Twin Cities GUIDE TO FAMILY ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND: September 18-19, 2021

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Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of September 18-19, 2021. To find our most recent guide, click here

September is that glorious month in Minnesota where it’s still possible to run around in shirtsleeves, enjoying the sunshine. We like to make every late summer day count and We like to make every early fall day count – and prove it with weekends packed full of festivals, craft fairs, farm fun and other reasons to run around in the outdoors. We’ve listed our picks for this weekend below. For more ideas on what to do this weekend in the Twin Cities with your kids hop over to our SEPTEMBER FAMILY GUIDE, our ULTIMATE FALL FUN GUIDE or our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR.

Family Festivals this weekend in the twin cities

We can’t get enough of the fresh outdoor fall festivals that populate every corner of the Twin Cities this time of year. Here are two we think are worth your time this weekend; find a dozen more on our Fall Family Festival Calendar.

HOlZ Farm Harvest Festival | Eagan

Located at the historic HOLZ FARM PARK, there’s lots of old-fashioned farm fun to be had here and most of it included in your ticket: explore the chicken coop, play at outdoor farm chores, take a wagon ride and more. $3/pp – advance tickets required online. Sept 18.

September Weekend Family Fun: All About Apples- Holz Farm

Wild Rice Festival | Roseville

Located at HARRIET ALEXANDER NATURE CENTER with games and activities for all, Native American dancing and drumming, hands-on demos and much more. Sept 18, FREE admission.

Girl playing at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center in Roseville, Minnesota

More fall festivals this weekend around the Twin Cities metro:

  Art & Apples on the Lake (Excelsior)
 Bayport Derby Days
–  Delano Oktoberfest
–  Lakeville Art Festival
–  Linden Hills Festival (Minneapolis)
–  Minnesota Children’s Book Festival (Red Wing)
–  Otsego Prairie Festival
–  Plymouth on Parade
–  Twin Cities Harvest Festival & Maze (Brooklyn Park)
–  Waconia Nickle Dickle Day
–  White Bear Township Day

fun outdoor activities in the parks this weekend

Featured here for the weekend is just a taste of all that’s going on across the incredible Twin Cities park systems. You can get more ideas on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse the links below to search for local fun events & things to do with kids this weekend in the parks.


Enjoy art but skittish about bringing kids to an indoor museum? CAPONI ART PARK in Eagan could be just your ticket. Bring a picnic and prepare to expend some energy exploring the 60 acres that make up this woodland sculpture garden. Art pops up in unexpected places, down meandering paths, and it begs for interpretation! For families or small groups, who want to explore the park a little further, CAP offers handheld park maps and self-guided tour guidebooks for checkout.

A “Shell-ebration” of Art and Nature

Special Saturday only! Visit the park for craft activities – create your own tiny turtles in yarn and wax. Sept 18, 12-4pm. FREE.

Featured Twin Cities  Park Events this weekend

Take Aim at Outdoor Fun | Maplewood

Located at KELLER PARK in Maplewood. Try a variety of fun outdoor activities at this family-friendly event. Activities include fishing, archery (ages 8+), biking, nature activities and more. All equipment is provided at no charge. Sept 18, 11am-2pm.

FREE FAMILY FUN DAY with Three Rivers parks

Each Sunday in September, MISSISSIPPI GATEWAY REGIONAL PARK hosts a FREE FAMILY FUN DAY with drop-in activities from 1-3pm.  If you’re from the SW Metro: RICHARDSON NATURE CENTER in Bloomington also hosts this program. Want to explore more nature centers? Check out the links on our big list of Twin Cities nature & interpretive centers for all the details.

Family Fun at the Arb (Minnesota Landscape Arboretum)

Best reasons to visit in the fall: 1) the Apple House is open, 2) not too hot to run through the hedge mazes, 3) Scarecrows in the Garden starts this weekend! And more ideas for kids here. Reservations are required to visit. $15/adult, kids FREE.

Visit a tiwn cities apple orchard this weekend

Most smaller orchards are thrilled just to get you in the door (with the hope that you’ll purchase the privilege of picking their fresh apples, of course) and offer free admission. And our favorites are the ones that not only don’t charge to enter, they don’t nickel-and-dime you for activities as soon as you’re in. Some highlights from the orchards we recommend:

Sunrise River Farm | Wyoming

Take a short walk into the orchard to pick your own apples, pet a few farm animals, take a mini-train ride and hang out on the playground.

Pleasant Valley Orchard | Taylors Falls

Pick-your-own apples on weekends, hayrides ($3.50/pp) and music. 

Fall Harvest Orchard | Delano

While there are several attractions that require a fee, there is quite a lot to do for free here, especially if your kids are into animal encounters. Let them roll around in the corn boxes and play on the tire hills, too. It won’t cost any extra.

Find our complete guide to family-friendly Twin Cities apple orchards.

September Weekend Family Fun: All About Apples
FFTC “kids” at Fall Harvest Orchard


Kids in the Corn (Mazes)

Love them, fear them, however you feel about corn mazes, they are a staple of outdoor fall fun in Minnesota. Several are opening this weekend, or are already open to challenge you with their latest design. Here are a handful of our favorites:

more ideas for things to do this weekend in the twin cities

Saturday Pop-up at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Make a commemorative print on the new mini press and more take-home crafts, and tour the new exhibits. This is a very kid-friendly place – see my little artist below! Sept 18, 10am-5pm. FREE.


Sundays at Landmark Center: Iranian Culture Festival

The gorgeous historic building hosts a variety of free cultural events throughout the year. This weekend come learn about the culture of Iran. Sept 19.

Twin City Model Railroad Museum Hobby Show

Got kids who are fascinated by trains? This would be a super fun outing: scale models to look at and storytime with Engineer Paul at 10:30am & 12pm. $6/ages 8+. Sept 18, 9am-2pm.

WHERE ELSE CAN YOU SPOT TRAINS IN THE TWIN CITIES? So many fun places you can still see while the weather is grand. Check our list on MINNEAPOLS-ST PAUL: A TRAIN LOVER’S DESTINATON.

Take a family day or road trip!

We have several great family destinations under our Travel Tab on the homepage; this weekend we’re highlighting the lovely-especially-in-the-fall city of Red Wing, Minnesota. Visit this weekend and you’ll get the chance to drop by the Minnesota Children’s Book Festival. Our very own Joy and Gianna have visited the festival many times over the years with their kids and love meeting local authors, making art and touring around the sculpture garden. (Sept 18, FREE.) Take along our must-see list and tips for VISITING RED WING, MINNESOTA, WITH KIDS.

more free or low cost things to do this weekend in the Twin Cities

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