Holiday Planning in Omaha, NE – 2018

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Holiday Planning in Omaha, NE – 2018

This year, we are kicking off our three-part Holiday Series with tips on how to plan holiday-related office parties and corporate outings.

It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year! In the blink of an eye, the leaves will all be down and the Christmas lights will be up. Don’t let that stress you out, though. Let’s take a step back and start thinking about how we can get a head start on our holiday planning so that we can enjoy the all the excitement in the months ahead.

In our September issue, we talked about how entertaining clients is good for business because it allows relationships to grow. In the same vein, it’s important to do special things with and for the people you see at work every day. The holiday season is a perfect time to apply this wisdom; there are more activities going on in the community around this time, so it’s easier to find something fun to do.

You’ll be pleased to learn that all your classic fall activities are alive and well at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch, located just off of South 48th St. between Cornhusker and Highway 370. With everything there is to do, your company could have its very own festival! The farm has event barns of different sizes, each with their own unique personality. The venue rental comes with a catered meal, and since Bellevue Berry produces much of what it uses for their catering, your group can enjoy the freshest ingredients. There are also over 25 campfire sites for rent, which each come with firewood, seating, and s’mores sticks. Who doesn’t love a good ol’ bonfire party?

You don’t have to make a reservation or throw a big bash to enjoy the charms of Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch, though. Talk to your coworkers, pick a weekend that works best for everyone, and spend a day at this one-of-a-kind pumpkin patch. Your team can take a hayride through 20 acres of woods along the old papio creek bed or do some berry and vegetable picking—and don’t forget about the Great Pumpkin Roundup! With 20 acres of pumpkins and other fall crops, you’re sure to find something to take home and carve up, or use for decoration.

There is truly something for all age groups at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch, which allows people to bring their families along with them! The kids will enjoy the play area, which has slides, zip lines, climbing nets, and swings. There is also a bounce pillow, a kids train ride, and corn maze. In addition, Bellevue Berry has many great food stands featuring their famous BBQ and sweet treats. The Pirates Pub is open on the weekends serving adult beverages, turkey legs, and more.

With Halloween creeping up on us, you might start to hear talk around town about the Ranch of Terror. If you haven’t heard of it yet, well, it’s only Omaha’s best haunted attraction… and it takes place inside the eerie hollows of Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch. The Ranch of Terror includes a twisted walk through haunted houses and caves, a zombie jail, and a frightening hayrack ride through the woods. Open on weeknights through October 28, this hour and a half of spine-tingling horror will make event the toughest guy in the office shriek with fear.

Another potential destination for your corporate holiday party, one that’s a little less country and a little more classy, is The Club at Indian Creek. Offering scenic vistas and fairways, this unparalleled venue is setting a new standard in service, elegance, and amenities. The Club at Indian Creek combines the best of the great outdoors with the best of the great indoors. Having indoor accommodations will be ideal around Christmas time when Nebraska becomes a winter wonderland. From grand affairs of 400 guests to intimate gatherings for 20, The Club at Indian Creek might be just what you’re looking for as you plan for your holiday celebration.

Dan O’Brien
Acadian Grille

If a “grand affair” doesn’t resonate with the vibe at your business and you’re looking for something a little more casual, just take a quick trip to Louisiana for a bite to eat! We’ll let Dan O’Brien with Acadian Grille explain.

“Back in June, my cousin Matthew and I brought the colorful flavors of the south to Omaha with the opening of our new restaurant, Acadian Grille. Matthew has over 30 years of experience as a chef, spending part of that time in Louisiana studying the art of Cajun cooking. He is truly the mastermind behind our menu, which features a wide variety of authentic, made-from-scratch Cajun cuisine.

Since we’ve opened, many people have already made our restaurant their go-to place for drinks and appetizers after work. Our beer and wine menu is just as intentional as our food menu. We even serve the Abita beers, a staple brew in Louisiana! The Abita Brewing Company was founded in 1986 in the piney woods outside of New Orleans.

Not every business can afford renting out an entire venue for their holiday party, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do something special. It can be something as simple as going out to eat for lunch or dinner with your team. This would give you the opportunity to spend quality time outside of the office. Go around the table and say what you’re thankful for in observation of Thanksgiving, or exchange gifts in the spirit of Christmas. Everyone reading this is welcome at Acadian Grille this holiday season. We can also do some catering if you prefer to celebrate at your office.”

Dan brings up a good point. It can be hard to plan something outside of normal business hours; people have families of their own and other commitments. With that in mind, you might find that it makes more sense to take a little time out of the work day to put on a festive little party at your office.

