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It’s the Howl-O-Ween Safari at Wildlife Safari Park. Show off your outfit in the costume parade, get a candy bag, enjoy a hayrack ride, play games and then roast marshmallows around a campfire. There are also special visits from some of our animal ambassadors. Families with children ages 3–12 will be right at home, but all are welcome. Learn more and register today at

October 4 & 5 | 6-9 p.m. in the Wolf Woods.



August / September 2019 Feature Articles

Growing Up Online: Are We Addicted to Cellphones? Page 5

Omaha Zoo: Birthday Packages

5 Steps To Eco-Friendly Pet Care


Page 7

Page 15

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August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE

10 Tips to Make Back to School a Breeze!


’m always shocked to see back to school displays in stores on July 5th. Rather than totally denying the end of summer and rushing past the pencils on my way to sale swimsuits, I should really take that gentle reminder to prepare, both in buying supplies and mentally, so that the first day of school doesn’t catch me off guard like those backpack sales in July! The transition between summer and the start of school doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow these practical tips to help you and your littles ease into the routine and embrace back to school.

kids, and parents, feel comfortable. Plan a routine before the first day of school, and then slowly ease into it. For instance, if 8 pm is the target school year bedtime, start a 9 pm bedtime and gradually move to 8 pm. For the week before school, plan fun things (like a special breakfast, a fun outing, an early morning outdoor activity) that require kids to wake up early. That way, the week before school they won’t be crying at the 7 am wake-up call, but excited about the little early-morning surprise that is helping motivate them out of bed!

1. Embrace the routine! As much as the sporadic summer days can be fun, routine helps

2. Let kids pick ONE fun school supply Back to school shopping was fun a kid, but as a parent I can feel like

a broken record repeating “no” a thousand times. It can be tough to stick to a list or a budget when so many extras are marketed towards kids. Prep your kids beforehand and show them the list, but also let them choose one fun thing with a set a price limit, like five dollars. You can even get older kids involved in budgeting, and maybe they will see the logic in not buying glittery markers that cost twice as much.

solutions, but always remember to let them speak their piece before immediately fixing the problem. Just talking about the problem may be all they need.

4. Create clear expectations for screen time and homework time Perhaps you’ve become lax about your screen time rules over the summer, but now is the perfect time to re-address expectations about screens during the school year. Create the boundaries that work for your family. For example, every night the priorities might be homework, chores, piano practice, outdoor time and free reading, so by completing all of those activities during the week, they can earn screen time to be used on weekends. If you keep the expectations of screens on the weekends and give them enough other things to occupy their time, they just might stop asking to go play Fortnite.

8. Plan a fun outing for the first weekend after the first week of school Don’t let the end of summer mean the end of fun! Plan something exciting for the weekend after the first week of school. Maybe it’s swimming with friends or a special family picnic, but continuing summer activities tells your kids that the start of the school year doesn’t confine them to a desk inside all year.

7. Fuel them with healthy food Nutrition plays into behavior, so make sure they are getting plenty of protein and nutrients to help them focus. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so even if you are not in the 3. Don’t buy a whole new wardrobe for back to school habit of eating breakfast, try to have something healthy ready for It can be tempting to buy a ton of “back to school clothes.” Chances your child, even if it’s a sandwich in the car. If last May you were are, the clothes your kids have been wearing this summer are fine packing lunches less than nutritious, use the new year as a fresh for August and September. Maybe let your kids pick out a first start to re-establish healthy habits. Cut lunch meat in fun shapes day outfit and a new shoes and socks, and then just buy clothes using cookie cutters, put raisin “eyes” on celery and peanut butter seasonally as the need arises. If you buy three pairs of jeans in to make a caterpillar, or do what you can with presentation to get August, they may not even fit in February! your kids excited about a healthy lunch.

