Add big sparkle to your season thanks to the dazzling array of fun happening throughout the city. From beloved traditions to festive events, Omaha makes it easy to infuse this time of year with joy and memories thanks to a handful of mainstay celebrations that families and more look forward to year after year. Get these on your calendar, then sprinkle in a selection of other festive events happening throughout Omaha for the ultimate holiday experience.
Christmas at Union Station
The Durham Museum
It’s the most wonderful time of the year at The Durham Museum, where the festive spirit is felt throughout the season. From displaying the region’s largest Christmas tree to showcasing holidays around the globe to offering visits from Santa six days a week, it’s easy to feel the magic at Omaha’s former Union Station. Holiday tip: Put the finishing touch on your visit with a trip to the museum’s old-fashioned soda fountain, where a menu of phosphates, sundaes, seasonal floats and malts, and more await.
Omaha Children’s Museum
One of the most special ways to visit with Santa around here is at Omaha Children’s Museum. Santa’s Magic is a short, live performance featuring Santa Claus, elves and an animatronic Rudolph. Kids love the indoor snowfall, silly moments, and a message from the Snow Queen. Following each performance, children can share their wish lists with Santa and snap their picture with him (phones are welcome!). Holiday tip: Enjoy special activities, a meet and greet with Santa, plus free admission during Holiday Lights Festival’s KETV Family Festival in December.
Merry & Bright Poinsettia Show
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. Surrounded by festive foliage, glittering ornaments, and the whir and whistle of model garden trains, this show evokes the warmest greetings of cheer. Holiday tip: Don’t miss Bright Nights on select evenings, when all is aglow in the indoor gardens.
A Christmas Carol
Omaha Community Playhouse
Experience a beloved Omaha favorite as Ebenezer Scrooge takes the audience on a life-changing journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Filled with stunning Victorian costumes, festive music, and crisp, wintry sets, A Christmas Carol presented by the nation’s largest community theatre, Omaha Community Playhouse, is a beautiful reminder of the generosity that lies at the heart of the Christmas holiday.
Omaha Symphony Christmas Celebration
Holland Performing Arts Center
Select dates in December
One of the merriest ways to celebrate the season can be found at Omaha’s treasured Holland Performing Arts Center. During this endlessly entertaining Christmas spectacular, conductor Ernest Richardson, the Omaha Symphony, and a stellar cast of singers and dancers send audiences’ spirits soaring with festive favorites and Christmas classics. Holiday tip: Keep your eyes peeled for the dancing Santas, a crowd favorite.
More Special Events
Events with plenty of local flavor include Mulhall’s Christmas Party with pop-up shopping and wine, a holiday pop-up shopping event featuring 40 local businesses in honor of Small Business Saturday, and Hot Shops Winter Open House with art demonstrations, live music, and open doors to artist studios.
Experience local attractions with a merry twist at a decked-out General Crook House Museum, open seven days a week, and at Fontenelle Forest, whose mile-long boardwalk is outfitted with lights and indoor Great Hall is decorated with trees and wreaths. Head to Father Flanagan’s Historic Home where the Boys Town founder’s former residence showcases Irish Christmas traditions.
Shopping Centers & Neighborhood Celebrations
Village Pointe hosts a tree lighting and parade along with free carriage rides throughout the season. Aksarben Village’s Lights of Aksarben offers free fun every Friday. Midtown Crossing’s Holiday Cocktail Crawl followed by a stroll among the tens of thousands of twinkling lights will get anybody in the holiday mood, and Shadow Lake Towne Center’s Holiday Parade is a delight for all that includes a lighting of the state’s largest tree complete with 30,000 lights.
Music, Performances & Entertainment
The Making Spirits Bright Concert offers everybody a taste of holiday music in a world-class venue for free. American Midwest Ballet’s The Nutcracker has it all: visual splendor, a charming story, and brilliant classical dancing. And of course, there are always movie parties at Alamo Drafthouse ranging from Christmas Vacation to Elf.
From merry markets and lighting displays to festive concerts and visits with Santa, find a complete list of all the holiday happenings on our events calendar.