Located at 3215 State Street is the Mormon Trail Visitor’s Center. For the past 26 years, the Mormon Church has hosted a gingerbread house display at this location. Starting around November 19th and running through December 31st, the display is free to the public, and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Our family attended the 2011 event. The children especially loved the scavenger hunt activity, searching for items hidden among the gingerbread display. The displays are beautifully hand-crafted and creatively arranged. And, they include more than just houses – castles, snowmen, stores and trees – all made out of gingerbread. Make a trip to the Mormon Trail Center a part of your annual holiday tradition. Happy Motoring!
Every 4th of July, the city of Ralston and it’s Chamber of Commerce host the premiere, must-see, Independence Day Parade in Nebraska. The event starts near 84th and Q Streets in Ralston at 1:00 p.m. and winds through the lovely tree-lined streets of old Ralston, ending at 72nd and Main Street nearly 3 hours later. Our family tradition is to pack a cooler with lunch and refreshments and to drive/walk to Independence Avenue in old Ralston. We take our own lawn chairs and blankets and arrive a half hour before the parade starts. The parade is a blast. In addition to bands, clowns, and fire trucks, every prominent politician in the state attends and walks the parade route. Typical attenders include the Nebraska Governor, Nebraska’s U.S. Senate and House members, as well as the Omaha and Ralston mayors. The 2010 event has over 106 parade entries. The city of Ralston has dubbed itself “Independence City”, and for good reason. In addition to the annual parade, Ralston hosts a quilting and art show, a teen dance, a picnic in the park, a fun run-walk, fire department water fights and a fireworks display. Entertainment for the entire family. Check out the entertainment schedule, then drive to Ralston this year. Join in the celebration! Happy Motoring!
If you are looking for something fun to do in Omaha during the holidays, here’s an idea for you… put on your best silly Santa hat and go Christmas caroling! Through caroling, many churches throughout the Omaha metro bring the Christmas spirit to home-bound senior citizens and others in need of love and encouragement. This group from West Hills Church enjoyed a chili luncheon at the church before embarking on their vocal music adventure. Spreading cheer is contagious and helps prepare hearts for the coming celebration of Jesus’ birth. As a reminder, you now have 11 shopping days until Christmas. Happy Motoring!
Every year, the region’s largest indoor Christmas tree can be found inside the Durham Museum at Union Station, 801 S. 10th Street. The tree lighting ceremony will be held this Friday, November 27th between 4:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m. Visitors to the ceremony will enjoy live vocal music performances by Michael Walker, as well as the Heartland Harmonizers. For children and adults alike, there will be special appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. During the tree lighting, a collection of non-perishable food items and cash will be taken for donation to the Nebraska Food Bank. Through the holiday season, the Durham Museum will be hosting its annual Christmas concert series, as well as family visitation nights with Santa. Happy Motoring!
Lauritzen Gardens, located at 100 Bancroft Street in South Omaha, is Omaha’s Botanical Center. With over 100 acres of outdoor garden attractions, and a 32,000 square foot visitor and education center (shown in the photo to the left), Lauritzen Gardens allows you to learn about horticulture, or to lose yourself in the natural beauty of the magnificently maintained gardens. On November 27, Lauritzen’s Holiday Poinsettia Show opens to the public. An annual tradition, the show includes of a massive poinsettia “tree”, a model train and miniature Omaha display. Young children love it, and visiting is a delightful way to get the entire family into the Christmas spirit. Annual membershipsto Lauritzen may be purchased, or individual event admission tickets – which are $6 for adults and $3 for children 6 – 12 years old. Lauritzen is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except holidays, with some extended hours during Summer and Fall months. Consider giving a membership as a Christmas gift – Happy Motoring!
Located at 409 S. 16th Street, the Orpheum Theater will be hosting Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, with performances November 1st through November 7th. White Christmas is a part of the Omaha Performing Arts “Broadway Series”, and Omaha is the kick-off for the show’s national tour. The musical includes memorable Irving Berlin hits such as “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and of course “White Christmas.” Tickets may be purchased online or by telephone. Have a chip in your auto windshield? Don’t ignore it! Chips can be repaired simply and easily with resins and polymers that are available to your mechanic. Have them fixed before they turn into cracks that will necessitate window replacement, and Happy Motoring!
Located at 401 S. 39th Street, Renaissance Mansion, is a multi-use rental facility that can accomodate private parties with seating for up to 150 guests inside. The mansion is an excellent location for weddings and wedding receptions. It is also an excellent location for corporate luncheons, and Christmas or other holiday gatherings. The mansion can serve up to 40 guests comfortably, with a full catering menu. The buffet is excellent. Happy Motoring!
On Saturday October 24th a ghoulish Halloween event will take place in Omaha. It’s the second annual “Zombie Walk.” Show up dressed as a zombie or as a victim, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at The Pizza Shoppe, 6056 Maple Street in Benson. There is no admission and the event is fun for all ages. Parade through the streets of Benson with the other monsters. The 2009 Event is appropriately called “Thriller” It is sure to be both frightening and entertaining. Happy Motoring!