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November/December 2018 Explore!

October 29, 2018 by , and

For NebraskaIowaKansas, and Missouri

This calendar was printed in the November/December 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.


Nebraska

Hayrack Ride, Storytelling, and S’mores Through Nov. 10, Friday & Saturday evenings at Lied Lodge and Conference Center, Nebraska City. Arbor Day Farm’s popular fall activities include hayrack rides, cider, s’mores, and storytelling. 402-873-8733. 
liedlodge.org

Fort Atkinson Candlelight Tour Nov. 3 at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Fort Calhoun. Visitors to the park will experience a guided tour of the fort by candlelight that reveals a mystery. Each stop along the way will unravel another part of the evening’s plot. Reservations can be made by calling 402-320-4055.
outdoornebraska.gov/fortatkinson

Veterans Day Nov. 11 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland. The museum honors America’s military veterans with a special program and lunch on Veterans Day. This lunch program features posting of the colors and a keynote speaker. Veterans are encouraged to attend this event in uniform. Online RSVP required. 402-944-3100. 
sacmuseum.org

Gateway Farm Expo Nov. 14 & 15 at Buffalo County Fairgrounds, Kearney. Guests will see the latest agriculture technology and services at this 49th annual expo, which will feature market analyst Sue Martin, free barbecue, and hundreds of exhibits.
gatewayfarmexpo.org

Christmas at the Mansion Nov. 17-Dec. 23 at Arbor Lodge Mansion, Nebraska City. The historic 52-room mansion features vintage-inspired decorations and holiday-themed displays. 402-873-7222.
arbordayfarm.org

Twenty One Pilots Nov. 20 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln. This American music duo from Columbus, Ohio, brings a mix of piano, synthesizers, drums, vocals, and occasionally the ukulele and bass to the stage. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Starry Nights Christmas Tree Festival Nov. 24 & 25 at Speedway Village, Lincoln. The festival includes designer-decorated Christmas trees, pictures with Santa, a children’s workshop with crafts and activities, free holiday treats, entertainment, and raffles. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on the trees and purchase wreaths. 402-475-1303.
starrynightslincoln.org

Starry Nights Christmas Tree Festival, Nov. 24 & 25 in Lincoln

Holiday Trolley Tour of Lights Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 30-Dec. 29 at Lied Lodge and Conference Center, Nebraska City. The Arbor Day Farm trolley will take visitors on a tour of historic Nebraska City to view the best Christmas lights. A classic Christmas book is read during the ride. 402-873-8733.
liedlodge.org

Christmas on the Prairie Dec. 1 at Scotts Bluff National Monument, Scottsbluff. This annual event includes a variety of activities that evoke a time gone by. Visitors will be able to make pioneer crafts and enjoy complimentary treats. 308-436-9700.
nps.gov

Fort Robinson Historical Christmas Dinner “Light Up the Fort” Dec. 1 at Buffalo Soldier Barracks, Crawford. Christmas lights installed on park buildings will be lit and guests can feast on a Christmas dinner. 308-665-2919.
discovernebraska.org

Santa Goes to Space Dec. 1 at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, Ashland. Santa Claus and Star Wars (with Imperial Stormtroopers of the 501st Legion) join forces for a fun-filled family day. Young guests can visit with Santa and experience space-related booths, Star Wars characters, activities, make-and-take ornaments, and holiday music. 402-944-3100.
sacmuseum.org

A Very Musical “Christine” Christmas Dec. 7-9, Brownville Concert Hall, Brownville. This annual Christmas concert features Broadway star Christine Andreas, and guests Joel Higgins and Martin Silvestri. 402-825-3331.
brownvilleconcertseries.com

Christmas Cabaret Dec. 7-9 at James Arthur Vineyards, Raymond. The vineyards welcome visitors for an evening of holiday-themed songs. 402-783-5255.
jamesarthurvineyards.com

Christmas Past and Present Dec. 7-9 at Stuhr Museum, Grand Island. This event features a lamplit tour of Railroad Town and live music. 308-385-5316.
stuhrmuseum.org

Christmas at the Codys’ Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 7-23, North Platte. Buffalo Bill’s magnificent Victorian mansion is decorated for the holidays and open to the public during the Christmas season each year, as is the barn. Evening events include outdoor caroling and hayrack rides. Complimentary hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts are available. 308-535-8035.
outdoornebraska.gov

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Iowa

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games Nov. 3 at Orpheum Theatre, Sioux City. This dance and musical performance features cutting-edge technology, including a giant flat-screen that spans the width of the stage, special effects lighting, dancing robots, and world champion acrobats. 712-244-5000.
orpheumlive.com

Lighted Christmas Parade Nov. 23 in downtown Clarinda. Over 75 lighted floats decorate the Clarinda downtown square for this holiday parade. 712-542-2166.
clarinda.org

Lighted Christmas Parade, Nov. 23 in Clarinda

Julefest Nov. 23 & 24 in Elk Horn and Kimballton. This celebration of the arrival of the Christmas season is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Events include a “Naughty or Nisse” 5K Polar Run, a pancake supper, and a concert. The Museum of Danish America and Danish Windmill will be open throughout the weekend. 712-764-7472.
danishvillages.com

Tannenbaum Forest Nov. 23-Dec. 16 at the Amana Colonies. The colonies will be decorated with more than 40 real Christmas trees. Guests can visit Santa, stop by St. Nick’s Cafe for a warm drink, and see the 17-foot, German-style Christmas pyramid. 319-622-7622.
festivalsinamana.com

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band Nov. 27 at Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines. Inducted to both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Seger has earned 13 platinum and seven multiplatinum-certified sales awards. 515-564-8000.
iowaeventscenter.com

Sinterklaas Day Dec. 1 in downtown Orange City. Holland’s version of Santa arrives on his white horse during a large parade. Other activities include Dutch games and a puppet show. 712-707-4510.
orangecityiowa.com

Norwegian Christmas Celebration Dec. 1 at The Vesterheim National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center, Decorah. This lively day of events includes Scandinavian holiday traditions, crafts, music, a movie, and other treats. 563-382-9681.
vesterheim.org      

Norwegian Christmas Celebration, Dec. 1 in Decorah

Christmas in Kalona Dec. 1 in downtown Kalona. Children can fill their “walking stockings” with gifts from local merchants, have their picture taken with Santa, decorate cookies and ornaments, take a cookie walk, tour churches, and ride in a carriage. 319-656-2660.
kalonachamber.com

Old World Christmas Market Dec. 1 & 2 at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, Cedar Rapids. Specialty imports and handmade gifts will be available, along with seasonal treats, live music, and dance performances. 319-362-8500.
ncsml.org 

Old World Christmas Market, Dec. 1 & 2 in Cedar Rapids

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Dec. 3 at Orpheum Theatre, Sioux City. This performance presents world-class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian snow maidens, and jubilant nesting dolls. Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life for all ages. 712-244-5000.
orpheumlive.com

Finding Neverland Dec. 26 at Orpheum Theatre, Sioux City. Based on the film of the same name, this show teaches people that—with a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith—nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. 712-244-5000.
orpheumlive.com

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Kansas

Chili & Soup Festival Nov. 3 in downtown Hutchinson. This annual festival features a variety of soups and chilis, which can be voted on by attendees, along with music, entertainment, and shopping in the downtown area. 620-694-2677.
hutchgov.com

Find the Wine Nov. 3 at Walters’ Pumpkin Patch, Burns. Snacks and samples of wine will be available, but the guests must try to locate samples hidden within the corn maze. 21+ only. 316-320-4150.
thewaltersfarm.com

German Christmas Market Dec. 1 at Riverfront Community Center, Leavenworth. This  indoor Christkindlmarkt includes a variety of handmade crafts for sale, German food and beer, and a silent auction. 913-682-0387.
stpaul-lcms.org

Hyde Park Luminaries Dec. 22 at Hyde Park, Hutchinson. Hyde Park neighborhood celebrates its 35th annual Christmas Luminaria with visits from Santa, music, horse-drawn wagon rides, cider, and cookies. 620-694-9310.
visithutch.com

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Missouri

Brian Wilson: Greatest Hits Live Nov. 13 at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City. Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson will perform his greatest hits, with special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. 816-994-7222.
kauffmancenter.org

2018 NCAA Hall of Fame Weekend Nov. 18-20 in Kansas City. The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Induction will take place on Sunday at the Arvest Bank Theater. The Hall of Fame Classic Tournament will follow over subsequent days at Sprint Center. 888-929-7849.
halloffameweekend.com

Christmas in the Sky Nov. 21 at Longview Lake Beach, Lee’s Summit. Musicians and dancers will perform as attendees witness the arrival of Santa in a mule-drawn sleigh, the first gift of Christmas, and a holiday fireworks show. 816-503-4800.
makeyourdayhere.com

St. Charles Christmas Traditions Nov. 23-Dec. 24. Locations vary, St. Charles. In addition to the 80-plus characters who are always “making seasons bright,” there are a host of other activities in St. Charles at Christmastime.  800-366-2427.
discoverstcharles.com

St. Charles Christmas Traditions, Nov. 23-Dec. 24 in St. Charles

Downtown KC Optimist Holiday Festival Dec. 1 & 2 at American Royal/Governors Building, Kansas City. This family- and pet-friendly event will feature a Christmas cookie contest, raffle, and pet costume contest. 816-221-9800.
kcoptimist.com

Candlelight Homes Tour Dec. 1 & 2, throughout Weston. Historic homes in this antebellum city will be open and the streets will be decorated with luminaries. Father Christmas will be present. 816-640-2909.
westonmo.com

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Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

September/October 2018 Explore!

