The Bellevue Berry Farm Pumpkin Gathering begins Saturday at Papillion, while the fall season begins the following weekend at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in Gretna.
Activities are also to come at Gifford Farm and Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue.
Here are just a few of the fall fun options for families:
Bellevue Berry Farm
The farm has a How the West Was Fun play area, with zip lines, a fun barn, slides, zip lines, climbing nets and a swing.
There’s also a bouncing pillow, kid’s train ride, corn maze, haunted walk and haunted woods walk, plus a pirate cove with two life-size pirate ships.
Pumpkins are available and priced by size.
Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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Weekday admission is $10 per person. Admission on weekends is $15 per person and children 2 and under are free. A special admission price of $12 is set for the opening weekend.
The farm is located at 11001 S. 48th St. in Papillion.
Find more information at bellevueberryfarm.com.
Vala Pumpkin Patch
Vala’s has more new attractions this year than ever before, including a new section of the farm called Apple Valley.
The area includes a cider mill where you can enjoy apple cider and soft pretzels while sitting on the large porch outside. They can also watch the Vala team press up to 100 gallons of apples per hour.
A century-old cider house is another addition. Limited-edition barrel-aged ciders are available for consumption.
A stage offers live music in this new space. After listening to a few tunes, guests can head to a fresh flower picking station.
If they’re hungry, they can check out the new barbecue restaurant – Ethan’s Applewood Smokehouse. The menu includes locally sourced ribs and pulled pork.
Kids can enjoy an additional playground and Stefan’s Country Drive, a free attraction that lets kids drive replica Model T antique cars, also known as Tin Lizzies, around a track with chickens and turtles nearby.
Outside of Apple Valley, kids can also have fun on Jan’s Carousel, another recent addition. The horses are all handmade. A few floats allow visitors to take a seat in this American-themed attraction. This free ride is dedicated to former co-owner Jan Vala, who died last year and enjoyed carousels and children.
Some existing children’s attractions have been modified. Train rides are now free and the Scarecrow Band, which has been around since the late 1990s, is working properly again.
Before the start of the fall season on Friday, September 23, the farm hosts two summer festivals.
The Honeycrisp Festival runs until Sunday September 25th and the Cider and Sunflower Festival runs from Friday September 16th to Sunday September 18th. Admission for Summer Festival weekends is $28.99 per person.
During the fall, Vala’s will host special weekend festivals for guests to celebrate the season. One weekend, during Halloween, will feature a first-ever trick-or-treat event.
Regular admission on weekends is $39.99 per person plus tax, with a $5 discount per ticket when purchased online. Tickets are $33.99 on Fridays and $19.99 per person (with a $2 online discount) Monday through Thursday. Children 2 and under are free.
Season passes for Vala’s are available for $84.99 per person plus tax, with a $10 discount for online purchase. Passholders receive a QR code for their smartphone or can print passes.
Vala’s is located at 12102 S. 180th St. in Gretna.
Find more information at valaspumpkinpatch.com.
Gifford Farm will host its annual fall festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 24.
Come and have a day of ‘good old-fashioned farm fun’ – including food, wagon rides, animal presentations, games, farmer’s market vendors, pony rides and more .
Admission is $5 for ages 2 and up and must be paid by cash or check only.
The farm, operated by Educational Service Unit No. 3, is located at 700 Camp Gifford Road in Bellevue.
More information at www.esu3.org/GF.
Families are invited to come to Camp Wa-Kon-Da in the Fontenelle Forest on Saturday, October 8 for Family Adventure Day from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
An Archery 101 lesson will help kids ages 8 and up learn to aim and perfect their shot. Family games will be offered as well as a guided hike with a naturalist.
Developing campfire building skills will be rewarded with s’mores and families can learn about the history of the Fontenelle Forest.
Camp Wa-Kon-Da offers miles of trails over a variety of terrain with a deep history from the Nebraska phase people – who lived in the area from the 11th to 15th centuries – to later explorers like Lewis and Clark.
Prior registration is required. Admission is $8 for members ages 4-7, $14 for members ages 8 and older, $12 for non-members ages 4-7, and $18 for non-members. non-members aged 8 and over.
Camp Wa-Kon-Da, operated by Fontenelle Forest, is located at 402 Forest Drive in Bellevue.
More information on fontenelleforest.org/event.
Editors Rachel George and Scott Stewart, along with Hailey Writer Hailey Stolze, contributed to this report.