Tag Archives: date night

Exploring Omaha on Valentine’s Day

February 7, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love and letting your spouse, your children, your friends—even your dog—know that you care.

But when it comes to Valentine’s Day celebrations, it can be a little difficult to share the wealth when you find yourself stuck in the stereotypical rut of chocolate, flowers, and the same dinner at your favorite restaurant every year.

Home to dozens of distinct neighborhoods, Omaha offers hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered, as well as classic landmarks that might be overlooked on Valentine’s Day.

Meghan Francis and Kerry Jones, founders of the Omaha-based blog Wise Owl + Sly Fox, brainstormed some unique Omaha Valentine’s Day activities.

“I guess we’ve always been old souls with old styles, and that’s one great thing about Omaha: There’s just so much history here,” says Francis.

Together, Francis and Jones came up with a Valentine’s Day “tour of Omaha.” Pick and choose from different activities to show loved ones a small portion of all the intimacy, history, and romance that Omaha has to offer.

Get your heart rate up in the morning with a walk or run with your loved one through the Field Club neighborhood. Located along an old railroad bend, the Field Club trail offers visitors a brief glimpse into a bygone era. Although you’ll have to bundle up, the sights of this secluded area include gorgeous ravines, snow-capped trees, and abandoned railroad tracks.

If your partner is a history buff, make a quick stop by the Gerald R. Ford Preservation Center near Hanscomb Park. An exhibition on Ford, the only president to have lived in Omaha, is open by appointment by calling the center’s main phone line at 402-595-1180. The exhibit is available for private viewing Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free of charge. The exhibit features photos of his birthplace, family memorabilia, and gifts given to Ford by world leaders and well-wishing locals.

For lunch, hop on over to Dundee, home to both casual and higher-end fare in an all-accessible setting. Stop by the French Bulldog for something on the trendier side or try Dundee Dell for classic comfort food from an Omaha staple. Both spaces offer comfortable opportunities to spend some time watching the eclectic crowd of Dundee.

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If you’re looking for an afternoon activity once the kids come home from school, Valentine’s Day crafts are an easy way to get the whole family involved. Francis and Jones suggest making homemade cards.

“We’re big fans of sending things through the mail. It’s just always a fun thing, and it’s something that we don’t do a lot in this day and age,” says Francis.

“Send them to your grandma, your single aunt, veterans at the VA hospital, whoever,” adds Jones.

For crafting supplies, head out to South-Central Omaha. David M. Mangelsen’s has been stocking Omaha’s crafting closets since 1961, and is an easy stop to find any Valentine’s Day-related arts and crafts supplies you could think of. A few hours coloring, gluing, and bedazzling might expose some hidden creativity among the family.

If you want to end your night with a more traditional Valentine’s Day celebration, spend the night in the Old Market, which is home to a host of restaurants that offer the quintessential romantic dinners by candlelight. Francis and Jones’ personal favorite is La Buvette, a French-style café and grocer.

For some after-dinner entertainment, look to the Omaha art scene. Many of the Old Market’s art galleries, including the Passageway Gallery and Anderson O’Brien Fine Art, are open until 9 p.m. on Fridays for some late-night shopping.

Although, after a whirlwind day around Omaha, you might want to hit the sack early.

A Date Night In

January 31, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Omaha Models: Bess Warming and Dan Lehmann

Hair and makeup: Kat Ferm, Creative Hair Design


Stylists: Shan Stavropoulos, Luvbird Boutique; 
Emma Headley, Scout Dry Goods & Trade

Special thanks to Back in the Day

 Luvbird Boutique
 2110 S 67th St., No. 120

 Scout Dry Goods & Trade 
5019 Underwood Ave.

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The invitation

“What are we doing for Valentine’s Day?” he asked.

She looked at him blankly, then laughed. “Pizza, TV, and sweatpants? You know, like last year?” It had been a long day. Her students were getting into basic algebra, and her kids were getting into everything.

“Tradition is important,” he admitted, “but what if we switched things up? Dinner, music, something nice?”

He was serious, she realized. “Well, okay, but the kids? We can’t ask your mom to watch them again. And how nice? I mean, we did just come up with a new budget.”

His smile was mysterious. Lofty. “Wear something fun. I’ve got this.”

The planning

It was Valentine’s Day, and she was staring into the depths of her closet. Fun? she thought. Well, she had a few new things from Luvbird Boutique that she hadn’t had a chance to wear yet. The plum fleece leggings would work with that crocheted tunic and the long camisole. The jeweled headband was a bit more whimsical than she was used to, but if she threw on that knotted pearl necklace from Scout Dry Goods & Trade along with their suede ankle boots

She nodded at herself in the mirror. Perfectly boho chic.

Her phone beeped. His text read: Meet me in the living room.

“What?” she whispered, but she couldn’t stop a grin. She didn’t exactly run downstairs.

He was sitting in front of the fireplace, surrounded by old vinyl and an antique, portable record player. With his denim jacket, flannel shirt, and black skinny jeans from Scout, he looked straight out of a 1960s ad. She was pleasantly surprised to see the leather cuff and black ankle boots. He had laughed when she’d given them to him. “Accessories are everything,” she’d replied.

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The music

He looked up and grinned. “I promised Mom we’d make her dinner next week. We’ll get the kids tomorrow morning.”

“Look who’s so proud of himself,” she said, kneeling next to him. She flipped over a record. “The Bee Gees?”

He took it from her and set it in the player. “FYI, every time you criticize my selection, you owe me a serenade before dinner.”

She raised her eyebrows. “I haven’t touched the guitar in years.”

“I haven’t played the piano since college. We’ll risk it.”

The love

Three 45s later, he asked, “You hungry?”

“What about those serenades? I seem to owe you six.”

He laughed. “You go change for dinner. I’ll cut it down to two.”

“Change? What is this, Downton Abbey?”

“I thought it could be fun to really pull out all the stops. I personally am going to wear a bow tie.” He smoothed an invisible mustache.

She cocked her head. “I see your bow tie, and I raise you high heels and a dress.”

That off-the-shoulder emerald dress from Luvbird would do, she thought as she raced back upstairs. With their blue teardrop necklace. And Scout had some great white lace tights the last time she went in. And those leather peep-toe pumps too.

She heard the soft strains of their tiny upright before she came back into the room. Hm. The shawl-neck sweater and dark-wash jeans from Scout fit him better than she remembered.

She tapped him on the shoulder. “Scoot over, college boy.”

He grinned and never stopped playing.