August 24, 2016

10 Reasons To Be Excited About Kidchella

One of the coolest family-friendly events to be announced in a long time, Kidchella, is almost here. It’s an arts and music festival for kids held at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 2 to 8 p.m.

Kidchella Logo_final-01

I’m an employee of Omaha Children’s Museum, and since the museum benefits from this event, I known about the details for quite a while. Now I get to share details with you! I’d be attending this event anyway, but full disclosure, because I’m volunteering there and writing this post, I have comp tickets.


10 Reasons to be excited about Kidchella

1. Live performances

There are four stages at the event with continuous performances and demonstrations. You can do some yoga with Yoga Rocks the Park at the Earth & Wellness Stage, laugh through a couple improv sessions on the Cinema & Arts Stage, watch an Omaha Children’s Museum Amazing Bubble Show on the Maker Stage, or dance to fun music with the Frontier Strings on the Main Stage.There are more than 20 performers scheduled!

2. Good food

Cupcakes? Yes. Ice cream. Oh yeah. Barbecue. Holla. There will be food available for purchase from food trucks and local eateries, including Jones Bros Cupcakes, eCreamery, 402 BBQ, Maria Bonita Mexican Cuisine, Johnny Ricco’s Brooklyn Pizza, PB Johnnys, and Renear INC., plus healthy snacks from OMNI Behavioral Health and a water tank from Metropolitan Utilities District.

3. Great shopping

All good festivals have vendors selling related products, so at Kidchella, you can shop for kids toys and clothes, handmade goods and natural products, and more made locally.

4. Creative activities

Families can take part in a pop-up paint party or enjoy crafts in the Maker Village.

5. Themed villages

Along with the stages, there are villages throughout the park to explore. They’re themed – Earth & Wellness, Theatre Arts, Vendor Village and Maker Village. Each has tables with activities from different organizations like the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, The Rose (who’ll have a costume tent) and Baby Maestro.

6. Cute photo opportunities

There will be professional photographers at three photo opportunities ready to snap adorable pictures of your family or little ones. It’s an extra fee, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to check your family Christmas photo shoot off your to-do list after you see these backdrops.

7. A fun headlining band

High Heel plays on the main stage at 7 p.m. This local band plays a variety of cover songs, all of them make you want to dance.

8. Theater love

From costumes to live performances, theater gets its due at Kidchella. Check out performances and/or booths by Omaha Community Playhouse, The Rose, Backline Improv, Weisenheimer Improv and Why Arts.

9. Space to run

Sometimes you kid just needs to run wild. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about your little one darting around craft tables or shoppers. Stinson Park has a lot of green space away from tables, tents and yoga.

10. Benefits a great cause

This whole event came about because organizers wanted to throw a big festival to celebrate Omaha Children’s Museum’s 40th anniversary this year. They will donate proceeds from Kidchella to the museum! I’m biased, but I think it’s a great place to support. 🙂


There’s so much more that I could list above to be excited about – a mini train, rock wall, caricature artist, etc – so you’ll just have to go and check all of it out for yourself.

If you go


When: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2 to 8 p.m.

Where: Stinson Park at Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St. 

Cost: $12 per person, children 2 and younger are admitted FREE. Purchase tickets in advance here.

August 10, 2016

Vintage Wheels & Hot Air Balloons This Weekend

Looking for fun things to do this weekend in Omaha? There’s a lot going on, but I found three events for families looking for something different, something a little out of the ordinary, to do this week. Hot air balloons? Vintage cars? Woven art? Cool, right?

For more ideas, visit the post 40+ Fun Things To Do In August.


10th Annual Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival

Nebraska balloon and wine festival

When: Friday, 5 to 11 p.m., and Saturday, 3 to 11 p.m. (balloon launch starts at 7 p.m., balloon glow at 8:30 p.m. each night)

Where: Coventry Campus, just south of 204th and Q streets

Why: Mom and Dad get a little wine tasting, kids get a lot of hot air balloons. Winning all around.

Who’d like it: Wine lovers; hot air balloon enthusiasts



Wrapped, Dyed & Woven: A Celebration of the Work of Sheila Hicks

Joslyn logo

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (KickstART kids hands-on activities from 10 a.m. to noon)

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Why: You’re curious about the new exhibit and want to show your kids a different form of artwork.

Who’d like it: Art lovers; creative types; families on a budget

Note: The event is FREE but if you want to see the exhibition, you’ll have to pay admission. Go between 10 a.m. to noon when it’s half the price, $5 for adults (kids are FREE).

2016 Vintage Wheels at the Fort


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

Where: Fort Omaha, 30th and Fort streets (on the Metropolitan Community College campus)

Why: If you have car shows, and really love the FREE ones, this event hosted by Douglas County Historical Society is for you. Plus, mix in additional local histry with by visiting the General Crook House Museum for FREE that day.

