MEA Weekend is on the horizon, so if you like to plan ahead Family Fun Twin Cities has compiled a list for you to use as a starting point for this fabulous, fall four-day weekend. If you plan more spur of the moment like me, these options will be on our October Family Events & Activities Guide for quick access.
1) Be a farmer for the day
Harvest Days | Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River
Oct 19-22, 10am-5pm, $6-$12/pp
I took my kids to Harvest Days on a blustery MEA day. It was wonderful. We had a great time working with the bulls and visiting the house. We made cornhusk dolls, explored the property and played with kittens. Then, on the way out, we went Christmas shopping through their visitor’s center. It was a blast! Expect even more to enjoy at the farm this year with their expanded visitor center.
Fall on the Farm | Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
Oct 19, 9:30am-2:30pm, $7/pp. Designed for kindergarten-age and up, adult must accompany.
Meet farm animals, whip up a fresh snack, and create a wool craft. Stay for an hour or the whole day! We recommend bringing a lunch.
2) Pick your pumpkin – plus more fun fall festivities, many with special MEA hours!
Afton Apple Orchard | Hastings
MEA hours & activities: Open daily 10am-6pm, $4-$5/pp. Admission includes hay rides when available, use of play equipment, a straw mountain and tire hill and petting farm. Afton’s giant corn maze is open Thurs-Sun of MEA from noon-6pm and costs $7-$9/pp. Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick-your-own and call (651) 436-8385 to check the status of apple picking.
Barten Pumpkins | New Prague
MEA hours & activities: Open Tues-Sun, 9am-7pm, free admission.
Country Sun Farm | Lake Elmo
MEA hours & activities: Open Thurs-Sat, 10am-5pm & Sun, 11am-5pm. Admission is free as is visiting the animals, but expect to pay extra for a hayride, to play in the corn pit, jump in the bouncer and run through the corn maze. Pick out a pumpkin from their garden market.
Eveland Family Farm | Andover
MEA hours & activities: Thurs 4 – 7pm, Fri 3-7pm, weekends 10am – 6pm. Admission is $3/pp and includes a hayride, a self-guided tour of the barnyard and use of the picnic shelter. Come pick a Halloween pumpkin from their patch!
Lendt’s Pumpkin Patch | Wyoming
MEA hours & activities: Daily, 9am-dusk, free admission. PYO pumpkins are $4 ea in a 40 acre field. Hayrides are by reservation on weekdays and first-come on weekends at $3/pp – those with small children, be aware that the rides last an hour and include a stop in the pumpkin patch.
Marshall’s Farm Market | Eden Prairie
MEA hours & activities: Open 11am-6:30pm. Come pick your perfect pumpkin and bring the kids for the pumpkin bounce house, mini corn maze, and not-so-spooky haunted house.
Peter’s Pumpkins & Carmen’s Corn | Shakopee
MEA hours & activities: Open weekdays 11am – 6pm, weekends 9am – 6:30pm, free admission. October weekends feature PYO pumpkins and free hayrides and face painting.
Pleasant Valley Orchard | Shafer
MEA hours & activities: Thurs-Sun, 10am-6pm. Admission is free and includes special MEA activities along with a nature trail, barnyard animals and the corn box to play in. Take a hayride ($3/pp) to the pumpkin patch to pick-your-own. The farm’s 12 Days of Halloween begins Oct 20.
Pinehaven Farm | Wyoming
MEA hours & activities: Thurs-Fri 12-6:30, Sat-Sun 10am-6:30pm. MEA weekend admission ranges from $10-$12/pp, spendier than most pumpkin farms, but the price includes the majority of available attractions: playground equipment, mazes, all-terrain trikes, a petting farm, wagon rides and special events on select weekends.
Sever’s Corn Maze & Fall Festival | Shakopee
MEA hours & activities: Special MEA hours – Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-8pm & Sun 10am-6pm. Admission is $14-$15/pp ages 4 & up. Ticket price includes Sever’s well-known extensive menu of activities featuring their corn maze, corn pits, and exotic petting zoo.
Tom’s Pumpkin Farm | Lindstrom
MEA hours & activities: Daily, 10am-dusk. Free admission to come pick-your-own pumpkin from the field – all sizes just $3.99. There is also a 10-acre corn maze to solve, $4-$6/pp.
Waldoch Farm & Garden Center | Lino Lakes
MEA hours & activities: Open MEA weekend 10am-7pm. Admission to the farm is free and includes access to the PYO pumpkin patch via complimentary hayrides and the Joyer Barnyard. Entry to the Maze Area is $10/pp and will allow you to run through the corn maze and obstacle courses, play in the corn pit, use the pedal trikes and more.
Wheel Fun Rentals Pumpkin Patch | Richfield & Como Lake, St Paul
MEA hours & activities: Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Wristband prices vary according to location but range from $3-$9 with a variety of activities included such as hayrides and inflatables.
3) Visit an apple orchard – for fresh produce and more fall fun!
