Observe Memorial Day this weekend with a variety of commemorations and services across the Omaha area that are open to the public.
» Heartland of America Park, 800 Douglas St., 1 p.m. Service with 21-gun salute, speakers and music.
» Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs, 8 p.m. Omaha Symphony patriotic concert followed by fireworks; bring lawn chairs or blankets for the free show.
» Memorial Park, 56th Street and Underwood Avenue, 11 a.m. to noon. Service with 21-gun salute, speakers and music sponsored by Heroes of the Heartland.
» Omaha National Cemetery, 14250 Schram Road, 11:15 a.m. Event hosted by the cemetery and Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. Speakers include U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer, U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, keynote speaker retired Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch and local leaders; the event also includes traditional military tributes and music from the Offutt Brass U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band. Parking is available on-site and at Millard Social Hall, where shuttles will provide transportation to the event.
» Prospect Hill Cemetery, 3202 Parker St., 11 a.m. Performance by Prospect Hill Preservation Brass Ensemble and special eulogy to Anna Wilson, benefactor and Omaha businesswoman, from writer and business owner Jim Fogarty. Parking is available. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.
» Forest Lawn Cemetery, 7909 Mormon Bridge Road, 10 a.m. Program to honor Staff Sgt. Michael Andrew Bock, followed by kids contest on “What Memorial Day Means To Me.”
» St. Vincent de Paul, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, 9 a.m. Mass with special attention given to veterans and military mementos displayed; flag folding and flag-raising ceremony and Omaha Police Department gun salute; followed by a reception.
» Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery, 2300 S. 78th St., 9:30 a.m. in Section D; bring a folding chair.
» Calvary Cemetery, 7710 West Center Road, 10 a.m. Mass with Archbishop George Lucas and the Rev. Michael Grewe; flags will be provided to decorate veteran gravesites.
» Resurrection Cemetery, 7800 West Center Road, 10 a.m. Mass with Archbishop Emeritus Eldon Curtiss; flags will be provided to decorate veteran gravesites.
» Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 4912 Leavenworth St., 10 a.m. Mass with the Rev. Jon Pietramale; flags will be provided to decorate veteran gravesites.
» St. Mary Cemetery, 3553 Q St., 10 a.m. Mass with the Rev. William Safranek; flags will be provided to decorate veteran gravesites.
» St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery, 5226 S. 46th St., 10 a.m. Mass with the Rev. Joseph Taphorn; flags will be provided to decorate veteran gravesites.
» Gretna American Legion Post 216 ceremony in Peterson Park in Gretna, at the corner of Angus Street and Highway 31/6, 10 a.m. Ceremony followed by a luncheon.
» Freedom Park, 2497 Freedom Park Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free tours include the U.S. Naval Museum with aircraft and submarines.
» Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home, 12505 S. 40th St., 2 p.m. Comments from Gov. Pete Ricketts, U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer and Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs Director John Hilgert, a national anthem performance by Heartland of America Band and ringing of the bell tribute.
To add your event to this list, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-444-3185.
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Nebraska Game and Parks will host a free family fishing night Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Halleck Lake in Papillion. Look for their colorful fishing trailer. Rods and reels will be available to borrow, and there will also be bait and certified fishing instructors ready to help. No experience is necessary. Participants 16 and older need a 2018 fishing permit if they fish at the event. Halleck Lake is a quarter mile to the east of the intersection of Washington and Lincoln Streets in downtown Papillion. More.
Don’t miss the chance to see some outdoor movies this summer. The Starlight Movie Series at Sumtur Amphitheater, 11691 S. 108th St. in Papillion, starts Friday and goes through August. This Friday’s movie is “Coco.” More.
Enjoy free events including Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons concert, fireworks, Bike the Bluffs, movies in the park and more at River's Edge Park in Council Bluffs. Loessfest will take place May 25-28. For a full schedule of events, click here.