Who’d like it: History buffs; gear heads; curious types wanting to see pre-1965 era cars; families on a budget

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May 15, 2016

Imagination Movers At Loessfest + Giveaway

Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post sponsored by Emspace to promote the Imagination Movers’ concert. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Loessfest is back in Council Bluffs, and its opening night festivities are going to be a lot of fun for families!

Imagination Movers at Loessfest

Imagination Movers playing at Loessfest in 2015. They’re back for the opening night concert on May 28, 2016! Photo courtesy Emspace

The Riverfront Block Party Saturday, May 28, includes live music, a movie, bounce houses, train rides and a lot more at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park (on the Bluffs’ side of the pedestrian bridge). Admission is FREE!

Loessfest Block Party schedule:

5 p.m. – Festivities start with bounce houses, food, train ride, face painting and more

7 p.m. – The Imagination Movers perform

9 p.m. (or dusk) – “Inside Out” plays on the big screen


Did you catch the Imagination Movers when they played last year? I interviewed one of the band members last year – hear what Rich Collins has to say about the band whose music The New York Times described as evoking “the Beastie Boys or Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

imagination movers - blue

These four guys from New Orleans are a lot of fun for families and their concerts are high-energy. My kids and I had a dance party watching their live concert DVD that came with “Licensed to Move” last year.

We haven’t been to a concert of theirs yet, but I can only imagine how much fun they are!


Imagination Movers Giveaway

Imagination Movers giveaway

Are your kids fans of the Imagination Movers?

I’ve got a prize pack to give to one lucky reader! The pack contains an autographed poster, mouse ears, stickers and a CD. It’s easy to enter!

1. Leave a comment: Make up a name for your kid’s signature dance move.

2. Bonus entry: Check out the Loessfest event schedule – which runs May 28 through June 5 – and leave a comment with which event you’re most looking forward to.

Deadline to leave a comment is Sunday, May 22, at 11:59 p.m. One winner will be randomly selected through I’ll contact the winner via email within 48 hours and he or she will have 48 hours to respond. Must be 18 to enter.

May 28, 2015

Fun Things To Do In Omaha May 29-31

It’s getting harder to pick just three things to tell you about. Below you’ll find three fun things to do in Omaha this weekend, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Don’t forget Loessfest is going on (see my post about Disney Day tomorrow with a free concert by The Imagination Movers and a screening of “Big Hero 6”), not to mention the start of town festivals. See the growing list in the post “30+ Fun Things To Do In Omaha In June.”


18th Annual Taste of Omaha

taste of omaha logoWhen: Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Along Omaha’s riverfront, 800 Douglas St.

Why: You get to eat food from Omaha’s best restaurants, or just skip those and get the funnel cake because you know that’s what you really want.

Who’d like this: People who eat; toddlers on up (a carnival ride or two is inevitable);

Tip: The festival is FREE, the food and rides are not.


O Comic Con

comic con

When: Friday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way

Why: It’s a family-friendly event that you can geek out to.

Who’d like this: Pop culture junkies; Sci-fi fans; comic geeks; super hero-loving kids

Tip: Kids 12 and under will be admitted free at the door with a paying adult.


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Circus Xtreme

Circus XTREME Hero_UpdatedWhen: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a..m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: CenturyLink Center Omaha arena

Why: It’s a huge spectacle of exotic animals, death-defying stunts and silly clowns.

Who’d like this: Everybody loves the circus (unless you’re scared of clowns).

Tip: Arrive early for the pre-show.


Need more ideas? I understand. Hop on over to Out With Sprout and see all the kid-friendly things they have listed.

May 12, 2015

Imagination Movers + Loessfest Details

Mr. Rogers meets Beastie Boys.

That’s the Imagination Movers as described by Rich Collins, one of its members.

I’m leery music labeled “kids music.” I stay clear of it and just play for my kids music from bands I like. But then a band like Imagination Movers comes along and I start to wonder if I’m a little too anti-kids music.


The songs are good. The songs are fun and don’t pander to my kids.

And this band? They have The New York Times saying their music “evokes the Beastie Boys or Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

This band might just make me go to a kids music concert. Willingly.

Mark your calendars and join me at Imagination Movers are playing at Loessfest this May 29 – Disney Day. Details below.

“As parents ourselves, we know how many responsibilities you have – bills to be paid, emails to check, beds to make – and we know it’s a lot easier to do nothing,” said Rich Collins. “We feel like the moment when we look out into the crowd and see a mother and father and son and daughter rocking out together, jumping up together, it’s a moment that’s very special to the kids. … Take a moment to enjoy the show, we promise it’s an hour of a lot of fun.”

