Each month brings unique opportunities to make memories in Omaha. Of course, December is the month of holiday fun, and Omaha brings the merriment. If you’ve missed an event below, no worries; add it to your calendar for next year. Read on for ten ways to enjoy this month in Omaha.
1. Be Merry and Bright at Omaha’s Botanical Gardens
Thousands of poinsettias bursting with rich, vibrant color fill the floral display hall in a glowing tribute to the holidays during Lauritzen Gardens’ holiday poinsettia show. The show’s centerpiece is a magnificent 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree. Be surrounded by festive foliage, glittering ornaments, and the whir and whistle of model garden trains. Don’t miss Bright Nights on select evenings, when all is aglow in the indoor gardens.
2. Experience Holiday Cheer at Local Spots
Mid-century cocktail lounge Mercury gets dressed from top to bottom in vintage holiday decor, making each visit there up until New Year’s ultra-festive. Across town in Omaha’s historic Benson neighborhood, themed café Edge of the Universe is your holiday haven. In the Old Market, Tannenbaum offers holiday goods year-round and beloved wine bar La Buvette gets the holiday treatment with strung lights and holiday music.
3. Feel the Magic of the Season
During the holidays, the photo-worthy Old Market Passageway transforms into a glowing space of greenery and lights.
4. Find the Perfect Gift(s)
Omaha’s peppered with one-of-a-kind shops and intimate boutiques, along with classic names at shopping malls and neighborhood centers. Shops of Legacy, Countryside Village, and Rockbrook Village offer unique options in Omaha. Village Pointe offers a festive Main Street-style outdoor shopping experience (and free carriage rides on Saturdays during the season) and Westroads Mall offers mainstream options amongst holiday décor along with food hall Flagship Commons and its roaring fireplace. Don’t worry, we have plenty more ideas for where to go on your next shopping trip.
5. Sink Your Teeth into an Omaha Delicacy
Lithuanian Bakery’s Napoleon Torte is so popular that it’s shipped to all corners of the U.S. The 72-hour confection is made of 17 layers of wafer, vanilla, and lemon buttercreams, with a luscious apricot center–and lots of love. The bakery stocks ots shelves with all kinds of holiday-approved goodies, from specialty breads to other Lithuanian treats.
6. Write Santa a Letter
Kids are invited to mail their letters to Saint Nick at the Omaha Visitors Center–and he’ll even write back! While you’re there, one of the friendly ambassadors can offer recommendations on what to see and do in Omaha based on your tastes and interests.
7. Admire Lights Around the City
Every evening this holiday season, lights glow throughout Omaha’s entertainment districts and neighborhoods. Click here for a round-up of the must-see displays perfect for festive strolls with friends and loved ones.
8. View Historic Holiday Decor
This holiday season, include a visit to the historic General Crook House Museum, an award-winning authentically restored home of General George Crook at Fort Omaha. The Italianate house built in 1879 is on the National Register of Historic Places and shows how a Commanding Officer lived on the Frontier in the 1880s.The museum comes to life every holiday season with themed décor and special events. Here’s a look at how the house was decorated last year. Other area historic homes that are extra magical during the holiday season include Joslyn Castle and the Historic General Dodge House.
9. View Art Demos as Artists Open Their Studio Doors
It’s the best time of year to experience Hot Shops Art Center, where 80+ artists in 56 studios work on their craft. During their Winter Open House, artists open their studio doors to the public for art demonstrations, showcasing their glass blowing, clay firing, bronze pouring, weaving, painting, iron forging and other talents. Get one-on-one access to the artists with the chance to ask questions and see how they work. Leave with one-of-a-kind holiday gifts like pottery, glass art, paintings, prints, and more made by local artisans. Can’t make the event? Drop into Hot Shops almost any time to make a purchase.
10. Attend a Woodsy Celebration
All month long, Fontenelle Forest’s mile-long boardwalk is outfitted with lights and indoor Great Hall is decorated with trees and wreaths during Winter Wonderland. Mid-month, the festivities include visits with Santa and raptors, and carol hiking (and it’s just what it sounds like).
For even more ideas on what to do in Omaha in December and any other time of the year, head to VisitOmaha.com.