Late September to mid-October
Grand Rounds Scenic Byway
There’s no better way to catch fall colors than hopping in the car and taking the family for a relaxed Sunday drive. In the Twin Cities proper, try circling parkways like Lake of the Isles or head out a bit further and cruise down Highway 95 from Taylors Falls to Afton along the St. Croix River.
October 1-November 3
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is back for its second year at the zoo, and the trail features more than 5,000 illuminated carved pumpkins of all different shapes and sizes all in one place. There will also be a straw maze, costumed characters, carousel rides, and live music. It’s non-scary (i.e. kid-friendly) and proceeds benefit the zoo’s animal care and conservation efforts.
Cost: $16-$18 (kids two and under free)
Many say the Haunted Basement just isn’t the same after it left the dark cellar of the Soap Factory, but we think it’s still worth checking out. Last year, it appeared in a new space in Northeast and this year, it will set up shop in the old Herberger’s space in the Rosedale Mall. Organizers say it will give the creepily costumed actors more space to “play” than ever before, and we’re confident they’ll deliver the stuff of nightmares.
TCF Bank Stadium
It doesn’t matter if you did or didn’t go to the U...there isn’t a more fun time to be on campus than Homecoming. Don your best maroon and gold ensemble and get ready to feel 21 again as you crawl from bar to bar yelling "Ski-U-Mah!" (We recommend Sally’s and Blarney’s.) This year’s game is at TCF Bank Stadium against Illinois, which should make for a good rivalry.
Xcel Energy Center
Grammy Award-winning duo The Chainsmokers stop in St. Paul on their World War Joy North American tour. They’ll perform mega-hits like “Who Do You Love,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” and “Closer.” Aussie pop rock act 5 Seconds of Summer is the opener.
Cost: Tickets start at $26.50
Downtown Minneapolis to Downtown St. Paul
It seems like you can get VIP access to just about anything these days, including a marathon. Back for its second year at the “most beautiful urban marathon in America,” the VIP section at the Twin Cities Marathon is open to both marathon participants and spectators. It includes access to the Vikings Longhouse, a heated indoor pre-race staging area, complimentary food, coffee, and Summit beer -- and most importantly, VIP-only “luxury toilets.” If you don’t want to pay, just stake out a spot along the 26.2-mile course to cheer on friends, family, or complete strangers.
Cost: Free or $75 for VIP