Omaha-area holiday events

Where's Santa stopping?Ice skatingHoliday Lights FestivalNew Year's eventsLibrary eventsMany, many more events

Where's Santa?

Westroads

Santa will be available for photos Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with breaks from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a break from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Dec. 22 and 23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with breaks from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and Dec. 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.


Shadow Lake, Papillion

Children can visit Santa in his workshop, located near Wheatfields Restaurant, through Christmas Eve on the following dates: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, noon to 6 p.m.; Dec. 6-8, noon to 6 p.m.; Dec. 11-15, noon to 6 p.m.; Dec: 16-20, noon to 7 p.m.; Dec. 21-23, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Dec. 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Photo packages are available for purchase on a flash drive.


Village Pointe

Santa Claus will be present at various events and stores: Santa will read from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 5 at Janie and Jack; on Dec. 12 at Premier Bank; and on Dec. 19 at DSW Shoes. He'll land on Scheels roof on Dec. 7, with activities inside the store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Dec. 14, join Santa and Mrs. Claus for breakfast and cupcake decorating at Bravo! Italiana Cucina restaurant from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Call 402-289-5500 for reservations. Also on Dec. 14, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., are storytime and cookies with Santa at Best Buy. And on Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. is "Merry Movie With Santa," presented by UMB Bank, at Marcus Village Pointe Cinema. Admission is $3, cash only. Proceeds benefit Nebraska Children's Home.

The center also will offer free horse and carriage rides from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays from Nov. 30 through Dec. 21.


Oak View

Santa will be available for photos in the mall's lower level Younkers wing Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.


Regency Court

Santa Claus will be at Regency Court's Center Court beginning Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Santa's schedule will then be: Mondays through Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.; and Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It will snow on the hour in Center Court (thanks to a snow machine) every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Mall of the Bluffs, Council Bluffs

Santa will be at the Mall of the Bluffs in Council Bluffs starting Nov. 23. The mall will give away movie tickets, and various merchants will supply goodies from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. that morning. Children will also be able to enjoy milk and cookies.

Santa will be available seven days a week near Zales and Greenberg's Jewelers. Schedule to be determined.


Crossroads Mall

Santa Claus is expected to be available on weekends. Schedule not yet determined.

Nebraska Crossing Outlets, Gretna

Santa will visit Nebraska Crossing on Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Check nexoutlets.com for details.


Aksarben Village

The schedule of holiday family events:

Dec. 6., 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Holiday music, face painting, ornament-making; Dec. 7., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Holiday market; Dec. 8., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Santa Claus visits from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 13, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Village Canvas & Cabernet activity, horse and carriage rides, strolling carolers, face painters, cookies and cocoa; Dec. 20. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse and carriage rides, strolling carolers, face painters, cookies and cocoa.

For more information, go to aksarbenvillage.com/lights-aksarben.


Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Santa will visit the Mahoney Grille from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 15. Information: 402-944-2523


More events featuring Santa


Ice skating

Ice skating, daily through Jan. 11 once weather allows ice to form. Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m. Sundays (closed Dec. 24 and 25), University of Nebraska Medical Center Ice Rink, between 40th and 42nd Streets, from Dewey Avenue to Emile Street, $7 (includes skate rental), call 402-559-0697 to check on closings due to weather conditions.


Ice skating, Dec. 13-Jan. 5, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 1 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, ConAgra campus, 10th and Harney Streets, $5 (includes skate rental).


Public skating, Moylan Tranquility Iceplex, 12550 West Maple Road, $8 (includes skate rental), check skate times at moylaniceplex.com; Motto McLean Ice Arena, 5015 S. 45th St., $4 ages 6 and older, $5 group, $3 skate rental, for skate times call 402-444-4955.


Skating Extravaganza, Blade & Edge Figure Skating Club, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22, ConAgra campus ice rink, canned good donations.



Holiday Lights Festival

The six-week Holiday Lights Festival is packed with fun activities and sparkling lights. Gene Leahy Mall is once again the setting of the CenturyLink Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony. After that, the lights will be turned on at the mall from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. through Jan. 5.

Also, for the third straight year, there will be lights in north and South Omaha, thanks to the Sherwood Foundation.

See lights in the evenings from 24th Street between L and Q Streets in South Omaha beginning Nov. 29 and along the trees lining Martin Luther King and Love's Jazz plazas at 24th and Lake Streets beginning Dec. 7.

Information for all Holiday Lights Festival events is at 402-345-5401 or holidaylightsfestival.org. Following is the lineup of Holiday Lights Festival events.


Pacific Life Sounds of the Season

Enjoy live music and holiday carols as you see downtown dazzle with Holiday Lights.

When: Saturdays, Nov. 30 to Dec. 28.

Hours: 7 to 8 p.m.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market.

Hours: 7 to 8 p.m.

Admission: Free.


Wells Fargo Family Festival

Six downtown arts and cultural institutions provide free admission and hands-on activities for the entire family. Venues include Wells Fargo (19th and Douglas Streets), Omaha Children's Museum, Durham Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, W. Dale Clark Library and Omaha Police Mounted Patrol Barn. Free trolley service connects all locations. Families are encouraged to "Shine the Light on Hunger" and bring nonperishable foods and household goods to donation barrels at each Family Festival venue.

