During 2020, we saw people all over Omaha come together to celebrate the little things. Christmas lights in July, massive Halloween decor spreads, and a plethora of fun virtual events every month that kept our spirits up during one of the most difficult years we have ever seen.
We don’t know what 2021 will hold, but we do know that we plan to make a big deal out of every holiday—even the smallest, strangest days on the calendar. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our most anticipated kooky, weird and obscure holidays coming up in 2021, from National Goof Off Day to National No “L” Day! We’ve even included a few local ways you can celebrate. Have a great year!
January 31st – National Hot Chocolate Day
Each year on January 31, National Hot Chocolate Day warms up people across the country by celebrating the timeless cold-weather beverage.
How you should celebrate: Visit one of our favorite hot chocolate spots in Omaha, which includes local favorites like Spielbound Board Game Cafe, Archetype Coffee, Coneflower Creamery and 13th Street Coffee Company!
February 4th – National Thank a Mail Carrier Day
National Thank A Mail Carrier Day on February 4th reminds us that someone always makes sure our mail gets delivered six days a week, 52 weeks a year. After all, the USPS motto is “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
How you should celebrate: Take a moment out of your day to thank your neighborhood’s mail carrier! While you can thank them in person, you could also leave them a small gift to show your appreciation. Snacks, gift cards and kind notes are always welcome.
February 8th – National Iowa Day
Did you know that NP Dodge Real Estate actually got its start in Council Bluffs, IA? Brothers Grenville and Nathan Philips Dodge left Massachusetts in 1853 and 1854 and made their way to Douglas County followed by their parents and sister a few years later. The duo founded a land office in Council Bluffs in 1855, which would lay the groundwork for the NP Dodge Real Estate we know and love today! So while you’ll find the majority of our offices in Nebraska, we are just as Iowan as we are Nebraskan—which means we definitely have to celebrate National Iowa Day every year.
How you should celebrate: If you can, take the day to learn about Iowa’s storied history with your family today! The Historical Society of Pottawattamie County, The Western Historic Trails Center, and the Union Pacific Railroad Museum all have hundreds of online and in-person resources to help you learn all about Iowa and the beautiful city of Council Bluffs!
March 5th – National Day of Unplugging
Hosted on the first weekend in March every year, the National Day of Unplugging is an awareness campaign that promotes a 24-hour respite from technology. The holiday, which has been going strong for more than a decade, promotes human connection over digital engagement using DIY toolkits and motivational posters.
How you should celebrate: If you can, take a break from technology for a day! If you just want to participate loosely, just avoid the Internet for the day. If you want to go all out, try avoiding as much technology as possible. Board games, puzzles, books, crafts and outdoor activities are great ways to entertain the family without TV or computers for a day!
March 22nd – National Goof Off Day
We could all use an opportunity to let off a little steam! That’s where National Goof Off Day comes in, a holiday dedicated to having fun.
How you should celebrate: Go out of your way to have fun today! Set up a blanket fort in the living room; eat breakfast for dinner; go on a spontaneous scenic drive; do a silly art project; or stay up late for a movie night. No matter what you decide to do, your kids will love goofing off all day, creating a celebration they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
April 3rd – National Handmade Day
It’s just a rule of thumb: homemade is always better! That knowledge applies to anything from baked goods to home decor. Luckily, Omaha is home to some amazing artists, cooks, bakers and other makers that make everything from scratch!
How you should celebrate: Go out of your way to support local makers today! Here is a list of Omaha artists you can support online and be sure to visit Etsy to discover Omaha and Council Bluffs makers you probably have never heard of before.
April 5th – National Nebraska Day
We love living in Nebraska, so we would never pass up an opportunity to celebrate the beautiful Cornhusker State! April 5th is always National Nebraska Day, a day dedicated to honoring and exploring Nebraska’s history.
How you should celebrate: Omaha is home to some incredible museums where you can learn all about our interesting history! The Durham Museum, The El Museo Latino Museum and The Joslyn Art Museum are all great places to explore Nebraska history (both in-person and online!). If you’d rather stay at home and learn all about Omaha, check out the North Omaha History Podcast, which covers people, places and events in the historically African American, wealthy and pioneer Western community.
April 30th – National Arbor Day
Photo courtesy of Arbor Day Farm
Did you know that Arbor Day began in Nebraska? This tree-centric holiday was started by J. Sterling Morton, a Nebraska newspaper editor in Nebraska City, who had a strong enthusiasm for trees and advocated for the planting of more in the area. In 1872, Morton proposed a tree-planting holiday to be called “Arbor Day” to the State Board of Agriculture. It is estimated that on the first-ever Arbor Day, which occurred on April 10th, 1872, more than 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska.
How you should celebrate: Arbor Day is a pretty big deal in this part of the state, which means there are plenty of ways to celebrate! Head to the Arbor Day Farm for their annual festivities or to one of our amazing local nurseries to buy your own tree to plant.
