post thumbnail
September 23, 2022

Twin Cities in the Fall

Go ahead. Pull out the phone and snap a selfie with your very first pumpkin spice latte of the season. You know you want to. We officially grant you permission. Now lean in, and allow yourself to savor your guiltiest pleasure. We all have a love-hate relationship with PSLs, it’s not just you.
Fall is here, and there is no better place to live than the Twin Cities to truly take it all in. Whether you’re looking to hike among the turning leaves, take the kids to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, or find the perfect balance between a subtle pumpkin flavor and hops at one of the many local breweries, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


Fall Festivals:

Minnesota Renaissance Festival: Weekends through October 2nd in Shakopee
Huzzah! The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is back again! Come with an empty tummy, a full wallet, steampunk goggles and fairy wings. As for attire? Anything goes! Pirates, knights, fairies, queens and combination of them all! Come for games, food, and drink. Take in a jousting match or walk through a torturous dungeon (yes, you actually pay for this). There’s street performers, arts and crafts, shops galore and the greatest people-watching of all time.

Pro Tips: Steer clear of a tight corset. This doesn’t bode well for that giant turkey leg and goblet of mead you’ll surely take down while there. Also, the “roads” are all dirt and grass, so if you’re bringing a stroller, make sure it’s got great wheels.

Gibbs Farm Apple Festival: September 24th in West St. Paul
All things apple! Treats, games, crafts, a tour through the orchard, and all food included. 10am-4pm, $5-$8/pp.

Roktoberfest: September 24th in St. Louis Park
Recreation Outdoor Center (ROC), 3700 Monterey Drive, St. Louis Park, Minnesota 55416
Rock and polka music, food, beverages, beer and games/challenges for all ages and prizes. 5-9pm, $5/pp.

Open Streets: October 1st in Minneapolis
Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis will close to street traffic so people can explore their community in person. 11am-5pm.

Stillwater Harvest Fest: October 8-9 in Stillwater
Kids activities all day both days, plus don’t miss the pumpkin regatta & giant pumpkin drop. 10am-6pm, FREE.

Caponi Art Park Leaf Fest: October 15th in Eagan
Enjoy the changing colors of the forest and all the fun that comes with it: the annual leaf pile, arts and crafts activities, make-your-own treats, and more. FREE!

Apple Orchards

West Metro:
Apple Jack Orchards in Delano
Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins fresh from the patch. Activities include: jumping pillow, cow train, apple cannon, a play area and a petting farm. Café and bakery onsite.
Apple Tree-O in Delano
U-pick apples including: SweeTango, Zestar, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Melrose, First Kiss and Haralson. Pick-your-own pumpkins too! Weekends bring occasional activities.

Deardroff Orchards and Vineyard in Waconia
Varieties include: Zestar, SweeTango, Chestnut Crab, Ruby Mac, Red Baron, Cortland, Regent, Sweet Sixteen, McIntosh, Fireside, Haralson, Honeygold and Honeycrisp. Ride the tractor into the orchard to pick your own apples. There is a limited amount of free activities; adults may enjoy the onsite Parley Lake Winery, where they use the grapes and apples grown on the farm to make wine.

Luceline Orchard in Watertown
Pick-your-own apples. There are also plenty of other activities onsite to stay busy, including some that are open on weekdays such as the hay mountain, petting zoo, corn boxes and swings. Saturdays include musical entertainment.

Minnetonka Orchards in Minnetrista
Under New Ownership. PYO apples. Visit during the week if you can to take advantage of all of the free activities. Unlimited hayrides are now included with admission. Refresh after apple-picking with hot apple cider and apple doughnuts.

East Metro:
Aamodt’s Apple Farm in Stillwater
Pick your own. Pay for the bag in advance in quarter or half peck sizes. Not all varieties of apples will be available when you come, so you’ll want to check their picking schedule or call in advance. Fall apples can include: Jonathan, Minnesota Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Sweet RiverBelle and Sweet Sixteen.
There are some free activities such as meeting the resident goat, and much to do that requires a small fee such as little wagon rides and Honeycrisp Express. Adults may enjoy the onsite winery or hard cider brewed right on the farm, plus treats galore in the Apple Barn. Food and drink available.

Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake
No picking at this location. Pre-picked apples only. Instead, take on the corn maze (September 24-October 23, 2022), pick pumpkins (October 1-October 23, 2022) and listen to live music on select weekends. Take your little ones through the big red retail barn; they’ll be mesmerized by the apple sorting equipment.

South Metro
Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings
Pick Your Own apples. Included with the admission fee: playground, tire mountain and petting farm. There are also hayrides, a cow train, jumping pillow, and corn maze.

Applewood Orchard in Lakeville
This little haven is one of the few places to pick-your-own apples in Dakota County.

Ferguson’s Minnesota Harvest in Jordan
PYO apples. Visit the barnyard for a visit with the animals, try out the apple cannon or brave the corn maze.

North Metro
Knapton’s in Rockford
Pick-your-own apples: Zestar, Chestnut (other varieties pre-picked); pick-your-own pumpkins, raspberries and other seasonal produce.

Pleasant Valley Orchard in Rockford
Pick your own apples available weekends only, pumpkins can be picked mid-Sept thru October. Free activities and an annual 12 Days of Halloween event.