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

Where: Downtown Omaha.

Admission: Free.


ConAgra Foods Ice Rink

All proceeds from the skating rink will be donated to Food Bank for the Heartland, an Omaha-based nonprofit organization that distributes between 5 and 7 million pounds of food and household products to families in Nebraska and southwest Iowa each year. The public is encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food items and household goods to drop in collections bins around the rink as part of the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign.

When: Dec. 13 to Jan. 5.

Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to midnight. Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Where: ConAgra Foods Campus, 10th and Harney Streets.

Admission: $5 admission includes skate rental.


New Year's Eve Fireworks Spectacular

Join thousands on New Year's Eve for a fireworks display choreographed to a lively '80s soundtrack.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 31.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam Streets.

Admission: Free.


New Year's events

First Night 2014

"Art Along the River" is the theme for First Night, a New Year's Eve celebration of the arts throughout Council Bluffs. The event includes musicians, performance art, artistic displays and more. Events are at a number of indoor venues in downtown Council Bluffs and include appearances by Young Elvis, WGO Orchestra featuring Onyx, Gooch & the Guys, the Thomas Kluge Quartet, Amazing Arthur and Brule. The Union Pacific Railroad Museum and the Squirrel Cage Jail Museum will be open until 8 p.m. Kids' events will be at Mid-America Center with face painters, stilt walker, fire jugglers and balloon artists. Food will be available at Mid-America Center and several restaurants in downtown Council Bluffs.

When: Dec. 31.

Hours: Events from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Children's events end with finale at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Many locations in Council Bluffs.

Admission: Admission buttons $10. Children 12 and under are free. Admission buttons can be purchased at Council Bluffs Hy-Vee and No Frills locations, the Treasurer's Office in City Hall or online at firstnightcouncilbluffs.org.

Information: 712-328-4601 or firstnightcouncilbluffs.org.


First Night of Play

Ring in the New Year at Omaha Children's Museum. This evening is perfect for the family and leaves time for parents to celebrate afterward. The event includes a pizza dinner, goodie bag from Oriental Trading Co., face painters, balloon artists, dance party and a concert by Dino O'Dell. "Midnight" is 8 p.m., complete with a countdown to the new year and a giant bubble-wrap stomp.

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

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

Admission: $10 members; $14 non-members. Children under 2 are free but require a ticket. Buy tickets online at ocm.org or in person.

Information: www.ocm.org or 402-342-6164.


Noon Year's Eve at Durham Museum

Get an early jump on your New Year's celebration. Children will enjoy the fun-packed party with music by the Doo-Dads, special crafts and activities. The day ends with a celebratory bubble-wrap stomp and ball drop at noon in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall. Sponsored by ConAgra Foods.

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31.

Where: Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Admission: $9 adults, $7 seniors 62 and older, $6 children ages 3 to 12, free for members and children 2 and under.

Information: 402-444-5071 or www.durhammuseum.org.


Noon Year's Eve at the Zoo

Party with the animals and celebrate New Year's Eve at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Have a wild time with activities, entertainment and an early countdown to 2013 that features a beach ball drop.

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31.

Where: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Admission: Activities are free to zoo members and to others with regular zoo admission of $13.50 for age 12 and over; $12.50 seniors age 65 and over; $9 children ages 3 to 11; free for kids 2 and under.

Information: www.omahazoo.com


New Year's Eve Fireworks Spectacular

Join thousands on New Year's Eve for a fireworks display choreographed to a lively '80s soundtrack.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 31.

Where: Gene Leahy Mall, 14th and Farnam Streets.

Admission: Free.

Information: 402-345-5401 or www.holidaylightsfestival.org.


To the Nines New Year's Eve Celebration

Come dressed in your Hollywood best and walk the red carpet at the Embassy Suites in La Vista at an event benefiting the student emergency fund of the Papillion La Vista Schools Foundation and the activities of La Vista. The event features dinner, dancing and even a room if you wish.

When: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

Where: Embassy Suites, 12520 Westport Parkway, La Vista.

Admission: $125 for one person or $325 for couples. Both packages include valet parking, hors d'oeuvres, hosted cocktails, a five-course dinner, dancing, entertainment and champagne midnight toast. Couples' package includes a one-night stay at the Courtyard Marriott.

Information: 402-960-9625.


New Year's Eve at Mahoney State Park

Looking for a fun place to go spend New Year's Eve? Come out to Mahoney Grill at the Peter Kiewit Lodge. Will be a rockin' good time to ring in the new year. Contact the park office for more details. A park entry permit is required.

Information: 402-944-2523, outdoornebraska.gov


First Day Hike

Hike the trails at Ponca State Park and end your trek with hot cider and cookies.

When: Jan. 1

Where: Ponca State Park, two miles north of Ponca, Neb.

Cost: Free

Information: 402-755-2284, outdoornebraska.gov


Area libraries offer crafts, music, more

Omaha Public Library

The branches of the Omaha Public Library have a variety of holiday-related events and workshops from now until New Year's Eve. In the listings, a designation of RR means that registration is required; RP means registration is preferred.

Where: Branches of the Omaha Public Library: Elkhorn, Swanson, South Omaha, Sorensen, Washington, Saddlebrook, Florence, Millard, Abrahams, Main, Willa Cather and Benson.