If you haven’t heard of these guys, I’m not yanking their leg when I say it’s music parents will gladly play – and dance to – with their kids.

Grab any one of their nine albums and have a listen. Notice something un-kid like about them?  Pop-punk sensibility is what Collins calls it.

There’s a little bit of everything I love in their music – indie, alt-country, punk stuff.

imagination movers - blue

Collins is one of four friends (and dads) who created Imagination Movers back in 2003. Collins and the guys –  Scott Durbin, Dave Poche and Scott “Smitty” Smith – thought kids wanted and deserved music that spoke to them, not down to them.

Through hard work, the friends built a kid music empire. The Movers partnered with Disney in 2007 and filmed three seasons of their Emmy Award-winning series. The show airs in more than 55 countries and they’ve sold half a million CDs and DVDs to date.

Their newest release, “Licensed to Move” features the anthemic “Summer,” which I’ve only heard once and the dang song has been in my head ever since.

I’m pretty sure they’ll play that when they’re in Council Bluffs. Rich said it’s one of their go-to songs, “written from the perspective of a kid. It’s the perfect anthem.”

They have quite a few high-energy, go-to songs, actually.

They’re known for their live shows and the key to making a great live show that entertains kids? Interaction.

“It’s absolutely fundamental to play songs that give people a chance to participate,” said Collins.

Jump up, get down, stand up

Turn around, turn around, turn around

Turn around

Know those lyrics?

You and your kids will be doing that at the show. “Jump Up” is played at the end of every episode of “Imagination Movers,” so pretty much, expect that at the finale of the concert.

By the end of things, with any luck at least, you’ll have an exhausted child sleeping on the way home. Collins cautioned, though: You may also have that same child banging on pots and pans all week after the show.

A concert during Loessfest in 2014.

A concert during Loessfest in 2014. There should be plenty of room for a family to dance during the Imagination Movers’ concert on May 29.


Disney Day events

Where: Tom Hanafan Park at Rivers Edge (on the CB side of the pedestrian bridge)

When: May 29

** Tip: You can get there early, lay down a blanket to claim your spot, then head over to the Taste of Omaha until the concert is about to begin.

5 p.m. – Appearance by Darth Vadar and enter to win movie tickets to “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.”

7 p.m. – Disney Junior presents Imagination Movers live in concert.

9 p.m. – Watch Disney’s “Big Hero 6” on the big screen outdoors



The rest of Loessfest lineup:

Saturday, May 23 – Chicago: Saturday in the Park

Sunday, May 24 – Omaha Symphony and fireworks

Monday, May 25 – Picnic in the park

Tuesday, May 26 – The Second City Comedy Event

Wednesday, May 27 – Movie in the Park: Jaws

Thursday, May 28 – Throwback Thursday with Recaptured

Friday, May 29 – Disney Day featuring Imagination Movers and “Big Hero 6”

Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30 – Taste of Omaha

Saturday, May 30 – Mini Maha and Bike the Bluffs

Sunday, May 31 – Golffest


May 8, 2014

Fun Things To Do In Omaha May 9-10

I’ll be real honest – I’ll be out communing with nature this Mother’s Day Weekend. But if I were to be in town, here are some of the fun things going on around Omaha that sound like things my kids and I would love (except for trains, I could take ’em or leave ’em…but my kids love ’em).

Spring into Summer

Spring into Summer Graphic (1)When: Friday 6 to 9 p.m. (live music starts at 7)

Where: Elmwood Park, 802 S. 60th St.

Why: Any trip to Elmwood is fun, but add FREE food, face-painting, kite-building, a climbing wall and bounce house … well, kids will be happy.

Who’d like this: Families on a budget; active families; children ages 2 on up (my daughter LOVED this event last year); parents looking for ways to really really get their kids exhausted before bed time

National Train Day

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

Where: RailsWest Railroad Museum, 1512 S. Main St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Why: You have a bonafide train fanatics in your home. They can explore real cabooses, a lounge car and mail car in the yard, ring the bells on the engines and watch the model train displays, as well as make some crafts.

Who’d like this: Train aficionados of any age; budget conscious families

Tip: Cost is only $5 per family.

Renaissance Faire

When: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5

Where: Bellevue Berry Farm, 11001 S. 48th St., Papillion

Why: Because it’s Mother’s Day weekend, darn it, and if Mom wants to gnaw on a turkey leg and pretend to be a beer maiden, you let her do it.

Who’d like this: Kids of all ages; fans of historic reenactments; this weekend’s theme is “Knights and Jousting” so I imagine guys who like to quote the Medieval Times scene from “Cable Guy” are in luck

Tip: Cost is $12 for adults, $7 for children 3-12. Get tickets online here.


What? You want more? You have time for more? OK. Check out other Omaha happenings at