Omaha is more than just the home of the Oracle of Omaha, billionaire Warren Buffett, and Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting that’s famously held here. This city has way more to offer than what you would even venture to think and especially this time of year, Omaha offers that classic American Christmas feeling that will help make this a memorable season.
Sports fans take note — in 2012, the city is hosting March Madness semi-finals and the Olympic Swim trials. As for the holiday season, we’re often nostalgic for a simpler time and the holidays in Omaha are a magical time, with the Holiday Lights Festival that light up downtown with more than 1 million lights. Omaha offers events that will be sure to make some great Christmas memories.
Visit Omaha has a helpful website for holiday events that include the Gingerbread Festival at the Mormon Trail Center and several things to see at Boystown such as Nativity scenes and Christmas-themed stamps.
Holiday Highlights in Omaha
Holiday Lights Festival at the ConAgra Foods Ice Rink: Now through Dec. 31
Enjoy skating at this outdoor skating ring, with holiday lights and music. Know that proceeds will go to the Omaha Food Bank.
It’s a Wonderful Life: Now through Dec. 29
You can watch this timeless holiday Jimmy Stewart classic at Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater, Omaha’s non-profit art house cinema, on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The Omaha Children’s Museum
The Omaha Children’s Museum has a family-friendly New Year’s alternative called the First Night of Play: Mammoth Masquerade. This year’s theme is Mammoth Masquerade with tons of exploring in the Dinosaurs: Dawn of the Ice Age exhibit. The party includes a countdown and bubble-wrap stomp, pizza dinner, gift bag, dance party and plenty of playtime in the museum. December 31 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 pm.
The museum also offers Light PLAY from now through Dec. 31, which is a delightful holiday show featuring the music of Mannheim Steamroller.
Henry Doorly Zoo
While it is a world-class zoo and fun to visit year-round, the zoo offers some holiday fun such as Noon Year’s Eve from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will entertainment and activities for the family without having to stay up until midnight.
The Durham Museum
Durham Museum is located at Omaha’s art deco Union Station and there are an array of exhibits such as restored train cars, 1940s store fronts, historical artifacts from the region and at this time of year, it offers the region’s largest indoor Christmas tree display, making Christmas at Union Station a festive destination.
The Durham Noon Year’s Eve celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. includes music, crafts and activities. The day ends with a celebratory bubble wrap stomp and ball drop at noon.
This beautiful 100 acres of outdoor gardens includes, a rose garden, Victoria garden, a children’s garden and arboretum. The Holiday Poinsettia Show runs until Jan. 8 and features more than 5,600 poinsettia plants grown here in its greenhouses for this annual show. This includes a 20-foot tall poinsettia tree, holiday trees and antique sleds and model trains.
The Holiday Lights Fireworks
Held on Dec. 31, you can ring in the New Year with fireworks, as the finale to the Holiday Lights festival. This fireworks spectacular is the largest in the region.
Looking for something cultural to do on your holiday break? The Joslyn Museum is Nebraska’s largest art museum and considered one of the “10 Best Art Museums for Kids” in the nation. It houses permanent collections from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on 19th- and 20th-century European and American art.
The Old Market
The Old Market is designated as a historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s Omaha’s best arts and entertainment district, with restaurants, galleries and boutiques nestled in historic buildings and cobblestone streets.
For more things to do, buy and support in Nebraska, check out the main blog post:
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