9. Meet your kid’s teacher Your kid’s teacher can have a huge impact on the tone of the school year for your kid. Get to know the teacher when you can, or at least send a friendly e-mail introducing yourself. If there is anything special the teacher needs to know, an e-mail can bring 5. Set up a study area at home attention to information that may be in a database somewhere but Create a physical space where your kids can do homework. Maybe not on the forefront of the teacher’s mind. Back to school night it’s a corner in a teenager’s room or a spot in the basement. Even can be hectic, so any introduction when the time is less structured if it’s the kitchen table, set out some visual cues that it’s now being will give you more time to chat with the teacher and get to know used as a homework space. Clear the surface, put out a can of him or her a little better. freshly sharpened pencils, maybe even give each kid a “study place mat” so they feel like they have a place just for them. For 10. Get involved at the school however you can older kids, let them be part of the creation of the space. Find an You may not be able to commit to volunteering weekly, but try old desk at a thrift store and paint it a fresh color together. Ask to find a way you can be part of the classroom community in a them what they think is helpful in a study area. The biggest thing way that works for you. Perhaps you can chaperone a field trip, or is to remove distractions like phones. Have your teens put phones bring in supplies for a special activity; maybe you have a job that in a phone home in the kitchen while they study in their room. coincides with the curriculum and you’d love to speak to the class. Regardless of your time constraints, think about the strengths you 6. Listen to your child have and share them. Let the teacher and school know that you The transition back to school can be exhausting for kids, and they want to be part of the classroom in whatever way you can! may not even realize it. If you notice uncommon crying, clinginess or meltdowns don’t be surprised and don’t lose heart. Help them Don’t let the start of the school year overwhelm you. Commit to the talk through how they are feeling and why. Even little things tips you can and do your best to embrace the routine. Hopefully can be frustrating, so validate the frustrations and let them feel when March rolls around you’ll be thankful for the routines you their emotions before moving on. Once they have had a chance have set in place this August! to share why they feel overwhelmed, then you can talk about August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE


Growing Up Online: Are We Addicted to Cellphones? By Carolyn Jabs

How much time did your kids spend with their cellphones yesterday? When was the last time you checked yours? If contemplating these questions makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Cellphones dominate our lives in part because they are designed to do precisely that according to Tristran Harris, a tech entrepreneur who worked for a while as Product Ethicist at Google. He now runs TimeWellSpent, a non-profit that points out how cellphones and their apps hijack our attention. The group urges tech designers to take the equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath and encourages consumers to make more mindful decisions about when, how and where to use their phones. Harris isn’t the only expert concerned about cellphone overuse. Some researchers have noted that brains scans of people who spend a lot of time online are disconcertingly similar to those of people with substance abuse problems. In a recent NPR report, Dr. Anna Lembke, an assistant professor in addiction medicine at Stanford, noted that Internet use can follow a classic pattern—“intermittent to recreational use, then progresses into daily use, and then progresses into consequential use.” Here are a few consequences you may recognize in yourself or your kids: Time – Devoting more and more time to cellphone activities, partly because the person looses track of time and partly because it takes longer to feel satisfied. Obsession — Thinking about being online even when the person is offline. Failure to cut back despite resolutions. Mood – Feeling anxious, restless, irritable or even angry when online activities are interrupted or when the person has to be offline. Social – Withdrawal from friends and real life social activities. The feeling that online relationships are more significant and genuine. Interference – Spending time online even when it interferes with other important activities including employment, schoolwork, chores, exercise, family time and sleep. Deception. Lying to oneself or others about how much time is spent with the phone. For most people, of course, cellphone use doesn’t rise to the level of addiction. Still, many parents have the uneasy feeling that phones take too big a chunk of family life. In contemporary culture, total abstinence isn’t realistic for adults or teens but there are ways to become more deliberate about when and how we use our phones. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Evaluate activities. Pay attention to what you and your kids are doing on your phones. Some activities—games, social media, news—are designed to be endless. Others—gambling, shopping, looking at porn—are associated with offline addictions. Identify activities that are productive and/or enjoyable. How much time should be allotted to each? Develop a budget that guides how you spend your online time. Use the timer on your phone--or ask other family members—to hold you accountable. 2. Create an Essential Home Screen. Harris suggests sorting apps into three categories: Tools help you complete essential tasks—calendar, camera, etc. Bottomless Bowls are apps that encourage you to binge. Aspirations are things you’d like to do. Create a home screen that includes ONLY indispensible tools and realistic aspirations. Hide other apps in folders where you won’t see seductive icons. Having a folder called News, Games or Social forces you to think, even briefly, about whether you really want to engage in that activity. August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE

