A new year. A chance at a fresh start. With the arrival of Jan. 1 comes all the promise of making 2019 “the best year ever.”
Plans to eat right, exercise more, screen time less and live one’s best life. It’s usually sometime around Jan. 2 or 3 when I realize that maybe a more moderate approach to changing my life would have been more appetizing than, say, the bottomless bowls of kale I’ve been trying to convince myself I love.
This past New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d try something a little different by asking my kids if there was anything they’d like to work on in the new year.
After listening to a barrage of tech-related aspirations — building more worlds in “Minecraft,” achieving a new level in a game that is my daughter’s current obsession — I decided I needed to make my request a little less open-ended and do a better job of explaining the nature of resolutions.
The parameters I laid out to my 9-year-old son, Declan, and 7-year-old daughter, Mara: The idea is to find something that makes you happy and improves the general enjoyment of your life in the new year.
I gave them the example of what I was going to “work on” in the coming year. I told them that I’d like to write and exercise more. These are two things that vastly improve my life outlook, but also two things that are the most likely to be jettisoned from my daily itinerary to make room for things that I “have” to do.
Once I laid down the basic ground rules for a “proper” resolution, I was surprised at their choices.
Mara would like to paint more in 2019. But she’d prefer not to paint alone, so she wanted to know if part of her resolution could include more time painting with friends and family. I told her I’d be more than happy to help her achieve her socially artistic goals by setting up some paint playdates in the coming months.
Declan has resolved to get “stronger” in the new year. What exactly does that entail? Apparently more exercising. This very much amused my husband and me. Both Declan and Mara have firmly cemented spots on the low end of the growth cart. But who said just because you are small, you can’t be mighty? So 2019 is going to be a strength-builder for my son, and, who knows, maybe his exercise enthusiasm will make it easier for me to stick to my annual attempt to get more fit.
There turned out to be one thing that we all agree is something we’d like to do more of in 2019 — spending time together. Life can be hectic. It’s easy to get swept up in juggling the minutia of the day-to-day and forget the importance of the people you are juggling it all for.
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This free and kid-friendly version of New Year’s Eve will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Monday at the La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road. There will be dancing, treats, crafts and a count down to noon. All ages are welcome, and no registration is required. More.
The Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., will host a special “Bubbly New Year’s Eve Party” on Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. The fun is included with regular admission. Kids can enjoy bubble activities such as DIY bubble wands, bubble painting and watch the Bubble Science show. There will also be character meet-and-greets with a mermaid. The night will end with a bubble wrap stomp, a sparkling apple juice toast and a fizzy countdown to “midnight.” More.
Say goodbye to 2018 — and the finale of the 2018 Holiday Lights Festival — with fireworks starting at 7 p.m. Monday. The show will be choreographed to a special musical accompaniment broadcast on STAR 104.5 to celebrate “The Iconic 60s.” The event is free. The official viewing site is the Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam Streets. More.
On Monday, come party with the animals and celebrate Noon Year's Eve at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include entertainment from Joe Cole’s Magic Show, music fun activities and an early countdown to 2019 complete with a beach ball drop at noon. Event activities are free to zoo members or with regular paid zoo admission. More.
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.
Pump It Up, 960 S. 72nd St., will host three Noon Year’s Eve parties Monday at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 per child. The event will include hats and noisemakers, glow experience, a balloon drop and more.
Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve at The Durham Museum on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children of all ages will enjoy live music by Dino O’Dell and the T-Rex All-Stars, special crafts and activities. Ring in the noon year in your handmade party hats while enjoying the celebratory bubble wrap stomp and the balloon drop at noon in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall. Museum admission is $11 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children 3 to 12, and free for members and children ages 2 and under. More.
SkateDaze, 3606 S. 132nd St., will host a “Family Almost NYE Party” on Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will include games, prizes and a New Year’s celebration at 4 p.m. Admission is $9.99 per person. Skate rental is $3.99. There will also be a New Year’s Eve Celebration Skate on Monday for older kids and adults from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. Cost is $11.99 with a $3.99 skate rental. More.
Come to the Gretna Public Library, 119 N. McKenna Ave., for a free Noon Year’s Eve party Monday from 11:30 a.m. to noon. The party will include a craft, story and a balloon drop at noon. All ages are invited and no registration is required. More.
The Ralston Baright Library, 5555 S. 77th St., will host a Noon Year’s Eve Party on Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free party will include crafts, snacks, a movie and a countdown to noon. More.
The Durham Museum will host the Holiday Cultural Trees display through Jan. 6. The exhibit showcases how cultures from around the world celebrate the holiday season. Each tree is decorated by a local Omaha ethnic society and is accompanied by interpretative text explaining the meaning behind the various decorations and unique traditions of each culture. The exhibit is included with regular museum admission, which is $11 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 and younger are free. The Durham Museum is located at 801 S. 10th St. More.
Every Wednesday, kids meals are half off at Flagship Commons, 10000 California St. The deal is good for lunch, a snack or dinner, dine-in or takeout. No adult purchase or coupons are necessary. Kid Meals are available from Juan Taco, Blatt Beer & Table, Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, Clever Greens, Weirdough Pizza Co. and Yum Roll. More.
Come to Midtown Crossing, 32nd and Farnam Streets, to check out a collection of 20 window displays created by local nonprofits, students and individual artists, and vote for your favorite. The displays will be available daily for viewing through Jan. 1. More.
Thousands of colorful poinsettias are on display at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can walk the garden and enjoy the holiday colors as they view model-garden trains and a poinsettia tree. The poinsettias will be on display through Sunday. More.
The Mormon Trail Center, 3215 State St., will house the annual gingerbread house display through Dec. 31. Additionally, the Kanesville Tabernacle, 222 East Broadway in Council Bluffs, is hosting a gingerbread house display through Dec. 31. This year’s theme for both displays is "Family (A Glimpse of Heaven)." Both displays are free to attend and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. More.
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.
The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum has a new exhibit: "Game On: The History and Science of Gaming." The interactive exhibit highlights the evolution of gaming technology and animation and includes interactive displays that span a 2,500-square-foot exhibit gallery. Guests can build their own game. The exhibit also includes giant video games, arcade games, animation stations and an 8-foot LED Pixel play illumination station. The exhibit is open through Sunday. More.