Nebraska

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.
museum.unl.edu

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.
pinnaclebankarena.com

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.
plattsmouthharvestfestival.com

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.
legacyoftheplains.org

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.
lincolncalling.com

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.
comedyloft.club

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.
ogallalaindiansummerrendezvous.com

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.
gonebraskacity.comfestival

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.
norfolkareachamber.com

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.
wakefieldballoonfestival.com

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.
artscene.org

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.
humanitiesnebraska.org

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.
cretepumpkinfest.com

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.
humanitiesnebraska.org

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.
prairielightsfilmfest.com

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.
pinnaclebankarena.com

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.
hemingfordharvestmoonfallfestival.com

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.
lincolnzoo.org

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.
sacmuseum.org

Iowa

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.
walnutiowa.org

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.
dsmpartnership.com

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.
adlertheatre.com

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.
atlanticiowa.com

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.
festivalsinamana.com

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.
anamosachamber.org

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.
villagesofvanburen.com

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
halloweenapalooza.wixsite.com

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.
madisoncounty.com/covered-bridge-festival

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.
englert.org

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.
claytoncountyconservation.org

Kansas

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.
dancefestopia.com

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.
kansasstatefair.com

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.
wvfest.com

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.
louisburgcidermill.com

Missouri

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.
kcirishfest.com

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.
santacaligon.com

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.
kcsymphony.org

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.
chiefs.com

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.
midwestteafest.com

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.
visithannibal.com

With a strong sense of community pride, this festival features an acclaimed farmers’ market, downtown parade, an arts-and-crafts show, and three stages of live entertainment. 913-344-8656.
opkansas.org

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.
arvestbanktheatre.com

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.
kcjapanfestival.org

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.
westonmo.com

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.
sprintcenter.com

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.
thetrumankc.com


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.

July/August 2018 Explore!

June 20, 2018 by and

Nebraska

Uncle Sam Jam! July 3 at Oak Lake Park, First and Charleston streets, Lincoln. Bring the whole family to Lincoln’s official celebration of Independence Day, featuring food, music, fireworks, and more. 402-441-7547.
lincoln.ne.gov 

Annual July Fourth Flea Market July 3-4 at Fairbury City Park, 421 Park Road, Fairbury. Spend two days celebrating America’s independence at the largest flea market in southeast Nebraska, where everything from dishes to clothes will be available for purchase, along with great food. A morning parade and a fireworks show at dusk will take place on July 4. 402-729-3221.
fairburyfleamarket.com 

1898 Independence Day Celebration July 4 at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, 3133 W. Highway 34, Grand Island. This summer tradition includes a parade, a concert, pie-eating contests, games, and more. 308-385-5316.
stuhrmuseum.org

Zoofest July 6-7, 14th and O streets, Lincoln. Taking place in front of the Zoo Bar, this festival will feature all-day performances from national and local musicians along with food, drinks, and merchandise for sale. 402-435-8754.
zoobar.com 

The Good Living Tour July 7 at City Park, 100 Third Ave., Red Cloud; July 20 at Johnny Carson Mural, 111 Third St.,  Norfolk. This statewide concert tour is back. Acts performing in Red Cloud are Root Marm Chicken Farm Jug Band, Rascal Martinez, Freakabout, and Lester Junction. Acts performing in Norfolk are Emily Bass and the Near Miracle, Bokr Tov, and The Belles. 308-386-8117.
goodlivingtour.com

Midwest Toy Farmers’ 31st Annual Toy Show July 8 at Northeast Community College, 801 E. Benjamin Ave., Norfolk. Midwest toy farmers will display and sell their toy trucks, tractors, and more at this annual event.
toyfarmer.com/showsauctions

Oregon Trail Days July 12-15 in Scottsbluff. This 97th annual event is one of the oldest community festivals in Nebraska. The celebration includes a kickoff barbecue, a hill climb bicycle ride to the top of Scotts Bluff National Monument, a chili cook-off, horseshoe tournament, and more. 308-632-2133.
oregontraildays.com

John C. Fremont Days July 13-15 in Fremont. This award-winning celebration of Fremont’s history offers education along with the “Cruisers on Main” car and bike show, a rodeo, an antique and collectors show, a parade, beautiful hot air balloon glow, and many more activities. This year’s festival is dedicated to the remembrance of World War I, and displays will be a part of this recognition of the Great War. 402-727-9428.
johncfremontdays.org

2018 MCA Mustang National Show July 13-15 at Pinnacle Bank Arena Festival Lot, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, Lincoln. Spectators will be treated to a display of Mustangs along with approximately 500 other vehicles. 402-267-3665.
hoofbeatoflincoln.com

My Ántonia  July 20-22 at Red Cloud Opera House, 413 N. Webster St., Red Cloud. This play by A.P. Andrews, based on the novel by Willa Cather, follows the life of Ántonia, a young and lonely immigrant girl living with her family in Black Hawk, Nebraska, who befriends young Jim Burden. Their story is one of pioneer hardships, personal struggles, and the endurance of memory. 402-746-2641.
willacather.org 

Christofer Visser—Civil War Re-enactor July 20 at Schoolhouse Art Gallery & Nature Center, 427 Main St., Brownville. Spend an evening listening to Christofer Visser’s true historical stories along with unique stories pertaining to his travels. 402-825-4992.
brownville-ne.com 

Cornhusker State Games July 20-29, various locations in Lincoln, Omaha, and surrounding communities. This amateur sporting event offers participants the opportunity to compete in Olympic contests like gymnastics, track and field, and swimming, as well as more relaxed events like horseshoe pitching and chess. 402-471-2544.
cornhuskerstategames.com

Highway 66 Concourse Classic July 22 at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland. Come view the nation’s history of classic automobiles while viewing rare autos and motorcycles. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 402-944-3100.
sacmuseum.org 

Steve Miller Band & Peter Frampton Aug. 2 at Pinewood Bowl Theater, 3201 S. Coddington Ave., Lincoln. The two icons will perform hits from their legendary careers and jam together. 402-904-4444.
pinewoodbowltheater.com

Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal Aug. 3-5 at Brownville Concert Hall, 126 Atlantic St., Brownville. Guests will be entertained by Hoyer and his band’s electrifying fusion of soul and funk. 402-825-3331.
brownville-ne.com 

Family Fun Carnival  Aug. 4 at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland. Animals, face painters, and balloon artists will be present at this kid-friendly event, which includes a large shuttle slide, a spacewalk, and a science lesson. 402-944-3100.
sacmuseum.org      

GSK Orange Run Aug. 4 at Fallbrook YMCA, 700 Penrose Drive, Lincoln. Offering both family-friendly and competitive activities, this event features a 1-mile fun run/walk and a 5K race aimed at promoting fitness, health, and fun.
lincolnrun.org 

NHRA Nebraska State Championships Aug. 4-5 at Kearney Raceway Park, 4860 Imperial Ave. Racers from all over the state will compete for the state title in this race. 308-750-2049.
krpi.com

Nebraska Rod & Custom Car Show Aug. 5 at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, 3133 W. Highway 34, Grand Island. Dozens of street rods, hot rods, customized vehicles, and historical American automobiles will be on display at the museum’s 1890s Railroad Town. 308-385-5316.
stuhrmuseum.org 

Nebraska Star Party Aug. 5-10 at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area, Highway 97 & Cedar Bay, Valentine. This week-long event dedicated to nature and the stars will entertain children and adults alike. Guests can learn how to explore the night sky and take educational tours of the surrounding area. 402-333-5460.
nebraskastarparty.org 

Kool-Aid Days Aug. 10-12 in downtown Hastings. Celebrate America’s beloved powdered drink mix, which was created in Hastings, with this weekend festival. Events include Kwickest Kool-Aid Drinking Contest, Jammers Boat Races, a fun run/walk, and more. 402-461-8405.
kool-aiddays.com

An Evening with Earth, Wind & Fire Aug. 14 at Pinewood Bowl Theater, 3201 S. Coddington Ave., Lincoln. Enjoy a night listening to the legendary tunes of this band whose works range from disco and funk to Latin and African music. 402-904-4444.
pinewoodbowltheater.com 

Columbus Days Aug. 16-19 in Columbus. Spend the weekend listening to live music, enjoying food, viewing the All Ford Car Show, a pedal tractor pull, a parade, and more. 402-564-2769.
facebook.com/columbusdays 

Nebraska Football Fanday Late August (date TBD) at Memorial Stadium, 1 Memorial Stadium Drive, Lincoln. Come to Memorial Stadium for a day full of events such as obtaining autographs, and meeting the coaching staff and players. 402-472-2263.
huskers.com

Nebraska State Fair Aug. 24-Sept. 3, 501 E. Fonner Park Road, Grand Island. Participate in traditional fair activities like livestock exhibits, a midway, and lots of fried food. Concerts include Kelly Clarkson, Sugarland, Up with People, and more. 308-382-1620.
statefair.org

Jason Mraz Aug. 30 at Pinewood Bowl Theater, 3201 S. Coddington Ave., Lincoln. The Grammy-award winning artist will entertain fans alongside his “Superband.” Brett Dennen will perform as a special guest.  402-904-4444.
pinewoodbowltheater.com

Iowa

Yankee Doodle Pops July 2 at Iowa State Capitol, E. Ninth St. and Grand Ave., Des Moines. The 25th annual performance by the Des Moines Symphony will entertain guests with a patriotic outdoor musical performance that ends with a display of fireworks over the city. This free event is welcome to all ages. 515-280-4000.
dmsymphony.org 

Independence Day July 4 at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. Celebrate America’s birthday with a family-oriented day of pie-eating contests, foot races, a town parade, and more. The celebration will also include the Walnut Hill Bluestockings playing baseball according to 1875 rules. 515-278-5286.
lhf.org

80/35 Music Festival 2018 July 6-7 at Western Gateway Park, 12th and Locust Streets, Des Moines. The 11th-annual music festival will entertain with over 50 musical performances, including Kesha and Phantogram as headliners.
80-35.com

Saturday In The Park July 7 at Grandview Park, 24th St. and Grandview Blvd., Sioux City. On July Fourth weekend, Sioux City hosts a free music festival featuring jazz legend Boz Scaggs and Grammy-winner Jason Isbell and the 400 unit. 712-277-2575.
saturdayinthepark.com

