The Best Fall Activities To Do With Your Family In Minnesota

Looking for the best fall activities to do with your family in Minnesota? School has begun and the days are getting shorter. The air has started to turn crisp and cool. The leaves are starting to turn colors. This could only mean one thing.

Fall is on its way! With the fall season just around the corner, that means there are tons of things to do.

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You can start your own family fall tradition with these activities or add some of these to your own family tradition. These activities will sure to get your family out and explore not only nature but enjoys how the season change affects their surroundings.

Please note: Due to the pandemic, some attractions may not be available. Check out their websites below for more details.

Pick Your Own Apples

Start the fall season off with some apple picking. Apple picking season starts in early September through late October. Enjoy a crisp autumn Saturday morning, afternoon, or better yet all-day adventure at the many apple orchards throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.

Be sure to check out their websites for additional activities as well as apple picking schedule. Some orchards are straight forward picking your apples and go while others are more like a theme park with activities. Some may offer free admission and pay for the services or products you purchase while others may require an admissions fee.

I like to check the picking schedule to be sure I am able to pick some of our favorite apples such as the Honeycrisp. A family favorite for sure. In case you did not know, Minnesota is home to the Honeycrisp apples

This has been a long time tradition for our family. Here are some of our favorite apple orchards with Afton Apple Orchard being our top pick for family fun.

Afton Apple Farm (Hastings, MN)

Aamodt’s Apple Farm (Stillwater, MN)

Pinetree Apple Orchard (White Bear Lake, MN)

Luce Line Orchard (Watertown, MN)

Visit A Pumpkin Patch

Nothing screams autumn like a pumpkin! Enjoy a fun-filled day at the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkins.

Minnesota farmers grow some of the best pumpkins around. From humongous pumpkins to heirloom pumpkins, to everything in between, you will be in awe with your finds at the pumpkin patch.

Let the kids run around and enjoy the crisp cool air. There is no shortage of fun with the wide-open field.

Along with picking your pumpkins, most family farms may have additional activities such as a corn maze or a hayride. Check out these pumpkin patches below and plan out your family fun day.

Afton Apple Farm (Hastings, MN)

Dehn’s Pumpkin Patch (Dayton, MN)

Luce Line Orchard (Watertown, MN)

Peaceful Pines Farm (Pine City, MN)

Get Lost In A Corn Maze

One of the best things to do with the kids is run into the maze and get lost. I know we had the best of times whenever we get in one. It is such a great way for the kids to explore and use their critical thinking skills and try to get us out of there quickly and safely.

With a wide array of corn mazes to choose from, you cannot go wrong. There are smaller corn mazes such as a 5 acres maze to a large one such as the famous Sever’s Corn Maze at over 100 acres. A lot of these corn mazes offer scavenger hunt that makes it even more fun to get lost.

Sever’s Fall Festival (Shakopee, MN)

Afton Apple Farm (Hastings, MN)

Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze (Brooklyn Park, MN)

Montgomery Orchard (Montgomery, MN)

Fall Festivals & Events

There are so many fall festivals and events throughout Minnesota you can be sure not to miss one. These festivals are much more than just getting lost in the corn maze or picking out your pumpkins. Activities at these fall festivals vary from live music to petting zoo to obstacle courses and food trucks… And so much more.

The boys love the corn seed pit and can play in there all day long.

Sever’s Fall Festival (Shakopee, MN)

Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze (Brooklyn Park, MN)

Carlos Creek Winery (Alexandria, MN)

Stillwater Harvest Fest (Stillwater, MN)

Afton Apple Farm (Hastings, MN)

Take A Scenic Drive

Take a scenic drive to enjoy some fall foliage. Minnesota has some of the most beautiful sceneries when it comes to the changing of the leave colors making it one of the most awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping drives.

When you think about taking a drive to see these beautiful colors, you may think you have to drive out of the Twin Cities to some faraway places to see them. But that is further from the truth. Some of the major cities such as Minneapolis and Saith Paul boast some pretty cool colors.

