Autumn nears the end of its all-too-brief stay, and winter continues its gradual arrival. But you can still live it up before a blanket of snow covers our corner of Earth!
Adventure within the city (or not too far beyond) to hang out in the coziest indoor spots, or take a journey into the brisk-but-not-too-cold outdoors.
Read on for ten things to do in Omaha during the fall.
Stay warm with trailblazing art
- El Museo Latino: 4701 S 25th St | (402) 731-1137
- Great Plains Black History Museum: 2221 N 24th St|(402) 932-7077
Are you passionate about uncovering the untaught history and culture that came before us?
El Museo Latino has countless treasures collected over its 30 years. Magdalena Garcia opened it decades after moving to Omaha from Mexico City at nine, after making it her mission to open the first Latino-Hispanic art, culture, and history museum in the Great Plains. Today the museum resides in a building originally constructed in 1887 as South Central School and later reconstructed as the Polish Home in the 1930s.
The Great Plains Black History Museum has a mind-boggling amount of rarities residing inside the historic Jewell building. Bertha Calloway opened the museum in 1976 to explore and share a wealth of knowledge about Black Midwesterners. It temporarily closed in 2001 and officially reopened in 2017. Visit the location Thursdays through Saturdays from 1-5 p.m.
Stroll through the autumn vineyards
- Soaring Wings: 17111 S 138th St., Springfield, NE | (402) 253-2479
- Cellar 426: 1402 S 9th St, Ashland, NE | (402) 944-8109
Wineries and beautiful backgrounds go together like, well, fine wine.
And if you dig wineries, you are in for a treat. There are several fantastic Omaha wineries for you to kick back or stroll with sophisticated snacks, passionate people, and unique vineyard landscapes.
Tune in for small business Saturday, trivia, and music – frequently happening at Soaring Wings. The vineyard resides 10 miles south of Omaha, and it came to be 20 years ago thanks to a husband and wife duo with a passion for wine and a background in aviation.
Cellar 426 also boasts a dynamic drink menu and a sophisticated assortment of snacks – including gluten-free crackers upon request. The winery recently celebrated its 10th year in business, so here’s to many more!
Hike comfortably while you still can
- Fontenelle Forest: 1111 Bellevue Blvd N, Bellevue| (402) 731-3140
- Chalco Hills Recreation Area: 8901 S 154th St. | (402) 444-6222
If you are looking for reasons to break out the boots and hike, the multi-colored leaves and crisp air of fall crackle deliciously in the Nebraskan wilderness. You can still hike during the winter, but you had better get in some miles before the snow hits.
With 1,400 acres to explore and several monthly exhibits, Fontenelle Forest is a solid local place to start hiking. Memberships start at $50, but you can also score a free day pass by checking one out at the Omaha, Bellevue, or Council Bluffs Public Libraries. No other local spot quite rivals its mixture of exploration and guided learning.
Chalco Hills is another sprawling area perfect for hiking, bicycling, and more. It costs nothing to show up, and it’s West Omaha’s most underrated hidden gem.
Go for a scenic fall drive
Not everyone travels a gorgeous work commute, but often we are not too far away from a magical interstate exit or lesser-known route through the urban or suburban sprawl. If you are feeling an expedition to nature but want to observe from the comfort of your car, there are plenty of great fall drives you can take in the area.
The Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway features 82 miles of riverfront and tree cover that turn beautiful in the fall. To begin down the byway, head south of Blair, Nebraska, and continue north towards South Sioux City. Located on Highway 75, the path goes on for 67 miles along the Missouri River – perfect for a beautiful drive for no reason under chill pretenses.
Plus, just north of Omaha, the Ponca Hills promise great views of the Missouri River and a fiery explosion of color from the Cottonwood trees.
Meander along the Pedestrian Bridge
- Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge: 705 Riverfront Dr | (402) 444-5900
The popular, sinuous 3,000-foot-long, 15-foot-wide Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge sports tons of visitors, from friends in groups to people who want quiet conversation. The walkway connects Miller’s Landing in Omaha to the Iowa Riverfront Trail in Council Bluffs, and there is space for everyone here! Plus, it’s one of the more chill ways to get fit.
Enjoy panoramic views of downtown Omaha, the rushing “Mighty Mo,” the hypnotizing patterns of the suspension cables, grassy riverbanks, and your fellow pedestrians. Walking paths continue from the bridge on both sides, so you can walk uninterrupted for miles and stray from the designated pathway.
