Spring Happenings in Omaha of Culture, Beer Poking, and Gourmet Cuisine

Omaha, Nebraska: I learned from living in the Midwest that you need to grab spring quickly when it comes. The weather goes from winter to summer with but a brief interlude called spring. This makes Omaha the perfect place to visit right now. 

Lauritzen Gardens in the springtime
Lauritzen Gardens in the springtime. Photo courtesy of Lauritzen Gardens 

Besides all there is to do in Omaha every month of the year, spring brings some special celebrations.

Omaha German-American Society graphic 
Photo courtesy of German-American Society

Bockfest German celebration on March 14 is one that is loaded with lots of good times. Hosted by the German-American Society at their ratskeller and biergarten, Bock beer flows. Worthy of a trip is to see and sample beer poking where beer is purposefully and rapidly warmed with a hot fireplace poker. There will be brats, Bavarian pretzels, and ham and cheddar on a pretzel bun for purchase. The Barry Boyce Band will be playing.

St. Paddy's at the Park Ad

For a perfect way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day, head to Werner park at 12356 Ballpark Way in Papillion on March 14th to celebrate St. Patty's at the Park. From 11 am until 3 pm, there will be a celebration of the 10th season of the Storm Chaser’s baseball and the inaugural year of soccer at Werner Park. The Irish band, the Shenanigans, will play some Irish music worthy of dancing the Irish jig. Traditional Irish food of corned beef and cabbage as well as shepherd’s pie will be served. There will be yard games, face painting, and a bounce house, too.   

Street parade with participants dressed in green clothes & hatsSt. Patrick’s Day Parade. Photo courtesy of City Pages

For a real old-fashioned St. Patrick's Day Parade, take the gang to 15th and Harney on March 14th at 10 am to watch the march through the Old Market area in downtown. The official viewing stands will be on Howard at The Old Chicago. After the parade, there will be a post party at Annie’s Irish Pub in the Capitol District. This event is hosted by the AOH Father Flanagan Division.

Sanchelli, Spring Festival. Photo courtesy of Huffman Production

Spring Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair happens from March 20-22. Over 500 exhibitors from all over the nation will be selling one-of-a-kind handmade articles. The items are works in country, contemporary, traditional, and Southwestern styles. The Spring Festival is one of the magazine Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Top 100 shows in the United States. National and local entertainers provide music and dance for a fun family atmosphere. 

ONE Festival musical event at Archetype Coffee HouseONE Festival event at Archetype Coffee House. Photo courtesy of ONE Festival

An event unique to Omaha is ONE Festival, an event put together by Omaha’s Opera. ONE Festival enhances the opera and makes it more accessible by having a series of free concerts and events designed to open your mind from what may seem like a static environment of the opera.

There will be over 50 multi-disciplinary performances and installations of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers.

On Saturday, March 21st and Friday, March 27 at 10 pm, the International Contemporary Ensemble and artists from Opera Omaha will create cover songs, remixes, transcriptions, and abstractions of songs from 17th to the 19th centuries. The performances will create pathways to and from Stradella’s St. John the Baptist. This will all be in a casual environment of Archetype Coffee House at 3926 Farnam in Omaha.

Then on March 26 and March 28, Jennifer Koh, one of the best live classical violinists, makes her ONE Festival debut with a live performance of Missy Mazzoli’s Grammy-nominated “Vespers for Violin”.

ONE’s cinematheque-style series this year commits to exploration of cinema and its possibilities within the operatic form. CINEsound 2020 is a live musical and cinematic experience not to be missed.

Durham Museum Pulitzer Prize Photograph of cradling Firefighter cradling injured toddlersDurham Museum Pulitzer Prize Photographs. Photo courtesy of Durham Museum

If history and photography are your thing, the Durham Museum is home to some wonderful exhibits this spring.

Pulitzer Prize Photographs, on exhibit from February 22-May 3, shows defining times in our world with 80 large-format framed photographs. The exhibit features the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled. Interactive touchscreen kiosks feature more current Pulitzer Prize winners through more than 1,000 images and 15 hours of video interviews.

