My kids love going to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, Neb., because of all the activities — they could spend a full day riding pedal carts, jumping on the pillow jumpers, and creeping through the haunted house. Me? I like the food at Vala’s. And this year, I discovered another reason to go to Vala’s each year: The drinks.
UPDATED: This post was published in 2020 and updated in September 2022 to remove Covid safety measures no longer in place.
Read on to see which drinks I recommend trying on your next visit!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Vala’s Pumpkin Patch and Orchard. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.
OK then, on to the good stuff! Beverages.
The talk of 2020 is that Vala’s is now making hard apple cider. For the 21 and older crowd, this will be the first time you can enjoy an alcoholic drink while at the pumpkin patch. Head to the Cider Silo for these items.
There were two types to try when we were there. The Nebraska Classic Cider was my favorite, it’s a tart cider with 6.5% ABV. My husband, not a fan of tartness, preferred the special they had on that evening – the Gold Rush Dry.
They also have a hard cider slushee available. These are a little stronger (7% ABV) and definitely sweeter. The flavors are Classic and Cherry.
FYI: They will ID you and give you a wristband to wear.
The next drink caused the most stir on my social media channels. It was the monster shake (the SMORES flavor, to be precise). This Goliath is definitely one you’ll want to share.
It’s made with soft serve vanilla ice cream, fudge, roasted marshmallows, Hershey bars and a nice little graham cracker crust around the rim.
If spoiling your dinner by having one of these first is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Additional drink options:
- They sell apple cider slushees. I tried to get my hands on one but the slushee machine didn’t have things quite slushed yet. F
- Of course, there’s always root beer, pop, lemonade, and hot drinks like coffee and hot cocoa available.
- You can also ask for a free cup of water if you don’t want to buy a disposable plastic water bottle. They will not fill up your empty water bottles, because COVID.
Planning your Vala’s visit in 2020
Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is located at 12102 S. 180th St., Gretna, Neb., where it’s been for more than two decades.
New this year: Vala’s has started a very limited number of non-refundable, date-specific tickets every day. These will go on sale at 5 p.m. the night before, and remain on sale through 9 a.m. the day of admission.
If these tickets sell out, it only means that reservations are sold out. The majority of tickets and all season passes will NOT be sold for a specific date and are redeemable any date until the farm reaches maximum capacity.
Tip: If you are not able to buy one of these reserved admission tickets, look at the anticipated attendance calendar and crowd tracker.
One reason to go early in the season this year is the new flower field in the rear of Freya’s Chicken Yard. It is full of gorgeous photo opportunities.
I’m guessing more than a few of my friends will snapping pictures of their kids there for holiday cards.
How much are tickets?
Tickets are cheaper in September and on the weekdays. Everyone ages 3 and older must pay admission. Admission is FREE for kids ages 2 and under. You can purchase the tickets online ahead of time and I think you’d be smart to do so since they will limit capacity on full days.
October: Monday through Thursday, $13.95/person; Friday through Sunday, $25.95/person
Tip: Save on admission tickets when you purchase online!
What are Vala’s hours?
Vala’s is open in 2020 through Sunday, Nov. 1. The pumpkin patch is open daily. The hours are Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tip: If you visit on Friday nights, stay late to catch the 10-minute fireworks show that starts at 9 p.m. The best spot for viewing is near the Pie Barn.