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Omaha Magazine

October 2021 Explore Calendar

Oct 01, 2021 01:36PM ● By Omaha Magazine
small pumpkins stacked on hay bale

Photo by Mark Duffel via Unsplash    


Harvest Moon Fall Festival Oct. 2 at Dawes County Fairgrounds, Chadron. Featuring a goat-roping contest, haunted maze, outhouse races, home-brewed beer contest, a 5K run/walk, and so much more, this festival offers something for everyone. 308.487.3562.


Great Pumpkin Festival Oct. 2-3 along Main Street, Crete. There is fun for the entire family at this event. A zip-line down Main St., Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, and the Great Pumpkin Competition are just a few of this year’s listed activities. 402.826.2136.

Harvest Fair and Market Oct. 5 at The Pumpkin Patch at BE Farm, Bayard Featuring the “Paint and Cider” event with artist Kelly Bhenke, this event also offers pumpkin picking, arts and crafts vendors, and food trucks. 308.641.5336. —

Old Time Autumn Oct. 9 in Brownville. This weekend celebration- taking place where it all began for Nebraska- focuses on historic sights and sounds, with activities such as carriage rides and a river cruise. 402.825.6001.

The Savannah Sipping Society Oct. 9 at Lofte Community Theatre, 15841 Manley Road, Manley, NE. A delightful comedy where four unique southern women need to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines. They are drawn together by fate and an impromptu happy hour, and decide it’s time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they lost throughout the years. Together they will discover a renewed determination to live in the moment. Purchase tickets online. —

Middleground Music Festival Oct. 15-18 at I-80 Speedway, 13909 238th St, Greenwood, NE. The Middleground Music and Arts Festival is a destination EDM festival that is being hosted at the I-80 Speedway this year. It is an event that attracts people to the Midwest from all over the nation. This festival will bring together world-famous EDM artists and breaking national acts along with regional and local up and coming DJs and producers to promote inclusion, awareness, and diversity to build the community. Contact Jennifer Wilson via linked-in. 

Elyria Pumpkin Festival Oct. 21-22, Elyria. Enjoy a free slice of pumpkin pie at this annual event, and be sure to check out the pumpkins for sale. There are many activities for children, as well as vendors and a tractor display. Additional activities include a pumpkin weight-guessing contest, a pumpkin decorating contest, and a card-playing party. 308.728.7875.

Boo at the Zoo Oct. 26-30 at Lincoln Children’s Zoo. Nearly 40 trick-or-treat booths giving out candy, coupons, and more can be found at Lincoln’s largest trick-or-treat event. All proceeds directly support the zoo and care for animals. Reserve a ticket in order to attend. 402.475.6741. —

Monster Mash Oct. 30 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland. Guests can walk through a “not-so-scary” haunted house, create their own superhero masks, and enjoy some cookies from the Cookie Company food truck. Don’t forget to get a photo to commemorate the day at their photo op station. 402.944.3100.


Spooky Stories and S’Mores TBD at Bloomsbury Farm, Atkins. After the sun goes down, Wheezy the Friendly Witch will tell spooky stories while guests enjoy a s’more and a cup of hot chocolate. Until then, attendees can enjoy a hayrack ride, corn palace, fairy tale trail, and other activities. 319.446.7667. —

Oktoberfest Oct. 1-3 at Amana Festhalle Barn, Amana. Beginning with the official keg-tapping ceremony, this festival featuring special food, events, and music—all with a German flare—has been celebrated in the Amana Colonies since 1965. 319.622.7622. —

Pumpkinfest Oct. 2 on Main Street, Anamosa. Titled the “Pumpkin Capital of Iowa,” thousands will come to Anamosa to experience giant pumpkins, dozens of food and craft vendors, games for kids, and one of the largest parades in Iowa. “We Remember” is the theme of this 33rd annual Anamosa Pumpkinfest and Ryan Norlin GIANT Pumpkin Weigh-Off. 319.462.4879.

October Harvest Spoon Tour Oct. 5 at Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop A celebration of food and culture with unique experiences throughout the day. Admission: $3 per vehicle. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 712.545-3283.

Scenic Drive Festival Oct. 8-10 in towns in Van Buren County. Thousands will travel to southeastern Iowa for this three-day event. This festival is home to one of Iowa’s largest flea markets, and offers many different opportunities for food and activities. 319.293.7111. —

Halloweenapalooza Oct. 8-9in Ottumwa. This festival is held at the historic and haunted Hotel Ottumwa. It was created by horror filmmakers for horror fans. The weekend will consist of costume contests, live music, and annual film festival which has received international recognition. There will also be appearances by several  horror film celebrities. 641.799.9770.

Madison County Covered Bridge FestivalOct. 9-10, Winterset. Priding itself on its uniqueness, this festival encourages visitors to participate in old-time entertainments such as square dancing and marble shooting. The festival also has other activities, including a farmers market, parade, a quilt show, cafe show, and the annual horseshoe tournament. 515.462.1185.

