Pump the brakes! How is it October already? The lingering summer weather is starting to cool down, and it is time to start thinking about the upcoming holiday season. Even if you’re not ready to let go of those warm summer nights, smoothly transition into planning for the holidays with these local businesses. They’re ready to help you make your holiday season stress-free and fabulous.

Brighten Up

It’s finally time. You head to the basement and grab the boxes filled to the brim with holiday decor. Once you start sorting, you finally reach the thing you were dreading…a giant tangled mess of lights. You could spend hours trying to untangle knots for lights that will give out in the middle of the season, or you could invest in something that will change the lighting game in your home forever.

Halo Custom Lighting (halocustomlighting.com) is a permanent lighting solution for all your holiday needs. The team at Halo will help install your lights, and then they’re built to last around 20 years. The lights have so many different options to cater to any holiday or special day, and are conveniently controlled by an app where you can create your own colors and patterns. These lights can be used for more than just the holidays with a full spectrum of LED colors that can highlight your home during any time of the year.

For a low maintenance decoration for years to come, these climate-tested lights cut the holiday decorating process in half.

Jen Keller
Halo Custom Lighting

Jen Keller from Halo shared some of her holiday planning philosophies with us.

“I don’t really like the hustle and bustle of the holidays. The reason for the season gets lost in all of the shopping and events and traveling,” explained Jen. “Remember to center your season around family and taking time to reflect on the past year.”

Halo Custom Lighting is excited for the upcoming holiday season and ending the year the right way! Jen encourages you to step back from the excitement and business of the season to soak up time with your loved ones and enjoy every moment. The lights make it easy to instantly transform your home into a holiday spectacle every guest will be wowed by. Create more memories this season with the help of Halo. The ease of decorating will give you the extra time you need to treasure the holidays and eliminate stress and decorating dread.

“For a low-maintenance decoration for years to come, these climate-tested lights cut the holiday decorating process in half,” said Jen. “We enjoy helping people take one item off their long to-do lists during the holidays. The reason for the season can get lost in all of the shopping, events, and traveling. Remember to center your season around family and take time to reflect on the past year.”

Berry Scary

The age old debate over when to start playing Christmas music usually starts to circulate around this time of year. Whether you listen before Thanksgiving or after Black Friday, most people can agree on one thing: no Christmas music before Halloween.

Halloween is a special time of year. It welcomes in the change of season and kicks off the holiday season in the spookiest way possible. If you prefer the tame side of Halloween, never fear! (Get it?) Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch (bellevueberryfarm.com) has something for every scare level.

Hopefully you won’t need your voice any time soon, because the Ranch of Terror will have you screaming! The Ranch of Terror is a Halloween exclusive at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch. The 45-minute experience includes a haunted house, pirate cave, and corn maize. This is NOT for the faint of heart. Come to the Ranch of Terror ready to be scared.

For those that aren’t looking for a scream, drop off your horror-loving friends and hop on a haunted hayride. The haunted hayride can be a little scary at times, but it is still suitable for kids and not-so-brave adults.

If you’re looking for a day time activity, head to Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch for an inviting fall atmosphere and all sorts of sights and activities. In addition to the pick-your-own farm featuring different fruits and vegetables, the farm hosts antiques, livestock and crops, unique play areas, hayrides, tree houses, and even a pirate ship.

The pumpkin season on the farm began on September 18 and will continue until October 31. Bring a group and rent a campfire! If you don’t make it for pumpkin season, the farm is available for event rental year round. Get your pumpkin patch fix this season at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch.

Fall into the Right Venue

There is nothing like a perfect autumn day. The rich colors of nature, cozy weather, and crisp air bring an essence of nostalgia to the season. Hosting a special event during the autumn months is the perfect way to celebrate the season while surrounded by friends, family, or coworkers. Finding an event venue is a huge part of the process, so it is important to find one that captures the essence of autumn and enhances the experience for you and your guests.

