10 Things to Do in Minnesota This Fall

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Corn maze at Rock River Pumpkin Festival in Edgerton

10 Things to Do in Minnesota This Fall

By Erica Wacker

Apple picking, football and pumpkin-flavored everything can only mean one thing: Fall has arrived in Minnesota. This special season is short and sweet, so make the most of it by checking at least a few of these awesome autumn activities off your list.

  1. Visit A Pumpkin Patch
    Visit A Pumpkin Patch

    Whether you prefer to carve scary faces into them, bake and eat the seeds, or use them as centerpieces, locally grown pumpkins are a must-have this time of year. Minnesota Grown lists around 140 pumpkin patches statewide, some of which have rides, corn mazes, petting zoos and enough activities to fill a whole day.

  2. Pick Your Own Apples
    Dozens of Minnesota apple orchards are open to pickers in the fall including the Fishers Croix Orchard

    Dozens of Minnesota apple orchards are open to pickers in the fall

    Pick Your Own Apples

    Home to the Honeycrisp, Minnesota is one of the best places to get fresh and juicy apples straight from the tree. Pick your own at orchards like Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings, Emma Krumbee's in Belle Plaine or Apple Jack Orchards in Delano. Or enjoy them baked into pies, turned into butter or as a beverage at restaurants and breweries.

  3. Visit a Museum
    Visit a Museum

    On a cold or rainy day, duck into a museum for a day's worth of fun and learning. Minnesota's museums showcase world-class art, rare artifacts, local history and hands-on exhibits. This fall, plan a trip to the always fun SPAM Museum in Austin, the Bell Museum in St. Paul or the Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River.

  4. Take a Drive
    Fall drive on the Scenic Byway in Bemidji State Park

    Take a fall drive on the Scenic Byway in Bemidji State Park

    Take a Drive

    Minnesota's fall color show progresses from north to south, starting in early September and working its way down the state into mid-October. Explore one of these rainbow routes when the colors are at their peak.

    Download a pack of our ROAD-TRIP’N BINGO cards for the regions of Minnesota you plan to explore this fall.

  5. See a Show
    See a Show

    The birthplace of Bob Dylan, Prince, Mason Jennings and more, Minnesota has no shortage of great music. Learn more about today's most popular homegrown music acts, and find upcoming shows in our live music calendar.

  6. Sip the Local Flavors
    A beer flight at Fitgers Brewery in Duluth / Democratic Travelers

    A beer flight at Fitger's Brewery in Duluth / Democratic Travelers

    Sip the Local Flavors

    The craft beer scene continues to flourish in Minnesota, and fall is the perfect time to sample the flavors. Many breweries create special Oktoberfest, pumpkin and other seasonal varieties, available in taprooms and growlers to go. 

  7. Cheer for the Home Team
    Cheer for the Home Team

    The Vikings, Gophers and Minnesota United soccer team are among the local teams to root for this fall. Cheer for the Vikings at the shiny U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis or the United's new Allianz Field in St. Paul. Get there on the light rail, including the Green Line from St. Paul. Other local squads that'll either be winding their season down or sparking a new one include the Wild, Saints, Whitecaps and Timberwolves

  8. Attend a Harvest Festival
    Guess the weight of the biggest pumpkin at the Stillwater Harvest Festival

    Guess the weight of the biggest pumpkin at the Stillwater Harvest Festival / Photo by Thomas Wieland

    Attend a Harvest Festival

    Pumpkin weigh-offs, scarecrow contests, craft fairs and "booyas" are some of the many ways Minnesota celebrates harvest season. Highlights include the Applefest & Catapult Contest at Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria, Oktoberfest LITE! at Morgan Creek Vineyards in New Ulm, and Stillwater Harvest Fest, complete with a giant pumpkin regatta.

  9. Celebrate Oktoberfest
    Celebrate Oktoberfest

    New Ulm calls itself Minnesota's most German town, and they do Oktoberfest in a big way. Many other cities join in the fun, too, with celebrations in Deerwood, Waconia, New London and beyond.

  10. Find Halloween Fun
    More than 5,000 carved glowing pumpkins at the Minnesota Zoo Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

    Minnesota Zoo Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Apple Valley

    Find Halloween Fun

    From kid-friendly to frightening, Halloween celebrations of all types can be found in Minnesota. Anoka, the self-proclaimed Halloween Capital of the World, celebrates all month long. Other options include All Hallows' Eve in Farmington, and the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

Erica Wacker

Erica Wacker is a Midwesterner through and through, growing up in Illinois, going to college in Wisconsin, and settling down in Minnesota. She loves to run, travel with her family, and go to concerts to relive her youth.