Brrrr! The winter weather is in full effect in Nebraska. As a parent himself, Dr. Hawley knows just how tough it can be to keep kids entertained when it’s cold outside. That’s why, at Hawley Orthodontics, we decided to lend a helping hand by rounding up the best affordable and free activities for kids in Omaha and the surrounding area. Here are some of our suggestions for local family fun to get you through the winter:
Free Programs at Do Space
7205 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE
Do Space is a community technology library that gives everyone access to technology and learning. They host a variety of free Omaha activities for kids and in fact, visiting is free for everyone of all ages! There are computers, high-speed Internet, 3D printers and so much more that you can use. There are also special rooms for younger kids and teens, as well as youth programs with hands-on projects related to software, hardware and critical thinking. The youth activities are meant to promote technology and digital literacy in children preschool through age 18. Activities range from Virtual Reality Mondays to Littles Lab. See the schedule here. You do have to register for membership for the programs (it’s free).
Drop in at the Papillion Landing Field House
1046 W. Lincoln Street, Papillion, NE
The Papillion Landing Field House is now open to the public! The 81,000 square-foot space consists of a turf soccer field, batting cages, pitching tunnels, a multi-purpose space and more. There are days when the soccer field is open and you can drop in for just $5 per person. It’s one of our favorite winter Papillion activities for kids because they can get some exercise and they’ll have a blast. Check the calendar for the upcoming open field days.
Bundle Up for a Day at Mahoney State Park
28500 West Park Hwy, Ashland, NE
If you’re looking for outdoor Omaha activities for kids this winter, head to Mahoney State Park (between Omaha and Lincoln) and snowshoe, go cross country skiing, tackle the toboggan hill, try your hand at sledding or go ice fishing. On really cold days, take advantage of the Activity Center, which is open year-round and features a huge indoor playground with tubes, slides, a ball pit and net bridges. There is also an indoor ice skating rink and the Venture Climb climbing wall. Outdoor activities are free with a park permit. For Nebraska residents, it’s $30 for an annual permit or $6 for a daily permit per vehicle. You can purchase a permit at any venue where hunting or fishing permits are sold or from any of the Commission offices, staffed state park areas or online here. There are small fees for the Activity Center, Venture Climb climbing wall and ice skating.
Story Time at Sump Memorial Library
222 N. Jefferson Street, Papillion, NE
The Library is an amazing source of free Papillion activities for kids. The Library Story Times encourage a love of reading and give babies, toddlers and children a chance to socialize and bond with mom and dad. Here is what is on the schedule this winter:
- Toddler Story Time (ages 12 months to three years) – Mondays from 9:45 to 10:15am
- Baby Play (birth to 12 months) – Tuesdays from 9:15 to 9:45am
- Morning of Play – Tuesdays from 9:45am to 12n
- ABC Story Time – Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11am
- Story Time – Thursdays from 10:30 to 11am
Art Works at the Joslyn Art Museum
2200 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE
The Joslyn Art Museum is yet another spot for great free activities for kids in Omaha and not just during winter but all year! The museum itself has free general admission (some special exhibits do have fees). You’ll also find Art Works there, a 1,500 square-foot interactive space in the Memorial building on the lower level east. Museum visitors can just drop in and take advantage of the nine different hands-on activity stations. People of all ages, including tiny tots, can create artwork to take home.
Catch Family-Friendly Flicks at Marcus Theatres
Multiple Locations, including Majestic Cinema of Omaha and Village Pointe Cinema in Omaha and Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue, NE
Several Marcus Theatres locations in Omaha and the Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue have the perfect way to warm up with several discounted movie series. First up, is the “Disney’s Enchanted Tales Film Series” with daily show times on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10am, 12:15pm, 2:30pm and 4:45pm through February 18. See Lilo and Stitch (February 1-3), Tangled (February 8-10) or Beauty and the Beast (February 14-18). Tickets are $5 per person! The “Kids Dream Winter Film Series” presented by American Family Insurance follows and runs from March 2 through April 14 on Saturdays and Sundays at 10am with kid-friendly movies. Admission is just $3. You can also snag two free tickets to the screening of your choice here. The first film to debut on March 2 and March 3 is Smallfoot. You can see the rest of the schedule online.
Kids’ Workshops at the Home Depot
712 N. Washington Street, Papillion, NE
The Home Depot offers free Papillion kids activities in its monthly workshops. Children of all ages – accompanied by a parent or guardian – get to do hands-on crafts and projects every month. They’re able to keep the craft and they get a free certificate of achievement, a workshop apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last. At the next workshop on Saturday, February 2 between 9am and 12n, kids can create a personalized candy heart box for Valentine’s Day. After you and your child build the heart, you can customize it with paint and stickers. Register here to secure a spot.
If getting a beautiful smile is also on the agenda for you, your child or your teen this winter, book a free consultation with our Papillion orthodontist Dr. Hawley today!