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No shortage of fun activities in the Heartland with fall season near

Outdoor activities to soak up the good weather
Posted at 7:00 PM, Sep 15, 2021

GRETNA, Neb. and COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) - It's that time of year when you soak up as much outside time as possible while the weather is nice.

At Vala's Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard, they have activities for the family, for kids, and for adults. You can start the day by coming to the apple orchards, where you have the opportunity to pick over 40 varieties of apples.

You can pick your own bag of apples, then try their hard or non-alcoholic ciders, as well as take home a two-pound pie. They offer produce you can't find in the grocery store.

"The varieties of apples, you can't really get in the stores," said Kyla Shaver, co-owner of Vala's Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard.

They always have pumpkins, and this year they have more opportunities to pick fresh items.

"New this year, we have two different flower fields. We have sunflowers, zinnias, and a whole bunch of other varieties of flowers, and you can buy a bucket or a vase. So we have pick your own flowers," said Shaver.

If you are looking to get away from the city, while still staying close to home, Shady Lane Ranch in Council Bluffs has hands-on fall activities.

"We have 360 acres here, so the hayrides and the horseback riding go all through the trails, and it is beautiful this time of year," said Karen Nielsen with Shady Lane Ranch.

Hayrides at Shady Lane Ranch come with time at a picnic area and fire pit. Nielsen said they have weddings, company retreats, and family get-togethers.

"You can be as elaborate as you want to be. A lot of groups cater it in, a lot of groups just bring hot dogs, they just kind of have a party," said Nielsen.

Whether you spend time picking produce, riding horseback, or just eating by a fire, make sure to soak up the lovely weather.

Vala's is open from 9 to 9 daily, starting on September 24th. Shady Lane Ranch offers trail rides on horseback Friday through Sunday, and hayrides can be any day, just call to make a reservation.