3. Identify triggers. Addictive behavior often starts with uncomfortable feelings such as depression or anxiety. Talking about feelings helps children and adults recognize their emotions and make more conscious decisions about how to manage them. If a family member is upset because of something that happened at school or work, he or she may get temporary relief from playing a game or binge-watching YouTube. That’s not necessarily a problem—if the person eventually thinks through the basic problem and comes up with ideas about how to address it. Without that kind of emotional intelligence, kids and grownups may habitually turn to the phone simply to escape their feelings. 4. Customize notifications. The ding from a cellphone is like a slot machine. Most of the time, it’s meaningless but occasionally there’s a big payoff. Assign special ringtones to family members and other people so you won’t miss genuinely important messages. Then turn off notifications from everything else. As Harris points out that there will always be breaking news, urgent e-mails and fresh information on social media. You won’t know everything about everybody all the time, so put an end to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out.) Attention is valuable. Don’t squander it. 5. Create rich off-line lives. Seek out tech-free experiences that are rewarding for family members. Take every opportunity to be physically active, outdoors if possible. Ride bikes, take walks, play sports. Cultivate face to face social skills by giving children lots of opportunities to meet and interact with other people. Get to know neighbors. Join a faith community or other community organizations. Invite friends and extended family over for meals or game nights. Collect cellphones at the door. 6. Get an alarm clock. Using a cellphone as an alarm makes it the last thing you see before you fall asleep and the first thing you check in the morning. It may even interrupt sleep with notifications that matter much less than being rested. Claim the luxury of thinking your own thoughts as you drift off to sleep. Take a little time in the morning to wake up fully before engaging with whatever is on your phone. Finally, appreciate what’s good about cellphones. Some researchers, for example, have noted that use of drugs and alcohol among teens has declined over the same period that smartphone use increased. They speculate that interactive media may satisfy adolescent cravings for independence, risktaking and sensation seeking without the devastating consequences of other addictions. In other words, cellphones like so many other technologies, can make lives better or worse. It’s up to parents to pay attention to that uneasy feeling about phones, so we can gently take corrective actions that restore them to their proper place. Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing about families and technology for over twenty years. She is also the author of Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart, a book that describes a highly effective way to address conflict in families, schools and communities. Available at Amazon and @ Copyright, 2017, Carolyn Jabs. All rights reserved.


5 Steps To Eco-Friendly Pet Care


our animal companion is part of the family. You care about what your pet eats, and want what’s healthiest for everyone, including your pet. You also care about promoting a healthy environment and using products that are ecofriendly.

If you use a groomer, ask what products they use, and if their products are not natural, ask if they’d let you bring products you are more comfortable with.

There are many ways you can provide for your four-legged friends while making responsible choices for the environment, from where you find your pets to how you care for them.

Plenty of dog and cat toys use recycled products or renewable natural resources. For example, you can find many dog chews or tug toys made from hemp fiber or canvas - with minimal packaging. Look for toy and product labels that tell you what materials are used and whether the products are eco-friendly. As with all toys, ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your specific pet based on his or her play style.

1) Adopt your pet Adopting your pet from a local shelter helps animals in your community. One resource to find a new pet is, which also provides useful information about local shelters and opportunities to foster pets or volunteer. Having your cat or dog spayed or neutered helps to reduce the number of pets unable to find a home. 2) Feed your pet responsibly sourced and sustainably produced food Look for companies that use responsibly, sustainably sourced food that also provides high-quality nutrition for your animal companion. For example, Purina ensures that every ingredient in their pet food serves a nutritional purpose, and they know how and where each ingredient is grown or raised. The company is moving toward 100% zero waste for disposal by 2020 and is committed to making 100% of their packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025. Today, 80% of their packaging in the U.S. is recyclable. To learn more about the company’s commitment to the environment, visit sustainability.

5) Play with recycled pet toys

For cats, DIYers can find great satisfaction creating inventive cat jungle gyms using items like recycled wood pallets and carpet scraps. It’s a good feeling to provide your pets with products that will not only keep them safe but are good for the planet as well. When choosing to buy products for your cat or dog, ask or research the company on the internet to find out more about the recycled or reclaimed materials used, or how they were processed, to ensure they’re safe for your pet. Today there are many choices for pet owners looking for food, toys and other supplies made in an eco-friendly way. No matter what pets you share your life with, you can help the planet by choosing responsible, sustainable products that will provide them with a healthy, happy life.

