A Twin Cities Moms’ Guide to the Month of October 2016


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 2016, we’ve been providing you 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: Lake Minnetonka Block Party | Varies To support Team USA, welcome area visitors and fans with a good old-fashioned Minnesota street festival with bands, food and fun in Lumpy’s Lounge.

October 1: Free Fall Frenzy @ Lakefront Park | 10am-12pm Mark your calendar for the Fall Frenzy, formerly known as the Autumn Gathering. This is a free event for the whole family to enjoy at Lakefront Park. Activities include a Kids Pedal Tractor Pull, inflatables, mini golf, a rock wall, pumpkin painting, live music by Trainwreck Duet and MORE! FREE.

October 1: Apple Festival | 10am-4pm A day of apple fun – all in the beautiful setting of the Gibbs Farm. Enjoy a variety of events at our beautiful farm, visit our Heritage Apple Orchard, make apple critters, bob for apples, and more. Free food and cider.

October 1-2: Afton Apple Orchard Apple Fest | Events Vary You and your family can enjoy an old-fashioned hayride, a petting farm, cider pressing demonstrations and so much more!

October 1-2: Fall Colors Fine Arts Music Festival | Varies Juried Fine Art Festival featuring handcrafted works of art from the Upper Midwest’s most talented artisans. With one-of-a-kind art, every item sold is unique, original and handmade by a local artist. Enjoy live music and food vendors along the banks of the scenic St. Croix River downtown Stillwater.

October 2: Fall Harvest Festival | Noon-4pm From 12-4 pm, the Festival will be lively with activities for the whole family in and around the Margot Picnic Shelters: Arts ‘n crafts, lawn games, face painting (extra fee), a corn roast sponsored by the Minnesota Corn Growers and fall-inspired food and beverage concessions featuring craft brews.

Thru October 2: Ryder Cup | Varies International golf tournament taking place at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska!

Thru October 2: Cirque du Soleil: Toruk-The First Flight | Varies Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.

October 6: Fire Department Open House in Burnsville | 5:30pm The Burnsville Fire Department once again invites the community to get up-close and personal with firefighters, paramedics and the equipment they use. Be there when the garage doors go up, and the fire trucks come out for the annual Fire Department Open House. FREE.

October 7: Hyland Hills Fall Chairlift Rides | 5-9pm 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. Food and beverages available for purchase.

October 7-9: 2016 Fall Colors Train Ride | Varies This fall, the Friends of the 261, in cooperation with the Twin Cities & Western Railroad and its subsidiary Minnesota Prairie Line, will operate steam excursion trains featuring Milwaukee Road steam locomotive 261. These trips will originate out of Chanhassen & Minneapolis Jct. These will be the first 261 excursions to operate on the Twin Cities & Western since 2008! 

October 8: Kids Fall Fun Festival | 12-3pm This fall, Lakeville Hy-Vee is the destination. Our Fall Fun Festival is going to be full of family fun. We invite you to bring out the whole family. Entertainment through KidsDance, visit our pumpkin patch, stop by the Petting Zoo, enjoy a hayride, and don’t miss out on the delicious food, exciting games, and even more!

October 8: 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 8: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge 40th Anniversary Celebration | 8am-4pm Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is marking its 40th anniversary with a public celebration that will feature events throughout the day including family-friendly and hands-on activities such as birding, exploration, fishing, hiking and more. Come and celebrate this urban oasis for nature and animal lovers alike, and learn more about one of Minnesota’s best-kept secrets!

October 8: Pumpkins in the Park | 4-6pm The Shakopee Chamber hold Pumpkins in the Park, a non-scary Halloween celebration every year. Children will enjoy a Trick-or-Treat Trail, face painting, jump houses, fun photos, ghoulish games, refreshments, plus they get to choose their very own pumpkin from the Pick-A-Pumpkin Patch. Children will also get to see Snoopy and his Peanuts gang!

October 8-9: Harvest Fest Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off | Varies 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 9: Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champion | 5pm Come see members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Teams at the 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions coming to Target Center. At each Tour stop, local gymnasts are expected to join the cast of gymnastics champions.

October 14: Twin Cities Mom’s Blog Mom Prom: A Roaring 20’s Party | 7-10pm Join us for our first ever Mom Prom! Grab your girlfriends, get dressed up, and enjoy a night of wine, pampering, and dancing the night away! General admission tickets will be $28 and will include access to the event, one glass of wine, appetizers, desserts, swag, and pampering. We will have a few VIP ticket options available, so stay tuned for details! Tickets on sale NOW!

