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

 

 

November 3, 2014

The Preemie And The Rockette

My day job allows for some pretty interesting stories. One of the more interesting ones happened this fall with a Rockette.

Two Rockettes were in town to help promote the Omaha debut of  “Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes” (opening Nov. 13!). Part of my job was to accompany the ladies to a few promotional events.

One evening, Rachel and Karilyn were to read stories at the Momaha story time at the Bellevue Public Library. I planned on bringing my two kids because, come on, it’s story time with the Rockettes. How cool is that?

Karilyn reads to children during a Momaha story time in September.

Karilyn reads to children during a Momaha story time in September.

I invited my sister who lived nearby. I knew she’d bring my infant niece, Sophie, whom my kids adore (“Soapie!”).

OK, to set the scene. It’s a PJ story time, Rachel and Karilyn have read some entertaining stories, led the kids in some ridiculously cute dance moves and now they’re signing autographs.

They’re genuinely interested in talking with each kid who bravely comes forward, taking pictures, and signing pictures.

It’s a long wait, but I finally get my daughter to go up there (Farley wasn’t having any picture taking that night, but he did get an autograph).

Mooch was all about the Rockette pose with her hand on the hip.

Mooch was all about the Rockette pose with her hand on the hip.

 

I motioned my sister to come forward. She brings little Sophie with her. Rachel – who happens to be from Norfolk – asks how old Sophie is. My sister proudly says she’s 6 months old, but to explain why she’s so tiny, she adds Sophie was born 3 months premature.

And that’s when Rachel tells my sister she was born 3 months premature.

Rachel chats with my sister and little Sophie about her road from preemie to Rockette.

Rachel chats with my sister and little Sophie about her road from preemie to Rockette.

 

And the kicker (pun intended?): Rachel was born in Norfolk weighing only 1 lb 10 oz – she was then lifeflighted to University of Nebraska Medical Center … the same hospital as Sophie’s.

Rachel half-talks to Sophie, explaining that she had gotten into dance because her doctor told Rachel’s mom that it’d help her stretch everything and build up strength.

At this point, everyone within listening distance is in tears.

Because, look at this stunning, glamorous, athlete in the most well-known dance troupe in the world, the Rockettes. The Rockette that was a preemie.

Just imagine what Sophie will be someday, you’re thinking, right?

Anyway. It was a neat moment for my sis and I.

My sister will attend opening night with me. I’ll be working before I can settle back into my seat. I’ll probably go again with my kids and Mr. Wonderful.

How about you and your family?

Omaha Performing Arts presents “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” Nov. 13 and through Nov. 30 at the Orpheum Theater.

I don’t want to give away too many details about what’s planned for opening night, but if you’re in the area or you have tickets to the show, get there at about 6:30 p.m. for a memorable arrival.

 

If you go

“Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes”

When: Nov. 13-30

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

Tickets: TicketOmaha.com

 

Disclosure: I am an employee of Omaha Performing Arts. This blog is a personal project and not connected to the nonprofit organization. All thoughts are my own. 

 

More from Oh My! Omaha

Today’s Giveaways

10 Omaha Theater Productions Not To Miss

More Not-To-Miss Shows In Omaha 2014-2015

July 8, 2014

Super Heroes Of The Little Free Library

Funny things happen from a single tweet. Amazing things.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a bit of a rant/appeal for help – my very own Little Free Library (the one with the Alpha Bits walls and sad paint job) had been faring poorly. Books had been taken – Yeah! People are using it! – but not being returned or replaced. And the glass door cover had disappeared, leaving the measly remainder of books exposed to the elements.

Jay from Minnesota (find his blog here) came across my tweet about the post, and offered some kind words of encouragement. Then he offered to send a sign to increase awareness of the “one book only” policy.

That’s pretty nice of him, right?

Jay, (aka @LibraryofJustice) also sent a huge box full of books, and comic books, because that’s his thing.

Library of Justice to the rescue with a box of literary goodies.

Library of Justice to the rescue with a box of literary goodies.

I was surprised by his thoughtfulness – these were exemplary books in all genres. I wanted to keep more than half, but I resisted.

My son, Farley, did not.

There was one graphic novel that caught his eye. He took it right away and it’s now his possession.

If you know me at all, you're probably amused that my son's first graphic novel is "Kill All Monsters!" Even the granola mom's kid loves this stuff.

If you know me at all, you’re probably amused that my son’s first graphic novel is “Kill All Monsters!” Even the granola mom’s kid loves this stuff.

I should explain few things. 1) He’s watched the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic Planetary” music video about a hundred times too many.

2) My family has a Paris obsession. Long story.

Mr. Wonderful could not say no to him after seeing the cover practically screamed Farley’s name. Monsters! Robots! Paris!

The next day, I tweeted this collage of Farley devouring this book every chance he got.

comic booklover tweet

I tagged the Minnesota author, Michael May, for good measure.

Which resulted in this tweet:

Michael May tweet

May tagged the illustrator, Jason Copland.

Who responded with this tweet:

Jason Copland tweet

And now Farley has an original illustration from the first graphic novel he ever loved.

Amazing how Twitter connects people, no?

Little Free Library Update #2

When we dropped off the books from Library of Justice last week, I was so pleased to see that someone had taken the time to put up a plastic window where the old glass one once was! Plus, there were a lot of books in there – including some spiffy Christmas themed DIY books from the early ‘80s I’m guessing.

There’s a great variety of books in there now, so I hope, if you’re neighbors of mine, you’ll go visit the Metcalfe Park library soon.