3) Use renewable and biodegradable pet products No matter what pets you have in your home, you must deal with waste disposal. For cat owners, cat litter has seen a green revolution in recent years. For an earth-friendly option, you can choose Yesterday’s News Cat Litter, which is made from recycled newspaper. For dog owners, many brands of biodegradable bags are available for scooping up feces when you’re on daily walks. If you care for animals like guinea pigs or hamsters, you can find eco-friendly bedding made from products like biodegradable, compostable recycled paper fibers or wheat straw. Check the labels to ensure the materials are biodegradable. 4) Find earth-friendly grooming products Plenty of pet shampoos and other grooming products are made without fragrances. Dogs have a strong sense of smell, so added chemicals can easily bother them. Look for pH-balanced soaps and shampoos containing no alcohols, sulfates, parabens or other preservatives. These options will not only prevent irritation or allergic reactions in your dog but will make the bathing experience more pleasant for you as well. August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE



INTERTRIBAL POWWOW Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, 1-7:30 p.m. Gourd Dance: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Metropolitan Community College Fort Omaha Campus 5300 N. 30th St., Omaha, NE 68111 MASTER OF CEREMONIES Frank Bear Killer, Oglala Nation ARENA DIRECTOR Todd Stabler, Omaha HEAD MAN DANCER Izzy Tamayo, Sicangu Lakota HEAD LADY DANCER Summer Barea, Omaha

HOST NORTHERN DRUM Meskwaki Singers from Tama, Iowa HOST SOUTHERN DRUM Southern Warriors, Cheyenne Arapaho from El Reno, Oklahoma

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Contact or 531-MCC-2253 for more information.

Metropolitan Community College affirms a policy of equal education, employment opportunities and nondiscrimination in providing services to the public. To read our full policy statement, visit

REIGNING PRINCESS Virginia Snake-Bumann, Snake that moves the grass Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

28th Annual Fort Omaha Intertribal PowWow

One of Omaha’s most popular family-friendly, free and open to the public cultural events, the Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow, welcomes guests to Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus annually in September. The College’s Parade Ground has been the permanent site for this celebration of culture, diversity and inclusiveness for nearly 30 years.

The 28th annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, is filled with tradition, bringing together people from across the region to celebrate Native American cultures. The grounds are the same location Ponca Chief Standing Bear awaited trial in the 1800s that eventually granted habeas corpus to Native peoples, offering a historical backdrop to the event. Together with local tribe leaders, Metropolitan Community College began the powwow in 1992 to culminate a year-long celebration recognizing the nation’s Quincentennial. Over the 28-year history, Native American leaders continue to lead this celebration. College faculty, staff and students appreciate the opportunity to honor Native cultures and learn from local leaders. In 1992, roughly 100 people attended. Since then, participation has grown to more than 3,000 people.

Tribe of Nebraska, a student at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. A new princess will be crowned after 4:30 p.m. The powwow begins at 1 p.m. with the grand entry of dancers and closes at 7 p.m. Aside from dancing, there will be food and craft vendors. Ron and Alpha Goombi, of the Kiowa tribe, and vendors of authentic native silver jewelry, are the featured craft vendor for this year’s event. Visitors can also learn more about MCC and its variety of programs, such as Emergency Medical Technology, whose students will be on hand to provide any medical assistance at the powwow and discuss the College’s program. To learn more about the Powwow, visit or call 531-MCC-2253. The 28th annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow is made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.


The powwow will feature members of different tribes from around the region performing throughout the day. A comprehensive program available on the day of the event gives vivid detail to the importance of each dance style and powwow protocols.


Returning in 2019 is HawkQuest, a Colorado nonprofit organization, whose approach to education in classrooms and lecture halls is participatory, allowing the audience to experience their eagles, falcons and hawks. Besides close-up photos and encounters with the birds, an eagle will participate in the grand entry of powwow dancers. HawkQuest’s presence will contribute to the powwow’s message of respect for land and stewardship of all living things. Arvella Pomani and her family of Crow Creek heritage and from Rapid City, South Dakota, will demonstrate the traditional art of porcupine quilling in a study circle from 2-3 p.m.

