Tag Archives: Omaha

Omaha adventure: Fontenelle Forest frolic

And suddenly, fall was upon us.

DSC_0901

Friday night, we headed to Council Bluffs for a surprise 30th birthday party for one of Joe’s best friends. We decided to stay the weekend to hang out with family, and I really wanted to check out the Fontenelle Forest after reading a blurb about it in Midwest Living. I love going places with my little nieces and nephews because they have such creative spirits.

FontenelleVisitorCenter

Fontenellecenter

My hometown (Lisle, IL) is also home to the famed Morton Arboretum, and the Fontenelle Forest had a similar outdoor education feel to it. There’s a visitor welcome center and the main feature is a mile-long wooden boardwalk that loops through the forest.

DSC_0900

When we arrived, they were bringing out birds of prey for a demonstration. This kind of falcon apparently swoops down on small birds from above, punches them and then follows the stunned creatures to the ground to finish them off. Intense!

falcon

We strolled along the boardwalk, but the forest encompasses 2,000 acres and features a number of different walking trails totaling 26 miles. I could imagine members who return regularly would have plenty of places to hike, and with each changing season the experience would feel different. When we went, they also had an eco exhibit running throughout the welcome center and along the boardwalk, with little huts and sculptures made from recycled materials.

DSC_0894

DSC_0904

DSC_0915

I especially loved “Acorn Acres,” which had a wooden xylophone that made the most beautiful sounds.

DSC_0926

DSC_0877

DSC_0883

fam walk

Admission to Fontenelle Forest, which celebrates it’s centennial this year, is $8.

After our forest frolic, we met up with a friend and her boyfriend at McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, a vegeterian/vegan restaurant. I got the veggie enchiladas, which were delicious.

Natural Kind Cafe

veggie enchiladas

Any suggestions for other Western Iowa/Omaha spots to explore? This Nebraska Passport is a neat idea.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Travel

Quilty in CB

We survived our first mini road trip as parents, schlepping all of Emmett’s gear to Council Bluffs. Joe’s best friend was in town with his baby boy, London (the baby for for whom I made this quilt) and Joe’s parents hosted a cookout. It was a gorgeous weekend to hang out and eat kabobs.

20130628_203346

Speaking of quilts: The ladies in the fam went on a little Omaha adventure to catch a quilt exhibition at the Florence Mill, a historic building from early Mormon settlements in the area.

20130629_153001

These quilts were like nothing I’d ever seen before – art tapestries that had a kind of metaphysical feel.

20130629_150658

The show by Shea Wilkinson was titled “The Serpent in the Story.”

20130629_150721

The quilt designs looked alternately like something you’d see on a slide under a microscope, or like a nebula captured by a telescope.

20130629_150734

She machine-quilts freehand. 20130629_150906

I thought the quilts displayed up against the old mill wood was a neat contrast.

20130629_150635This was one of my favorites:

fcc82bf2e0f711e2a17a22000a1fd129_7

Even though I’ve been going to Council Bluffs for years now to visit Joe’s family, I haven’t gotten very far on my bucket list of places to see in the area. I still want to check out the Union Pacific Museum and Squirrel Cage Jail (both walkable from Joe’s parents’ house) and I just read in Midwest Living about the Fontenelle Forest. Hopefully we can go on a little family hike there this fall!

Leave a comment

Filed under Iowa adventures