A variety of fun, educational events are scheduled throughout October in Nebraska’s Venture Parks. These events cover an array of interests for all age groups.
Venture Parks, Nebraska’s four state parks and recreation areas along the Platte River – Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, Platte River State Park, Schramm Park State Recreation Area and Louisville State Recreation Area – are where unique experiences and enhanced camping opportunities have been created in response to demand.
Park entry permits are required on vehicles entering the state parks and recreation areas. Get yours at the park entrance or at OutdoorNebraska.gov.
Visit a Nature Center – Schramm Education Center is located at Schramm Park SRA. The admission fee is $10 for adults, and $7 for seniors and ages 4-12. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with modified hours on major holidays. Platte River State Park Nature Center, located below Mallet Lodge, is free to visit. Its October hours are Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
Fall Break Days at Schramm – These days – Oct. 12, Oct. 18 and Nov. 1 – at Schramm Education Center are designed to provide a little something extra in the center on days when some schools are out of session. This is included at no additional charge with admission to the center. The schedule: 10-noon – Slingshots and cornhole; 1-2:30 p.m. – Bats; 3 p.m. – Nature hike with a naturalist.
Hiking Stick Workshop – This event at Schramm Education Center from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 21 allows participants to create their choice of a hiking stick or nature wand using a variety of materials, which are included in the registration fee. Dress for working with permanent paints and a short hike. Register at forms.gle/fPfKMmUTdHYLdobh8. The fee is $20 for an adult and child, plus $8 for each additional person.
Halloween Spider Hikes – Join naturalists from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 22 and 29 on a hike through the Platte River SP woods, looking for spiders, fall colors and more. Meet at the Nature Center for the hike, then return there to learn about spiders and create a spider web.
Platte River State Park Family Rendezvous – Come enjoy some fall outdoor fun from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at Platte River SP’s Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Complex. Activities will include traditional muzzleloaders, archery, tomahawks, slingshots, pellet guns, nature activities and more.
Wise and Wild – This free program, on Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m., is designed for seniors who love the outdoors and want to enjoy time in the parks. The weekly themes and sites are:
- 6 – Snakes of Nebraska, Platte River SP, Owen Landing
- 13 – Slingshots, Schramm Education Center, lobby
- 20 – Fishing, Louisville SRA, Pond 1 (permit required)
- 27 – Fall Craft Fest, Mahoney SP, Marina
Halloween is Brewing with Fun – Show your Halloween spirit Oct. 15 at Mahoney SP. There will be naturalist programs, games, a costume parade, pumpkin carving and a campsite decorating contest. All events take place in front of Kountze Memorial Theater from 2 to 4 p.m.
River Valley Artisan and Craft Market – Browse through handmade arts and craft items in Mahoney SP’s Crete Carrier Riverview Lodge on Oct. 15-16. Hours for the show are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 15 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 16. For more details, visit the calendar event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov.
Fall Fridays Campground Chats at the Parks – Each Friday, naturalists will bring a variety of activities that relate to nature, camping and outdoor skills from 2 to 4 p.m. at Mahoney SP’s Little Creek Campground Shelter and 4 to 6 p.m. at Platte River SP’s Campground Shelter.