Whether you’re looking for the perfect photo backdrop or you want to pick flowers, sunflower fields are popular in the late summer. It’s not uncommon to find wild sunflowers growing in Nebraska, but if you want a precise destination, keep reading to see where to find the best sunflower fields within an easy drive from Omaha.
When do sunflowers bloom in Nebraska and Iowa?
In the Midwest, sunflowers start to bloom in mid-July. Some farms grow sunflowers in waves so there are second blooms often starting in mid-August. Sunflower season is short, and they tend to be all gone (either picked or dead) by the second or third weeks of September.
It all totally depends on the weather, though. Some farms will have sunflowers in early July. Others won’t have them until the end of August. It’s best to follow your favorite locations on social media, where they typically announce when the flowers have started to bloom.
I've been to Nelson Produce Farm with the kids to pick strawberries, but most people associate the farm with its sunflower field. It's THE sunflower field you see in most Instagram pictures around the end of summer each year. They expect more than 100,000 sunflowers to bloom.
In 2022, there are several events around sunflower season.
Sunflower Festival 2022 - Runs Aug. 25-28 and Sept. 1-5, with the farm open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on those days. There are 12 acres of sunflowers in bloom over those two weeks. The cost is $12 per person, though you save $2 on admissionn if you go Thursday, Aug. 25. Kids under 2 are FREE.
Farm to Table in the Sunflowers - These meals are for 21+ and served among the in the sunflower patch. Tickets must be purchased in advance (and one night is already sold out). Dinners are Aug. 26, 27, and Sept. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $129 each (plus online fees), and it's BYOB. Update: Sold out
Pizza + Pie Night & Sunflowers - Families can enjoy a dinner at farm on Sept. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. Regular admission ($15) or a Season Pass will get you into Pizza + Pie Night, and food is an additional fee. There will be wood-fire pizza, homemade ice cream and fresh pies!
Vala's is THE fall destination for families, but it's a good idea to go ot this pumpkin patch early in its season because of the sunflowers and widlflower fields. Take pictures or pick flowers to take home.
Cider and Sunflower Festival - The Cider and Sunflower Festival is Sept. 9-11 and Sept. 16-18. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday froom 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $28.99 per person.
Ditmar's is one of Iowa's largest apple orchards, but it still manages to maintain a small-town feel to it. Their sunflower patch is already open for the season - the first wave of sunflowers bloomed in mid-July. The orchard offers U-pick either by-the-stem or by-the-cup (like a bouquet).
Where: 5 miles south of Red Cloud, Neb., on Highway 281
If it's wildflowers you're looking for, head to the untouched splendor of the prairie. Here, the 612 acres of native prairie have never been plowed! If you miss the peak sunflower bloom, there will be other wildflowers to see - wildflower season is April through October.
You can visit the prairie year-round on your own, though there is the option to pre-arrange a guided tour.
Other late-summer and fall experiences
Sunflower season is pretty short in Nebraska. Luckily, there are plenty of other fun things to do in the late summer through fall. Here are some favorites:
Like what you read? Help support my site!
I’m proud to be a one-woman business sharing all the best things to see, do, and eat in Omaha. While I have freelance writers help from time to time, it’s mostly just me.
If you would like to support my site, please consider:
When visiting a local business featured on my site, tell them you found them on Oh My! Omaha.