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Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Haunts in the Metro that Give Back More Than a Fright

When one thinks of Halloween they usually don't equate it to giving. In the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan area many attractions this year have partnered with local charities. Some Halloween haunts are collecting items for their local food banks and others are donating a portion of their proceeds to a designated charity. Some area nonprofits are even getting into the Halloween spirit by offering spooky attractions. Still looking for that perfect pumpkin? A few area churches are also selling pumpkins this year for what organizers are calling "Pumpkins for a Cause." Proceeds go to missionary work and operating costs for these area churches.

Join area nonprofits and churches for "Pumpkins for a Cause."  
Here's a list of what a couple population-we™ staffers are calling Halloween with a Heart:

Now through Halloween (Oct. 31)

- Big Red Barn and Pumpkin Farm, 132nd Street and Bennington Road, Bennington, NE
Pumpkin patch, pony rides, face-painting, music, hayrides, petting zoo, apple cider and food. 
Details: Admission $7 per person. Children ages 2 and younger are free. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. Bring a canned food item to donate to the Omaha Food Bank and receive 50 cents off admission. 
More info: 402.238.2696.

- Cobweb Castle: The Omaha Children's Museum, 500 S. 20th St., Omaha, NE 
Cobweb Castle,  Omaha Children's Museum G-Rated Haunted House, offers a maze of the Ghostly Graveyard, creepy trees in the Find-Your-Way Forest and the castle's Vampire's Batty Bedroom, Pirates Parlor, Kooky Kitchen and Casper's Closet. 
Details: Admission is free with regular museum admission. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
More info:

- Mystery Manor, 716 N 18th St., Omaha, NE
Mystery Manor, Omaha's oldest haunted house. Built in 1887, it has been widely rumored that the ghost of William Hall still wanders these halls every October waiting for strangers to come so that he might resume his terrible vengeance upon any soul who enters Hall Manor. To this day, the murder of John Martin remains a mystery – hence the name "Mystery Manor." Supports Matt's Dream Foundation.
Details: General admission is $10 and Fast Manor Pass is $20. Dates and times vary check website.
More info:

- Nightmare on Q Street: 
Fun-Plex Amusement Park, 7003 Q St., Omaha, NE
A Nightmare on Q Street, is part of the Fun-Plex Amusement Park, and is Omaha's newest professional haunted house and scream park. The amusement park has been transformed to allow for a true haunted, hectic and insidious event. Twisted encounters and thrills of a lifetime will meet you as demons and horror movie villains scare you throughout the park as you hop from ride to ride. Proud supporters of the Ronald McDonald House.
Details: Admission is $10. Open dusk until 10:30 p.m./12:30 p.m. check website for dates.
More info:

- Pumpkin Patch on the Hill: Elkhorn Hills United Methodist Church, 20227 Veterans Drive, Elkhorn, NE
Select a pumpkin to buy from the giant  jack-o'-lantern carved in the side of the hill.
Details: Free admission. 10 a.m. until dusk through Oct. 31. 
More info: 402. 289.4764.

Oct. 21
- A Sudden Chill Ghost Ballads Tour: Nebraska History Museum, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln, NE 
During this night's tour, Judy Cook of Laurel, Md., sings ghost ballads to patrons. 
Details: Admission is free. Donations of nonperishable food items are welcome for the Lincoln Food Bank. 7 p.m.
More info: or 402.471.4754.

Oct. 23, 24 and 30
- Haunted Safari: Wildlife Safari, Exit 426 off Interstate 80 (just past the Platte River)
Haunted hike, fireside dinner and spooky ride. Wear costumes, but be advised to dress warm. 
Details: $15 a person and children must be accompanied by an adult. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
More info: Reservations required at 402.738.2092.