May 3 – National Garden Meditation Day
Can you think of anything more relaxing than tending to plants and flowers? We definitely can’t! That’s why we love National Garden Meditation Day—a day dedicated to relaxing in a garden.
How you should celebrate: While you could definitely use this day as an opportunity to garden for hours on end, you could also go to a local garden that was actually built for meditation and self-reflection! Garden of the Zodiac Gallery is a peaceful garden hidden in Old Market. This garden is completely enclosed and features 22 bronze heads that were built to represent the signs of the zodiac and planets. Quiet and perfect for meditation, this hidden gem is the perfect destination on a holiday like this!
May 12th – National Limerick Day
Observed annually on May 12th, National Limerick Day celebrates the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author, and poet Edward Lear, who was known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry, prose, and limericks.
How you should celebrate: Challenge your family to talk in limericks all day! Here is a quick guide to crafting these funny poems that you can use for inspiration.
May 28th – National Road Trip Day
In 2019, Pilot Flying J, the largest travel center operator in North America, founded National Road Trip Day, the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, to officially kick off the unofficial first day of the summer travel season.
How you should celebrate: Hop in the car and go on an adventure! Here’s a list of our favorite scenic drives around Omaha for inspiration.
June 4th – National Doughnut Day
Photo courtesy of Square Donuts
America loves doughnuts so much that we have not one, but two separate National Doughnut Days, with one on June 4th and another on November 4th! This specific National Doughnut Day was created by The Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers to boost morale during WWI.
How you should celebrate: Eat doughnuts, of course! Omaha is home to several incredible doughnut shops like Bob’s Donuts, Donut Haven, Sunrize Donuts and Square Donuts that you can grab a box (or two!) from today.
June 18th – National Go Fishing Day
National Go Fishing Day on June 18th each year encourages us to drop a line in the nearest stream, pond, lake, or river and catch some fish.
How you should celebrate: There are plenty of places to go fishing in the Omaha area! If you’re looking for some recommendations, check out our complete guide to fishing in Omaha.
July 1st – National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
I scream, you scream, we’re all screaming for creative ice cream! July 1st marks National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day, which gives us the opportunity to expand our icy culinary horizons and wonder about flavors other than the classic chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
How you should celebrate: Head to local ice cream imagineers to try new, inventive flavors! Ted & Wally’s always has interesting flavors like sweet corn, lemon poppy seed, cucumber and more. Coneflower Creamery is also one of our favorites, creating flavors like pine nuts, German roasted nut, spiced pear sorbet, and many more. And don’t miss the eCreamery for personalized pints of ice cream and gelato.
July 15th – National Give Something Away Day
Whether you’re looking to be charitable today or have a bag of clothes you need to get rid of—National Give Something Away Day is a great opportunity to be generous!
How you should celebrate: Make a donation to a local charity. Here are some of the organizations our charitable foundation, Dodge Cares, loves to support all year long! You could also plan on giving presents to friends; donating furniture or clothes to a thrift store; or taking extra cans of food to a local food drive.
August 6th – National Water Balloon Day
Feeling hot? Luckily, today is National Water Balloon Day, a holiday created to help you cool off and have some fun on a warm summer day.
How you should celebrate: Pop, throw, splash or squish some water balloons! Fill up a few in a large bucket and take it to your backyard or the park to throw around with your family. We love these easy-to-fill, bulk water balloons as well as these biodegradable water balloons that will help you keep the planet happy!
August 19th National Aviation Day
In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed that August 19th, Orville Wright’s birthday, would forever be known as National Aviation Day!
How you should celebrate: Right outside of Omaha, you’ll find The Strategic Air & Command and Space Center, a government building and institution that was integral to WWII and is now a museum that you can explore and learn from today! Take this holiday to learn more about Omaha’s place in aviation history. The SAC museum has plenty of educational resources online and in-person.
August 30th – National Beach Day
Everyone loves a good day at the beach, right? Celebrate your affinity for the water on August 30, National Beach Day. Started in 2014, this holiday raises our awareness of the beauty of beaches while also calling attention to keeping them clean and safe.
How you should celebrate: Even though the Omaha area is landlocked, we are no stranger to sandy beaches. Visit our guide to beaches just a short drive from the center of the city and get your swimming and sunning on!
September 4th – National Wildlife Day
September 4th every year is National Wildlife Day, which encourages improved awareness of the species around us and in the broader world. This national holiday focuses on endangered species, preservation and conservation efforts all across the world.
How you should celebrate: Spend the day learning about Nebraska’s important wildlife. White-tailed deer, pronghorns, coyotes, bobcats, pocket gophers, sandhill cranes, bald eagles, and elk are just some of the incredible species of animals that call Nebraska home. You can learn all about local conservation efforts from The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, The Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park and Nebraska Wildlife Rehab right here in Omaha.
