There’s always something to do in the Twin Cities, and the fall months are no different! We’re here to help you keep your sanity by bringing these activities all together in one easy guide. In 2017, we’ve been providing you with monthly event guides so you don’t miss a thing! This is month #10, and it’s packed with things to do! We’ll update with new additions as they come.
October 1: Stillwater Historic Homes Tour | 12pm-5pm Ever wonder what some of the awe inspiring Stillwater homes look like on the inside? Ten historic homes, including the Historic Warden’s House, the William Sauntry Mansion, the Daniel Fry House, and the A.C. Hospes home, are opening their doors for tours.
October 1: Afton Apple Orchard Apple Fest | Varies You and your family can enjoy an old-fashioned hayride, a petting farm, cider pressing demonstrations and so much more!
October 1: Prairie Sugar Weekend @ Kelley Farm | Varies Join the Kelley farmhands as they make prairie sugar, also known as sorghum molasses. Help strip the leaves off the sorghum canes, press the canes through a horse-powered press to extract the juice and stir the juice as it boils down to make a sweet, syrupy molasses. Then, enjoy a sweet treat of molasses confections such as gingerbread and molasses candy.
October 6-7: Hyland Hills Fall Chairlift Rides | 5pm-9pm on Friday and 4pm-9pm on Saturday Enjoy the picturesque view from the top of Mt. Gilboa, one of Hennepin County’s highest points. Meet a live raptor, view the Minneapolis skyline through a spotting scope, and play a game. At sunset, listen to live folk music from Pig’s Eye Landing, relax by a campfire and follow a lantern-lit trail.
October 3 & 5: ECFE Family Night at the Children’s Museum | 5:30pm Mix and mingle with other families as you explore the museum. This event is open to all families, regardless of school district or ECFE enrollment! FREE.
October 5-8: Just Between Friends, White Bear Lake Consignment Sale | 9am-9pm Find everything you need at this huge consignment sale! They typically have kids furniture, strollers, highchairs, carseats, ride-em toys, Bikes, exersaucers, infant items, bedding, kids & maternity clothing, costumes, shoes, DVDs, electronics, books, toys and so much more!
October 7: Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival | 10am-4pm Family-friendly festival that includes bikes to demonstrate, build-your-skills sessions, gear talks, fix-it clinics, group rides, kids’ activities and races, and great food and beer. New events for 2017 include a pre-event timed competitive race, strider bike races, bike games, and best flannel and best beard contests. FREE.
October 7: Fall Food Truck Festival | 10am-6pm Try out over two dozen food trucks! Kid activities include a giant slide, inflatable obstacle course, and bungee trampolines, video game trucking.
October 7: Fall Frenzy 2017 @ Lakefront Park | 10am-12pm Join the City of Prior Lake for their annual fall festival, featuring a kids pedal tractor pull, free kettle korn, pumpkin painting and live music by American Bootleg. FREE.
October 7: 2nd Annual Fall Festival @ Lakeville Hy-Vee | 12pm-3pm Expect to find activities for the whole family. Children will have a blast with Kids Dance (an interactive DJ for kids), bounce house, games and more. FREE.
October 7: MPR50 Block Party | 3pm-10pm Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th anniversary year is coming to an end, but not without one last party! This family-friendly celebration in downtown St. Paul that will feature all of MPR’s regional services (MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current) with live music, food trucks, art activities and more! Join them to celebrate 50 years of MPR and the wonderful listeners who make it all possible. FREE.
October 7-8: Rivertown Fall Art Festival | Varies This event will feature beautiful artwork ranging from custom made jewelry, hand-thrown pottery & hand-blown glass, to gorgeous paintings and photographs and lovely fiber work, including artists from around the Midwest, music, a beer/wine tent and a wonderful selection of food vendors. The stage will be located in the center of the park overlooking the beautiful St. Croix River.
October 7-8: Fall Flower Show Opening Weekend | 10am While many Minnesota gardens are winding down for the winter season, the Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory will be in full bloom! The Fall Flower Show features a variety of Chrysanthemums. The show will feature black chrysanthemums for the first time in many years! The colors for the show will be black and orange in October and black and pink in November.
