Twin Cities Guide to Family Activities This Weekend: September 16-17, 2023

weekend family fun guide

Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!

This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of September 16-17, 2023. 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.

Looking for ideas on what to do with your kids in the Twin Cities this week? Definitely jump over to our TWIN CITIES GUIDE TO FAMILY ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK.


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 a few we think are worth your time this weekend; find a dozen more on our FALL FAMILY FESTIVAL CALENDAR.

OPENS THIS WEEKEND! Sever’s Fall Festival

3121 W 150th St, Shakopee, MN 55379
A full lineup of fun – obstacle course, corn maze, petting zoo, magic shows, zip line, playground and jumping pillow; additional activities extra. Open Fri-Sun & MEA Weekend thru October 29, 2023. $19/pp online or $23/pp at door.

LAKE ELMO: Rockpoint Church Corn Trail

5825 Kelvin Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
A to full-on corn maze and wagon rides; still free and fun. Starts today, September 16 and runs Saturdays thru October 7, 2023. 11am-4pm. If you’ve got some extra time, while out in Lake Elmo, we recommend visiting LAKE ELMO PARK RESERVE ($7/vehicle permit) for its big playground (during the summer it’s also home to a pretty sweet swimming pond) or, for a free option, the NATURE CENTER AT SUNFISH LAKE PARK. My kids have enjoyed playing around with the exhibits, indoors and out.

Nature play at Sally Manzara Interpretive Center

MINNEAPOLIS: Open Streets West Broadway

Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis will close to street traffic so people can explore their community in person. September 16, 2023, 11am-5pm.

ROSEVILLE: Wild Rice Festival 

2520 Dale St N, Roseville, MN 55113
Located at
HARRIET ALEXANDER NATURE CENTER with games and activities for all, Native American dancing and drumming, hands-on demos and much more. September 16, 2023, 10am-4pm. FREE admission.

ST PAUL: Fiesta Latina 

797 7th St E, St Paul MN 55106
This family-friendly community festival celebrating Latin culture through arts, health & wellness, fitness, food and entertainment conveniently falls the first weekend of Hispanic Heritage Month. September 16, 2023.

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

More fall festivals this weekend around the Twin Cities metro:

BAYPORT: Derby Days

DELANO: Minnesota Oktoberfest


LAKEVILLE: Art Festival

RED WING:  Minnesota Children’s Book Festival 

Need more reasons to visit Red Wing this weekend? We’ve got a bunch on hand for you, neatly packaged up on this list of THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN RED WING, MINNESOTA, WITH KIDS! Get out and enjoy this beautiful fall weather while you can.

Three girls standing in front of the overlook at Barn Bluff in Red Wing, Minnesota

OTSEGO: Prairie Festival

WACONIA: Nickle Dickle Day



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.


SILVERWOOD PARK in St Anthony Village is a favorite of the FFTC Staff. The coffee shop is a great place to have adult conversations with kids in tow. There are games and coloring materials available for the kids and art on display everywhere. Outside, Silverwood offers a combination of natural space and sculpture art for independent exploration. If you prefer guided exploration, there are regular free artist and naturalist led hikes.

The park also hosts special events such as the annual SILVERWOOD PARK FIELD TRIP this Saturday, September 16, 2023. Make it a family day of art-making, live music, creative play and an outdoor art fair. 12-4pm. FREE.


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.

Nature Rocks! Open House

Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, 13765 Staring Lake Parkway, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347  
Free family-friendly activities at the such as hiking, hands-on interaction with live animals, craft projects and more. September 16, 2023, 10am-1pm. 

GET EXCITED FOR FALL COLOR WALKS AND TOURS! Fall might just be our favorite season in Minnesota. We have our TWIN CITIES FALL COLOR TOURS FOR FAMILIES all brushed up and ready to go so you can start planning how to enjoy these beautiful but fleeting weekends.

Girl holding red/orange leaf in front of her face. "Fall Colors in Minnesota: 10 Tours for Families"

Guided Sculpture Tours at Caponi Art Park

1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
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. September 17, 2023, tours at 1 & 2:30pm. FREE.


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

7602 Wyoming Trail, Wyoming, MN 55092
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

17325 Pleasant Valley Rd, Shafer, MN 55074
Pick-your-own apples on weekends, hayrides ($3.50/pp) and music. 

Fall Harvest Orchard | Delano

345 County Rd 30 SE, Montrose, MN 55363
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


We are SO pumped for this time of year. Stow away the swimsuits, break out the hoodies and start planning that ultimate Halloween jack-o-lantern! We must have something close to two dozen patches to choose from in our GUIDE TO THE BEST TWIN CITIES PUMPKIN PATCHES & FALL FESTIVAL but are picking just one to highlight:

Fresh Acres Farm Fall Festival

8102 72nd St NE, Monticello, MN 55362
The largest pumpkin patch and corn maze in the Albertville-St Michael area features an annual fall festival ripe with activities for all ages. A wristband includes access to  wagon rides, a petting zoo, inflatables, the playground, corn pit and cannon. Get your Halloween jack-o-lantern! Open September 9 thru October 29, 2023 Fridays 11-4pm, weekends 10-6 plus MEA. $12/pp ages 4-69. SUNFLOWER FIELD open this fall 7 days/week, admission FREE with donation requested. $2/stem to cut-your-own bouquet.

Baby by pumpkin patch at Pleasant Valley Orchard in Shafer, Minnesota


Sundays at Landmark Center: Autumn Moon Festival

The gorgeous historic building hosts a variety of free cultural events throughout the year. This weekend the 2022-2023 season begins with the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, a SE Asian tradition. September 17, 2023, 1-3pm.

While you’re enjoying Landmark Center, pop in at the SCHUBERT CLUB MUSIC MUSEUM to play around with the instruments! FREE!

Girl trying bell tree at the Schubert Club Museum in Saint Paul, MN

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 10am & 12:30pm. $6/ages 8+. September 16, 2023, 9am-2pm. If you can’t make the show this weekend, consider planning a time when your family can visit the TWIN CITY MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM in St Paul. 

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. (September 16, FREE.) Take along our must-see list and tips for VISITING RED WING, MINNESOTA, WITH KIDS.

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