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Welcome to the other side of the autumnal halfway point. The season has unwound its stark stunning beauty for all to inhale, and these scattershot seas and smatterings of leaves cannot entirely distract from the cold hitting your face.

It’s not snowing out, and thanks to Omaha’s evergreen possibilities, there are still fall activities to complete, including fun things to do outside. Whether it’s inside your city or not too far away, here are ten ways to get the most out of late fall days before winter strikes.

Plan before showing: El Museo Latino and Great Plains Black History Museum require appointments booked ahead of time.

Warm up with art

  • El Museo Latino: 4701 S 25th St | (402) 731-1137
  • Great Plains Black History Museum (Jewell Building): 2221 N 24th St | (402) 932-7077
  • Joslyn Art Museum: 2200 Dodge St | (402) 342-3300

No matter your many interests, you may find yourself sucked into a display at your local art museum. Discover new artists and deeper understandings of history and culture – all while having a good time.

There are several solid Omaha museums, and the following are some of the best. Make sure to book an appointment ahead of time at El Museo Latino and Great Plains Black History Museum, and you don’t have to reserve tickets at Joslyn Art Museum. For all locations, check out their hours of operation before showing up. 

In short, if you are looking to escape the cold and at the same time enjoy learning with passionate curiosity, museums are something you should visit as November ends and winter eventually hits. Have fun!

Visit scenic wineries before winter hits
Touring the vineyard grounds during late fall may be more chilly, but with that cold comes a more intense visual beauty to appreciate.

Let fall enhance your winery experience

  • Soaring Wings: 17111 S 138th St., Springfield, NE | (402) 253-2479
  • Cellar 426: 1402 S 9th St, Ashland, NE | (402) 944-8109

One strength of fall that gets omitted in the poetry books is how wine and the season blend delectably. No matter how you slice it, wineries and beautiful backgrounds go together like, well, fine wine. But the true stars are the glasses themselves. Pair them with sophisticated snacks that go down easy, alongside solid people and unique vineyard landscapes. 

You can visit various events – including small business Saturday, trivia, and more – frequently happening at Soaring WingsCellar 426 also boasts a dynamic drink menu and sophisticated assortment of snacks – including gluten-free crackers upon request. For more wineries, take a look at this winery guide. Get out to your winery of choice while fall still lives, and you can sip upon the patio!

The current pantry hours of operation are from Tuesday to Saturday, with hours varying.

Volunteer at Heart Ministry Center

  • Heart Ministry Center: 2222 Binney St | (402) 451-2321

For many, fall represents an almost invincible pleasure – everything looks and feels fine, and people romanticize the season without thought. It’s fair enough. But did you know while food insecurity and homelessness are complex and life-threatening issues and dangerous year-round, fall can be an unforgiving season? It is always the season to help your neighbor but now is the critical time.  

But food pantries like Heart Ministry Center have saved lives, with special thanks to donors and volunteers. So, lend your assistance if you can – it is a priceless donation, no matter how you get involved. For more information on partnering with a business doing the work, call or visit the Heart Ministry website. 

Spare a few hours at a time, a positive mentality, and the energy to engage with your peers. You can make a real-world impact well past Thanksgiving and exit the harvest season doing something right. 

If jogging is not your style, there are several locations to hike through before winter drops its icy white blanket on the grounds.

Hike comfortably while you still can

  • Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA, (712) 545-3283
  • Fontenelle Forest, 1111 Bellevue Blvd N, Bellevue, (402) 731-3140
  • Chalco Hills Recreation Area, 8901 S 154th St., (402) 444-6222
  • Neale Woods Nature Center, 14323 Edith Marie Ave, (402) 453-5615

Hopefully, you have been taking a chance over the last few months to get outside for a breath of fresh air along a nice hike. Because if you are looking for a reason to break out the boots or sneakers, the multi-colored leaves and crisp air of fall provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy the Nebraskan wilderness.

