Ahhh, fall– the season of festivals, beautiful foliage, hay rides, and fresh pumpkin pie. The warm days of summer may be officially behind us, but the fall fun is just beginning here in Inver Grove Heights! Whether you’re looking to pick your own apples, admire the vibrant leaves, or visit a spooky haunted house, here are eight can’t-miss activities for fall in Inver Grove Heights & the Twin Cities:
1. Inver Grove Heights Days
Head to Inver Grove Heights’ very own annual community-wide celebration for a variety of family-fun activities, including the Grand Parade, a fishing contest, disc golf tournament, fireworks show, classic car show, Inver Grove Heights Royalty Coronation, and more!
2. Gertens Pumpkin Fest
Pumpkins are a symbol of fall harvest and Halloween, so what better place to get into the fall spirit than at a pumpkin festival? Head to Gertens annual Pumpkin Fest for a perfect fall family outing with activities for all ages, including hayrides, a spooky maze, face painting, a petting zoo, fall treats, pumpkin painting, and scarecrow making.
3. Mississippi Pub’s Oktoberfest
While there’s no denying that Germany hosts the ultimate Oktoberfest celebrations, Mississippi Pub’s Oktoberfest is proof that you don’t have to leave the country to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of this celebration of Bavarian culture. Guests will enjoy live music, great beer, authentic German food, a stein hoisting competition, and a costume contest!
4. Canon River Winery Fall Harvest
Join Cannon River Winery for their fall grape harvest, where you’ll get the unique opportunity to pick grapes by hand amongst the lush rolling hills of the picture perfect Sogn Valley. You’ll also learn about the history of the vineyard and the art of growing grapes, followed by a delicious catered meal with the gorgeous vineyard as a backdrop.
5. Enjoying the Fall Colors at Rock Island Swing Bridge
While brilliant fall foliage displays can be witnessed throughout much of Minnesota, one of the most spectacular can be found right here in Inver Grove Heights at the historic Rock Island Swing Bridge. Built in 1894, the Rock Island Swing Bridge was designed for the South St. Paul Beltline Railroad but has since been converted into a public recreational pier. Take a leisurely stroll down the bridge and through the adjoining park and treat your eyes to a panorama of colorful autumn leaves.
6. ZooBoo at Como Zoo & Creatures of the Night at Minnesota Zoo
Don’t miss ZooBoo at Como Zoo this October for a unique fall fundraising festival that’s perfect for families and young children! For this fright-free Halloween event, the grounds of Como Zoo transform into a world of fairytales and fun as 200 live costumed characters interact and entertain children. This magical festival offers families a safe trick-or-treating alternative plus many Halloween surprises.
Creatures of the Night, a kid-centric Halloween celebration is sure to delight! Explore the Minnesota Zoo after dark and you’ll learn more about some of the fun and friendly creatures who roam the woods at night and how to find your way using starlight! Join us to howl with the wolves and hoot with the owls. The activities, excursions, crafts and games make learning fun for young and old alike!
7. Haunted Houses
Halloween is all about thrills and chills, and the Twin Cities lay claim to a variety of haunted houses that will leave you with goosebumps for days! Halloween Haunt at ValleySCARE is a veritable playground of terror featuring nine haunted attractions, creepy live entertainment, and signature thrill rides that bring terror to a whole new level. Head to The Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement where you’ll be given a poorly functioning flashlight and sent downstairs into the darkness where frights and horrors await. In the heart of the Twin Cities, Fright Farm is one of Minnesota’s most popular haunted attractions brought to you by a talented group of professional theater artists, craftsmen, and law enforcement professionals.
8. Apple Picking at Local Orchards
A visit to an apple orchard is an autumn ritual for many — there’s nothing quite like picking fresh apples on a brisk fall day. Orchards around Inver Grove Heights & the Twin Cities have increasingly become fall destinations for the whole family, offering seasonal fun from hayrides and corn mazes to homemade pies and spirit sampling. Some of the best orchards for apple picking in the region include Whistling Well Farm, Afton Apple Orchard, Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, and McDougall’s Apple Junction.