4) Find your way through a corn maze
In case you need a little extra challenge (stress?) in your life, we’ve got a round up of 11 corn mazes we see fit for families. In our experience, this activity is a big hit with the tweens!
5) Get a jump start on Halloween!
So many not-so-scary ways to celebrate with the family! Need a complete list of the different options? We have it for you in our Twin Cities Halloween Fun Guide. Notable special events during MEA Weekend include:
10/19/17: “Thriller” Dance Class | Hennepin County Library, Webber Park
10/19-22: HallZooWeen | Minnesota Zoo
10/20-21: Autumn Harvest in the Village | Dakota City Heritage Village, Farmington
10/20-21: 36th Annual Halloween Party | Westwood Nature Center, St Louis Park
10/20-22: Pumpkin Express Train Rides | Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway, Osceola
10/21-22: ZooBoo | Como Zoo, St Paul
10/21/17: Half-Haunted Halloween | Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield
10/21: Pumpkin Fest | 50th & France, Edina
10/21/17: Pumpkin Night in the Park | Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley
10/21: Coloring Contest & Halloween Fun | Rumriver Art Center, Anoka
10/21/17: Old-fashioned Trick-or-Treat | The Landing, Shakopee
10/22/17: Day of the Dead Family Day | Minnesota History Center, St Paul
10/22/17: Ghouls and Giggles | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska
6) Get crafty
Drop-in fall crafts at Heartfelt | Minneapolis | Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, noon-4pm | Price determined by craft. We love this cozy space in the Linden Hills neighborhood. You can craft alongside your kids and let them spend time browsing the playthings and reading in the treehouse. For more things to do in the neighborhood, try our list of 5 Spots to Stop in Linden Hills.
7) Go to the Theater – Stage or Movie
10/19/17-10/22/17: Expectation Station by DanceCo | Avalon Theater, Minneapolis | $10/pp | Joy’s family, including four children ages 2-12, had a chance to preview this performance and give it a glowing review. The stage show features local celeb Engineer Paul of the Choo Choo Bob Show as the storyteller backed up by the Roe Family Singers.
Thanks to everyone that came out on a rainy afternoon to see our showing yesterday! We had fun and the kids did too! Here's a sneak peak of our sneak peak!
Posted by DanceCo on Monday, August 28, 2017
10/20/17-10/22/17: Spookley, the Square Pumpkin | Stages Theatre, Hopkins | MEA shows run Fri-Sun, times can be found on their calendar – as of press time, the Thursday show is sold out. Grab your tickets for this family favorite fast! Older kids might be drawn to The Hobbit, also showing over MEA break.
10/20/17-10/22/17: Kids Dream Not-so-Scary Halloween Series | TC Marcus Theatres locations | Fri-Sun, 10am | $3/pp – 10/21 includes a trick-or-treat costume party at 9am.
8) Explore a local toy store
Choo Choo Bob’s Train Store | St Paul – Storytimes, free train tables to play at and merchandise.
Kiddywampus | Hopkins | Drop in to the Maker’s Studio for a fully-stocked space to create art – all supplies are provided. Tues-Sun, 10am-6pm, $8/pp. Proceeds are donated to charity.
9) Discover a new local museum
Bakken Museum | Minneapolis
MEA activities: Tinker Time – Rocking Robots | Oct 19, 10am-12pm & Oct 20, 11am to 3pm | $5-$10/pp | Play with musical LEGO robots and explore the electricity exhibits at this super kid-friendly museum. For tips on visiting with kids, try our list of 10 Things for Kids at The Bakken.
Mill City Museum | Minneapolis
This museum was designed with care to include exhibits that appeal to a wide range of ages. Kids will love the water play room and other activities they can get their hands on. Check our list of 10 Things for Kids at Mill City Museum before you head out.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Free every day of the week and stuffed with ways to make art-going a family experience. Thurs-Fri, 10am-9pm. Sat-Sun until 5pm.
Minnesota History Center | St Paul
MEA activities: History Hound Hijinx: MEA Break | Oct 19-20, 11am-3pm | $6-$12/pp | Ring in the History Center’s 25th birthday with a treat, art activity and party games.
Pavek Museum of Broadcasting | St Louis Park | $6-$8/pp
Science Museum of Minnesota | St Paul | 9:30am-9pm | $12.95-$18.95/pp plus parking
MEA activities: There are no school-release programs this year, but Oct 21 is Fossil Day at the museum in addition to all of the other edutainment in the galleries.
10) Explore a castle
10/20/17 – 10/21/17: Kids at the Castle: Movin’ and Groovin’ | American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis | 9-1oam | $8/family
Every third Friday of the month (and select Saturdays), the American Swedish Institute invites you into the castle one hour before opens to explore and create and discover. The program is designed for kiddos of the preschool variety, but kids up to 10 or 12 will enjoy it to as long as they can be aware of little ones. My family loves this program.
I love MEA Weekend for a couple extra days to spend with my family. Hope you have a great one!