Osborne Heritage Days Oct. 9-10 in Osborne. Heritage Days began in 1975 and has become one of Northeast Iowa’s most popular fall festivals. Thousands of visitors can expect to see demonstrations such as basketry, candle making, and quilting; contests including chili cooking and pumpkin decorating; and foods such as caramel apples, pie, and buffalo stew. 563.245.1516.

Ames Artists’ Studio Tour Oct. 9-10 at Various Art Studios, Ames. Children and adults are invited to a “behind the scenes” look at the life of an artist. These self-guided tours through participating studios in the area will allow viewers to learn more about artistry. 515.259.0494.

Callahan Promotions Arts and Craft Fair Oct. 9-10 at Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs.Roughly 200 exhibitors will be showing and selling their unique products, including paintings and prints; ceramics; yard and garden art; coffee cakes; salsa; jams and jellies; and much more. Every product sold has been handmade by the exhibitor. 563.652.4529. —

2021 Annual Gem, Jewelry, Mineral & Fossil Show Oct. 16-17 at Elwell Family Food Center, Des Moines. This sparkling show returns to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It is family friendly, with children’s activities, speakers, demonstrations, displays, and much more to see. 563.652.4529.

Spirit in the Gardens Oct. 16-17 at Reiman Gardens, Ames. Dressing in costume will allow kids and families to participate in trick-or-treating, storytelling, a Jack-O-Lantern Walk, and view 650 lit Jack-O-Lanterns. 515.294.2710.


Greater Kansas City Japan Festival TBD at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park. Beginning with music, remarks by distinguished guests, the ritual of Kagamiwari, and a toast to open the 2019 Festival, this day brings multiple ethnic groups together to learn about Japanese culture. —

Pioneer Harvest Fiesta Oct. 1-3 at Bourbon County Fairgrounds, Fort Scott. This 65th annual event features one of the largest flea markers in the region and has educational and historic activities for all ages. There will be handmade arts and crafts and a Quilt Show.  Rock crushing and corn shucking demonstrations are just two of many events happening at the festival. 620.670.2750. —

Woofstock 2019 Oct. 2 at Sedgwick County Park, Wichita. “Fall’s Fluffiest Festival” has become one of the largest events of its kind in the Midwest. This community building event gives attendees the chance to create a difference for homeless pets, while including fun activities such as doggy musical chairs. 316.524.9196.

ICT Bloktoberfest Oct. 8-9 at WaterWalk, Wichita. Combining Oktoberfest with a Wichita Block Party, plenty of food and breweries will be available at this free local, kid-and-dog-friendly event. 316.285.9227.

Columbus Day Festival and Hot Air Balloon Regatta Oct. 8-10 at Various Locations in Columbus. One of the fastest-growing festivals in southeast Kansas, the main attraction is hot air balloons, but the event also includes art exhibits, a car show, and more. 620.429.1492.

Mid America Flea Market Oct. 10 at Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson. A $1 admission fee will allow shoppers to view and purchase a wide variety of merchandise, including antiques and primitives. 620.663.5626.

Maple Leaf Festival Oct. 16-17 at Lumberyard Arts Center, Baldwin This traditional weekend has over 300 craft exhibits, quilt shows and displays, performing arts, music, food, and more. The festival is the biggest fall family event in the area, and provides the opportunity for local, non-profit organizations to raise money. 785.594.7564. —

Night of the Living Farm Oct. 22-23 and 29-30 at Overland Park Arboretum, Overland Park. Attendees can experience the Farmstead after dark, if they dare. Enjoy traditional “spooktacular” fun such as scary and non-scary hayrides, a fortune teller, flashlight scavenger hunt, fairy princess party, rand a marshmallow roast. There will also be games, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. 913.322.6467. —

Nascar Playoff Races Oct. 23-24 at Kansas Speedway, Kansas City The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Elimination race is an action-packed weekend with excitement for everyone. 866.460.7223. —


Republic Pumpkin Daze Oct. 2 in Republic. Since 1992, giant pumpkins have drawn participants from the area. Vendors gather to show off fall arts and crafts and families from all over the Ozarks gather to celebrate the harvest season. 417.732.6210. —

33rd Annual Weston Applefest Oct. 2-3 at downtown Weston. Come to Missouri’s “Best Small Town” for one of Missouri’s best fall festivals. This weekend offers a downtown parade, apple dumplings and apple pie, arts and crafts booths, and much more. 816.640.2909. —

Apple Butter Makin’ Days Oct. 8-10 on the courthouse square, Mt. Vernon. Where apple butter is cooked using century-old methods and games and entertainment are available for all ages, this free festival is one of Missouri’s most popular. 417.466.7654. —

Missouri Day Festival Oct. 15-16 at Trenton High School, Trenton. The largest festival of the year in Trenton, around 10,000 people are drawn to the area for this family-friendly event with nearly 120 different vendors who come from all over the United States. There is also a high school marching band competition. 600.359.4606.

Kansas City Grilled Cheese Festival Oct. 16 at Ilus W. Davis Park, Kansas City. Due to rescheduling, The Great Grilled Cheese and Beer Festival of KC has joined forces with the KC Mac and Cheese Festival to create the cheesiest event in Kansas. Sample a variety of gourmet, chef-inspired twists on two of your childhood favorites. 816.812.1829. —