Everything You Must Do in the Twin Cities This Fall

Updated On 09/25/2017 at 04:47PM EST Updated On 09/25/2017 at 04:47PM EST
Sever’s Fall Festival
Courtesy of Sever’s Fall Festival
Autumn Trees
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum | Flicr/Kevin T. Houle
Friday - Saturday
Sep 22-Oct 14
Gasthof's, Northeast
Minneapolis may not be anywhere near Germany, but every Friday and Saturday, Gasthof’s does a pretty good job of getting close to an authentic Oktoberfest celebration. You’ll find live polka music, Hammer-Schlagen, sauerkraut, Wienerschnitzel, and -- of course -- beer.
Cost: $6/token (one token = a half liter of beer)
Sep 23
Downtown East
Now in its 12th season, the Mill City Farmers Market hosts a special Oktoberfest shop where you can pick up fall produce, take a free chef-led cooking class, and listen to local Elk River German Band play polka. Prost!
Cost: Free, plus cost of produce
Sep 23
Prospect Park
Surly Brewing is throwing down once again with the 10th annual SurlyFest -- music, food, and of course, specialty brews. SurlyFest takes over the entire brewery complex, and tickets are not required to attend. That said, you can guarantee your entry by purchasing affordably priced VIP packages. There will be live music all day and beer-inspired menu options from both the restaurant and the Surly Food Truck.
Cost: Free, with VIP packages available from $20-$60
Sep 30
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska
The Arboretum, known for its beautiful flower gardens, is hosting a Harvest Festival around the grounds. There will be kid-friendly activities like arts and crafts, games, face painting, and a hay maze. For the adults, there will be apple tastings, live music, beer sampling, a corn roast, and of course, an Instagram booth.
Cost: Free with admission ($15 adults, free for those under 15)
Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons | Flickr/Greg Chow
Sunday - Sunday
Oct 1-29
Sever's, Shakopee
The most popular corn maze in the area, Sever’s, is back. In order to successfully complete the maze, you must navigate through signs with all 26 letters of the alphabet to find the exit. No cheating (or corn-picking) allowed!
Cost: $15; kids 3 and under are free
Sunday - Tuesday
Oct 1-31
Minnetonka Orchards
Nothing says fall like a trip to a local apple orchard. Minnetonka Orchards is close by, has kid-friendly activities, and you can pick your own apples straight from the tree. (They also sell them pre-picked and bagged.) As Halloween draws closer, think about picking up a pumpkin from their patch to carve, too.
Cost: Weekdays are free, weekends $7/person admission
Sunday - Tuesday
Oct 1-31
Soap Factory, Minneapolis
The Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement is not for the faint of heart. Located in an old factory’s abandoned basement, it’s more Saw than “scary,” with fears and phobias acted out by creepily costumed actors. This year’s Basement promises to be an “immersive, horror-fueled production,” and they always deliver, so be prepared.
Cost: $25-$40
Oct 1
Downtown Minneapolis to Downtown St. Paul
Called the “most beautiful urban marathon in America,” the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon has been going on for 32 years and is one of the premier marathons in the country. It’s probably too late to start training if you haven’t already, but fear not -- spectators have many places to cheer on friends, family, or even complete strangers.
Cost: $200 marathon entry fee, spectators free
Oct 7
You’re gonna drink beer this fall, so why not do it for a good cause? The Nordeast Big River Brew Fest has over 200 beers to try plus food, live music, and a complimentary tasting mug. Even better, all proceeds go to East Side Neighborhood Services for programming and community support.
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
Oct 7
Bauhaus Brew Labs
You’ve probably heard of Zombie Pub Crawl, and this is an extension of the popular Halloween event with a cute twist, Zombie Pup Crawl. Bring your pooch to Bauhaus and enter the canine costume contest (attire need not be zombie-related), or come as a spectator and get your daily dose of adorable puppies.