October 13-15: Just Between Friends, Eden Prairie Consignment Sale | 9am-9pm Find everything you need at this huge consignment sale! They typically have kids furniture, strollers, highchairs, carseats, ride-em toys, Bikes, exersaucers, infant items, bedding, kids & maternity clothing, costumes, shoes, DVDs, electronics, books, toys and so much more!
October 14: Maker Fair Minnesota 2017 | 9am-3pm This crafter’s fair event will feature over 200 artisans with all handcrafted goods! There will also be a wide variety of food vendors for you to choose from when hunger strikes. 50 lucky adults and 50 lucky kids will receive goodie bags featuring items donated by handmade artisans and food vendors. Adult goodie bags will be given out at 9 am and kid’s goodie bags will be given out at 1 pm. These bags will be stuffed full with more items than ever before! The event will also feature kid’s and adult make and take crafts and other fun activities. Admission is free, but there will be a $1 per car charge for parking when entering the fairgrounds. Admission is free, but there will be a $1 per car charge for parking when entering the fairgrounds.
October 14: Pumpkins in the Park | 4-6pm Shakopee Chamber is throwing family friendly, non-scary Halloween celebration for children ages 10 and under! Children will enjoy a trick-or-treal trail, face painting, jump houses, ghoulish games, refreshments, plus they get to choose their very own pumpkin from the Pick-A-Pumpkin Patch. Children will also get to meet the Shakopee Fire Department!
October 14: LiveWell Expo @MoA | 10am-3pm You’re invited to Mall of America’s LiveWell Expo, a one-day interactive event featuring a healthy + active lifestyle. Stop by to participate in FREE fitness classes throughout the day, see the newest fitness apparel trends, and get inspired with healthy products, free samples, and giveaways. Mark your calendars because you won’t want to miss this! Please check for the Free Fitness Class Schedule.
October 14: Pumpkin Derby | 11am-12:30pm Come one, come all! The 9th Annual Sunnyside Gardens Pumpkin Derby is sure to be a blast! Get a pumpkin (any size) and make it mobile by attaching wheels to it or IT to wheels and try your luck for a one of a kind trophy! Celebratory candy and food will be around the store as you decorate pie pumpkins and hang out with us.
October 14: PunkinMania | 9am-3pm Games and inflatables for kids! Donations from the public to benefit numerous causes of the Wildwood Lions Club, including the Mahtomedi Area Food Shelf, Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, and more. FREE.
October 14-15: Stillwater Harvest Fest | 10am-6pm Chili Cook-Off, Microbrew tasting, Giant Pumpkin weigh-Off, Pumpkin Regatta, Live Music, Kids costume parade, Seasonal food vendors, Kids Pumpkin Pull, face painting, Pie Eating Contest, and more!
October 14-15: Apfles Fest | Varies Immerse yourself in 1800s Minnesota River Valley life, and visit with costumed characters living in the frontier, farmstead, and village. Discover the culture of German immigrants and the history of Minnesota apfels (German for apples). Trolleys provide transportation through the site. Food concessions available. Walk-ins welcome.
October 14-15: Fall Festival of the Arts | 10am-5pm The annual Red Wing Arts Association’s Fall Festival of the Arts event held in historic, downtown Red Wing, Minnesota, during the height of the Fall season will be held October 14 and 15. This prestigious event, located on the downtown streets of this historic river town attracts over 10,000 visitors to the area. In addition to the 97 artists who come from all parts of the Midwest to present their unique, high quality artwork, there are children’s areas and activities, musical entertainment and a variety of food offerings.
October 15: Wargo Fall Festival | 2-4pm Celebrate fall at Wargo Nature Center with cider press, play pioneer games, and self-guided nature activities available for you and your family. FREE.
October 15: Oktoberfest | 12pm-4pm Head over to the Historic Hope Glen Farm for music, food, kids’ games, balloon artistry, henna, and a petting zoo! You can tour the new Tree House Suite, enjoy bouncing music by Crazy George the Accordion Man (12-2pm), and see what speaks to you at the Silent Auction (12-3pm). Entrance ticket includes: bratwurst or hot dog, chips, s’more, and pop or water. Proceeds benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf!