The Wedding Barn (weddingbarn402.com) may have wedding in their name, but the opportunities for celebration are endless at this gorgeous venue. This intimate venue is made for parties of 80 or less, and has options for indoor and outdoor areas. Once used as a farm barn that held livestock and equipment, Owner Kelly Jensen and Event Coordinator Tammy Helzer are proud to have repurposed the quaint barn into a special venue that offers the country atmosphere and serene, quiet setting that so many local dwellers desire.

The Wedding Barn’s natural setting is the perfect backdrop for a fall celebration. The canvas is yours to paint any way you want, whether it is for a spooky Halloween-themed party with friends, a Sunday afternoon luncheon for work, or a pumpkin carving event for your church. Decorations can only add to the scenery. This is why an event at The Wedding Barn is sure to wow your guests and meet every one of your needs. Located in Palmyra, this location is a great option for those who don’t mind getting out of town a bit for a unique venue. Nothing a party bus couldn’t get you to!

Healthy Holiday Treats

Tasty treats are one of the most fun parts of the holidays, so give your crew something to drool over by ordering sweets from The Omaha Bakery (theomahabakery.com). Their menu includes intricate cakes, a variety of cheesecake flavors, soft breads that come in rolls or loaves, and brownies and bars that can be custom designed to fit the occasion. The Omaha Bakery also offers ketogenic desserts for those who are on a low-carb diet but want to indulge for the holidays. From cookies to pumpkin loaves, The Omaha Bakery always has something sweet and healthy up their sleeve.

Don’t let the temptation of sweet treats everywhere cause you stress about falling off the wagon this holiday season – enjoy desserts that taste just as good as the non-keto products by ordering from The Omaha Bakery!

Santa’s Here?!

With all the hustle and bustle of planning the holidays, you may find yourself sitting at home on January 2 realizing that you have zero photos from the holidays. Don’t spend time making your next holiday event perfect just to end up with no memories!

FotoFunSpot (fotofunspot.com) has the perfect inventory of photo capturing technologies to make your event memorable and extremely fun. FotoFunSpot provides premium attended and unattended photo booth services that can create fun, unique, and memorable experiences. From elegant mirror booths to 360 video booths to self-service stations, FotoFunSpot can provide great entertainment for any holiday event.

Mitch Miller

“Since photo booths are intentionally informal, people have freedom to be creative and have fun,” said Owner Mitch Miller. “The result is people getting to know each other better through casual, relaxed interactions where they are free to be themselves.”

Experiential photography comes in many forms and can be much more than a photo booth on its own. Integrating a photo booth into a group activity adds a new spin on an otherwise familiar game. For example, consider having a scavenger hunt and using the photo booth as a way to document the “finds” from each participating team.

Photos with Santa are a classic favorite. This year, FotoFunSpot has partnered with a Santa and some local event designers to offer the complete Santa photo experience that leaves no work left for you. The moments between Santa and a child sharing their Christmas list are precious memories that become family keepsakes for years.

Don’t wait too long to book for this holiday season though, warns Mitch.

“The time to book your holiday party is now!  We already have some dates sold out in December,” said Mitch. “As the holidays approach, everyone’s schedule gets busier and busier, and it’s important to get those items that can be booked ahead of time so you have less to worry about as your event date approaches.”

The most important aspect of the holidays is spending time with the people you love. Capturing these memories through photos freezes the moment in time, so you and your loved ones can reminisce for years to come.

“After the cookies have been eaten, the eggnog is gone, and the party’s over, the one thing that will remain are the printed and digital photos that people take with them,” Mitch shared. “We’ve been told many times over about families that have photos from past years and how they keep the photos on the fridge or in an album. People truly love the photos, and the memories associated with them.”

Feeling the holiday spirit? There’s no shame in getting your holiday plans ready early. Play “Deck the Halls” before Thanksgiving and get in touch with these local businesses to help you prepare for a sparkling holiday season!