October 15: Caramelpalooza 2016 | 11am-5pm Time to celebrate Fall….Caramelpalooza 2016! Great live music all day, free caramel sauce tastings, activities for kids, caramel apples, sea salt caramel, caramel corn (with bacon) and much, much more!

October 15: Hike Around the Pond | 2-3:30pm It’s fun to hike in the fall! Create and decorate your very own hiking stick, then hike around the pond with the naturalist! Ages 5+.

October 15: Art When the Moon is Full | 7-8:30pm Explore as the seasons change from summer to autumn. Make a leaf art project and watch the moon rise over Silver Lake. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Reservations required.

October 16: Wargo Fall Festival | 2-4pm Join the fun as we celebrate fall at Wargo Nature Center! We’ll crank up the cider press, play pioneer games, and have self-guided nature activities available for you and your family. FREE.

October 18-23: Stomp | Varies When STOMP takes the stage, everything becomes an instrument. This inventive and invigorating show has been fusing dance, music, comedy, and theatrical performance to create thunderous rhythms and electrifying beats for over 25 years.

October 19: Night Reading | 6:30-7:30pm It is said the day has eyes and the night has ears. Bring yours to the poetry trail for nighttime readings by local talents. Marshmallows provided for roasting. FREE.

October 21-22: All Hallows Eve: 1900 Halloween | 1-8pm Tractor-pulled trolleys will transport you back in time as you explore the traditions of Halloween as they would have been celebrated in 1900! In our rural village, you are welcome to visit the cemetery to discover old burial customs, view the first Frankenstein silent movie in the Village Hall, shiver with delight as spooky stories are told in the Library, toss an apple peel over your shoulder to reveal your future at the Harris House, and more.

October 22: Battle of the Food Trucks @ Maplewood Mall | 11am-6pm Over a dozen of Minnesota’s Finest Gourmet Food Trucks!

October 22: Halloween Family Fun Day | 1-4pm More than 20 activities will offer tricks or treats 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.

October 22-23: Como Zoo Boo | 4:30-7:30pm This magical 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. Community support and more than 200 costumed characters have helped to make Como Friends’ ZooBoo at Como Zoo one of the longest-running fundraisers for any nonprofit in the state.

October 23: Day of the Dead | Noon-4pm Learn about the holiday and join the History Center’s annual celebration that features, music, folk dancing, traditional Mexican games, art activities, including decorating small clay skulls with beads and flowers, and samples of traditional bread and hot chocolate.

October 23: BooFest on Grand | BooFest is a family fun event for kids of all ages including a costume contest, pony rides, and karaoke contest.

October 26: Pentatonix: World Tour 2016 | 8pm Since bursting onto the scene in 2011, multi-platinum selling recording artists Pentatonix have sold roughly 3.5 million albums in the U.S. alone, won 2 Grammy Awards, sold out venues worldwide, have amassed over 1.5 billion views on their YouTube channel which is approaching 11 million subscribers and appeared in the feature film Pitch Perfect 2.

October 26: Pumpkin Carving | 5:30-7:30pm Find inspiration for a spooktacular masterpiece with carving, sculpting and creative jack-o-lantern samples. Finish with a mass pumpkin lighting and marshmallow roasting. Pumpkin, natural decorating materials and simple carving tools provided.

October 26-27: Young People’s: Watch the Orchestra Grow | Varies Where did orchestras come from? What happened as ensembles grew from a handful of string players to today’s powerful body of musicians? Students will find the answers in this concert—both aurally and visually—as one or two musicians at a time come onstage and reveal how their instruments became key parts of the whole.

October 28: Little Goblins Costume Party | 6:30-8pm Ghosts, goblins and more! Join us in your favorite costume for a night of fun! We will have 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. Children ages 8 years and younger are welcome. Pre-registration is required.

October 28: Outstanding Owls LIVE! | 4:30-7:30pm Meet an owl up close and learn what makes these creatures such a hoot! Halloween Hijinks Puppet Show and a tasty treat, raptor Center presentation, and older kids can dissect owl pellets, while younger ones make an owl craft! Learn owl calls and go on a night hike around the pond in search of our feathered friends. Dress for the weather! Treats and beverage provided. Register early space is limited!

October 28: 2016 Halloween Fest in Burnsville | 6-8pm Ghosts, goblins, princesses and superheroes of all ages flock to Nicollet Commons Park each October. The evening is designed to give families an easy way to have some Halloween fun without being too scary.

October 28-29: E.T. The Extra -Terrestrial Complete Film with Live Orchestra | Varies Join us for an out-of-this-world experience as we screen one of the world’s most-beloved movies—E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial—with the Minnesota Orchestra playing John Williams’ unforgettable score live!