After recently hosting a few events at the Strictly Business office, we’ve learned a thing or two about catering for a group of people. If your budget allows for it, Omaha has a lot of great local caterers who can take care of your team’s appetite. This is a good option if you’re coordinating a party for a larger company and you don’t have the means to cook all the food yourself. Potlucks are always an option, too, but if you’re not trying to deal with organizing a hundred crock pots, bowls, dishes, and Tupperware containers that all belong to different people, let’s explore the catering route a little further. Try to order food items everyone will enjoy, and always consider allergies and dietary restrictions. Also, keep in mind the time of day you’re planning on holding your office celebration. Will your party be in lieu of the lunch hour, or will it be after?

Michelle Kaiser-The Omaha Bakery

Michelle Kaiser
The Omaha Bakery

Regardless of if you’re looking to provide a hearty meal or just an assortment of yummy desserts, Michelle Kaiser with The Omaha Bakery has just what you need.

“Oh, I just love the holidays! What a special time to come together with the people in your life and celebrate. With all buzz going on this time of year, I think it’s easy to focus all our attention on the obligations we have with our families and friends, and then we forget all about celebrating with our work families. This is a shame because, for most of us, we spend more time with the people we work with than most of the other people in our lives. I hope every business in Omaha, no matter how big or small, does something special together this holiday season—and if that special something calls for food (as it should), then swing by The Omaha Bakery.

I’m excited to announce that our popular Pumpkin Harvest Soup is back! Every delicious bite of it will make you fall more in love. If you haven’t been bitten by the fall bug yet and you’re still in denial that summer is over, this soup will do the trick.

Our bakery also has the best homemade pies town, and I say that because at The Omaha Bakery, we know that it’s not homemade if the filling is from a can. My Grandma Hilda taught me that homemade meant fresh, natural foods, and a lot of work. I assure you, our pies will send your Thanksgiving feast over the top; and it’s never too early to place an order! As you can imagine, pies these good are in high demand this time of year.”

Another party-planning consideration is the decorations, along with practical items such as extra tables and chairs, table clothes, or place settings. We encourage you to get creative when selecting festive decor for your event. There are some easy DIY things you can do to save some money, but sometimes it makes since to purchase holiday decorations that you can reuse year after year. There are other items that should just be rented for one-use purposes, specifically things that there simply wouldn’t be enough room to store at your office.

When it comes to the essentials, Honeyman Rent-All has a large inventory of items for rent that will take care of every element of your party. These items include bar service, centerpieces, chafers, chairs/tables/dance floors, china and porcelain, event lighting, games, and more. With their large selection of linens, you can find tables clothes that match the colors of the holiday you’re celebrating around. They even have a karaoke machine! Just picture it: You and your colleagues jamming out to all the Christmas classics in a room decked with (Holly)iday cheer.

David Hastreiter
Christmas Décor by Festive Expressions

Don’t just go all out with decorations for the interior of your office; you’ve also got make sure your exterior doesn’t scream “bah humbug!” That would be unfortunate. Luckily, David Hastreiter with Christmas Décor by Festive Expressions can help you avoid such an oversight.

“With the holidays upon us, it’s time to put lights put up at your office and our team of professionals at Festive Expressions will do it all for you—display design, installation, maintenance, take-down, clean-up/storage—everything.

We will evaluate your outdoor space and create holiday lighting and decorating plans that fit well with the unique features of your building. There are many reasons to decorate your commercial property for the holidays. Trigger the holiday shopping mood, get noticed by highlighting your storefront, and it’s an opportunity to enhance company morale, just to name a few.

The decorating season is short, and our schedules tend to fill up by mid-November, so now is the time to give Festive Expressions a call if you haven’t already made plans for your holiday lighting.”

Before we wrap up, as a little teaser for the next feature in our holiday series, we have a few tips on the topic of gift giving to share with you before you dive into making your holiday shopping list. Specifically for employers, we encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to getting gifts for your staff. There is nothing wrong with bonus checks or a new coffee pot for the office, but what if you could give your employees the gift of a new life skill?

If you know someone who is creative and enjoys trying new things, consider gifting them a woodworking class this year! Woodcraft, a 38-year old Omaha-based company that sells woodworking equipment and supplies, offers fun, hands-on sessions where you don’t just talk about woodworking, you get to actually make something. Or, you could take a class yourself and then make a gift.

Woodworking is therapeutic, and there is truly nothing more satisfying than making something with your own hands. Carving, pen making, marquetry, scroll sawing—there are lots of possibilities. Woodworking isn’t just for guys, either. We are seeing more and more women take our woodworking class, offered at our shop seven days a week. So, give the gift of woodworking this holiday season! Sometimes, the best presents can’t be wrapped.

There you have it, folks! You heard the experts; it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll be celebrating the holidays accordingly with your business this year. We’ll pick up where we left off next month in part two of this Holiday Series. Until then, have a Happy Halloween!