DURHAMMUSEUM.ORG An exhibition created by the Australian Museum and toured internationally by Flying Fish Exhibits

Each year, a young woman is selected to serve as the Powwow Princess. This year’s princess is Virginia Snake-Bumann from the Winnebago August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE


Must Have Essentials For The New Mama There are so many things that new moms need to think about: keeping the nursery stocked with necessities, feeding times, sleep schedules, diaper changes… the list goes on and on! Luckily, there are many essentials that will help make a new mama’s parenting experience easier and even better. Below are just a few of the many items that new mommies will love. From a futuristic, hands-free nursing bra to a necklace that helps her celebrate motherhood, these must-haves will make life a bit easier for new moms. DockATot Multifunctional Baby Lounger

bblüv Üvi 4-in-1 Portable Pacifier & Nipple UV Sterilizer

Loved by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, this lounger will help keep baby safely contained and close by mom while at home or when on the go! Lightweight, portable, and made with hypoallergenic materials, DockATot answers the needs of multitasking parents who crave a snug and safe spot for their little one anytime, anywhere. Designed in Sweden and made in Europe, DockATot provides the ideal hygienic microclimate that mimics the womb and assists in preventing flat head syndrome. Highly portable Dockatot is available in many stylish designs and retails for $185+ at

While out and about with baby, there is always the risk that your little bundle of joy will drop their pacifier or bottle on the ground. Not to worry! Bblüv’s Üvi will clean it in no time. Üvi uses an efficient and safe technology that eliminates germs from pacifiers, baby bottles, bottle nipples and sippy spouts. Featuring a portable, compact design, the Üvi is a very hygienic, safe, and convenient tool that doesn’t use any chemicals. This quick sanitizer features a durable UV bulb and can be easily carried along in a diaper bag or purse. Retails for $25.99 at

Larken X All-In-One Nursing and Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Feltman Brothers Baby Chick Pima Romper

This is the nursing bra to beat all nursing bras! Created by two ingenious mompreneurs, the NEW Larken X nursing bra is easy to wear, with no irritating snaps, zips or tags, so that moms can breastfeed or pump, hands-free, any time and anywhere in total comfort. Caring for a newborn is hard enough: Larken makes one aspect of it so much easier. It is made with ultra-soft, breathable and moisture-wicking materials for a super comfy experience, with maximum stretch and recovery so it can adapt to moms’ changing bodies during pregnancy and postpartum. Retails for $48 at

Tweet tweet! This buttery soft, überadorable romper will help keep your little one warm and happy while sleeping and during breezy walks through the park! It is made with ultra durable Pima cotton that will hold up through many washings and wearings. This cute romper has a panel bodice featuring the most lovable and detailed chick embroidery. Baby will be so snug and content in this charming romper! It is available in sizes newborn to 9M and retails for $61.50 at

Isabelle Grace Jewelry Mama XO Necklace Celebrate motherhood and all of the many wonderful times you will have together with your beautiful baby. To the world you are a mother, but to your little one you are the world. Capture the spirit of that feeling with this special necklace. You can choose either a sterling silver heart engraved with mama and a bronze star “xoxo” charm or a bronze heart with a silver star “xoxo” charm. Retails for $58.00 at https://www. Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor Camera Keeping an eye on your little tot while they sleep in their nursery and while you are in other rooms of the house is a must. The Nanit Plus smart baby monitor is truly ahead of its time and features an HD 960p overhead video, best-inclass night vision, two-way audio so you can sing to baby through your app, and smart sensors that keep you updated with real-time sound and motion notifications. It includes one year of Nanit Insights sleep tracking and coaching. You can choose a wall mount or a floor stand, which both offer an unparalleled bird’s-eye view and safe cable management. Retails for $299 at 4moms mamaRoo®4 Infant Seat This seat will really come in handy when you need a safe and comfy spot to place baby and keep fussiness at bay so you can complete tasks around the house. The 4moms® mamaRoo®4 infant seat bounces up and down and sways from side to side, just like parents do when comforting their babies. It features five unique motions and five speed options for a total of 25 different combinations. You can soothe baby with one of the four built-in sounds, or connect any MP3 device. mamaRoo4 offers full recline August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE

