Twin Cities GUIDE TO FAMILY ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND: October 23-24 , 2021

fall leaves

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the MEA weekend of October 21-24, 2021. To find our most recent guide, click here

MEA Weekend (Thursday & Friday October 21-22 are school breaks) 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. Also, be sure to check our Family Fun Calendar and Fall Fun Family Guide for dozens more ideas.

 

Twin Cities Halloween & Fall Festival Picks this weekend in the twin cities - MEA Weekend

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 monster Twin Cities Halloween Fun Guide. Notable special events during MEA Weekend include, organized by regions of the Minneapolis-St Paul Metro Area:

Minneapolis & St Paul MEA weekend  Halloween events

Minneapolis: Halloween Hike

Quaking Bog – Theodore Wirth Park | Minneapolis
Kids 7-12 years old hike through Quaking Bog with spooky games, a scavenger hunt and treats. Sponsored by Crystal Parks. Oct 22, 9:30-12pm, $15/pp.

St Paul: Great Pumpkin Halloween Celebration  

Landmark Center, 75 W 5th St, St Paul, MN 55102.
Live entertainment, crafts, treats and a costume parade.  Oct 24, 1pm-3pm.

Minneapolis: Transylvania Trolley

Como-Harriet Streetcar Line | 4200 Queen Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Non-scary Halloween trolley ride. Wear your costume and get a treat! Oct 23, 12:30-4pm. $3/pp, under 3 free.

St Paul: Haunted ROUNDhouse

Jackson Street Roundhouse | 193 Pennsylvania Ave E, St Paul, MN 55130
All the fun of the Jackson Street Roundhouse (train rides, too) with a slightly spooky air. Ross Sutter will perform family music, plus treat bags & a scavenger hunt with prizes. Oct 23, $7-$15/pp or $45/family.

Twin Cities Northwest Metro Mea Weekend Halloween Events

Blaine: Flashlight Pumpkin Hunt & Dance

Tom Ryan Park | Blaine
Flashlight pumpkin hunt, outdoor dance, S’mores, Halloween Games. Costume Contest. Fee includes a treat bag, one pumpkin, one craft, and refreshments. Registration required. Oct 22, 7-8:30pm, Price: $15-$16/pp.

Brooklyn Center: Halloween Party 

Centennial Park
Ages 2-12 can trick-or-treat down the trail before doing a little BOOgie at the amphitheater.  Oct 22, 5:30-7:30pm. $2/child.

Osseo: Osseo Lions Halloween Event

Central Ave., Osseo, MN 55369
Trick or treat up and down Central Avenue from 11am-noon and end at the park for more fun and games. Oct 23,  11am. FREE.

Anoka: Children’s Pumpkin Carving Contest 

Akin Riverside Park, 1721 River Ave, Anoka, MN 55303
Children ages 3 to 12. Pumpkins will be cleaned prior to use. Oct 23, 1pm-2:30pm. FREE.

Anoka: Light up the Night Parade & Bonfire

Anoka City Hall, 2015 1st Ave, Anoka, MN 55303
Lighted floats parade down the darkened streets of Anoka followed by a bonfire at City Hall with food vendors. Oct 23, 7pm-10pm.

Brooklyn Park: Spooky Spiders

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park | Brooklyn Park
Hunt for spiders; learn spider body parts and why spiders are important to the environment. Then make spiderweb art. Oct 23, $5.00/pp. 1:00pm-2:30pm.

Fridley: Pumpkin Night in the Park

Springbrook Nature Center | Fridley
Enchanted trails, costumed characters, kids dance, glowing pumpkins, and food. This year, there will be no gate admission. Oct 23, $10/pp. Learn more and register here.

Maple Grove: Halloween Family Fun Day

Weaver Lake Park | Maple Grove
Activities, crafts and treats aimed at kids ages 2-8. Oct 23, $6/child; pre-registration is required.

Anoka: Medallion Hunts

Anoka Nature Preserve
Kids & Family Hunt 12pm-2pm; All Ages Hunt 2:30-4:30pm. $3 Halloween button required. Oct 24.