When: Through Dec. 31.

Admission: Free.

Information: Go to the omahapubliclibrary.org calendar for a listing of events or call 402-444-4800.



Nov. 26

Thanksgiving Craft for Kids; RR, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sorensen, 402-444-5274.

Cooking for Teens (mini-pumpkin pie); RR, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Sorensen, 402-444-5274.


Nov. 30

Crafting Glass Ornaments; RR, noon to 4 p.m., Elkhorn, 402-289-4367.


Dec. 2

Happy, Healthy, Stress-Free Holiday (strategies for a healthful season); RR, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Abrahams, 402-444-6284.


Dec. 3

Perpetual Calendar Craft for Adults and Teens; RR, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Florence, 402-444-5299.


Dec. 5

Homemade Holiday (Christmas tree ornaments); RR, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., South Omaha, 402-444-4850.

Hanukkah Storytime (stories, crafts and treats); RR, 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., Abrahams, 402-444-6284.


Dec. 6

Holiday Cards & Gift Tags Lock-In (presented by Connie Cajka); RR, 6 to 9 p.m., Sorensen, 402-444-5274.


Dec. 7

Family History Holiday Ornaments for Adults (bring four to six photos); RR, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Millard, 402-444-4848.

Holiday Music with Harpist Anita Jaynes; 10 to 11 a.m., Abrahams, 402-444-6284.

Santa Visits Saddlebrook (storytime, crafts and goodies); RP, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Saddlebrook, 402-884-7473.

Crafting Glass Ornaments; RR, noon to 4 p.m., Elkhorn, 402-289-4367.

Creating Holiday Newsletters with Microsoft Word; RR, 1 to 2 p.m., Saddlebrook, 402-884-7473.

Holiday Craft and Coloring Program; 1 to 3 p.m., Swanson, 402-444-4852.

Holiday Music with John Worsham (refreshments served); 1 to 2:30 p.m., Florence, 402-444-5299.

Repujado Ornament Workshop (presented by Linda Garcia); RR, 1 to 3 p.m., South Omaha Library, 402-444-4850.

Winter Terrarium Craft; RR, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Florence, 402-444-5299.

Holiday Music with Harpist Anita Jaynes; 3 to 4 p.m., Millard, 402-444-4848.

Handmade Holiday: DIY Jewelry (presented by Chris Nigrin); RR, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Washington, 402-444-4849.


Dec. 10

Holiday Music with Robert Glaser (refreshments served); 4 to 5:30 p.m., Sorensen, 402-444-5274.


Dec. 11

Holiday Open House (crafts, treats and live music); 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., South Omaha, 402-444-4850.

Holiday Music with Metro Omaha Handbells; noon to 1 p.m., Main, 402-444-4800.

Creative Sewn & No-Bake Holiday Gifts; RR, 4 to 7 p.m., Elkhorn, 402-289-4367.

Family History Holiday Ornaments for Adults (bring 1-2 small photos); RR, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Swanson, 402-444-4852.


Dec. 12

Holiday Music with Metro Omaha Handbells; noon to 1 p.m., Millard, 402-444-4848.

Homemade Holiday (DIY coasters); RR, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., South Omaha, 402-444-4850.

Holiday Crafts for Kids (Christmas tree cones); RR, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sorensen, 402-444-5274.

Holiday Memory Craft (bring a photo); RR, 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., Abrahams, 402-444-6284.


Dec. 14

Ice Cream Cone Christmas Trees (3 sessions); RR, 10 a.m., 11 a.m. or noon, Millard, 402-444-4848.

Creative Sewn & No-Bake Holiday Gifts; RR, noon to 2 p.m., Elkhorn, 402-289-4367.

Healthy Holidays with No More Empty Pots (food demos); 1 to 3 p.m., Washington, 402-444-4849.

Holiday Strings Music with Cecilia Jensen; 1 to 2 p.m., Willa Cather, 402-444-4851.

Repujado Ornament Workshop (presented by Linda Garcia); RR, 1 to 3 p.m., South Omaha, 402-444-4850.

Cooking for Teens (edible snowflakes); RR, 2 to 3 p.m., Sorensen, 402-444-5274.

9th Annual Jane Austen Tea; RR, 2 to 4 p.m., Millard, 402-444-4848.

Build a Gingerbread Candy House; RR, 2 to 4 p.m., Benson, 402-444-4846.

Create a Christmas Ornament (presented by Connie Cajka); 3 to 5 p.m., Willa Cather, 402-444-4851.


Dec. 17

Holiday Beer & Wine Tasting (presented by Sandy Kucera, 21+); 6 to 7:30 p.m., Florence, 402-444-5299.


Dec. 18

Holiday Crafts for Teens; RR, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sorensen Branch, 402-444-5274.

A YouTube Christmas (share your favorite holiday videos; food served); 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Benson, 402-444-4846.


Dec. 19

Homemade Holiday (bows and other wrapping adornments); RR, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., South Omaha, 402-444-4850.

Holiday Crafts for Kids; RR, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Sorensen, 402-444-5274.

Dec. 20

Holiday Music With Mark Sorensen (French horn); 1 to 1:45 p.m., Swanson, 402-444-4852.