October 29: Gibbs Farm Halloween! | 10am-4pm Kids of all ages can make popcorn balls, find pennies in the hay stack, enter the costume contest, trick-or-treat at the Gibbs’ farmhouse, hear not-so-scary Halloween stories in the one-room schoolhouse. Enjoy free refreshments and much more.

October 29: Wayzata’s Boo Blast | 11am-3pm Celebrate Halloween in Wayzata and trick-or-treat at retail shops all around town during Wayzata’s Boo Blast. Families can enjoy in-store activities, spooky specials and goodies for the little ones. Don’t forget your costume!

October 29: Afton’s Trick or Treat Trail | 11am-2pm Kids are invited to follow St. Croix Trail through the historic town of Afton, MN from Sail Away Café to Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour. Collect Halloween treats, enjoy fall activities, crafts and more!

October 29-30: Trick or Treating on Main Street Stillwater | 12-4pm Trick or Treat on Main Street this weekend! Dress the kids up and Discover Downtown Stillwater. Participating merchants will have a Trick or Treat sign in windows of their store or restaurant. Spend a day discovering all the treats Downtown Stillwater’s independent businesses have to offer.

October 29-30: Como Zoo Boo | 4:30-7:30pm This magical 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. Community support and more than 200 costumed characters have helped to make Como Friends’ ZooBoo at Como Zoo one of the longest-running fundraisers for any nonprofit in the state.

October 29: Savage Halloween Bash | 5-8pm Don’t miss the 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!

October 29: Cobwebs & Caches with Dakota County Parks | 5-8pm Bring your goblins for some not-so-scary trick-or-treat geocaching. Use a GPS unit to find hidden jack-o-lantern caches and collect Halloween trinkets. Costumes encouraged! Bring your own GPS unit or borrow one of ours. (Limited quantity or GPS units available). Pre-register online, search “cobwebs.”

October 31: Free Trick-R-Treat | 9am-4pm Start at City Hall, then make your way to the police station and finally the Prior Lake Library Building for Free Trick-R-Treating on Monday, October 31 from 9am-4pm. Come in costume and collect treats at the different departments. Please bring your own treat bag. FREE.

Aamodts 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.

Renaissance Festival: August 20 – October 2 | 9am-7pm The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is celebrating its 46th Season! Come and be a part of this long-standing tradition by visiting the festival grounds in Shakopee.

Story Time Trolley in Stillwater: June 4 – October 29 |  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.

“Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” Exhibit: September 24-January 15 | Organized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, this exhibit features more than 200 artifacts, photos and rare documents, footage from the NFL Film archives, and interactive experiences. A section of the exhibit will be devoted to the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp, where visitors can work on their vertical leap, broad jump, kicking and passing games.

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.

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.

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.

Beauty and the Beast at Chanhassen Dinner Theater: March 4 – September 3 | Various Times The classic story brought to life at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater! Only ages 5 and up are admitted.

Have you joined one of our Twin Cities Neighborhood Groups yet? We recently added two more groups–Northfield Area and Hastings Area! Many of our groups are still kicking off the new school year, so it’s a great time to get involved and connected! Here’s what your Mombassadors have planned for October – please note that in order to view these activities, you’ll need to join the group for your area.

Moms’ Nights Out in October:

October 7: South of the River West @ Badger Hill Brewery | 7pm

October 8: Hudson @ CPR/Choking Training Course | 12:30pm

October 12: Lake Minnetonka @ Kiwi Acres Farm | 8pm 

October 12: Lake Minnetonka @ Kip’s Irish Pub | 8pm


Play Dates in October:

October 20: South of the River West @ Shakopee Library | 10am

Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for updates on all that we’re up to!

More of our local guides:

Twin Cities Apple Orchards | Twin Cities Moms Blog
Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches | Twin Cities Moms Blog
Twin Cities Moms Blog First EVER Mom Prom!
Autumn Squash Pumpkin Soup | Twin Cities Moms Blog
Twin Cities Farmers' Markets | Twin Cities Moms Blog
 Our Neighborhood Groups are based on your area of the Twin Cities, but we also have community groups, where you can connect with others that you have things in common with. Working moms, teen moms, One & Done moms and many more!
Twin Cities Moms Blog Community Groups: Working Moms, SAHMs, WAHMs, Teen Moms & more!

Did you enjoy this guide? We post daily on Twin Cities happenings, events, how to connect with other parents in the greater Twin Cities area, and real, honest, sometimes funny, sometimes heartwarming stories about motherhood. Sign up to receive our weekly email here, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay up to date on parenting in the Twin Cities!

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