?: joe shearer / the daily nonpareil

2019 just started and our calendar is packed! That’s how we roll in Greater Omaha – never at a loss for new: new venues, new developments, new outings and experiences. The New Year is not going to disappoint.

Here now – in somewhat chronological order – 19 things we’re looking forward to in 2019.

1. We Don’t Coast. We WWE.

CHI Health Center Omaha will be crackling with WWE energy on Jan. 20, as a (body) slammin’ lineup of  WWE RAW superstars take the ring, including AJ Styles vs. WWE Champion Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship Match.

2. “Heartwood Preserve” Rising

Construction will intensify, in 2019, on Heartwood Preserve (previously known as West Farm), a sprawling 500-acre, 15-year project in west Omaha that’ll bring it all together: retail and office space (including a 450,000 sq. ft. campus for Berkshire Hathaway’s Applied Underwriters Inc.), housing and a hotel + public trails and parks, an amphitheater, lake and village square. Whew…

3. Quick. Quack.

Mark it down – Jan. 29, 2019. Busloads of spectators from Omaha, Lincoln and elsewhere will be streaming in to Avoca, Nebraska, (population 246) for the Avoca Quack-Off, a live duck racing spectacle that raises money for the volunteer fire department. Need some new firefighting equipment? Put it on their bill.

?: ryan soderlin / omaha world-herald

4. What’s New at the Zoo?

Our world-renowned Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is in a constant state of evolution. Opening in 2019: Asian Highlands phase II and a new Carousel Plaza with a playground, concession stand and picnic areas.

5. Give It Up (For Omaha Gives!)

No doubt our community is going to flex its philanthropic muscle on May 22, 2019 – the date of the 7th annual Omaha Gives! The 24-hour fundraising frenzy generated more than $7.4 million for 970 nonprofit organizations in 2018. We don’t coast when it comes to our spirit of giving – and we prove it year-after-year.


?: chip duden

6. A Vibrant Musical Mix at Stir

Prepare the lawn. Stir Concert Cove is hosting some high-powered musical acts this summer: Chicago (May 17), Dwight Yoakam (May 23), and Train + Goo Goo Dolls (June 25). (If you’ve never seen Train lead singer Pat Monahan sign a beach ball or take a selfie with a fan’s cellphone while simultaneously singing “If It’s Love,” you should…)

7. An Idea, a Celebration and a Dream.

Homegrown and opening in 2019, The Jewell in the burgeoning Capital District promises an unprecedented music and dining experience; a home for local, emerging artists and national acts that is designed to be truly one-of-a-kind.

8. Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog…

Three Dog Night is just one of the headline acts coming to Sarpy County’s steadfast SumTur Amphitheater in 2019. The veteran sextet will be performing “Joy to the World” and “Old Fashioned Love Song” al fresco on June 27. Be sure to bring a good friend of mine… um… yours.

?: eric francis

9. 24 Hours of Impact

Transform one hour into impact – any way you see fit. We’re looking forward to seeing how much collective good we can do during 24 Hours of Impact 2019. 2019 date TBD.

10. Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton.

Broadway phenomenon Hamilton is coming to Omaha in September 2019 – and we have no doubt the production is going to blow us all away.


11. What is a Madonnari?

If you didn’t get to check out Midtown Crossing’s first-of-its-kind Chalk Art Festival – you have a second shot. They’re bringing it back in Sept. 2019, a chance for us to observe and admire as local artists and Madonnaris (professional chalk artists) transform sections of pavement into pastel chalk masterpieces.

12. Live It Up – Close to Work.

Millennials want walkability – it’s is one of their key “satisfaction indicators.” Developers are delivering in 2019 with new housing options to suit, including Dundee townhomes and 375 apartments on the Conagra campus.

13. “The Coolest Movie Theater in the World.”

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, with its tri-part passion: movies, food and beer, opens in Midtown Crossing in 2019. Named the “Coolest Movie Theater in the World” by Wired, Alamo Drafthouse offers in-seat dining and a diverse range of flicks.

14-17. Fresh Dining Metro-wide

Foodies, prepare to engage. We’re eagerly anticipating the opening of several new restaurants in 2019, including:

?: brad williams

18. Joslyn Art Museum on the Move

We love our pink marble masterpiece, Joslyn Art Museum; and, as this regional gem moves forward with recently announced expansion plans, we can expect both exciting architectural updates and first-rate exhibits in the year ahead – including the much-anticipated “Americans,” featuring works by 60 African American artists.

19. Revitalize It.

Expect big progress in 2019 on several revitalization projects including the beginning of the downtown riverfront revitalization project and River’s Edge in Council Bluffs. A key component is the boost of most of the Gene Leahy Mall to street level. (Don’t worry – the iconic slides are staying and a third is being added.) In the end, the $290 million project will create a park that flows all the way to the Missouri River, transforming the entire area into an attractive destination.

It’s going to be a good year. Experience, enjoy, sing out loud, take lots of pictures – and remember, no coasting allowed!

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