North Liberty Blues & BBQ July 14 at Centennial Park, St. Andrews Drive, North Liberty. Eat barbecue and listen to performances from regional blues musicians. Activities for children and craft beers are also featured.
northlibertyblues.org

Ioway Culture Day July 14 at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. Spend the day exploring the Ioway culture—the namesake of the state of Iowa. Guests can take a tractor-cart ride to a 1700-style Ioway farm where they can learn how the Ioway constructed their homes, farmed, and prepared food. In addition, guest speakers will impart their personal knowledge of Ioway tradition and technology. 515-278-5286.
lhf.org

Jamey Johnson July 20 at McGrath Amphitheater, 475 First St. S.W., Cedar Rapids. The award-winning singer and songwriter will entertain with his highly praised country hits. 319-362-1729.
mcgrathamphitheatre.com

46th Annual RAGBRAI July 22-28 across Iowa. Thousands of bicyclists will converge upon Iowa for one week in this annual event. This year’s event travels the state from Onawa in western Iowa to Davenport in eastern Iowa. Come for the ride, stay for the homemade pie found in each town along the route. 515-284-8341.
ragbrai.com

Nordic Festival July 26-28, 507 W. Water St., Decorah. For over 50 years, Decorah has welcomed visitors from around the world to a festival full of traditional crafts, food, colorful parades, musical performances, and a Saturday night fireworks show. 800-382-3378.
nordicfest.com

Friday Night Main Event LLC July 27 at Johnson County Fairgrounds, 4261 Oak Crest Hill Road SE., Iowa City. This event features  carnival rides, a rodeo, and a live performance from country artist Walker McGuire. 319-530-1170.
—fridaynightmainevent.org 2018 National Balloon Classic  July 27-Aug. 4 at the National Balloon Classic Memorial Balloon Field, 15335 Jewell St., Indianola. This event promises a spectacular visual experience, with nearly 100 hot air balloons adorning the sky, live music, glowing lights, and fireworks at night, along with other family-friendly attractions. 515-961-8415.
nationalballoonclassic.com

2018 Hinterland Music Festival  Aug. 3-4 at Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater, 3357 St. Charles Road, St. Charles. Guests will be entertained with music from a talented number of artists from around the country (and the world) with styles rooted in rock, country, and more. Performers include Sturgill Simpson, Chvrches, and Ancient Posse.
hinterlandiowa.com

newbo evolve Aug. 3-5, 1620 Second St. S.E., Cedar Rapids.  The 10th annual festival includes appearances by film director John Waters and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, a panel session by Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon, and performances from Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson. 319-398-5009.
gocedarrapids.com/newboevolve

The Second City Aug. 4 at Pearson Lakes Art Center, 2201 U.S. Highway 71, Okoboji.  This tour of Chicago’s legendary improv comedy theater features the troupe’s best sketches and songs. 712-332-7013.
lakesart.org

Iowa State Fair Aug. 9-19 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, E. 30th St. and E. University Ave., Des Moines. Revel in the family-friendly atmosphere of this annual and traditional event, featuring a butter cow, thrill parks, talent show, games, and much more. Special guests include Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, and comedian Jim Gaffigan. 515-262-3111.
iowastatefair.org

FRYfrest Aug. 31, Quarry Road and E. Ninth St., Coralville. Join Hawkeye fans in this annual celebration of historic football coach Hayden Fry for a day of tailgating, live music, and autograph sessions from current and former football players. 319-337-6592.
fryfest.com

Kansas

14th Annual Heartland Art Guild International Miniatures Art Show July 2-31 at Paola Chamber of Commerce, Six W. Peoria, Paola. At this art display, all pieces must be 25 square inches or less in size, making it a display like no other. Over 180 works of art created by artists from the United States and beyond will be present. 913-294-4940.
artkc.com 

Junk ’N’ Donuts Swap Meets July 14 and Aug. 11 at Louisburg Cider Mill, 14730 K68 Highway, Louisburg. Grab a Lost Trail root beer and a cider donut, and shop around the Cider Mill where vendors will be selling antiques and other goods. 913-837-5202.
louisburgcidermill.com 

2018 Amelia Earhart Festival July 20-21 in Atchison. In an annual, honorary celebration of the city’s own pioneer, Atchison’s community will entertain with a carnival, an outdoor concert featuring country artists Brett Young and Maddie & Tae, food, aerobatic displays, historical presentations, and more—capped by a finale of fireworks. 1-800-234-1854.
visitatchison.com

Clue: The Musical July 20-Aug. 5 at Helen Hocker Theater, 700 S.W. Zoo Parkway, Topeka. This musical adaptation of the beloved board game invites the audience to guess the suspect via clues given out throughout the performance. Each performance offers a different conclusion, making the production a truly unique experience. 785-357-5211.
topekacivictheatre.com 

Blacksmiths and Pioneers Days  Aug. 18-19 at Transue Brothers Blacksmith and Wagon Shop, 309 Main St., Summerfield. Spend the weekend watching gun fights, riding in covered wagons and stage coaches, and observing the arts of blacksmithing, marble blowing, and other practices of the late 1800s. 402-520-0644.
transueblacksmith.org

Missouri

KC RiverFest July 4 at Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Road, Kansas City.  This festival features live shows from the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America’s Jazz Ensemble and one of the largest fireworks shows in the Midwest.
kcriverfest.com

Paramore with Foster The People July 7 at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City. This American rock ’n’ roll band will perform their hits and will be joined by Foster The People. 816-363-7827.
kcstarlight.com

First Saturday Event  July 7 and Aug. 4 at Shoal Creek Living History Museum, 7000 N.E. Barry Road, Kansas City. This free event will introduce guests to the Missouri of the 19th century through historical demonstrations and activities. Re-enactors dressed as outlaws, mountain men, and other characters will participate in skits and gunfights. 816-792-2655.
shoalcreeklivinghistorymuseum.com

The Teddy Bear Picnic July 13, Roanoke Park, 3601 Roanoke Road, Kansas City. This celebration of National Teddy Bear Picnic Day will give families the opportunity to have a picnic with their teddy bears and participate in other activities. Janie Next Door will provide live music. 816-513-7500.
kcparks.org 

AquaPalooza July 21 at Lake of the Ozarks, 1232 Jeffries Road, Osage Beach. Bring the whole family and enjoy a day of boating, live music, and a visit to Dog Days Bar & Grill. 573-348-9797.
dogdays.ws 

Buzz Beach Ball Festival July 27 at Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, 633 N. 130th St., Bonner Springs. This up-and-coming music festival showcases a mixture of underground and indie rock/pop talent,  including Portugal. The Man, Awolnation, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise. 1-800-745-3000.
beachballkc.com

Heart of America Hot Dog Festival Aug. 4 at Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E 18th St. Celebrate baseball and the all-American hot dog. Sample specially produced dogs like the Monarch, Royal Frank, and El Maestro, while providing music and family fun. Tickets to the festival include admission to the museum, which celebrates African-American baseball players. 816-221-1920.
nlbm.com

Feast of Fountains: A Food Truck Festival  Aug. 9 at The Northland Fountain in Anita B. Gorman Park, Vivion Road & N. Oak, Kansas City. Marvel at Kansas City’s mesmerizing fountains as part of this family-friendly event that also includes live music and a wide selection from a variety of food trucks. 816-513-7500.
kcparks.org 

The Farmer’s House Cornfest Aug. 11 at The Farmer’s House, 23200 Highway 273, Weston. This event includes a corn-eating contest, dunk tank, and duck races. Farm to Fork Kitchen will be serving barbecue, grilled corn on the cob, and hot apple fritters. 816-640-2909.
westonmo.com

Rod Stewart Aug. 14 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. The rock-and-roll icon will perform his greatest hits with Cyndi Lauper as special guest. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

Love Never Dies Aug. 14-19 at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City. This sequel to The Phantom of the Opera takes place in 1907 New York, in which the Phantom tries to reclaim the love of Christine Daaé. 816-363-7827.
kcstarlight.com 

Ethnic Enrichment Festival Aug. 17-19 at Swope Park, 3999 Swope Parkway in Kansas City. This event features more than 60 different cultures selling their native foods and crafts, and performing ethnic music and dances. 816-513-7553.
eeckc.net

Trails West! 2018 Aug. 17-19 at Civic Center Park, 900-1200 Francis St., St Joseph. This community celebration features visual and musical artists along with a wide variety of food. 816-233-0231.
stjomo.com 

Sam Smith Aug. 18 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Smith will entertain guests with his signature soulful style. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

Happy Together Tour 2018 Aug. 19 at Muriel Kauffman Theatre, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City. Named after the hit song by The Turtles, this event brings together some popular bands of the 1960s as they perform their hits, which defined a generation. Acts include The Turtles, The Association, The Cowsills, and more. 816-994-7222.
theturtles.com


Event times and details may change. 

Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

Seeking Counsel of the Wilderness in Summer

May 20, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Spencer Hawkins has encountered bears 24 times in his life.

One encounter happened when he woke up early to fish. Pausing to change his lure, he says, “something felt wrong. I turned over my shoulder, and from where I had just walked, a grizzly bear was walking into the water right at me.” With nowhere to go in deepening river, Hawkins called out for fellow camper Ben Bissell, who immediately came to the rescue, bedecked in nothing but boots, boxer shorts, and a shotgun. Then, the bear picked up a dead salmon from the riverbank and simply walked away.

The vast expanse of nature can be intimidating for some, but for Hawkins, it is his summer home. In the remaining nine months of the year, Hawkins is a counselor at Andersen Middle School. He enjoys telling his students about his travels, enriching their lives with his stories while imbuing them with a respect for nature and its beasts. 

Hawkins’ thirst for adventure started in college, when he and three friends began traveling to national parks in Utah and Montana to rock climb. One friend wanted to fish in the location of the film, A River Runs Through It, which gave birth to their new pastime. This gave way to a rock climbing trip to Devil’s Tower in northeast Wyoming.