Use this color tracker to help to plan out your fall color chasing adventure.

I will start out with some of my all-time favorites as it is always a reason for me to plan a road trip there. If a weekend getaway is not possible for you, these also make for a great day trip. Check out the awesome questions to ask the kids on your drive.

North Shore of Lake Superior

The North Shore Scenic Drive starts out in Duluth and goes all the way up to Grand Portage State Park as it winds along the rugged shores of Lake Superior running about 154 miles. 

Along the way, you can stop at the numerous state parks (seven state parks to be exact), go for some hikes, and chase some waterfalls. Soak in the beautiful views of Lake Superior, rugged cliff, wilderness streams, and forested hills.

Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway

Lake Mille Lacs Scenic Byway is a 68-mile route that loops around Lake Mille Lacs. Along the route, there are plenty of things to do for the entire family as well as plenty of opportunities to learn the history of the natural beauty here.

There are two state parks along this route that you could stop and explore too.

St. Croix Scenic Byway

The St. Croix Scenic Byway starts out in Douglas Point near Hastings and goes all the way up to Sandstone along the St. Croix River Valley at 124 miles. Views to take in on this route started out with long vistas and rolling landscapes in the south and as you make your way up to the northern tip of the route, the views turn into forested hills, rugged cliffs, and rocks.

There are four state parks along this route that you could stop and explore.

Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway

The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway is a 300-mile scenic route that follows the Minnesota River between Browns Valley and Belle Plains (in the southwest corner of Minnesota) and takes you all the way up to Ortonville. Along the way, you will find several areas that showcase Dakota Indian heritage and share the tragic story of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War.

You will also find 6 state parks to enjoy hiking or if you love bird watching, this is the place to be.

Lake Country Scenic Byway

Why not head out to the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park? Lake Country Scenic Byway is an 88-mile route that starts out in on Highway 34 between Detroit Lake and Walker and takes you all the way to Itasca State Park.

Along the way, you can take in the views of the forests and numerous lakes as well as the meadows and farmland.

Grab Your Free Printable of Awesome Questions For Your Drive

Visit A Museum

Looking to get away from the crisp cool air or on a rainy day? Minnesota is rich in history, arts, and culture, there are many museums and exhibits to see. You can visit these museums during your drive to enjoy the fall foliage or make it a day of visiting these museums.

Here are some of the best museums to visit in the metro area.

Science Museum of Minnesota (Saint Paul, MN)

Minnesota Children’s Museum (Saint Paul, MN)

Mill City Museum (Minneapolis, MN)

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN)

Minnesota History Center (Saint Paul, MN)

Go For A Hike 

Enjoy a nice brisk hike in some of the best hiking trails in the state. Get your hiking boots out and get ready to get them dirty.

With about 66 state parks and many regional parks, you have a vast variety of hiking trails to choose from and with the most beautiful fall foliage surrounding your hike.

Hiking at Tettegouche State Park

Hiking is so good for you. The many benefits include that hiking is very affordable, you can do some thinking and enjoy nature while you are at it. This is one activity that will stimulate your mental health and move it to positivity.

These are the most visited state parks in 2019 according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

  • Gooseberry Falls State Park –  756,704 visitors
  • Fort Snelling State Park – 558,926 visitors
  • Itasca State Park–  478,146 visitors
  • Tettegouche State Park – 478,146 visitors
  • Split Rock Lighthouse – 394,972 visitors

You don’t have to leave the cities for some great hiking trails. Check out the Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield?

Go Chase Some Waterfalls

If you happen to be hiking in one of these state parks, be sure to stop at the waterfalls and enjoy the sounds of the rushing waters.

These state parks have some beautiful waterfalls in the state.

