A New Orleans band will bring a blend of jazz, rock and hip-hop to Turner Park on Thursday night as the first act in this year’s Jazz on the Green series.
Big Sam’s Funky Nation will stop in Omaha as part of an ongoing tour. The group has released five albums and has performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo, and appeared on the popular PBS television series “Austin City Limits,” among other gigs.
Frontman “Big Sam” Williams has more than two decades of experience playing trombone and performing vocals. With the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, he performed 300 shows a year and has played backup for Widespread Panic and the Dave Matthews Band in the recording studio. He also toured with Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello, and had a recurring role on the HBO series “Treme.”
Omaha’s B.E.D. Trio will open the show at 6:30 p.m., and Big Sam’s Funky Nation will follow at 7:30.
Seating in the grassy circular area of Turner Park, with a direct view of the stage, is permitted at 5 p.m. Spaces outside that area are available earlier in the afternoon. During the event, from 5 to 11 p.m., parking in Midtown Crossing garages is free. Free Mutual of Omaha surface lots at 36th and Dodge Streets, between 35th Avenue and 34th Street off Dodge and at 35th and Farnam Streets are open to the public beginning at 5.
Concession stands will sell food and beverages, but picnics also are permitted. Beer, wine and champagne are allowed, but not hard liquor. Pets on leashes are welcome.
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This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready.
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Everyone is invited Saturday and Sunday for a fun-filled weekend exploring five railroad-themed attractions during Railroad Days. A $15 family pass, which is good for two adults and their dependent children, includes admission to and transportation between all five locations. A $5 pass is also available for one additional adult with the purchase of a family pass. Tickets can be purchased at participating venues, including Lauritzen Gardens, The Durham Museum, RailsWest Railroad Museum, Union Pacific Railroad Museum and the Historic General Dodge House. More.
On Friday, come enjoy a Bomb Pop with a cop from 6 to 8 p.m. Omaha Police Officers from the Emergency Response Unit, ABLE-1 helicopter, traffic unit and district officers from the southwest precinct will be present. The Douglas County Sheriff’s office will be out with some of their vehicles as well. Enjoy Bomb Pops, face painting, balloon animals, a bounce house and more. The fun will take place at the Deerfield Place parking lot, 5346 S. 136th St. More.
Come learn how to make bee motels for solitary bees, which are important pollinators in Nebraska. You can walk and talk with experts from the extension service about flowers and other pollinating insects. Kids can enjoy painting a watercolor or pollinator rocks in the butterfly gardens at Heron Haven, 11809 Old Maple Road. More.
Regency Court will host a free kid’s funfare Thursday at 10 a.m. The event will feature Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear in center court. Regency Court is located at 120 Regency Parkway. More.
The Douglas County Fair will take place Thursday through Sunday at two locations this weekend. The event will include a parade, concerts and many interactive exhibits and activities. The locations include Village Pointe, 17305 Davenport St. and Chance Ridge Event Center, 506 Skyline Road. To see a schedule of events, click here.
Teens between the ages of 11 and 18 are invited to the Millard Library, 13214 Westwood Lane, on Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. for a Nerf lock-in. Games will include a free-for-all, capture the flag, zombie chase and several others. Teens can bring their own Nerf equipment but should make sure all blasters and darts are clearly marked. More.
Bring the kids to the Shadow Lake amphitheater to see The String Beans Band on Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon. Don’t forget the swimsuits to play in the splash pad after the show. Shadow Lake Towne Center is located at 72nd Street and Highway 370 in Papillion. More.
The Kroc Center will host its Summer Fest on Saturday from noon to 4:30 p.m. The event will include fun in the pool, the slide, lazy river, fort and obstacle course. There will also be RJ’s Adventure Zone indoor playground, balloon artists, bounce houses, an outdoor carnival, sports games, a bike rode and more. The event is free. Get your all-access pass here. The Salvation Army Omaha Kroc Center is located at 2825 Y St.