September 25th – National Comic Book Day
Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s National Comic Book Day! Every year on September 25th, people all across the country honor the art, artists and the stories of comic books by coming together to celebrate the day with events, fun sales and more.
How you should celebrate: Stop by one of Omaha’s amazing local comic book shops today! Krypton Comics, Dragon’s Lair Comics & Games, Legend Comics & Coffee, Ground Zero Hobby and Kainesville Kollectibles are just a few of our favorite places to shop for new and used comic books.
October 4th – National Taco Day
Let’s taco-bout National Taco Day! This savory day recognizes tortillas stuffed with fillings that are oh-so-delicious.
How you should celebrate: Omaha is home to some amazing Mexican restaurants serving authentic tacos and a wide array of other dishes. The Corner Kick, Jonesy’s Taco House, Taqueria Tijuana, The Hoppy Taco, Javi’s Tacos, Maria’s and Voodoo Tacos are just a taste of the wonderful Mexican food scene Omaha has to offer.
October 17th – National Pasta Day
If there was ever a national day we could get behind, it’s National Pasta Day! While we find noodles all over the world, pasta is the type of noodle found in traditional Italian cuisine. The first reference dates to 1154 in Sicily and was first attested to in English in 1874. Typically, it is made from an unleavened dough of durum wheat flour. The flour is mixed with water or eggs and formed into sheets or various shapes. It can then be served fresh or dried to be stored for later use.
How you should celebrate: Explore the world of pasta—locally, of course! Pasta Amore, Malara’s Italian Restaurant, Lombardo’s Bistro, Lo Sole Mio Ristorante, Dante, Spaghetti Works and Nicola’s Italian Wine & Fare all have unbelievably good pasta that will definitely hit the spot.
October 26th – National Pumpkin Day
Falling just before Halloween every year, it’s no surprise that October 26th is a day dedicated to all things pumpkin! While we start putting this gourd-geous vegetable in everything we can starting September 1st, it’s nice to have a holiday dedicated to eating and enjoying all different types of pumpkins.
How you should celebrate: Pick up a pumpkin at one of Omaha’s many pumpkin patches and spend the day scooping, carving and decorating them! You can even roast the seeds after you’re finished for a tasty and healthy snack.
November 1st – National Author’s Day
Book lovers rejoice, November 1st is National Author’s Day! This holiday is dedicated to celebrating our favorite authors who have spent countless hours researching, drafting, editing, revising and rewriting the stories we love and devour.
How you should celebrate: Take National Author’s Day as an opportunity to buy some brand new books! Head to one of our favorite local bookstores (in-store or online) and pick up a book from one of our favorite Nebraskan authors.
November 3rd – National Sandwich Day
The sandwich may just be the height of culinary creation. Not only are they easy to hold and eat, but they can come in so many different forms! Hoagies, subs, burgers, po’boys—the list is practically endless. While we don’t need an excuse to eat a great sandwich, National Sandwich Day encourages us to settle down and relax with a tasty ‘wich on November 3rd.
How you should celebrate: Pick up a yummy sandwich from one of Omaha’s amazing sandwich destinations! Here is our list of The Best Places to Get a Sandwich in the Omaha Area if you’re in need of recommendations.
November 24th – Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day
We all have remarkable talents that are unique to us, and there needs to be a time to celebrate those talents not just for the world, but for ourselves. Can you whistle through your nose? How about saying the alphabet backward? It doesn’t matter what your special talent is, Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day is your chance to shine!
How you should celebrate: Have your friends and/or family make a list of all their unique talents today. Then host an impromptu talent show, giving everyone a chance to show off and celebrate their talents for friends and family to watch!
December 8th – Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day
This time-traveling observance began in 2007 due to the uptick in science fiction in television, movies and books. This special day encourages us to travel back in time (figuratively) and observe what made parts of the past so special.
How you should celebrate: There are so many ways to pretend to be a time traveler! You could take it literally and dress like someone from the past and act confused by modern technology. You could watch old movies from the ‘40s and ‘50s and pretend you’re experiencing them in real-time. Or you could take the day to indulge in your favorite time travel-inspired media like Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, Outlander, The Magic Treehouse series, Back to the Future, and more!
December 25th – National No “L” Day
While we normally block out December 25th for Christmas, this year, we’ll be celebrating another important holiday: National No “L” Day! This punny day (which sounds like “noel” when you say it out loud) is dedicated to funny puns, knock-knock jokes and attempting to remove the letter “L” from your speech for a day!
How you should celebrate: Challenge your family to spend the entirety of Christmas Day without using the letter L in your speech, writing or typing. Good ‘uck!
Have a great year!
Which of these odd holidays are you planning on celebrating this year? Let us know in the comments below!