March 23, 2017

My Favorite Disney Off-Day Ideas

If you’re spending more than one day at a park at Walt Disney World, you’re going to need an off-day.

For me, a Disney off-day needs to be not-at-all related to Disney, so I wasn’t interested in the nearby putt-putt offerings, the Disney water parks, or Disney Springs. When I need a Disney break, I need to completely get out of the Magic Zone.

Read on for my favorite Disney World off-day ideas.

These are easy day trips from Orlando, some require more driving than others. You’ll need a car to get to them (and bring money for tolls).

Disney World Off-Day Ideas

Disney Off-Day Beaches

Get an early start to your day and drive to the coast from Orlando to hit a beach. On the Tampa Bay side, we visited Fort Desoto, Treasure Island, and Clearwater Beach. My favorite, by far, was Fort Desoto. The waves were gentle, the sand was powder sugar soft. It was less touristy with no hotels on the waterfront, but that also meant less dining options. Shell hunting was a lot of fun here. We rented two chairs and an umbrella for $16. Well worth it.

Distance: 100 miles

 

Treasure Island and Clearwater Beach are in more populated areas, which is good and bad depending on whether or not you like touristy beach areas. Clearwater Beach is a great choice, and it’s home to a restaurant we really liked, Frenchy’s.

Distance: 90 miles

 

Treasure Island had bigger waves, which is a plus for some, but the sand consisted of crushed shells and it hurt to walk on.

Distance: 95 miles

 

On the east coast of Florida, you can visit Cocoa Beach. This was a family favorite. The waves were big, but not too big, for small children, making boogie boarding a fun activity.

Distance: About 65 miles

 

Disney Off-Day Adenture

Head to North Orlando for two very memorable activities with the kids.

Kids as young as 4 can do the ZOOmAir Treetrop Adventure Park low-to-the-ground zip line course at Central Florida Zoo in Sanford. Adults can do a more challenging one. Plan on at least an hour.

While you’re there, you might as well visit the zoo! There is a fun splash garden there, so pack a swimsuit. For more details, read my posts about the Central Florida Zoo and ZoomAir Adventure Park ziplining.

Distance: 40 miles

 

A word of advice before you set out on an adventure in Florida: Bring a swimsuit. Marisa from Adventures of Tampa Mama told me that useful tip before our first Florida visit. She wasn’t kidding. It seems you can’t go to any attraction in the state without encountering a splash garden.

 

Wekiva Island is a exotic gem in the middle of a city. We canoed with the kids, stopping at Wekiva Springs State Park, which has a water hole where a lot of people were swimming.

We were short on time, and so we skipped the swim and hiked a little. Keep in mind, this is Florida and you’ll spot native wildlife there. Keep a respectable distance from animals and you’ll be fine.

I recommend packing snacks and water. It gets hot and if you’re not used to paddling, you’ll get tired. You also have the option of kayaking or trying standup paddleboards. For more details, read my post about about Wekiva Island.

Distance: 35 miles

 

There are so many airboat opportunities within about an hour or so from Walt Disney World. We visited Black Hammock Adventure, where we got to ride an airboat at dusk.

It was also a place where the kids got to hold a baby alligator and, rather morbidly if you think about it, taste fried alligator. (It was delicious)

Distance: 35 miles

 

Disney Off-Day Animals & More

Some of our favorite places to visit in central Florida had mostly indoor activities. Head to MOSI, the Museum of Science & Industry, for hands-on learning for all ages. There’s even an outdoor ropes course. Read about our visit to MOSI here.

Distance: 65 miles

 

Florida Aquarium in Tampa is popular with kids for good reason. The sting ray touch tank was memorable. Bring a bring swimsuit for the kids because the splash garden is amazing there. Read my post about the aquarium for more details.

Distance: 70 miles

 

In Clearwater, young Winter the dolphin fans will want to visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It’s a different kind of aquarium than the Florida Aquarium – think: marine hospital.

Distance: 90 miles

 

Get even more ideas by reading My Adventure In Central Florida and Two Days in Tampa Bay With Kids.

 

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March 20, 2017

50+ Amazing April Events For Families In Omaha

April in Omaha. There’s kid-friendly theater, tons of Easter egg hunts, and a special events at museums – like family nights and weekends with FREE admission. Read on to see all the fun events for families in Omaha this April:

* To add an event to this list, please email me at ohmyomaha (at) gmail (dot) com!

