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Omaha Magazine

November/December 2021 Explore Calendar

Nov 01, 2021 10:52AM ● By Omaha Magazine
Christmas lights and holiday baubles in trees

Photo via Marina Khrapova on Unsplash    

Nebraska

Veritas Nov. 5 at Merryman Performing Arts Center, Kearney. Vocal quintet Veritas brings a dynamic twist to everything they sing. Their repertoire includes Broadway, pop hits, original settings of classical favorites, patriotic standards, and classic hymns. 308.698.8297. —kearneyconcerts.org

Veterans Day Nov. 11 at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland. Each year, the museum honors America’s military veterans with a special program on Veteran’s Day. This event features posting of the colors, a keynote speaker, and of course the National Anthem. Veterans are encouraged to attend in uniform. RSVP is requested. 402.944.3100.  —SACMuseum.org

Beethoven & Beyond Nov. 14 at Brownville Concert Hall, Brownville. Cellist Jennifer Kloetzel has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is a founding member of the Cypress String Quartet. Pianist Robert Koenig is a much sought-after collaborative pianist and chamber musician. 402.825.3331.
—brownvilleconcertseries.com 

Gateway Farm Expo Nov. 17-18 at Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Kearney. Guests will see the latest agriculture technology and services at this annual expo. Attendees will see hundreds of exhibits at this longest-running farm show in Nebraska drawing thousands of visitors each year. 308.234.2717. —gatewayfarmexpo.org

Christmas at the Mansion Nov. 17-Dec. 22 at Lied Lodge and Conference Center, Nebraska City. The historic 52-room mansion features vintage-inspired decorations and holiday-themed displays. 402.873.7222.
—liedlodge.org

Blue Oyster Cult Nov. 20 at The Royal Grove, Lincoln. This group has been performing for over 50 years. They are best known for their singles “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” “Burnin For You,” and “Godzilla.” They have sold 25 million records worldwide, and released their latest in October 2020.
—theroyalgrove.com 

Christmas Traditions Festival Nov. 26 to Dec. 12 throughout Minden. The annual Light of the World Christmas Pageant will take place on the weekends, with a full week of activities, from a carnival for children to a scavenger hunt, escape room, concerts, free movies, and more. 308.832.1811.
—mindenne.org

Masters of Soul Nov. 28 at Merryman Performing Arts Center, Kearney. This group is a wonderful tribute to Motown, performing all the greatest hits while dressing the part and sharing their electric showmanship. 308.627.2717. —kearneyconcerts.org

Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights TBD at Lied Lodge, Nebraska City. The Arbor Day Farm trolley will take visitors on a tour of historic Nebraska City to view the best Christmas lights. A classic Christmas book is read during the ride. 402.873.8733.
—liedlodge.org

Holiday Cabaret. Dec. 3-5 at James Arthur Vineyards. The vineyards presents a fun-filled evening of Christmas songs and holiday Broadway hits. Admission price includes one glass of wine. 402.783.5255.
—jamesarthurvineyards.com

Victorian Christmas on Main Street Dec. 4 in downtown Plattsmouth. Guests can listen to seasonal music, tour the Cass County Historical Musuem, take hayrack rides, meet Father Christmas, and more. The official Tree Lighting takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Cass County Museum. 402.296.5544.
—visitcasscounty.com

High Plains Christmas Dec. 4 at Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering. This holiday tradition features hayrack rides, marshmallow roasting, and cowboy coffee around a bonfire. Kids can write letters to Santa and send them via Pony Express to Santa’s Village in downtown Gering. 308.436.1989.
—legacyoftheplains.org

Christmas Past and Present Dec. 4-5, 10-11 at Stuhr Museum, Grand Island. This event features a beautiful lamplit tour of Railroad Town and live music. All of the roads and paths are lit with lanterns and the buildings are decorated with old-fashioned greenery and bows. Visit the Mercantile shop, speak with staff members dressed in period costumes, sample some ginger cookies, and more. 308.385.5316
—stuhrmuseum.org

Holidays in the Haymarket TBD at the Haymarket in Lincoln. Santa will visit the Haymarket, and guests can participate in free horse-and-carriage rides while various entertainers sing Christmas songs. 402.435.7496
—lincolnhaymarket.org

