8 Things to Do in Minnesota This Fall

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Wander along the St. Croix River banks at Afton State Park / Paul Vincent

8 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, socially distanced autumn activities off your list.

  1. Visit A Pumpkin Patch
    Pumpkin display on antique truck

    Your kids will love the creative displays at Minnesota pumpkin patches / Jenny Anderson

    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
    Father and son at apple orchard

    Father and son share a sweet family moment at the apple orchard / Paul Vincent

    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 Krumbees 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
    Mille Lacs Indian Museum exhibit

    Visit the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post for a closer look at the region's history / Brady Willette, courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

    Visit a Museum

    On a cold or rainy day, pull on your facemask and 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. All museums are operating under limited capacity, so visit their websites for information about new safety guidelines or to make advance reservations.

  4. Take a Drive
    Take in all the views on one of the many scenic byways in Minnesota

    Take in all the views on one of the many scenic byways in Minnesota

    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. Sign up for fall color updates to get weekly highlights by email, and 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. Sip the Local Flavors
    Beer flight Grand Rounds Brewpub Rochester

    Grand Rounds Brewing Company & Restaurant in Rochester

    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 growlers to go or from the brisk patio of your favorite spot.

  6. Find Halloween Fun
    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. If you’re feeling brave, the Abandoned Hayride in Chaska is offering a drive-thru experience. This ticketed event is open October through Halloween weekend.

  7. Get Lost in a Corn Maze
    Halloween corn maze aerial

    Get lost in a Minnesota corn maze to find fall family fun / Jenny Anderson

    Get Lost in a Corn Maze

    Spending a crisp fall afternoon navigating your way through a corn maze can be a great source of family fun. With many spots also offering pumpkin patches, produce picking and other festive activities, it’s a great way to embrace the season. Minnesota’s corn mazes can be pretty epic with intricate designs that change every year. This year, you can find a jungle theme at Severs Fall Festival in Shakopee, a cheer for the Minnesota Gopher football team at Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze in Brooklyn Park or a positive pollinator theme of “bee kind” at Otterberry Farm in New York Mills.

  8. Hike to Enjoy the Fall Colors
    Woman hiking at Afton State Park in the fall

    Fall hiking at Afton State Park, southeast of St. Paul on the St. Croix River / Paul Vincent

    Hike to Enjoy the Fall Colors

    Lace up your boots and hit Minnesota’s many hiking trails for a little exercise, social distancing and spectacular falls colors. Track the changing landscape with our free weekly fall color report or explore one of these 10 must-see hikes in Minnesota.

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.