Christmas at Union Station
The Durham Museum offers a full spectrum of holiday activities for people this season. The Ethnic Holiday Festival is an educational event for children. Marketing Director Shawna Forsberg said the festival offers a look at how different cultures celebrate the holidays. The festival takes place Friday, December 2nd from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and features crafts, foods, musical performances and dancing on two different stages in the museum.
While you are there, you can check out the Ethnic Holiday Trees Exhibit. Each tree has been decorated by a local Omaha ethnic society and is accompanied by text that explains the meaning behind the decoration of the tree.
The Durham also has a Holiday Miniatures Exhibit on display through the end of the year and Family Nights with Santa will be held Tuesday, December 6th, 13th and 20th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Admission to the Durham Museum is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for kids ages 3-12. Kids under the age of 2 are free. All events and exhibits are included with museum admission. The Durham Museum is located at 801 S. 10th Street. Call 444.5071 or visit durhammuseum.org.
Heartland Youth Ballet is inviting everyone into Santa’s Workshop with its upcoming production of Winter Wonderland. Robin Welch wrote and choreographed the production, which integrates Heartland Youth Ballet’s 22 dancers with singers and actors.
Welch said the story is about an elf that really wants to travel Christmas night with Santa in his sleigh. Though Santa tells her she can’t come with him, he does agree to tell her stories about the places he visits as he flies over them.
Winter Wonderland features beloved carols such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Santa Claus is coming to Town.” Welch said the program also incorporates the story of the night before Christmas.
Performances take place in The Scottish Rite Masonic Center. The theatre was recently renovated and boasts comfortable seats.
Tickets for Winter Wonderland are $16. The Scottish Rite Masonic Center is located at 202 S. 20th Street. Visit robinwelchdance.info.
Holiday Under Glass
You can enjoy holiday sounds in a beautiful setting as Joslyn Art Museum presents its annual Holiday Under Glass concert series. Performances take place three Fridays: December 2nd, 9th and 16th and two Wednesdays: December 7th and 18th. All concerts are held at Noon in the Museum’s glass atrium and last about 45 minutes.
Communications Manager Amy Rummel said performers include the Creighton University Chamber Choir and Orchestra, the Omaha Conservatory of Music, the UNO Chamber Choir, the River City Ringers Ensemble and the Central High School Singers, Bel Canto and Bell Ringers.
Rummel said, “Our goal is to showcase different choirs from around the city. It is a great way for people to discover the talent we have in our community.”
After each performance, guests may participate in a guided tour of one of the museum’s galleries.
There is no admission fee to attend the concerts. The Joslyn Art Museum is located at 2200 Dodge Street. Call 342.3300 or visit joslyn.org.
Christmas with the Symphony
Dancing Santas, Broadway stars and the audience sing-along! One of Omaha’s favorite holiday traditions, Christmas with the Symphony returns for five performances, December 16th through18th.
Resident Conductor Ernest Richardson said another highlight is the entire cast singing “O Holy Night.” The performances feature a quartet of Broadway singers and eight dancers from New York. Richardson said there is a strong visual element to the show, with people moving on and off stage in a beautiful way.
The four carols that conclude the second half of the concert are different than in year’s past and include “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and “The First Noel.”
Richardson promises a program that includes songs with all sorts of Christmas themes including snow, romance and carols.
Tickets to Christmas with the Symphony are $15-$80 per person. Call 345.0606 or visit ticketomaha.com.
Ballet Nebraska presents The Nutcracker at 7:30 p.m. December 2nd at the Iowa Western Community College Arts Center in Council Bluffs, and at 2:00 p.m. December 4th at the Civic Auditorium’s Omaha Music Hall.
Erika Overturff, Artistic Director of Ballet Nebraska, choreographed the production. She said though this is still the familiar story of the little girl who attends an exciting Christmas party, receives a special gift and has colorful dreams, Overturff has added her own unique twists.
“In our battle scene, the Nutcracker faces a Rat Queen, who does lots of exciting dancing and is hair-raising to watch. We have a saucy French shepherdess, whose little lambs perform to Tchaikovsky’s famous “Dance of the Reed Flutes.” There’s lots more, but I don’t want to give away all the surprises,” said Overturff.
Tickets prices for The Nutcracker vary. For the December 2nd performance, call 712.388.7140. For the December 4th performance, call 800.745.3000.