6 Family-Friendly Activities You Can Do This Fall In The Twin Cities

Dated: September 14 2021

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It's that time of year again. Twin Cities families are making plans to celebrate the arrival of the harvest season. Fall is a perfect time for families to enjoy seasonal activities in and beyond the Twin Cities. Here are the top six family-friendly activities we recommend to scratch that Autumn itch.

Frolick in an apple orchard

If part of your annual family tradition involves baking a warm apple pie or whipping up some hearty apple cider, you'll want to take a balmy morning stroll through one of the many beautiful and aromatic apple orchards that dot the Twin Cities.


Minnesota is the home of the Honeycrisp apple and it's one of the best places to pick it, and others, straight from the tree. We recommend local orchards like Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings, Emma Krumbees in Belle Plaine or Apple Jack Orchards in Delano. 

Visit a farmers market

Fall is harvest time and the local farmers are excited to showcase an abundance of fresh produce and fragrant flowers. Take a trip to your neighborhood farmers market to support local Twin Cities businesses and turn hearty autumn produce into homey family dinners. Not sure where to start? Here's a list of fall farmers' markets in the Twin Cities that offer a fresh food selection and a fun atmosphere the whole family will love.

Take a scenic drive

Pile your family into the car and take a scenic drive to enjoy the annual changing of the colors. Minnesota is home to some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the country, making a scenic drive a jaw-dropping must this autumn. And the best part is, you don't have to travel too far outside of the Twin Cities to see them. Use this color tracker to plan out your fall leaf-peeping adventure.


One of the most famous fall foliage drives is North Shore Scenic Drive which starts in Duluth and goes up to Grand Portage State Park as it winds along the rugged shores of Lake Superior, running about 154 miles. Make a pit stop at the numerous state parks along the way to enjoy scenic hiking and awe-inspiring waterfalls as you trek through wilderness streams and forested hills. 


Another famous scenic drive is the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway. This 300-mile scenic route follows the Minnesota River between Browns Valley and Belle Plains and takes you to Ortonville. In addition to even more parks for your hiking and bird watching pleasure, you'll encounter several areas that showcase rich Dakota Indian heritage.

Go for a hike

Enjoy a nice brisk hike on some of the best trails in the state. Whip those hiking boots out and get ready to get them dirty. With about 66 state parks and just as many regional parks, you'll have your pick of the litter when it comes to hiking trails packed with beautiful fall colors and scenic landscapes. 

Visit a pumpkin patch

If your kids love carving jack-o-lanterns or helping you out in the kitchen as you tackle the year's first pumpkin pie, take them out to pick the perfect one at a local pumpkin patch. Whether you prefer to carve scary faces into them, bake and eat the seeds, or use them as decorative centerpieces, locally grown pumpkins are a must-have this time of year. You can check out Minnesota Grown's list of 140 pumpkin patches, some of which have carnival rides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and fall festivities to entertain kids of all ages. 

Find some Halloween scares and fun

From family-friendly to frightening, Halloween celebrations of all types can be found across Minnesota. Anoka is the self-proclaimed Halloween Capital of the World and celebrates all month long. The Ghosts of Anoka Walking Tour is chock-full of haunted tales about early settlers and pioneers.


For more ghastly fun the whole family can enjoy, don't miss Pumpkin Night in the Park at the Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley. Take part in pumpkin-carving activities, watch fire dancers, play spooky bingo, or hike past more than 1,000 jack-o-lanterns along an enchanted trail.


Or find yourself at Valleyscare in Shakopee, the absolute best for kids or anyone young at heart. Endless streams of activities, all with a different spin on Halloween, include dance shows with famous Halloween figures, Chateau Tours through haunted mazes with a friendly vampire guide, the Sinister Circus with costumed acrobatics, and much more.

What are you waiting for? Head out this weekend with the family and explore all the glory of autumn in Minnesota. Enjoy the fall festivities before the winter chill takes over. Fall is short and sweet, so make the most of it by checking at least a few of these awesome activities off your fall bucket list with the family this season.

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