Loessfest, Memorial Day events and 20-plus fun things to do this weekend

Posted on May 28, 2016

Looking for something fun to do in Omaha this weekend? Check out these family-friendly suggestions:

1. Riverfront Block Party. This Saturday, come to Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park for the Riverfront Block Party. The event will include food, music and bounce houses. At 7:30 p.m., Disney Junior presents Imagination Movers. At dusk, enjoy Disney Pixar’s movie, “Inside Out.” More.

2. Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival. On Saturday, come listen to and watch fiddlers and acoustic bands compete at this year’s music festival, held at Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Nebraska. Food will be sold during the festival. The event is free. For a schedule of events, click here.

3. Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure. Come to The Durham Museum Saturday for the opening of Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates and Treasure. The exhibit features Odyssey Marine Exploration’s world-class archaeological work in the deep ocean. Visitors will go on a voyage through more than 2,000 years of seafaring history and view over 500 authentic shipwreck artifacts. The exhibit goes through Sunday, Aug. 28. Cost is $ 11 for adults, $ 8 for senior citizens (ages 62+), $ 7 for children (ages 3-12) and FREE for members. More.

4. Yoga Rocks the Park. Yoga Rocks the Park is an eight-week yoga festival, held Sunday afternoons in Turner Park. The community event features a weekly, all-levels 60-minute yoga class, led by highly regarded yoga instructors, live music or DJ, community artist and Qi-Gong in Turner Park. Parents are invited to bring their little yogis for Camp YRP, a kid’s yoga class designed specifically for ages 4-10. The event is free. Turner Park at Midtown Crossing is located at 31st Avenue and Farnam Street in Omaha. For a list of events, click here.

5.  Welcome summer at the Salute to Summer Festival. Formerly known as La Vista Daze, the Salute to Summer Festival will include a parade, community cookout, carnival, Hot Wheels races, fireworks, a free concert, a free pool party and more. The festival will run today through Sunday. More. 

6. Kids Jamboree at NEX Outlets. Bring the family to Nebraska Crossing, 21209 Nebraska Crossing Dr. in Gretna, Saturday for fun activities provided by NEX Outlets Management. Activities include face painting, balloon artists, a magician, stilt walkers and treats. More. 

7. See an outdoor movie. Bring a lawn chair and/or blanket, bug spray and campfire fare and enjoy an outdoor movie with Movie Nights at Camp Fontanelle. Friday night’s movie starts at 9:10 p.m. No movies will be shown if the weather is rainy. For more information, click here. SumTur Amphitheater’s Starlight Movie Series is back starting Friday with the movie “Minions” at 9 p.m. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. The event is free. More. 

8. Take Aim at Summer at Platte River State Park. On Saturday, come visit the Outdoor Heritage Education Complex at Platte River State Park, located at 14421 346th St. in Louisville, Nebraska, for a full day of fun to celebrate the park’s summer hours. Activities include archery, rifles, pellet guns, shotguns, hatchet throwing, Dutch oven cooking and s’mores by the campfire. The event is free with an annual or day park permit. More.

9. Go to a concert. Saturdays @ Stinson takes place every Saturday at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village. The concerts are family-friendly and include food and drink vendors, face painting, balloon artists – and kids can play in the fountain and on the playground equipment. More. The Vibes at Village Pointe returns Saturday at CHI Health Amphitheater with the band, High Heel, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. The concerts will take place Saturdays through Aug. 20. More.

10. Helicopter Day. Come to the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum Saturday for Helicopter Day – an indoor and outdoor event in celebration of aviation careers and the history of helicopters. The event is free to the public for outside activities and general admission applies for indoor activities. Activities include watching helicopter flights and helicopter rides outside, and a special visit from the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, a drone workshop on flight and safety, free helicopter balloon sculptors, make-and-take projects offered by sponsors and a science demonstration by the Museum’s Mad Scientist inside. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled to June 4. More.  

11. Teacher Appreciation Night at Werner Park. On Thursday, come see the Omaha Storm Chasers take on the vs Albuquerque Isotopes at 6:35 p.m. Thursday is Teacher Appreciation Night, with “Teacher of the Year” award winners honored on-field prior to the game. It’s also Motosport Night, which will feature racecars out on the concourse for fans to walk up to. Fans can also enjoy Thirsty Thursday, which includes $ 2 Bud and Bud Light cans and draft beers, in addition to $ 1 Pepsi products. More.

