May 23, 2017

Omaha Recycling News: Hefty Energy Bag Program

Omaha and Bellevue residents are now able to recycle more plastic than before thanks to the Hefty® Energy Bag program. The new slogan to know when it comes to Omaha recycling, and it’s “If you don’t bin it, bag it.”

The Hefty® Energy Bag program was the Sustainable Sponsor were at the big Elmwood Park Earth Day Omaha celebration this year. Did you see them?

This recycling program could not make it easier for us to reduce the amount of waste going into local landfills. Thanks to all the program sponsors for initiating this in the metro area! This post is sponsored by the Hefty® Energy Bag Program.

What Goes In A Hefty® Energy Bag

Take a look at the list below to see what can be recycled through the program. I see a lot of things my family tosses in the trash: Frozen vegetable bags, packing peanuts, plastic straws.

Omaha recycling guide by Hefty Energy Bags

As of April 2017, the Hefty® Energy Bag program has collected more than 10,000 bags in the Omaha metro area, diverting more than 5 tons of plastic previously destined for landfills.

How The Hefty® Energy Bag Program Works

This program fits in seamlessly with your usual recycling routine; you just need to buy the Hefty® Energy Bag to recycle the plastics that you used to throw away.

Here’s how the Hefty® Energy Bag Program works:

– Place things like candy wrappers, plastic cutlery and juice pouches in the orange Hefty® Energy Bag. Make sure they’re clean and free of food residue.

– Place orange Energy Bag in your regular recycle bin or cart and put it out with your regular curbside recycling pickup.

– Local haulers pick up the bags during participants’ regular recycling collection and take it to a First Star Recycling facility.

– First Star Recycling sorts the Hefty® Energy Bags before sending them to Systech Environmental Corporation.

– Systech converts the bags and their contents into energy used to produce cement.

 

Get started

For those in the Omaha area who would like to purchase Hefty® Energy Bags and participate in the innovative recycling program, click here.

The Hefty® Energy Bag Program is a collaborative effort between The Dow Chemical Company, Reynolds Consumer Products, Recyclebank, First Star Recycling, ConAgra Foods, and Systech Environmental Corporation. To learn more, visit www.HeftyEnergyBag.com and follow @Hefty and @DowPackaging on Twitter for updates.

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Hefty® Energy Bag program. All thoughts, opinions, and typos are my own.

May 18, 2017

Old School Omaha: Johnny’s Cafe

Kim’s Note: While working on a book about Omaha restaurants that have closed, I started to notice a trend about the more recently shuttered spots. I hadn’t dined at most of them, and I missed out on some gems. So I’ve decided to make it a goal to visit Omaha’s oldest restaurants before any more shut down. Don’t miss the other posts in the series, Gorat’s Steakhouse and Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria!

 

Johnny’s Cafe has a lot of supporters. When I asked which restaurant should be on my tour of Omaha’s oldest restaurants, people suggested Johnny’s. You ask where to get a good steak in Omaha, and Johnny’s Cafe is on the list.

Friends rave about Johnny’s

It had the Hollywood allure, having a scene from Alexander Payne’s “About Schmidt” filmed there.

I’d never been, so I figured now’s the time to go.

It wasn’t what I had expected.

Unfortunately.

History of Johnny’s Cafe

Johnny's Cafe exterior

Johnny’s Cafe opened in Omaha in 1922, making it one of the oldest restaurants still in operation.

Johnny’s Cafe opened in 1922. Frank Kawa, a Polish immigrant, expanded the restaurant in spite of Prohibition and the food rationing of the 1940s. A large part of the success was its proximity to the booming Stockyards.

A lot of the features people associate with Johnny’s Cafe were added during remodeling in the 1970s, including the memorable front doors and a new look to the interior.

It’s still a family-owned establishment, with Frank’s granddaughters running things.

Johnny’s Cafe Atmosphere

Johnny's Cafe interior

The dining room at Johnny’s Cafe is unforgettable in its retro cool way.

I want to focus on the atmosphere because that is something Johnny’s does remarkably well. Every room at Johnny’s is a time warp, right down to the yellow and orange tiles in the bathroom.

The retro dining room is large, and even on an early lunch visit, it was fairly busy. Lights were dim, but the large backlit wall mural added some additional light to things. 

It looked so cool in there, I wanted to walk around and take a picture of everything. It totally makes sense why a movie would have a scene here. It’s evocative of an era and you won’t forget how it looks inside.

Johnny’s Cafe may just have the coolest entrance in Omaha. The front doors are so interesting.