 

Container Gardening for Kids!

When: April 1, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha Branch, 2808 Q St.

Cost: FREE

 

 

Escape the Haunted Library

When: April 1, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 W. Dodge Road

Cost: FREE

 

Family Fun Fair 

When: April 1, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus (Boys & Girls Club – Salvation Army building), 815 N. 16th St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE (wear royal blue in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month)

 

Open Gym Date Night Drop-Off

When: April 1, 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: Metro Stars Gymnastics, 12305 Cary Circle No. 11, La Vista, Neb.

Cost: $15 per child (includes pizza, movie, open gym for ages 5-17)

 

Omaha Symphony “Ratatouille”

When: April 1, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $19-$84

 

Teddy Bear Weekend

When: April 1 and 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $17.95 for adults, $16.95 for ages 65+, $11.95 for ages 3-11, and FREE for members and ages 2 and younger.

 

Ballet Nebraska “Momentum”

When: April 1 and 8, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum (April 1) and Arts Center at Iowa Western (April 8)

Cost: $19, $33, $48, VIP $73 for Joslyn performance; $19, $33, $48 for Arts Center performance

 

Omaha Creative Institute presents: Hounds of Louvre – An Art Show For Dogs (& their humans)

When: April 2, 2 to 5 p.m.

Where: The Omaha Design Center, 1502 Cuming St.

Cost: FREE

 

Out & About Storytime: Chalco Hills

When: April 3, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Chalco Hills Natural Resources Center, 8901 S. 154th St.

Cost: FREE

Crafty Tots

When: April 5, 12, 19, 27, 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

Cost: FREE

“Little Women”

When: April 5-7

Where: Creighton University Theatre at Lied Education Center for the Arts, 2500 California Plaza

Cost: TBD

 

S.T.E.A.M. Stations (elementary and middle school age)

When: April 5, 3 to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Teen Hangout: Game Edition

When: April 5, 12, 19, 26, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha Branch, 2808 Q St.

Cost: FREE

 

Easter Egg Hunt

When: April 6, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, 2100 Reading Plaza, Elkhorn, Neb.

Cost: FREE

Out & About Storytime: Aromas Coffeehouse at Flagship Commons

When: April 7, 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.

Where: Aromas Coffeehouse at Flagship Commons in Westroads Mall, 10000 California St.

Cost: FREE

 

Out & About Storytime: Azria Health Montclair

When: April 7, 10:30 a.m.

Where: Azria Health Monthclair, 2525 S. 135th Ave.

Cost: FREE

Teen Food & Fun

When: April 7, 14, 21, 28, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library W. Dale Clark (Main) Library, 215 S. 15th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Get Geared UP! Family Night At The Museum

When: April 7, 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE

 

First Friday Family Date Night – Oregon Trail Night

When: April 7, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $12 for children and adults, $11 for seniors, and FREE for members and children under 24 months

 

Truckin’ Through Nebraska: A Mobile Children’s Museum

When: April 7-9; times are April 7, 5 to 8 p.m.; April 8, 9 to 5 p.m.; and April 9, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: FREE (Omaha Children’s Museum is separate and has admission)

 

Spring Fling & Egg Hunt

When: April 8, 10 a.m. to noon (egg hunt for ages toddler to 10 starts at 10 a.m.; Get Smart: Candy Science begins at noon)

Where: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Outdoor egg hunt is FREE; admission to the museum is $12 adults, $11 military and seniors, $6 youth 3-12, and FREE for youth under age 3; Get Smart: Candy Science is $7 per child or $5 for members (requires pre-registration)

 

Earth-Friendly Activities

When: April 8, 10 a.m.

Where: Heron Haven, 11809 Old Maple Road

Cost: FREE

 

KickstART Saturday

When: April 8, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: FREE (to explore the current exhibit “Wild Spaces, Open Seasons,” a fee is required: FREE for children and museum members, $5 general public adults)

 

Spring Celebration and Egg Hunt

When: April 8, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (egg hunts at 10:30 a.m., arrive by 10)

Where: Gifford Farm Education Center, 700 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue, Neb.

Cost: $5 for ages 2 and older egg hunters and accompanying adults; $1 off military discount (refreshments included); must pre-register for egg hunt

 

Cold Wax/Oil Painting

When: April 8, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Omaha Creative Institute, 1516 Cuming St.

