See: Pumpkins, caramel and more; Twin Cities fall fun for 2014 fall festivities
Vivid shades of gold, orange, and red line the streets. The air is crisp, the pumpkin flavorings are in overdrive, and the Vikings are losing games. Yes, fall is in full bloom in the Twin Cities!
I always think of the first half of autumn as a sort of sweet buffer for the coming cold. Drinking in the warm fall hues, pumpkin lattes, apple spice fragrances etc., helps make the slow concession of rearranging the closet and pulling out the sweaters, jackets and boots (I do love the return to boots!) more bearable. But sooner than later things get real: the trees become bare and cold reality sets in. So as the late, great Donna Summer used to sing, let’s dance, the last dance and savor autumn’s gifts while they last. Below is a list of a few highlights of the season (go here if you’re strictly looking for Halloween events):
Apples, Corn Mazes, and Pumpkins!
If picking apples and pumpkins or visiting corn mazes are your favorite fall things to do, and you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to plan a visit! Many apple orchards also have a corn mazes and pumpkin patches (and most close around the end of October or first week in November). Check this handy list of 109 apple orchards in Minnesota put together by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Just plug in your zip code and find an orchard near you for your one-stop fall festivities. Read on for highlights of corn mazes, pumpkin farms and apple orchard near the Twin Cities. Also, don’t forget to check the various farmers’ markets around the Twin Cities to satisfy your seasonal cravings.
Veteran’s Memorial Park
6335 Portland Ave. South, Richfield
Open Saturday & Sunday until October 27
10 am to 7 pm; Prices vary
Hay rides, a bounce house, an obstacle course, mini golf, contests, prizes and of course, pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins!
507 East South Street, Belle Plaine, MN
Open Daily until October 27
Admission to the apple orchard is free. Wagon tours $5.
For 7 years running, Emma Krumbee’s Orchard and Farm has been selected in the “Top Annual Group Tour Festival and Events” by the Minnesota Office of Tourism. The apple orchard and farm, just 45 minutes away from Minneapolis, also features an annual scarecrow festival, celebrating 30 years and displaying over 100 scarecrows. The display will be open 10 am – 6 pm until October 27.
More info from the website:
“Since 1983, the Scarecrow Display has been turning heads, and the good old country fun is the ultimate in rural festivities. The little ones quickly become footloose and fancy-free as they wander about the orchard “scarecrow gazing.”
Tractor-pulled wagons take you to the orchard and to the Great Pumpkin Patch. Fun rides, great food and fantastic weekend entertainment. Find the perfect pumpkins, pick a variety of delicious apples, and select from attractive mums, gourds, cornstalks, Indian corn and straw bales for your fall decorations. Visit the Farm Market, the bakery, Fizzy’s Soda Fountain, the farm animals, and browse our unique gifts in the General Store.“
8001 109th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park
Open Friday – Sunday until October 27.
Twin Cities Corn Maze celebrates the state of Minnesota by incorporating Minnesota icons (the state bird, state landmarks etc.) into their maze. They also donate a percentage of every ticket sold to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Go here for hours and pricing information
1100 Canterbury Rd. S., Shakopee
Open Friday – Sunday until October 27.
Celebrating 17 years, Sever’s Corn Maze also includes pumpkins blasters, pig races, a giant slide, pumpkin slinger and blaster, pony rides and much more.
Go here for hours and pricing information
Highway 8 & Quinlan Lane, Shafer
Friday – Sunday until November 3.
The Shafer Corn Maze promises to be one of the more challenging corn mazes in the state, but don’t worry, a map is provided. There’s even a phone app to help you collect clues with the purchase of your ticket!
Also, make sure you visit Twin Cities area farmer’s markets won’t be open too much longer.
As the fall leaves map, courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shows, the time is now to see the fall leaves in the Twin Cities!
In addition to providing a specific listing for the Twin Cities metro area, the DNR also offers a helpful mobile breakdown of viewing places (in list or map form), that allows you to look up specific sights.
