Holiday events: Where to find the season's best fun - Omaha.com
Published Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 12:01 am / Updated at 4:19 pm
Holiday events: Where to find the season's best fun

Click on a date for scheduled events.

SATURDAY, DEC. 31


ONGOING EVENTS

Christmas Stamps
Christmas-themed stamps and covers from around the world are on display.
WHEN: Through Dec. 31.
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
WHERE: Leon Myers Stamp Center, 137th Street and West Dodge Road, in the Boys Town Visitors Center.
ADMISSION: Free.
INFORMATION: 402-498-1141 or 800-625-1400.


ConAgra Foods Arts for the Holidays Celebration
Omaha Performing Arts, the Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha and the Omaha Community Playhouse are teaming up for this event, which features a food drive.
WHEN: Through Dec. 31.
WHERE: Holland Performing Arts Center, the Orpheum Theater and the Omaha Community Playhouse.
ADMISSION: Regular ticket prices apply. Patrons are invited to bring canned food and other nonperishable items to the venues when attending performances through Dec. 31. All donations will support the Food Bank for the Heartland.
INFORMATION: 402-345-0202


Gingerbread at the Tabernacle
More than 100 houses made entirely of gingerbread and candy by local families, scout troops and youth groups.
WHEN: Through Dec. 31.
HOURS: Daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Kanesville Tabernacle, 222 E. Broadway, Council Bluffs.


Ethnic Holiday Trees Exhibit
The exhibit showcases how cultures from around the world celebrate the Christmas season. Each tree is decorated by a local ethnic society and is accompanied by interpretive text explaining the meaning behind the various decorations and unique traditions within each culture.
WHEN: Through Dec. 31
HOURS: 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. Closed Christmas.
WHERE: The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
ADMISSION: $8 adults; $6 seniors (62 and older); $5 children (ages 3 to 12); free for museum members and children 2 and under.
INFORMATION: 402-444-5071 or durhammuseum.org.


Holiday Miniatures Exhibit
The exhibit, organized by the Omaha-Council Bluffs Miniature Guild, features pieces from multiple participants and showcases various themes.
WHEN: Through Dec. 31.
HOURS: 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. Closed Christmas.
WHERE: The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
ADMISSION: $8 adults; $6 seniors (62 and older); $5 children (ages 3 to 12); free for museum members and children 2 and under.
INFORMATION: 402-444-5071 or or durhammuseum.org.


Holiday Poinsettia Show
More than 5,600 poinsettia plants are grown in Lauritzen Gardens' greenhouses for this annual show. The exhibit includes a 20-foot poinsettia tree, antique sleighs, model trains and other festive decorations.
WHEN: Through Jan. 8
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
WHERE: Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.
ADMISSION: $6 adults; $3 children (ages 6 to 12); free for members.
INFORMATION: 402-346-4002 or lauritzengardens.org.


LightPLAY: A Celebration of Holiday Magic
This delightful holiday show features lights and shapes that dance to memorable music.
WHEN: Through Dec. 31.
WHERE: Omaha Children's Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday at 10:30, 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Additional shows Tuesdays at 9:15 a.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
INFORMATION: 402-342-6164 or ocm.org.


Gingerbread Festival
View more than 150 gingerbread displays. This year's theme is the Joys of Childhood.
WHEN: Through Dec. 31.
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).
WHERE: Mormon Trail Center, 3215 State St.
ADMISSION: Free.
INFORMATION: 402-453-9372.


Holidays at the Historic General Crook House
This holiday experience provides visitors a passageway back in time, allowing them to explore a Victorian House adorned with 15 trees, antique ornaments, flowers, flags and other traditional 1800s holiday trimmings. Enjoy a family scavenger hunt and see a vintage toy exhibit. Hot apple cider and cookies available.
WHEN: Through Jan. 7.
WHERE: Fort Omaha, 30th and Fort Streets (Metropolitan Community College campus).
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday; 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
ADMISSION: Suggested donation of $6 adults, $4 students, $3 ages 6 to 11.
INFORMATION: douglascohistory.org.


