Just because the Fair is over, Labor Day has passed, and kids are back to school doesn’t mean Minnesota has shut down for winter. There may not be quite as many festivals—but there are still enough to keep anyone from getting bored. And besides, soon the harvest and Halloween festivals will pop up. Be sure to check the Minnesota Historical Society’s event page; they’ve always got something interesting going on.
Minnesota Renaissance Fest
Weekends through Sept.; also open Friday, Sept. 27
Rowdy jousting, roasted turkey legs, raucous and libidinous comedy, people in costumes—really, what more do you need?
Defeat of Jesse James Days
The infamous Jesse James met his match when he tried to rob the Northfield bank on Sept. 7, 1876. Today his defeat is boisterously remembered with a bank raid re-enactment, hog roast, square dance, steak fry, vintage base ball, and a parade.
Concrete and Grass Music Festival
Lowertown St. Paul hosts this festival with a diverse range of free music: Lucy Michelle with Chan Poling, Moore by Four, Eastside Quartet, Halloween Alaska, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others.
Harvest Moon Festival
Lumberjack shows, live music, food, and demonstrations of old-time arts (blacksmithing, birch bark basketry, wool spinning, and fire starting, among others), all in this scenic Boundary Waters gateway community.
Greater Moorhead Days
Parades, bocce ball tournaments, live music, food—a full week of fun on the border of North Dakota.
Grape Stomp 2013
Seriously—it’s a grape stomp at a winery (St. Croix Vineyards, to be specific).
St. Paul Classic Bike Tour
This is not a race—it’s just a really well thought-out ride through some of the most scenic parts of the Capitol city.
King Turkey Days
All the usual fun stuff (food, music) plus: turkey races.
Mahkato Traditional Pow Wow
Celebrating its 41st year in 2013. Thousands of Native Americans gather here each year for a traditional pow wow, with ceremonial costumes, foods, and crafts.
North Shore Inline Marathon/Half-Marathon
Feeling competitive? Like your inline skates? This one’s for you. Can’t beat the scenery.
Severs Corn Maze
Fri..-Sun., Sept. 13-Oct. 27 (also open MEA)
The name says it all: a maze built in a corn field. This year’s maze is Explore Minnesota—very appropriate, don’t you think? Don’t let your kids find the way out faster than you do.
Fall Raptor Release
Visit the Raptor Center in Hastings and see a variety of raptors released back into the wild.