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An uncertain start

Rosalie Mueller skates with her niece Skylar in early 2017 at the Railyard Ice Rink. The Rink reopens Friday for the 2017-18 season.

The following is a rundown of family activities for the week of Dec. 1-7:


Railyard Ice Rink grand opening -- 5 p.m.-midnight, 350 Canopy St. Free admission. Skate rental: $9/ages 12 and older, $6/children.

Winter Lights event -- 6-7 p.m., Tower Square, 13th and P streets. Live music, treats, refreshments, visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free.

Holiday Market -- 4-8 p.m.; Christmas tree lighting and Santa Claus at 5 p.m., Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 S. 13th St. Complimentary holiday cookies, cocoa and hot apple cider.

The Polar Express at Hogwarts special event -- 6:30 p.m.: "The Polar Express" read by Tony Esquivel at 7 p.m.; easy craft and complimentary hot chocolate, Barnes & Noble, 5150 O St. and SouthPointe Pavilions locations. Dress in your Harry Potter world costumes.


Bilingual English-Spanish story time -- 10-11 a.m., Indigo Bridge Books, 701 P St.

Santa Goes to Space -- 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland. Highlights: Stormtroopers of the 501 Legion enter with Santa at 10 a.m., activity booths, make-and-take project, free cookie decorating for first 500 youth, holiday music and an interactive storyteller. Regular admission.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" storytime -- 11 p.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 5150 O St. and SouthPointe Pavilions venues.

Christmas on the Farm -- 1-5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays Dec. 2-28, Wessels Living History Farm, York. 402-710-0682.

Christmas on the Prairie -- 2-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Saunders County Historical Society Museum, 240 N. Walnut St., Wahoo. Family event with free admission and refreshments. Children's activities, entertainment, decorated historical buildings and more.

Family-friendly event and book signing -- with author Gretchen Garrison, 1:30-:20 p.m., Francie & Finch Bookshop, 130 S. 13th St. Make a craft and meet the author.

Christmas Past & Present -- 6-9 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 8-9; 2-5 p.m. Dec. 10, Stuhr Museum, Grand Island. 1890's crafts, activities, food, Christmas decorations and more in Railroad Town. $8/for all ages. 308-385-5316.


Boy Scout Troop 25 celebrates 25th anniversary -- open house, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Family Life Center (gymnasium), 8550 Pioneers Blvd. Displays of Boy Scout gear and memorabilia of past and present, canoes, kayaks, old and new tents, Scout handbooks, "Boys Life" magazines and uniforms.

Holiday open house -- 1-4 p.m., Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, 11700 S.W. 100th St., Denton. Activities for the entire family, live music, snacks, cider and more. Free.


No library storytimes in December.

Pancakes and Pajamas with Santa & Mrs. Claus -- 5:30 p.m., Copple Family YMCA, 8700 Yankee Woods Drive. Pancake dinner, pictures with Santa, story with Mrs. Claus and Christmas craft station. Tickets: members: $3/person or $10/family; non-members: $5/person or $20/family. Preregistration recommended but not required at front desk.


Children's storytime -- 10-11 a.m., Indigo Bridge Books, 701 P St.

Pajama party at the library -- 7-7:30 p.m., Eiseley Branch Library. Put on your favorite PJs and join a special winter story time. For families.


No Library storytimes in December.


No Library storytimes in December.

Railyard Holiday Movie Night -- "Elf," 6:30 p.m., The Railyard, 350 Canopy St. Free.

Pop-in Story time -- "Dinosaurs," 6:30-7 p.m., University of Nebraska State Museum, Morrill Hall, third floor Jurassic Gallery, 645 N. 14th St. Stories and activities are planned for ages 3-5. Regular museum admission.

Shows and exhibits

"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" the musical -- 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22: 2 p.m. Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 17, 23; 2, 7 p.m. Dec. 16, The Rose Theater, 2001 W. Farnam St., Omaha. 402-345-4849.

Planetarium astronomy shows -- "Into the Deep" 11 a.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. "The Dark Matter Mystery Exploring a Cosmic Secret" noon Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays shows begin Sunday through Nov. 26. University of Nebraska Museum of Natural History, Mueller Planetarium, Morrill Hall, south of 14th and Vine streets. 402-472-2641. Planetarium closed on UNL home football game days.

Hyde Observatory shows -- 8-10 p.m. Saturdays, Hyde Observatory, Holmes Lake. Free. Reservations available for Monday-Thursday nights. The observatory will be closed from Dec. 4 through Dec. 8 as the road will be closed at South 70th Street with no public access during that time. The project is scheduled to be completed Dec. 13. 402-441-7094.

Coming up

IndiExplore -- 10-11 a.m. Dec. 8, Indigo Bridge Books, 701 P St. "Musical Petting Zoo" with special guests Harris Academy of the Arts. Music exploration session based on their Kindermusik program. Free.

Family movie night -- "The Polar Express," 6 p.m. Dec. 8, Trinity United Methodist Church, 7130 Kentwell Lane. Wear your pajamas, bring a sleeping bag, pillow and blanket. Bring a treat to share. A craft project is included. Open to the public.

Mrs. Claus at Scheel's -- 4-8 p.m. Dec. 9, 2960 Pine Lake Road. Decorate cookies, face painting, photos with Mrs. Claus.

Lincoln Elks Lodge #80 annual Children's Christmas Party -- noon-5 p.m. Dec. 10, Pinnacle Bank Arena, west Haymarket. Doors open at noon, entertainment at 1 p.m. and Santa arrives at 2 p.m. Each child receives a free goodie bag. Free to all youth.

Historic Ferguson House holiday tour -- 1-5 p.m. Dec. 10, 700 S. 16th St. Free.

World Wide Candle Lighting Day -- for those who have experienced the death of a child, their family and friends, 6:45 p.m. Dec. 10, Bryan College of Health Sciences, 5035 Everett St. Register your child's name (pictures welcome) at, or mail to Remembering Our Children, P.O. Box 83433, Lincoln, NE 68501.

Nebraska State Capitol tree lighting and carol sing -- 2-3 p.m.; 1:30 p.m. musical prelude Dec. 11, Nebraska State Capitol, 1445 K St. Free.


Candy House Funshop -- all materials provided, Lincoln Children's Museum, 1420 P St. Members: $25/house; non-members: $30/house; take home kit/$25. For dates, times and registration call 402-477-4000.

North Pole Express -- 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8-10, 15-17, Lincoln Children's Zoo. Ride on North Pole Express, decorate cookies in Mrs. Claus's Bakery, visit with Santa in his workshop, access to entire zoo, special animal demonstrations, hot chocolate and candy cane treats. Tickets required for ages 2 and older. $8.95/members, $11.95/non-members. Number of tickets limited, order early at

Breakfast with Santa -- 8-11 a.m. Dec. 9, Atrium of the Candy Factory, between Seventh and Eighth streets on P Street. Breakfast catered by Lazlo's, coffee from The Mill, holiday music by pianist Dorothy Applebee, pictures with Santa, visit Santa's sleigh and reindeer, toy trains, entertainment by Elf friends from The Haymarket Theatre. $6/ages 4 and older, free for ages 3 and younger. Tickets available at The Mill (Haymarket), From Nebraska Gift Shop, Burlington Antiques, The Haymarket Office, Buzzard Billy's and Downtown Lincoln Association. Tickets may be purchased at door as available. 












This column includes events that are of interest to families. Material must be received at least two weeks before the event. Address suggested material to Family Calendar, P.O. Box 81689, Lincoln, NE 68501 or email to


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