The friends’ first big trip to Alaska was prompted by a friend about to enter medical school. They spent 35 days in the wilderness, relying on nothing but each other and their intuition for survival. Hawkins says, “We were really remote, so we had no help. You couldn’t call on your cellphone, we didn’t have anything that worked, so we just relied on each other, caught and ate a lot of fish, moved camp, got rained on, made a fire, and [moved to a] new camp.” Floating down the river for three weeks, the explorers ate only the plants available and fish they caught, which lead to noticeable weight loss.

Fishing has probably made them more attractive to bears. Once, while Hawkins and his travel companions were sleeping, they heard a rustling outside of their tent, and the sound of something rummaging around the surrounding brush. Hawkins, springing from his tent suddenly, saw a 500-pound black bear that had been rifling through the camper’s equipment take off through the forest, snapping trees in half like they were twigs. Luckily, Hawkins recalls, the bear hadn’t found their inflatable raft full of supplies down at the riverbank, which could have easily been destroyed by the massive beast, stranding them in the Alaskan wilderness with no way to call for help. 

Bears aren’t the only animal Hawkins has seen. While cooking freshly caught fish in the dark one night, Hawkins heard noise coming from the other side of the campsite. He shone a flashlight into the woods, where about 10 pairs of glowing eyes stared back at him from behind the foliage. A pack of wolves had come to investigate the culinary aroma. Following a one-minute stare-down that seemed like ten minutes, the winner of the fish supper was the humans.

Hawkins’ days of asking friends to run after a bear in their underwear may be behind him. These days, his trips tend to be more family-friendly, although he continues to frequent national parks.

“When you are rock climbing you have to focus only on what you are doing and the rocks and trees around you. The worries of the world, your everyday life, you don’t have time to worry about.”


This article was originally printed in the Spring/Summer 2018 edition of Family Guide.

2018 May/June Explore!

May 2, 2018 by

Nebraska

Cranes: Taking Flight Through May 13 at the Museum of Nebraska Art, 2401 Central Ave., Kearney. This showcase contains various art forms aimed at capturing the magic of the annual migration of the sandhill crane over the heart of Nebraska. 308-865-8559.
visitnebraska.com

Looking Past Skin: Our Common Threads Through May 15 at the Nebraska History Museum, 131 Centennial Mall N., Lincoln. Learn about the way Nebraska has been enriched by the movement of various peoples, from Native American cultures to refugees. This free exhibit provides education on the impact of migration within the state and explains the challenges of living in a foreign country. 402-471-4782.
history.nebraska.gov

Outdoor Exhibits Opening Day May 1 at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, 3133 W. Highway 34, Grand Island. Go back in time and learn about the pioneers while touring buildings and meeting historical interpreters of the time period. The Railroad Town, Antique Auto and Farm Machinery Building, Pawnee Earth Lodge, log cabin, rural church, and rural school will all open for the season. 308-385-5316.
stuhrmuseum.org

Nebraska Wine & Jazz Festival May 4-5 at Buffalo County Fairgrounds Exposition Building, 3807 Ave. N, Kearney. This 11th annual event showcases beverages from a number of Nebraska wineries and micro-breweries, with live jazz music performed by talented musicians. 308-237-3114.
wineandjazzfest.org

Fort Kearny Outdoor Expo May 12 at Fort Kearny State Recreation Area, 1020 V Road, Kearney. This family-friendly event caters to those who are interested in Nebraska’s outdoor activities and wildlife. Fishing, camping, and archery are but a few of the offered recreational opportunities. A park entry permit is required. 402-471-6009.
fortkearnyexpo.com

Corteo by Cirque Du Soliel May 17-20 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, Lincoln. Witness the musical and acrobatic tale of a clown’s imagined funeral that brings together the comic and the tragic in a colorful carnival atmosphere. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Impractical Jokers May 18 at Pinewood Bowl Theater, 3201 S. Coddington Ave., Lincoln. As part of their “Santiago Sent Us” tour, the four stars of the hit show Impractical Jokers will take the stage and entertain with their hilarious sketches and improv. 402-904-4444.
lincoln.org

Free park entry/fishing day May 19 at any state park or recreation area. Get out and enjoy nature during this day, which allows free access to state parks, state recreation areas, or state historical parks across Nebraska. 402-471-0641.
outdoornebraska.org

Duck ’N’ Run Family Fun Day May 19 at Fairbury Community Building, 601 City Park Road, Fairbury. This Saturday devoted to family activities offers a one-mile duck dash for the kids and a competitive 10K run and a two-mile run/walk for the adults. Additional kid-friendly activities include a “lucky duck” drawing with cash prizes. 402-729-3000.
fairbury.com

20th Annual Tallgrass Prairie Fiddle Festival  May 26 at Homestead National Monument, 8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice. Over 30 fiddlers will compete for more than $3,000 in cash prizes at this event. Other events include harmonica and fiddling workshops, and an acoustic band competition. 402-223-3514.
nps.gov

Annual Brownville Spring Flea Market May 26-28 in Brownville. Come and see what hundreds of vendors bring to this annual tradition, including recycled and upcycled products, food, and antiques. 402-825-6001.
brownvillehistoricalsociety.org

63rd annual Willa Cather Spring Conference May 31-June 2 at National Willa Cather Center, 413 N. Webster St., Red Cloud. This  year’s conference celebrates the 100th anniversary of My Antonia. The keynote speaker is Nina McConigley. 866-731-7304.
willacather.org

Rock Creek Trail Days June 2-3 at Rock Creek Station Historical Park, 57426 710th Road, Fairbury. This event features a re-enactment of Wild Bill Hickok’s legendary conflict with David McCanles, mule-pulled wagon rides, and a buffalo stew cookout, among other historical activities. A park entry permit is required. 402-729-5777.
fairburychamber.org

Nebraskaland Days June 13-23 at Wild West Arena, 2400 N. Buffalo Bill Ave., North Platte. Cowboy up at this festival celebrating Nebraska’s country heritage. The PRCA Buffalo Bill Rodeo features fan favorites such as bull riding, steer roping, and more. The event also includes parades, an antique car show, quilt show, tennis tournaments, and much more.  Florida-Georgia Line and Alabama headline the entertainment. 308-532-7939.
nebraskalanddays.com

33rd Annual Wagons West Celebration June 16 at the Trails & Rails Museum, 710 W. 11th St., Kearney. This festival includes live music, games for children, great food, contests, and educational demonstrations. 308-234-3041.
bchs.us

Father’s Day June 17 at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 W. Park Highway, Ashland. Plan an adventure for your dad this year and treat him to a visit to the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum.  All dads (accompanied by family) enjoy free admission to the museum. There will be a museum tour at 11 a.m., a crawl through of the C-54 “Skymaster”  from noon-2 p.m.
sacmuseum.org

Homestead days June 23-24 at Homestead National Monument, 8523 W. State Highway Four. See how life was lived in the late 1800s through stage performances, demonstrations of traditional crafts and farm machinery, a re-enactment of a Civil War encampment, children’s festival, and more. 402-223-3514.
nps.gov

Full Moon Bonfire—with Storyteller Darrel Draper in Theodore Roosevelt: Rough Rider President June 30 at Wostrel Family’s Union Orchard, 2405 S. Highway 75, Union. Dressed as the 26th President of the United States of America, Darrel Draper delivers an enthusiastic performance pertaining to “Teddy” Roosevelt’s historically important and entertaining run for a third term as president. 402-263-4845.
unionorchard.com


Iowa

Spring Sip, Taste & Stroll May 4 in Downtown Burlington, 400 N. Front St., Burlington. Spend the evening visiting various downtown wineries and breweries while tasting samples and strolling around the area’s shops. 319-752-6365.
greaterburlington.com

Maifest May 5-6 at the Amana Colonies. Guests of this festival will be treated to entertainment rooted in German tradition, including Maipole dancers and wonderful music. Additionally, the World-on-Wheels food-truck fair will serve international cuisine, and guests can also stroll from store to store tasting samples as part of the Wine, Beer, and Chocolate Walk. 319-622-7622.
festivalsinamana.com

Orange City Tulip Festival May 17-19 in Orange City. This event, which began in 1936, celebrates Dutch heritage and consists of beautiful tulips, dances performed in traditional Dutch clothing, daily parades, old-country foods, and more. 712-707-4510.
octulipfestival.com

41st annual Houby Days May 18-20 at the Czech Village in Cedar Rapids. Celebrate spring with a carnival, live music, traditional Czech dances and food, and more. 319-398-5009.
gocedarrapids.com

80th annual North Iowa Band Festival May 24-28 in Mason City. Seventy-six trombones (or more) will parade through the streets of this Iowa town, where Music Man composer Meredith Wilson lived. Along with marching bands, this festival includes a carnival, food, games, and live entertainment. 641-423-5724.
masoncityia.com

John Wayne Birthday Celebration May 25-26 in Winterset. America’s favorite Western star was born in the heart of Iowa, and this two-day festival will celebrate him with a horse parade, 5K run/walk, a benefit auction, and movies. Red Steagall headlines the live entertainment. 515-462-1044.
johnwaynebirthplace.museum

Annual Tivoli Fest May 26-May 27 in Elk Horn. Celebrate all things Danish at this annual spring festival, which includes Danish food, dances, live entertainment, fireworks, and more. 712-764-7001.
danishmuseum.org

2018 Wizard Festival & Quidditch Matches June 2 at Moonstone Lavender Gardens, 1449 240th Ave., Thurman. This is a celebration of all things Harry Potter. Activities include magic lessons from Professors McGonegall, Snape, and others, as well as an opportunity to learn and play Quidditch. Costume contests, music, and food are also included. 712-628-2113.
moonstonelavender.com

Ice Cream Days June 13-16, Le Mars. Come to the “Ice Cream Capital of the World,” home of Blue Bunny Ice Cream, for events for the whole family, including a parade, a Grill-n-Chill Rib Rally, live music, and more. 712-546-8821.
lemarsiowa.com