A Swinging Brownville Christmas Dec. 10-12 at Brownville Concert Hall, Brownville. In the tradition of beloved seasonal specials, Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch will perform swinging arrangements of "Christmas Waltz," "Sleigh Ride," and “Snow," among other favorites. The singers will be joined by Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums. 402.825.3331.
—brownvilleconcertseries.com 

Christmas at the Codys Dec. 17- 21 North Platte. Buffalo Bill’s magnificent Victorian mansion is decorated for the holidays and open to the public during the Christmas season each year, as is the barn. Evening events include outdoor caroling and hayrack rides. Complimentary hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts are provided. 308.535.8035.
—visitnorthplatte.com

Yule Log Celebration at Platte River State Park,  TBD near Louisville. Visitors can follow the clues and find the Yule Log. The shooting range is open during the day, as well as special crafts, hayrack rides, snacks and more. 402.234.2217.
—outdoornebraska.gov/platteriver

Annual Winterfest TBD at Ponca State Park in Ponca. This outdoor family tradition features a Yule Log Quest, the National Championship Fruitcake Fling, seasonal crafts, lighted hayrack rides, and more. 402.755.2284.
—outdoornebraska.gov/ponca

Iowa

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marc Cohn, Shawn Colvin: Together In Concert Nov. 5 at Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines. These three Grammy Award-winning artists have united for this extensive new tour. The musicians will appear together onstage, performing songs and sharing stories. 515.244.0507.
—hoytsherman.org

Girls Get Away Weekend Nov. 5-7 at Amana Colonies. This unique trip is dedicated to women, for women. There are many events planned, such as special menu selection at restaurants, exclusive shopping, and wine sampling. 319.622.7622. —amanacolonies.com

Georgia on My Mind: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles Nov. 12 at Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines. Charles was one of the 20th century's most influential musicians. For the 60th anniversary of his pivotal recording of "Georgia on My Mind," Civic Music Association celebrates his legacy and music with a special concert featuring all-star vocalists, Take 6, Nnenna Freelon, and Clint Holmes.
—hoytsherman.org

The Cake Nov. 12-21 at Stoner Theater, Des Moines. When Jen returns to her North Carolina hometown to ask Della, the best friend of her deceased mother, to bake her wedding cake, Della refuses because Jen is marrying a woman. Mix in a baking reality show and a dormant marriage and things get very, very interesting. 515-246-2300
—desmoinesperformingarts.org

Real Life Women’s Conference November 19-20 at Hy-Vee Hall, Iowa Events Center. This two-day conference is geared towards women of all ages. The conference will feature speakers Sheila Walsh, Lisa Whelchel, Plumb, Shantel Dudley, as well as speaking and singing by Plumb, JJ Weeks. Ayeisha Woods and more. 515.564.8000.
—iowaeventscenter.com

From the Barrel—Des Moines’ Whiskey Festival Nov. 19-20 at The River Center, Des Moines. This event is designed for the connoisseur. The tickets include whiskey tastings, where attendees can choose from over 150 options, live music, activities, food, and more. This two-day festival also features cigars, contests, speakers, and charities. 515.371.4791.
—dsmwhiskeyfest.com

Beethoven’s Violin Concerto Nov. 20-21 at Des Moines Civic Center. Paul Huang, recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, is renowned for his intensely expressive music making. This  program will feature the noble grandeur and epic journey of Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony and Anna Clyne’s Masquerade. 515.246.2300.
—desmoinesperformingarts.org

Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE: Time Bubble Tour Nov. 23 at Hoyt Sherman Place. This event features the beloved returning cast of the 2019 “Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour,” along with the world's only movie-riffing robots, Tom Servo, Crow, and GPC. The show features the film Making Contact and will include all the tour signatures: hilarious riffing, wisecracking robots, and silly sketches. 515.244.0507.
—hoytsherman.org 

Lighted Christmas Parade Nov. 26 in downtown Clarinda. Over 75 lighted floats decorate the Clarinda Downtown Square for this holiday parade. Each year, a different theme is given so participants can show their imagination and do different things with their floats. After the parade, children are able to visit Santa Claus at the Santa House 712.542.2166.
—clarinda.org

