One of Omaha’s best neighborhoods for date night and girl’s night out also happens to be perfect for a family night out. Midtown Crossing has been my go-to for the best summer festival in Omaha – Jazz on the Green – for years. Now, with the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, it seemed like the perfect time to visit and share with you my favorite family-friendly things to do at Midtown Crossing.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Midtown Crossing. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.
Update: This post was first published in 2019 and has been updated in December 2020 to reflect the closure of The Grey Plume and Cantina Laredo.
Things to do with kids at Midtown Crossing
Quite possibly the coolest movie theater in Omaha (at least, in close competition to its LaVista sister location with the “Star Wars” theme), Alamo Drafthouse Midtown is going to be your go-to for family activities. It has an “Iron Giant” theme that strikes a bit of nostalgia in you if you’re a certain age.
Alamo’s endless bowl of popcorn is great for families – though that first bowl was enough for us. You can also order off the menu, which includes appetizers, entrees, and milkshakes (both regular and adult versions). There is no kid’s menu, but in the past, we’ve ordered pizza for the kids and they split it.
The one thing that separates Alamo Drafthouse from other theater chains is the age policy. Kids under the age of 6 aren’t allowed into shows except for select shows. The movie description page will specific if it’s one of those shows.
You’ll also want to bring your kiddos to Speilbound Board Game Cafe, especially if you’re the gaming sort of family. There, you’ll find more than 2,400 of games of all types to play. Incidentally, this nonprofit has both a cafe and bar, so it also makes for a great night out with friends, just sayin’.
Corky Canvas has been on my daughter’s radar, and if you plan ahead, it makes a great stop to add to your family day out at Midtown Crossing. Check their calendar as at least once or twice a month, they’ll have paint sessions where kids are welcome. They’ll list the minimum age recommendation for the particular painting you’ll be painting.
There is also the large green space known as Turner Park. While there isn’t a playground to play on at Turner Park, when the weather’s nice, you’ll come across some fun things to play with.
In the past, we’ve found a giant chess game as well as an outdoor ping pong table. On our recent spring visit, the large chess game was replaced with more permanent chess tables. Game pieces can be checked out from Thirst-Tea.
Family-friendly restaurants at Midtown Crossing
At first glance, you might think that only the sandwich shop, Pickleman’s, is going to be the lone place to that’s family-friendly. Wrong! Among the restaurants at Midtown Crossing with kid’s menus are Leadbelly and Ray’s Original Buffalo Wings. Ray’s has a sports bar feel to it, with a small game area that’s going to appeal to most kids.
We had lunch at Leadbelly with the kids. Leadbelly is known for its burgers, so start looking at the part of the menu first. Their children’s portions are huge, which is a bonus for some kids, but meant leftovers for us. Kid’s drinks came in plastic cups with lids.
For treats, you have a few great choices. For ice cream, look no further than Cold Stone Creamery. There is a kid’s size available that isn’t listed on the menu – just ask for it in any flavor or specialty.
I wish I could say Cold Stone was a great stop for the family on our night out, but to put it gently, one young employee needed to freshen up on her customer service skills.
For baked goods, we always love Culprit Cafe. While there’s always a variety of pastries and delicacies, my kids always pick the donuts.
There’s also Thirst-Tea for sweet drinks, like bubble teas.
Kid-friendly events at Midtown Crossing
Midtown Crossing is the ultimate place to find free, kid-friendly events throughout the year. See what events are coming up at Midtown Crossing here.
My favorite time for events at Midtown Crossing is summer. My all-time favorite Thursday night activity is Jazz on the Green, a free outdoor concert that’s attended by thousands. It’s like one big lawn party with friends. My kids love dancing up by the stage at Jazz on the Green. It’s very busy, though!
What Midtown Crossing excels at is outdoor concerts thanks to a permanent stage in Turner Park. In the past, I’ve heard Zydeco, blues and similar concerts there (for FREE!).
Other awesome events to be on the look out for: The Midtown Car Show, on select Sundays; the Night Market, on select Fridays; and usually, there are free outdoor movies on select nights in the summer.
With older kids, bring them with you to the free summer program, Yoga Rocks The Park.
In the winter, there’s Miracle on Farnam, where windows are decorated by different organizations for a little friendly competition.
Other good things to know about Midtown Crossing
One of the best things about Midtown Crossing is FREE. The parking, that is. The parking garage allow up to three hours of free parking. Just validate your ticket at any of the businesses at Midtown Crossing. I love this, as free parking is getting harder to come by, at least, in downtown Omaha.
Midtown Crossing also happens to be home to some of the best restaurants in Omaha, in my opinion. Though I’m sure they wouldn’t turn your kids away, Modern Love is ideal for a date night.
Loved this post?
Get more posts like this delivered straight to your inbox twice a month. Never miss a giveaway, the perfect event, or travel inspiration again. Subscribe to the FREE e-newsletter here.