36th Annual Walnut Antique Show June 15-17 in Walnut. Spend Father’s Day weekend at Walnut’s nationally celebrated antique show. With over 350 dealers of antiques and collectibles lining the city’s historic streets, this event is more than an antique show—it is a spectacular display of community and tradition. 712-784-3443.
walnutantiqueshow.com

Wurst Festival June 16 in the Amana Colonies. While sampling sausages from the area’s best sausage makers and sipping on cold drinks, guests can listen to live music, play games, and watch as dachshunds race one another as part of the second annual Dachshund Derby. 319-622-7622.
festivalsinamana.com

Trekfest XXXIV June 29-30 at Hall Park, Riverside. Featuring live music, a demolition derby, activities for kids, and a life-size statue of Captain Kirk, this StarTrek-themed extravaganza, held in the captain’s fictional hometown, is sure to entertain all ages.
trekfest.org


Kansas

KS Food Truck Festival. May 5, 9th and Pennsylvania streets, Lawrence. This one-day festival features more than 25 food trucks with offerings from across the world, with live entertainment. Proceeds benefit Just Food, the Douglas County Food Bank. 785-856-3040.
ksfoodtruckfest.com

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra 250 & Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series May 11-12 at Kansas Speedway, 400 Speedway Blvd., Kansas City. On May 11, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns for this 250-mile race. May 12 is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Martin Truex Jr. will defend his title and seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson will also race that night. 866-460-7223.
kanssspeedway.com

Lawrence Busker Festival 2018 May 25-27, Downtown, 8th to 11th streets, and Vermont to New Hampshire streets, Lawrence. This annual event invites everyone to enjoy a get-weird-weekend. Unusual live performances by artists, both local and global. Don’t miss the Busker Ball at the Lawrence Arts Center. 785-843-2787.
lawrencebuskerfest.com

Sunflower Music Festival June 22-30, White Concert Hall, 1700 S.W. College Ave., Topeka. This 10-concert series on the Washburn University campus features orchestra, chamber ensembles, jazz, and student ensembles. 785-670-1396.
sunflowermusicfestival.org


Missouri

Off the Wall: Pop Hits of the ’80s with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra May 4 at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City. Travel back to the decade in which Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and others ruled the charts. 816-994-7200.
tickets.kauffmancenter.org

Ninth Annual Sikeston Jaycees Crawfish Boil & Music Festival May 5 at Sikeston Rodeo Grounds, 1220 N. Ingram Road, Sikeston. This event offers wonderful Louisiana crawfish and live music in a friendly atmosphere. Activities for the whole family are also scheduled. 573-931-0099.
sikeston.net

Gatsby Days May 10-13 in Excelsior Springs. Break out the beads, fringe, and zoot suits for this homage to the roaring ’20s. Events include a fashion stroll, antique car parade, a Gin & Jazz party, vaudeville performances, and more. 816-630-6161.
exspgschamber.com

Discovery Day May 19 at Lewis and Clark State Park, 801 Lake Crest Blvd., Rushville. Explore and learn about the wildlife and wildflowers that inhabit Gosling Lake Trail and Lewis and Clark Lake. Guests can also learn about the Corps of Discovery expedition and even look at a model keelboat. 816-579-5564.
mostateparks.com

Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band May 19 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of his album Son of a Son of a Sailor, the iconic singer will take the stage and entertain with his timeless hits. He will also stop in Des Moines on May 22. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

Poison May 25 at the Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. The world-famous rock band will take the stage as part of their “Nothin’ But A Good Time 2018” tour with special guest Cheap Trick. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

Festa Italiana June 1-3 at Zona Rosa, 8640 N. Dixson Ave., Kansas City. With great Italian food, a beer garden, an Italian car show, and much more, this annual event celebrating Italian and Italian-American culture is sure to entertain the whole family. 816-587-8180.
zonarosa.com

Renditions Polish Pottery Festival June 9 in Weston. This celebration of Polish culture includes live music, dancing, traditional food, and displays of unique pottery and art. 816-640-2909.
westonmo.com

Kesha & Macklemore June 26 at the Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. “The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore” tour will bring the two superstars together as they put on a spectacular show. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com


Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

2018 March/April Explore!

Nebraska

Marvelous Maples Through March 10 at Lied Lodge & Conference Center, 611 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City. Guests will learn how maple syrup is made and be able to sample sap straight from the tree as well as other popular syrups. The event will end with a campfire and fun tree crafts. Reservations should be made on the website prior to the event. 402-873-8717.
liedlodge.org

Wings Over the Platte Through April 8 at Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, 3133 W. Hwy 34, Grand Island. Tour the only art exhibit dedicated to life on the prairie. The exhibit will feature artwork from Sally Jurgensmier. 308-385-5316.
stuhrmuseum.org

Rodeo Grand Island March 1-3 at Fonner Park, 700 E. Stolley Park Road, Grand Island. This Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association event features team roping, barrel racing, and Xtreme Bull Riding (Saturday). 308-382-4515.
heartlandeventscenter.com

Gene Coon: From Beatrice, Nebraska, to Star Trek and Beyond March 2-3 at Gage County Museum, 101 N. Second St., Beatrice. Honor the career and life of TV writer and Nebraska native Gene Coon (with featured speaker, author David Gerrold). 402-228-1679.
gagecountymuseum.info

P!nk March 6 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, Lincoln. Fans can hear P!nk perform songs from her new album, Beautiful Trauma. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Kinky Boots March 9-11 at Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. This musical features songs from award-winning artist Cyndi Lauper. The production celebrates the joys of friendship and the power of perspective. 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. March 14-17 in downtown O’Neill. Celebrate “The World’s Largest Shamrock” with 7,000 friends in O’Neill. Festivities begin Wednesday with the Irish Walk of Fame and the painting of the town’s beloved shamrock. Other activities include “Getting the Horse Green,” a free concert, music in pubs, Irish dancers, and a Saturday parade. 402-336-2355.
oneillchamber.com

The Irish Tenors March 16 at Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. This trio has played at Carnegie and Radio City Music halls, and now they are coming to the Lied Center. The Irish Tenors will perform classic Irish tunes with a live orchestra. 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org

Roy and Rosemary March 16 at Merryman Performing Arts Center, 225 W. 22nd St., Kearney. Roy and Rosemary have traveled the world playing the violin and piano, respectively. 308-627-2717.
kearneyconcerts.org

Shamrock Shuffle 5k Walk/Run/Crawl March 17 at Chuckles Bar, 513 4th St., Fairbury. Come dressed up in leprechaun gear and sip on green adult beverages during the race. Stay for the post-race celebration and enjoy live music, giveaways, and food. 402-729-3000.
fairburychamber.org

Let it Be March 20 at Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. Relive some of the Beatles most iconic moments in this international Broadway production. 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org 

Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival March 22-25. Multiple locations, Kearney. Join the festivities as thousands of Sandhill cranes migrate through Nebraska. Speakers include Richard Beilfuss, president and CEO of the International Crane Foundation. 308-468-5282.
ne.audubon.org

The Grand Comic Con March 23-24 at The Grand Theatre, 316 W. Third St., Grand Island. The opening ceremony for this event will be held at the historic Grand Theatre, with the majority of activities occurring at the Liederkranz Ballroom, located at 401 W. First St. in downtown Grand Island. 308-381-2667.
grandmovietheatre.com

Lorde March 24 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, Lincoln. Guests will hear Lorde perform songs from her new album, Melodrama. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Foreigner March 31 at Heartland Events Center, 700 E. Stolley Park Road, Grand Island. Catch the ’80s band known for their timeless anthems and sing-along shows. 308-382-4515.
heartlandeventscenter.com

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago April 3 at Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performances are infused with unparalleled creativity and innovation. The performance will feature dance inspired by jazz, modern, ballet, and theatrical styles. 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org

She Kills Monsters April 5-8 and 12-15 at Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Miller Theater, 2710 N. 48th St., Lincoln. After the death of her sister, Agnes must learn how to embrace her inner geek and warrior as she seeks refuge in Dungeons and Dragons. 402-465-2384.
nebrwesleyan.edu/theatre-tickets 

Easter Weekend March 26-27 at Arbor Day Farm, 2611 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City. Arbor Day Farm offers an Easter getaway that is sure to become a tradition for many families. The Easter Family Fun Package includes a stay at the Lied Lodge, a trip up the 50-foot tall tree house, and an Easter egg hunt. 402-873-8717.
arbordayfarm.org

Monster Jam Triple Threat Series April 13-14 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, Lincoln. Enjoy the thrill of watching monster truck drivers run over the dirt track at the arena and compete to win first prize. Meet the drivers and see the trucks up close on Saturday at the Pit Party. The Pit Party and main event require separate admission. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Adams & Cooley Rat Pack Jazz April 15 at Wood River High School Theater 13800 W. Wood River Road, Wood River. Adams and Cooley will serenade audience members with classic jazz standards from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, and more. 308-583-2606.
wrcommunityfoundation.com

The Illusionists April 20-21 at Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. Coming from Broadway, five of the world’s leading illusionists perform together in this exciting and suspenseful production. 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org 

Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet April 21-22 at AG Park, 822 15th St., Columbus. Ride for a good cause. The Star City Bikers Against Child Abuse will be on hand collecting donations. 605-545-3602.
columbusnebraskabikeshow.com

Brad Paisley April 26 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, Lincoln. Enjoy Brad Paisley perform his new album as a part of his “Weekend Warrior Tour.” The concert will feature country music guests Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant, and Lindsay Ell. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Arbor Day Celebration April 27-29 at Arbor Day Farm, 2611 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City. Celebrate this holiday where it all began at Arbor Day Farm. All across this 260-acre campus, opportunities abound to play, learn, taste, and shop, all in celebration of trees. 402-873-8717.
arbordayfarm.org

Iowa

Gridiron Glory: Pro Football Hall Of Fame Exhibit Through June at Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. The largest traveling exhibition in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s history, the 6,000-square-foot exhibit features hundreds of artifacts—many exhibited for the first time—from the Hall of Fame’s collection, including a 500-square-foot area dedicated to the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. 563-324-1933.
putnam.org