Fall sight-seeing activities:
Padelford Packet Boat Co., Inc., Harriet Island, St. Paul
1am-3pm; Saturdays in October
$43(+tax & fees), includes Hammerschlagen, cruise, and lunch
Buy your ticket here
From the website:
“Dine on an authentic German lunch of assorted sausages with onions & peppers with buns, spinach apple salad, roasted potato wedges, vinegar & oil coleslaw, pretzel bites, German Chocolate cake and coffee. Take in the sights of the Mighty Mississippi cloaked in its autumn splendor while you enjoy our 2-for-1 beer special with background polka music to set the festive mood! Don’t forget to let “Helga the Hamburg Wench” lead you in a rousing Hammerschlagen contest or two!”
Gooseberry Falls State Park
From the town of Two Harbors, follow State Highway 61 northeast approximately 13 miles to the park.
Open 10 am to 12 pm
From the website:
“Join guest photographer Paul Sundberg as he shares his tips and tricks for photographing the rushing waters and natural beauty of Gooseberry Falls State Park. Discover some photography tips during an indoor, hour long presentation then join us for an optional hike to the falls to practice these new skills. Print out your favorite picture to take home. Meet at the Visitor Center Theater.
The hike is a short paved trail to the falls but traveling down the stairs on the dirt trail towards the falls will be encouraged. Bring your own camera or borrow one of ours. Limited Space. Registration is required. Program is FREE. Stop in the office or call (218) 834-3855 x227 or email email@example.com for more details or to register.”
Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th St. W., Farmington, MN 55024
This festival is two events in one. The hands-on experience is during the day and in the evening it is a hayride.
$5.00 – 13 and up
$3.00 – 4 thru 12
Free – 3 and under
More information from the website:
“There are activities at different stations that may include:
Making a corn husk doll
Pumping water at the Fire Barn
Playing old-fashioned games
Plus many more activities
Adults can enjoy showing everyone how things were done in the past or learn
themselves from costumed demonstrators and volunteers. Don’t forget to stop in the
Museum and enjoy our new exhibits. Also check our Variety Store and
Confectionery for candy, books, and gifts for all ages that are available for purchase.
Harvest Moon Festival is for the young and the young-at-heart.
“Not-too-Spooky” hayride from 6:30pm – 8:00pm
(Trolley will load and unload at the General Store)”
261 Parker St.,Marine on St. Croix
11 am – 5 pm
Scarecrow making, face painting, a petting zoo and plenty of caramel, including carmel corn (with bacon!!) and other sweet delights. Perfect for your fall sweet tooth! Fun for the entire family!
3056 Excelsior Blvd., Minneapolis
9 am – 12 pm
More information from the website;
“Attention mature 1 year-olds to silly 6 year-olds and parents and grand parents of said children… Announcing Moss Envy’s Fall Family Festival! Bring the little ones to Moss Envy from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, October 26th for a morning filled with music, movement, dance, stretching, art, stories and more! Moss Envy has wrangled an amazing line up of special guests that will jam pack your morning with little kid fun! The coffee will be on for the adults and maybe you can even squeeze in a little shopping! Click here to RSVP on Facebook! ”
Landmark Center, 75 W. Fifth St., St. Paul
Storytelling, music, arts, candy and more!
W 50th St & France Ave S Edina
10 am; Free
“50th & France is hosting Pumpkin Fest; a fun-filled, free community event! Participating stores will open their doors for trick-or-treating at 10am! Pumpkin Fest-goers can enjoy a cake walk by the fountain on W. 50th Street, Pin the Face on the Pumpkin game, face painting, fire truck tours, horse trolley rides and more…”
3675 Arboretum Dr. Chaska
10 am – noon
$10 member/$25 non-member, includes Arboretum admission. Meet at Ordway Parking Lot.
Information per the website:
“It seems all of nature prepares for winter during this time of year, and during this guided hike with acclaimed naturalist Matt Schuth, you’ll uncover the magic and beauty of how the plants, animals, and insects throughout the Arb get ready for the big chill. Matt always brings in recently collected treasures from his time spent in the collections, and you’ll learn the science and the stories behind his especially selected stops for this walk to greet early winter.” Register here
Zanewood Recreation Center
7100 Zane Ave. N., Brooklyn Park
2 pm – 4 pm
From the website:
Bring the whole family for activities for all ages and a chance to win some great prizes. Refreshments will be on sale. Six free games plus six additional games can be purchased for $1.
Do you have a favorite fall activity or place to see fall foliage? Use the comment section to share what you enjoy most about the the season!
Last update: 10/18/2013
Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.