I liked the lobby, too, with a massive chandelier and the restaurant’s history framed on the walls for you to read while waiting.

Don’t skip peeking into the bar area. My photos can’t do it justice.

Food at Johnny’s Cafe

The chicken and mashed potatoes entree at Johnny’s Cafe.

The food at this legendary establishment was a letdown. There’s no way around it. Having heard so many great things, and suggestions on what to order, nothing lived up to everyone’s enthusiasm.

It started out rocky. The famous cottage cheese spread appetizer was a hit with half of our table. I didn’t like it much.

Most dishes ordered was served overcooked, from the orange roughy to the chewy chicken. I tried one of the beef specialties, the chicken fried steak. It was pretty chewy, salty and not much else to note about it. The worst offense was my mashed potatoes, which tasted straight out of a box. A sad piece of parley accompanied my entree. I sampled food off two other plates around the table and I could not find one thing to recommend.

What Johnny’s does right when it comes to food is the kid’s menu with a good variety in a range of $2.95 to $7.95, including steak, shrimp, burgers, and grilled cheese. The best thing I tasted was the dessert my son ordered, the Dirt Shake, complete with a gummy worm.

I take that back. The bread pudding was pretty delicious, too.

One last thing about Johnny’s Cafe

Johnny’s Cafe is such a neat looking place, and it’s a part of Omaha’s history, so I hate to say the dining experience was a disappointment, but it was.  

It’s lasted more than 90 years, I suspect, out of loyalty from regulars. My hope is the food gets back on track and begins to live up to its reputation. 

If you go

Johnny’s Cafe

Where: 4702 S. 27th St.

Note: Getting there is tricky. Take the L street exit of the Kennedy Expressway and head south like you’re about to get back on the expressway.

Website

 

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May 3, 2017

Old School Omaha: Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria

Kim’s Note: While working on a book about Omaha restaurants that have closed, I started to notice a trend about the more recently shuttered spots. I hadn’t dined at most of them, and I missed out on some gems. So I’ve decided to make it a goal to visit Omaha’s oldest restaurants before any more shut down. Don’t miss the first post in the series about Gorat’s Steakhouse

Orsi's Italian Bakery

The longest running restaurant in Omaha is Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria. Orsi’s started in 1919 and added pizza in the 1960s.

Let’s talk about Orsi’s. I’ve never been inside this tiny place in Little Italy until a rainy day this spring.

Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria can be found just outside of the Old Market, in a neighborhood that was once a bustling Little Italy.

Orsi’s is a popular pizza to serve at public gatherings, and so I have tasted it before. 

However, I soon learned that eating a slice in a conference room pales in comparison to visiting in person.

Italian Food at Orsi’s

I brought my son with me to try Orsi’s and, so, while there were deli items on the menu, we were there for the pizza. I always figured I was a thin-crust kind of pizza lover, but Orsi’s has proven me wrong. This is good stuff, and so fresh. A medium was more than plenty for the two of us.

Orsi’s is more of a take-out restaurant than dine-in.

We also tried the garlic bread, which Jim, the friendliest guy behind a counter ever, added on to our order on the house. My son could’ve, and would’ve, only eaten that if I let him.

For dessert, there are cookies and cannoli to choose from, plus a lot of sweet stuff on the store shelves. We split a cannoli, half chocolate and vanilla. If you ask me, the vanilla was the best; my son would disagree.

Like anything good, there’s a wait. Order ahead of time if you are in a crunch over the lunch time.

They sell their fresh baked goods, plus meats and cheeses and a ton of imported goods, as well.

Little Italy Atmosphere

The deli counter at Orsi’s.

This is a deli and bakery and there is no permanent seating, besides some benches. However, they are prepared for people like me, who’ve never been there.

Jim set up a table for us in front of a bench, and we dined while looking at old photographs on the wall and people-watching as regulars came and went with their take-out.

The deli has imported goods and homemade pastas and baked goods.

Orsi’s maintains a neighborly feel to it, having been a part of Omaha’s Little Italy for decades. It is one of the few remaining establishments from what had been a very lively neighborhood.

It’s a comfortable place, and you feel like you’re stepping into Omaha history when you walk through the doors.

Final Thoughts

Orsi's sign

Orsi’s was a pleasant surprise for me. I was unsure about dining in, and as I suspected, there isn’t a technical dining room. But, I enjoyed our makeshift spot and liked the atmosphere of this neighborhood joint.

I’d recommend ordering takeout, for sure, but it’s not a bad thing to sit and watch a neighborhood bakery/pizzeria’s hustle.

If you go

Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria

Where: 621 Pacific St.