Cost: $35, person or $25, student/teacher/working artist (ages 12+). Use promo code OHMY2017 to save 25% off registration!

 

Free Days At Durham Museum

When: April 8-9; April 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and April 9, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Easter Egg-stravaganza

When: April 8, 10:30 a.m. to noon (storytime at 10:30)

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

Cost: FREE

 

Beginning Camping and Backpacking

When: April 8, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Nebraska Wildlife Safari Park, 814 E. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Members are $10 each, non-members are $13 each (non (must be 4 or older)

 

Teen Poetry Workshop, Featuring Louder Than a Bomb Artists

When: April 8, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

Cost: FREE

 

Easter Eggstravaganza

When: April 8, 2 to 4 p.m. (2 p.m. indoor egg hunt ages 10 and younger’ 2:30 underwater egg hunt)

Where: Omaha Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: FREE for members, $5 for non-member youth and $7 for non-member adult

 

Beginning Nature Photography

When: April 9, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Nebraska Wildlife Safari Park, 814 E. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Members are $10 each, non-members are $13 each (non (must be 4 or older)

 

Easter Party

When: April 13, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Omaha Public Library A.V. Sorensen Branch, 4808 Cass St.

Cost: FREE

 

Teen Movie Night

When: April 13, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Library Egg Hunt

When: April 14, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane

Cost: FREE

 

HOP to the Movies Event

When: April 15, 9 a.m. (Easter egg hunt at 9:30, HOP movie at 10)

Where: Marcus Village Pointe Cinema, 304 N. 174th St., and Marcus Twin Creek Cinema, 3909 Raynor Parkway, Bellevue, Neb.

Cost: $8 per person (purchase online here or at box office of participating theatre)

 

Out & About Storytime: Joslyn Art Museum

When: April 18, 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: FREE

 

National Geographic Live “Chasing Rivers” with photographer Pete McBride

When: April 18, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

Cost: $10-$25

 

SCI-Kids

When: April 20, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

Cost: FREE (recommended for third graders and up)

 

Nebraska Science Festival

When: April 20-29

Where: Various locations

Cost: Varies

 

Very Hungry Caterpillar Storytime

When: April 21, 10 a.m. (Saddlebrook branch); April 22, 10:30 a.m. (Swanson branch); April 24, 10 a.m. (Washington branch); April 25, 10:30 a.m. (South Omaha branch); April 26, 10:30 a.m. (Main branch); April 27, 10:30 a.m. (Benson branch); April 29, 10:30 a.m. (Sorenson)

Where: Various Omaha Public Library locations

Cost: FREE

 

“Stellaluna and Other Tales”

When: April 21 through May 7

Where: Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: $20

 

Spring Lock In (Teens)

When: April 21, 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

Cost: FREE (registration required)

 

Party for the Planet

When: April 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $17.95 for adults, $16.95 for ages 65+, $11.95 for ages 3-11, and FREE for members and ages 2 and younger.

 

Shakespeare Sonnets 101

When: April 22, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Omaha Creative Institute, 1516 Cuming St.

Cost: $35, person or $25, student/teacher/working artist (ages 12+). Use promo code OHMY2017 to save 25% off registration!

 

Children’s Day Party/Día de los niños Fiesta

When: April 22, noon to 3 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library South Omaha branch, 2808 Q St.

Cost: FREE

 

Escape the Room

When: April 22, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

Cost: FREE (teens)

 

Dinner on the Dark Side

When: April 22, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: $35 for non-members, $30 for members

 

Beginning Campfire Cooking

When: April 23, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Nebraska Wildlife Safari Park, 814 E. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Members are $10 each, non-members are $13 each (non (must be 4 or older)

 

Little Scientist Day

When: April 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: Included with admission, which is $12 for children and adults, $11 for seniors, and FREE for members and children under 24 months

 

Brain Flakes for Teens

When: April 25, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library A.V. Sorensen Branch, 4808 Cass St.

Cost: FREE

 

Nebraska Science Festival Storytime

When: April 26, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. (Willa Cather); April 29, 10:30 to 11 a.m. (Swanson)

Where: Various Omaha Public Library branches

Cost: FREE

 

Drop-in Coding Corner 

When: April 26, 4 to 6 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Milton R. Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St.

Cost: FREE (ages 6+)

 

Nebraska Science Festival: Explore the Science of Spin

When: April 26, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library W. Dale Clark (Main) Branch, 215 S. 15th St.