to allow baby to lie back and relax or sit up and play. Retails for $249.99 at Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier While on the go, new moms will definitely want a durable and reliable baby carrier so they can safely hold baby while staying hands-free. This all-in-one, newborn ready baby carrier has all the carry positions plus the ultimate in ventilation to keep you both cooler (perfect for sunny strolls on hot days)! Adjustable from newborn to toddler, it features breathable, light-weight mesh, and offers an ergonomic, forwardfacing option. It even has lumbar support for extra back comfort! Retails for $180 at bblüv Ültra Complete Diaper Bag The Ültra Complete Diaper Bag is the only diaper bag you will ever need for all your adventures! It features 5 practical accessories and has lots of pockets and sections, including a built-in wet bag to help you organize your things. Perfect for both mom and dad, it has a spacious and easy-to-clean interior with a removable separator. Also has an easy-to-access side wipes compartment, a padded strap and universal connector that fits most strollers, a pacifier pouch, an insulated food bag, and an extra large size changing pad complete with pockets. Retails for $79.99 at

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or you’re looking for the perfect baby shower gift for a special mama-to-be in your life, all of the above essentials will help make life with a baby easier and even better.


Omaha Zoo: Birthday Packages

NEW! Choose Your Own Adventure Package Available June 1 - Labor Day. Dip your hands in the shallow waters of Stingray Beach with cownose rays or experience the magical charm and nostalgia of Sue’s Wildlife Carousel. When you’re done with your excursion, venture over to Alaskan Adventure and play in the water with life-sized bronze sculptures of orcas, puffins, a humpback whale and more. *The Carousel Party Area is included in rental for cake cutting and gift opening. Option 1: $400 (2 hours) • 5:30 - 6 p.m. at Stingray Beach or Sue’s Wildlife Carousel • 6 - 7 p.m. at Alaskan Adventure • 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Glacier Bay Landing Option 2: $350 (2 hours) • 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Glacier Bay Landing • 6 - 7:30 p.m. at Alaskan Adventure Option 3: $300 (1.5 hours) • 6 - 7:30 p.m. at Alaskan Adventure and Glacier Bay Landing Close Encounters Package Available year-round. Guests will be sure to enjoy an up-close encounter with one of the Zoo’s very own residents. We provide all of your basic party needs plus an animal visit! Cost is $300 for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium members and $325 for non-member. Cost covers 30 people. Each additional child or adult is $10.

• $19.95 each - 16-inch single-topping pizza Drink Add-ons • $2.25 each - Canned soda • $3.50 each - Bottled water Attraction Add-ons • $2 each - Stingray Beach, Sue’s Wildlife Carousel • $2 each - One-way train ride, one-way Skyfari ride, round-trip tram ride • $6 each - Round-trip train ride, round-trip Skyfari ride • $13 each - Wagon rental • $21.95 each - All-day rides pass Making a Reservation • A minimum of 3 weeks notice is required. • To book your party, please call (402) 738-2074. What You Need To Know • Birthday parties can be scheduled up to six months in advance. • A non-refundable $50 deposit is due when the party is booked. • The signed contract and remaining payment are due two weeks after making your reservation. The minimum base payment of $300 for members or $325 for non-members and contract are due no later than three weeks prior to the date of the party to keep your reservation. • The MAXIMUM capacity for a birthday party is 60 (children and adults).

Times Offered • 10 - 11:30 a.m. • 1 - 2:30 p.m. • 3:30 - 5 p.m. Party Features • Admission tickets • 1 1/2 hour room rental • Dedicated party host • Fun craft and animal tattoos (washable) • Animal-themed activity • Animal visit • $10 in Doorly Dollars for the birthday child • Ice cream cup and juice box • Plates, silverware and napkins • Attendees of the private party receive full admission to the Zoo Party Add-ons • $50 - 30 additional minutes in the party room Food Add-ons • $3.50 each - Box of popcorn • $30 - 1/4 animal-themed sheet cake • $40 - 1/2 animal-themed sheet cake August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE


WAY BACK WHEN! Activities for Grandparent’s Day


randparents are our heritage and are essential members of our families and communities. That is why a special day, National Grandparent’s Day, is set aside every year to honor them. Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day (in September). Grandparents Day was declared a holiday in the USA by the Congress in 1978. President Jimmy Carter signed the congressional proclamation. The idea of Grandparents Day began in 1970, when Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade (from West Virginia) started a campaign to designate a special day to celebrate grandparents. Children are naturally curious about themselves and often ask questions about their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods. Were they the same or different than us? It’s sometime hard for a child to envision a grandparent as a kid, but stories about life “way back when” help the child to connect to the family. You can help a child understand their own unique background or heritage by bonding and doing these activities together. • On a World or United States map, place a sticker on each town or country where your ancestors lived. Rent or check out a video (from the library) to view your ancestor’s homeland. • Create a family tree using photographs. This is a great art project. Help children look for similar physical characteristics between the generations. • Share your favorite childhood foods. Parents can prepare a recipe that has been a favorite of theirs when they were young. A grandparent (who is local) can make a favorite recipe as well. Create a family cookbook together. • Bring out the box of pictures and spend a day looking at ancestors. Grandparents can find photos when they were young. Help children identify older people in the photographs and explain their relationship to the family. • Teach the children a game that was popular “way back when”. • Older children might enjoy learning their ancestral language. Start out with a few common words. There are books and tapes available at most public libraries or bookstores that can teach the basics of other languages. • Bring out cultural memorabilia, such as dolls, toys,

plates, etc. for the children to view. Try making a cultural craft from your country. Below are a few activities to do together to enhance family bonding and for precious gifts for the grandparents: Family Interview: This activity will help the children get to know their grandparents (or an older adult at home). Today with email or the telephone, this interview activity can be done with grandparents whether local or far away. You’ll need: • paper • pen • tape recorder (optional) Make a list of questions for children to ask. Here are some suggestions: When you were young, what toys or games did you play with? When you were a child, did you have any pets? What did the pets look like? When you were young, who were the most important people in your life? When you were a child, where did you live? With whom did you live? What is your favorite story? Do you collect anything? What would you like to learn how to do? Do you play an instrument? Who’s your best friend? Did you go anywhere special for a vacation? What do you like to do when you’re not working? (at home or at the office) Parents and children could preserve family history by recording this interview on tape (cassette or video). My Family Collage You’ll need: Photos or photocopies Glue or glue stick Colored construction paper Marker

August / September 2019 FamilyFunInOmaha DIGITAL ISSUE

Bring out the box of photos again, and let the children make a photo collage on poster board on even cover a box with colored paper and make a photo block. If you don’t have duplicate pictures, think about making color photocopies for the kids to use. Shapes of colored construction paper make great frames and backing for the pictures. Label the project by the child’s name, like Tara’s Family. Make sure the child recognizes each person in the photos. Use old photos from the past and incorporate newer ones as well. A great genealogy lesson! Another variation is to cover a coffee can with colorful construction paper. Now, glue on your favorite family photos. Fill the can with baked cookies or candy and present this gift to the grandparents. My Family Cookbook Create a special, very personal cookbook with your child that will bring back fond memories every time you use it. You’ll need: • paper • construction paper • crayons or markers • camera and film (optional) • stapler Copy or type your favorite family recipes onto paper. Cut and glue this onto construction paper. Invite your child to illustrate each recipe on the back of the sheet. As you make these recipes together, take pictures of the dishes before you serve them, of the people enjoying them, or of your child as chef. Place these on the corresponding pages inside your cookbook. Staple the pages together with construction paper on top. Help your child write “My Family Cookbook” your names, and the date. Encourage your child to illustrate the cover in any way he/she wishes. For holidays or special occasions (like Grandparent’s Day), make several copies of this cookbook to give to family members and friends. Family Portraits You’ll need: White paper plates (not the foam or plastic kind) Crayons and markers


Michelle Alvarado Rivera

Continued: Activities For Grandparents

Young children love to draw pictures and the use of paper plates are always fun. Have the children look at themselves in a mirror and tell them to create their face on the paper plate with a crayon or marker. Enhance the drawing by gluing on collage materials. This is a really simple project but so much fun. Continue to make more plates to resemble other members of the family.

Glue (a hot glue gun works best) Adult supervision needed Photo for framing On your walk, collect two bunches of twigs. The first bunch (about 6 to 8 twigs) should be about 2-inches longer than your photo. The other bunch should be about 2-inches wider than your photo. Arrange the twigs so that they surround the picture and extend outward about an inch in each direction. Tie the twigs at each corner using twine, making an “X” pattern. Glue the picture onto the back of your twig frame. Tie a small loop of string to the top bunch of twigs to hang the finished portrait.

