The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and the leaves are changing color—fall is here, and it’s time to celebrate the season with these fun and family-friendly Twin Cities fall festivals!     

1) IGH Days

September 7-9, 2018

Inver Grove Heights’ annual community celebration includes a weekend-long treasure hunt, bingo tent, and specials at Drkula’s 32 Bowl.  Dance the night away at street dances with live music, cheer on the contestants for Miss Inver Grove Heights, watch the Grand Day Parade, and enjoy a fireworks display.  Get active with a five-mile bike ride along the Mississippi River Trail or bean bag, disc golf, and volleyball tournaments.  For kids, there’s a family fun night with carnival games, a children’s treasure hunt, and a kids court with pony rides, laser tag, face painting, and more.

Many activities are free or discounted with a button.  Purchase one for $3 at these local businesses to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the festivities!

Inver Grove Heights Days Classic Car Show

2) Gertens Pumpkin Fest 

September 29, October 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2018

Gertens Pumpkin Fest  in Inver Grove Heights will feature lots of fun activities for kids, including story time, apple tasting, toss games, a spooky maze, a pumpkin bounce, pumpkin painting, and scarecrow building.  Ticket prices depend on the activities selected.  On October 27, there will be a kids’ costume contest with prizes for the winner of each age group (age 5 and younger and  age 6 and up).

Dan Grevas Photography

3) Afton Apple Orchard Apple Festival

September 29-30 and October 6-7 and 13-14, 2018

The Apple Festival at Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings features old-fashioned fun like hayrides, a petting farm, and cider pressing demonstrations.  Kids’ activities include a magician, train rides, playground, and face painting.  There’s also live folk and bluegrass music and a concession stand stocked with apple-flavored goodies like donuts, fritters, and sundaes.

Admission is $5 for ages 5 and older and $4 for ages 4 and younger.  Be sure to pick some apples, too—thanks to the orchard’s carefully selected short trees, even kids can pick their own.

In addition to the Apple Festival, Afton Apple Orchard is open daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm through Halloween, with pick-your-own apples and a concession stand available. 

Afton Apple Orchard

4) Stillwater Harvest Fest

October 13-14, 2018

With events like a chili cook-off, kids’ costume parade, face painting, and a pie eating contest, the Stillwater Harvest Fest offers a weekend of fun for all ages.  Other activities include a kids’ tractor pull and live music, and there will also be seasonal food vendors.

The festival’s highlight is the giant pumpkin weigh-off, with growers competing from around the Midwest.  In 2015, the winning pumpkin briefly set a North American record, weighing in at 2,185 pounds!  The giant pumpkins are then hollowed out and paddled down the St. Croix River in the Pumpkin Regatta—yes, pumpkins float! 

Admission is free, with an extra cost for some activities.

Stillwater Harvest Fest

5) Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze 

Weekends September 23-October 29, 2018, plus October 19-20, 2018

The highlight of the Twin Cities Harvest Festival in Brooklyn Park is Minnesota’s largest corn maze.  This year, the maze celebrates the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 30th season.  Other activities include a corn pit, straw bale maze, kids play area, live music, a petting zoo, and hayrides.  For an additional charge, you can zoom down the giant slide, launch a pumpkin at a target across the field, and ride a pony.  Pumpkins and apples are also available to purchase. 

Admission is $10 per person online or $12 at the gate, with children under 36 inches free of charge.

Twin Cities Harvest Festival

Located just minutes from downtown Saint Paul and major attractions like the Mall of America, Inver Grove Heights is a convenient base for your fall family fun!  Start planning your Twin Cities getaway by booking your stay with these hotels.