ON THE FARM

Party Barns, Tents and The Pavilion at Vala’s

Did you know we have Party Barns, Tents and a Pavilion that you can reserve for private events at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch? They make the ideal home base for your birthday party or farm get together, including a campfire site, picnic tables and electrical outlets. Here’s a peek at what they look like. For more information browse our private events page, and reserve your site online today!
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Military Discount at Vala’s, 2014

valas-flagFor 2014, military personnel can purchase discounted admission tickets to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch at the Offutt Airforce Base Information Ticket & Travel Office.

Offutt AFB Information Ticket & Travel Office (Co-Located w/Outdoor Rec and Auto Hobby)
105 Union Ln. Bldg. 362
Offutt AFB, NE 68113
402-294-4049
Office Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat 9 am to 5 pm
Closed: Wed, Sun, & Holidays

Apply to Bake Pies!

pie

The Pie Barn at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is almost complete (remember Kelsey’s post about testing pies?), but we have one last crucial element that we’re missing. We need a team of passionate pie bakers ready to take on the fall season! We’ll be baking homemade, from-scratch pies at a fast pace, with Kelsey Vala leading the way as the head baker. If you have an aptitude for baking, like working in a dynamic environment, and if you’ll be available to work at least 15 hours per week September 19 through October 31, we want to hear from you!

To Apply
You must be age 16 years or more by September 19th to work at Vala’s. Call 402-332-4200 to arrange a time for an interview or email us at info@valaspumpkinpatch.com with the times you are available for an interview and we will get you signed up for a time slot. Vala’s holds group interviews so you will be interviewing with a group of 5 or 6 other people.

2014 Interview Times
Saturday, August 2nd at 9am, 10:30am, 12 noon, and 1:30pm
Sunday, August 3rd at 12 noon, 1:30pm, and 3pm
Tuesday, August 5th at 5pm and 6:30pm
Wednesday, August 6th at 5pm and 6:30pm
Thursday, August 7th at 5pm and 6:30pm

Find more details on our Join Our Team page (if you’re not a baker, we’re hiring for all areas of the fall festival now as well).

Pumpkin Pancake Recipe: Start a Tradition

pumpkin pancakes

My Grandpa Chuck makes the very, very best pancakes. They’re nothing fancy, just buttermilk, flour and eggs, but straight off the griddle they’re fluffy, hot and oh, so good – classic comfort food. So when we decided to have pancake breakfasts on the pumpkin patch, only Grandpa’s tried-and-true buttermilk pancake recipe would do – no mixes here! And, of course, we had to throw an ultra-moist, spiced pumpkin pancake onto the menu (since we are a pumpkin patch!). The result? Saturday mornings at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch this year felt just like a special visit to Grandpa’s house. It was the best way to start a day at the pumpkin patch.

kelsey and kyla pancake breakfast

It occurred to me today that we’re halfway through November, and even though pumpkin treats are delicious all year long, we’re coming up on the end of the official pumpkin-eating season. It’s time to take one more stab at those recipes for pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars and pumpkin pie, whether it’s for a family treat, a work party or your Thanksgiving table. Here’s one recipe I hope will keep the Vala’s Pumpkin Patch pancake tradition alive in your home.

Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe
Serves 2 hungry people

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, pumpkin, egg, butter and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Heat a pan to medium-high or and an electric griddle to 375 degrees F and grease lightly. Ladle 1/4 cup measures of batter onto the hot pan or griddle cook for about 2 minutes per side.

Serve with butter and warm, real maple syrup.

Discount Days, Coming Up

happy halloween Canned Food for Pumpkins
Dates: Tuesday, October 29 to Thursday, October 31
Bring cans of food to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch next Tuesday through Thursday, and you will receive a $2.50 off of a pumpkin coupon with general admission (one per person). All canned food will go to the Gretna Neighbor’s Food Pantry.

Halloween Day Discount
Date: October 31
Admission to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch will be discounted to $7.50 on our last day, October 31. So make one last trip to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch on Halloween Day to stock up on kettle corn and caramel apples!

PinPoint Discount Days: Next Monday through Thursday
Dates: Monday, October 28 to Thursday, October 31
PinPoint Rewards members will get buy one, get one FREE admissions to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch on Monday, Oct. 28 through Thursday, Oct. 31. Just show your PinPoint card at the Vala’s admissions windows. For more information on how to join PinPoint (it’s free!), call PinPoint at 402-502-4401 or email info@pinpointrewards.com.
About PinPoin Rewards

The Perfect Pie Pumpkin: Winter Luxury

Winter Luxury PumpkinReady to experience the best pumpkin pie ever? Look for the distinctive lacy skin of the Winter Luxury Pumpkin. With sweet, smooth flesh, this heirloom variety pumpkin is considered one of the tastiest, and the best for pies. I plan on stocking up before our last day, October 31st — in a cool and dry place, they’ll keep until Thanksgiving and beyond (although mine will be used up in Thanksgiving pies!). Wondering how the heck to cook a real, fresh pumpkin? Here are some of our favorite resources to get you started.