Gooseberry Falls – Gooseberry Falls State Park (Two Harbors, MN)

High Falls – Tettegouche State Park (Silver Bay, MN)

High Falls – Grand Portage State Park (Grand Portage, MN)

Devil’s Kettle Waterfall – Judge C.R. Magney State Park (Grand Marais, MN)

Wolf Creek Falls – Banning State Park (Sandstone, MN)

Minneopa Falls – Minneopa State Park (Mankato, MN)

Go For A Family Bike Ride

Take your bikes and helmets out for one of the last bike rides before the snow hits the ground. With ample bike trails throughout the state, there are many to choose from that will fit your family’s skills and needs.

Biking along Duluth Lake Walk

Duluth Lake Walk (Duluth, MN – 8 miles)

Gitchi Gami State Trail (Two Harbors to Grand Marais – 89 miles)

Luce Line Trail (Plymouth to Cosmo – 63 miles)

North Cedar Lake Regional Trail/Cedar Lake Trail (Hopkins to St Louis Park – 4.3 miles)

Paul Bunyan State Trail (Brainerd to Bemidji – 120 miles Minnesota’s longest bike trails)

Visit Your Favorite Fall Farmers’ Markets

Minnesota is known for some great farmers’ markets. I especially love visiting them in the fall for some great autumn finds.

Visiting a Fall Farmers Market in MN

Fall is harvest time and the farmers are busily making sure they have an abundance of produce, tasty homemade goods, and fragrant flowers. The change in the season means the change in the produce. In the spring, you will see planting flowers; summer is big with the hanging baskets and in the fall, you get to see pumpkins, gourds, and mums.

People love to buy fall decors for their homes and doorsteps. Bring your best reusable shopping bags and head out for some fall finds.

Visit The Local Coffee Shop

Visit the local coffee shop and enjoy a cup of coffee and some pastry out on their patio. Soak in the autumn vibes right outside with the fire going like at Made Coffee in Stillwater.

Take A Boat Ride Along The St Croix River

Want another great way to view the beautiful fall foliage? Take a boat ride along the St. Croix River aboard the Stillwater River Boat.

Stillwater River Boat offers public cruises along the St. Croix River. Included with the cruise are meals, either lunch or dinner. In previous years, the jazz band has been a part of the boat cruise but due to the pandemic, it has been canceled until further notice.

Getting Ready To Board The Boat

My Final Thoughts On The Best Fall Activities In Minnesota

There you have it. The best fall activities in Minnesota for you and your family. What are you waiting for? Head out on a Saturday morning and explore all the glory of autumn in Minnesota.

Get out and enjoy the fall festivities while it last.

Let me know what your favorite things to do in the fall below in the comment.

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25 thoughts on “The Best Fall Activities To Do With Your Family In Minnesota”

  1. Lauren Fieldbinder

    I absolutely love this list! This has given me a lot of ideas next time I visit family in Minnesota in the fall! P.S. Devil’s Kettle is very aptly named! We just about died doing that hike. Don’t let the measly mile long trail fool ya, it’s uphill both ways xD

  2. This is a great post and you are in a beautiful state to see the colors of fall. I need to be checking into some apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Thanks for putting this together.

  3. I love all these ideas for Fall activities. I have a similar post, but it’s more generic. I like that yours is specific to Minnesota.

  4. I love fall festivities. There is something about the colours and pumpkins and corn mazes that’s so appealing. Throw in a bike rid or walk along a scenic route, with changing leaves and it’s the best.

  5. Everything you shared looks like so much fun. I am especially dying to do a nice fall hike and see the beautiful color changes. Living in Texas, we don’t get to experience much of that. Thanks for sharing! I want to head to Minnesota NOW!

  6. I love these fall ideas! Corn mazes are so fun. We used to do pumpkin patches when the kids were little and then stopped, but I’d love
    To revisit them. Minnesota looks gorgeous!

  7. We have taken our son to pick blueberries and he had so much fun. Reading your posted has now encouraged me to take my kids apple picking and before visiting the pumpkin patch we expire every year.

  8. I live in the Twin Cities and these are perfect fall activities for Minnesota! I especially love the apple picking, hiking, chasing waterfalls and fall colors along the North Shore.

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