The Museum Builders: A Story of Fossils and Friendship Through summer 2019 at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Morrill Hall, 645 N. 14th St. Visitors can learn about the history of paleontology and the origins of the State Museum and Morrill Hall. The exhibit also previews new exhibits that are under construction, linking the past to the future. 402-472-2642.
Metallica Sept. 6 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr. This heavy-metal band is known for their hits “Until It Sleeps” and “Enter Sandman.” The event includes a pre-show party with a DJ, comedy show, fan interaction, and giveaways. 402-904-4444.
Plattsmouth Harvest Festival Sept. 6-9, various locations, Plattsmouth. Once heralded as a corn festival in the 1930s, this four-day festival has evolved over time into a multi-faceted extravaganza that includes carnival rides, parades, a talent show, tractor pull, and firework show. 402-516-4914.
Legacy of the Plains Harvest Festival Sept. 15-16 at Legacy of the Plains Museum, Gering. Antique farm machinery is the attraction at this festival, which features parades of horse-drawn equipment, hay baling, corn shelling, and kids activities. 308-436-1989.
Lincoln Calling Sept. 17-22, various locations. This emerging and affordable music festival put on by Hear Nebraska demonstrates an array of rising artists across multiple venues in downtown Lincoln. This year’s talent includes Parquet Courts, Waxahatchee, and Lion Babe. 402-429-2642.
Kevin Farley with special guest Richard Reese Sept. 20-22 at The Comedy Loft, 701 P St., No. 205. This alumnus of Second City in Chicago, and brother of the late Chris Farley, has appeared in films such as The Waterboy and TV shows such as Drunk History. 402-438-5638.
Annual Ogallala Indian Summer Rendezvous Sept. 20-22 at Rendezvous Square, Ogallala. For over 30 years, the Ogallala community has united in its tradition of celebrating their colorful past with live music featuring an Eagles’ cover band, a chili cook-off, a car and bike show, and much more fun. 308-284-4066.
AppleJack Festival Sept. 21-23, various locations, Nebraska City. Annually drawing in 60,000-80,000 people, this festival prides itself on being a USA Today Top 10 Fall Harvest Festival by celebrating apple harvest season with everything apple: apple pie, apple cider, candy apples, caramel apples, and apple fritters. 402-873-8757.
Norfolk Oktoberfest Family Festival Sept. 21-22 in downtown Norfolk. In its seventh year, this year’s festival will include two days of live music, German food, inflatables, a Husker tailgate, bucket pong tournament, stein holding competition, and a beer garden. Included is free transportation from all hotels and free cab rides home at the end of the night. 402-371-4862.
Wakefield Hot Air Balloon and Craft Festival Sept. 21-23 along Fourth and Main streets, Wakefield. This annual fall festival celebrates the seasonal change with a focus on the sky and barbecue, as people gather to send hot air balloons out into the horizon to go along with other fun activities such as a parade, fun run, car show, and a vendor fair. 402-369-2165.
Lincoln Arts Festival Sept. 22-23 at SouthPointe Pavilions, 27th and Pine Lake Road. 88+ artists from across the nation will be showing and selling a variety of original art pieces in styles and prices to suit all tastes and budgets. Live music from Lincoln Calling bands, plus food, beverages and free art activities for kids are also featured at this community event. 402-434-2787.
An Evening with Leslie Odom Jr. Oct. 5 at Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St. This Tony-Award-winning actor is known for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in the original Broadway production of Hamilton. 402-474-2131.
Great Pumpkin Festival Oct. 7 along Main Street, Crete. Come to Crete for some autumn family fun, including hayrack rides, carnival games, a farmers’ market, a petting zoo, and the highly anticipated Great Pumpkin giveaway.
Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities 2018 Oct. 9 at Lied Center for the Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St. This annual event was established to demonstrate the importance of the humanities. This year’s lecture, Tumult, Tragedy, and Hope: America in 1968 from a Half-Century’s Perspective, will be presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham. 402-474-2131.