The Pioneer Woman: Making Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Alton Brown’s Pumpkin Puree Recipe

King Arthur Flour: Making Pumpkin Puree

Vala’s Pinterest: Cooking With Pumpkin & Squash

Why You Should Book a Campfire Site

Vala's campfire sitesRoasting hot dogs and marshmallows around a campfire is a tradition that’s very special to my family. Growing up, my sisters, cousins and I would always take summer trips out to my Grandma Lois’ family farmland in western Nebraska, where we would swim in the Platte River and go fishing. When dinnertime rolled around, we would always build a little campfire and break out the hot dogs and marshmallows. They were simple, stress-free vacations, but we made some great memories, and they really meant a lot to us. That’s what I think of when the smell of crackling campfires drifts along in the crisp fall air here at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch. I hope your family can make similar, lasting memories.

More Reasons Why You Should Book a Campfire Site
Whether you have a family of 4 or a huge party to plan, a campfire site at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch is sure to be right for you. Friday and Saturday evenings are full, but there are lots of advantages to coming on a weekday, like discounted admission prices and half-priced campfires on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
See The Campfire Map and Get Details

It’s Affordable
Our campfires start at $55 for small sites, plus Tuesday and Wednesday are half-priced campfire nights. Everyone attending will need to pay general admission to the pumpkin patch as well, so pick a weeknight, when prices are discounted.
See All Prices

Easy Online Booking
Booking your fall get-together or event is easier than ever with our online system – simply choose your campfires site, book it and pay, all online.
Book Your Campfires Site Now

Our New Catering Menu
Planning a fireside party is a breeze if you order Vala’s Pumpkin Patch catering. We have an all-new, expanded menu, so you can order hot cocoa, hot dogs and s’mores, or an all-out barbecue buffet.
Browse Our Catering Menu

S’more Inspiration
Key Lime Pie S’mores, Chocolate Chip Cookie S’mores and more ooey, gooey goodness. Check out some out-of-the-box s’mores ideas from around the Web on our Pinterest board.
How to Make Amazing S’mores

The Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Test Kitchen: Homemade Pies

apple piesFor the past year we’ve had something truly exciting in the works! If you’ve come out to visit us this year, you might have noticed a new big red barn that’s under construction by the Big Slide Ride and Corn Maze. Well, next year this will open as our Pie Barn! That’s right: a whole barn devoted to homemade, from-scratch pies where you’ll be able to grab a whole pie for the family, a thick wedge just for yourself, or you can pre-order pies for Thanksgiving and special events.

This fall season my main priority is all things pie, from slicing apples to throwing together the all-butter crust to testing out different crumb-toppings and fillings. When it comes to homemade pies— the kind with a fragrant buttery crust and a luscious, from-scratch filling— well, I just can’t get enough, and I’m excited to bring these pies to the public. You can find me this season whipping up pies for sale in the Big Barn Bakery, in the farm’s big exit barn. Though pie production isn’t in full swing this year, you can still grab our best-tested pies made from scratch, to enjoy at home—it’s our pie preview!

In the works for this season is Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Crumb-Topped Pie, Pumpkin Brownie Pie, Apple Pie, Salted Caramel Apple Pie, Apple Crumb-Topped Pie, Sour Cream-Walnut Apple Pie, and Chocolate Pecan Pie. What pies would you like to see in our Pie Barn next year?

Follow the progress on Facebook and Instagram #piebarn2014

 

4 Reasons to Visit Vala’s in September

pumpkinsWill you be one of the first people out at Vala’s on opening day, Friday, September 20th at 9:00am? We always think September is the best time to visit the pumpkin patch, because: 1) The weather is usually nice and mild, 2) You beat the crowds, 3) You can take full advantage of a season pass, and 4) For 2013, we’re discounting the weekend admissions price for the entire month (September 20th – 29). So make a trip out to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch early this year!

Buy Tickets Now>>
Buy a Season Pass>>
Plan Your Trip>>
See What’s New for the 2013 Season>>

Discount Days at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, 2013

painted pumpkins

September Discount Days (For Everyone!)
Weekend admission prices in September are discounted to $12.88 per person.

Monday through Thursday Discount Days (For Everyone!)
Monday through Thursday admission prices to Vala’s are discounted to $10.54 per person.

Online Ticket Discount (For Everyone!)
Save $1.00 off October weekend admission prices by buying your tickets online.

 

Military Discount Days
Friday, September 20th through Monday, September 30th
With an Active Military ID, admission to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch for all of September (September 20th-30th) is $8.21 per person + tax, for the military member and their immediate family. Sorry, this does not apply to veterans or retired military members.
Find Details in Our Events Calendar>>

PinPoint Discount Day
Sunday, September 22nd
PinPoint Rewards members receive buy one, get one free admission to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch (limit one per PinPoint card).
Find Details in Our Events Calendar>>

Girl Scout Days
Sunday, September 22nd through Wednesday, September 25
Find Details in Our Events Calendar>>

Boy Scouts of America Popcorn Kick-Off
Friday, September 27
Find Details in Our Events Calendar>>

Homeschooler and Home Daycare Days
Friday, September 20th
Thursday, September 26th
Thursday, October 3rd
Thursday, October 10th
Find Details in Our Events Calendar>>