Andrew Herley Contributor
The slight chill and colorful leaves signal to every Nebraskan that our favorite season is among us. From Husker games to pumpkin pie tastings, how can anyone not love this time of year? The Omaha metro area can serve up endless fall fun, but these are students’ most loved seasonal favorites.
Vala’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard
Most Omaha natives consider Vala’s Pumpkin Patch an annual tradition. The pumpkin patch is a classic must-do, filled with unique activities like pumpkin shooting, a three-acre corn maze and much more. Besides — trying their specialty fall flavors like the apple cider doughnuts, turkey legs and caramel apple sticky buns needs to be crossed off of every student’s bucket list.
Bellevue Berry Farm
Just south of Omaha lies the year-round Bellevue Berry Farm, where you can find students this time of year picking everything from fresh berries to peas and corn. In addition to their typical produce, the pumpkin patch opens on Sept. 18, remaining open every day until Oct. 31. The farm’s fall additions include family-friendly (but still seriously spooky) frights, such as the Ranch of Terror and Haunted Hayride.
Ditmars Orchard and Vineyard
Ditmars Orchard located in Council Bluffs offers the small spike the 21 and up crowd is craving. Along with tasty menu options and a signature pumpkin patch, Ditmars Orchard provides the perfect compliment to their beautiful wine vineyard. Offering several different blends — some with juicy apples from the orchard — it’s impossible not to sip on some hard cider while you go for a stroll. For those under the drinking age, classic apple cider options are available.
There’s no better place for fall views than Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s botanical center. If a complete immersion in crunchy leaves and sweater weather doesn’t kick you into the fall spirit, then the bright yellow goldenrods or the floral scent of blooming lilies should do the job. Lauritzen Gardens is also hosting a forest bathing session on Sept. 26, where, for an hour, you unplug from technology and walk the gorgeous paths that go through prairie and forests by the Gardens.