It was a cool evening, no wind, rain or heat. Jazz music playing in the background, while chilling at a beautiful park around a friendly, diverse community. My first night at Jazz on the Green, for people like me who are new to Omaha, we look for comforting venues and forms of entertainment to relieve our stage of newcomers status. Midtown Crossing holds community events that will appeal to just about anyone. If you are new to Omaha, have yet to attend an event or just flat out love Midtown Crossing already, listen in as we sit down with a member of Midtown Crossing who goes in a little more depth to it’s successful events and what they have been able to do in just 5 short years.
Will you tell us who you are, your role at Midtown Crossing and how long have you been there?
My name is Suzanne Diefenbaugh, I am the graphic designer for Midtown Crossing and I have been with Midtown Crossing for 5 years – since the grand opening in 2010.
Can you elaborate on a few events that are going on currently?
Absolutely, summer is our busiest time of year for events – of course. Some of our staple summer events are listed below:
Yoga Rocks in the Park
This is a free weekly yoga class held in Turner Park every Sunday, usually starting in May and lasting about 6 to 8 weeks. The community is invited to come do yoga in the park while a live band plays music, vendors set up booths, who sell yoga related gear. Kids are welcome to attend, either doing yoga as well or going to Camp Yoga Rocks while their parents do yoga.
Thursday in the Park
This is our live music series that spans the whole summer starting in June. It starts with our Summer Kickoff Concert series followed by Playing with Fire, Jazz on the Green and coming up in less than 2 weeks – the End of Summer Concert Series. The concerts are held every Thursday in Turner Park. Our retailers / restaurants set up booths, sell delicious drinks and food for concert goers to enjoy. Attendees are also allowed to bring in their own food and refreshments (just no hard alcohol).
Big O Bocce
We host bocce ball leagues every Tuesday in Turner Park. There is a spring and summer session, we are currently mid-way through the summer session.
Monday Night at the Movies
This is our weekly outdoor movie series that begins in June, usually running for about 9 weeks. We just wrapped up our 2015 series. Each Monday at Turner Park we inflate a giant screen, in which we invite the community to head over and watch a movie for free in the park. Bring a blanket, some snacks, sit back and enjoy. The movies are always PG-13 but vary in genre each week.
Wednesday Night Warmup/Cool Down
Every Wednesday at Turner Park Prairie Life hosts a free workout and happy hour. The community is invited to come for a free workout (the type of workout varies each week – could be anything from pound to boot camp to MixxedFit) followed by joining the instructor afterwards for drinks at one of the restaurants in Midtown Crossing. This started in June and will go through September.
Now, are those events consistent throughout the summer or do they transition into different events as the year goes along?
All of our events are seasonal. The above events are held in the summer and we transition into different events for the winter. We host a Holiday Light Show during the Holidays and we are still working on some different events to be announced for the 2015 holiday season.
What event seems to be the most popular among the people throughout the year? Why do you think that is?
All of our summer events have gained a lot of momentum and seem to be big hits with the community. Our Thursdays in the Park concert draw the biggest crowds – typically anywhere from 6 to 8 thousand people. Who can go wrong with awesome live music in a beautiful setting on a great summer evening?
If I were to walk up to a random person on the street, what is something the average person wouldn’t know about Midtown Crossing?
I think the most unique thing about Midtown Crossing would be our tenants and their stories. Most people don’t know how these tenants came to be at Midtown Crossing or why – or the story behind their concept. The diverse group we have here is really interesting and getting to know these tenants and their stories has been one of my favorite things about working here.
Pick a Midtown Crossing event and tell us why you would choose that over anything else.
I have two little boys so the movies are always a big hit as are the concerts. It’s a free and easy form of entertainment, with a huge park as our backdrop they can run off energy while I sit back and relax.
What are some of the businesses that seem to thrive while events are going on and can you tell us about what kind of businesses are in Midtown Crossing?
There is no doubt our restaurants do very well during concerts, many of them set up booths and sell food during the events, as well as fill up their patios – but really every business here benefits from the events, it’s one of the mains reasons we host events and one of the main criteria as to the types of events we host. Our tenant mix ranges from restaurants (fine dining to casual – Cantina Laredo, Black Oak Grill, Brix), boutiques (Atomic Bombshells, The Afternoon), service retail such as Definitive Vision and Fashion Cleaners, furniture (Hutch), entertainment venues (Grane, Marcus Midtown Cinema) and more. For a full list of our tenants you can visit our website at www.midtowncrossing.com.
I would say one thing that is under appreciated is the patio scene you get when dining at the restaurants. It is so artistic and glamorous, whoever does the landscape needs to come do mine! To those who haven’t been to Midtown Crossing which is ludicrous, what would you say to those to entice them to visit?
“Come to Life”. This is our tagline and it says so much. Life is here at Midtown Crossing from our unique and really fun events to our eclectic mix of tenants. You get this really great vibe here and it really is neat to see how much this area has changed in just 5 years. If nothing else – if you haven’t been to Midtown Crossing – come see how much change has occurred here in your city – in the heart of Omaha!
Where do you see Midtown Crossing in 5 years? Will it transform much?
I see Midtown Crossing being this vibrant and exciting neighborhood – we are well on our way there now but I see even more so. More exciting events, more people, more fun!
If you had to choose, what is your favorite area in Omaha and why?
It is still Midtown – but I am really loving the revitalization that is happening in the Blackstone District. Some really neat and unique shops have popped up in there and it’s been fun to see it all happening right next door to us.
Lastly, give Midtown Crossing a follow on Instagram for exciting news, activities and photos happening all in Omaha’s backyard. After all, they do have an Instagram prop frame which is always unique to see!