Cost: Free
Oct 14
Warehouse District
There’s no Halloween party that can compare to the legendary Zombie Pub Crawl. It’s even certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest gathering of zombies (yes, seriously). This year’s crawl takes place downtown Minneapolis, and Third Eye Blind, T-Pain, and Sean Kingston will take the stage for a concert afterward. Grab your fake blood, perfect your battle cry ("Braaaaains!" is a good go-to), and get ready to get gory.
Cost: $28 general admission, $90 VIP
Saturday - Sunday
Oct 14-15
The Stillwater Harvest Fest takes place along the St. Croix every year, and it's always a gourd-filled blast. The best events are the giant pumpkin weigh-off, the pumpkin drop, and the pumpkin regatta. Growers from all over the region bring their pumpkins to challenge each other on whose is the biggest, and then later, pumpkins are smashed to the ground from atop a crane. The pumpkin regatta has people climbing into giant pumpkins and attempting to paddle them down the river.
Cost: Free
Oct 16
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
Imagine Dragons’ world tour stops in St. Paul for a much-anticipated live show, where the indie rock group is expected play hits off their third album Evolve, including “Believer,” “Thunder,” and “Whatever It Takes.”
Cost: $68 and up
Monday - Sunday
Oct 2-29
Renaissance Festival grounds, Shakopee
After the Renaissance Festival ends, the grounds are transformed into a gauntlet of ghoulish scares for the annual Trail of Terror. In addition to a creepy walk through the woods, you can partake in other activities like Zombie Paintball. This year, Bad Manor is featured as an add-on, which has been rumored to be haunted and was the site of a recent paranormal investigation.
Cost: $25 general admission; paintball and Bad Manor sold separately
Oct 21
Surly Brewing, Brooklyn Center
Every year, Surly releases a new dark beer and dubs the debut “Darkness Day.” This year, the new beer will be a Russian imperial stout, and in addition to being the first to taste it, attendees can also enjoy live music and a spread of food.
Cost: Free
Oct 21
The U of M hosts their 97th homecoming game at TCF Bank Stadium this year against Illinois. Whether you’re an alum or just a fan, get your maroon and gold ready and prepare to yell "Ski-U-Mah!"
Cost: $48 and up
Saturday - Sunday
Oct 21-29
Como Zoo, Como
If you have babies, toddlers, or small kids and want to avoid them crying over scary strangers, bring them to ZooBoo. A family-friendly Halloween festival, ZooBoo has non-threatening costumed characters, trick-or-treating, pumpkin bowling, crafts, and entertainment all designed for kids under 8.
Cost: $6 early bird, $7 general admission
Oct 28
Lowertown St. Paul
The 10th annual Monster Dash will take place in St. Paul this year with a 5K, 10K, 10-miler, and a half marathon. You’re encouraged to dress up (the crazier the better) because after the run, there’s a costume contest and a post-race party.
Cost: $45 for 5K, $60 for 10K and 10 mile, $70 for half marathon
Oct 31
Downtown Minneapolis
First Avenue’s Halloween party and costume contest is the biggest in town, and not to be missed if you are a die-hard fan of the holiday. This year features live DJ’s, dancing, drinks, and some of the zaniest costumes around, so think long and hard about your dress-up plan, because over $1,000 in prizes is on the line.
Cost: $10 in advance, $15 day-of-sale, $20 at the door
Minneapolis, Mall of America
IVY PHOTOS/Shutterstock
Nov 23
St. Paul
A favorite tradition for the runners out there, the Turkey Trot will burn off the calories you’ll consume later in the day. Choose from a 6K fun run or a 10K chip run, and dress up if you want. After the race, stick around for pumpkin-spice eggnog.
Cost: $30 for 6K fun run, $35 for 10K chip run
Nov 23
Metro area
If you want to give thanks by helping others, there are plenty of area shelters and nonprofits that could use help serving turkey day dinner: Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, and People Serving People are just a few. Most places also have Thanksgiving food drives as well.
Cost: Free
Nov 24
The mother of all malls, the Mall of America, is either the best or worst place to be on Black Friday, depending on how you feel about crowds. Each year, the mall gives away prizes through scratch-off tickets and early birds often get gift cards, too. Attempt parking at your own risk, though.
Cost: Free, plus shopping, of course