5730 No. 30th St. 11b

What: Gerald Dickens, great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, will perform a one-man performance of “A Christmas Carol.” Traditional tea held at 2 p.m. before the Field Club performance and a cocktail begins at 6 p.m. before the Crook House performance.

Cost: $37 for Members, $40 for Non-Members (Field Club performance) and $75 (Crook House performance)

Holiday Expo: All About Her

When: Nov. 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Baxter Arena, 2425 S. 67th St.

What: Exhibitors will have items to shop for relating to fashion, food and more.

Cost: $1

Winterfest Council Bluffs

When: November-January

Where: Bayliss Park, 599 First Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: An outdoor lighting ceremony, lights display and more TBD

Cost: FREE

“A Christmas Carol”

When: Nov. 16 though Dec. 23; performances are Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 and 6:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

What: This is an annual tradition on stage in Omaha. Read What To Expect If You Bring Kids “A Christmas Carol.”

Cost: $38 (for the 2017 performance; ticket prices have not been announced for 2018)

Gingerbread House Display

When: Mid-November through Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the center closes at 3 P.M. on Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Where: Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters, 3215 State St.

What: It’s an annual gingerbread house display that’s free to visit. See pictures from a past festival here!

Cost: FREE

50th Annual Performance of Handel’s “Messiah”

When: Nov. 18

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: FREE

Gingerbread House Display

When: Mid-November through Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the center closes at 3 P.M. on Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Where: Kanesville Tabernacle, 222 East Broadway, Council Bluffs, Iowa

What: It’s an annual gingerbread house display that’s free to visit.

Cost: FREE

Turkey Trot 5K

When: Nov. 22

Where: Lewis & Clark Landing, 345 N. Riverfront Drive

What: A 5K fun run.

Cost: $50

NRG Energy Ice Rink

When: Nov. 21 through Feb. 14, 2018; hours are Sundays–Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 1 p.m. to midnight, Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve, 1 to 5 p.m. (opening ceremony is Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.)

Where: The Capitol District, 11th Street and Capitol Avenue

What: Outdoor skating in downtown Omaha.

Cost: $8, includes skate rental (admission is still required for patrons who bring their own skates) and benefits the Food Bank for the Heartland.

Holiday Harmony

When: Nov. 22, Nov. 24-26, and Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10, and Dec. 15-23, various times

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: Enjoy live music amid the festive garden surroundings.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

Deck The Park

When: Nov. 22 (lights on at dusk)

Where: Midtown Crossing, 33rd and Farnam streets

What: Enjoy discounts at some of the stores and restaurants, plus see the trees light up for the season at dusk.

Cost: FREE

Holiday Lights Festival Downtown Lights

When: Nov. 22 through Jan. 1, 2019, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly ( Thanksgiving Lighting Festival event is Nov. 23, 6 to 7 p.m.)

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets

What: Trees around the Old Market and mall are lit up for Christmas.

Cost: FREE

Making Spirits Bright Holiday Concert

When: Nov. 22, 7 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: This free concert is part of the Holiday Lights Festival kick-off.

Cost: FREE

“Santa’s Magic”

When: Nov. 23 through Dec. 23, multiple shows daily

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

What: An interactive exhibit featuring Santa, the Snow Queen, elves and indoor snow. Be sure to come with your wish list.

Cost: Included with regular Museum admission, which is $13 for ages 2+, $12 for seniors, and FREE for children younger than 24 months and members

Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: Nov. 23, 4 to 8 p.m. (tree lighting at approximately 7)

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

What: Meet Santa, see the Festival of Trees and countdown the tree lighting at Durham Museum.

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for children 3-12; and free for members and children age 2 and under.

Holiday Poinsettia Show

When: Nov. 23 through Jan. 6, 2019 (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day); the Holiday Poinsettia Aglow even is 5 to 8 p.m. in the evenings.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: This indoor flower show is perfect for the holidays, plus the indoor model train is always a hit with kids.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children 6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

Christmas At Union Station

When: Nov. 23 through Jan. 6, 2019

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

What: See the region’s largest Christmas tree, the Holiday Cultural Tree Exhibit, and meet Santa (Saturdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sundays, Nov. 26-Dec. 17, 1-3 p.m.; Tuesdays on Dec. 4, 11 and 18, 5 to 8 p.m.). Holiday Concert Series performances are Saturdays at 10 a.m., Sundays at 1 p.m., and Tuesdays (in December) at 5 p.m. Holiday Cultural Festival is Nov. 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. Family Nights With Santas are every Tuesday in December from 5 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Included with regular admission, which is $11 for adults; $8 for seniors; $7 for children 3-12; and free for members and children age 2 and under.

Never been to The Durham Museum? Here’s a Durham Museum primer for families before your first visit.