Prairie Lights Film Festival Oct. 12-14 at The Grand Theatre, Grand Island. In an effort to promote growth and networking opportunities for Nebraska filmmakers, this three-day festival features the state’s best talent with guests including Unemployed writer Jeremy Lubash. 308-381-2667.
Thomas Rhett with Brett Young and Midland Oct. 13 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr. Rhett has produced 10 No. 1 hit singles on the country music charts, including “Marry Me,” which peaked in March 2018. Young is known for his single “Mercy,” and Midland was nominated for two Grammy Awards for their song, “Drinkin’ Problem.” 402-904-4444.
Harvest Moon Fall Festival Oct. 13 in Hemingford. Contests for goat roping, punkin’ chunkin’, home-brewed beer, and homemade wine are a few of the events that can be found at this annual event, which celebrates all things fall.
Boo at the Zoo Oct. 26-30 at Lincoln Children’s Zoo, 1222 S. 27th St. Culminating over 40 trick-or-treat booths with a reputation of being Lincoln’s largest Halloween event, this family-friendly spook donates all of its proceeds to the benefit of the animals in the zoo. 402-475-6741.
Super Heroes Day Oct. 27 at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, Ashland. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and trick-or-treat at various stations while learning about different modes of transportation. The event will include muscle cars, aircraft, and trains. 402-944-3100.
Walnut Antique Fall Festival Sept. 15-16 in downtown Walnut. Antique lovers and dealers from far and wide will converge in this Iowa town for one weekend. Special antiques to look out for include Red Wing Pottery. 641-862-3239.
World Food & Music Festival Sept. 15-17 in downtown Des Moines. Entering its 14th year, this festival centers around showcasing international cuisine, craft beer, live music, and performances. 515-286-4950.
Something Rotten! Sept. 22 at Adler Theatre, Davenport. This obnoxiously hilarious Broadway musical set in 1595 tells the story of two struggling playwrights trying to make a name for themselves in an era dominated by William Shakespeare. 563-326-8500.
Coca-Cola Days Sept. 28-29 in Atlantic, Iowa. This convention is a celebration of all things Coca-Cola. View memorabilia and taste the real thing. 712-243-3017.
Oktoberfest Oct. 5-7 at the Amana Colonies, Amana. The celebration kicks off with an official keg-tapping ceremony that leads into live German folk music, brat-eating contests, rigorous rugby matches, and a parade encapsulating the entire celebration. 319-622-7622.
Pumpkinfest Oct. 6-7 on Main St., Anamosa. Celebrate the fall foliage in the pumpkin capital of Iowa, as Anamosa hosts its annual street festival full of games for all ages, food vendors, a parade, and the Ryan Norlin Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. 319-462-4879.
Scenic Drive Festival Oct. 12-14 in towns in Van Buren County. This festival encompasses one of Iowa’s largest flea markets in a three-day event sprawling throughout rural towns of Southeastern Iowa. 319-293-7111.
Halloweenapalooza Oct. 12-13 at Hotel Ottumwa, Ottumwa. Centered around Ottumwa’s ancient, haunted hotel, this two-day festival showcases a wide collection of independent horror films, costume contests, and a zombie walk in a fun, communal environment. 641-799-9770
Madison County Covered Bridge Festival Oct. 13-14 in Winterset. This year’s festival celebrates scientist George Washington Carver, who lived in Winterset 150 years ago. Actor Paxton Williams will impersonate Carver throughout the weekend, and activities will focus on Carver and his works. The covered bridges, which were made famous in the book and movie titled Bridges of Madison County, will be open through the weekend. 515-462-1185.
The Capitol Steps Oct. 16 at Englert Theatre, Iowa City. Combining satire and current events, come and brush up on your politics by watching Capitol Steps imitate Washington’s most popular political personalities. 319-688-2653.
Osborne Heritage Days Oct. 12-14 in Osborne’s Pioneer Village, near Elkader. Participate in a weekend full of historic fun such as cricket games, buffalo chip throws, a chili cook-off, and a pioneer church service. 563-245-1516.
