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20+ Things To Do In Nebraska This Fall (2023 Updates)

If you’re looking for the best pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple orchards other fun places to visit or things to do in Nebraska this fall, this is the list! I’ve included some destinations in Iowa for fall activities that are manageable for autumn day trips, too.

UPDATED: This post was first published in 2017 and updated in September 2022. It’s best to call ahead before visiting since hours may change unexpectedly.

Below are some of my favorite things to do in Nebraska every fall. I crowdsourced to fill in what I may have overlooked. Tips came from the Oh My! Omaha Facebook page, Omaha Area Foodies Facebook Group, and Midwest Travel Bloggers. Leave a comment with your favorites!

Fall activities in Nebraska and Iowa - Pick apples at orchards. One fo the closest orchards to Omaha is Ditmars Orchard in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Orchards and pumpkin patches in Nebraska

  • Pick apples at an orchard. Some of the closest apple orchards to Omaha are Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard in Gretna, Neb., and Trees, Shrubs and More in Bellevue, Neb. Other places to go include Martin’s Hillside Orchard near Ceresco, Neb., and Kimmel Orchard in Nebraska City.
  • While you’re at the orchards, you have to try some of their apple specialties. I love Vala’s fresh apple cider donuts. You might also like one of their pies. Other items to try: Kimmel’s apple wine and Union Orchard’s caramel apple pie (both located in Nebraska City).
Things to do in the fall in Nebraska - Visit a pumpkin patch like the state's largest, Vala's Pumpkin Patch, in Grenta, Nebraska.
  • Navigate a corn maze. Corn mazes in eastern Nebraska include ones at Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Patch in Bellevue, Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Elkhorn, Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch in Blair, JK’s Pumpkin Patch in Lincoln, Harvest Moon in Oakland, Martin’s Hillside Orchard in Ceresco, Camp Fontanelle in Fontenelle, and Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City.

In central Nebraska, you can find corn mazes at Poppy’s Pumpkin Patch in Norfolk and Country Harvest Pumpkin Patch in Glenvil.

A lookout tower at the corn maze in Vala's Pumpkin Patch

Fall events in Nebraska and traditional activities

  • Spend the afternoon at an Oktoberfest celebration in Omaha. Popular ones are at Crescent Moon and the German-American Society. Microbreweries in Omaha are also starting to plan events now.
  • Go to a “for real” haunted place. I’ve explored several other supposedly haunted places around Omaha to write this list of Omaha haunts and urban legends. But you’ve really got to get out of the city and check out some of these haunted hotels and buildings across Nebraska.
Nebraska attractions to visit in the fall - the Arbor Day Tree Adventure in Nebraska City is great for families
  • Explore Arbor Day Tree Adventure in Nebraska City. We pretty much do this every year to see the trees change. We head to the Arbor Day Farms Tree Adventure first for a hike and then order the apple pie a la mode at the restaurant on the property.

You can pair a trip to Arbor Day Tree Adventure with a stop at one of the apple orchards near Nebraska City. Two to visit are Kimmel Orchard or Union Orchard.

  • Have a bonfire. Get a group together to do the hayrack ride and bonfire. Vala’s is a good spot for that. Having s’mores on the menu is a must.
  • Attend a fall festival. Recommended ones include the Applejack Festival in Nebraska City and Applefest in Woodbine, Iowa.
At an alpaca farm near Fort Calhoun, Nebraska
  • Visit a farm. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards aren’t the only places to visit in the fall. There are several animal and produce farms near Omaha for unique experiences from meeting an alpaca to milking a goat.
  • Go to a Halloween event at a Nebraska State Park. The parks in Nebraska go all out for Halloween, and many have events every weekend in October. In eastern Nebraska, check out Trick-or-Treat at the Town and Haunted Hollow at Indian Cave State Park in Shubert and Hallowfest at Ponca State Park in Ponca.

In western Nebraska, Buffalo Bill State Historical Park in North Platte has Dusty’s Pumpkinfest at the Cody’s and Haunted History with the Codys.

A Halloween event at Omaha's zoo
  • Take the kids to an Omaha Halloween event. In a typical year, you can expect events at Omaha Children’s Museum (like a not-so-scary haunted house and trick-or-treating), Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo (Ghouls and Glow is a popular one) and a special concert with the Omaha Symphony. All are great for my little ones, because they’re low on scares. Here’s the 2023 Omaha Halloween Events list!
  • Carve a pumpkin. You can take part in a big pumpkin carving event during Omaha’s Great Pumpkin Festival. It is typically the last Saturday in October and everyone’s carved pumpkin gets added to a tree of carved pumpkins.
Great places to hike in the fall in Nebraska - Fontenelle Forest is located in Bellevue, Nebraska
  • Taking a fall hike. A recommended trail from a reader: Papio Trail. Here are seven of my favorite trails near Omaha, including Fontenelle Forest (pictured) in Bellevue.
  • Go to a Husker game. It’s true: The football stadium, when full, becomes Nebraska’s third-most populated “city.” I also recommend a Husker volleyball game – the team is amazing to watch.
Hard apple cider at Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Gretna
  • Drink apple cider. One of my favorite places to get on-site pressed apple cider is at Arbor Day Farm’s little restaurant in Nebraska City. If you want some hard cider, here are seven great cideries in Nebraska.
  • Take a brewery or winery tour. Omaha has several microbreweries to visit. And nearby, you’ll find some charming wineries – you could also grape stomp (something I’ve tried, but I actually do not recommend. One word: bees).
omaha farmers market3WP
  • Visit a farmer’s market for the fall bounty of produce. One foodie said she makes zucchini bread with the last of the giant squash everyone avoids. Omaha has a few farmer’s markets each fall and you can find their locations and dates in the section for on-going events in this event post.
  • Shop the Junk Jaunt. The Junk Jaunt is a huge garage sale…spread out over 500 miles in Central Nebraska. It’s held on the last full weekend in September in towns and along a loop of Highways 11, 2, and 91.

Your turn: What are your favorite fall activities in Nebraska or Iowa?

Find the best places for families to visit in Nebraska this fall. Get details on popular places to hike, apple orchards, pumpkin patches and more fun places found in Nebraska. List also includes special events around the state that celebrate harvest time and Halloween. #Nebraska #autumn #familytravel

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Monday 12th of September 2022

Visit Scatter Joy Acres, an animal rescue that provides animal therapy and petting zoo. 4966 Newport Ave Omaha

Connie S. Reed

Thursday 7th of September 2017

I've never been to Nebraska in the fall, but these all sound like great ideas. I would especially like to grape stomp just once in my life.


Friday 8th of September 2017

Grape stomping had been on my bucket list for years and years. I'm glad to check it off the list, but it was a crazy experience!

Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

Thursday 7th of September 2017

So many fun things to do in the fall. I am going to have to try this Husker Crack Dip... Suppose it would go over well this weekend at the Iowa State vs Iowa tailgate ;)

Also, thanks for sharing my Enchanted Acres post. My family is gearing up to go next weekend for the Fall Ball which benefits Make-A-Wish Iowa!


Friday 8th of September 2017

What a fun place to have a fundraiser! Have a good time next weekend.

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