 

You might also like:

Reading List For 2014

10 Secrets Of Omaha Libraries

Summer Reading Programs

June 17, 2014

Little Free Library Update

It’s probably too soon to do a follow-up on the Little Free Library. But, I get obsessive about these sort of things – it’s like my baby – and I drive by it frequently to see how it’s doing.

LFL

Here’s the post that explains it all: Original post.

The initial excitement of the new library by the park wore off after two weeks. At first, I’d get a thrill seeing all new titles in the box. It’s working!

I’d scare my husband as we drove down a distant street, my screech of joy as my eagle eye caught some people peeking into the library. It’s working! 

My faith in humanity is strong.

But, then I found the box empty, the window broken out. What the heck, humanity?

Anyway. I refilled it and hoped the books would stay dry (they do).

Then this weekend, it was nearly empty again, three books and a ninja turtle. So I refilled it. And taped up a little note about how it’s supposed to work.

The windowless Little Free Library carries on.

The windowless Little Free Library carries on.

Do I just need to let this project go? Let it truly become the community’s and not keep restocking it?

Another interesting development I didn’t expect: I have Little Free Library envy. There’s another one in my neighborhood and it has a way better selection. I’m talking Oprah Book Club selections, folks. Hardcovers, cute kids books, two rows of books! A thing of beauty.

The point of this post? If you have some books collecting dust on your shelves, I have a fabulous place for you to take them: Metcalfe Park located between Dundee and Benson. Thanks!

 

May 5, 2014

Little Free Library Is At Metcalfe Park

A new Little Free Library is up in Omaha.

We installed our white and blue beauty at Metcalfe Park over the weekend.

We put the Little Free Library up over the weekend at Metcalfe Park, located between Dundee and Benson.

We put the Little Free Library up over the weekend at Metcalfe Park, located between Dundee and Benson.

Thanks to Alpha-Bits Cereal, the library came to my house with 10 fantastic children’s books to help start the library. I added a few of my old books, and Mooch and Farley kicked in a few of their old ones as well.

Don't tell my kids, I picked some of the old books of theirs I cannot bear to read one more time.

Don’t tell my kids, I picked some of the old books of theirs I cannot bear to read one more time.

I hope the neighborhood embraces this Little Free Library. I picked the location since it’s a very busy area, not only for families visiting the playground but adults out for a walk or run. Another neighbor had a similar idea, so you might see a second one near there too.

Come check it out sometime. Bring a book to leave, and grab one or a few that interest you.

How it came to be:

I explain the impetus of this Little Free Library here.

The library arrived to my house in a huge cat- and kid-enticing box, with instructions on building and connecting it to a base. You can build a library on your own with instructions here. I was fortunate enough to be contacted by a firm working with Alpha-Bits, so I jumped at the chance to have part of the library already constructed. I’m not what you’d call mechanically-inclined.

I procrastinated all through our cold spring, finally getting the base built when the weather started to warm up. I had help from my husband; my handy sister-in-law, Amy; and my son. My daughter helped on runs to the hardware store, so I suppose she can be included on the helper list.

Both kids also helped cover the hole after the post was in place.

Both kids also helped cover the hole after the post was in place.

I painted it myself, as evidence by the sad paint job. I really should just say my 4-year-old son painted it – then you’d all marvel at his talent.

Before putting it in at Metcalfe Park, I contacted the city’s parks and recreation department to make sure they were cool with it – they were (and they offered to give it a cement base). I also contacted OPPD and got the paperwork filed to get it approved by all utilities. It was. And I contacted the Metcalfe-Harrison Neighborhood Association. I also contacted my brother, Daniel, owner of many digging tools, so that I could borrow a pole digging shovel. It probably has a real name, but as noted before, I’m not mechanically inclined to know what that is.

Your turn: Do you know if you have a Little Free Library in your neighborhood? (you can view this map to find out)

December 9, 2013

Start A Tradition: 12 Days Of Christmas

A friend back in college, Ann, used to get 12 Days of Christmas gifts from her dad. Some days, it’d be something small like a few of her favorite candy, other days would be a sweatshirt or money. That tradition has stuck in my mind, even more than a decade later.

I liked the idea of a thoughtful surprise – daily.

When I began dating Mr. Wonderful, I did 12 Days of Christmas for him – some gifts were silly, like a book of bad album covers; others were a little more thoughtful, like his favorite treats snuck into his lunch bag to surprise him, or a love letter.

On the sixth day of Christmas last year, Mr. Wonderful got a six-pack of reinbeer.

On the sixth day of Christmas last year, Mr. Wonderful got a six-pack of reinbeer.

I did a spin off of the 12 Days with my kids last year, only some “gifts” were outings instead of physical presents. For one, we drove around to look at Christmas lights while the kids got special treats in the car (or slept in their carseat…I’m looking at you, Mooch). One gift was a Christmas book each. Another gift was an activity – building a gingerbread house, sledding, that sort of thing.

I didn't want to get the kids 12 gifts, so some days of the 12 Days of Christmas were activities, like building a gingerbread house.

I didn’t want to get the kids 12 gifts, so some days of the 12 Days of Christmas were activities, like building a gingerbread house.

It takes some planning, which is hard with so much going on. In the Pinterest age, 12 Days of Christmas has expanded to a month’s worth. It’s a little overwhelming.

25 Days of Christmas courtesty of All Things Simple blog. Overacheiver (but a good source for inspiration).

25 Days of Christmas courtesty of All Things Simple blog.

A bucket full of joy. I believe there are 25 days in there. Found this on workmanfamily blog.

 

These people are overachievers (but good sources for ideas if you decide to do 12 Days of Christmas).

But 12, 12 is manageable.

I have yet to decide if I’ll do it this year for the kids. Better decide soon, huh?

How about you, do you like the idea of 12 Days of Christmas?