Dec. 21

Holiday Movie Magic (3 movie showings); RP, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Abrahams, 402-444-6284.

Holiday Craft and Gift Make & Take for Kids; 10:30 a.m. to noon, Florence, 402-444-5299.

Build a Gingerbread Candy House; RR, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Main, 402-444-4800.

Build a Gingerbread Candy House; RR, 1 to 3:30 p.m., South Omaha, 402-444-4850.

Build a Gingerbread Candy House; RR, 2 to 4 p.m., Washington, 402-444-4849.

Holiday Movie & Craft (refreshments served); 2 to 4:30 p.m., Willa Cather, 402-444-4851.

Build a Gingerbread Candy House for Teens; RR, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Main Library, 402-444-4800.


Dec. 26

Kwanzaa Storytime (stories, songs and a craft); RR, 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., Abrahams, 402-444-6284.

Kwanzaa Kick-Off (food and live music); 6 to 8 p.m., Washington, 402-444-4849.

Dec. 27

Kwanzaa Craft for Kids; RR, 2 to 3:30 p.m., Washington, 402-444-4849.


Dec. 28

Kwanzaa Talent Showcase (food and entertainment); RR, 6 to 9 p.m., Washington, 402-444-4849.

Teen Holiday Lock-In (games, movie, snacks); RR, 6:15 to 9:15 p.m., Millard, 402-444-4848.

Dec. 30

Kwanzaa for Families; 2 to 4 p.m., Washington, 402-444-4849.


Dec. 31

Noon Year's Eve Party (sparkly crafts and bubble wrap stomp); 10:30 a.m. to noon, Main, 402-444-4800.


Classic Holiday Movie Night in La Vista

Enjoy "A Christmas Story." "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" Families welcome.

When: Dec. 12, doors open at 6:15 p.m., show time 6:30 p.m.

Where: La Vista Library, 9110 Giles Road

Admission: Free.

Information: cityoflavista.org/wintertainment


Storytime With Saint Nick in La Vista

Listen to Saint Nick read a story, sing Christmas songs and get your picture taken with him. For children 6 months to 5 years. All children who attend will receive a free book.

When: 10 a.m. Dec. 18.

Where: La Vista Library, 9110 Giles Road.

Admission: Free.

Information: cityoflavista.org/wintertainment


Afternoon Holiday Movie in La Vista

Enjoy the classic holiday movie "Polar Express." Chairs will be available or bring a blanket to spread out on the floor. Free treats provided.

When: 2 p.m. Dec. 20.

Where: La Vista Library, 9110 Giles Road.

Admission: Free.

Information: cityoflavista.org/wintertainment


More holiday events

Events listed by date

Holiday strolls

Live music and hot beverages. When: 4-7 p.m., Sundays through Dec. 22

Where: Old Market, 12th and Howard Streets

Admission: Free


North Pole Winter Wonderland

Family activities, visits with Santa, sleigh rides and lights. When: 6 to 10:30 p.m. through Jan. 1

Where: Northboro, Iowa

Admission: Free


Gingerbread village

When: All day through the holidays

Where: Magnolia Hotel Lobby, 1615 Howard St.

Admission: Donations go to the Ronald McDonald House


Shine the Light on Hunger food drive

Through Dec. 31, many downtown venues and entertainment organizations are accepting donations for the Food Bank for the Heartland.


Bell ringing

Individuals, families and organizations can register to ring bells during the holiday season.

When: Through Dec. 24.

Where: Metro area.

Information: To volunteer, go to ringomaha.org or call 402-898-6000.


"A Christmas Carol" at Omaha Community Playhouse

It just isn't Christmas without "A Christmas Carol." Experience one of Omaha's favorite traditions as Ebenezer Scrooge takes us on a life-changing journey filled with beautiful costumes, exquisite music, well-crafted sets and special effects.

When: Through Dec. 23. Check show times.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Admission: Through Dec. 14: $24 for students, $35 all others. Dec. 15 to 23: $28 students, $39 all others.

Information: 402-553-0800, 888-782-4338 or omahaplayhouse.org.


Christmas stamps

View Christmas-themed stamps and covers from around the world at the Leon Myers Stamp Center.

When: Through Dec. 31.

Where: Leon Myers Stamp Center, 13628 Flanagan Blvd., in the Boys Town Visitors Center.

Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Free.

Information: Boys Town Visitors Center, 800-625-1400.


ConAgra Foods Shines the Light on Hunger with the Arts

During the holiday season, Omaha Performing Arts, the Omaha Symphony, Joslyn Art Museum, Opera Omaha and the Omaha Community Playhouse are teaming up for this event, which features a food drive. Patrons are invited to bring canned food and other nonperishable items to the venues when attending any performance through Dec. 31. All donations support the Food Bank for the Heartland.

When: Through Dec. 31.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, Joslyn Art Museum, the Orpheum Theater and the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Information: 402-345-0606.


Gingerbread at the Tabernacle

See dozens of houses made of gingerbread and candy by local families, Scout troops and youth groups. This year's theme is A Child's Christmas.

When: Through Dec. 29.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Kanesville Tabernacle, 222 E. Broadway, Council Bluffs.

