October 1, 2013

Bonfires in Omaha

Every fall, a friend of mine hosts a large group for a night of fun in front of a bonfire at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. It’s a bit of a tradition now and people look forward to it. I’m hoping to join the tradition this weekend (crossing my fingers that the kids are done running without looking where they’re going).

The Fitch family invites friends to join them for a bonfire at Vala's Pumpkin Patch every fall.

The Fitch family invites friends to join them for a bonfire at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch every fall.

Where are some of the hot spots (couldn’t help myself) for bonfires in Omaha? Here’s a roundup:

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

You can rent a bonfire site, but everyone in your party will have to pay admission as well. Not a bad thing, since it’s a fun place with a lot to do, but it is quite a bit extra if all you really wanted to do was eat by an open flame. Campfire prices start at $55 on up to $300+ (if you’re renting the pavilion). You can get at least a 50% off discount, however, if you book for a Tuesday or Wednesday night. Admission is $12.88/person on September weekends, then it goes up to $14.99. Discount admission for Mondays-Thursdays is $10.54. Children 2 and younger are admitted free. Vala’s is located at 12102 S. 180th St., Gretna. Hours are Sunday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Details here.

Wenninghoff’s Farm

Wenninghoff’s Farm hosts evening bonfires and hayrack rides by request.  It’s $25 for each bonfire, plus $6 per person (includes corn maze and a group hayride). The pumpkin patch/farm is located at 6707 Wenninghoff Road in Omaha. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Details here.

Shady Lanes Ranch

I’ve been here with a large work group back in the day – it’s a pretty, wooded area without a ton of annoying crowds (well, at least that was how it was five years ago). Your group will get an hour-long hayride through 360 acres of nature and then get dropped off at your campfire site. The horse ranch is located at 17744 Shady Lane, Council Bluffs. I haven’t heard back from them on the price now, since I’m sure it probably has changed. Details here.

Bellevue Berry Farm

Evening campfires are $35 plus the cost of admission for each person, which ranges from $6-$10 (there’s a minimum of 15 people per campfire or $150). Hayrides are an additional cost, and during the Halloween season, you can opt for the “haunted hayride” on the weekends. If you go before 6 p.m., you can rent a campfire for $25 as part of the Great Pumpkin Roundup (admission charges still apply, as does the min. requirement of $150). Bellevue Berry Farm is at 11001 S. 48th St., Papillion. Details here.

EDITED Oct. 1 at 3 p.m.:

Skinny Bones

A friended mentioned this pumpkin patch this afternoon. This Blair pumpkin patch and corn maze offers bonfires for $45. Reservations needed. They’re open during the week until 3 p.m.; on Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m.; and Sundays until 7 p.m. Admission to the Skinny Bones is $10 during the week, $13 on Fridays through Sundays; kids 2 and younger are admitted free. Admission includes access to all attractions. Details here.

Do you have any favorite bonfire places I’ve missed?

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