Santa Claus soon will be making his appearance at area shopping centers and malls — as early as this Saturday at a couple of malls. To keep track of St. Nick and holiday events, check the following schedule:
Santa Claus will lead a parade through Westroads Mall accompanied by carolers and Omaha Public Schools magnet students, arriving at the mall's Food Court at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Tickets for the event, which include breakfast by the Pancake Man and Hiland Dairy, activities provided by the Omaha Children's Museum and access to the “Mommy Corner,” are $5 per person and can be purchased at www.ocm.org. All proceeds will go to the Omaha Children's Museum, which is partnering with Westroads to offer a bubble show, take-home art projects and other activities. Tickets are limited and may not be available at the door. The “Mommy Corner” will feature makeovers and samples from retailers.
Santa will be available for photos Mondays through Saturdays, except Thanksgiving Day, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with breaks from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a break from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Dec. 22 and 23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with breaks from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and Dec. 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a break from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Santa Claus will arrive via holiday parade, accompanied by fairy-tale characters and the Papillion-La Vista South High Marching Band, on Nov. 27 at Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion.
The event begins at 6 p.m. with music from the Peppermint Elves, followed by a parade at 6:30 p.m., lighting ceremony and a fireworks show by Wild Willy's Fireworks. After the ceremony, visitors can mingle with Santa Claus in the shopping center's Main Street court area until 8 p.m.
Children can visit Santa in his workshop, located near Wheatfields Restaurant, through Christmas Eve on the following dates: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, noon to 6 p.m.; Dec. 6-8, noon to 6 p.m.; Dec. 11-15, noon to 6 p.m.; Dec: 16-20, noon to 7 p.m.; Dec. 21-23, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Dec. 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Photo packages are available for purchase on a flash drive.
Village Pointe shopping center welcomes Santa Claus and the holiday with a series of free events on Nov. 29 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with Santa arriving about 7 p.m.
At 6 p.m. is a sing-along family concert with the Peppermint Elves at Alegent Creighton Health Amphitheatre presented in part by Fat Brain Toys. The Hilton Garden Inn Omaha West will provide hot cider, cookies and jingle bells for children.
At 7 p.m., the Arlington High School marching band and holiday characters will lead a parade down Main Street, with Santa arriving by Cinderella carriage to light the holiday tree. After the lighting ceremony, visit Santa in the Marcus Village Pointe Cinema lobby. Visitors can enjoy free carriage rides around the center until 10 p.m.
The rest of the season, Santa Claus will be present at various events and stores: Santa will read from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 5 at Janie and Jack; on Dec. 12 at Premier Bank; and on Dec. 19 at DSW Shoes. He'll land on Scheels roof on Dec. 7, with activities inside the store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Dec. 14, join Santa and Mrs. Claus for breakfast and cupcake decorating at Bravo! Italiana Cucina restaurant from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Call 402-289-5500 for reservations. Also on Dec. 14, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., are storytime and cookies with Santa at Best Buy. And on Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. is “Merry Movie With Santa,” presented by UMB Bank, at Marcus Village Pointe Cinema. Admission is $3, cash only. Proceeds benefit Nebraska Children's Home.
The center also will offer free horse and carriage rides from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays from Nov. 30 through Dec. 21.
Santa Claus will arrive at 10 a.m. Saturday in Oak View Mall's lower level by the main entrance. The Omaha Fire Department will assist in his arrival. There will be a parade with Santa and the Kitty Lee Dance Studio inside the mall, free milk and cookies provided by Hiland Dairy, and storytime with Santa. Visitors can register to win gift cards and prizes. No purchase necessary.
Santa will be available for photos in the mall's lower level Younkers wing Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
Santa Claus will be at Regency Court's Center Court beginning Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Santa's schedule will then be: Mondays through Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.; and Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On Nov. 29, visitors also can catch a glimpse of Santa's reindeer from noon to 2 p.m. and hear the Omaha Symphony Christmas Chorus perform from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Snow will fall inside the mall that day (Regency has a new snow machine).
Thereafter it will snow on the hour in Center Court every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Santa will be at the Mall of the Bluffs in Council Bluffs starting Nov. 23. The mall will give away movie tickets, and various merchants will supply goodies from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. that morning. Children will also be able to enjoy milk and cookies.
Santa will be available seven days a week near Zales and Greenberg's Jewelers. Schedule to be determined.
Santa Claus will be at Rockbrook Village on Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children can chat with Santa while riding around Rockbrook in a horse-drawn carriage. Local school and church groups will entertain shoppers with seasonal music, and families can enjoy free hot chocolate as they wait their turn for Santa's carriage.
Santa Claus is expected to be available on weekends. Schedule not yet determined.
At 4 p.m. Nov. 30, Santa Claus will fly in on the Husker Helicopter. Holiday carolers from Opera Omaha will serenade visitors from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A tree-lighting ceremony, sponsored by Children's Hospital & Medical Center, will take place at 5:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., visitors can have their picture taken with Santa. Santa will also visit Nebraska Crossing on Dec. 7, 14 and 21. Check nexoutlets.com for details.
Aksarben Village invites visitors to a heated tent to see the lights turned on in Stinson Park at 7 p.m. Nov. 29.
From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, face painters, horse and carriage rides, cookies and cocoa and holiday songs by Chris Saub. Santa also will visit Dec. 8 and Dec. 20.
The schedule of holiday family events:
Dec. 6., 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Holiday music, face painting, ornament-making; Dec. 7., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Holiday market; Dec. 8., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Santa Claus visits from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 13, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Village Canvas & Cabernet activity, horse and carriage rides, strolling carolers, face painters, cookies and cocoa; Dec. 20. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse and carriage rides, strolling carolers, face painters, cookies and cocoa.
For more information, go to aksarbenvillage.com/lights-aksarben.