Admission: Free.

Information: 712-322-0500.


Gingerbread Festival

The smell of gingerbread is in the air at the annual festival. The display features elaborate gingerbread creations and beautifully decorated trees. This year's theme is Sing a Song of Christmas.

When: Through Dec. 29.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas).

Where: Mormon Trail Center, 3215 State St.

Admission: Free.

Information: 402-453-9372.


Holidays at the Historic General Crook House Museum

Celebrate the holidays in true Victorian elegance at the General Crook House Museum. The General Crook House Guild plans decorations throughout the year to ensure every room glistens with holiday grandeur. The house, built in 1879, is Italianate style with furnishings from the 1880 Victorian period. Guests will be treated to complimentary homemade apple cider and cookies and can take part in a scavenger hunt.

When: Through Jan. 3.

Where: Historic Fort Omaha, 30th and Fort Streets.

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

Admission: Suggested donation of $6 adults, $5 seniors/students, $4 kids ages 6 to 11.

Information: DouglasCoHistory.org.


Homemade holiday fruitcakes

Baked by volunteers in the hospital kitchen, the Alegent Creighton Health Midlands Hospital Auxiliary gourmet fruitcakes are made from the same annual secret recipe. Each cake is filled with pecans, dates, pineapple and cherries.

When: Now until all are sold.

Where: Midlands Hospital Gift Shop, 11111 S. 84th St., Papillion.

Cost: Small cakes $10; large $17.

Information: 402-593-3847.


MathAlive!

MathAlive! is designed to spark the imagination and reveal the endless possibilities of math. The exhibit brings to life the math behind things kids love -- video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics and more -- and creates interactive experiences.

When: Through Jan. 5.

Where: Strategic Air & Space Museum. Take Interstate 80 Exit 426 near Ashland.

Admission: $12 adults, $6 children ages 4 to 12; free for members. Active or retired military and seniors 65 and older $11.

Information: 402-944-3100 or sasmuseum.com.


Papillion Recreation Department's Santa Hotline

Santa's Hotline, a joint effort between the Papillion Recreation Department and the North Pole, gives kids of Papillion and surrounding communities the opportunity to talk with Santa. Santa will call your children and wish them a happy holiday. Visit www.papillion.org/recreation.cfm to fill out a Santa's Hotline registration form.

When: Register at no cost by Dec. 16. Santa will call Dec. 17 between 5:45 and 8:15 p.m.

Information: 402-597-2041.


Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops

Activities include playing with slot cars, remote-control cars, train sets and more. The store also features a shooting gallery and Zing-Shot toys. Kids can write a letter to Santa and get a free 4x6 photo with him.

When: Through Dec. 24. Check stores for times of events and activities.

Where: 2901 Bass Pro Drive, Council Bluffs.

Admission: Free.

Information: 712-325-6000 or basspro.com (click on your local store).


"Mistletoe & Holly"

Enjoy the Christmas season as you tour one of the best examples of Victorian architecture in the city. The theme is Mistletoe & Holly. More than 20 trees will be decorated in Victorian splendor. Included in the tour is the August Beresheim House, complete with displays, video and a gift shop.

When: Nov. 24 through Dec. 30.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closes at 2 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31.

Where: Historic General Dodge House, 605 Third St., Council Bluffs.

Admission: $7 adults, $5 seniors age 62 and older, $3 students ages 6 to 16, free for members and children under 6.

Information: 712-322-2406 or dodgehouse.org.


Holiday Harmony

Come on Sunday afternoons to hear live music in the festive garden surroundings. Stroll through the poinsettia show or cozy up to the fireplace and enjoy lunch.

When: Nov. 27, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 and 22.

Hours: Times vary.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.

Admission: $6 adults, $3 children ages 6 to 12, free for members.

Information: 402-346-4002 or lauritzengardens.org.


Ethnic Holiday Trees Exhibit

The Ethnic Holiday Trees exhibit showcases how cultures around the world celebrate the Christmas season. Each tree is decorated by a local ethnic group and accompanied by text explaining the meaning behind the decorations and traditions within each culture.

When: Nov. 29 to Jan. 5.

Where: Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday through Saturday. Closed major holidays.

Admission: $9 adults, $7 seniors 62 and older, $6 children ages 3 to 12, free for members and children 2 and under.

Information: 402-444-5027 or email education@durhammuseum.org.


Holiday Poinsettia Show

More than 5,600 poinsettia plants are grown in Lauritzen Gardens' greenhouses for this annual show. This spectacular exhibit includes a 20-foot poinsettia tree, beautifully decorated holiday trees, antique sleighs, model trains and other festive decorations. Be enchanted by model trains whirring through this breathtaking indoor floral display.

When: Nov. 29 to Jan. 5.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha's Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft St.

Admission: $6 adults, $3 children ages 6 to 12, free for members.

Information: 402-346-4002 or lauritzengardens.org.


"Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol"

This play, by Tom Mula, is a comical look at what happened to Ebenezer Scrooge's sour, old business partner.

When: Nov. 29 to Dec. 22

Hours: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (no show Dec. 5); 6 p.m. all Sundays except Dec. 15, which is at 2 p.m.

Where: Blue Barn Theatre, 614 S. 11th St.