Cost: FREE

 

Nebraska Science Festival: Hour of Code

When: April 27, 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 W. Dodge Road

Cost: FREE (middle school and high school aged)

 

Artsy Thursday Craft

When: April 27, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library A.V. Sorensen Branch, 4808 Cass St.

Cost: FREE

 

SciPop Interactive

When: April 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Chemistry of Harry Potter at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.,

Comic Book Physics 101: The Origin of Superman and Clues to the Planet Krypton at

11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., and Rocket Science, 2 p.m.)

Where: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Guests 12 and younger admitted FREE, $12 for adults, and $11 for military and seniors.

 

Science Creations: Robots & Slime

When: April 29, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Benson Branch, 6015 Binney St.

Cost: FREE (ages 2-6)

 

Children’s Day Storytime & Party

When: April 29, 2 to 3 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St.

Cost: FREE

 

Robot Maze Races

When: April 29, 2 to 3 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Charles B. Washington Branch, 2868 Ames Ave.

Cost: FREE (ages 7-12)

 

Beginning Coding: Ozobots & Cubelets

When: April 29, 2 to 3:30 p.m

Where: Omaha Public Library Benson Branch, 6015 Binney St.

Cost: FREE (ages 13-18)

 

Omaha Czech Festival

When: April 30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Millard Social Hall, 10508 S 144th St.

Cost: TBD

 

Art in the Garden

When: April 30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Nebraska Wildlife Safari Park, 814 E. Park Highway, Ashland, Neb.

Cost: Members are $10 each, non-members are $13 each (non (must be 4 or older)

 

Welcome to Storybook Land!

When: April 30, 1 to 4 p.m. (storytimes at 1:30 p.m. with the Very Hungry Caterpillar, 2:15 p.m. with Maisy, and 3 p.m. with Elephant and Piggie)

Where: Omaha Public Library Saddlebrook Branch, 14850 Laurel Ave.

Cost: FREE

 

Family Night at Dillon Brothers

When: April 30, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Dillon Brothers, 3840 N. 174th Ave.

Cost: FREE

 

More Fun Events In April

Kids Dream Family Film Series

When: Through April 9; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. “Kubo and the Two Strings” (March 31-April 2) and “The Secret Life of Pets” (April 7-9)

Where: Majestic Cinema of Omaha, 14304 West Maple Road; Village Pointe Cinema, 304 North 174th St.; and Twin Creek Cinema, 3909 Raynor Parkway, Bellevue, Neb.

Cost: $3

 

“Harold and the Purple Crayon”

When: Through April 9

Where: Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.

Cost: $20 (members get four FREE tickets)

 

“Block Party”

When: Through April 9, during museum hours (closed Mondays)

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $12 for ages 2 and older, $11 for seniors, and FREE for members

 

“Imagination: Celebrating 40 Years of Play”

When: Through April 15, during museum hours

Where: Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $12 for ages 2 and older, $11 for seniors, and FREE for members

 

“Zen Tales: The Art of Jon J. Muth”

When: Through April 16, Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ( late ‘til 8 p.m. on

Thursday)

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: FREE

 

“Nature Connects: Art with LEGO® Bricks”

When: Through May 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.

Cost: Included with admission, which is  $10, adults; $5, children (6-12); FREE for under 6 & Members

 

Toddler Tuesdays

When: Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St. (gym or at the pool starting at 10:30)

Cost: FREE for members; non-members participate by paying a $4 activity fee for your toddler (age 9 months to 4 years) and the attending parent is FREE.

 

Inflatable Fridays

When: Fridays, 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: FREE to members; non-members pay daily entry fee of $5 per youth, $7 per adults

 

Kidz Kayak Racing

When: Saturdays, 2 to 4 p.m.

Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: FREE to members; non-members pay daily entry fee of $5 per youth, $7 per adults (for ages 8-12)

 

Arts for All

When: Saturdays, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Omaha South Public Library, 2808 Q St.

Cost: FREE (ages 8-12, registration required)

Sunday Funday

When: Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.

Cost: FREE to members; non-members pay daily entry fee of $5 per youth, $7 per adults (for ages 8-12)

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March 15, 2017

My Wichita Bucket List

I’m taking the family to Wichita this spring, and as usual, I have a big ol’ list of things to do, places to see, and food to eat. Here’s my Wichita bucket list, if time and money were not an issue:

 

See the Keeper of the Plains

The Keeper of the Plains lit up at night in Wichita, Kansas. Photo by Merrill Thomas

There’s a giant statue along the Big and Little Arkansas rivers called Keeper of the Plains. Each night, you can watch flames spring up from fire drums around the statue, illuminating the surroundings. It sounds pretty cool, especially for my kids. Catch it at 7 p.m. in the winter and 9 p.m. in the summer.

Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper

I still haven’t the chuckwagon dinner I’ve been dreaming about ever since planning our South Dakota road trip two years ago. Maybe Wichita is the place? Just 20 minutes outside of town, there’s Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper, a dinner show with classic cowboy tunes and a chance to ride a wagon.

Tanganyika Wildlife Park

You can feed animals like lemurs or giraffe at Tanganyika Wildlife Park near Wichita. Photo courtesy Visit Wichita

Several friends familiar with Wichita have recommended we take the kids to Tanganyika Wildlife Park. It’s about 10 minutes from downtown. At the park, visitors can get up-close to the 300+ residents, even feeding some like giraffes and lemurs.

Botanica, the Wichita Gardens

The Fossil Wall at Botanica, The Wichita Gardens. Photo courtesy Visit Wichita

There are 26 themed gardens here. We’d definitely have to check out Downing Children’s Garden and the butterfly house, as well as the Fossil Wall.

Dart Warz

You’ve heard of laser tag and paintball? Now there’s Nerf battlefields and I just know my kids are going to love this place.

Eat all the food

I heard breakfast at Doo-Dah Diner is the stuff of legends. Photo courtesy Visit Wichita

I have so many restaurants I want to try – how will I decide? Do we get breakfast at Doo Dah Diner (I heard they had some habit-forming french toast there)? Or do we get donuts at Donut Whole or Hurts Donuts for a crazy creations? I’m thinking of getting malts with lunch at the old-fashioned soda fountain in downtown Wichita, Old Mill Tasty Shop.

My foodie friends in Wichita sent me a whole list of places to go to, including burgers at The Anchor, Dempsey’s or Ty’s; pizza at Ziggy’s; Mediterranean food at N&J; Songbird Juice Co.; and Two Olives. The Oh My! Omaha Facebook group also had some good recommendations, and I’m pretty sure The Kitchen will be on our itinerary for the spring trip.

You can watch planes take off and land while dining at Stearman Field Bar & Grill. Photo courtesy Visit Wichita

There’s also Stearman Field Bar & Grill, a restaurant located right on a landing strip where you can watch aircraft take off and land 20 yards from you.

Wichita Art Museum

Wichita Art Museum has free admission on Saturdays, plus they have a kid-friendly space called The Living Room. Photo courtesy Wichita Art Museum

The Wichita Art Museum has a space called The Living Room, which is an interactive gallery for art investigation and make-it/take-it art activities. My kids would totally love it. Plus, if we visit on a Saturday, admission is free.

The Exploration Place

We could likely spend an entire day here, exploring flight, nanoscience, and what will likely be my castle-obsessed son’s favorite space, Where Kids Rule with its three-story castle.

Old Cowtown Museum

Old Cowntown has costumed interpreters that portray life in Kansas back in the 1860s, including what a shootout would’ve been like. Photo courtesy Visit Wichita

I think my kids would love seeing the cowboys and other costumed interpreters walking around this open-air museum – they tell visitors about Wichita life in the 1860s. Hope we time the visit right to catch a shootout on Main Street.

Museum of World Treasures

This three-floor museum sounds like a hodgepodge collection dreamed up by my children. It has everything from dinosaur skeletons, a segment of the Berlin Wall, and a mummy.

Old Town Wichita

Old Town Wichita is a charming part of Wichita with converted warehouses and brick roads. Photo courtesy Visit Wichita

Saturday mornings sound like a good time to visit, during the lively farmers market. It sounds very much like Omaha’s Old Market with its brick roads and converted warehouses, so I’ll be right at home.

Wichita Toy Train Club and Museum

In my kids’ younger days, this would be the place for us to spend our entire vacation. It still sounds like a family-friendly stop we’d enjoy. They even have a trains for kids to operate.

Sedgwick County Zoo

Sedgwick County Zoo is known for recreating authentic habitats. Photo courtesy Visit Wichita

I heard the animals live in authentic habitats, like Downing Gorilla Forest, which emulates a Congo village. The Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit opened in 2016 and has the world’s largest elephant pool (550,000 gallons of water)!

