The first day of fall has come and gone, leaving us all excited for the coming days of stepping on crunchy leaves, pulling out boots from the back of the closet, sipping Pumpkin Spice lattes, and changing our Spotify playlists to more acoustic folksy sounds.

Keep that autumn momentum rolling with these five fall activities you won’t want to miss in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County:

Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard

Just a short drive into the countryside, Ditmars offers apple picking, wine tasting, delicious food (hello apple cider doughnuts), live music (depending on the day), and a selection of pumpkins.
Visitors can spend an afternoon picking apples or just strolling along the orchard. A playground is available for kids along with picnic tables where families can enjoy some of Ditmars’ delectable treats such as their nacho taters and caramel apples.

Visitors will also want to stop by Ditmars’ wine counter for a complimentary tasting of three wines (Ashley’s Blush, Kara Mia, and their peach wine are excellent choices). It’ll be hard to pick a favorite!

Pumpkin Patches

While you can pick up pumpkins at Ditmars, for a more traditional pumpkin patch experience, you’ll want to also visit Welch’s Pumpkin Patch or Pioneer Trail Orchard & Pumpkin Patch.

At Welch’s, visitors can pick a pumpkin fresh from the field—a true treat! And, as they put it, there is “plenty of room for kids to run around without the crowds.” That’s a win in our book.

Meanwhile, Pioneer Trail offers pumpkin and apple picking, a haunted house, and you’ll want to check their events calendar for details on their Pumpkin Festival and Monster Parade.  

You can’t go wrong visiting either pumpkin patch—in fact, you might just have to visit both!

Lewis & Clark Monument Scenic Overlook

As the leaves begin to change their colors, head up to the Lewis & Clark Monument for a beautiful view of the Missouri River, Council Bluffs, and the Omaha skyline. Bring some coffee, scout out a seat, and enjoy the new season.

History buffs will love visiting the location for memorializing Lewis and Clark’s expedition and, more specifically, their meeting with the Otoe and Missouria Native Americans.

The Cryptic Room

With the start of fall also comes those spooky feelings associated with Halloween time. Suddenly, despite all logic, it seems fun to watch a scary movie or walk into a creepy haunted house.

Kick off this Halloween season with a trip to The Cryptic Room with your best buds or family members. Pick from four themed escape rooms: Cave of Lost Souls, C.O.R.E Intruders, Into the Assassin’s Lair, or Great Aunt Myrtle Ethrington. Your team will have a set amount of time to figure out the room’s puzzle and “escape.”

This is a great alternative to haunted houses for those who prefer suspense over fear. Just be sure to book a game ahead of time! Escape room appointments can be made through their website.

Historic Squirrel Cage Jail

The Historic Squirrel Cage Jail is said to be haunted. In fact, throughout the year, groups can book private paranormal investigations at the jail—if they dare.

Less committed (and more fearful folks) can tour the jail during daylight hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Saturday or on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. until the end of October. Hours change by season so be sure to check their website for more details.

After your visit you can decide for yourself, is there really such a thing as ghosts?

This post was originally published on September 27, 2018 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.