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Holiday lights festival, Christmas at Union Station and 10+ other fun things to do this weekend

Holiday lights festival, Christmas at Union Station and 10+ other fun things to do this weekend


The tree is lighted and confetti flutters down on the gathered crowd as Christmas at Union Station kicks off with a tree-lighting ceremony in the main hall of the Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. on Nov. 29, 2013.

Looking for something fun and safe to do in the Omaha area this weekend? Check out these family-friendly suggestions, which take place today through Sunday.

1. Check out Christmas at Union Station. The Durham Museum will host its annual Christmas at Union Station Nov. 23 through Jan. 9. The long-standing tradition will feature a giant Christmas tree, holiday concerts and Santa himself. Santa will be there Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. The fun is included in the price of admission. The Durham Museum is located at 801 St. 10th St. More.

2. Take part in the Holiday Lights Festival. Celebrate the holidays with the 22nd annual Holiday Lights Festival, which goes through Jan. 3, 2022. There will be lighting displays in the Old Market, North Omaha and South Omaha. The Old Market display will take place from 10th to 13th Streets and from Harney to Jackson Streets. The North Omaha display will cover a six-block area around 24th and Lake Streets. In South Omaha, the display will light up 24th Street between L and Q Streets. More.

3. Watch a spectacular holiday parade. The holiday season will kick off at Shadow Lake Towne Center on Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. The free event, which will take place in the center of Main Street in the mall, will include a parade and the lighting of their holiday tree. Santa and all of his friends will be there, along with Huskers Little Red, Steper-ettes, Miss Nebraska, the Papillion-La Vista High School Titan Marching Band and the Omaha Street Percussion Band. Additionally, Santa’s workshop will be open from Nov. 26 through Dec. 24. More.

4. Watch the Durham Museum's tree lighting ceremony. On Thanksgiving night, the Durham Museum will host a virtual event to celebrate the lighting of its 40-foot Christmas tree. The 30-minute program will feature musical performances by the Boys Town choir, a greeting from Santa and the countdown to the lighting of the tree. Viewers can tune in to watch on the museum's website, YouTube or Facebook page at 7 p.m. to watch. Registration is not needed for this event. More.

5. Watch the Aksarben tree lighting ceremony. On Nov. 26, head to Stinson Park, 2232 S. 64th St., for the annual Lights of Aksarben tree lighting ceremony. The Nov. 26 event, which is free, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be horse and carriage rides, free face painting and free food and drink from Hilton Garden Inn. Lights of Aksarben will run through Dec. 17 with a new event each Friday. More.

6. Visit Santa at Rockbrook Village. Visit Santa at Rockbrook Village Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Families can also take a horse and carriage ride, enjoy a holiday hunt around the village, meet Elsa from “Frozen” and more. Rockbrook Village is located at 2800 S. 110th Court. More.

7. Check out ‘Twas the Lights Before Christmas in LaVista. This Nov. 28 event will be both in person and broadcasted live on the city's Facebook page. Come to the City Hall Campus, 8116 Park View Blvd., to 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. For a full list of events, click here.

8. Learn about Hanukkah. Come to the Omaha Children’s Museum between Nov. 28 and Dec. 6 to learn about the Jewish holiday and why it’s called the Festival of Lights. All activities included with admission. More.

9. Go see ‘A Christmas Carol.' The Omaha Community Playhouse will once again show the classic holiday tale — “A Christmas Carol” — this season. Shows will run through Dec. 23 on the Hawks Mainstage Theatre. More.

10. Walk through the Holiday poinsettia show. Lauritzen Gardens floral display hall will be transformed into a comfy, cozy space that is full of joy, cheer and plants. In the middle will be a 20-foot-tall tree made from more than 700 poinsettias. There will also be various holiday decor throughout the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory. Families can toast marshmallows together at the fire pits in the Family Chill Zone. The annual event will take place Nov. 20 through Jan. 3, 2022. This year’s show will be designed as a one-way experience to allow for social distancing. Proper facial masks or coverings must be worn in specific areas. More.

11. Check out a Feztival of Trees. The Tangier Shrine Feztival of Trees — featuring 60 trees — will take place through Nov. 27 at the Tangier Shrine Center, 2823 S. 84th St. 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. Admittance is $2 per person ages 13 and up. Kids 12 and younger are free. The Feztival will be closed Thanksgiving Day. More.

12. Check out the Season of Lights at Midtown Crossing. Head to Midtown Crossing on Sunday to view the tens of thousands of white LED lights strung throughout Turner Park and along Farnam Street. Plus, visit the decorated tree in Farnam Court. The lights will remain on through Feb. 14, 2022. Midtown Crossing is located at 31st Avenue and Farnam Street. More. 

13. Visit Santa's Wonderland. Head over to Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops for a contactless visit with Santa Claus now through Dec. 24. There, families can take a free photo with Santa and receive free take-home holiday craft activity kits. Advanced reservations are required at all locations for the free Santa photo. Cabela’s is located at 12703 Westport Parkway in La Vista, and Bass Pro Shops is located at 2901 Bass Pro Dr. in Council Bluffs.

14. Listen to a storytime. The Omaha Public Library will host several storytimes this weekend. See the full schedule here.

15. Eat some ice cream. Ice cream is delicious no matter what season you're in. Visit one of these Omaha-area ice cream shops to curb your cold treat craving.  

16. Check out a library pass. Families can use their library card to receive a free admission ticket to one of several Omaha-area organizations. Currently, people can check out passes to the Durham Museum, Fontenelle Forest and Lauritzen Gardens. Find out more about the Partnership Pass Program and how to get tickets.

17. Go on a hike. Fall is the perfect time to get out and explore one of the many family-friendly hiking destinations around the Omaha metro area. See a list of 10 fun hiking places.

18. Go ice skating with your kids. Ralston Arena offers public ice skating for $5, with free ice skate rental. The Motto McLean Ice Arena (inside Hitchcock Park at 45th and Q Streets) offers Family Skate time from 4 to 6:15 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are required at both locations. 

19. Make some crafts together. Get the kids together and choose from one of these fun, kid-friendly crafts the entire family can create together. 

Be sure to visit the website for each event to see what COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Some require patrons to purchase tickets in advance or wear masks.

Omaha World-Herald: Momaha

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