Over fall break I traveled back home to Omaha, Nebraska. With it being fall without a doubt when my Mom asked if there was anything I wanted to do while I was back I said we had to go to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. This is a place I have attended every year growing up, most of the time multiple times a year. Valas has a numerous number of activities that attract people every year and the number of activities you can do grows every year but they always keep the past attractions which helps make it so special. My Mom was reflecting why we were there how small Vala’s used to be when I was young and just how large and how popular of an attraction it is now.
Vala’s is located off a gravel road surrounded by fields. When pulling up the gravel kicks up from the back of your car and you then park your car in the middle of a field. When pulling in you get such a reminiscent feeling, thinking about your past and how little you were when you started coming. I remember looking back at the past pictures at the pumpkin patch and just seeing how much I would grow every year.
After waiting in the line to get your tickets, which on the weekend can take up to an hour, you walk into Vala’s and decide what to do first. The smells of there food are so strong including their cookies, turkey legs, caramel apples and then the not so fond smell of the petting zoo but the smell of homemade kettle corn take precedence over the other smells for me and engulfs my nose; but I always wait until the end to buy it so that you can get the extra large bag and bring it home and it should last you for weeks but it seems to be gone within a few days.
I sat and reflected on the first thing you see when you walk in: the old, dimly lit, musty haunted house, that has been there since the beginning of Vala’s, which I would always go through, multiple times. This was always my favorite thing to do. This year I got to take my young cousins through the haunted house for their first time. It was cool to see the anticipation on their face as I could imagine that is what I was like as a young kid as my older sister took me through. I always felt like an insider when walking through the haunted house because I knew the background of it and that was an actual house that they transformed. Before the land was Vala’s pumpkin patch it was owned by a family friend’s grandmother. That was the house that they lived in and farmed the land. Whenever I walk through the majorly transformed house I always think of that and how it was once a house that they have completely changed into what it is now.
Walking through the rest of Valas and going to other attractions like the pig races, petting zoo, the corn pit, the tractor ride, and pumpkin shooting will always remind me of my childhood and bring back great memories of going there.
When leaving you are always tired and dirty from the long day and dirt pathways but you never leave without having a smile on your face from how fun the day was. Vala’s is such an iconic fall activity in Nebraska and I would recommend for everyone to go and experience the fun that I grew up with.