More Wichita Vacation Ideas

Want to see more ideas for family travel to Wichita? Check out Visit Wichita and my Pinterest board:

Share your ideas: What are other not-to-miss things to do in Wichita that my family should check out? Leave a comment!

 

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March 13, 2017

5 Things To Know About Omaha Creative Institute

Omaha Creative Institute has been a part of Omaha’s art and innovation scene since 2008. Until recently, though, I only associated them with one event held years ago, Play Me I’m Yours. Remember all those pianos around the city?

OCI is so much more than that these days – workshops, special events, Community Supported Art, and more. It’s a place for those of us who thrive on learning something new, and find inspiration in our creative friends. Keep reading to find out how you can save 25% on registration for workshops!

Here are five things I learned after a recent chat with Andrew Saladino and Caitlin Osborn from Omaha Creative Institute:

1. They offer a variety of workshops open to the public.

These one-day workshops range from oil painting to writing sonnets. If you ever wanted to pick up a new hobby, here’s your chance to be inspired.

2. Local artists teach the workshops.

This is one of my favorite things about Omaha Creative Institute: They’ve created outlets for artists to sustainable career.

3. Workshops are open to adults and children ages 12 and older.

I had no idea that older kids could attend workshops, but they’re totally welcome! Recently, they even had a workshop on puppetry that was open to all ages. Keep an eye on the OCI workshops page for future events.

4. They have the best fundraiser coming up (especially if you love dogs).

Bring the whole family to Omaha Creative Institute presents: Hounds of Louvre – An Art Show For Dogs (& their humans) on April 2, including your fur baby. The event, held in paw-tnership with the Nebraska Humane Society, runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at The Omaha Design Center, 1502 Cuming St. There will be artwork made for humans, as well as correlating pieces created to delight your dog’s senses. You can make your own paw-impression artwork with your pet, and meet the dogs up for adoption that day through the NHS.

Admission is FREE, though activities may be an additional fee. Artwork will be available for purchase.

5. You can get a discount on workshops!

Oh My! Omaha readers can enjoy at discount on workshops in 2017. Use promo code OHMY2017 when registering to receive your discount. Here are the spring classes to choose from:

– Animating Locomotion, March 11, 10 a.m. to noon ($35/person, $25/student/teacher/working artist) Register

– Writing Life Stories, March 25,10 a.m. to noon ($35/person, $25/student/teacher/working artist) Register

– Cold Wax/Oil Painting, April 8, noon to 4 p.m. ($65/person, $50/student/teacher/working artist) Register

– Shakespeare Sonnets 101, April 22, 10 a.m. to noon ($35/person, $25/student/teacher/working artist) Register

– Intuitive Painting, May 6, 10 a.m. to noon ($35/person, $25/student/teacher/working artist) Register

Fall workshops will be announced this summer, and the OHMY2017 promo code will work on registering for them, too!

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March 8, 2017

Where To Find Good Mexican Food In Omaha

Omaha has a vibrant Mexican community. Head to South 24th Street sometime and feel transported to Mexico, with its shops and restaurants advertising in Spanish,  and the colorful streetscape. There’s an abundance of great Mexican restaurants in Omaha thanks to that community, and not just on South 24th Street.

Ready to try some new Mexican food? I asked Oh My! Omaha Facebook fans to share their favorites, and they delivered a great assortment of options. Here’s are some local Mexican favorites:

El Dorado

5134 S. 24th St.

Katie L. and Krynn P. both recommended El Dorado. “The paradillas and seafood cocktails are INCREDIBLE. It is SO GOOD!!,” said Katie, who also wanted to point out the strawberry margaritas are “pretty yummy.”

Krynn said El Dorado was a household favorite. Her husband’s favorite thing to order there are the chicken enchiladas.

 

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant

7630 Burlington St.

For good soft shell tacos, Laura S. recommended Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, located in Ralston.

 

Fernando’s

380 N. 114th St. and 7555 Pacific St.

Donna W. recommended Fernando’s, though with two locations in Omaha, I’m not sure which one she’d steer you to. Her grandaughters’ favorite thing to order are the chicken enchiladas, but Donna’s can’t narrow it down (and no, Donna, the margarita doesn’t count!).

 

Rivera’s

12047 Blondo St.

“Rivera’s is the best! Hands down!,” said readerAmy B. “Their menu is amazing and the staff is great too!”

