Candy, costumes and parties all add up to create one of the most fun holidays of the year — Halloween! Though some of us may love it for the scares and the ghouls, visiting haunted houses can be too scary for some kids (or teens or adults), but have no fear! We found 13 family friendly alternatives to keep everyone happy, entertained, and filled with enough candy to last until Thanksgiving.
So gather all your friends and family, put your best costumes on (don’t forget about the dog!), and explore Omaha this Halloween! You might even win some costume contests and kiss a pug while you’re out and about.
Photos courtesy of Omaha Children’s Museum
October 1 – 30
All month, the Omaha Children’s Museum will be celebrating Halloween with the Cobweb Castle, a temporary exhibit designed to give young kids the thrill of Halloween and festive decor without all the scares. Old favorites from years past — like the Noodle Forest and The Neon Nook — are back as well as a few rooms for the braver participants. Children will also get the chance to see and learn about creepy crawly critters in the Critter Corner. Read more about the exhibit and museum here!
October 7 & 8, 6 – 9 p.m.
Start celebrating Halloween early with a haunted safari at the Omaha Zoo. The whole family can join in on a haunted hike, enjoy a hot dog supper and roast marshmallows by the fire. There will also be games and candy while you all enjoy the great outdoors and learn about wildlife after hours at the zoo! Register here.
October 8, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The longest running annual Halloween event in Omaha, Witches’ Tea is free and has activities for the whole family. You can look forward to Halloween themed crafts and games, surprise events, and an all ages costume contest. Food will be available for purchase and Farmhouse Café is right next door, so bring the family to Mangelsen’s and celebrate the holiday!
October 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Several nights throughout October, the Omaha Zoo will be celebrating Halloween after hours. Buy tickets in advance for a chance to see the free flying bats in Lied Jungle and the Kingdoms of the Night nocturnal animals while enjoying many other Halloween and kid-friendly events. You can even meet with and learn about various zoo animals, and take home a balloon replica from one of the Omaha balloon artists that will be in attendance. Make sure everyone brings their own bag to collect candy throughout the zoo!
October 23, 9:30 a.m.
The Annual Monster Mash Run includes a 1 mile walk, kids dash and a 5K race. Proceeds will benefit childhood obesity prevention programs at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Healthy snacks and drinks will be provided at the end of the race as well as ambulance tours, face painting, balloon art, music and treat bags for the kids! Learn more here and register online.
Photo courtesy of Durham Museum
October 25, 5 – 7 p.m.
The Durham Museum is celebrating Halloween on October 25 with their annual trick or treat event. A unique experience, you’ll wander through the museum, meeting historic characters and collecting candy and treats. The creepy museum curator will be displaying artifacts and dancing zombies will make an appearance. And don’t forget your costume at home as there will be trick or treating and a Durham Dance Party!
October 25, 6 – 8 p.m.
Bring a can of food or a nonperishable food item to Papillion-La Vista South High School for free admission into the Halloween Party and Fall Festival. There will be snacks, candy and drinks, a costume contest, games, bounce houses, and activities for all ages. Get those costumes ready and bring everyone down for a safe night of trick or treating!
October 27, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Benson Community Center will be packed with fun on the Thursday before Halloween. You’ll all be able to play games, win prizes, eat treats and popcorn, and jump in the bounce house. Then, the kids are invited to trick or treat at the surrounding businesses!
Photo courtesy of Omaha Zoo
October 29, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Have you ever wanted to attend a dinner while dressed in a costume? Now’s your chance to do exactly that — at one of the best zoos in the country! The Omaha Zoo is inviting everyone for a chance to eat, meet and take pictures with ghoulish characters, make crafts, and dance your hearts out at the Halloween dance party. Make reservations here and you’ll get admission to that night’s Spooktacular!
October 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The whole family is invited for a safe evening of shopping and trick or treating. Adorned in costume, you can shop at local vendors while the kids get stocked up on candy. Admission is free and proceeds benefit Paralyzed Veterans of America. Bring everyone down to promote a good cause and enjoy an evening of Halloween festivities.
Photos courtesy of Arbor Day Farm
Tree Adventure and Arbor Lodge State Historical Park is celebrating Halloween no-scare style and everyone is invited for a day of Halloween fun! The park will be transformed into a Halloween adventure all day. Enjoy hayrides, face painting, pumpkin decorating, a scavenger hunt and more while the whole family explores Arbor Day Farm.
October 29, 7 p.m.
To benefit The Autism Society of Nebraska and Ollie Webb Center, Inc., everyone aged 12 – 22 is invited for a festive Halloween party. The night will be packed with dancing, food, crafts and a costume contest so be sure to wear your most impressive costume!
October 30, 12 – 4 p.m.
Omaha’s largest pug gathering, this Halloween themed event is a dog lover’s heaven. Make sure your dog’s costume is top notch and enter it in the pet costume contest! Then, enjoy vendor booths, human costume contests, pug races, a silent auction, a kids play area, and more. You don’t want to miss the pug kissing booth, so purchase tickets in advance here and follow event updates on their Facebook page!
What are your Halloween plans?
Let us know if we missed your favorite Halloween tradition! We can always use more reasons to celebrate the ghoulish holiday. If you’re looking for more festive things to do this season, visit one of our favorite area pumpkin patches and get carving (or cooking!).