Maybe your flight to Cancun got canceled and you couldn't rebook.

Or your bank account indicated a winter getaway wasn't going to happen.

Still, after all this snow and cold, you really need to get out of the house -- even if just for a quick change of scenery.

Here are some new things worth checking out just up the interstate in Omaha.

-- The downtown area near the Qwest Center, where the baseball stadium is being built, is going to be the "it" spot when all that construction is finished. A few things are already open and worth checking out.

If you have kids, an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Downtown at 1420 Cuming St. and its Holiday Bay water park will give you a tropical feeling. It features a three-story water slide, a cool spray park and a pool with hoops and games.

The real upside to this brand-new space is its economical price: There's a $99 special including room, swimming and a free breakfast.

CoCo Key Water Resort at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on 72nd Street is another indoor water park option. It offers 60,000 square feet of water fun, including water slides and a tubing river, and if you don't want to spend the night, CoCo Key also offers day passes.

Also near downtown: Five new fuzzy Gentoo penguin chicks are greeting winter visitors at the Henry Doorly Zoo's Scott Aquarium. The Kingdoms of the Night and the Desert Dome exhibitions are closed until Jan. 29, but the zoo still has six acres of indoor exhibits to see. The Lied Jungle - a tropical option in our Nebraska winter - the Hubbard Gorilla Valley and the Wild Kingdom Pavilion are open, too.

If you are headed to the downtown area without kids, consider an evening at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St. (formerly Webster Street). The theater has two screens and offers indie films, such as the critically acclaimed "A Single Man," which is showing this weekend.

The nearby Old Market is full of eateries, but the Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill is a favorite pre-Qwest event watering hole. Also slated to open this month is pizzeria Goodnights, at 1302 Mike Fahey St.

-- Another up-and-coming area is the Midtown Crossing, between Dodge and Farnam at 32nd Street. It's worth a drive-by with its big-city skyscraper condos and a retail/park complex.

Marcus Theatres is making its mark there with Cinedine, an all-reserved seating section in five of its movie theaters, combining dining with a night at the movies. The upper level of the auditorium has reserved cushy, oversized leather seats, drinks and appetizers.

Summer will bring more dining options to Midtown, including Delice European Bakery (formerly in the Old Market), Cantina Laredo and Parliament Pub.

-- Before leaving town, treat your sweet tooth at Cupcake Island, 1314 S. 119th St., off Pacific Street.

Open Monday through Saturday, the Island has a few "standard" flavors every day and specials each month, according to co-owner Ed LeFebvre.

This month, look for an upside-down cupcake and cupcakes made with champagne. Check out the selection on the store's Web site.

Reach Kathryn Cates Moore at 473-7214 or kmoore@journalstar.com.

Be the first to know - Sign up for News Alerts

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.


Load comments