Teens are invited to the Sorensen Library, 4808 Cass St., Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. to identify more than 10 different Oreo flavors. More.
Come to Midtown Crossing at Turner Park for free yoga. The final Yoga Rocks the Park will take place Sunday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Turner Park, near 31st Avenue and Farnam Street. The event features an all-levels yoga class accompanied by live, local musicians. Kids can practice yoga with their parents, or they can practice with their peers at Camp Yoga Rocks. Kids ages 4 to 10 are welcome to that session at 4 p.m. More.
Platte River State Park will host its summer kick-off party Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. The event is free but an annual or day park permit is required to enter the park. Platte River State Park is at 14421 346th St. in Louisville, Nebraska. More.
The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, 28210 West Park Highway in Ashland, Nebraska, will host Helicopter Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The indoor and outdoor event celebrates aviation careers and the history of helicopters. Watch as helicopters from military, law enforcement, commercial and private owners fly over the horizon and land at the museum. Other activities will include a drone workshop, movies in the museum’s theater, free helicopter balloon sculptors, a make-and-take project and other hands-on activities. Cost is $12 for adults and $6 for kids ages 4 to 12 years old. To see a full list of events, click here.
Formerly known as La Vista Daze, the Salute to Summer Festival will include a parade, community cookout, carnival, Hot Wheels races, fireworks, a free concert, a free pool party and more. The fun goes Thursday through Sunday. More.
Have a dog with a behavior problem? Come to a dog behavior workshop on Saturday to learn ways to help. David Codr, who writes the Dog Gone Problems column every Wednesday on momaha.com, will present a free dog behavior workshop at 11 a.m. at Omaha riverfront’s Lewis and Clark Landing. Saturday’s topic is tips to help dogs who refuse to listen. While parents are learning, kids can participate in their own special workshop where they’ll learn the best way to approach and pet a dog, as well as things to never do with a dog. They’ll also learn how dogs say “please and thank you.” To RSVP, click here.
Community centers offer something for every member of your family — from infants to senior citizens. For a full list of community centers, click here.
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.
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.
There are several indoor pools around the Omaha area, including Mockingbird, 10242 Mockingbird Drive, and Montclair, 2304 S. 135th Ave. Check here for open swim times and dates. Other indoor pools include the Salvation Army Kroc Center Aquatic Center, 2825 Y St. and CoCo Key Water Resort, 3321 S. 72nd St. Local YMCAs also have open swim times. If you're not a member, many locations allow for the public to buy a day pass.
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.
Beginning Sunday, Marcus Theatres will host a Family Classics Retro Series. Films include “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Princess Bride.” All Retro Series films will be shown on Sundays at noon, and Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Locations include Majestic Cinema of Omaha, Village Pointe Cinema, Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue and Lincoln Grand Cinema. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here. Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series will take place select Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Dundee Theater, 4952 Dodge St. Admission to most films in the series for kids 12 and younger is $2.50. To see the full movie schedule, click here. Aksarben Cinema, 2110 S. 67th St., has plenty of family-friendly movies. Visit every Tuesday for $5 movies all day, and Thursday for $5 student day. Plus, get a free promo-sized popcorn with your ticket stub.
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.
Barnes and Noble Crossroads, 7400 Dodge St., Suite 325, hosts a story time every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. More. The Crossroads location and Barnes and Noble Oak View, 3333 Oak View Drive, host story times at 11 a.m. Saturday. Activities and coloring will follow. Local libraries host story times, too. In addition to the Omaha Public Library locations, there's also 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.
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.
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.
The annual Douglas County Historical Society exhibition, “Omaha City: Gateway to the West,” is currently on display at the General Crook House Museum until spring of 2018. The exhibit, located on the lower level of the General Crook House Museum, explores the early period of Omaha from the town’s founding in 1854 to becoming a more established city by the mid-1870s. The museum, 5730 N. 30th St., is open seven days a week and hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation of $6 for adults, $5 for students and $4 for children. More.
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?