Oct. 24
- Annual Growl-O-Ween: Three Dog Bakery, Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17151 Davenport St., Omaha, NE
Fury trick-or-treaters are welcome. Costumed dogs and their human companions can join in on games and a costume contest. During the evening, canines and their companions are also invited to trick-or-treat at participating Village Pointe stores. Each store will be identified with signs on the door. The Nebraska Humane Society PAW Mobile will be present. 
Details:  A $10 donation per dog will benefit the Nebraska Humane Society. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More info: R.S.V.P. by calling 402.614.3647. 

- Annual Safe Night Out - Everyday Hero Costume Contest: Northeast Police Precinct, 30th and Taylor Streets, Omaha, NE 
Come as an everyday hero. It's someone who helps people as part of his or her job: a police officer, a doctor, a teacher, a firefighter or a construction worker. There will be will be a SWAT truck, a firetruck, Campus Crime Stoppers, candy and face-painting available.
Details: The costume party is free and open to the public from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  

-Spook-O-Rama: Papillion-La Vista High School DECA Club, Tara Hills Park, Papillion, NE
Families are invited to take a haunted walk through the Tara Hills Park where areas along the path will be decorated as childhood fears and nightmares. 
Details: Admission: $5. 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. All proceeds benefit Heartland Family Services.

Oct. 25
- Spooktacular: Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St., Omaha, NE
Trick-or-treating, spooky train ride on the Terror Train and 1 p.m. costume parade. 
Details: Free with zoo admission. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More info:

- A Children's Ministry - Not-so-scary Halloween: St. Luke United Methodist Church, 120th Street and West Dodge Road, Omaha, NE
Open house with games, prizes and food are planned.
Details: Good will donations. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

- Annual Enchanted Forest: Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, Iowa.
Costumes welcome. Meet one of your favorite “Alice in Wonderland” characters in the forest. After the hike, visitors can enjoy refreshments, apple bobbing, pumpkin painting and carving (while supplies last). 
Details: For admission, meet at the Trailhead, near the Loess Hills Lodge. All ages welcome. Admission: $5 per family. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
More info: call Tina Popson at 712.545.3283.

Oct. 26-30
- Boo at the Zoo: Lincoln Children's Zoo, 1222 S. 27th St., Lincoln, NE 
Annual fundraiser for the zoo, offers kid-friendly trick-or-treating.
Details: Admission is $6 (free for children under 2); $3 extra if you wish to collect treats and $2 for a train ride. 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
More info: Buy tickets in at advance at or 402.475.6741.

Oct. 29
- Family-Friendly Halloween Party: UNO Campus Recreation, Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building on the UNO campus, 6001 Dodge Streets, Omaha, NE
There will be a haunted house, carnival games, candy, prizes and much more! Activities are aimed for children ages 12 and younger. Also, attendees can register to win one of four children’s costumes provided by
Details: The party is open to all ages and is free for everyone to attend. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Oct. 31
- 2011 Halloween Safe Night and Fall Festival: Papillion-La Vista South High School, 10799 Nebraska 370, Papillion, NE
The event is sponsored by local organizations that want to insure that kids have a safe environment to participate in Halloween activities. Children and families can partake in games, bounce houses, a costume contest and classroom-to-classroom trick-or-treating. Kids will have the opportunity to win prizes, refreshments, candy and more.  
Details: Free and open to the public with a canned food or nonperishable food donation. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. R.S.V.P. is not required except for the costume contest. Pre-registration for that begins at 6 p.m.
More info: 402.597.2041.

*If we missed your organization we apologize. population-we™ staffers plan to make this an annual list, contact either of the Bloggers below this time next year.

Mystery Manor partners with Matt's Dream to fight against Of Age Drinking and Driving.

So, this Halloween pint size ghouls and goblins wont be the only one's receiving gifts this Halloween season. The gift of giving has infiltrated this hauntingly fun time of the year, which is definitely population-we™ news worth reporting about. Whether you're looking for that perfect pumpkin to carve, a place for date night or to take the kids--why not patronize one of these "Halloween with a Heart" haunts.
- population-we blog post by *Becky Bohan Brown and *Brian Brown 
© 2011 population-we, LLC 
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