Sure, you can still hike during the winter months. But you had better get in some miles in before the snow hits. You won’t regret it, and it’s not too late! Hitchcock Nature CenterFontenelle ForestChalco Hills Recreation AreaNeale Woods Nature Center, and more offer a variety of trails and sights for the outdoors- and exercise-inclined.

Please note places like Hitchcock Nature Center recently wrapped up prescribed fire treatments. They should have already done that, but you will want to double-check for sure, so you know the deal if ever you smell or see fire. For science!

If you have some extra gas to spare, taking the scenic route could very well be the best way to wrap up your fall bucket list.

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 and state. 

Just north of Omaha, the Ponca Hills promise great views of the Missouri River and a fiery explosion of color from the Cottonwood trees. 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. Highway 75 goes on for 67 miles along the Missouri River – perfect for a beautiful drive for no reason under chill pretenses. 

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
Visitors will notice the bridge is lit up brilliantly in different colors on any given nighttime walk.

Meander along the Pedestrian Bridge

  • Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge: 705 Riverfront Dr | (402) 444-5900

The pedestrian bridge sports tons of visitors, from friends in groups to the people who want quiet conversation – there is space for everyone here! The popular, sinuous 3,000-foot-long, 15-foot-wide Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge walkway connects Miller’s Landing in Omaha to the Iowa Riverfront Trail in Council Bluffs. 

Enjoy panoramic views of downtown Omaha, the rushing “Mighty Mo,” the hypnotizing patterns of the suspension cables, grassy riverbanks, and your fellow pedestrians. Extensive walking paths continue out from the bridge on both sides, meaning you can walk uninterrupted for miles and miles, stray from the designated pathway. There is even a cool venue aptly titled The Dam Bar nearby you can check out.

There are usually polite vendors with snacks you can buy if you remember to bring cash with you. Otherwise, bring a cup of joe and get ready to soak up the casual stroll vibes before the air gets colder and during one of the best times to experience the riverfront. 

If you pine for nature, there is one location you must visit, located about 30 minutes away from the Omaha city limits.

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 for you to discover in their natural habitat. No, you aren’t restricted to rewatching both Lion Kings. Even if it’s not typically your thing to do so, try to connect with the wildlife before winter this year.

Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari is a four-mile, drive-through North American wildlife experience you must know. It is less than 30 minutes from Omaha, and 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 campouts 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.

There are two theater options quickly approaching for both big spenders and casual attendees.

Spend an evening at the theatre

  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time at UNO: 6001 Dodge St | (402) 554-2800| Now till December 5 | $16 or free with MAVcard
  • A Christmas Carol at Omaha Community Playhouse |6915 Cass St. | (402) 553-0800 |$45

For eons, theatre lovers in all forms have gravitated indoors to witness directors and performers bring written works to life before our very senses. In short, fall is a great season to catch a live theatre performance. 

For fans of a cerebral mystery and folks on a budget, check out the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time running now until December 5 at UNO. Note if you are a student and bring your MAVcard, you receive a discount. Or, if a more large-scale production musical experience is your taste, the perennial favorite A Christmas Carol runs at the Omaha Community Playhouse through December 23rd, and you can still get tickets. 

You will experience no trouble finding something entertaining and accessible for different audiences and budgets. Because, after all, there is nothing like catching a play while it’s still autumn. 

Be sure to raise your averages before winter makes outdoor golfing impossible, not to mention impracticable.

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 to maximize your fitness fun.

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 on 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.

Always remember to bring some earplugs: you never know how close to a loud band you might be. Your ears will thank you later.

Go to a local concert

  • The Omaha Lounge: 666 N 114th St | (402)709-6815
  • 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. Things like outdoor festivals have all but 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.

For some live and local jazz music fun every weekend, be sure to check out The Omaha Lounge. They have music Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the jazz tradition, perfect for all age groups. 

In addition, you can catch more shows at The Down Under Lounge, The Jewell, and the Culxr House. Check out their websites or the marquee for various artists showcasing various rock, blues, folk, hip-hop, experimental, and jazz stylings. 

Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

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