Julefest Nov. 26-27 in Elk Horn and Kimballton. This celebration of the arrival of the Christmas season has been happening annually for over 40 years. Events include a “Naughty or Nisse” 5K Polar Run, a pancake supper, and a concert. The Museum of Danish America and Danish Windmill will be open throughout the weekend. 712.764.7472.
—danishvillages.com

Béla Fleck Dec. 2 at Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines. Over the last four decades, Fleck has made a point of boldly going where no banjo player has gone before. He has earned 15 Grammys in nine different fields, including country, pop, jazz, instrumental, classical, and world. But his roots are in bluegrass, and that’s where he returns with this tour, in support of his album My Bluegrass Heart. 515.244.0507. —hoytsherman.org 

Prelude to Christmas Dec. 3-5 at the Amana Colonies. In this annual tradition, guests can view candlelit streets, walk through the colonies’ Tannenbaum Forest, and visit Santa. They will be offering Christmas cookies and wine pairing flights, shopping specials, and a Nutcracker Scavenger Hunt. On Saturday, the Amana Church presents a cookie walk. 319.622.7622. —amanacolonies.com

Old World Christmas Market Dec.4-5 at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, Cedar Rapids. This tradition includes live music and dance performances, seasonal treats, and free family activities for visitors to enjoy while shopping for specialty imports and handmade gifts by select artisans. 319.362.8500.
—ncsml.org  

Sinterklaas Day Dec. 6 in downtown Orange City. Holland’s version of Santa arrives on his white horse during a large parade. Other activities include Dutch games and a puppet show This is a popular day for children and their families to come and enjoy the spirit of Christmas in main street’s “Dutch Village.”. 712.707.4510.
—orangecityiowa.com

Norwegian Christmas Celebration Dec. 7 at The Vesterheim National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center, Decorah. This lively day of events includes Scandinavian holiday traditions, crafts, music, a movie, and other treats. 563.382.9681.
—vesterheim.org      

Christmas in Kalona Dec. 7 in downtown Kalona. Children can fill their “walking stockings” with gifts from local merchants, have their picture taken with Santa, decorate cookies and ornaments, take a cookie walk, tour churches, and ride in a carriage. 319.656.2660.
—kalonachamber.com

Home Free—Warmest Winter Tour 2021 Dec. 15 at Des Moines Civic Center. This acclaimed all-vocal country group is set to light up the holiday season when they hit the road this year. They will be playing songs from their most recent studio album, Warmest Winter. 515.246.2300.
—desmoinesperformingarts.org 

It’s A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play Dec. 16 at Stoner Theater, Des Moines. This beloved American holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. Presented by the Iowa Stage Theatre Company, this ensemble of five actors, with the help of live sound effects, brings a few dozen characters to life on the stage, sharing the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. 515.246.2300.
—desmoinesperformingarts.org 

DM Symphony—NYE Pops: The Music of Elton John Dec. 31 at Des Moines Civic Center. From classic Elton John hits “Tiny Dancer,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Rocket Man” to rock favorites like “Live and Let Die” and “Pinball Wizard,” Grammy and Tony-nominated Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh and his band entertain with a high-energy show. 515.246.2300.
—desmoinesperformingarts.org
 

Kansas

Historic Candlelight Tour TBD at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Step back in time to learn about actual events that took place on the property over 100 years ago. Living history re-enactors tell the stories of the ranch and American Indian culture on the prairie with first-person vignettes of real life on a typical winter night in the prairie. Kerosene lanterns light the path. 620.273.8494.
—nps.gov/tapr

The Brian McKnight 4 Nov. 5 at Lied Center of Kansas, Lawerence. Singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Brian McKnight has released 19 albums over the past 25 years, selling more than 30 million albums worldwide, garnering 17 Grammy Award nominations 785.864.2787.
—lied.ku.edu

Wicked Wine Walk Nov. 6 at Kansas City Power & Light District, Kansas City. Bubble, bubble, boil, and trouble. Participants on this wine walk can listen to live music while sipping on wine and nibbling on small plates at each of the participating venues. 816.842.1045.
—powerandlightdistrict.com

