Fudge and pinwheels, chocolate chip, sugar and peanut butter cookies.
All the classics were there, neatly packaged and ready for delivery, the accumulation of weeks of planning and hours of baking.
The Krausmans delivered platefuls. So did the Gordmans and the Kays. Nancy Jacobson, too.
On Christmas Day, Omaha’s Jewish community delivered treats — Operation Grateful Goodies — to the metro area’s first responders, hospital workers and Rose Blumkin Jewish Home.
“It’s a way for us to give back to the community,” said Zach Krausman, a senior at Millard North High School. “We’re not doing anything else in particular on Christmas.”
Zach was there with his parents, Laurel and Hazzan Michael Krausman. About 60 volunteers took treats to about 60 destinations.
This is the first year of the cookie-delivery project, and the Krausmans were headed to two fire stations in southwest Omaha and Lakeside Hospital.
“It’s a beautiful idea, and we wanted to be part of it,” said Michael Krausman, a member of the clergy at Beth El Synagogue.
Volunteers from Beth El Synagogue, Beth Israel, Temple Israel, Chabad and the Jewish Federation of Omaha baked, packaged and delivered the cookies. Everything was homemade and some was kosher, which means it was prepared in a manner and with ingredients consistent with Jewish law.
Linda Saltzman and the Miriam Initiative spearheaded the effort.
Saltzman said the effort acknowledges those people who are away from their family on a holiday that’s important to them — all to make everyone else safe.
“We know they are away from their families and that it’s tough,” she said. “This is a way for the Jewish community to say thank you.”
1 of 14
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.
The Abrahams Library, 5111 N. 90th St., will host a winter break fun day Thursday from 2 to 3 p.m. with the Dr. Oxygen Science Show. Watch as Dr. Oxygen delivers a fun and interactive science show with experiments. More.
On Wednesday, kids ages 3 to 5 years are invited to the W. Dale Clark Library, 215 S. 15th St., to take part in a sparkly, fun-filled New Year’s preschool storytime. The event, which will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., will include stories, activities, creative movement and songs. More.
The South Omaha Library, 2808 Q St., will host a “Not A Box” challenge Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. Inspired by the book, “Not A Box” by Antoinette Portis, kids ages 6 to 12 and adults can create anything they can imagine out of a cardboard box. All supplies — including paint, pipe cleaners, glitter, tape and boxes — will be included. Participants can also bring their own boxes. More.
Mulberry Lane, a pop music vocal group from Omaha, will perform a Christmas Eve A Cappella concert Monday at 11 p.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Church, 109 S. 19th St. The performance is free and open to the public. More.
Come to the Wonder Nook Omaha, 10806 Prairie Hills Drive, on Monday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. to help three local organizations. You can help tie fleece blankets for animals at the Nebraska Humane Society, decorate cookies for youth at Youth Emergency Services and create colorful placemats for patients at Omaha Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. The event is free and for all ages. More.
Eat pancakes from the Pancake Man and meet African penguins during Penguins and Pancakes at Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St. Hours are 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday in the Aquarium Conference Center. Tickets, $15 to $25, include breakfast, a plush penguin and zoo admission, and are available at omahazoo.com. Reservations are required. 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. Both exhibits close at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and are closed Christmas Day. 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.
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.