Our family has been in the middle of moving for a long time! Actually when all is said and done, from the time we listed our house until we move into our new place, six months will have passed. This process has obviously thrown off some of my plans and intentions including writing and travel. As for the blog, I have not been keeping up with weekly posts, That is hard for me. I am trying to allow myself much grace, and since I can go back and post date posts, I will get caught up eventually. As for travel, my goal was to go out of state. That is simply not possible right now. So we did the next best thing – we enjoyed an Omaha Spring Break Adventure. Perhaps you would like to do the same.
Before I share all of the possibilities with you, let me be perfectly honest. We did not spend very much time at several of these places. To do everything in one day would cost a lot of money and even time. In fact, the Omaha place where we actually took a tour is not included in the list. That one does not have rotating exhibits, so I can tell you about that location another time. For today, I want to tell you many of the current exhibits that are in Omaha for a limited time. If you are planning a trip to Omaha, I would encourage you to check out at least one of these places. I will start with the exhibits that are ending the soonest.
Omaha Spring Break Stop 1
The Light exhibit at Kaneko is only on display for another week. For this exhibition, they only allow cell phone usage. (As always, my phone is almost out of memory, so I could not take hardly any pictures). The main exhibit hall features all sorts of lights and mirror sculptures. Depending on where you stand influences what you see. If you have sensory issues, this may not be the room for you. As a part of the exhibit, they have a bass line playing in the background. Plus the light show is constantly changing like strobe lights.
The middle room tells about the “Dark Sky” movement. Kids (and grown-up kids) can make their own light displays on the giant interactive board. Plus there is more information on the UNL Laser project. In this room, I had the opportunity to talk to Holly for awhile. She is the education director at Kaneko and is extremely knowledgeable. I would highly recommend setting up a tour with her or her staff!
Upstairs is a giant glass igloo that features mirrors and lights. This is rather fun since the experience is almost like climbing into a giant kaleidoscope. The exhibit room features hand-blown glass sculptures by Corey Broman. This was probably my favorite exhibit – I really appreciated his small-scale sculptures. Part of the exhibit also featured glass panels created by students. That made my teacher heart happy!
During April, Opera Omaha will be temporarily taking over the Kaneko. Their performance of the show, “Proving Up” will be happening at the Kaneko. Behind the scenes tours are an option, but you will need to contact the opera company for more information. Kaneko is simply the host. During May, they will be resetting. So Kaneko is really not open to the public again until June once this show is closed.
Note: This Saturday Kaneko is putting on a “Light in Nature” free family event. Visit on Saturday March 17th from 11 to 1 to enjoy the free activities.
Omaha Spring Break Stop 2
Whenever we go to Omaha, one of our stops is almost always at the Omaha Children’s Museum. This time our purpose was to explore the “Forever Forest Exhibit.” Several times throughout the year, the museum transforms their upper level into a themed exhibit. Like the previous ones, they did an excellent job of presenting an interesting display.
Because I am a homeschool mom, most places we visit need to have an educational component. While playing, the kids could learn about different types of forests and trees. They could also examine forest specimens under a microscope. Information was plentiful on charts, signs and pictures.
Beyond that, the children were given ample opportunities to learn while playing. How would they build a city? Could they construct certain buildings out of blocks? How would they conduct a train to help transport lumber. Replacing shingles on a model roof. Building a log cabin. Fishing from a stream. Practicing balance on giant lugs. Seeing how different types of saws work. (I would much rather they did this here rather than in my husband’s shop while they are younger!) They could play with “dirt.” Pretend to camp. Suspended kayaks for children to practice their strokes. There is even a special place for toddlers to explore.
As for the optimal age for this exhibit, I would say 4-11 is perfect. Since the room is rather wide open, parents could stay with the younger ones in the toddler area and still see their older ones playing. With the indoor tree play structure, the museum is a perfect destination when the chilly spring weather makes it impossible to play outdoors. This exhibit is up until April 15th. You will not want to miss it!
Omaha Spring Break Stop 3
The Joslyn. Thanks to the addition of the “Art Works” room, this is another favorite family stop. I have always been a fan, so I am thankful that their offerings for kids have increased. The pictures showing my kids actually doing art happen in that room.
While the museum does have an amazing permanent collection, their special exhibits are also worthwhile. Near the Art Works room, they always featured art for children. Right now their exhibit is from the Creighton University Carlson Fable Collection. Not only should you go see the hallway at Joslyn that is filled with books and both dimensional and framed art, you should also visit that website. What a great resource for studying fables.
This visit also led me to discover a new artist: Ed Ruscha. Not only does he present interesting artistic concepts, he also happens to be from Nebraska. Due to time constraints, we did not visit the exhibit, but I enjoyed seeing some of his works in the gift shop. This is a ticketed gallery, but while parents pay, kids do not. So the cost balances out. To learn more about Ruscha, you can watch a video on the Joslyn site.
Omaha Spring Break Stop 5
Plastic is normally not a term that you want to associate with gardening displays. But at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, plastic is actually the centerpiece for their current Metamorphosis exhibit. Recycled materials became the medium. Unless you take a closer look, you cannot tell how the displays were constructed. This is one of the most creative displays that I have ever seen. And I appreciate the fact that kids can participate by creating their own designs in the lobby. Evidently they lit up the designs on certain winter nights – that would have been a site to behold.
Omaha Spring Break Stop 6
At the Durham Museum, you can always learn more about the history of Omaha. But this location is also known for their temporary exhibits. If you are going to the Durham, I would encourage you to wait until Saturday. That is the day when their two current exhibits will overlap. Learning about the role that African Americans played during World War 2 is intriguing to me. Other than hearing a bit about the Tuskegee airmen, I am rather ignorant on this topic.
Since we are studying American history during our next school year, I definitely want to explore their upcoming 1607 exhibit. Does anyone recognize what that date correlates to? Because of teaching American history as a 5th grade teacher as well as to my own kids, I knew right away! We have had Durham educational memberships several times, and I am guessing we may do that again this year. As you can probably guess from the pictures, we only drove by the Durham this time. Our stop will happen when we have a bit more time to explore.
If you were planning an Omaha spring break adventure, which location(s) would you pick?