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Lots of holiday events in the Omaha area this season
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Lots of holiday events in the Omaha area this season

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It’s the most wonderful — if not busiest — time of the year.

The holidays are fast creeping up on us and there are lots to do to celebrate the season throughout the Omaha area.

Here is a sampling of events that will be sure to get you into the spirit of the season.

For a running, updated list of local holiday events, go online to bit.ly/3oKjnyo.

ON STAGE

‘A Christmas Carol’

What: The Omaha Community Playhouse’s holiday production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ returns to the stage as Ebenezer Scrooge takes audiences on life-changing journeys to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Filled with stunning Victorian costumes, festive music and crisp, wintry sets, the show is a holiday tradition for many local residents.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays Nov. 19 through Dec. 23. There will be no performance on Thurs., Nov. 25 due to Thanksgiving.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Cost: $40 for adults and $26 for students, with ticket prices varying by performance and can be purchased at the OCP box office, 6915 Cass St., by phone at 402-553-0800 or online at omahaplayhouse.com.

More information: omahaplayhouse.com

American Midwest Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’

What: The 12th season of the ballet company’s annual tradition, this year’s performances of ‘The Nutcracker’ will feature new, fresh elements throughout the show.

When and Where: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 and 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center, 1001 S. Sixth St. in Council Bluffs; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and 2 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Cost: Tickets for the Nov. 20 and 21 performances range from $45 to $65; tickets for the Dec. 4 and 5 performances range from $27 to $87.

More information: amballet.org

‘A Very Die-Hard Christmas’

What: Theatrical production based on the Bruce Willis movie “Die Hard.” Masks and proof of COVID vaccination are required to attend the show.

When: Showtimes vary, performances are Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning Nov. 26.

Where: BLUEBARN Theatre, 1106 S. 10th St.

Cost: General admission tickets are $35; healthcare-educator-military tickets are $30

More information: bluebarn.org.

‘Christmas in My Heart: A Concert Featuring Camille Metoyer Moten’

What: Omaha Community Playhouse legend Camille Metoyer Moten returns to the stage for a show featuring beloved holiday classics, contemporary Christmas melodies and everything in between. All individuals are required to wear masks throughout the entirety of the show. No mask exemptions of any kind, including medical exemptions, will be allowed.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. on Sundays Nov. 26 through Dec. 23. An additional performance will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 22.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Cost: Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at the OCP box office, 6915 Cass St., by phone at 402-553-0800 or online at omahaplayhouse.com.

More information: omahaplayhouse.com

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

What: A theatrical adaptation to the classic Christmas story, audiences will meet George Bailey, whose teenage guardian angel has to descend on Christmas Eve to save him from despair. Features live music from the era.

When: Varying showtimes between Dec. 3 through Dec. 19

Where: The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: Tickets begin at $25

More information: rosetheater.org

‘Joyful Noise: A Gospel Christmas featuring Salem Baptist Church Choir’

What: Grammy-nominated Salem Baptist Church Choir’s annual holiday show featuring more than 70 members performing holiday classics and new music.

When: 7:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 4; 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Holland Center for Performing Arts, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: Tickets are $20

More information: o-pa.org

‘Together for Christmas’

What: Christmas concert. Masks are required to attend.

When: 2 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Augustana Lutheran Church, 3647 Lafayette Ave.

Cost: Free, donations accepted

More information: bit.ly/3CDq22B

‘A Wonderful Christmas Time! with Lucas Hoge’

What: Nebraska native and country artist Lucas Hoge returns home for the holidays with “A Wonderful Christmastime!” Hoge is best known for his Billboard No. 1 charting album “Dirty South” and his single “Power of Garth” was his first Top 30 Billboard single hitting No. 29. The singer-songwriter is also known as the creator, producer and star of “Hoge Wild,” which airs on the Sportsman Channel.

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: Tickets are $45 and are available at ticketomaha.com or at the Omaha Performing Arts box office inside the Holland Center.

More information: o-pa.org

Physicians Mutual Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration

What: Annual Christmas celebration featuring the Omaha Symphony and a cast of singers and dancers performing holiday favorites and traditional classics.

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16-19; 2 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: Tickets range from $20 to $89

More information: omahasymphony.org

<&underline>OUTDOORS</&underline>

Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Parade

What: Annual holiday season kickoff with a parade and the lighting of holiday tree. Santa and all of his friends will be here, along with Huskers’ Little Red, the award-winning Stepper-ettes, Miss Nebraska Morgan Holen, the Papillion La Vista South High School marching band and Omaha Street Percussion Band.