‘A Visit From St. Nicholas'
Step into the past and experience the elegance of an authentic Victorian Christmas. More than 20 trees will appear throughout the house, each one beautifully decorated and surrounding the theme of “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”
WHEN: Through Dec. 31.
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closes at 2 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day.
WHERE: Historic General Dodge House, 605 Third St., Council Bluffs.
ADMISSION: $7 adults; $5 seniors (ages 62 and older); $3 students (ages 6 to 16); free for members and children under 6.
INFORMATION: 712-322-2406 or dodgehouse.org.


Holiday Lights Festival
More than 1 million twinkling lights will be turned on during a 6 p.m. ceremony at the Gene Leahy Mall downtown. The evening also will include a concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Other major activities will include Dickens in the Market, New Year's Eve fireworks at TD Ameritrade Park, ice skating at ConAgra Foods' outdoor rink and the collection of food to Shine the Light on Hunger. The event runs until Jan. 8. For more information, including a calendar, visit holidaylightsfestival.org.


Festival of Trees
This 29th annual event at the Hastings (Neb.) Museum will light up the halls. More than 50 groups, including Scouts, 4-H clubs and adult craft clubs participate in the decorating tradition. Vote for a favorite wreath from local businesses. Bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Sharing Through the Season food drive competition against the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, Neb., and the Great River Road Archway in Kearney, Neb. The event runs until Jan. 1.


Food drive
Bring any nonperishable food item to BounceU, 13211 Chandler Road, through the end of 2011 and receive $1 off any Open Bounce. Participation in Open Bounce is not required to make food donations. All food donations will go to Food Bank for the Heartland.


ConAgra Foods Ice Rink
Skating hours will be 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 1 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Closed Christmas Day. Admission: $5 for admission and skate rental, as needed. All proceeds from the skating rink on the ConAgra Foods Campus, 10th and Harney Streets, will be donated to the Food Bank for the Heartland. The public is encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food items and household goods to drop in collection bins around the rink as part of the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign.


‘Yesterday and Today'
This all-request Beatles tribute show will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along to every song. This interactive experience features Billy McGuigan. Share your stories and relive your memories with your favorite Beatles songs. No two shows are the same.
WHEN: Dec. 2 to 31.
WHERE: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
ADMISSION: Ticket prices vary.
INFORMATION: 402-553-0800, 888-782-4338 or omahaplayhouse.org.


Christmas at the Washington County Museum
See a display of more than 100 crèches in the museum. Decorated trees will be on display at the Frahm House. A special Christmas in Calhoun event will be held Dec. 10. The museum will collect diapers, baby clothes and baby food to give to Joseph's Coat in Blair.
WHEN: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the museum and Saturdays and Sundays at the Frahm House from Dec. 3 to 30 (closed Dec. 24 and 25).
HOURS: Vary by date; check website.
WHERE: Museum is at 102 N. 14th St. (Highway 75). Frahm House is at 220 S. 15th St.
ADMISSION: $3 suggested donation for adults.
INFORMATION: newashcohist.org.


Boys Town Historic Crèche Displays
Take a driving tour of Boys Town and view three Nativity scenes. The main crèche adorns the Music Hall on Flanagan Boulevard, near the main entrance off West Dodge Road. This large Nativity was created by the late Donia Temple — a Holocaust survivor and former Boys Town employee. Other Nativities are located at Dowd Memorial Catholic Chapel on Dowd Drive, and on Heroes Boulevard, in front of the Village Christmas tree across from the Skip Palrang Field House.
WHEN: Dec. 4 to Jan. 14.
WHERE: Boys Town.
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
ADMISSION: Free.
INFORMATION: 800-625-1400.


Christmas at the Museum
The Sarpy County Historical Museum has an open house featuring music provided by the Truth Be Tolled handbell ringers, entertainment and food. A display of decorated trees is available for viewing through December.
WHEN: regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. the first Sunday of the month.
WHERE: Sarpy County Historical Museum, 2402 Clay St., Bellevue.
ADMISSION: Free for open house. For other visits: $2 adults, $1 for seniors, 50 cents for students and free for members.
INFORMATION: 402-292-1880 or sarpycountymuseum.org.