Maple Grove: Animal Costume Party

Eastman Nature Center, 13351 Elm Creek Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369
Help the Eastman animals make costumes that help them camouflage
. Oct 24, Drop-in 1pm-3pm.

Twin Cities Southeast Metro Mea weekend Halloween events

Minnesota Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular 

West St Paul: Nature after Dinner: Nature Glows 

Dodge Nature Center | West St Paul
Use a UV flashlight to search the woods after dark for what might be glowing bright at night. Designed for Ages 3-8 with adults. Preregistration is required. Oct 21, 6:30pm-7:30pm, $5/pp.

Inver Grove Heights: Ghostly Gathering 

Veterans Memorial Community Center | Inver Grove Heights
Family-friendly, non-scary event for kids ages 2-12, with trick-or-treating, activities, photo booth and a DJ. Preregistration is required by October 18th. Oct 22, 6pm-8pm, $8/child.

Farmington: Autumn Harvest at Dakota City

Dakota City Heritage Village, 4008 220th St W, Farmington, MN 55024
Stations will include historical activities, seasonal games, scavenger and medallion hunts, Morse code station, shops, and demos. More details to be announced. Oct 22-23, 1-6pm, $5/pp.

Inver Grove Heights: Scary Skate 

Veterans Memorial Community Center | Inver Grove Heights
Open Skate with costumes.  Oct 23, 6:30pm-8pm, $4/pp.

Lakeville: Haunted Forest

Steve Michaud Park | Lakeville
Trick-or-treat through a maze made for little kids. Bigger kids can explore a Haunted Forest Trail, watch a Haunted Bonfire Puppet Show, go on a Halloween Hayride and grab a free pumpkin. Oct 23, 5:30pm-8:00pm. $10/vehicle.

Savage: Halloween Bash 

Costumes, food, music, games, inflatables, and of course candy. This event happens rain, snow, or shine. Savage Sports Center, Oct 23, 5pm-8pm.

Woodbury: Halloween Hoopla  

Ojibway Park | Woodbury
Search for a mini pumpkin to decorate, tick-or-treat, play Halloween games, a photo booth and costume prizes! Ages 2-12.  Oct 23, 3pm-5pm, $10/pp advance. Sells out fast.

Twin Cities Southwest Metro Mea Weekend Halloween Events

St Louis Park: Westwood Annual Halloween Party

Westwood Hills Nature Center | St Louis Park
Come in costumes and enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Oct 22-23, Friday or Saturday 6:30-9:30pm, $9-$12/pp, pre-registration required. 

Richfield: Half-Haunted Halloween

Wood Lake Nature Center | Richfield
Stations include the trick or treat trail, a magician, games and a barn dance.  Oct 23, Purchase tickets for specific entry time, beginning 2pm-6pm, $5/pp. 

SHakopee: Old-fashioned Trick-or-Treat 

The Landing | Shakopee
Trick-or-treat the historic homes along a candlelit path, play old-fashioned games and more. Oct 23, 4:30pm-8:00pm, $5-10/pp.

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.

SOME FUN FAMILY IDEAS FOR THIS WEEKEND

 

Featured Twin Cities  Park Events this weekend

Family Nature Exploration Saturday | Lake Elmo

SALLY MANZARA NATURE CENTER, located within SUNFISH LAKE PARK is launching a free Family Nature Exploration Saturdays Series from 10-11am starting in October. No registration is needed, just show up to explore nature! We’ve done just that and enjoyed all the indoor & outdoor exhibits, including the Messy Play Area! Oct 23, 10-11am. FREE.

Nature play at Sally Manzara Interpretive Center

FREE FAMILY FUN DAY with Three Rivers parks

Each Sunday in October, 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. Oct 24.

Visit a twin cities pumpkin patch or corn maze this weekend

Pick your pumpkin – plus more fall fun festivities, many with special MEA hours!