October 20: Anoka, The Halloween Capital of the World | Varies Head out to Anoka for their huge Grand parade! There will be a Spooktacular Carnival for the kids prior to the parade, with activities including kids games, face painting, and crazy hair.
October 20: Halloween Carnival & Dance | 6:30-8:30pm Come one, come all to the Spooktacular Halloween Carnival Ball! Put on your Halloween best and enjoy ghostly games, mischievous performances, music, dancing and special appearance by your favorite princesses, heroes and villains. This fun filled event is sure to entertain the whole family. Activities include: carnival styled games, meet and greets with characters, special villain appearances, group games, goodie bags, photo opportunity with characters, dancing with a DJ, costume contest, and crafts.
October 21: Halloween Family Fun Day | 1pm-4pm The Maple Grove Community Organization hosts a Family Fun Halloween event each year that offers more than 20 activities! These trick or treats include activities like sliding down the Monster Inflatables, crawling through the Web of Confusion Maze, pumpkin rolling, fishing in the Bottomless Well and more. Goodie bags are filled with candy and trinkets. A Spooky Craft, a treasure from Skull Island presented at the Haunted House of Treats becomes another goody, all added to the highlights of the afternoon. Screams abound loud and clear for a howling good time at the Scream Contest (2:15 and 3:30). Who has the loudest, scariest scream of all??? And what better way to show off your GREAT costume than at the Hallo-weeny Fashion Show at 1:30.
October 21: An Old Fashioned Trick or Treat | Varies Trick-or-treat along candlelit paths and be greeted by costumed characters. Ride a horse-drawn trolley and enjoy hot cider. Walk-ins welcome (space permitting).
October 21: Half-Haunted Halloween: Nature’s Superheroes | 2-6pm Visit the Wood Lake Nature Center dressed as your favorite superhero while you meet and greet the Nature Center’s very own nature superheroes! Follow the Trick or Treat Trail, play games from Dave and Busters, check out the Halloween dance, enjoy an amazing magic show (repeats every 25 minutes), and visit the Walton’s Hollow Petting Zoo’s llamas, goats, pot-bellied pig, and more! Space is limited. Price includes hot cocoa and cookies. Tickets are sold for specific times (every 20 minutes between 2:00 and 6:00 pm) and must be purchased in advance at the Nature Center. Ticket-holders are let into the event first, then non-ticket holders are allowed in as space becomes available. All will enjoy, but this event is mostly geared toward young children up to age 10. Shoe donations accepted for “Shoe Away Hunger” program.
October 20-21: Autumn Harvest in the Village | 10am-6pm Come spend an autumn day in the village and experience what a day in 1900 would have offered. Join in on the fun creating a carved pumpkin for the Pumpkin Carving Contest, build a scarecrow, guess the $ amount in the piggy bank, shell corn, grind corn into flour, use an old fashioned hand pump, play games and create activities from autumn items. The popular Dakota City Medallion Hunt will be held again with the prize of $100 being awarded to the finder.
October 21: Harvest Haunting | 4-7pm As the harvest time for the LeDuc Historic Estate gardens come to a close, it becomes time to celebrate the peak of autumn, time of crackling fires, and the coming of fresh apple cider at this family-fun event featuring s’mores, scary stories, a apple cider press and other seasonal entertainment at the site.
October 21: Trick or Treat Trail and Fall Festival | 4pm-6pm The 1st Annual Trick or Treat Trail and Fall Fest at Casey Lake Park is a free community event is open to the public and allows kids and families to Trick or Treat along our 3/4 mile trail around Casey Lake Park. Along with Trick or Treating there will be fun activities and games for kids as well as the NSP fire trucks and police cars. Bring your trick or treat bags and prepare for a great time! FREE.