Come to the Abrahams Library, 5111 N. 90th St., on Thursday at 2 p.m. for the Dr. Oxygen Science Show. Kids can enjoy a fun and highly interactive presentation. Space for the program is limited so arrive early to ensure your spot. More.
Llama Llama will visit storytime at the Omaha Public Library this weekend. He’ll be at the Florence Library, 2920 Bondesson St., Friday from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and at the Benson Library, 6015 Binney St., Saturday from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. During the events, kids can read stories, sing songs and take a photo with Llama Llama.
Come to the City Hall parking lot at 8116 Park View Boulevard on Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m. for a hydrant party. Bring your squirt guns and super soakers and take aim at the super soaker staff. More.
Come to Fremont, Nebraska, approximately 30 miles northwest of Omaha, on Friday through Sunday for historic events, an arts and crafts fair, a parade, youth events and live music. More.
Need some down time this summer? Go see a movie under the stars. There are lots of places offering free movies outdoors this season. Check out our list here.
“Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” is the newest exhibit at the Durham Museum, 801 St. 10th St. The exhibit opens Saturday and will run through Sept. 1. The exhibit will showcase the newly-revised tyrannosaur family tree and show how the group became the world’s top predators. The exhibit will feature more than 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens. More.
Grab the towels, sunscreen and inflatable toys because many pools, aquatic centers and splash pads are open for the season. Check out a list of area pools and splash pads here.
Omaha is home to more than 200 parks, and many include playgrounds, trails and other attractions. Check out the list here, and explore a new park with your kids.
The Omaha metro area has several indoor play areas for families to enjoy. They include Pump It Up, Backyard Playworld and BounceU in Omaha, and Jumpin Jax in Papillion. Oak View Mall and Westroads Mall also have fun indoor play areas. Check out Approach Climbing Gym at 4923 S. 72nd St. It offers day passes, instructional classes, youth programs and more. Several local gymnastic places also have open gym time, including Metro Stars Gymnastics, Premier Gymnastics, Airborne Academy, Go! Kids Gym and Kid's Body Shop. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, 28500 W. Park Highway in Ashland, Nebraska, features an on-site indoor activity center.
Take an afternoon to go roller skating with your kids. You can laugh at each other while you fall down again and again. Check out Skate City, 1220 S. Fort Crook Road in Bellevue.
Do Space, Omaha's community tech space, is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Plus it's free. Check out five things to do at Do Space here.
There are tons of organizations that host weekday and weekend storytimes.
Join the Omaha Public Library at Lauritzen Gardens on Friday for stories that celebrate gardens, plants, insects and more. Kids will also discover the joys of nature, movement, music and literature. The event is geared toward preschool-aged kids, but all ages are welcome. The program is free. Lauritzen Gardens is at 100 Bancroft St. Register here. Other storytimes include Barnes and Noble (Oak View and Crossroads), Pottery Barn Kids, Leader Reader at the Omaha Children's Museum, the Omaha Public Library branches, the Gretna Public Library, the Bellevue Public Library, the La Vista Public Library, the Sump Memorial Library in Papillion, the Baright Public Library in Ralston and the Plattsmouth Public Library.
Are your kids animal lovers? If so, there are several ways they can help the animals at the Nebraska Humane Society, including reading to them during adoption hours. Check out more fun ways here.
The Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs Public Libraries are currently offering free day passes to Fontenelle Forest. Each pass admits two adults and children from their household. More information can be found at each library.
Community centers offer something for every member of your family — from infants to senior citizens. For a full list of community centers, click here.
Several area organizations host craft time for children every weekend. Kids can create a free craft Saturday at Lakeshore Learning Store from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Finally, kids 3 and older can make paper flowers for mom Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon with the Michaels Kids Club. Sign up online or drop in. The cost ranges from $2 to $5 per project, supplies included.
The Ralston Arena offers public ice skating for $5, with free ice skate rental. The Motto McLean Ice Arena inside Hitchcock Park near 45th and Q Streets offers Family Skate time Sunday from 4 to 6:15 p.m.
We put together a list of must-see spots across the state. How many of these destinations can you cross off your Cornhusker bucket list?