Once September hits, we’re in full fall mode around here! And thankfully, we have plenty of fall festivities to keep us in the spirit all season long.
This year, we have so many fun fall events happening all throughout the Omaha area, focused on some of our favorite elements of autumn, including apples, pumpkins, arts and crafts, seasonal beer, chili, and more. Happy Fall!
September | October | November
Where: German-American Society, Omaha
When: September 16–17
Each fall, the German-American Society hosts the largest and longest-running German festival Nebraska has ever seen. On both Friday and Saturday, enjoy authentic German food, beer and entertainment, including live music, drinking contests, tapping the keg, and more. Oktoberfest extends from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday, and entry is just $7 per person on both days.
Where: Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City
When: September 16–18 + 24–25
Nebraska City’s annual AppleJack Festival draws anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 people to celebrate the apple harvest each September. Anything apple-related is celebrated, including apple pie, apple cider, apple cider donuts, candy apples, caramel apples, apple fritters, apple salad, and much more. The fun is spread out over the course of two different weekends with countless events throughout Nebraska City. Click here for more information about what’s happening at AppleJack this year!
Where: Werner Park, Papillion
When: September 18
Walk, run or fly at the 10th Annual Superhero Heart Run, which includes a 5K and 2K for both kids and adults. This family-friendly race is aimed at raising awareness and funds for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). Proceeds go directly towards providing support to children and families affected by CHD in Nebraska, in addition to local CHD organizations and hospitals. All participants will receive a commemorative run cape with their registration!
Where: Gifford Farm, Bellevue
When: September 24
Enjoy a day of good old-fashioned farm fun at the Gifford Farm Fall Festival in Bellevue. Activities include hayrides, animal presentations, games, pony rides and more. Plus, there will be plenty of food and farmers’ market vendors to shop from. Admission is just $5 — but be sure to bring cash or your checkbook!
Where: Woodbine, Iowa
When: September 24
Since 1988, people have traveled all the way to Woodbine, Iowa for AppleFest to celebrate everything apple, from pies to pastries and slushies to caramel. Along with the apples, the festival hosts one of Iowa’s largest car shows, which attracts more than 350 makes and models each year. Plus, there will be a craft show, a tractor show, an outdoor market with local business vendors, entertainment, a beer garden, and more.
Where: Nebraska Humane Society, Omaha
When: September 25
Get some exercise while supporting an incredible cause with the Margre Durham Walk for the Animals, the largest annual fundraiser for the Nebraska Humane Society. Your participation helps support their mission of protecting, saving and enriching the lives of animals in the communities they serve. Plus, you can bring your pup to run or walk alongside you on the 5K route! Click here for more information, including how to join or start a dog pack/cat colony, register as an individual, or make a donation.
Where: Hummel Park Nature Center, Omaha
When: October 1
The City of Omaha Parks & Recreation is hosting their annual Fall Fest at Hummel Park this year! Extending from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., this free, family-friendly event will include guided nature hikes, fall crafts, s’mores, archery, outdoor games, cornhole and more.
Where: Sycamore Farms, Waterloo
When: September 30–October 2 + October 7–9
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, 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. Junkstock happens over the course of two separate weekends in October, and you can purchase either a three-day weekend pass or a one-day pass.
Where: Arrowhead Park, Neola, Iowa
When: October 8
There’s nothing like a warm bowl of chili on a crisp fall day! The Arrowhead Chili Fest is an annual fall tradition at Arrowhead Park in Neola, Iowa, about 30 minutes northeast of Omaha. The event will feature pumpkin painting, hayrack rides, trick or treating, and a delicious chili dinner. Pre-registration is not required for this event and the dinner is free, but free-will donations are gladly accepted and will be used to fund additional free and low-cost public programming at county parks. Participants must purchase a $3 per vehicle daily pass (with exact change or a check) or have a valid Pottawattamie Conservation Membership to enter the park.
Where: Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha
When: October 8–9
Lauritzen Gardens will come alive with Japanese culture for this annual festival. Come celebrate early autumn in the gardens and enjoy a variety of activities including calligraphy, koinobori, origami, traditional games, food tastings and more. There will also be plenty of live music and performances throughout the weekend — visit their website to see the full lineup of events. Most activities are free with garden admission or membership, and paid activities will help fund the construction of phases II and III of the future Japanese garden at Lauritzen Gardens.
Where: Skutt Catholic High School, Omaha
When: October 9
Sweet victory awaits you at the end of this race in the form of a hot, steaming cup of apple cider! The race celebrates fall in Omaha and will take runners past gorgeous Nebraskan terrain. Choose to compete in either the 5K race, the new 10K race, or the half marathon and be sure to bring your friends and family to race alongside you. The Hot Cider Hustle benefits ALS in the Heartland, which assists thousands of individuals with ALS, their families, and caregivers.
Where: Liberty First Credit Union Arena, Omaha
When: November 3–6
Hundreds of our nation’s finest artists and makers will gather to display their best handcrafted works at this annual festival at the Liberty First Credit Union Arena in Ralston. Expect live entertainment, prizes, plenty of food and drink, family-friendly activities and more alongside the craft booths.
Where: TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha
When: November 24
Before you dig into your Thanksgiving feast, consider starting your holiday off with a festive 5K! The Omaha Turkey Trot begins at TD Ameritrade Park and winds through the city and circles back to the ballpark. Participants will be rewarded with Cake Creation Donuts at the finish line, and brownie points will be awarded if you show up in a turkey costume! The 6th Annual Omaha Turkey Trot benefits Make-A-Wish® Nebraska, a non-profit organization that helps fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses between the ages of 2.5 to 18 years old.
Where: Glenn Cunningham Lake, Omaha
When: November 24
Bring your little turkey along to participate in this Thanksgiving Day race! Kids will love to participate in the Lil’ Gobbler Trot (a TK), or if they’re older, they can join the adults in the 5K, 10K or half marathon! All proceeds will benefit the Food Bank for the Heartland. Since the race’s inception in 2012, Feast and Feathers has donated more than $176,070 and 15,050 pounds of food to people in need. Register here to be part of it.
What fall events are on your calendar this year? Let us know in the comments below!