Afton Apple Orchard | Hastings

MEA hours & activities: Thurs. Noon-6pm; Fri. Noon-10pm; Sat: 10am-10pm; Sun 10am-6pm. Admission includes hay rides when available, use of play equipment, a straw mountain and tire hill and petting farm. Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick-your-own and call (651) 436-8385 to check the status of apple picking. Note: Afton’s giant corn maze has not opened to date for 2021. $5-$7/pp admission, small extra fee for cow train & jump pillow. Does not include anything you pick.

Barten Pumpkins | New Prague

MEA hours & activities: Open 7 days/wk, 9am-7pm with free admission! Stroll down the Pumpkin Walk, try the stilts and nature play area. MEA weekend special: Oct 22-24 is Community Appreciation! Snag free hayrides, free samples and other free demos on select days.

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 ($6), to play in the corn pit, ($4), jump in the bouncer ($4) and run through the corn maze ($5). Pick out a pumpkin from their garden market.

Dehn’s Pumpkin Patch | Dayton

MEA hours & activities: Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm & Sun 9am-6pm. Purchase a wristband (adults/$8, kids/$10) for admission to all the fun stuff: hay ride, corn pit, corn maze, inflatables & more. Pumpkins are priced at .39/lb.

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!

Marshall’s Farm Market | Eden Prairie

MEA hours & activities: Thurs-Fri 10am-7pm & Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Halloween is celebrated all of October with a corn maze, pumpkin patch, games for kids, photo ops, and special weekend activities – even local food trucks!

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 a free corn maze!

Pinehaven Farm | Wyoming

MEA hours & activities: Thurs-Fri 12-6:30, Sat-Sun 10am-6:30pm. MEA weekend admission is $15/online & $17/door. This is 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: Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021: 10 AM – 6 PM, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021: 10 AM – 8 PM. Admission is $17/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.

Waldoch Farm | Lino Lakes

MEA hours & activities: Open MEA weekend 10am-7pm. Admission to the Joyer Adventure Farm includes access to the PYO pumpkin patch via hayride, entry to the Maze Area with its extensive fall activities, and will allow you to run through the corn maze and obstacle courses, play in the corn pit, use the pedal trikes and more. MEA weekend cost is $15/Thurs-Fri & $18/Sat-Sun.

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! We recommend checking out the Twin Cities Harvest Festival & Maze for Minnesota’s largest corn maze plus tons of fun fall activities for all ages.

corn maze

Get crafty over Mea Break

Virtual Free Family Art Day with Rumriver Art Center

Learn to draw a haunted house from the comfort of your own home. Registration required for Zoom ink. Oct 23, 10am, FREE.

Drop-in fall crafts at Heartfelt | Minneapolis

We love this cozy space in the Linden Hills neighborhood. You can craft alongside your kids, choosing from their menu of fall projects (see website for details). Thurs-Sun of MEA weekend, 10am-4pm.

two girls making crafts
FFTC kids building a fairy house at Heartfelt Crafts

Twin Cities MEA Weekend at your local library

Don’t forget about your local library branch for tons of FREE programming over MEA weekend break (plus hours of book browsing, storytimes and Play & Learn spots). 

ANOKA COUNTY LIBRARIES: Story Stroll at Huset Park (Oct 21), online escape room, crafting and game day (Oct 23). See website for 2021 branch schedules.

DAKOTA COUNTY LIBRARIES: Storywalk in the Park (all weekend), a comedy magic show, and RADZoo in the Park. See link for 2021 MEA schedule.

CARVER COUNTY LIBRARIES: Family storytimes all weekend. See schedule for times & locations.

HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARIES: Family storytimes all weekend. Check the link for 2021 MEA schedule.

RAMSEY COUNTY LIBRARIES: Make-and-take Friday & Shout and Sing Saturday, MEA weekend. See link for branches.

WASHINGTON COUNTY LIBRARIES: Storytimes, LEGO building & Teen Art Cart. Check link for MEA schedule.

Discover a new local museum over MEA Weekend

Bakken Museum | Minneapolis

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 MUSEUM. Open MEA Weekend, 10am-5pm. Reserve your timed tickets online, $9-$11/pp.