October 21-22: Zoo Boo @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | 4:30-7:30pm Now in its 30th year, Como Friends ZooBoo is a non-scary, family-friendly Halloween event that benefits Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. This magical 4 night event offers families a safe trick-or-treating alternative plus many Halloween surprises such as animal visitors, live entertainment and craft projects. Perfect for kids 3-8 years old. All proceeds from this fundraiser help the plants and animals at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Thrive!
October 22: Halloween Kids’ Brunch | 10am-1pm Dress your kid up in their coolest costumes and head to Lord Fletcher’s for their Halloween Brunch for Kids!
October 22: Day of the Dead | 4pm-6pm For Mexican-Americans, Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a powerful way to honor ancestors and heritage. Learn about the holiday and join the History Center’s annual celebration that features music, folk dancing, traditional Mexican games, art activities, samples of traditional bread and hot chocolate, and beautiful ofrendas or altars, which are tributes to those who have departed. The ofrendas were created by local students, community organizations and professional artists.
October 22: Villains Halloween Ball | 1-3pm Your favorite fairytale princesses are throwing a Royal Halloween Ball – but the villains don’t want to be left out of the fun during their favorite season. They crash the ball and over the course of the event guests and princesses realize that perhaps villains are not so scary—in fact, they can be quite the life of the party, especially during Halloween! Guests young and young-at-heart will enjoy: unique character interactions and photo opportunities, a DJ-led dance with DJ Mary from award-winning Adagio Djay Entertainment, Halloween-themed dessert and appetizer buffet, royal dance lesson and other character-led activities, take-home treats, memories galore, and more at this unique family-friendly event. The number of attendees is limited to provide plenty of time for interactions with the characters, so please buy your tickets early to ensure you don’t miss out!
October 27: Little Goblins Costume Party | 6:30-8pm Ghosts, goblins and more! Come out in your favorite costume for a night of fun! There will be a variety of themed carnival games and crafts. Refreshments will be provided and you can even take a photo with our special photo backdrop. Wargo Nature Center staff will be leading a flashlight hike and a look at the stars. Don’t forget your camera! Note: Parents/guardians are encouraged to dress in their favorite costume as well. Please make sure all costumes are family appropriate; no costumes with weapons. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Children ages 8 years and younger are welcome. Pre-registration is required
October 28: Halloween Bash | 5-8pm Don’t miss this spooktacular Halloween Bash which promises fun for the entire family. This annual community event features horse-drawn wagon rides, inflatables, a DJ, a campfire with s’mores, games and more! Food trucks will provide food for purchase. This event will take place at the Savage Sports Center and the surrounding park grounds. Don’t forget to wear your costume!
October 28-29: Zoo Boo @ Como Park Zoo & Conservatory | 4:30-7:30pm Now in its 30th year, Como Friends ZooBoo is a non-scary, family-friendly Halloween event that benefits Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. This magical 4 night event offers families a safe trick-or-treating alternative plus many Halloween surprises such as animal visitors, live entertainment and craft projects. Perfect for kids 3-8 years old. All proceeds from this fundraiser help the plants and animals at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Thrive!
October 29: Halloween Party @ Playworks | 3-6pm Playworks is hosting a “spooktacular” Annual Halloween Party! Activities include, mummy wrap, ghost walk, Halloween limbo, candy toss, and Halloween plinko. Open to the Public | Standard Rates Apply | Costumes Encouraged
Kids ages 4-12 can be dropped off. Others are welcome if accompanied by an adult.
October 29: BooFest on Grand | 4pm-6pm Saint Paul’s Grand Avenue welcomes pint-sized goblins to celebrate our free and family-friendly BooFest. Kids and their families can enjoy a petting zoo, pony rides and trick-or-treating (look for the pumpkin sign in participating businesses) on businesses on Grand.
October 29-30: Halloween at the Museum | Varies Trick-or-treat in the not-so-spooky museum with your favorite ghosts and goblins! Enjoy four-stories of Halloween fun while making your own trail mix, creating your own spooky masterpiece in The Studio, rocking along with Will Hale and The Tadpole Parade. Event price includes admission, Halloween-themed activities and light refreshments.
