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Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween with a Heart Haunts

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.

Omaha's Great Pumpkin courtesy of Lutheran Family Services

Here's a list of what a couple population-we™ staffers are calling "Halloween with a Heart." Visit often for updates:

Now through Halloween (Oct. 31):
- Pumpkins for a Cause, First United Methodist Church, 7020 Cass St., Omaha, NE
Pumpkin patch, pony rides, face-painting, music, hayrides, petting zoo, apple cider and food.
Details: Admission $7 per person. Children ages two 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.

- Big Red Barn and Pumpkin Farm, 132nd Street and Bennington Road, Bennington, NE
The pumpkin patch is open to the public on the front lawn of First United Methodist Church.
Details: For a nominal donation, stop by the patch and pick out your favorite pumpkin. Hours are Monday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
More info: 402.556.6262

Oct. 2-31:
- Cobweb Castle: The Omaha Children's Museum, 500 S. 20th St., Omaha, NE Open thru Oct. 31
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:

Oct. 1-31:
- Mystery Manor, 716 N 18th St., Omaha, NE
Mystery Manor one of Omaha's favorite haunts
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. Every Wednesday is buy one and get one free admission. Dates and times vary check website.
More info:

Oct. 28
- Nebraska Wildlife: Nebraska History Museum, 15th and P Streets, Lincoln, NE 
Make a wildlife mask to use for Halloween 
Details: Admission is free. 2 to 4 p.m.
More info: or 402.471.4754.

Oct. 27
- Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17151 Davenport St., Omaha, NE
Join Lutheran Family Services where hundreds of pumpkins will be carved making up Nebraska’s largest pumpkin display -- Omaha's Great Pumpkin. Each pumpkin will represent a foster care children waiting for a good home in Nebraska. 
Details: Free. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Shining the light” celebration at 7 p.m.
More info:

Oct. 28
- Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17151 Davenport St., Omaha, NE
Children put on your costumes and join us for fun Halloween games, face painting and candy. It’s about safe, friendly Halloween trick or treating at the stores and restaurants of Village Point. Bring along a canned food donation to benefit the Food Bank for the Heartland or a donation of new or gently-used coats to be eligible for a drawing for a $25 Village Pointe Gift Card. All coats will benefit the Omaha Salvation Army.
Details: Free. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
More info:

Oct. 28
- 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: $10 per family. 1 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.

Every weekend throughout October:

- Camp Fontanelle, 9677 County Road 3, Fontanelle, NE 68044

Come get lost in a nine-acre giant corn maze, which is in its sixth year of operation. Plan at one-hour in the maze, then stay for other attractions: petting animals, pony rides, lawn games and camp fires to mention a few. Pumpkins available with donations.
Details: 12 years of age and older $6; Kids three to 11 years of age $4. Open Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
More info:

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

So, this Halloween pint size ghouls and goblins will not 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 *Brian Brown and *Becky Bohan Brown
© 2012 population-we, LLC
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