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Website

 

 

Let’s keep this old-school Omaha tour going. Where should I go to next?

 

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April 26, 2017

60+ May Events In Omaha For Families

May’s a great month to get out and do things in Omaha. There’s now more going on outdoors, at farms and farmers markets,  plus parades and festivals are starting up. Have fun exploring!

If you have an event to add, please leave a comment or contact me at ohmyomaha (at) gmail (dot) com.

Out and About Storytime: Chalco Hills

When: May 1, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Get Crafty: Book Art For Families

When: May 2, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Book Fiesta and Dia Storytime

When: May 3, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

Crafty Tots

When: May 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31, 11 a.m.

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

Cost: FREE, registration required

 

Mother & Daughter Round Up Celebration

When: May 3, 6 to 8 p.m.

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

Cost: $5 per person (registration due by April 28)

 

Forever Young Family & Children’s Series: “Babe: Pig in the City”

When: May 4, 6, 7 and 11

Where: Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

Cost: $9 general; $7 for seniors, students, teachers, military and those traveling to the theater by bicycle; $4.50 for Film Streams members; $2.50 for children ages 12 and under

 

Out and About Storytime: Aromas

When: May 5, 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: May 5, 10:30 a.m.

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

Cost: FREE

 

“We Can Do It! Family Night At The Museum”

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

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

Cost: FREE

 

Omaha Farmers Market – Old Market

When: Saturdays, May 6 through Oct. 14, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: 11th and Jackson streets

Cost: FREE

 

Wild West Days

When: May 6, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE

 

Free Comic Book Day

When: May 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Krypton Comics, 2819 S. 125th Ave., suite 261

Cost: FREE (autographs and photos with Dean Cain are additional)

 

Intuitive Painting

When: May 6, 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 to save 25% off camp registration!

 

Omaha Farmers Market – Aksarben Village

When: Sundays, May 7 through Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Aksarben Village, 67th and Center streets

Cost: FREE

 

Superhero Sunday

When: May 7, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, Neb.

Cost: FREE

 

Family Fiesta

When: May 7, noon to 5 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with admission, which is (starting May 1) $19.95, adults (ages 12 and over); $18.95, seniors and military adults; $13.95, children (ages 3-11); $12.95, military child; and FREE for children younger than 2

 

Family Skate

When: May 7, 14 and 21, 4 to 6 p.m.

Where: Motto McLean Ice Arena, 5015 S. 45th St.

Cost: $10 per family (or $3 per individual)

 

Yoga Rocks The Park/Camp Yoga Rocks

When: Sundays, beginning May 7

Where: Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, 31st and Farnam streets

Cost: FREE

 

“Discover The Dinosaurs: Unleashed”

When: May 12-14; hours are May 12, 2 to 8 p.m., and May 13 & 14, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: CenturyLink Center,

Cost: Kids (2-12), $19; senior (65+), $16; adults (13-64), $19; T-Rex ticket, $52; tickets all day Friday are $5 less

 

Spring Into Summer

When: May 12, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Zorinski Park, F Street entrance

Cost: FREE

 

Comedian Tim Hawkins

When: May 12, 7 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

Cost: $19-$85

 

Forever Young Family & Children’s Series: “The Seventh Art Stand: Short Films From and About the Middle East for Young Audiences”

When: May 13, 14, 18, 20, 21 and 25

Where: Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

Cost: $9 general; $7 for seniors, students, teachers, military and those traveling to the theater by bicycle; $4.50 for Film Streams members; $2.50 for children ages 12 and under

 

Get Smart: Medieval Engineering

When: May 13, 10 to 11 a.m.

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

Cost: Included with museum admission

 

“Hanging With Heroes”

When: May 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE (event is outdoors; admission is also FREE that day)

 

Exotic Animal Rescue Day

When: May 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

Cost: $5 for ages 2 and older; moms receive $1 off, and there is a ½ price military discount

 

58th Annual Florence Days Parade

When: May 13, 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: 2707 Redick Ave.

Cost: FREE

 

Mothers, Macaws &  Mimosas

When: May 14, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

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

Cost: $40 for adult members and $35 for child members (3-11); $45 for adult non-members and $30 for child non-members; FREE for children younger than 2. Reservations required.

 

Out & About Storytime: Joslyn Art Museum

When: May 16, 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: FREE

 

Hump Day Walkabout For Autism

When: May 17, noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Autism Center of Nebraska, Inc., 9012 Q St.