A Photo Frame From Nature

Making a Map

While taking a walk together, gather these materials to make a simple but rustic picture frame.

Draw a map showing how to get from your house to your grandparents’ house. If you’re lucky to have grandparents that live close by, you can draw an easy map on a sheet of construction paper. Include landmarks between the two houses. If grandparents live far away, change your style of

Collage materials: yarn, fabric, buttons, googly eyes and much more.

You’ll need: Twigs String, twine or yarn

drawing to a map of the states. Color the city with crayons and markers. Plastic toy cars can be used to drive along the roads on your map. My Grandmother’s Trunk (traditional game) This is an old game that’s fun to play with the family, and especially when grandparents are visiting. Have the family sit together, possibly around the dining table and start with this phrase. “My grandmother went on a trip, and in her trunk she packed a green apple.” Have the player on the right repeat this phrase and add another object. “My grandmother went on a trip, and in her trunk she packed a green apple and a _____.” Use a color and an item. See how long the chain of items can be remembered and repeated. Tania Cowling is a book author, former teacher and mother/grandmother. She lives in Sanford, FL.

Stuff Moms LOVE The Octopus Watch The Octopus Watch Motion Edition, by Joy Family Tech, is the first icon-based watch that empowers kids by teaching good habits and the concept of time, while also encouraging them to stay active with its new fitness tracker. This icon-based timepiece vibrates and the screen lights up to remind kids to do preprogrammed activities, like brush their teeth, or notify them of upcoming events. The Companion is a night light, wake up light and a charging station. The night light’s duration and wake up alarm are customizable and can be set up via the free Octopus app. The Octopus Watch retails for $69.99. Poppy Hand Crafted Popcorn

We believe Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn is the best popcorn you will ever eat. We believe in high quality ingredients. We believe in only non-GMO Corn . We believe in spending way too much time thinking up flavor combinations and making way too many batches of popcorn to get those recipes exactly right. We believe in savory. And sweet. We believe it’s never too small a detail to wonder if it’s too much chocolate or not enough chocolate and, when in doubt, we should probably add more chocolate. We believe in customer service. And if something goes wrong we believe in how-can-wemake-it-right customer service. We believe in kindness and love and lots of laughter. And we believe in hustling every day to make

the best popcorn you will ever eat. For more information, visit Etsy Store: Boho Bara Mozaiki Designer and owner, Barbara Stopar, emphasizes natural materials: semi-precious stones, sea glass, wooden beads, glass beads, seashells, corals, bronze and stainless silver metal symbolic charms and animal friendly faux suede cords. Free shipping worldwide. Pictured: Green Jasper Bracelet- Olive green jasper bracelet stack made of three bracelets (one of them is a double bracelet) olive green jasper gemstone round beads, olive green wooden round beads, stainless silver metal tree of life charm, bird bead, ornamental spacer beads, arrow charm, chain, lobster claw and round magnetic clasp, and animal friendly light gray faux suede cord. You can wear these bracelets separately, or all three together. They are easy to put on with the magnet closure. For more information, visit Funatic Socks Funny socks, political socks, collegiate socks, dogs & cats, naughty socks & more! Find Funatic online and at independent stores nationwide! Pictured: Nebraska Cornhuskers socks: Husker Pride! Show your love for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers! • Primus Campus – Officially Licensed Collegiate Product • Mid-calf Crew Sock • Unisex, One Size Fits Most: Men 6 – 11 & Women 7.5 – 12 • Imported. Made of 70% Cotton, 28% Polyester, 2% Elastic. $19.

Enjoy a birthday party package at the Zoo. Let the Zoo provide the cake, entertainment and clean-up with one of four birthday party packages. From touching stingrays or playing in the Alaskan Adventure Splash Park, to having another close encounter with one of the Zoo’s very own residents, it’s an experience to remember. For more details, visit Call 402.738.2074 or email to book your party.

Profile for Family Fun in Omaha

2019 August-September - Family Fun in Omaha  

Our Back to School Guide, with Birthday Parties at the Omaha Zoo!

2019 August-September - Family Fun in Omaha  

Our Back to School Guide, with Birthday Parties at the Omaha Zoo!