There are usually polite vendors with snacks you can buy if you remember to bring cash. Otherwise, bring a cup of joe and get ready to soak up the casual stroll vibes before the air gets colder. After all, it’s one of the best times to experience the riverfront.
Connect with local wildlife
- Wildlife Safari Park: 16406 292nd St, Ashland, NE | (402) 944-9453
Thanks to Nebraska’s geography and topography, there are plenty of wild friends to discover in their natural habitat. Because no, you aren’t restricted to rewatching both Lion Kings, and even if it’s not typically your thing to do so, you owe it to yourself: connect with the wildlife before winter.
Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari is a four-mile drive-through North American wildlife experience like no other. Less than 30 minutes from Omaha, you can get out of the car and hike to one of the overlooks to view bears, wolves, elk, bison, pelicans, and other waterfowl or take advantage of camp outs and educational programs.
Another option: Bird up! The Audobon Society has an extensive list of areas to go birding near Omaha, and any spot you choose will make for a great way to spend time together in nature.
Catch a local concert
- The Down Under Lounge: 3530 Leavenworth St | (402) 933-3927
- The Jewell: 1030 Capitol Ave | (917) 748-4337
- Culxr House: 3014 N 24th St | (402) 320-4769
In the latter days of fall, more people go inside for fun, as things like outdoor festivals have dwindled. But in the standing-room bars and on jet-black venue floors, local shows are just getting started. The trend will continue well into December.
The Down Under Lounge, a home away from home for many local artists, hosts weekly open mics, monthly open jams, karaoke, movie nights, and multiple concerts throughout the week.
The Jewell is a haven for people who love jazz, soul, and R&B music, providing a more upscale but nevertheless affordable experience.
Culxr House champions diversity in an intentional and unique way, and you can find many great hip-hop and multi-genre shows here.
Check out their websites or marquees for upcoming shows.
Spend an evening at the theatre
- The Rose Theater: 2001 Farnam St |(402) 345-4849
- BlueBarn Theatre: 1106 S 10th St | (402) 345-1576
- Omaha Community Playhouse: 6915 Cass St | (402) 553-0800
For eons, theatre lovers in all forms have gravitated indoors during the fall season to witness directors and performers bring written works to life. You can, too!
See the reimagined classic “Cinderella” at The Rose Theater from November 25 – December 18. Tickets are $27-$32, and performances start on Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays-Sundays at 2 p.m.
Next, check out the avant-garde “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” at BlueBarn Theatre from November 25 – December 18. Tickets are $32-$37 or free for members, and the shows start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 and 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Finally, catch the comedic “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” at Omaha Community Playhouse from November 25 – December 23. Tickets are $25-$40, and shows start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
Golf while the weather permits
- Benson Championship Golf Course: 5333 N 72nd St | (402) 444-4626
- Country Drive Golf Course: 951 Co Rd 4, Ashland, NE | (402) 944-2333
If you want to give golfing a swing while the weather still allows, you can. Nebraska has plenty of wide-open courses for swinging through. And while you’re there, take in the crisp fall air and beautiful foliage that stays beautiful long after summer.
Try Benson Park if you want to stick to Omaha or Country Drive out in Ashland if you’re willing to drive about 20 minutes to get there. Both will provide ample opportunities to play the game at your level, all while soaking up the nature scene.
Country Drive is operating during winter hours already, meaning they will be open if it is 60 degrees out or above, and you should call before heading there. Benson Park will be available for golfing from dawn until dusk, weather permitting.
Laugh along to live comedy
- The Backline Comedy Theatre: 1618 Harney St | (402) 720-7670
- Funny Bone: 17305 Davenport St | (402) 493-8036
Whenever you feel burnt out, get to one of the premiere comedy clubs in town and let the comics take that burden off you. Nothing cheers people up faster than genuine gut-busting laughter, and hey, it’s a great way to gain perspective if you’re perpetually single.
If you want a comedy venue located downtown, look no further. The Backline regularly hosts four-minute open stages, four-minute open mics for improv and sketches (anyone can get up), a standup showcase with a cast full of comics, and the ultra-competitive arena function. Try your luck on stage or watch and let the pros break a neck.
Funny Bone offers another reprieve for comedy lovers living more in West Omaha. There are shows scheduled throughout the rest of the year featuring national comics and writers. Tickets for most events start at $15, so it won’t break the bank, either.