Winter Wonderland

When: Nov. 24

Where: Downtown Papillion, Neb.

What: The downtown is lit with lights, while families can enjoy free activities like carriage rides, hot chocolate and s’mores, visits with Santa, photos with live reindeer and many more activities. There’s also a Christkindl market.

Cost: FREE

Sounds of the Season

When: Saturdays, Nov. 24 through Dec. 22, 7 to 8 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market

What: Carolers and performers will be performing on Saturday nights.

Cost: FREE

La Vista ‘Twas The Light Before Christmas Wintertainment

When: Nov. 26, 5:45 p.m. (Santa’s Workshop runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)

Where: Tree Lighting and Soup Supper at City Hall and Community Center, 8116 Park View Blvd. and Santa’s Workshop at 8305 Park View Blvd.

What: An annual event in La Vista. Santa arrives at 6 p.m. to help turn on the lights.

Cost: FREE, donations are accepted

Fun with STEM: DIY Holiday Gifts

When: Nov. 28, 3 to 4 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

What: A lesson in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics while making gifts. For ages 8-12.

Cost: FREE (registration required)

“Holidays at Hogwarts”

When: Nov. 29 through Dec. 22

Where: The Apollon, 1801 Vinton St.

What: An interactive dinner show featuring Harry Potter characters.

Cost: TBD

Read the review of the 2017 “Holidays at Hogwarts” show here.

98 Degrees At Christmas

When: Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: From 1997 to 2002, 98 Degrees sold a staggering 10 million records. The band is back together and touring the holiday season.

Cost: TBD

“Elf: The Musical”

When: Nov. 30 through Dec. 23; performances are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (some performance are already sold out)

Where: The Rose, 2001 Farnam St.

What: “Elf: The Musical” is Broadway musical-style show based on the hit movie, “Elf.” It features Buddy the Elf who learns from Santa that he’s a human. The enormous former elf embarks on a quest to the sparkling city of New York during the holidays to find his father.

Cost: $20 for members and $27 for non-members on the main floor, and $15 for members and $22 for non-members on the balcony

“Cirque Musica Holiday Presents: Wonderland”

When: Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.

Where: CHI Health Center, 455 N. 10th St.

What: A holiday concert featuring music by the Omaha Symphony and aerial performances.

Cost: Tickets start at $32

Morning with Santa

When: Dec. 1, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

What: Saddlebrook Branch and Saddlebrook Community Center co-host Morning with Santa! Come to the gym at 10:30 a.m. for a storytime with Miss Katy from the Omaha Public Library and guest reader Santa. After storytime, families will have an opportunity to meet and take pictures with Santa, bounce and play in the gym, make reindeer food, do a search & find in the library, and enjoy donut holes and juice in the library’s program room.

Cost: FREE

Elf on the Shelf at Millard Branch

When: Dec. 1

Where: Omaha Public Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

What: Reed, the library elf, is hiding in the Children’s Area! Find him and get a prize.

Cost: FREE

Hot Shops 18th Annual Open House

When: Dec. 1 and 2; Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas St.

What: Shop for one-of-kind, handmade gifts, and view artist studios and demonstrations

Cost: FREE

Santa Goes To Space

When: Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

What: It’s Santa Claus and Star Wars, with kids activities and free planetarium shows.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $12, adults; $11, seniors and military; $6, children (ages 4-12); and FREE for children 3 and younger)

Holiday Music

When: Dec. 1, 11 a.m. to noon

Where: Omaha Public Library Willa Cather Branch, 1905 S. 44th St.

What: Concert performed by Cecilia Jensen. Light refreshments provided.

Cost: FREE

Physicians Mutual and WOWT Holiday Market

When: Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Aksarben Village, 1920 S. 67th St.

What: Shop theGerman-style open-air market housed under heated tents with more than 55 local vendors. Santa is there Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Deck The Dundee! Movie Series

When: Dec. 1-27; “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (Dec. 1, 6, 8, 9, and 13) and “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Dec. 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 25, 25 and 27)

Where: Film Streams at Dundee Theater, 4952 Dodge St.

What: Classic holiday family-friendly movies shown on the big screen.

Cost: $10, general admission; $7.50, seniors, students, teachers, military and those who arrive by bike or bus; $5, members

“Christmas with Dailey & Vincent”

When: Dec. 2, 2 p.m.

Where: The Arts Center at Iowa Western Community Center,

What: Catch Dailey and Vincent from their their nationally broadcast television series bring their Christmas music to you. After a decade preforming fantastically instinctive vocal blends of Dailey’s tenor and Vincent’s reedy harmonies, they have gained well-deserved praise for their own distinctive style.