I asked her what she’d recommend there, and she suggested pastor tacos, and for more a unique variety, try the enchiladas potosinas, pollo a las brasas, or the carne asada. “You won’t be disappointed.”

 

Mula

3932 Farnam St.

Dana Z. from Mom’s Good Eats recommends Mula in the trendy Blackstone neighborhood, especially the guacamole and the strawberry margarita.

 

Dos de Oros Food Truck

3310 S. 24th St. (O’Reilly’s parking lot) and another parked near 24th Street and H Street

Two fans of Dos de Oros recommend a food truck called Dos de Oros. Brian W. said “Dos de Oros taco truck can’t be beat. I honestly don’t crave any other Mexican food anymore. Theirs is sooooo good.” His favorite are the tacos and burritos.

Laura S. agreed with Brian, “Their burritos and tacos are the  💣.”

 

Maximo’s Cantina

2613 N. Main St., Elkhorn, Neb.

According to Wendy S., everything at Maximo’s is good, plus a “rocking happy hour and amazing staff.”

 

Jacobo’s Grocery

4621 S. 24th St.

Yes, I agree with Lori S.  on this one, while Jacobo’s is a small grocery store and not a restaurant, its food counter should be included on this list. “The burritos at Jacobos are TDF! And the salsa! and the tamales…,” wrote Lori.

 

Trini’s

1020 Howard St.

Tim T. with The Walking Tourists recommended Trini’s, a charming restaurant in the Old Market that I like too, mostly because of the atmosphere and location.

Tim also added two more restaurants to his recommended list: La Mesa and Romeo’s.

 

Your turn:

Where in Omaha can you find the best Mexican food?

 

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March 6, 2017

Happy Feet In Omaha

We’re a soccer-loving family, which is why my kids have been enrolled in soccer programs like Happy Feet in Omaha since they were 2.

I was so excited when I was approached by Happy Feet Legends to tell you about their programs, because I’m already a fan and believer in the program! Keep reading to find out how you can save 10% on registration!

What’s Happy Feet?

Happy Feet teaches fundamental skills to children ages 2 to 10. Photo courtesy Happy Feet Legends

Happy Feet is a youth program focused on building skills. The paid coaches are trained to build skills like balance, coordination, bravery, and confidence on the field. “They make them better athletes even if soccer doesn’t end up as their sport,” said Rebecca Noameshie, owner of Happy Feet Legends in Greater Omaha. That’s right, they coach bravery.

The curriculum has been around for 30 years, but has been updated. A big part of the the Happy Feet program is that they don’t track goals or who won. Players are recognized when they remember to do a pull-back in the game, for instance.

Happy Feet programs

Coaches are paid and trained to teach skills beyond ball handling, like bravery and confidence. Photo courtesy Happy Feet Legends

Children can enroll in different programs. There’s Happy Feet classes and leagues, which teaches fundamentals and builds that confidence I was talking about earlier. If you sign up for the league, you have the option of signing up your child for practice-only, game-only or both, which means you can bring your kid out to the field one day a week or two days a week. That also means there are more than one price point.

Happy Feet Legends is more competitive than the league and classes. Often times, Legends pulls kids out of Happy Feet when they’re ready.

The typical progression is to take Happy Feet classes, like at a daycare, than participate in Happy Feet league play, and then move on to Happy Feet Legends.

How old do kids need to be?

Even the youngest players learn fundamental ball skills in Happy Feet. Photo courtesy Happy Feet Legends

Children from ages 2 to 10 can participate in Happy Feet. Every participant gets a T-shirt.

My kids did the Happy Feet classes while in daycare and preschool, as well as the league. It’s super cute, but beyond that, impressive to watch. Both Mooch and Farley learned fundamentals through the most fun and easy games. When it was time to enroll them on their school’s soccer league, they were more confident on the field thanks to Happy Feet. It’s totally worth the investment!

Where’s Happy Feet in Omaha?

Outdoor classes are held at Elmwood Park and Trendwood Park. Outdoor leagues are held in three locations around Omaha: Northwest, Southwest and Midtown.

How to register Happy Feet in Omaha

You can get details on Happy Feet classes, Happy Feet league and Happy Feet Legends here. Registration for spring and summer league are open now! 

Oh My! Omaha readers can save 10% if they register for the spring or summer league! Just use the promo code ohmyomaha10. You must register for either league by March 20 to get the discount.

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