Dancefestopia Sep. 6-9 at Emerald City, La Cygne. Mirroring the EDM, DJ frenzy of Chicago’s Spring Awakening festival, this four-day event secludes listeners out in the wilderness for a wild dance party of electronic acts like Adventure Club, Zed’s Dead, and Flux Pavilion.
Kansas State Fair Sept. 7-16 at Kansas State Fairgrounds, Hutchinson. This statewide celebration promotes and showcases Kansas culture with 10 days of events including live entertainment from acclaimed artists like Trace Adkins and revered bands like the Beach Boys. 620-669-3600.
Walnut Valley Festival Sept. 12-16 at Winfield Fairgrounds, Winfield. Evolving from a two-day event to a five-day event, this festival celebrates music with family-friendly entertainment on four main stages while showcasing a large arts-and-crafts fair. The big attraction, however, is the 30 musical acts, who can compete in eight different contests. 620-221-3250.
Ciderfest Sept. 29-30, and Oct. 6-7, at the Louisburg Cider Mill, Louisburg. This annual fall festival is celebrating its 40th year with a set of unique activities for the family—from cider and doughnut-making to pony riding to exploring a corn maze and pumpkin patch. 913-837-5202.
Irish Fest Aug. 31- Sept. 2 at Crown Center, Kansas City. Noted as one of the top Irish festivals in the nation, this Celtic celebration showcases over 40 traditional Irish bands on seven stages and over 20 Irish heritage workshops and exhibits.
SantaCaliGon Days Festival Sept. 1-3 on Independence Square, Independence. This annual Labor Day festival commemorates the origins of Santa Fe and California, and the pioneers who ventured west on the Oregon Trail with a downtown mirroring the 19th century Great Plains, along with live entertainment, numerous vendors, and an authentic blacksmith. 816-974-7333.
Harry Potter In Concert Sept. 5-7, 9 at the Kauffman Center, Kansas City. Transport to the wizarding world of Harry Potter to relive J.K. Rowling’s epic tale in cinematic form (with a live symphony performing John Williams’ score). 816-471-0400.
Taylor Swift Sept. 8 at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City. Hot off her polarizing, unconventional album, Reputation, Swift is touring throughout North America building a new reputation, one that distances from a past full of catchy love songs. 816-920-4849.
Midwest Tea Festival Sept. 8-9 at Ararat Shrine Temple, Kansas City. Come for an entire day dedicated to tea. From a multitude of tastings and vendors, to culture and history, to preparation—this festival will teach participants everything they want to know about tea. 816-923-1995.
Harvest Hootenanny Sept. 21-22 at Mark Twain Cave Complex, Hannibal. This festival celebrates the town’s unique scenery and rich history with a family-friendly, two-day event that includes a petting zoo, a scenic 1K kids dash through the campground, wine from the local Cave Hollow West Winery, and numerous craft beer vendors.
Death Cab for Cutie Oct. 2 at Arvest Bank Theater at The Midland, Kansas City. With a new album in the works, this 2000s indie gem is best known for their emotive songwriting and cross-genre discography. 816-283-9900.
Greater Kansas City Japan Festival Oct. 6 at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park. This 21st annual festival brings multiple ethnic groups together to learn all about Japanese culture with social, cultural, and educational exchanges.
Weston Applefest Oct. 6-7, various locations downtown, Weston. Celebrating its 30-year reputation as one of Missouri’s best fall festivals, this weekend in Weston is home to a downtown parade, over 80 arts-and-crafts booths, apple-butter churning demonstrations, and lots of apple-based pastries. 816-640-2909.
Foo Fighters Oct. 12 at the Sprint Center, Kansas City. Lead singer Dave Grohl and company pack a thunderous, face-melting punch as the rock group returns to North America from their European tour. 816-949-7100.
Kamasi Washington Oct. 29 at The Truman, Kansas City. Best known for his tenor sax playing, this rising jazz master composes an ensemble of progressive and spontaneous music in a multitude of songs (including work on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly). 816-205-8560.
Event times and details may change.
Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.
This calendar was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.