Admission: $25 adults; $20 students, seniors age 65 and older, and groups of 10 or more.

Information: 402-345-1576, bluebarn.org.


Santa's Magic at Children's Museum

Meet Santa and see a fanciful holiday light show set to the music of Mannheim Steamroller. Then, meet Snow Queen as she leads children in song ... and perhaps even makes it snow. Santa arrives in grand fashion by coming out of a chimney and greeting each child by name to hear holiday wishes.

When: Nov. 29 to Dec. 22. Check for times.

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

Admission: Admission is for museum visit, which includes Santa's Magic. $9 for adults and children, $8 for seniors age 60 and older; free for members and children under 2.

Information: ocm.org or 402-342-6164.


Baking Christmas Memories at Mockingbird Cupcakes

Saturdays with Santa! Enjoy free hot cocoa and homemade sugar cookies with jolly old Saint Nick. Bring family and friends and get in the holiday spirit.

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays from Nov. 30 to Dec. 21.

Where: Mockingbird Cupcakes, 17306 Lakeside Hills Plaza.

Admission: Polaroid snapshots are $5.

Information: 402-850-8548.


Homemade Holiday Crafts at Ponca State Park

Free hot chocolate and wassail, holiday movie matinees, lighted hayrack rides and more.

When: Saturdays, Nov. 30 through Dec. 28

Where: Ponca State Park, two miles north of Ponca, Neb.

Cost: Free

Information: 402-755-2284, outdoornebraska.gov


Santa's Workshop

Shadow Lake Towne Center is again hosting its Santa's Workshop. Santa will hear kids' holiday wishes through Christmas Eve. Photo packages are available for purchase on flash drive. Santa's Workshop is located a few doors down from Wheatfields restaurant and the Shadow Lake Management Office lobby entrance.

When: noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 to 8, noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 11 to 15, noon to 7 p.m. Dec. 16 to 20, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 21 to 23 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 24.

Where: Off Main Street near Wheatfields at Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Nebraska Highway 370, Papillion.

Admission: Photos available for purchase.

Information: shadowlakeshopping.com or 402-537-0046.


Shadow Lake Carriage Rides Step onto a horse-drawn carriage and ride down Main Street for old-fashioned holiday fun.

When: Saturdays from Nov. 30 to Dec. 21.

Hours: Noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Between Chico's and Coldwater Creek at Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Nebraska Highway 370, Papillion.

Admission: Free.

Information: 402-437-0046 or shadowlakeshopping.com.


Village Pointe Carriage Rides

Catch a complimentary horse-and-carriage ride down Main Street at Village Pointe.

When: Saturdays, Nov. 30 to Dec. 21.

Hours: 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Village Pointe Fireplace (in front of cinema), Main Street at Village Pointe, 168th Street and West Dodge Road.

Admission: Free.

Information: 402-505-9773 or villagepointeshopping.com.


Boys Town Historic Creche Displays

Take a driving tour of Boys Town and view three historic Nativity scenes. The main creche adorns the Music Hall on Flanagan Boulevard, near the main entrance off West Dodge Road and can be seen for miles. This large Nativity scene was created by the late Donia Temple, a Holocaust survivor and former Boys Town employee. Other Nativities are situated at Dowd Memorial Catholic Chapel on Dowd Drive, and on Heroes Boulevard, in front of the Village Christmas tree across from the Skip Palrang Field House.

When: Dec. 1 to Jan. 11.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Where: Boys Town.

Admission: Free.

Information: Boys Town Visitors Center, 800-625-1400


Family Nights With Santa

Children can share their wish lists with Santa and meet his reindeer, who will make a special stop at the museum. Families can take part in holiday crafts in Mangelsen's Craft Corner and enjoy live music. Sponsored by ConAgra Foods.

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 3, 10, 17.

Where: Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Admission: $9 adults, $7 seniors 62 and older, $6 children ages 3 to 12, free for members and children 2 and under.

Information: 402-444-5071 or durhammuseum.org.


Joslyn's Holiday Under Glass

Enjoy the sounds of the season during Joslyn's annual holiday luncheon concert series. Performances by area university and high school musicians will be featured. Joslyn's Hitchcock Museum Shop is open daily with holiday merchandise available. Tours of special exhibits and the permanent collection follow.

When: Dec. 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum's ConAgra Foods Atrium, 2200 Dodge St.

Time: Noon to 12:45 p.m. Joslyn's Cafe Durham is open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission: Free.

Information: 402-342-3300 or joslyn.org.


"Christmas Family Nights"

Bring the family and enjoy the beautifully decorated trees by local clubs and residents. Have hot chocolate and cookies as you partake in a traditional Victorian Christmas.

When: Dec. 5, 12, 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Historic General Dodge House, 605 Third St., Council Bluffs.

Admission: $10 per family (two adults and children under 18). Free for members.

Information: 712-322-2406 or dodgehouse.org.


Milk & Cookies With Santa

Come to Omaha Children's Museum for an evening of holiday cheer. Santa will make a grand entrance. Guests will sing holiday songs. Kids can decorate cookies, make crafts and have playtime in the museum.

When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 5, 12 and 19.

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

Admission: Tickets $20 per child, $5 per adult. Children under 2 free.