When: 6 p.m. Nov. 24

Where: Shadow Lake Towne Center, 7775 Olson Drive, Papillion

Cost: Admission is free

More information: shadowlaketownecenter.com

Aksarben Tree Lighting Ceremony

What: Annual holiday tree lighting event featuring horse and carriage rides, free face painting and free food and drink from Hilton Garden Inn and more.

When: 6 to 8 p.m., Nov. 26

Where: Stinson Park, 67th and Center Streets

Cost: Admission is free

More information: bit.ly/3Fo5igO

University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Outdoor Ice Skating Rink

What: UNMC’s annual outdoor ice skating rink is a winter tradition for many locals. This year, masks are optional since the rink is outdoors, but organizers encourage people to be mindful of possible COVID symptoms before coming to the rink.

When: Open Nov. 27 through Jan. 30. Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. During winter break — Dec. 20 through Jan. 9 — open skating hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The rink will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day. The rink will be open normal business hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. If the air temperature is zero degrees (not wind chill) or below, the rink will be closed.

Where: Just east of 42nd Street, midway between Emile Street and Dewey Avenue, on the north side of UNMC’s Michael F. Sorrell Center for Health Science Education.

Cost: Admission is $7 per person, which includes skate rental – cash or credit card only. Free parking is available in Lot 15 located on the north and east sides of the UNMC Center for Healthy Living.

More information: unmc.edu/cfhl/activities-events/skating.html

‘Twas the Lights Before Christmas in La Vista

What: Watch as Santa lights the tree and then heads to his workshop to visit with children. Families can visit the reindeer and walk through the Winter Wonderland in Central Park.

When: 5:45 p.m. Nov. 29

Where: La Vista City Hall campus, 8116 Park View Blvd., La Vista

Cost: Admission is free

More information: cityoflavista.org

Holiday Lights in Dundee

What: Special holiday event that includes photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the annual gingerbread contest, Christmas carols sung by local students and activities from local businesses.

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: Along Underwood Avenue between 49th and 51st Streets

Cost: Admission is free

More information: bit.ly/3kOmjZP

Meet Santa’s Reindeer

What: Santa and two of his reindeer will take test runs in Omaha. Children will be able to see the reindeer up close in the heated tent – and parents are encouraged to take photos to capture the holiday memory. Santa and his elves will be on hand providing hot cocoa and scrumptious individually wrapped cookies.

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4 (reindeer only) and Dec. 11.

Where: Bel Air Plaza parking lot, 12100 W. Center Road

Cost: Admission is free.

More information: belairplaza.com

Drive-Through Family Festival

What: A festive drive-through experience at the Omaha Police Mounted Patrol Barn. The event will include family craft kits (while supplies last), holiday characters and Santa, police horses, and holiday entertainment. Children younger than 10 years old will receive a free book, courtesy of the Omaha Public Library.

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Omaha Police Mounted Patrol Barn, 615 Leavenworth St.

Cost: Admission is free. Donations of non-perishable foods will be collected for the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign.

More information: holidaylightsfestival.org

<&underline>VISIT WITH SANTA</&underline>

Santa’s Magic

What: Santa’s Magic is a short, live performance featuring Santa Claus, elves and an animatronic Rudolph. Following each performance, children can share their wish lists with Santa and get their picture taken with him.

When: Varying showtimes throughout the day, Nov. 26 through Dec. 23.

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: $14 per person, $13 seniors age 60 and older, and free for kids younger than 2. Museum members admitted free.

More information: ocm.org

Visit Santa at Rockbrook Village

What: Families can meet Santa, take a horse and carriage ride, enjoy a holiday hunt around the village, meet Elsa from “Frozen” and more.

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 27

Where: Rockbrook Village, 2800 S. 110th Court

Cost: Admission is free

More information: bit.ly/3kR7jKB

Santa Goes to Space

What: Visit with Santa and experience a space-filled day. During the event, kids can write a letter to Santa, enjoy a make-and-take activity and check out tons of fun holiday gifts in Santa’s workshop.

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 4

Where: Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland

Cost: Museum admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and retired military members, and $7 for children ages 4 to 12. Children ages 3 and younger admitted free.

