Bright orange trees, crisp air, cooler temperatures and pumpkin-themed everything—fall is finally here!
Between hayrides, pumpkin picking and corn mazes, you have plenty of ways to stay busy in the weeks ahead. But because there’s so much fall fun and only so little time, we rounded up some of the best seasonal to-do’s that you need to prioritize this year.
From enjoying some hot chocolate to scaring yourself silly at a haunted house, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite fall activities in Omaha. How many of these festive activities will you get to this season?
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
It just isn’t fall without taking a trip to a local farm to hunt for the perfect pumpkin to carve. Luckily, we just happen to have several fantastic patches in the Omaha area. We highly recommend Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, which offers more than 50 attractions, including a massive pumpkin patch, a hayride, giant bouncing pillows, and even some live shows from time to time.
Get Lost in a Corn Maze
We have an abundance of corn mazes in the greater Omaha area (we are in the Midwest after all!). One of our favorites is Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Blair. While they offer a wide range of fun fall activities—including a pool of corn—it’s their 10-acre corn maze that has made them famous.
Take a Hayride
Hayrides are a quintessential fall activity. Not only are they good, wholesome family fun, but they allow you to see the entire area from a unique vantage point! Many local farms offer this special ride during the fall—including Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Patch, Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm, Camp Fontanelle Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, and Pioneer Trail Orchard and Pumpkin Patch. Just don’t forget to bring a jacket as it can get a little chilly on the ride.
Grab Some Hot Chocolate
Nothing can beat the chill quite like hot chocolate! When it starts to get cold outside, we all crave a little something sweet to help keep us warm. So once you’ve had your fill of coffee for the day, grab a hot cocoa. Chocolaterie Stam in Papillion is a local favorite during the fall season. While their gourmet chocolate treats pair well with just about anything, their creamy hot chocolate is a must during the colder months.
Visit a Brewery to Taste Some Seasonal Brews
When the leaves start to change, so does the beer selection at your neighborhood taproom. The return of that familiar fall chill means that we are seeing fewer of those light, fruity sours and more hearty pumpkin-flavored ales, all of which are sure to go well with the tailgates and harvest events filling your fall calendar! Check out our Ultimate Craft Brewery Guide to Omaha for a few breweries to visit this season.
Paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming await at Standing Bear Lake. The day-use facility is located in the northwest side of Omaha and is a serene paradise all year long. Here, you’ll find 3.3 miles of hiking and cycling trails, a picnic area, shaded shelters, a playground and the lake, which is perfect for a quick splash!
Go Apple Picking
Photo courtesy of Kimmel Orchard
One of our favorite fall activities every year is apple picking! A day in the orchards gathering a fresh harvest with loved ones is the perfect way to ring in the new season—and there’s no denying that apples straight from the tree just taste better. Thankfully, the gorgeous Nebraska countryside is filled with orchards and farms filled to the brim with juicy, crisp apples ripe for picking. Kimmel Orchard in Nebraska City is a fantastic choice, where you can enjoy picking your own apples and pumpkins all season long.
Volunteer For a Local Organization
As we gear up for the holiday season, communities all over the country come together to celebrate the successes of the past year and the neighborhoods we love. In Omaha, we’re no different. While we are lucky for the opportunity to live in such a generous and community-centered area, it’s easy to forget sometimes that we’re not all equally fortunate. With the harshness of the Omaha winter right around the corner, we can rally around our needy families and individuals to make this coming holiday season a success. If you’re looking to get involved this season, check out our list of local charities and organizations that are always looking for support.
From mystifying manors and creepy carnivals to freaky forests and haunted hollows, there are plenty of ways to get your fill of frights in the Omaha area this fall. Scary Acres is one of Omaha’s most anticipated spooky attractions during Halloween season—and it’s not difficult to see why. The venue offers three different bone-chilling attractions, including Master’s Castle, the Haunted Woods, and House on the Hill. After embarking on your adventure of choice, warm up at a bonfire on site and enjoy a snack from the concession stand. They will be open September 13-November 2 this year. You can find their full schedule here.
Sure, you might not be a kid anymore, but you might have some of your own that you can take trick-or-treating this season! And because Halloween is fast-approaching, you’ll want to start planning out your route ASAP. When it comes time to knock on doors, choosing the right location is the most fail-safe method for getting the most candy—and having the most fun! To start plotting your Halloween itinerary, check out our guide to the best Omaha neighborhoods for trick-or-treating!
Participate in a Race
A race isn’t just a great way to get in shape, it’s also a wonderful way to explore your local community and contribute to a charitable cause! Every fall, Omaha puts on a plethora of fun races—from 100-yard dashes to festive 10K fun runs. A few of our favorites include the Hot Cider Hustle, The Margre Durham Walk for the Animals and the Lil’ Gobbler Trot at Feast and Feathers.
This trail offers fantastic views of the Mormon Bridge over the Missouri River, several parks, wetlands and the bluffs, and is, therefore, a fantastic option for a scenic fall ride! It’s an out-and-back trail with several hills for easy elevation gain. You’ll go through N.P. Dodge Park, which offers ball fields, a marina, playgrounds, a pavilion, opportunities for camping, and restrooms and water facilities, and then you’ll have the option to continue onward to the Washington County Line and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge.
There’s just something about fall that makes us want to get out and enjoy nature. Maybe it’s the breathtaking leaves, the cooler weather, fewer crowds, or fewer bugs! But whatever it is, it doesn’t change the fact that fall in Nebraska is a fantastic time to go camping. Luckily we have plenty of gorgeous campsites less than two hours away. Read through our list of the best places to go camping near Omaha and start planning your trip before winter!
Attend a Huskers Game
Before the leaves start changing in Nebraska, you’ll soon start hearing chants of “Husker!” “Power!” wherever you go—because it’s finally football season! Attending a Cornhuskers game at least once is a fall tradition, so do yourself a favor and head to Memorial Stadium for the next home game. If you aren’t feeling up to making the trek to Lincoln or couldn’t get tickets this season, no worries! You can still catch the game at a sports bar in Omaha (and yes, we have a guide for those too!).
Watch Scary Movies Around a Campfire at Riverwest Park
Photo courtesy of Riverwest Park
Riverwest Park, or “Camp Fear” as it’s known in the fall, is full of terrifying attractions to get your heart pounding this season. Each year, they feature a Nightmare Theater that offers horror movies that you watch in the dark on the giant outdoor movie screen. You can even rent a movie front firepit with firewood for your movie night and are welcome to bring your own lawn chairs, blankets and coolers. This year, they are planning over 40 movies at the theater—including a few family-friendly flicks. You can find the full schedule here.
Visit a Local Farm
Supporting local farms doesn’t just help to revitalize and strengthen the Omaha community. It also tastes better (and is better for you) than consuming products from across the country. Local meat, dairy and produce are scientifically proven to be more nutritionally dense and have significantly fewer harmful chemicals. Discovering new farmers at the local market is one of our favorite things to do during the summer months, but many producers make their harvest available year-round so you can head straight to the source in the fall. Click here to see some of our favorite farms in the area.
Imagine more than 200 vintage, antique and junk vendors selling their unique wares and furnishings alongside makers, food trucks and live bands—welcome to Junkstock! Located at a century-old horse farm in Waterloo, Nebraska, the festival will feature shopping, live music, delicious food, kid-friendly activities and more. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, it’s definitely a can’t-miss event. This year’s Junkstock: Harvest Edition will take place on October 4-6. Click here for a full event schedule.
Have a Great Fall!
What is on the top of your Omaha fall bucket list? Tell us your recommendations in the comments below!