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-dos that you need to prioritize this year.
From picking pumpkins to visiting the area’s most iconic haunted attraction, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite fall activities in Lincoln. How many of these festive activities will you get to this season?
Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the area and the Delta Variant, we encourage you to wear masks and social distance when possible. We also recommend clicking the links below before heading out to make sure local businesses haven’t changed their hours or seasonal offerings.
Enjoy all the fall activities at Roca Berry Farm
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Pumpkins, corn mazes, hayrides, haunted attractions—oh my! Roca Berry Farm, located just 20 minutes south of Lincoln, is a destination for fall fun in the area. This local attraction first started as a small pumpkin and berry farm in 1980. Today, it is one of the oldest and largest pumpkin patches in Lancaster County where you and your family can enjoy picking out your perfect pumpkin. There are also tons of other things you can do this fall like taking a ride on their Rocamotive Railway, getting lost in a corn maze, exploring their House of Illusions, visiting the Shooting Gallery, zipping down the Bee Line Zip Line, and much more. Click here to explore all of their 2021 activities and to purchase your tickets.
Sip wine at a local vineyard
There’s nothing like basking in the cool weather and enjoying the Eastern Nebraska fall scenery while you sip on a glass of locally made wine. Luckily, the Lincoln area is home to several fantastic wineries where you can sip wine made from Nebraska-grown grapes. The most popular include Capitol View Winery & Vineyards in Roca, James Arthur Vineyards in Raymond, and Deer Springs Winery right here in Lincoln. Stop by this season and see what varieties these vineyards have to offer you!
Is there anything better than cozying up with a good book and a warm blanket in the fall? We didn’t think so. If you’re craving a new story to dive into, head to A Novel Idea Bookstore this season. This local book haven has been serving the Lincoln area for more than two decades, offering both new and used books and a homey atmosphere. Not sure what to pick up? Their helpful staff (both human and feline) are there to help you pick something out. And if you are keeping your distance from other people right now, they are still offering online ordering, shipping and curbside pickup.
Named “Nebraska’s Scariest Haunt” by Travel Noire in 2019, Eagle Hollow Haunts is a famous spooky attraction that haunted house lovers don’t want to miss. Here, you’ll find scares for every thrill-seeker, including a creepy alien vortex, a spooky bus ride to the Darklands, and the surreal Night Terrors exhibit. Afterward, grab some emergency refreshments at the E.R. and dance along to the tunes of DJ Scary-oke. Click here to purchase your tickets!
Grab a fall beer from a local brewery
Watch a football game
Football season is in full swing but if you haven’t caught a game yet you should definitely do so before fall ends! Whether you’re a Cornhusker devotee, an Iowa State aficionado or strictly a local high school football fan, there’s nothing better than enjoying a game on a crisp fall day. Grab tickets to go in person the next time you get a chance or catch a game on ESPN or a streaming service!
We don’t know about you, but we love a good pumpkin spiced latte. While a certain coffee chain made the drink famous, there are plenty of places to grab a pumpkin-y drink around Lincoln. One of our favorites is Crescent Moon Coffee, whose Pumpkin Velvet Cold Brew was a local phenomenon last year! This tasty drink features a Pumpkin Velvet Cream on top that is absolutely divine—and can be added to almost any drink on their menu. They also have a packed menu full of other fall drinks and tasty treats like cinnamon rolls, crepes, breakfast wraps and more. Check them out on Facebook for new item announcements.
Take a stroll through Haymarket
The Haymarket can be traced back to Lincoln’s first decade as a town. In 1867, at the very beginning of Lincoln’s history, “Market Square” was a designated space between O and P Streets and featured an open-air market for produce and livestock, as well as a camping ground for immigrants. In 1874, the city and state donated the original “Market Square” and moved the market two blocks north, creating “Haymarket Square,” where scales were provided for weighing hay, cattle and produce. Today, the charming area is full of great restaurants, unique shopping and fun nightspots located among restored turn-of-the-century warehouses that are so much fun to explore in the fall. Bundle up in your favorite sweater and boots and hit the town exploring everything Haymarket has to offer!
One of our favorite parts of the season is all the fun candles in amazing scents that start popping up throughout every department store. But if you want to keep your seasonal candle buying local, Wax Buffalo is here for you! This local candle business creates high-quality, “beautifully imperfect” candles from American-made pure soy wax, high-quality essential oils and unbleached cotton wicks. Their signature amber jar, white metal lid and white X decal is a staple decor piece for Lincoln and Omaha locals. They recently released their fall line which includes scents like “Autumn”, “The Orchard”, “Classic Pumpkin” and “Driftwood”. Click here to start shopping!
Inspired by the variety of ciders all over the world, SARO Cider crafts unique and wanderlust-influenced ciders in their Lincoln cidery. You can find their creations in many bars and restaurants around the area or stop by their taproom on N Street where you can order food—including plenty of gluten-free and vegan options—along with one of their crisp ciders.
Located about 20 minutes north of Lincoln, Martin’s Hillside Orchard claims to be the place “where fall begins,” and we’d have to agree! Here you can enjoy a swath of fall activities from a kid-sized corn maze, a gourd maze, a straw tower, a tire mountain, a climbing fort and much more. But the biggest draw to Martin’s is, of course, their sprawling orchard where you can pick delicious apples all year long. Click here to see their 2021 U-pick apple schedule, which will tell you exactly when your favorite apple varieties will be ripe and ready to pick.
Take a fall color tour of the area
When all else fails, there’s no better way to soak up fall in Lincoln than taking a driving tour of our local fall foliage. Eastern Nebraska foliage usually peaks at the beginning to middle of October and can be found all across the region. Lincoln specifically has several parks—Holmes Lake Park, Pioneers Park Nature Center, Mahoney Park and more—where you can see bright sections of orange, red and yellow. But if you’re up for a drive, Pawnee State Recreation Area and Eugene T. Mahoney State Park are both only a short drive outside of Lincoln and offer a ton of color this time of year. And, for perhaps the best view in the region, consider heading to the observation decks of the Nebraska State Capitol to catch a bird’s eye view of Lincoln in the fall.
Have a great fall!
What are you planning to do in Lincoln this fall? Let us know in the comments below!