The holiday season can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year and each town has their own way of celebrating. Lincoln is no exception, and offers many fun winter activities to help you get into the festive spirit. Here are just a few of the many popular activities that are perfect for a student budget.
Railyard Ice Rink: If you’re looking for a more physically engaging activity during the cold weather, the Railyard Ice Rink may be right for you. Located in the Haymarket district, this seasonal outdoor ice rink is a Lincoln favorite. Admission is free and skate rentals are $9.00 for those aged 12 and up. The Public Market and other Railyard businesses also offer hot drinks, snacks and sit down meals near the ice rink. Hours for the Railyard Ice Rink can be found at www.canopyst.com/railyard/ice-rink
Neighborhood Lights: Sometimes, the simple things can be the best things. Jesse Tasche, a senior English language arts education major, recommends going from Sheridan Blvd to downtown Lincoln. “It’s amazing to just take a quiet evening and cruise the street,” Tasche said.
The streets always have houses that are strung up with lights that create a very festive atmosphere. A relaxing drive or a walk through these neighborhoods are likely to get you into the Christmas spirit.
Nativity Model: Another activity suggested by Jesse Tasche is visiting the Cristo Rey Parish on J and Randolph streets. Each year, a large and extremely detailed model of the nativity setup is constructed over the course of a week. At over 28 feet long, it displays the birth of Jesus and other scenes of His life. Admission is free, but donations are collected to help those in need in Kenya. Last years donations went towards the Hope and Faith Home for Special Children, an orphanage for children in Kenya who are abandoned and handicapped. This model of the nativity is likely something you will never forget.
Starry Nights Christmas Tree Festival: Put on by Lincoln’s People’s City Mission, the Starry Nights Christmas Tree Festival features 26 unique, designer-decorated Christmas trees that can be bid on, as well as wreaths and homemade treats that can be purchased. Singers and dancers provide entertainment along with several “creation stations” where you can make ornaments and gingerbread trees. Elizabeth Bearden, a senior secondary English education major, highly recommends checking this event out. “It was tons of fun,” Bearden said. “I’m going to go again this year.” This year, the event will take place during the last weekend of November and tickets are available at the door for $5.00 each. The times for each day can be found at www.pinnaclebankarena.com/events/detail/starry-nights-christmas-tree-festival-4
A Christmas Carol: Nebraska Wesleyan University has a tradition of performing “A Christmas Carol” based on Charles Dickens’s novel of the same name each December. The classic Christmas tale that tells the story of the cold-hearted miser, Scrooge, as he’s visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. The production makes for a perfect evening filled with carols and good cheer. Tickets are $7.50 for students and seniors and $10.00 for adults. Dates and times can be found at www.nebrwesleyan.edu/theatre-tickets/current-season/christmas-carol
Amanda McCarter is a junior studying biomedical science.