Ask anyone from outside Minnesota what the weather is like, and chances are good that they will say that it’s cold. And while fall can have some pretty wild weather events—just ask anyone from Minnesota about Halloween in 1991—the autumn weather is actually amazing.
And while there are always plenty of fun things to do in and around Minneapolis, the fall offers some unique events and opportunities to get the most out of the season. There’s nothing quite like the fall activities in Minneapolis.
Whether you plan on sticking to the metro or want to head out into the suburbs and beyond, there is no shortage of incredible events, activities, and attractions for locals and tourists alike. If you’re looking for family fun or some time away from the kids, Minneapolis has you covered.
The Great Outdoors
It is impossible to talk about the incredible fall activities in Minneapolis without starting in the great outdoors. Summers can be unbearably humid and winters are incredibly frigid here, so Minnesotans love to get every ounce of enjoyment out of the fall weather.
Minneapolis in the fall is gorgeous. The city has far more dedicated green spaces than many similarly sized or larger cities in America—which means that the glorious fall colors of Minnesota can still be found within city limits.
One of the best places to go in Minneapolis for fall foliage is Minnehaha Regional Park. With limestone bluffs, gorgeous river overlooks, and a spectacular waterfall, it is one of the best places in the city to see the glory of nature.
But if you want to get out of the city, there are scenic drives and destinations aplenty. Getting off the interstate and driving down to Red Wing is some of the most scenic driving you’ll ever experience—whether you stick to Minnesota roads or decide to swing east into Wisconsin for your preferred route.
But looking at the leaves is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to outdoor fun. Did you know that the Honeycrisp apple was developed at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities? It’s an apple fact!
There are a plethora of beautiful, welcoming apple orchards in Minnesota. One of the greatest joys of fall is wandering through an orchard with a cup of fresh, hot cider in one hand while picking perfect apples right off their branches with the other.
Most orchards will even have baked goods available for purchase, such as apple doughnuts. Until you’ve experienced it yourself, you are missing out.
And apples aren’t the only agricultural experience you can get. Local pumpkin patches offer hayrides and the opportunity to pick your own pumpkin for baking, making a Jack-O-Lantern, or both.
Minneapolis fall activities also include fall festivals. Celebrating all things fall, these festivals pick up where the legendary Minnesota State Fair leaves off. You can find unique celebrations in small towns throughout the state, but some of the best fall festivals can be found in the greater metro area.
Perhaps the most well-known fall festival is Sever’s Fall Fest in Shakopee. Every year, thousands of guests flock to Shakopee to enjoy the corn maze challenges, petting zoo, great food, corn pit, and giant slide.
If any of the items in that list confused you (a corn pit? What is that?), then you’ll have to get to Sever’s and experience it for yourself. There is no better way to celebrate the uniquely autumnal, agrarian activities of Minnesota.
In other parts of the cities, you can find hot air ballooning, other great petting zoos, scenic train rides, and even bigger corn mazes. The Minnesota Zoo even has a special event every fall where you can walk through a gloriously lit pathway full of spectacular, carved pumpkins.
Fall activities in Minneapolis and St. Paul also include the annual food truck festival. All of the best food trucks in the cities gather in one spot with live music and games to let people experience some of the best street cuisine you can get anywhere.
You can’t talk about fall without talking about Halloween. There are a great many local activities that you can partake in beyond putting kids in costumes and sending them around the neighborhood for candy.
Valleyfair, our local amusement park, has created a great Halloween event designed to be very fun but not super scary—so the whole family can enjoy themselves. With a brilliantly curated atmosphere, everyone can enjoy dressing up and going out for some fun.
If you want to get spooky, though, there are plenty of things to do. Haunted houses and haunted hayrides can be found in the metro and out in the suburbs and beyond. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into.
Some of these are more intense than others. Make sure you check to see if the performers are allowed to touch you or if they are only going to be giving you jump scares. There will always be consent forms for haunted experiences that allow guests to be touched and “kidnapped.” Just be aware of what event you are attending.
One of the biggest fall activities in Minneapolis is the zombie pub crawl. This event has gotten so big that it has branched out into a multiple night affair. Hundreds of not thousands of people get zombified and wander the streets of the city looking for brains (and also beer).
Whether you want to dress up and shamble from bar to bar or you just want to watch the grotesque creatures wander by, the zombie pub crawl is an incredible spooky season tradition.
Things to do in Minneapolis in the fall are not limited to outdoorsy fun and Halloween happenings. There is, as always, a robust night life to experience in the Twin Cities.
Minneapolis has a wide array of breweries and tap houses that offer spectacular fall flavors. From stouts to IPAs to pumpkin flavored brews and more, there is no shortage of unique beer experiences available.
Even better for fall, though, there are several cider breweries in the city that really shine in the fall. Making crisp, dry hard ciders with fresh apples (remember all the local orchards?), these cider houses provide fall flavors that you can’t get anywhere else in the world.
What better to pair a great drink with than live music? The Minnesota Orchestra has a great variety of concerts in the fall. From playing alongside pop stars to accompanying scary movies with a live film score to the classical music that made its name, the orchestra has something for everyone.
The Dakota is always a great place to go for jazz. And First Avenue has incredible concerts interspersed with DJ nights and a famous costume contest. And large venues like the Target Center and Xcel Energy Center have huge acts come through all year round.
But one of the best things you can do to make sure you don’t miss any nighttime fall activities in Minneapolis is to keep track of The Pourhouse’s calendar of events. From live music to some of the best DJ nights in the city, you can’t beat the events that go down at The Pourhouse.
Just the Start of All the Fun Fall Activities in Minneapolis
Minneapolis in the fall is incredible. And we haven’t even covered everything available in and around the city. There is just too much to cover in one piece.
For example, we haven’t even discussed all the great museums you can visit. From modern and classical art to history to science, there are all sorts of great museums to see. Some of them are big and grand, some are small and offer a more individualized experience. There really is a museum for everybody here.
And let’s not forget the sports! The Vikings season is ramping up in the fall even as Minnesota United’s season comes to a close and the Twins try to repeat the magic of ‘87 and ‘91 in the MLB postseason.
The number of fall activities in Minneapolis is almost too high to count. No matter what you like, there is something here for you. Maybe you’ve never been here before or you’ve lived in the Twin Cities your whole life—chances are good there is an experience out there that you’ve never been a part of before.
So get out in that crisp, cool weather and make the most of fall in Minnesota!