October 27: Halloween Spooktacular | 6:30-8pm Come Join the Spooky Fun at the Shoreview Community Center! Enjoy DJ music and dance to the monster mash, create a Halloween craft, bingo, and more! Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Admission is good for 1 child and 1 adult.
October 31: Howl-O-Ween 2017 | 9am-10pm Calling all ghouls and boys! Grab your mummies and daddies and celebrate all that is Halloween. Come dressed in your All Hallow’s Eve best as you scour the Mall for sweet treats at participating retailers.
September 22-October 14: Oktoberfest | Weekends. Gastofs is a Bavarian bar and eatery in Northeast Minneapolis that pitches a massive tent and brings in the picnic tables for a celebration of Germany. They’ll have traditional German beer like Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, Spaten and Warsteiner. Food options include brats, smoked pork chops, BBQ ribs, german potato salad, sauerkraut, soft pretzels and apfelstrudel. There will be live polka music and dancing, too. No cover charge. Bring your own beer mug or buy one of their 1/2 liter mugs
October 6-7: Twin Cities Oktoberfest | 12-4pm Don’t regret missing Twin Cities Oktoberfest and join your fellow Germans and at heart Germans for this fun filled celebration! It’s two days of non-stop fun and entertainment for all, with live music throughout the event. Of course, there will be plenty of beer from Summit including Oktoberfest and other fine Summit beers, and plenty of other refreshments for all you non-beer drinkers. Each ticket includes admission, a stein, and your first fill! In between sips, snack on traditional Oktoberfest foods, watch performances from traditional dance entertainers, play games, check out the vendors and traditional clothing.
October 7: 5th Annual River Valley Winefest | 12-4pm Join Mallards for their annual River Valley Wine Fest! Particpate in wine tasting and grape stomping. More than 100 wines from around the world.
October 6-7 and 14-15: New Ulm Oktoberfest | Varies If you can’t make it to Germany for Oktoberfest this year, don’t fear! Join the party in New Ulm, Minnesota for the next best thing! New Ulm’s Oktoberfest has been voted one of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States! Feat on German food, catch a few live music shows, tour Schell’s brewery, get your grape stomp on at Morgan Creek Vineyards, and watch the parades.
October 14-15: Oktober Wine Fest | 11am-6pm Enjoy an afternoon of beautiful fall colors in the Saint Croix Valley paired with German fun at Chateau St Croix Winery! They will have live music, German food, and a few rounds of hammerschlagen. Local Oktoberfest Beer from Oliphant and Lift Bridge will also be available. Wine Tasting including Federweisser.
Join us on Saturday, October 28 for our family Halloween Spooktacular event at The Wishing Tree Play Cafe! Bust out those adorable costumes and choose one of two time slots to attend. Tickets will be $15/child and $5/adult and will include light food and drinks, activities, and play at The Wishing Tree Play Cafe. We will have a costume contest with a FABULOUS prize package, so start planning your family costumes now!
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Twin Cities Lantern Light Festival September 7-October 22: | Varies Head out to Canterbury Park for a spectacular evening of dazzling lights, colors, shapes, and themes. The Lantern Light festival is a six week celebration of Chinese culture featuring massive lanterns, inspiring performances, and incredible cuisine. Featuring a 400 foot dragon, 30 foot tall panda and a castle you can walk though. Live music, food and kid friendly activities including Animatronic and Virtual Reality Rides.
Aamodt’s Apple Farm Fall Fun: September 1 – October 31 | Aamodt’s Apple Farm Peak Fall Season Activities may include hay wagon rides, honeycrisp express kids train, hay bale maze, apple picking, apple goods shop in apple barn, and John Deere tractor trikes. Varies based on harvest season.
Fall Sight Seeing Cruise September 5-October 29: | Varies Check out Padelford Riverboats for a two hour Fall Sightseeing cruise up the Mississippi River into Minneapolis and back while enjoying sights of fall foliage and enjoying a full bar and snack bar. They offer a number of other lunch and dinner cruises, including a rib dinner, beer and bacon appetizers, margaritas and tacos, and more!