Iowa Deer Classic March 2-4 at Iowa Events Center, 703 Third St., Des Moines. Hunters from far and wide are welcome to join the Iowa Deer Classic. This event features hunting seminars, exhibitors, archery tips, and much more. 319-232-0218.
iowadeerclassic.com

Momix’s Opus Cactus March 3 at Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. Guests will see iconic landscapes associated with the American Southwest reimagined by illusionistic style dance. 515-246-2300.
desmoinesperformingarts.org

Riverdance March 4 at Orpheum Theatre, 528 S. Pierce St., Sioux City. Enjoy an evening of Irish dance and music in this high-energy performance. This event welcomes all age groups. 712-244-5000.
tysoncenter.com

Chicago March 9-11 at Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. See the award-winning musical Chicago brought to life. Guests will see this musical performed with everyone’s favorite songs and dance routines. 515-246-2300.
desmoinesperformingarts.org

Miranda Lambert March 15 at Wells Fargo Arena, 233 Center St., Des Moines. See Miranda Lambert perform songs from her new album, The Weight Of These Wings, as a part of her “Livin’ Like Hippies Tour.” 515-564-8000.
iowaeventscenter.com

Little Big Town March 24 at Tyson Events Center, 401 Gordon Drive, Sioux City. Guests will get to experience Little Big Town perform live as a part of their “The Breakers Tour.” 800-593-2228.
tysoncenter.com

ChildServe’s Bubble Ball April 7 at Iowa Events Center 703 Third St., Des Moines. See models walk the runway in Bubble Wrap fashion created by designers, artists, and creative professionals. Guests are welcome to enjoy a meal, music, and other surprises. 515-564-8000.
iowaeventscenter.com

Freestyle Wrestling World Cup April 7-8 at Carver Hawkeye Arena, 1 Elliott Drive, Iowa City. Cheer on the best wrestling talent in the world as the top eight qualifying international dual teams step foot into Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Team USA will take on Georgia, Azerbaijan, Japan, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Iran. 319-335-9431.
worldcupiowacity.com

Les Miserables April 17-22 at Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. Guests will see the classic story of Les Miserables performed with the musical’s most popular songs. The production will feature a new set inspired by Victor Hugo’s paintings. 515-246-2300.
desmoinesperformingarts.org

Take a Bite April 20-22 at the Amana Colonies, I-80 Exit 225, Amana. This three-day food fest includes cooking education, hands-on instruction, samplings, and special menu items and dinners at Amana Colonies food businesses. 319-622-7622.
amanacolonies.com

Festival of Cheese April 21 at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. A festival of all things cheese. Sign up for a 30-minute class exploring fondue or cheese boards. Advance ticket purchase suggested. 515-278-5286.
lhf.org

West Side Story April 21-22 at Orpheum Theatre, 528 S. Pierce St., Sioux City. The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra will perform music from West Side Story. The performance will feature choreography with a digitally designed set. 712-244-5000.
orpheumlive.com

Kansas

Arlo Guthrie, featuring Abe and Sarah Lee Guthrie. March 10 at Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park. Folk legend Arlo Guthrie is coming to Kansas with his children to present the “Re: Generations” tour. 913-469-4445.
jccc.edu   

2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, First and Second Rounds March 15 and 17 at Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman St, Wichita. Host Wichita State University welcomes teams competing in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. 855-755-7328.

Kegs ’n’ Eggs April 7 at Kansas City Renaissance Festival, 633 N. 130th St. Bonner Springs. While sipping on craft beers at this adult-only event, guests can hunt for eggs and win prizes at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival grounds. 913-721-2110.
kegsneggskc.comMissouri

Missouri

Rigoletto March 3, 7, 9, and 11 at Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City. Be prepared to shed a tear at Verdi’s masterpiece tale. Sung in Italian with English subtitles. 816-994-7222.
kauffmancenter.org                                           

National Geographic Live—Christina Mittermeier: Standing at the Water’s Edge. March 6 at Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City. Christina Mittermeier, National Geographic photographer, will show photos illustrating the connection between bodies of water and indigenous people groups. 816-994-7222.
kauffmancenter.org                                    

Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament March 7-10 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. March Madness comes to the Midwest. Watch the best of the Big 12 face off as the race to the Final Four begins. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenterboxoffice.com

Lady Be Good—Celebrating Women in Jazz March 9 at Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City. The program will highlight great female practitioners of jazz, with special guests. 816-994-7222.
kauffmancenter.org                                           

The Eagles March 19 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Spend An Evening With the Eagles with this classic rock group on their latest tour. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenterboxoffice.com

2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional March 23 and 25 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Cheer on your preferred team during March Madness. The winner of this tournament will advance to the Final Four. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenterboxoffice.com                      

Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream March 28-April 1 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Celebrate what’s possible as the adventures of five daring Disney heroines spark the courage inside everyone. Moana, Anna, Elsa, Rapunzel, Belle, and Cinderella make their wishes come true, with some help from their friends. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenterboxoffice.com

Screenland at the Symphony: Back to the Future April 20 and 21 at Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City. See this ’80s classic film projected on a large screen and the score performed with a live symphony. 816-994-7222.
kauffmancenter.org

Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

2017 September/October Explore!

September 1, 2017 by
Photography by contributed

State of Nebraska

Apple Jack Festival in Nebraska City Sept. 15-17.

Apple Jack Festival Sept. 15-17, various locations, Nebraska City. Drawing 60,000-80,000 people to Nebraska City every year, this festival celebrates the beginning of apple harvest. Named one of the Top 10 Fall Harvest Festivals in the United States by USA Today, everything is entirely apple-themed. Apple pie, apple cider, candy apples, caramel apples, apple fritters, and more goodies will be available. 402-873-8757.
gonebraskacity.com/festival/apple-jack-festival

Harvest Festival Sept. 16-17, Legacy of the Plains Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail, Gering. Now in its 21st year, this event attracts thousands of travelers from throughout Nebraska and neighboring states. There will be a pick-your-own potato patch, demonstrations of antique farm equipment, a corn maze, and more. 308-436-1989.
legacyoftheplains.org

Annual Ogallala Indian Summer Rendezvous Sept. 21-23, Rendezvous Square, 112 E 2nd St., Ogallala. The 33rd annual event features a chili cook-off, car and bike show, 5K and one-mile run/walk, music, and entertainment. 308-284-4066.
ogallalaindiansummerrendezvous.com

Lincoln Symphony Orchestra presents Joshua Bell & Bruch Sept. 26, Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. Performing composer Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell will join the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra for their season-opening performance. 402-476-2211.
—lincolnsymphony.org

Luke Bryan Sept. 28, Bob Benes Farm, 701 S.W. 63rd St., Lincoln. Billboard’s top country artist in 2016 is bringing his “Farm Tour” to Lancaster County resident Bob Benes’ farm. With special guest Jon Pardi, the show is the first of the ninth year of the tour that brings country music to rural farm fields. No phone number available.
lukebryan.com/farm-tour

Lincoln Calling Sept. 28-30, various locations, Lincoln. The annual non-profit music festival put on by Hear Nebraska will feature emerging artists as well as some better-known ones, such as headliner Charli XCX. No phone number available.
lincolncalling.com

B-52s at Lied Center for Performing Arts Sept. 30

B-52s Sept. 30, Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. Known for their hit singles “Love Shack,” and “Rock Lobster,” the B-52s have sold over 20 million albums, bringing a party with them to every city they visit. 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org

Prairie Loft Harvestfest Oct. 1, Prairie Loft Center for Outdoor & Agricultural Learning, 4705 DLD Road, Hastings. This free annual event celebrates the harvest season in Nebraska, offering kids’ activities and music, a tractor display, hayrack rides, farm animals, food vendors, and more. 402-463-0565.
prairieloft.org

Trevor Noah Oct. 6, Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. The host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show will perform an evening of stand-up. He was the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org

Great Pumpkin Festival in Crete Oct. 6-8

Great Pumpkin Festival Oct. 6-8, along Main Street in Crete. Downtown Crete will be packed full of autumn fun. Highlights include hayrack rides, carnival games, food, and the Great Pumpkin Giveaway. 402-826-2136.
cretepumpkinfest.com

Prairie Lights Film Festival Oct. 20-22, The Grand Theatre, 316 W. Third St., Grand Island. This three-day film festival promotes and showcases Nebraskan-made films and encourages networking and public support. This year includes the world premieres of the documentary Prairie Pints and short film The Bagman Died First. 308-381-2667.
prairielightsfilmfest.com

Motown the Musical Oct. 21-22, Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. This show follows the American Dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy, who assisted in launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and others. Motown the Musical features hit songs such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” 402-472-4747.
liedcenter.org

Boo on the Farm Oct. 22, Wessel Living History Farm, 5520 S. Lincoln Ave., York. This Halloween event is for children in preschool through fifth grade. Games, treats, wagon rides, and Starbucks coffee will be available all day long. Each child will receive a pumpkin to take home. 402-710-0682.
livinghistoryfarm.org

Boo at the Zoo Oct. 26-30, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, 1222 S. 27th St., Lincoln. With over 40 trick-or-treat booths, Boo at the Zoo is Lincoln’s largest Halloween event. All of the money raised directly supports the animals, and children can see their favorite critters while snacking on candy. 402-475-6741.
lincolnzoo.org/events

The Good Life Halfsy Oct. 29, throughout Lincoln. This half marathon goes through several area green spaces. Runners also pass stadiums and iconic buildings before finishing downtown. 402-937-8515.
goodlifehalfsy.com

Punkin’ Chunkin’ Oct. 29, along Highway 32 one mile east of Petersburg. Competitors enter their machines to shoot, launch, throw, or fly pumpkins weighing 6 to 12 pounds. Pumpkins will be flung across fields all day long, and the event is held in conjunction with the World Championship Punkin’ Chunkin’ Association. 402-386-5551.
ci.petersburg.ne.us

Iowa

Iowastock 2017 Music and Art Fair Sept. 1-4, Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater, 3357 St. Charles Road, St. Charles. This new festival to central Iowa has a major goal in mind of highlighting the state’s homegrown talent. Along with music, the four-day event will feature food vendors, arts and crafts, and after-parties. 515-770-1218.
iowastock.com

Harvest Wagon Rides at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa, throughout September and October.