Kiwanis 2021 Chili & Soup Festival Nov. 6 in downtown Hutchinson. This annual festival features a variety of soups and chilis, which can be voted on by attendees, along with music, entertainment, and shopping in the downtown area. 620.694.2677.
—hutchgov.com

Find the Wine Nov. 6 and 13 at Walter’s Pumpkin Patch, Burns. Snacks and samples of wine will be available at this third annual event, but the guests must try to locate samples located within the corn maze. 21+ only. 316.320.4150.
—thewaltersfarm.com

Veterans Day Weekend Nov. 10 in Fort Scott, Kansas. Fort Scott has been honoring veterans since 1842. This signature event includes a parade through the downtown and a grand ball, in which 19th century costumes are encouraged, but gloves are required by all. 620.223.3566.
—fortscott.com

22nd Annual Holiday Luminary Walk. Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4, 9-11, and 16-18, at Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Overland Park. Guests can stroll down candlelit paths through the gardens while viewing holiday lights and listening to live music. 913.895.6270. —opkansas.org

Shawnee Christkindlmarkt Dec. 4 at City Hall in Shawnee. This city celebrates its German roots with its Christkindlmarkt, featuring carolers, a Mayor’s Christmas tree, holiday-themed dances, and more.913.631.6545.
—visitshawneeks.com

Hyde Park Luminaries Dec. 18 in Hutchinson. Stroll, drive, or ride through this beautiful neighborhood for the annual Christmas Luminaria. Meet Santa at the corner of 20th and Washington streets, listen to musical entertainment, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, drink cider, and eat cookies at Hyde Park. 620.694.9310.
—hutchgov.com

Missouri

Great Pumpkin Smash TBD at Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City. Come and Watch animals stomp, crash, and roll around with huge pumpkins after Halloween. This is a great post Halloween enrichment for children of all ages. 816.595.1234 —kansascityzoo.org

Katt Williams Nov. 12 at T-Mobile Center, Kansas City. Grammy-Award winning band The Chainsmokers is known for their hits like “Selfie” and “Closer.” 888.929.7849.
—t-mobilecenter.com 

Annual Plaza Lighting ceremony Nov. 25 in Kansas City. Each Thanksgiving evening, one of Kansas City’s most grand annual traditions happens on the Country Club Plaza. Watch this dazzling display in Kansas City that includes giveaways, performances, fireworks, and a post-ceremony concert. The display runs through mid-January. 816.753.0100.
—countryclubplaza.com

2021 NCAA Hall of Fame Weekend Nov. 22-23 in Kansas City. The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Induction will take place on Sunday at the Sprint Center Kansas City, with the Hall of Fame Classic Tournament taking place the next day in the arena. 888.929.7849.
—halloffameweekend.com

St. Charles Christmas Traditions Nov. 26-Dec. 24. Locations vary, St. Charles. In addition to the 80-plus characters who are always "making seasons bright,” there are a host of other activities in St. Charles at Christmastime.  800.366.2427.
—discoverstcharles.com

Wizard Fest Nov. 28 Outland Ballroom, Springfield. Wizard Fest is a Harry Potter-themed trivia and dance party. This interactive party celebrates the wizarding world, cosplay, and all things magic in one spectacular event, with themed cocktails, a costume contest, and a Triwizard Tournament. 417.869.7625.
—facebook.com/outlandballroom

Sights and Sounds of Christmas Dec. 4 in Atchison. This event is for kids of all ages, with children’s activities such as North Pole Village and a lighted Christmas Parade. 800.234.1854. —visitatchison.com

40th Annual Candlelight Homes Tour Dec. 4-5, throughout Weston. Historic homes in this antebellum city will be open and the streets will be decorated with luminaries. Father Christmas will be present. 816.640.2909.
—westonmo.com

Annual Christmas Candlelight Tours at the Historic Daniel Boone House Dec. 3-4 and 10-11 at historic Daniel Boone Home, Defiance. Frontiersman Daniel Boone’s home will be open and lit for the holidays. The village will have historic scenarios and information about this time period, and campfires will be lit. People can drink hot cider and eat snacks. while roaming through more than 1000 luminaries. 636.798.2005.
—sccmo.org

Event times and details may change. 

 Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.


This article originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.