Pumpkin Nights October 13-27 | Varies This outdoor festival immerses you in a half-mile walking path of over 3,000 hand-carved pumpkins, larger-than-life displays and multi-sensory experiences. In addition to pumpkins, Pumpkin Nights offers food and activities for the whole family!
Story Time Trolley in Stillwater: June 3- October 28 | This event for families includes a short ride on the trolley with an author or storyteller! Your $5 registration includes a token to board the trolley, a discount for 20% off a children’s book the day of the event and a snack after your ride.
Tots & Trains at Minnesota Transportation Museum: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month | 10am-12pm Explore the Jackson Street Roundhouse & Museum with your little one. Check out their open play area full of train tables. Create a themed craft to take home. Cuddle up and listen to a train themed story read by one of the museum’s passionate volunteers. Snacks for the kids and coffee for the parents are provided.
The Abominables play at The Children’s Theatre Company September 12-October 15 | Various Times
Rink rats, hockey moms, tournament weekends and the quest to play your best – It’s tryout season in the Great State of Hockey! Mitch has always played on the A team for the Prairie Lake Blizzards – these are his guys – they’ve played together forever, but he’s worried this could be the year he gets sent down to the B team. When a new “kid” appears at Bantam tryouts, things go from bad to worse. From the land of ice and nice comes the first Minnesota hockey musical! Will you love it? You betcha!
Severs Fall Festival September 8-October 29: | Varies Spend the day navigating a corn maze, loving on some animals at the exotic petting zoo, ziplines, magic shows, camel or elephant rides, corn pit, and live shows at this incredible place.
Three Rivers Park District: FREE Family Fun Days: Sundays | Various Times Three Rivers offers family fun at Kroening Interpretive Center or Richardson Nature Center. Discover all the fun that life in and around the river and woods has to offer. FREE.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin play at Stages Theater Company September 29-October 29 | Various Times Catch it again or for the first time! Spookley the Square Pumpkin sprouts back into the Hopkins Jaycees Studio for an encore performance this autumn! When Spookley arrives in the pumpkin patch he is teased by all the other pumpkins because of his odd shape. Even after his new friends—the boisterous spiders Edgar, Allen and Poe—try to convince him to run for the Pick of the Patch contest, Spookley still isn’t sure he has what it takes. However, a threatening storm may just give Spookley the inspiration to discover his own worth. This imaginative puppetry extravaganza filled with memorable music will surely encourage you to “dare to be square!”
Music in the Mall @ MOA January -November | Select Dates and Times Mall of America® has an exciting opportunity for school and community groups to perform and share their talents with Mall guests through the MOA Music in the Mall. This series runs January through mid-November and is available on select days each month.
Toddler Tuesdays at MOA Tuesdays | 10am-Noon Toddler Tuesdays is a program that provides events, free entertainment and discounts especially for toddlers. Events include special character appearances, arts and crafts, story time and much more! FREE.
Storytime with Engineer Paul at Choo Choo Bob’s Train StoreTuesdays| 10:00am Engineer Paul hosts a storytime full of songs and smiles. Afterwards, enjoy the morning exploring and playing with the various train sets and tables at this fun train store. FREE.
Preschool Playdates at the Science Museum Tuesdays| Regular Hours This special playdate includes make and take crafts as wells as special theater programs and demonstrations just for preschoolers. Kids age 5 and under are free with paid adult admission. Minnesota Children’s Museum members receive free admission during playdates.
Wee Wednesdays at Midtown Global Market Wednesdays | 10:30am-1pm Wee Wednesdays showcase free educational programming, fun crafts and great meal deals each Wednesday morning at Midtown Global Market! Dance with them, experience live puppet theater, learn to cook fun items together in the kitchen, and even pet live animals from the Como Zoo. FREE.
Kids at the Castle: Third Friday Playdates (American Swedish Institute) In the hour before the museum opens, join ASI for visual play, storytelling, music, movement and crafts inspired by ASI’s current exhibits- activities that will encourage creative minds and active hands. Recommended for ages 2-5. $5 per family. Registration not required; check in at the Information Desk by 11 a.m. on the day of the program. Adult accompaniment required.