Holiday Time Around the World
This interactive theater production for children takes audiences on a journey to Germany, Africa, Israel, China and beyond. Best for ages 5 and older.
WHEN: Dec. 26 to 30.
HOURS: 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
WHERE: The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
ADMISSION: $16 per person; free for members.
INFORMATION: 402-345-4849 or rosetheater.org.

DEC. 31

First Night of Play
Enjoy this family-friendly New Year's Eve party with plenty of fun for children and a bubble-wrap stomp countdown.
WHEN: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31.
WHERE: Omaha Children's Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
ADMISSION: $10 members; $14 nonmembers. Buy tickets online at ocm.org or in person.
INFORMATION: 402-342-6164 or ocm.org.

First Night 2012
“A Night to Remember” is the theme for First Night, a New Year's Eve celebration of the arts throughout downtown Council Bluffs. The event includes musicians, performance art, artistic displays and more. Events are at 12 venues, and the Union Pacific Museum will be open until 9 p.m. Kids' events are at Bloomer School. Food vendors and art displays will be at City Hall. Shuttle service will be available among venues. The grand finale for the evening will include a fireworks display.
WHEN: Dec. 31.
HOURS: Events from 3 to 10 p.m. Children's events end with a finale at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Bayliss Park, 599 First Ave., Council Bluffs.
ADMISSION: Buttons admission $10. Children 12 and under are free. Admission buttons can be purchased at Council Bluffs Hy-Vee and No Frills locations, the Treasurer's Office in City Hall or online at firstnightcouncilbluffs.org.
INFORMATION: 712-328-4601 or firstnightcouncilbluffs.org.

Noon Year's Eve at Durham Museum
Get an early jump on your New Year's celebration. Children will enjoy the fun-packed party with music by Dino O'Dell, special crafts and activities. The event ends with a celebratory bubble wrap stomp and ball drop at noon. Sponsored by ConAgra Foods.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31.
WHERE: The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
ADMISSION: $8 adults; $6 seniors (62 and older); $5 children (ages 3 to 12); free for museum members and children 2 and under.
INFORMATION: 402-444-5071 or or durhammuseum.org.

Noon Year's Eve at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Party with the animals and celebrate New Year's Eve at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Have a wild time with activities, entertainment and an early countdown to 2012.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31.
WHERE: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St.
ADMISSION: Event activities are free to zoo members and to others with regular zoo admission of $13.50 adults (age 12 and over); $12 seniors (age 62 and over); children (ages 3 to 11); free for kids 2 and under.
INFORMATION: omahazoo.com.

TD Ameritrade Fireworks
Join thousands on New Year's Eve and watch a display choreographed to music starting at 7 p.m. at Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam streets. The event is free.

First Night of Play
What: Family-friendly New Year’s Eve party will be a "Mammoth Masquerade" with plenty of play in the dinosaurs exhibit. The countdown to the new year will feature a bubble-wrap stomp. The evening also includes a pizza dinner, gift bag, live concert, dance party, face painting, balloon art, special science shows and lightPLAY performances,
When: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
Admission: $10, members; and $14, nonmembers. Buy tickets online at ocm.org or in person. (Children under 2 are free but require a ticket.)
Information: 402-342-6164 or ocm.org.

Make Believe Midnight
What: Activities include a bubble wrap stomp, dance zone and a balloon drop with 1,200 balloons. The official countdown to 2012 will begin seconds before the ball drop at 8 p.m.
When: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Children’s Museum, 1420 P St.
Admission: Advance tickets (required) can be purchased online, $7 for members and $12 for nonmembers. Tickets for children 12 months and under are free.
Information: www.lincolnchildrensmuseum.org and 402-477-0128

TD Ameritrade Fireworks
What: Part of the Holiday Lights Festival, approximately 30,000 spectators are expected for the fireworks display. J&M Displays choreographs the shells to explode on cue to a musical score broadcast on radio station Star 104.5. Families are encouraged bring battery-powered radios and tune to the station.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam Streets (Elderly persons and citizens with disabilities are welcome to view the fireworks on the fourth floor of the W. Dale Clark Library.)
Admission: Free.
Information: www.holidaylightsfestival.org.

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