Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is one of the best, family-run pumpkin patches in Nebraska. It’s been open for 35+ years and is a great, family-friendly fall activity located near the Omaha area in Gretna. Every year Vala’s seems to get bigger and bigger, expanding with new activities and sites to see. More than just a pumpkin patch, Vala’s also has an apple orchard, playgrounds for kids, tons of great places to get food, and haunted houses. It’s an activity for people of all ages to enjoy and it’s truly one of the highlights of fall in Nebraska.
Visiting Vala’s Pumpkin Patch in the Fall
If it’s your first time to the Omaha area, don’t miss: A Local’s Guide to Visiting Omaha, Nebraska
Pricing of Vala’s
Vala’s is quite pricey but with a few tricks, you can save a bit of money, bringing down the costs. Before I share pricing details, you should know that currently, Vala’s is completely cashless. Make sure to have a credit or debit card on you if you’re planning to eat or purchase anything.
Vala’s ticket prices vary depending on what day of the week you visit and what month you visit. Ticket prices are changing each year, but at the time of writing it costs $29.95 to visit on the weekend (Fri-Sun) and $15.95 to visit during the week (Mon-Thurs). Kids and adults tickets are the same price, unless you have a child under two, they can enter for free. If you plan to visit Vala’s more than one time per season, you may find that the season pass is worth it. As of now, the price of a season pass is $67.95.
Once you purchase your ticket and enter Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, there are many free things to do. Most attractions are free with a few exceptions(like paintballing, apple picking, pony rides, and a few other things. The price of food and drinks is pretty hefty ($3.75 for a bottle of water), so if you’re trying to save money I suggest packing some drinks and snacks to bring in with you. Currently, bags aren’t being checked so you can bring any food or drink that you want.
You should also note, parking at Vala’s is free of charge.
The Best Time to Go to Vala’s
Vala’s is only open in the fall, from the end of September to October. There are a few weekend events that Vala’s opens for at the end of August-September, where you can purchase tickets to attend. Every year dates change, so make sure to check out the website before planning your visit.
If you’re able to, I think that the best time to visit Vala’s is in October, in the morning/early afternoon, during the weekdays. Prices are cheaper during the week, and the crowds are thinner as most kids are in school. Plus, once October arrives Vala’s is officially in full swing so it’s fun to visit during their busy month.
There are nearly 50 attractions at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, but I’m only going to share my favorites, the ones that I continue to revisit each year. Each of the attractions listed below is free with an admission ticket.
OLD-FASHIONED HAYRACK RIDE
It wouldn’t be a visit to the pumpkin patch without a hayrack ride to go pumpkin picking! This hayrack ride will take you out to the pumpkin fields where you can pick your pumpkins and bring them home with you. I suggest doing this activity at the end of your visit so that you’re not carrying around heavy pumpkins with you as you explore the rest of Vala’s.
STORYBOOK BARN & GARDEN
Storybook Barn & Garden is hands down, my favorite attraction. Although it’s a bit *kiddy*, I love seeing storybook characters I read about growing up, displayed in front of me. The Storybook Barn & Garden takes the more sinister childhood stories (Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, etc), and brings each story to life, displaying the different characters in a garden. This attraction is located to the left of the entrance.
Just like it wouldn’t be a trip to Vala’s without picking pumpkins, it also wouldn’t be fall without at least one visit to one haunted house. The Haunted Farmhouse is eery, quick to get through, and still somewhat kid-friendly. It’s located to the left of the entrance, just across from the Storybook Barn & Garden.
Vala’s has many different animals on display, but my favorite is the bunny farm! Bunnyville is a pretty large attraction with different “homes” for the bunnies that live there. There are also fun bunny jokes painted on wood panels around Bunnyville if you need a chuckle.
PUMPKIN LIGHTS TRAIL
The Pumpkin Lights Trail is a short attraction that guides you down a path – with pumpkins and lights. There are also different cemeteries around, my favorite being the “men-only” cemetery with headstones that say things like, “Hey trust me”.