Information: ocm.org or 402-342-6164.


Storytime With Santa & Mrs. Claus

Santa will read a holiday story to kids at various Village Pointe stores. There are treats and giveaways for children.

When: Thursdays, Dec. 5, Dec. 12, and Dec. 19, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Select stores at Village Pointe, 168th Street and West Dodge Road.

Admission: Free.

Information: 402-505-9773 or villagepointeshopping.com.


First Christian Church Little Bethlehem Drive-Thru

Visitors slowly drive through the historic town of Little Bethlehem to watch the Christmas story unfold. The town is complete with shops, angels, wise men, shepherds, Roman soldiers, a synagogue, inn, Nativity and more.

When: Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15.

Hours: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: Free.

Where: First Christian Church, 20794 Highway 92, Council Bluffs.

Information: 712-328-2606, firstchristiancb.org.


Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights

Listen to the storyteller read "The Polar Express" while touring historic Nebraska City's holiday lights in an enclosed trolley.

When: Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 6 to 21.

Hours: 7 to 8 p.m.

Where: Lied Lodge & Conference Center, Nebraska City.

Admission: $10 for ages 5 and up; reservations required.

Information: 800-546-5433 or visit liedlodge.org.


"Narnia"

In the musical adaptation of the popular book, four children are whisked away from a troubled time in England to fulfill their destinies in the enchanted land of Narnia. An epic battle between good and evil ensures.

When: Dec. 6 to 29.

Hours: 7 p.m. on Fridays, 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Also 7 p.m. Dec. 26.

Where: The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

Admission: $25 for nonmembers for main floor and $20 for balcony; $18 for members for main floor and $13 for balcony. Tickets are required for all children ages 2 and older. Children under the age of 2 are free provided they sit on a parent's or guardian's lap.

Information: 402-345-4849 or rosetheater.org.


"Nutcracker Delights"

A cast of more than 60 dancers, actors and singers -- and even fencers -- will present the seventh annual "Nutcracker Delights." The show features an original script by Julian Adair and a traditional score by Tchaikovsky.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14; and 2 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15.

Where: Bellevue Little Theater, 203 W. Mission Ave.

Admission: $12. For tickets, call 855-222-2849 or tututix.com.

Information: 402-551-4200.


"Yesterday and Today"

This all-request Beatles tribute show will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along to every song. Share your stories and relive your memories with your favorite Beatles songs.

When: Dec. 6 to 31.

Hours: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Dec. 31. Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Admission: $38, except New Year's Eve, during which it's $50 for the 7 p.m. show and $75 for the 10 p.m. show.

Information: 402-553-0800, 888-782-4338 or omahaplayhouse.org


Durham Museum Concert Series

Enjoy holiday music beside the Durham's Christmas tree. Entertainers, school musicians and choirs perform on weekends as part of the Durham Museum's Holiday Concert Series. Sponsored by ConAgra Foods.

When: Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22.

Hours: Intermittently from 10:30 a.m. until close.

Where: Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Admission: $9 adults, $7 seniors 62 and older, $6 children ages 3 to 12, free for members and children 2 and under.

Information: 402-444-5071 or durhammuseum.org.


Holiday Happenings

Catch a glimpse of holiday characters as they dive into the shark tunnel inside the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium. Also, zoo residents will get special enrichment gifts during the day.

When: Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Aquarium dive at 10:45 a.m.

Where: Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Admission: Regular admission of $13.50 for adults, $9 for children ages 3 to 11 and $12 for seniors. Free for members.

Information: omahazoo.com or 402-738-2092.


Acoustic Sundays

JR Hoss, Dec. 8; Rick Spurgin, Dec. 15; Tracy Skretta, Dec. 22; and Jeff Tomes, Dec. 29.

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

Where: Soaring Wings Vineyard, 17111 S. 138th St., Springfield, Neb.

Admission: Free


Heartland of America Band holiday concert series

2 p.m. Sunday at Glenwood (Iowa) High School; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Bellevue East High School; 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at Gretna High School; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21 at Papillion-La Vista South High School.

Admission: Free


Sunday Brunch With Santa

Visit Santa under the soaring timbers of Lied Lodge while savoring the Sunday brunch buffet and a special children's buffet. Santa will have his bag of goodies ready for the children. Pictures are encouraged.

When: Three Sundays: Dec. 8, 15 and 22

Where: Lied Lodge & Conference Center, Nebraska City.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission: $18 adults; $9 kids 5 to 12; free age 4 and under. Reservations recommended.

Information: 800-546-5433 or visit liedlodge.org.


Donate to watch "Elf" for free

For every three nonperishable food items donated, guests will get one free ticket to a showing of the movie "Elf." All donations will be sent to the Open Door Mission. A $5 cash donation per ticket will be accepted in place of food donation. Guests should arrive early for photos with Santa, compliments of Sons Photography. Pictures with Santa will be available starting at 8:30am. When:9 a.m., Dec. 21

Where:Marcus Twin Creek Cinema, 3909 Raynor Parkway, Bellevue

Information: Brian Shander, 402-827-8946, twincreek@marcustheatres.com


Supper with Santa

Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a night of fun-filled holiday spirit. Enjoy supper, crafts, pictures with Santa and more. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 19 to 22.

