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Ottumwa Stories: Fall Bucket List

Published September 25, 2023

Fall is a beautiful time to visit Ottumwa, with its picturesque landscapes and colorful foliage. Here are ten must-do activities to make the most of your fall getaway:

  1. Experience the Changing Colors - Fall is a wonderful season to explore the outdoors, and Wapello County is a great place to do so. If you're hoping to witness the beautiful changing colors of the leaves, then we would highly recommend taking a hike at one of our many nature areas, such as Pioneer Ridge or Garrison Rock.
  2. Survive the MayhemMayhem Haunted House is the perfect destination for travelers who love a good scare. Located just outside of Ottumwa, this attraction has been named the number one haunted house in Iowa by iowahauntedhouses.com not once, not twice, but three times! Whether you're a seasoned haunted house-goer or a first-timer, Mayhem will not disappoint.
  3. See a Show - Bridge View Center is the go-to destination for entertainment this Fall. With an impressive line-up of shows that caters to all tastes, you are sure to have a great time. Whether you are a music lover, a fan of stand-up comedy or a theater enthusiast, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Check out our event calendar to see their full schedule.
  4. The Best Brats & Brews - Ottumwa's Oktoberfest celebration is an annual event that is not to be missed. For almost half a century, people have come to Southeast Iowa to enjoy four days of fun-filled activities. From beers to brats, parades to live music, there's something for everyone at this celebration.
  5. See the House - The American Gothic House is a unique and fascinating attraction that is worth a visit in any season, but especially during the fall. Not only do you skip the summer heat, but a parody picture in front of the house is a great idea for a Christmas card to remember your trip.
  6. Get Your Fall Flavor Fix - Fall coffee flavors are the perfect way to welcome the newest season. Ottumwa is a great place to find local coffee shops that are waiting to take your order and help you get your fall fix. No matter which coffee shop you choose, you're sure to find a delicious fall flavor to enjoy. So why not grab a friend and explore Ottumwa's local coffee scene this fall?
  7. Have a Frighteningly Good TimeHalloweenapalooza is the ultimate indie film festival for horror fans. This spooktacular event is more than just a traditional film festival, as it features a wide array of activities to get you in the Halloween spirit. Whether you're a die-hard horror fan or simply looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween, Halloweenapalooza is the perfect event for you.
  8. Admire the Arts - The Indian Hills Community College Gallery is a great place to visit if you enjoy seeing unique and thought-provoking artwork. This fall, the gallery will be showcasing the works of John Schlechter, a Dutch-Indonesian artist who was also an art teacher in Ottumwa. Schlechter’s surrealist paintings are the result of a lifetime of work created while living in three very different places - Indonesia, Holland, and Iowa.
  9. One Word. Bacon. - If you're a bacon lover, then BaconTown is an absolute must-attend event! As the largest pork producing town in the country, Ottumwa is the perfect place to celebrate all things bacon. This event promises a day full of sweet and savory bacon creations that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

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