The Peddle Trikes are a fun attraction for kids (I’ve even participated as an adult), where you can ride trikes around a dirt road. The activity can be somewhat difficult so be prepared to push someone who made need an extra hand!
LOST PUMPKIN MINE
Lastly, don’t miss your chance at visiting the Lost Pumpkin Mine when you’re at Vala’s. The Lost Pumpkin Mine is a building that resembles an old mine, where you can walk through and see different mannequins and other fun things on display.
Another activity that you can do at Vala’s is rent private campfires. This is something that will cost extra, but you can get a group of friends together, bring food and drinks, and hang out around the campfire all night. You can book a private campfire online or by calling 402-332-4200.
Where to Eat at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch
Vala’s has some great food and has so many options from quick and easy, to sit-down meals, or even grab-and-go snacks. Walk around with a turkey leg, or sit down to enjoy a bowl of soup! Currently, there are 26 places to get food and drinks, but I’m only sharing my favorite picks.
THE PIE BARN
The Pie Barn is THEE place to go for pie! The pie is so good that they are even open before Thanksgiving for pie pickup. The Pie Barn is open daily from 9 am to close. You should also know that this barn has both indoor and outdoor seating and it also serves other foods aside from pie. (They make a mean chili in a bread bowl situation).
The Cookie Coop is one of my very favorite places to go for a sweet treat! The cookies are insane. Chewy and moist, and they come out nice and warm! You can purchase these cookies in a small cone or a big bucket if you’re sharing them with lots of people. The Cookie Coop is open daily from 11 am to 9 pm.
LEGS & CAKES SMOKEHOUSE
One of my favorite things about the different food places in Vala’s is that they’ve done a great job at combining foods that you think wouldn’t fit well together – but happen to be great together. This smokehouse serves turkey legs and different kinds of funnel cakes. There isn’t any seating here, it’s a takeaway food stand open daily from 11 am to 9 pm.
KELSEY’S SWEET SHOPPE
Kelsey’s Sweet Shoppe is the place to go if you’re looking for hand-dipped caramel apples and old-fashioned candies. Kelsey’s is located near the entrance and a bit off to the right. Kelsey’s is open daily from 11 am to close.
Grandma’s Kitchen is a newer food attraction at Vala’s and takes the place of what was once The Country Bakery. While many of the same food staples from The Country Bakery are still sold, they’ve added more comfort food items like fried chicken and kolaches, inspired by Grandma Lois. Grandma’s Kitchen is open daily from 9 am to close.
COUSIN’S CHICK’N SHACK
If you’re looking for chicken tenders and french fries – this is the place to be. Cousin’s is located near Freya’s Chicken Yard, keeping on with the chicken theme in the back corner of Vala’s. Cousin’s has outdoor picnic tables you can sit at and is open from 5 pm to close on the weeknights, and 11 am to 8 pm on the weekends.
DAIRY BARN BURGERS & SHAKES
Dairy Barn Burgers & Shakes is pretty self-explanatory, but if you need more information – this is where you’ll find burgers and shakes. What’s unique about the Dairy Barn is that they don’t sell any regular shake – they sell freak shakes! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I urge you to go and try one!).
CIDER WAGON/CIDER HOUSE
The Cider Wagn and Cider House are two different places that sell Vala’s award-winning hard cider. At the Cider House, you can even try a flight before purchasing a bottle. The Cider Wagon is open Friday evenings and from 11 am to close Saturday and Sunday. The Cider House is open most weekdays from noon to close and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to close.
Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is by far one of the coolest fall attractions I’ve been to, and would highly encourage anyone in Nebraska to stop for a visit. It’s the highlight of every fall season with the spooky decorations, pumpkins everywhere, and overall fun atmosphere.
Have you been to Vala’s before? What’s your favorite attraction?
If you’re looking for more unique things to do in Nebraska, make sure to check out 10 Completely Unique Things to Do in Nebraska