Cost: $30-39, general admission; $27-36, senior; $13, students & under 21

Joyful Noise: A Gospel Christmas featuring Salem Baptist Church

When: Dec. 2, 4 and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: An upbeat celebration featuring musical performances, theater and dance.

Cost: TBD

Tween Hangout: Light-Up Cards

When: Dec. 4, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha Branch, 2808 Q St.

What: Kids can use STEAM skills to create light-up cards with copper tape and LED lights.

Cost: FREE 

“The Madrigal Christmasse Feaste”

When: Dec. 4-7, 6 p.m. warming time and dinner/show begins at 7 p.m.

Where: Omaha Marriott Hotel, 10220 Regency Circle

What: Celebrate Christmas Renaissance-style with a yearly interactive dinner theatre.

Cost: $55 per person

Make & Give: Holiday Cards

When: Dec. 5, 11 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

What: Kids will make holiday cards for a local senior center. 

Cost: FREE

Deck The Holidays: Holiday Luncheon Featuring Bill Quade

When: Dec. 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.

Cost: $75+

First Friday Family Date Night – Milk & Cookies With Santa

When: Dec. 7, 5 to 8 p.m.

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

What: Enjoy winter-themed activities like Hot & Cold Science Show and Snowman Bingo, plus meet Santa and friends inside the special exhibit, Santa’s Magic.

Cost: Included with regular Museum admission, which is $13 for ages 2+, $12 for seniors, and FREE for children younger than 24 months and members

Holiday Happening

When: Dec. 8 and 9, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, First and Bancroft streets

What: Fill yourself with holiday cheer! Stroll the beautiful poinsettia show, listen to live holiday music, and enjoy holiday food in front of the crackling fireplace in the café. Santa Claus will take photos, and children can make creative holiday crafts ($3 per child).

Cost: A $3 program fee for all participating children is charged, along with admission, which is $10 adults, $5 children (6-12). Members are admitted FREE.

American Midwest Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

When: Dec. 8 and 9; performances are Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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

What: The enchanting ballet set to one of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s most famous scores.

Cost: TBD

Afternoon With Santa

When: Dec. 8, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

What: Event includes a lively telling of “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” enhanced with visuals, and songs in the Library Meeting Room. Greet Santa and pose for photos in the gym. Library open house with holiday music and refreshments.

Cost: FREE, pre-registration preferred

Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration

When: Dec. 8-16; performances are Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: An annual tradition on stage featuring the orchestra, dancing Santas, singers and more.

Cost: TBD

Holiday Craft & Santa Visit

When: Dec. 9, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

What: Holiday crafts and a story time with Santa.

Cost: FREE

Jazz to the World 9 – Vintage Holidays

When: Dec. 9, 4 p.m.

Where: 421 S. 36th St.

What: Ring in the holiday season with the Omaha MasterSingers and Diminuendo. This all acapella concert is sure to put you in the holiday mood as they return to the golden age of holidays tunes.

Cost: $15, adults; $12, seniors & students; FREE for kids 12 & under

Dave Koz and Friends: Christmas Tour 2018

When: Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: For more than two decades, jazz saxophonist Dave Koz’s holiday tour has been making spirits bright across the nation featuring an impressive roster of guest vocalists and musicians.

Cost: TBD

“Home Alone” Screening

When: Dec. 11, 7 p.m.

Where: Film Streams at Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

What: Screening with an introduction by Kacie Baum, UNMC Events and Science Outreach Coordinator, who will examine the burning question beneath those yuletide antics: Is Kevin McCallister a psychopath?

Cost: $10, general admission; $7.50, seniors, students, teachers, military and those who arrive by bike or bus; $5, members

Cookies, Carols and Cider: A Holiday Lights Tour

When: Dec. 14, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Various locations

What: This tour will take you through some of Omaha’s most-decorated neighborhoods for viewing of lights and holiday decorations.

Cost: $45

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical”

When: Dec. 15, 2 and 7:30 p.m.

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

What: The beloved TV classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season.

Cost: TBD


2018 City of Omaha Carol Concert

When: Dec. 15, 6 p.m.

Where: Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, 2825 Y St.

What: Join more than 10 performing arts groups from across the area as they celebrate the Spirit of Christmas. Guests are asked to bring a toy to donate to the Omaha Angel Tree Program.

Cost: FREE; $10 for VIP

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

When: Dec. 22 and 23; performances are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.

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

What: The group’s Christmas concert is full of multimedia special effects and has become an annual holiday tradition at the Orpheum Theater.

Cost: TBD

Jim Brickman: A Joyful Christmas

When: Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: Grammy-nominated songwriter and piano sensation, Jim Brickman, brings his 30-city holiday tour “A Joyful Christmas” to Omaha. In honor of this 22nd annual holiday tour, Brickman will debut original songs, along with the sounds and stories of the season.