Harvest Wagon Rides Sept. 9, 16, and 23, and Oct. 14, Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. This evening of horse and wagon rides through fields and country roads also includes light refreshments and other autumn fun. 515-278-5286.
lhf.org

World Food & Music Festival Sept. 15-17 in downtown Des Moines. This food festival celebrating cuisine from around the world is returning with live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and a fireworks show. 515-286-4949.
worldfoodandmusicfestival.org

ZZ TOP Sept. 17, Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. The legendary rock band has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. 515-246-2300.
desmoinesperformingarts.org

Oktoberfest in downtown Des Moines Sept. 22-23

Oktoberfest Sept. 22-23, downtown Des Moines from Mulberry Street to Grand Avenue. Featuring polka bands, authentic German food, a rooftop bier garden, beer villages, dance lessons, and a stein holding competition, the 14th annual Oktoberfest is held in the heart of the Historic Court District. 515-286-4950.
oktoberfestdsm.com

Halloween Hike Oct. 23, Annett Nature Center, 15565 118th Ave., Indianola. Trek down a trail lit by jack-o’-lanterns and meet several costumed characters along the way. Crafts and snacks will follow the adventure through the woods. 515-961-6169.
warrenccb.org

Family Halloween Oct. 26-29, Living History Farms, 1121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. This non-scary family event includes horse-drawn wagon rides, storytellers, pumpkin bowling, trick-or-treating, and jack-o’-lanterns. 515-278-5286.
lhf.org

Steve Martin and Martin Short Oct. 27, Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. An evening of stand-up, film clips, musical numbers, and conversations of their lives in show business. The comedians will be joined by the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, a bluegrass band with whom Martin performs. 515-246-2300.
desmoinesperformingarts.org

American Alpaca Showcase Oct. 28-29, Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. This livestock competition will feature animals from both the American Alpaca Showcase and the Illinois Alpaca Show. The event is free and will feature alpacas from farms from all over the county. 603-610-6010.
americanalpacashowcase.com

Kansas

Spooktacular Weekend Oct. 20-22 throughout Atchison. Visit the most haunted town in Kansas during the spookiest time of the year. Events include tours by the Haunted Trolley, and of the Sallie House, which has been featured on paranormal shows such as The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and BuzzFeed Unsolved. 800-234-1854.
visitatchison.com/explore-experience/haunted-atchison

Edgar Allen Poe History Mystery Walking Tour Oct. 29 at Atchison Theatre, 401 Santa Fe St., Atchison. Beginning with a tour of the old railroad town, the eerie evening returns to Theatre Atchison to enjoy an evening of mystery as the theater’s Encore Players recreate the drama of Edgar Allen Poe from the golden age of radio. 1-800-234-1854.
visitatchison.com

Missouri

Joestock Music Festival Sept. 1-3, Felix Street Square, 2601 Frederick Ave., St. Joseph. This free music festival is for all ages. Produced in conjunction with the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, the festival is a celebration of local art and music. 816-676-1112.
stjosephmusicfoundation.org

Independence Uncorked Wine Festival Sept. 9, 313 W. Pacific Ave., Independence. Featuring 25 local wineries, the largest Missouri wine festival includes art, music, and food booths. Proceeds from the event go towards national and local charities, and the event is held on the grounds of the historic Bingham-Waggoner Estate and 1852 mansion. 816-820-2112.
independenceuncorked.com

Midwest Tea Festival in Kansas City Sept. 9-10.

Midwest Tea Festival Sept. 9-10, Ararat Shrine Temple, 5100 Ararat Drive, Kansas City. An event completely dedicated to tea, the Midwest Tea Festival focuses on tea preparation, tea culture, history and tons of tea tastings. A tea market featuring vendors from across the Midwest and country will run the entire length of the festival. 816-923-1995.
midwestteafest.com

Gorillaz Sept. 22, The Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Fresh off of the release of the band’s latest album, Humanz, Gorillaz is better known as their virtual selves. The group is known as the most successful virtual band of all time, after selling over 7 million copies of their 2001 self-titled debut album Gorillaz. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

The xx—”I See You Tour” Oct. 3, Star Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City. The British indie-pop band expanded their 2017 North American tour following the release of their third studio album, I See You. 816-363-7827.
kcstarlight.com

Pony Express Pumpkinfest Oct. 13-15, Pony Express Museum, 914 Penn St., St. Joseph. The lighting of the Great Pumpkin Mountain—where hundreds of carved, electrically lit pumpkins come to life at the flip of the switch—opens the Pony Express Pumpkinfest. Following the lighting ceremony, a festival featuring a children’s costume parade, festival rides, food, and crafts takes place. 816-279-5059.
ponyexpress.org/pumpkinfest-201

July/August 2017 Explore

Nebraska

The Good Living Tour July and August, various locations. The third-annual ambitious concert series, produced by Hear Nebraska, connects Nebraska talent to Nebraska towns, encouraging the growth of the state’s music industry. Concerts will be held in: Imperial (July 1), Red Cloud (July 15), McCook (July 29), Norfolk (Aug.4), Lyons (Aug. 18), and Hastings (Aug. 19).
hearnebraska.org

Slide the City July 1, at Benjamin Avenue and 25th Street, Norfolk. 1,000 feet (three football fields) of vinyl will create a family friendly slip-and-slide water party. 402-844-2000.
slidethecity.com

Fourth of July Celebration July 4 in downtown Seward. Recognized as “America’s Small Town Fourth of July City,” Seward has hosted an old-fashioned family celebration since 1868. The event attracts nearly 40,000 people and features a car show, grand parade, extravagant fireworks display, and live entertainment. 402-643-4189.
julyfourthseward.com

Summer Arts and Music Festival July 4 in downtown Fairbury. This summer festival includes a showcase of pottery, a blues party, and a wine and beer tasting room. 402-613-2064.
fairbury.com

John C. Fremont Days July 14-16 in downtown Fremont. Boasting new and old attractions, the 20th annual John C. Fremont Days will feature a Spam-cooking contest, live entertainment, a car and bike show, and more. 402-727-9428.
johncfremontdays.org

Nebraska Book Festival July 14-15 at Constellation Studios, 2055 O St., Lincoln. Providing an opportunity for participants to cultivate an understanding of literary history and culture in Nebraska, the festival celebrates Nebraska’s literary heritage and contemporary authors to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and writing. 402-472-7710.
bookfestival.nebraska.gov

Cornhusker State Games July 21-30, various locations in Lincoln and Omaha. Since 1985, the Cornhusker State Games has given people the chance to play. Competitions range from track and field, to chess, to mall-walking. 402-471-2544.
cornhuskerstategames.com

Cowboy Night July 21 at Stuhr Museum, 3133 W. U.S. Highway 34, Grand Island. An evening of cowboy activities returns. The event includes branding, roping games, a horse breaking demo, live music, and s’mores at the picturesque Rural Farmstead. 308-385-5316.
visitgrandisland.com

Gretna Days July 27-30 in downtown Gretna. This tradition began over 50 years ago to thank the community through a picnic. Gretna Days now include a carnival, golf tournament, teen dance, craft show, fireworks show, and more. 402-378-6284.
gretnadays.com

Czech Days Aug. 4-6 in downtown Wilbur. People of all backgrounds will come to celebrate Czechoslovakian culture. Festivities range from traditional dancing to a duck and dumpling run. 402-821-2732.
nebraskaczechsofwilber.com

Haymarket in White Aug. 4 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. Guests to the third annual Haymarket in White Dinner & Dance will enjoy gourmet picnic fare and dance the night away. Attendees, who must dress in all white, come together to celebrate Lincoln and the Haymarket community. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Bruno Mars Aug. 7 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. The “24k Magic World Tour” is Mars’ first full-length tour since 2013. Mars, currently deemed one of the world’s most influential artists by Rolling Stone, has sold out shows throughout the world and has continued to impress fans of all ages. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

A Very Berry Kool-Aid Days Bash Aug. 11-13 in Hastings. Kool-Aid Days celebrates the sugary drink invented by Edwin Perkins. Grab a glass of Kool-Aid at the World’s Largest Kool-Aid Stand, learn about Kool-Aid and other inventions of the 1920s, and more. 402-461-8405.
kool-aiddays.com

Capital City Ribfest Aug. 17-19 Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. The 21st annual Ribfest returns with loads of barbecue, sides, and music. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Eclipse Painting Night Aug. 18 at Cedar Hills Vineyard & Gardens, 48970 375th Road, Ravenna. A painting night in honor of the total solar eclipse will take place at the Cedar Hills Vineyard. Guests will paint the Howl at the Moon design. Wine and snacks will be available for purchase. 308-452-3181.
visitgrandisland.com

Kendrick Lamar Aug. 18 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Dr., Lincoln. Lamar’s April-released album, Damn, has already gone platinum. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the most gifted rapper of a generation,” Lamar has earned six Grammys, including one for best album. 402-904-4444.
pinnaclebankarena.com

Solar Eclipse Viewing Aug. 21 at Homestead National Monument, 8523 Nebraska Highway 4, Beatrice. The rare spectacle of the moon passing between the sun and the Earth turns the day into night. A total solar eclipse will cross the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. The park will host NASA programs and telescopes. 402-223-3514.
nps.gov

Brad Paisley Aug. 25 at the Nebraska State Fair—Fonner Park, 501 E. Fonner Park Road, Grand Island. Country singer Paisley will be joined by country artists Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant, and Lindsay Ell. 308-382-1620.
visitgrandisland.com

Nebraska State Fair Aug. 25-Sept. 4 at Fonner Park, 501 E. Fonner Park Road, Grand Island. The 11-day event offers insights into the unique culture that is Nebraska. The fair includes a competitive livestock exhibition, carnival rides, first-class entertainment, and numerous food stands. 308-382-1620.
statefair.org