More information: sacmuseum.org

Milk & Cookies with Santa Family Fun Weekend

What: Three-day holiday event with activities, cookies and visits from Santa. There will be a daily story-time with Mrs. Claus, reindeer games, pinecone crafts and more.

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10-12

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: $14 per person, $13 seniors age 60 and older, and free for kids younger than 2. Museum members admitted free.

More information: ocm.org

<&underline>HOLIDAY MARKETS & SHOPPING

</&underline>

Small Business Saturday Dog Walk

What: Pet-friendly holiday shopping, refreshments, Santa in a horse-drawn carriage and a pet trick contest are all part of this Small Business Saturday celebration.

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 27; photos with Santa from 2 to 5 p.m.; pet trick contest from 6 to 7 p.m.

Where: Imaginarium Super Store, 801 S. 16th St.

Cost: Admission is free

More information: bit.ly/3cnO6f0

Physicians Mutual Holiday Market

What: Annual holiday market featuring more than 50 local vendors under heated tents.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4 and 5

Where: Aksarben Village, 67th and Center

Cost: Free admission and parking

More information: omahaholidaymarket.org

Winter Open House

What: Hot Shops Art Center’s annual winter open house where visitors can meet current artists, learn about their processes, view and buy their latest works.

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 4; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas St.

Cost: Admission is free

More information: hotshopsartcenterorg/openhouse

Outdoor Holiday Market

What: Holiday vendor market with fire pits, German food and beverages and more.

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: Beer Corner USA, 3578 Farnam St.

Cost: Admission is free

More information: beercornerusa.com

<&underline>SPECIAL EVENTS</&underline>

‘Merry and Bright’ Holiday Poinsettia Show

What: Thousands of poinsettias fill the floral display hall of Lauritzen Gardens in a glowing tribute to the holidays during the spectacular holiday poinsettia show, Merry & Bright.

When: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 3

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.

Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 3 to 12; children 2 and younger admitted free.

More information: lauritzengardens.org

Tangier Shrine Feztival of Trees 2021

What: This year, the Tangier Shrine Feztival of Trees features 60 trees. Guests can buy raffle tickets for $1 each and deposit each ticket into the tree they want to win. One winner will be drawn for each tree.

When: Hours vary, Nov. 20-27

Where: Tangier Shrine Center, 2823 S. 84th St.

Cost: $2 per person ages 13 and older.

More information: tangiershrine.com/festival

Holiday Lights Festival

What: The city’s 22nd annual Holiday Lights Festival will illuminate downtown, North Omaha and South Omaha.

When: Evenings Nov. 22 through Jan. 3

Where: Old Market Lighting Display — 10th to 13th Streets and from Harney to Jackson Streets; North Omaha Lighting Display — A six block area around 24th and Lake Streets; South Omaha Lighting Display — 24th Street between L and Q Streets.

Cost: Free

More information: holidaylightsfestival.org

‘From the Globe to our Home: Celebrating Douglas County’s Ethnic Holiday Traditions’

What: This year with the help of volunteers representing 18 ethnic cultures, the General Crook House Museum exhibit ‘From the Globe to our Home’ will showcase holiday traditions from around the world. In conjunction with the current exhibition on display, ‘Rooted in Diversity: Douglas County’s Ethnic Heritage’, the museum will feature local cultural traditions and area history.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan 14.

Where: General Crook House Museum, 5730 N. 30th St., Suite 11b.

Cost: Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, students and military members and $4 for children.

More information: douglascohistory.org

Christmas at Union Station

What: This long-standing holiday tradition features a giant Christmas tree, holiday concerts, special events and Santa himself throughout the Christmas season.

When: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Nov. 23 through Jan. 9. (The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays).

Where: The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th Street

Cost: $11 for adults, $8 for seniors age 62 and older, $7 for children ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and younger admitted free.

More information: durhammuseum.org

‘A Little Dinner Music: Mistletoe & Wine’

What: A little holiday cheer at Joslyn Castle with a night filled with music, art and a special Christmas dinner.

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11

Where: Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St.

Cost: General admission — $100; keyholder members — $90

More information: joslyncastle.com/events

<&underline>BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICES</&underline>

Blue Christmas services are for those who may struggle with the holiday season for a variety of reasons.

Urban Abbey

When: 9 and 11 a.m., Dec. 12

Where: 1026 Jackson St.

More information: In-person attendees are asked to wear a mask. Blue Christmas services can also be viewed online at facebook.com/UrbanAbbeyOmaha.

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