The opening of the first Nebraska Lakeshore Learning Materials store in Omaha brings the educational products retailer full circle.
Lakeshore was founded 58 years ago by Ethelyn Kaplan, who was born and raised in Omaha.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to pay tribute to her vision by opening a store in her hometown,” said Bo Kaplan, the company’s president and chief executive.
Kaplan opened her first parent and teacher supply store in Northern California in 1954. Now with 57 stores in 26 states, the latest has opened at Westwood Plaza at 120th Street and West Center Road.
The new 5,200-square-foot Omaha store offers a selection of educational toys and games for children from birth through sixth grade, including hands-on learning materials, books, games, toys, puzzles, arts and crafts supplies and educational software.
The company, which also operates an online store at LakeshoreLearning.com, develops many of its own products. The new store will offer free teacher workshops throughout the year, and Free Crafts for Kids workshops Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hot Mama on the way
Hot Mama, an upscale boutique for moms, has signed a lease to open a store next spring at Regency Court Shopping Center in Omaha. This will be Hot Mama’s first Nebraska store. The chain offers designer clothing and premium denim.
Eight years ago Megan Tamte, the retailer’s founder, became convinced that moms wanted stylish clothes that would fit their age and lifestyle. As a result, she and her husband, Michael, opened the first Hot Mama store in Edina, Minn. Today, Hot Mama has 30 stores in 11 states.
A Sears goodbye
A going-out-of-business sale is under way at the Sears store at the Mall of the Bluffs, store officials said this week. The store will remain open through the end of January, with discounts increasing over time.
After closing, employees will be offered positions at other locations based on availability, officials said. The store announced last February that it would close.
Santa’s on his way
A sampling of dates and times for Santa Claus’ arrival at area malls:
» Oak View Mall:
Santa arrives at 10 a.m. Saturday. Santa’s arrival and holiday parade will start in the mall’s lower level at the main entrance. Robert’s Dairy will provide milk and juice. Shoppers can visit Santa through Dec. 24 in his village, located on the lower-level Younkers wing.
» Westroads Mall:
Santa’s Grand Arrival Event will be held 9 a.m. Saturday at the mall’s food court. Tickets for the event are $5 per person. They include breakfast and other activities and can be purchased at www.ocm.org. Tickets are limited and may not be available at the door. All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the Omaha Children’s Museum.
» Countryside Village: Santa will be at the Village every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., beginning Sunday.
» Shadow Lake Towne Center:
Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Peppermint Elves will host a holiday sing-along beginning at 6 p.m. Santa Claus, accompanied by the Papillion-La Vista South Titan Marching Band, will arrive in a horse-drawn carriage at 6:30 p.m. to light the 40-foot tree on the center’s Main Street. The celebration will have a fireworks finale. Complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides will be available until 9 p.m.
» Crossroads Mall:
Santa will arrive at Crossroads at 5 p.m. Nov. 23; Holiday hours are: Fridays, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
» Regency Court:
Santa will be available beginning 3 p.m. Nov. 23; Holiday hours are Fridays, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. Santa will also be available Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m., the center will feature live reindeer.
» Village Pointe Shopping Center:
The festivities kick off at 6 p.m. Nov. 23, with a concert and sing-along featuring the Peppermint Elves. The Santa Parade and Holiday Lighting ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in the center court. The parade features Santa, the Arlington High School marching band and an assortment of holiday characters and carolers, with a fireworks finale. Free horse-drawn carriage rides also will be offered until 9 p.m.
» Mall of the Bluffs:
Santa will be at the mall starting Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be free milk and cookies for visitors and free gifts for the first 250 children that day. Santa’s holiday hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m Sundays. On Mondays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Santa will welcome his portrait with cats and dogs, and photo packages will be available for purchase.
» Rockbrook Village:
Santa will be available in a horse-drawn carriage from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Families can talk with Santa while riding around Rockbrook. The free event features hot chocolate and seasonal music sung by local school and church groups.
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