Cost:

 

Endangered Species Day

When: May 19, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with admission, which is (starting May 1) $19.95, adults (ages 12 and over); $18.95, seniors and military adults; $13.95, children (ages 3-11); $12.95, military child; and FREE for children younger than 2

 

“Jurassic Quest”

When: May 19-21; hours are May 19, 3 to 8 p.m., May 20, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and May 21, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: Kids (2-12 years), $15; adults (13-64), $20; seniors (65+), $18; and VIP, $24; police, military and their families get $2 off

 

Celebrate CB Parade & Bayliss Park Festivities

When: May 19-21 (carnival), parade is May 21 beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Bayliss Park (parade begins and ends there)

Cost: FREE (carnival rides extra)

 

“Top Secret: License To Spy”

When: May 20 through Sept. 17

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

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $11 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children (ages 3-12), and FREE for children younger than 2

 

Youth Summer Reading Club

When: May 22, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Council Bluffs Public Library – Youth Department, 400 Willow Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa

Cost: FREE

 

Summer Reading Program Kick Off Party

When: May 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (W. Dale Clark Main); May 27, 1 to 3 p.m. (Florence, A.V. Sorensen, Bess Johnson, Willa Cather, Abrahams, Benson, Millard, South Omaha, Saddlebrook, Swanson, Washington),

Where: Omaha Public Library various locations

Cost: FREE

 

Dr. Who Lock-In (Teens)

When: May 26, 5 to 9 p.m.

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

Cost: FREE, registration required

 

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”

When: May 26 through June 25; performances are Wednesday–Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 2 p.m. Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on June 17 and June 24.

Where: Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.

Cost: $42, adults (Thursdays – Sundays) and $25 for students (Thursdays – Sundays). Tickets are $32 for adults and $20 for students on Wednesdays.

 

Forever Young Family & Children’s Series: “The Seventh Art Stand: Short Films From and About the Middle East for Young Audiences”

When: May 27, 28 and June 1, 3, 4 and 8

Where: Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

Cost: $9 general; $7 for seniors, students, teachers, military and those traveling to the theater by bicycle; $4.50 for Film Streams members; $2.50 for children ages 12 and under

 

Running With Dinosaurs

When: May 27, 9 a.m.

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

Cost: FREE, registration required

 

“Dinosaur Safari”

When: May 27 through Sept. 3

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

Cost: Included with museum admission, which is $12 for ages 2+; $11 for seniors, and FREE for children younger than 2

 

Memorial Day Weekend At The Zoo

When: May 27-29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Cost: Included with admission, which is (starting May 1) $19.95, adults (ages 12 and over); $18.95, seniors and military adults; $13.95, children (ages 3-11); $12.95, military child; and FREE for children younger than 2. First 800 people through the gate receive goodie bag.

 

Get Crafty: Honk For Peace Signs

When: May 30, 2 to 3 p.m.

Where: Omaha Public Library Washington branch, 2868 Ames Ave.

Cost: FREE

 

More Fun Events In May

The following events are on-going, or had started in a previous month:

“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

 

“Glorious Flights: Illustration Art of Alice and Martin Provensen”

When: Through Sept. 3

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge. St.

Cost: FREE

 

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)

 

Don’t miss additions to this list!

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April 24, 2017

Old School Omaha: Gorat’s Steakhouse

Kim’s Note: While working on a book about Omaha restaurants that have closed, I started to notice a trend about the more recently shuttered spots.

I hadn’t dined at nearly all the ones that were still open in recent years. And I missed out on some gems. So I’ve decided to make it a goal to visit Omaha’s oldest restaurants before any more shut down before I’ve had a chance to sample their best.

Gorat’s Steakhouse

The first restaurant I ventured to after I made this pledge to dine at Omaha’s oldest restaurants has become an Omaha institution thanks to our city’s favorite billionaire, Warren Buffett. That’s right, we went to Gorat’s Steakhouse.

Food

What you’d expect for a steakhouse dinner.

Old Italian steakhouse entrees remained, even after new ownership. Prime rib au jus, chicken parmesan, and good old spaghetti and meatballs are on the menu, as are burgers, sandwiches and small plates. I tried the chicken piccata, which was pretty good though oddly served with the sauce on the side. It is a kid-friendly restaurant so there is a kid’s menu. The food, from cheeseburger to steak, on the kid’s menu is between $6 to $8.

There’s a plentiful bread basket brought to the table before your meal arrives. My kids were sure to fill up on that so they wouldn’t eat their dinner. Naturally.

Atmosphere

The exterior of Gorat’s Steakhouse still screams old school steakhouse.