12. Family FUNday at Werner Park. Come to Werner Park Sunday for Family FUNday, presented By U.S. Bank. The evening will include clowns, face painters, balloon artists and the Wildlife Adventures Petting Zoo. Kids Run the Bases for kids 12 and younger will take place after the game. Finally, spectators can enjoy a special Sunday evening post-game fireworks show, courtest of Huber Chevrolet. More.

13. Celebrate Memorial Day. There are several observances and events planned throughout the area. To see a full list, click here.

14. Go to a farmer’s market. Several area farmer’s markets are now open for the season. To see a full list, click here. 

15. Exhibits at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. Two new exhibits are currently open, including “Beauty in Flight” and “Caproni & World Pioneers of Aviation.” “Beauty in Flight” features 21 prints by photographer Abby Jensen from Steamboat Springs, Colo. “Caproni & World Pioneers of Aviation” features iconic aircraft produced by innovators following the successful controlled flight by the Wright brothers. These flying machines and nine others will be on display through July 7. Exhibits are included with general admission – $ 12 for adult; $ 11 for seniors and military; and $ 6 for children 4 and older. More.

16. Public Sightseeing Cruise. Come aboard the River City Star Saturday and Sunday from noon to 1 p.m. for a one-hour sightseeing cruise will travel along the Missouri River while soaking up the scenery at a relaxing, rhythmic pace. The captain will provide historic commentary on the unique sights and sounds of the Missouri River. Cruise highlights include the Omaha Riverfront, Freedom Park Naval Yard and cruising under the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Participants can enjoy hot foods and beverages available for purchase onboard. Cost is $ 15. The cruises occur every Saturday and Sunday until Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. More.

17. Go fishing, boating and hunting: The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri Valley, Iowa, is open for the season. Get more information at www.fws.gov/refuge/desoto/.

18. Art exhibit “Currents: 6th Annual Juried Exhibition” by EDGE Contemporary Fiber Artists. A group of 11 art quilters, fiber artists and mixed-media artists have created 17 works of art in the ongoing free exhibit, “Currents: 6th Annual Juried Exhibition.” The exhibit is currently open at St. Cecilia Cathedral Cultural Center’s Sunderland Gallery, located at 701 N. 40th St. It will continue through Sunday, June 5. For more information about the exhibit, contact Sharon Bass at bass@ku.edu. Sunderland Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and third Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. More.

19. The King is Dead! The Regicide of Charles I at The Durham Museum. In 17th-century England, even being a king could be a dangerous job — sometimes you could even lose your head! “The King is Dead” explores the reign of England’s King Charles I and the story behind his eventual trial and execution for high treason. Cost is $ 11 for adults, $ 8 for senior citizens (ages 62+), $ 7 for children (ages 3-12) and FREE for members. More. 

20. Weekend Wildlife Films at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. On Saturday and Sunday, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, located at 1434 316th Lane in Missouri Valley, Iowa, will show a free wildlife film — “Birds.” What do birds’ songs mean? How does an owl catch its prey in the dark? Take an up-close look at the staggering range of sizes, shapes and habitats of these feathered creatures, and experience the miracle of flight. The 30-minute film is family-friendly. The movie starts at 1:30 p.m. both days. More.

21. Go ice skating with your kids. The Ralston Arena offers public ice skating for $ 5, with free ice skate rental. More. The Motto McLean Ice Arena (inside Hitchcock Park at 45th and Q Streets) offers Family Skate time Sunday from 4 to 6:15 p.m. More.

22. See an indoor movie with your kids. Aksarben Cinema, at 2110 S. 67th St., has plenty of family-friendly movies showing every weekend. Plus, visit every Tuesday for $ 6 movies all day.

23. Do some crafts. Several area stores are hosting craft time for children this weekend. At Michaels, the KIDS CLUB will be creating a “Patriotic Felt Banner” craft Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost for that is $ 2. Kids can create a “Hats Off to Memorial Day” craft at Lakeshore Learning Store from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

24. Social Play Group. Snyder Charleson Therapy Services, located at 8031 West Center Road, Suite 300, is hosting social play groups every Monday and Thursday. The play group sessions are 60 minutes long and take place at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. All groups are run by speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists. Group time will focus on sensory integration, communication and social skills through structured play-based activities. Social play groups are targeted toward children 2 to 6 years old. Groups will consist of two to four children depending on their age, skill level and areas of need. To schedule an appointment, call 402-763-4408 or email pediatrics@snydercharleson.com.

25. Do something you’ve never done before: Check out 40 off-the-beaten-path things to do in Omaha if you’re looking for something new to keep you busy this weekend.

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