Where: Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Admission: $15 for members, $20 for non-members and free for children 2 and under. Preregistration is required.

Information: omahazoo.com or 402-738-2092.


Afternoon Holiday Movie

Enjoy the classic holiday movie "Polar Express." Chairs will be available or bring a blanket to spread out on the floor. Free treats provided.

When: 2 p.m. Dec. 20.

Where: La Vista Library, 9110 Giles Road.

Admission: Free.

Information: cityoflavista.org/wintertainment


Papillion Recreation Department's Breakfast with Santa

Attention, kids of all ages: Enjoy breakfast with Santa at Eagle Hills Golf Course. Pancakes will be catered in along with other great breakfast foods. There also will be games and activities for the kids and pictures with Santa. Parents should stay with their children at the event.

When: 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 20.

Where: Eagle Hills Golf Clubhouse, 501 Eagle Hills Drive, Papillion.

Admission: $7 per person. Tickets must be purchased by Dec. 11.

Information: 402-597-2041.


Skating extravaganza

The Blade & Edge Figure Skating Club presents performers of all levels and ages.

When: 3 p.m. Dec. 21 and 22.

Where: ConAgra Foods Campus, 10th and Harney Streets.

Admission: A canned good to support the Food Bank for the Heartland.

Information: 402-571-0779.


"It's a Wonderful Life"

See the holiday classic on the big screen.

When: Dec. 21, 22, 26, 28 and 29; check website for movie times.

Where: Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

Admission: $9; $4.50 for Film Streams members; $7 for seniors, military, students and teachers; and $2.50 for children 12 and under.

Information: filmstreams.org.


Holiday fun with Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids at Regency Court teaches you how to decorate cookies and make crafts.

When: Dec. 21.

Hours: Cookie decorating 1 p.m.; holiday crafts 2 p.m.; snowfall in Center Court from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the hour.

Where: Regency Court, 120 Regency Parkway.

Information: regencycourtomaha.com.


Merry Movie With Santa

Santa and friends will host a special interactive holiday movie presentation.

When: 9 a.m. Dec. 21.

Where: Marcus Village Pointe Cinema, 168th Street and West Dodge Road.

Admission: $3 per person, benefiting Nebraska Children's Home. Tickets on sale starting Dec. 13.

Information: 402-505-9773 or villagepointeshopping.com.


Winter Solstice at Ponca State Park

Wine and cheese tasting and more.

When: Dec. 21

Where: Ponca State Park, two miles north of Ponca, Neb.

Cost: Free

Information: 402-755-2284, outdoornebraska.gov


Yule Log and Archery

Hayrack rides, crafts, winter and holiday crafts, entertainment and more. The seasonal celebration features the Yule Log Quest.

When: Events being at 10 a.m. Dec. 21.

Where: Platte River State Park

Information: 402-234-2217, ourdoornebraska.gov


Living Nativity

St. Gerald Catholic Church will create a living Nativity at its school. The Nativity will feature live animals that visitors can pet. Animals will include camels, cattle, sheep, a donkey and chickens. After the Nativity, there will be a social in the gym with hot chocolate, cider, cookies and other desserts.

When: 5 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 22.

Where: St. Gerald Catholic School, 7859 Lakeview St., Ralston.

Admission: Free.

Information: 402-331-1955 or stgerald.org.


Mannheim Steamroller

Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 22.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Admission: $37 to $77.

Information: omahaperformingarts.org.


Hot Wheels Holiday Drag Races

Bring your favorite Hot Wheels car and compete on an electronic drag racing track. Come early and test the track. A car will be provided if you don't have one.

When: 3 p.m. Dec. 23.

Where: La Vista Community Center, 8116 Park View Blvd.

Admission: Free.

Information: cityoflavista.org/wintertainment


Winter camps

Take an exhilarating holiday break at the Durham Museum. Campers can sign up for individual days or the entire Winter Camp session at a discounted rate. Each day will feature a theme, such as Durham's Laboratory, Wizard School, Durham Design Zone, A Day in the Life: The 1950s and '60s, Welcome 2014 and Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear.

When: Dec. 23, 26, 27, 30 and Jan. 2 and 3.

Where: Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before and after care: 7:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. (free of charge).

Admission: Members: $40 per day, $90 for three days, $180 for six days per child. Nonmembers: $50 per day, $120 for three days, $210 for six days per child.

Information: Call 402-444-5071 or email education@durhammuseum.org.


Penguins and Pancakes

Enjoy pancakes from the Pancake Man and visits from African penguins. Reservations are required.

When: 8:30 to 10 a.m. Dec. 27 to 29.

Where: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Admission: $12 for members, $15 for non-members and free for children 2 and under.

Information: omahazoo.com or 402-733-8401.


Fruitcake Fling Competition and Snow Run

Teams compete to locate the Yule Log in Ponca State Park; other activities.

When: Dec. 28

Where: Ponca State Park, two miles north of Ponca, Neb.

Cost: Free

Information: 402-755-2284, outdoornebraska.gov


Winter hikes

Hike at Mahoney State Park, Two Rivers Recreation Area, Louisville State Recreation Area and many others.

Admission: $5 for a day permit

Information: outdoornebraska.ne.gov