February fun in Omaha
February in Omaha can be described in one word: Gray. You look outside and everything looks dead, dull or covered in grime.
You’ll find lots of color in my pick of the month activity, though.
“Nature Connects” opened Feb. 2 at Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical Center, First and Bancroft streets. Lauritzen is a beautiful botanical escape in the dead of winter. I enjoy the beauty of the flowers, but most kids can look at plants only for so long. That’s where “Nature Connects” comes in. It features 27 sculptures made from nearly 500,000 LEGO bricks, plus the LEGO Brickyard, where you and your family can make your own creations. What kid wouldn’t like that? Or adult…
Anyway, now through May 19, families can take part in Build-a-Breakfast with LEGO bricks and EGGO waffles every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You’ll tour the exhibit, build LEGO brick masterpieces of your own, and dine on EGGO waffles, with bacon or sausage, fresh fruit garnish and choice of coffee, milk or orange juice. It’s like my son planned this event (“First we play, then we eat ‘wapples’!”).
Breakfast is $6 per person in addition to regular garden admission. Reservations are not required. Garden admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children age 6 to 12. Garden members and children younger than 6 are admitted free of charge. You can see “Nature Connects” anytime, not just the weekends. The exhibit is at Lauritzen through May 19.
Here are some additional ideas on free or discounted things to do this month with your family:
Kids Club – Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd Street and Highway 30, holds monthly Kids Club events, which feature a free hour of fun for the little ones, every second Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. This month, on Feb. 14, catch the Valentine’s Day Pirate Show in the Aspen Athletic Fitness Room. Reservations are not required.
Family Movie Night and Inflatable Fridays – Couple of things are going on at Omaha’s Kroc Center, 2825 Y St., that I want to mention. The free Family Movie Night is Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. featuring the movie “Happy Feet.” It’s free to all and there will be free popcorn. Inflatable Fridays is a fun pool event held every Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. until the end of April. Inflatable toys will be available in the pool for everyone to use. It’s free for members and $5 for children and $7 for adults.
Saturday Surprise! – Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St., has a regular free program called Saturday Surprise! offered every other Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors take a peek in the galleries for inspiration, then do a simple art-making activity with a surprise theme. Upcoming events: Feb. 16; March 2, 16 and 30; and April 13 (featuring Dan Yaccarino).
“Kidz Explore: When I Grow Up” This child-centric event is at the Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs, Feb. 16 and 17. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and features tons of activities and exhibits for children. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 children ages 3-12 and free for children 2 and younger. Save $2 and purchase tickets at Bag ‘N Save or No Frills.
The Tangier Shrine Circus – The circus is in town Feb. 21-24 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave. Performances are Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at noon, 4 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 and 4:30 p.m. Arrive early to enjoy the Circus Fun Fair in both lower levels of the Civic. Tickets are $12-$30. There are a few ways to save a few dollars off admission:
- Look in your mail for the Valpak envelope and offers.
- Pick up an American Classifieds Newspaper for $2 off at area Hy-Vee Stores.
- Visit the Shrine Circus booth at KidzExplore for coupons.
- Purchase $100 worth of groceries at area Hy-Vee stores and get free tickets.
Evening Story Time – Momaha’s Evening Children’s Story Time is Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at The Bookworm Bookstore, 87th and Pacific streets. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas and bring a small stuffed animal. Kids can sip milk and munch on cookies while listening to a story. Free.