Visitors at Women in Sports Exhibit at Durham Museum
Women in Sports exhibit at Durham Museum. Photo courtesy of Durham Museum

“Sporty Women: The Desire to Compete” is another outstanding photographic exhibit at the Durham from February 1 – December 31. This exhibit highlights the conflicting standards throughout history of women competing in sports but still acting and dressing ladylike. Through these photographs the observer sees changes over time of uniforms and the types of sports in which women were allowed to compete and focuses on women considered as athletes over time.

Lauritzen Gardens “Nature Connects” Exhibit–Butterfly, Zebra & FrogLauritzen Gardens “Nature Connects” exhibit. Photo courtesy of Lauritzen Gardens

For a little fresh air, head to the beautiful Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s botanical center. From now until May 10 “Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks” features 750,000+ lego bricks in 13 displays. You will see artist Sean Kenny’s fourth exhibit of larger-than-life pieces featuring such things as a monarch butterfly, a disappearing rhino, a brightly colored sea turtle, and a striped zebra. There is even a “Play and Let it Stay” station where all visitors can create. 

Omaha Chihuly Glass Sculpture GardenChihuly Sculpture Garden. Photo by Linda Milks

If you love glass artistry, stop by the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Chihuly Sanctuary. This display is on the second and fourth floors in the center of the 10-story cancer center. You will see over 200 pieces by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. The area was designed as a place of respite and reflection.

If you are looking for some special meals in Omaha, I have three recommendations: 

Omaha Brushi Bistro & Bar Signature Veal Chop platedBrushi Bistro & Bar Signature Veal Chop. Photo by Linda Milks

Brushi Bistro & Bar, located at 132nd and Dodge, is home to food beautifully presented by a top-notch waitstaff. Chef Paul Braunschweiler started cooking at the age of 6 when he grew up in Switzerland. On the menu, you will find Roasted Whiskey Chicken, Paella, and Lemongrass Coconut Soup. I have tried all three, and I will come back for them again. 

Omaha J.Coco’s Salmon Salad plated dishJ.Coco’s Salmon Salad. Photo by Linda Milks

J. Coco’s (52nd and Leavenworth) describes its food as classic American comfort food with a fresh update of farm-to-table cuisine. Chef Jennifer Coco delivers a unique culinary experience for her guests. Hoisin BBQ Beef Short Ribs, Herbed Salmon Roulade, and Colorado Lamb T-Bone will delight diners at J. Coco. 

Dolce Scallops plated with carrots, cauliflower


Dolce Scallops. Photo courtesy of Ken Person

You might say Dolce’s Chef Anthony Kueper has lived and cooked all over the world, from Aspen, Colorado to Germany and then at the Ritz Carlton, his cuisine has been influenced by all these exposures. There is so much variety on the menu from Imperial Wagyu Beef Flatiron to Pork Schnitzel and Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese. Whatever your palate desires, you can find just about anything you love to eat. Dolce’s is located at 12317 West Maple Road.

You might say that spring is a great time to Visit Omaha. There is enough to keep you amused from the day you arrive until you have to say goodbye.

#visitomaha     @Omaha Storm Chasers     @lauritzengardens     @thedurhammuseum     #omahastormchasers     #bockfest     #onefestival     #onefestivalomaha     #sportywomen     #natureconnects     #chihulysanctuary     #jcocoomaha     @jcocoomaha     #dolceomaha     @Dolce     @Brushi European American Cuisine     @OperaOmaha     #operaomaha     #fredandpamelabuffettcancercenter     #sunshineartistsmagazine

Linda Milks avatarLinda Milks
Toasting Food, Wine & Travel
Enjoying All There Is Along The Journey

Traveling exposes us to other cultures which grows understanding, tolerance and acceptance. Connecting with people to learn about their activities, environment, culture, food and wine inspires Linda Milks. She loves to share her stories and experiences via freelance travel writing to capture the reader and rouse an interest in discovering new horizons. Sometimes it’s the hidden gems that bring Linda the most joy.

Linda currently serves as Vice-President of the board of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. Linda is the 2020 Press Trips Co-Chair, chaired the 2019 Conference Committee, and previously served in the areas of Volunteer Recognition and Professional Development. She is also a member of the Wine Review Council, a group that reviews local, national, and international wines.

Whether the story is very local to her wine region or about international locations with unique tidbits about that area’s local points of interest, having fun and enjoying new experiences is what Linda is all about. Follow Linda's travels and wine tastings on her website: toastingfoodwinetravel.com



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