What do you get when you combine frightful fun, candy, costumes and parties? One of the best seasons of the year! Halloween is nearly upon us, but you don’t have to wait until October 31 to celebrate. Omaha is hosting a variety of spooky yet sweet events throughout the month, including costume contests, pumpkin carvings, haunted castles and so much more.
We rounded up a list of the events we are most looking forward to, so gather the family, don your costume, and get ready to make this a Halloween you won’t soon forget.
During regular museum hours
Photos courtesy of the Omaha Children’s Museum
For the little ones who want all of the Halloween thrills, but less of the big scares, the Cobweb Castle is the best place to go! Come wander through a unique, Halloween-themed castle made just for them at the Omaha Children’s Museum. There will be old favorites from years past, including the Noodle Forest, the Neon Nook and Critter Corner, as well as a few fun additions. You won’t have to worry about stumbling upon anything too frightful, but there are a few scarier rooms for braver participants.
Take a hayride through Wolf Canyon on this haunted safari, which will feature a hot dog supper, marshmallows roasted over the campfire, ghostly games and plenty of Halloween candy. The safari will venture through the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s Wildlife Safari Park, and allow you and the family to see the attractions after dark! Purchase your tickets here.
8:30 am-12:30 pm
Celebrate another successful harvest at this annual festival, which will feature a farmer’s market with fresh produce, pumpkins, squash and flowers, as well as life music, craft vendors and a pumpkin pie eating contest. There will even be a bounce house and hayrides for the kids!
11 am-3 pm
As the longest running annual Halloween event in Omaha, the Witches’ Tea at Mangelsen’s is fun for the whole family. And the best part? The event is completely free! Look forward to Halloween-themed crafts and games, food and bevvies, an all-ages costume contest and more surprise events.
Spooktacular | October 14-15, 20-22, and 27-29
Photo courtesy of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Bring your little monsters to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium for a candy-munchin’, moon-howlin’ good time. You and your family can browse through the zoo’s exhibits after dark, which will allow for the chance to see bats and other nocturnal animals during their active hours. The evening will also include opportunities for trick-or-treating, balloon art and a fun photo opportunity at Storybook Lane.
11 am-4 pm
Step onto the Arbor Lodge State Historic Park, and take a trip back in time. The weekend is full of vintage Halloween fun, including costumes from days gone by, games, crafts and more. Perhaps the most exciting attraction is the living history actors, who will demonstrate their talents and trades inside the mansion and throughout the grounds!
Come in costume and race for a cause at this festive 5k race. Participants will run or walk through the beautiful Rockbrook neighborhood, which will be blocked off for the event. Afterward, enjoy healthy snacks and beverages, face painting, vendors, interactive activities, music and much more! If your little ghouls and goblins want to participate, they can enter the 100-yard Kid’s Dash, which takes place right before the main race. Proceeds will benefit the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center’s HEROES childhood obesity treatment program.
Photo courtesy of the Durham Museum
The Great Hall-Oween Haunt at the Durham Museum is one of the most anticipated family-friendly events of the season! Don your best costume and join in this full night of frightful fun, which will include trick-or-treating with historical characters, crafting, touring the haunted train, completing spooky experiments with the mad scientist on site, and exploring ghoulish odds and ends with the Creepy Curator. Afterward, stop by the Swanson “Ghoulery” for bowling and other family-friendly games, and join in the costume conga line!
Get your fill of food and fright at this spooky event! Your little scientists in training will join a mad scientist for a few slimy experiments in his lab, and then settle in for a frighteningly delicious meal with some surprise guests in attendance. Make sure to wear your costume for the full experience.
This event takes place at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, and a ticket will include entry to the Spooktacular that night.
12 – 4 pm
Pugs are adorable without even trying — but with a fun costume? Even more so. Bring man’s best friend to this fun, festive gathering, which will feature costume contests (for the pups and their humans), a pug kissing booth, pug racing, a kid’s activity area, vendors, raffles, a silent auction and more. Purchase your tickets in advance here.
Looking for even more fall fun? Check out these 13 pumpkin recipes from local Nebraska food bloggers.