10 Things for Kids at Bakken Discovery Days

Bell Museum | St Paul

Enjoy science-related family fun in the education wing, a special display in Collections Cove, and some favorite Solution Studio challenges. Make sure to add on a planetarium show! Open MEA Weekend, 10am-4pm. Advanced tickets not required. $9-$12/pp.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Free every day of the week and stuffed with ways to make art-going a family experience. Open MEA Weekend, Thurs-Fri, 10am-5pm.

Minnesota History Center | St Paul

Nearly all the exhibits at the museum are hands-on and very family friendly. Discover our Top Things for Kids at the Minnesota History Center. Open MEA Weekend, 10am-4pm (Sun 11am). $8-$12/pp.

Science Museum of Minnesota | St Paul

Packed full of interesting exhibits including Ultimate Dinosaurs, Sportsology, and the Human Body Gallery. Add on a show at the Omnitheater. Open MEA Weekend, Thurs 9am-5pm, Fri-Sat (9am-8pm), Sun 9am-5pm). Tickets must be reserved in advance. $12.95-$18.95/pp plus parking.

The Works Museum | Bloomington

An MEA Break Camp is offered Oct 21-22 if you need to drop the kids off; or visit the museum as a family over the weekend. Open MEA Weekend Thurs-Fri 9am-3pm & Sat 10am-4pm. $11/pp.

Twin City Model Railroad Museum | St Paul

October is Circus Trains month at the museum and Halloween Night Trains begins October 23! Both are fun reasons to visit over MEA Weekend. $10/pp with discounts for groups of 4 or more.

Photo Credit: Twin Cities Model Railrod Museum

Check our directory for other kid-friendly museum ideas.

more ideas for things to do this weekend in the twin cities - MEa Weekend 2021

Explore a local toy store

Mischief’s Toy Store’s Annual Costume Contest

Dress in your best – there will be prizes! Get your photo taken. Plus, free candy. Mischief stocks games, art supplies and kinetic toys. Located on Grand Avenue in St Paul. Costume party Oct 23, 12-5pm.

Explore a local castle

American Swedish Institute’s Family Gallery

ASI’s Family Gallery currently presents the exhibit Water, sky & me. Dress up like creatures in the ocean, collect fruit from the forest floor, or play in outer-space. Drop in to play when exploring the Turnblad Mansion as a family. Located in Minneapolis. Open MEA Weekend, Thurs-Sun. $6-$12/pp, under 6 are free.

MEA Weekend at the Castle!

Explore local sports on a budget

Hey! Find more activities for your tweens and teens on a page specially dedicated to them! Or browse some of these ideas:

BOWLING: University of Minnesota st Paul Student Center

Bowl for just $1/pp plus $2/shoe rental on Thursdays or rent shoes free on Fridays. 8am-8pm, later Fri & Sat.

ICE SKATING: St Louis Park ROC Outdoor Open Skate

Warm up your skating skills outdoors over MEA Weekend (exception Oct 23). $3.50-$4/pp. See website for times.

SKATEBOARDING: 3rd Lair Open Riding Sessions

Parental waivers required. Located in Golden Valley. Two to three sessions per day over MEA Weekend. $15 per session.

Swimming: Great River Water Park

Fridays 9-11am are just $4/pp to swim, weekend swims are $7. There’s a great zero-depth entry splash and play pool for younger ones! Located at Oxford Recreation Center, St Paul.

Catch the fall colors

Beautiful but fleeting, fall colors in Minnesota are worth a weekend family outing. Some suggestions for the best places to view this stunning palette can be found in our TWIN CITIES FALL COLOR GUIDE.

 

ALWAYS FREE TO VISIT WEEKENDS

MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART FREE BUT TICKET REQUIRED.

MINNEAPOLIS SCULPTURE GARDEN – adjacent to the Walker Art Center. Follow the link to reserve your required tickets to visit the museum.

COMO PARK ZOO & CONSERVATORY ADVANCED RESERVATIONS REQUIRED

Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!

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

Fun Animal Encounters at SeaQuest - Coupon Deal
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