The exterior hints at the bygone days, but once you’re inside that old school steakhouse vibe is gone. The restaurant has been remodeled since it first opened in 1944. It looks more modern farmhouse than old school Italian steakhouse, though the women’s bathroom still had an vintage feel to it. There were some pictures to call to mind older days.

There’s a lounge with live music, which attracted my kids (the live music attract them, that is, not the lounge).

Buffett Sightings

No Warren Buffett sightings at Gorat’s, not that my kids appeared to be noticing anything other than the kid’s menu.

It didn’t happen on the night we were there. Has it ever happened to anyone or is that a myth?

Final thoughts

The iconic Gorat’s sign.

I can’t speak for how Gorat’s once was, but I can stay there’s a reason people still dine there. I can’t quite put my finger on that reason – is it loyalty or the dream of rubbing elbows with Warren or love of the food?

Dining at Gorat’s was pleasant but it didn’t feel like I was experiencing a bit of Omaha history while being there. It was underwhelming. My 7-year-old, however, was impressed. As we left, he announced “That was one classy joint.”

Where does he learn these things?

 

If you go

Gorat’s Steakhouse

Where: 4917 Center St.

Website

 

What has been your experience at Gorat’s? Where should I head to next in this series?

 

April 19, 2017

Joslyn Art Museum Summer Camps

My first-grade son has a knack for drawing. His favorite subject in school is art.

You bet I’ve signed him up for an art summer camp at Joslyn Art Museum to feed that love of his.

Students work on sculptures during a summer camp at Joslyn Art Museum. Photo courtesy Joslyn Art Museum

I’ve partnered with Joslyn Art Museum to tell you about their fantastic lineup of summer camps because, you guys, they’re great. My son didn’t really want to leave each day and he took so much joy out of showing me what he’s been working on. Andy Smith, Studio Programs Manager, provided a lot of details that you’ll find helpful when considering a Joslyn summer camp.

What makes Joslyn camps unique

Artwork found throughout the museum inspire the activities in the Joslyn Art Museum summer camps. Photo courtesy Joslyn Art Museum

Location. First, obviously, it’s pretty unique to have a camp inside an art museum. Students create with inspiration and guidance from the artists, media and techniques found there. So, they spend time in the gallery learning about the art-making experience and tools, and then also spend ample studio time.

Themes. A lot of camps focus on art fundamentals–paintings, drawing, sculpture and printmaking–and they tend to be the most popular. I was eyeing drawing for my kiddo, and it was already filled. Other camps draw from exhibitions and galleries in the museum, like several camps that will draw from a “Bijoux Parisien: French Jewelry from the Petit Palais, Paris.” Check the camp list here and register ASAP if you see one you think your child would like.

Age range. Very few summer camp have options for as great of an age range as Joslyn Art Museum. In addition to camps for ages 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12 the museum offers teen camps in ceramics, printmaking, drawing, painting, and alternative art. If your kid has found his or her passion, they can spend many summers happily pursuing it.

Unique partnerships. This summer, Joslyn Art Museum has partnered with the Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N. 24th St., a fully equipped artists co-op just down the street from the museum. This is where teens will go for their summer camps. Another partnership is between the museum and The Rose, where kids ages 9-14 work on theater design.

Holiday week mini-camps. Joslyn Art Museum offers one-day camps focused on an art fundamental during Fourth of July week. The bad news: Each day is full right now. You can add your child’s name to a waitlist, though.

What’s a typical camp day?

Kids work in the art studio every day of art camp at Joslyn Art Museum, but they also get to explore the museum, as well. Photo courtesy Joslyn Art Museum

Joslyn Art Museum summer camps are half-days, which you can combine the morning and afternoon to make a full day of camp (full day campers get to have supervised lunch in the outdoors sculpture garden). A typical half-day involves most of the time creating art in the studio, with some time spent in the galleries and in discussions about artworks and artists to provide context for the studio challenges that day. There’s a snack break halfway through camp each day. Artists have to eat, you know. Full-day campers need to bring a sack lunch.

Ready For Joslyn Art Museum Summer Camp?

Joslyn Art Museum summer camps are available for children as young as 4 and for teens. Photo courtesy Joslyn Art Museum

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.

Cost: Camps for ages 4-5, $60 per camp for members and $70 general public (2-hour camps, no snacks); camps for ages 6-8 and 9-12, $80 per camp for members and $100 per camp for general public; camps for teens, $100 per camp for members and $120 per camp for general public (ceramics camps for teens is $200 and $240, respectively).

Register: Online at joslyn.org

 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary camp registration in compensation for writing this post. All opinions expressed in the post are mine, as are the typos.

 

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