Sunrise River Farm in Wyoming
Pick your own apples in a quiet, charming atmosphere with free family activities such as a farmyard and small play area. Take some time to groom the pets and let your teen push you on the giant tire swing. There are also train rides and wagon rides for a small fee.

Victoria Valley Orchard in Shoreview
While there is no pick-your-own option and no kid-activities, this may be the closest apple orchard to Minneapolis if you are just looking for farm-fresh apples. Choose between 21 varieties of apples and grab a pumpkin while you are there. No petting zoo, but you might see deer or wild turkeys.

Pumpkin Patches

Our Lady of Peace Pumpkin Patch in Minneapolis
Warm cider, lawn games, crafts, petting zoo, and autumn scavenger hunt

North Metro
Pinehaven Farm in Wyoming
Take a trolley ride to the pumpkin patch and pick-your-own. The setting is especially beautiful when the fall colors are at peak. Included in admission to Pinehaven Farm are a bundle of fun fall activities: playground equipment, mazes, all-terrain trikes, trolley rides, jumping pillow, and special events on select weekends. Treats are available for purchase daily, full concessions for sale on weekends only.

Anoka County Farms in Ham Lake
Pumpkins and other produce available for purchase. Paid activities include hayrides, pedal tractors, a play area and lots more. Concessions are also available weekends: “State Fair” inspired food, including: cheese curds, mini donuts, corn dogs, fried pickles and hot apple cider

Dehn’s Pumpkins in Dayton
Free admission to the market place and pumpkin patch. Wristbands for adults & kids vary according to day of the week and range from $7-$12/pp. Not all activities are available each day and some come at an additional cost. Pick pumpkins from their 20-acre field, go through the corn maze, take a hayride and have fun in the bouncy houses/and inflatable slides.

Eveland Family Farm in Andover
Pick pumpkins and squash. Exploring the farm and its many inhabitants is a highlight — llamas, alpacas, goats, pot-bellied pigs and more. A lovely picnic shelter is available whether you bring your own food or purchase concessions at the farm.

East Metro
Country Sun Farm
Although you don’t pick your own pumpkins, there are plenty to purchase. For a fee, you can also enjoy the other activities onsite: giant corn pit outfitted with buckets, slides and toys, bounce house, Silly String Zone, corn maze, hay ride, and pan for gems.

West Metro
Marshall’s Farm Market
Find the perfect pumpkin along with fresh Fall season produce. Other activities include: pumpkin bounce house, mini corn maze, and a haunted house for the littlest ones.

South Metro
Barten Pumpkins
Purchase pre-picked pumpkins. Other activities include: photo ops in the pumpkin patch and free entertainment such as live music and hayrides most weekends in October.

Peter’s Pumpkins and Carmen’s Corn
Free hayrides (October weekends) to pick-your-own pumpkins from the field. Pre-picked, homegrown produce also available for purchase. There’s also a corn maze for an added challenge.

Sever’s Fall Festival
Pick-your-own pumpkins. Sever’s is well-known for its extensive menu of activities featuring their corn maze, corn pits, giant slide, and exotic petting zoo. Never mind the corn cannon, try a pumpkin blaster.

Best places to experience the Fall colors in the metro:

Brown’s Creek Trail is 5.9 miles of beautiful scenery. This trail connects to the Gateway State Trail in Grant, MN. If the hike is just too long, try a Stillwater River Boat instead.

East and West River Parkway
The River Parkway runs along the Mississippi River and travels through both St. Paul and Minneapolis. You can run, walk, bike or drive along this beautiful path.

Theodore Wirth Regional Park
Walk, bike or hike through the stunning park on the Northwest corner of Minneapolis. The new visitors center offers some food, beverages and a bathroom.

Minnehaha Falls
The Minnehaha Falls are quite the sight—especially in the Fall. There are great hiking trails, but you can also rent bikes including a Surrey Cycle (bike with 4 wheels for multiple people). Stop for a bite and a brew at Sea Salt Eatery (open through October).

Boom Island
Right on the Mississippi Riverfront, this is by far the most accessible place to see the colors and take in the Minneapolis city skyline. There’s a playground for the littles to run free. Looking for something special? Checkout the MPLS Water Taxi for a unique, private way to see the Fall colors from the river. They launch right from Boom Island.

Other Fall Happenings

Oktoberfest: October 7-8 @State Fair Grounds

Grab your freshly pressed lederhosen and dirndls, and head to the state fair grounds for Oktoberfest. There will be over 80 beers, seltzers and ciders to try, and plenty of schnitzel to spare. Must be 21 to attend.

Minneapolis Farmers Market
Most people think of the farmer’s market as a summer activity. Did you know it goes all through Fall as well? Get fresh Fall produce and unique artisan gifts at the MPLS farmer’s market which goes through October 1. In addition, you can eat your way through the many cuisine options and dance your heart out to local live music.

Minnesota Zoo Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
Walk through the zoo in the dark, lit only by thousands of professionally, hand-carved jack-o-lanterns. The earlier times are great for families, but this is not an event only enjoyed by kids. If you do come with little kids, bring a stroller or wagon as there is a good amount of walking.

Valley Fair Tricks and Treats
Valley Scare is no more. All new for 2022 is Tricks and Treats, a one-of-a-kind fall festival and Halloween party combo. Everyone in the family – from little goblins to grown-up ghouls – will find ghastly great things to do for Halloween. Celebrate the season with mischievous tricks, tasty treats, adventures and activities – and much more.