Iowa

Independence Day. July 4 at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. Learn how Independence Day was celebrated 100 years ago. Participate in pie-eating contests, foot races, spelling bees, watermelon seed spitting contests, and more. The day will also feature a reading of the Declaration of Independence and a Victorian street parade. 515-278-5286.
lhf.org

80/35 Music Festival July 7-8 at Western Gateway Park, 12th and Locust streets, Des Moines.  Headliners for the 10th anniversary of this music festival, named after the two interstates that cross through Des Moines, will include The Shins and MGMT.
2017.80-35.com

Ioway Culture Day July 15 at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. The Ioway Nation will come to the Farms to offer visitors an opportunity to experience how they built their homes, prepared food, and farmed. Guest presenters will share their knowledge of Native American culture and technology. 515-278-5286.
lhf.org

An American in ParisJuly 18 at Des Moines Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. The 2015 Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a French girl, and a mysterious European city will enchant audiences of all ages. The show earned more awards than any other musical in the 2014-2015 season. 515-246-2300.
desmoinesperformingarts.org

National Balloon Classic July 28-Aug. 5 at Memorial Balloon Field, 15335 Jewell St., Indianola. Nearly 100 hot air balloons will paint the Iowa sky with brilliant colors, as live music plays on the ground beneath them. Events range from balloon races to balloon glows.
nationalballoonclassic.com

Hinterland Music Festival Aug. 4-5  at Saints Amphitheater, 3357 St. Charles Road, St. Charles. Held in a rural escape outside of Des Moines, Hinterland features a blend of music, camping, art, craft vendors, family engagement, and more. Headliners include The Head and the Heart and alt-J. 515-975-7830.
hinterlandiowa.com

Iowa State Fair Aug. 10-20 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, E. 30th Street and E. University Avenue, Des Moines. Attracting more than 1 million people from around the world, Iowa’s salute to the best the state can offer includes exhibits ranging from livestock to doll houses, along with entertainment and achievement. Don’t forget the food! The 2016 fair offered more than 80 options that could be eaten on a stick. The fair is included in the New York Times best-selling travel book 1,000 Places to See Before you Die. 515-262-3111.
iowastatefair.org

Missouri

KC RiverFest July 4 at Berkley Riverfront Park, Kansas City. This Independence Day event for all ages includes 14 food trucks, two stages for musical acts, children’s crafts, and fireworks. 816-559-3750.
kcriverfest.com

OneRepublic July 7 at Sprint Center,1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Since their breakout smash single “Apologize,” OneRepublic has been taking over Billboard charts. Their newest album, Oh My, was released in the fall of 2016 and debuted at No. 3  on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com/events

Footloose The MusicalJuly 7-9 at Missouri Theater, 717 Edmond St., St. Joseph. The Oscar and Tony-nominated musical will dazzle audiences for two nights. The musical follows Ren, a dance-loving kid from Chicago, who moves to a small farming town where dancing isn’t legal. The musical celebrates open minds, dancing, and the wisdom of listening to young people. 816-271-4628.
stjomo.com

Queen + Adam Lambert July 9 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Since their first meeting on American Idol in 2009, Queen and Adam Lambert have created a successful combination. The concert will feature Queen favorites, including “Bohemian Rhapsody.” 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

National Teddy Bear Picnic Day July 10 at Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Blvd., Kansas City. This will be the city’s first celebration of National Teddy Bear Picnic Day. Families are invited to come to the front lawn of the museum with their own picnics, blankets, and teddy bears. 816-513-0720.
kcparks.org

Murder in Maui, a Mystery Dinner July 22 at Robidoux Landing Playhouse, 103 Francis St., St. Joseph. Guests will work through clues to find out who is the murderer in the room. Two actors will be at the dinner to lead guests through a night of mystery and suspense. 816-901-9100.
stjomo.com

Food Truck Brunch July 23 and Aug. 20 at the Roasterie, 1204 W. 27th St., Kansas City. The monthly Food Truck Brunch is a family-friendly event that encompasses an assortment of local food trucks, live music, and games. 816-931-4000.
theroasterie.com

Green Day Aug. 11 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Green Day’s legacy continues with their Revolution Radio tour. Their show will feature a mix of classic Green Day songs and their recent hits, including “Still Breathing.” 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

Kinky Boots Aug. 18-20 at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City. Featuring songs by Grammy-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, the musical, based on the movie of the same name, celebrates the friendships that can be discovered and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. 816-363-7827.
kcstarlight.com

Trails West Festival Aug. 18-21 in Civic Center Park, St. Joseph. Labeled a “total eclipse of the arts,” Trails West delivers a weekend of music, entertainment, and visual arts. 816-233-8467.
stjomo.com

Rockin’ on the River Aug. 26 at Remington Nature Center, 1502 McArthur Dr., St. Joseph. A night of food, drinks, and fireworks will take place on the Missouri riverfront. Guests will also hear music from Casey Brett and Blue Oyster Culture Club. 816-271-5499.
stjomo.com

Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey Aug. 27 at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Music icon Lionel Richie had to postpone his spring “All The Hits Tour” due to an injury. He is now back on the road, bringing with him Grammy Award-winning artist Mariah Carey. 816-949-7100.
sprintcenter.com

Kansas

Heartland Art Guild International Miniature Paintings and Sculptures Art Show July 3-Aug. 4 at Miami County Historical Museum, 12 E. Peoria St., Paola. The 13th annual art show will feature more than 78 artists from around the world and more than 250 works of art. The catch is that paintings and sculptures can be no larger than 5” x 5” making this free art show very unique. 913-294-4940.
artkc.com

Junk ‘N Donuts Swap Meet July 8 & Aug. 12 at Louisburg Cider Mill, 14730 KS-68, Louisburg. 50-plus vendors will head to the mill to sell everything from antiques to new crafts, from food to gifts. Live music will be provided, as well as a country store featuring its famous apple cider donuts. 913-837-5202.
louisburgcidermill.com

Big & Rich July 14 at Warnock Lake, 17862 274th Road, Atchison. This country-western duo is the headliner for this concert, which is part of the Amelia Earhart Festival. Also performing are Cam and Erik Dylan. 800-234-1854.
visitatchison.com/event/lakefest

Amelia Earhart Festival July 13-15 in Atchison. This annual event celebrate Atchison’s most famous aviatrix. The festival includes “Grandfather Earhart’s” ice cream social, a carnival, “Breakfast with the Books” by authors about Amelia, a crafts fair, and flyovers; and it finishes with the “Concert in the Sky” fireworks show. 1-800-234-1854.
visitatchison.com

Tiblow Days Aug. 17-19 in downtown Bonner Springs. The three-day festival features the “Smokin’ On Oak” barbecue competition, a carnival, mayor’s banquet, craft and food booths, live music, parades, car shows, and more. 913-422-1020.
bsedwchamber.org

Blacksmith and Pioneer Days Aug. 19-20 at Transue Brothers Blacksmith and Wagon Shop, 309 Main St., Summerfield. The two-day event features blacksmithing, Dutch oven cooking, butter making, and other traditional activities. Guests can expect old-fashioned ice cream, wood carving, skull painting, and marble blowing. 402-520-0644.
transueblacksmith.org


This calendar is published as shown in the print edition

We welcome you to submit events to our print calendar. Please email event details and a 300 ppi photograph three months in advance to: editintern@omahamagazine.com


Event times and details may change

Living on Wheels

April 25, 2013 by
Photography by R.L. Lemke

The full-time RV life isn’t for everyone, but it is perfect for more than 1 million Americans. Why? Here are a number of the many attractions that draw people from their homesteads out to the open road.

Youthful: The first benefit I hear from people who have made the transition to full-time RV life is how they have reversed their aging. How they look and feel younger. How can this be? I credit the reduction in stress offered by RV life, and the opening yourself to new experiences on a daily basis.

Exploration: Most people crisscross America on freeways in a hurry to get to a destination. Full-time RVers learn to slow down and take the backroads to actually see America. To focus on the periodic stops by exploring the area for days at a time rather than making good time. This opens one up to enriching experiences.

Economical Lifestyle: While it is certainly easy to experience the full-time RV lifestyle in high style, it’s equally easy to live in a very frugal manner. I have visited RV communities that require a $1 million commitment in the purchase of a deeded parcel to huge communities where you can purchase long-term federal permits from $40 to $300. There is a luxury resort I visited where, for the price of a $3,600 six-month lease on a fully developed site, you may leave your RV there for the rest of the year.

The Easy Life: Full-time RVers always comment on how it was freeing to get rid of the accumulated stuff they were tied to. Much like the TV show Hoarders, we become trapped by our possessions. The RV lifestyle is one of few possessions, and just the essentials when it comes to stuff. There may be a sealed container with a single suit and dress, as your wardrobe only needs to be t-shirts and jeans or shorts, as you can always be in great weather.

Family & Friends: As full-time RVers make their annual loop around the country to visit family and friends, life becomes one big party as it is so enjoyable to visit in a manner that isn’t imposing on those being visited. You stay in your own home, sleeping in your own bed, and yet being able to be a part of their lives on a temporary basis. When it is time to leave, simply unhook and motor on to the next anticipated visit.

New Friends: When RVers pull into the next destination, the first thing is for those around you to walk over, introduce themselves, and invite you to evening gatherings. Sitting around on foldout chairs sharing stories of where you have been and what you have seen. This lifestyle pulls you out of your shell and allows you to make many new friends.

Travel With Physical Limitations: As a result of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, campgrounds have built more ramps, paved more pathways, and created handicapped-accessible bathroom and showers. There is one resort I know of where there is a section that offers skilled care in your RV. This allows you to recover in your own “home.”

Interested in trying this lifestyle without a big commitment? There are hundreds of camping areas across the U.S. with fully equipped cabins. This allows you to experience the lifestyle from your auto. Try it, as you may find the RVer experience compelling.