Cost: Tickets start at $28

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Huge list of Omaha holiday events, including Christmas concerts, festivals, Santa visits, and other traditional holiday activities
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

 

 

December 24, 2013

New Year’s Eve In Omaha … With Kids

Editor’s Note: For New Year’s Eve 2014 event, head to the current list here!

New Year’s Eve 2013 is around the corner. While younger women are pinning their ideal, sexy NYE outfits and making plans with friends, I’m debating the merits of wearing my Christmas jammies to welcome 2014 or going with something forward looking. Yoga pants?

I’ve given up ever seeing midnight on purpose again. I’m a mom. If I’m out of bed at midnight, it’s because some kid had a nightmare or the cat is batting at a door.

I don’t mind celebrating the New Year as long as the fun ends early. Here’s some things to do on New Year’s Eve in Omaha that are kid-friendly (and more importantly, mom-friendly):

Day Time

Sempeck’s Bowling & Entertainment is open for family fun from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with special prices on activities and bowling.

The Durham Museum will hold a Noon Year’s Eve party from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all ages. There will be live music, crafts and activities, culminating with a bubble wrap stomp and ball drop at noon in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium has Noon Year’s Eve festivities planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a noon countdown.

BounceU is having a Bouncin’ New Year’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s a “drop your kids off” kind of deal with pizza, sparkling cider, party hats, noisemakers, and a whole lot of bouncing.

Skate Daze will have a Family NYE Party from 1 to 4 p.m. with games, prizes and a balloon drop.

The ConAgra Ice Skating Rink at 10th and Harney streets is open on New Year’s Eve from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes skate rental; kids 5 and younger skate FREE. You’re encouraged to bring non-perishable food and household good donations.

Early Evening

First Night Council Bluffs is a wonderful event held from 4:30 to 10 p.m. at several C.B. downtown locations and the Mid America Center Convention Center (kids’ stuff is at the MAC until 8 p.m.). Admission is FREE for 12 and younger, adults pay $10 for all the concerts, activities and magic show.

The Amazing Pizza Machine is open all day with specials, and a New Year’s Eve deal featuring some unlimited stuff going from 5 p.m. to midnight. There will be party favors (while supplies last) and champaign (I’m going out on a limb saying that it’s for you, not your kids – not clear in their flyer).

Omaha Children’s Museum’s First Night of Play is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The event includes pizza dinner, goodie bag, face painters, balloon artists, dance party and concert by Dino O’Dell. “Midnight” at OCM is at 8 pm, complete with a countdown to the New Year and a giant bubble wrap stomp.

The Holiday Lights Festival’s great big fireworks show downtown starts at 7 p.m. out of Gene Leahy Mall. Show up a little early for primo viewing since this draws a lot of people, and tune your radio to 104.5 for some sweet ‘80s tunes that the fireworks will be timed to.

* * * * *

Friends and family, I wish you all a Merry Everything! Whether you’re celebrating Christmas with loved ones tomorrow or not, may this time of year bring you peace, comfort and optimism.

December 16, 2013

First Night Of Play At Omaha Children’s Museum

I haven’t made New Year’s Eve plans in a few years – four years to be exact, which “coincidentally” is my oldest child’s age. If you have kids with internal alarm clocks set to 6 a.m., staying out until midnight is not a good idea.

So what is a young family to do on New Year’s Eve?

You find a New Year’s Eve party with an early “midnight” and lots for your kids to do.

FNOP-2014Just going to the Omaha Children’s Museum is fun enough for kids, but the staff over there has big plans for partygoers on New Year’s Eve!

First, there’s the entertainment

They’ll have Balloon artists, face painters, a live concert by Dino O’Dell and a dance party.

A lot of activities are planned for New Year's Eve at Omaha Children's Museum.

A lot of activities are planned for New Year’s Eve at Omaha Children’s Museum.

Then, there are the goodies

Chow down on pizza from Dominos and dig through the goodie bags from Oriental Trading Company.

Then, there’s the finale

There’s a countdown at 8 p.m. complete with a bubble wrap stomp (it IS what you think it is… and who can resist bubble wrap?!). There is also a surprise or two in store!

This is one of the most unique ways I see kids being able to make noise and celebrate on New Year's Eve and it looks like so much fun!

This is one of the most unique ways I see kids being able to make noise and celebrate on New Year’s Eve and it looks like so much fun!

It sounds like a fun, safe night for kiddos, right? Don’t wait to get your tickets if this is something you want to do!

What you need to know

When: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

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

Cost: $14 for non-members, $10 for members, kids 2 and younger are free but still need to be registered. Purchase tickets online.

This post was sponsored by Omaha Children’s Museum. All the opinions written are mine.