Things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul this weekend!
This Twin Cities Family Weekend Guide covers the weekend of October 14-15, 2023. To find our most recent guide, click here.
Fall has been settling in in earnest the past week with its welcome refreshing temps and gorgeous color displays. In search of some inspiration on how to spend your weekend with the family? This edition covers fall festivals, outdoor activities in the parks, pumpkin patch picks, fall color tours and more outings tested by our very own FFTC staff and kids (yes, those sweet faces you’ll find below are OURS!)
And with Halloween creeping ever closer there is no shortage of not-so-spooky family events going on this weekend in the Twin Cities. Pick your poison – do you want to trick-or-treat? Still hunting for that perfect pumpkin to carve up? How about a fall hayride? We’ve got bunches of ideas for the weekend and beyond on our FAMILY FUN CALENDAR or browse our ultimate TWIN CITIES HALLOWEEN GUIDE.
TWIN CITIES HALLOWEEN & FALL FESTIVALS THIS WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES
This close to Halloween we see a blending of these not-so-spooky family events with more traditional fall activities. Here we feature three we think are worth your time this weekend; plan for more on our FALL FAMILY FESTIVAL CALENDAR and our giant guide to HALLOWEEN EVENTS IN THE TWIN CITIES FOR KIDS & FAMILY.
Eagan: Caponi Art Park Leaf Fest
1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan, MN 55123
Enjoy the changing colors of the forest and all the fun that comes with it: the annual leaf pile, arts and crafts activities, make-your-own treats, and more. October 14, 2023, 12-4pm. FREE! More Ways to Enjoy Fall Colors in Minnesota.
Stillwater: Harvest Fest
Kids activities all day both days, plus don’t miss the pumpkin regatta & giant pumpkin drop. October 14-15, 2023. 10am-6pm, FREE.
FUN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN TWIN CITIES 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
How about some Halloween in the Park events to get warmed up for spooky season? Most offer FREE or low-priced admission for a budget-friendly park outing this weekend.
Eden Prairie: Harvest to Halloween at the Barn
Riley Lake Park, 9180 Riley Lake Road, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344
Decorate pumpkins, horse-drawn wagon rides, glow dance, story stroll, scavenger hunt and other family activities. Additional activities include art stations, a scavenger hunt and awards. October 14, 2023. 1-5pm, FREE.
1520 Mahtomedi Ave, Mahtomedi, MN 55115
Games, inflatables, treats and, true to the name, a pumpkin patch! (Pumpkin prices $2-$4/each.) Held in Veterans Park, Mahtomedi. October 14, 2023, 9am-3pm.
Richfield: Great Pumpkin Giveaway
Fairwood Park, 6700 Logan Ave S, Richfield, MN 55423
One free pumpkin for family, face painting, treats, photo booth and giveaways. October 14, 2023, 10am-12pm.
Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 Saint Croix Trail, Shafer, MN 55074
Hay ride, self-guided exploration, candy scavenger hunt, and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater puppets. October 14, 2023, 1-6pm. Free; Some Franconia events have a $5/vehicle fee to park.
Woodbury: Halloween Hoopla
Ojibway Park, 2695 Ojibway Dr, Woodbury, MN 55125
Search for a mini pumpkin to decorate, tick-or-treat, play Halloween games, a photo booth and costume prizes! Ages 3-12. October 14, 2023, 3-5pm. $15/child
It’s SCARY how much fun stuff we’ve got rounded up on our TWIN CITIES HALLOWEEN FAMILY FUN GUIDE. Check it out – if you dare!
FEATURED TWIN CITIES PARK EVENTS THIS WEEKEND
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. October 15, 2023.
782 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116
One of only two weekends a year the tower is open for viewing! Check out the fall colors and learn about water utility. October 14-15, 2023. FREE.
Shepard Farm, 8946 70th Street S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Oooh, this is one for the tweens and teens who can stay out a little later and who don’t mind a few chills down their spine. The legend of the Headless Horseman will be presented outdoors – bring your own seating and snacks. October 13-15, 2023, 5:30-7pm. FREE.
VISIT A TWIN CITIES APPLE ORCHARD, PUMPKIN PATCH OR CORN MAZE THIS WEEKEND
This weekend’s highlighted fall fun pumpkin patches & corn mazes:
PUMPKIN PATCH PICKS: Patches are in full swing this weekend, and we’ve got the details on 15 on our list we think are worth checking out for their fall activities, farm animals, and fresh produce. This weekend we highlight COUNTRY SUN FARM in Lake Elmo. Admission is free, with a charge for all fall activities with the exception of the petting farm and outdoor display photo ops. Fun stuff includes a giant corn pit outfitted with buckets, slides and toys ($3), bounce house ($3), Silly String Zone ($3), make your way through the corn maze ($4), enjoy the fall scenery on a hay ride ($5), pan for gems ($6-$20).
COMO-HARRIET STREETCAR LINE presents Farmer Ken & Jan’s Pumpkin Patch! Take a trolley ride and bring home a Halloween pumpkin. Riders get off the car at the “pumpkin patch” where they can search for just the right pumpkin. There are no advance tickets or reservations. Located in Minneapolis. October 14-15, 2023. $3/pp plus $7/pumpkin.
Jump over to Pick One: Twin Cities Pumpkin Patches or click the graphic for more outing ideas.
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. This weekend, we share a good option for families at PEARSON FAMILY FARM in Ramsey, Minnesota. Along with a big ‘ol maze you’ll find antique tractors, games for the kids and a popcorn pit. Weekends include hay rides and food trucks. Wristbands are $35-$45/family or $5-$10/pp depending on the time of day you visit. 8846 US-10, Ramsey, MN 55303.
MORE IDEAS FOR THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN THE TWIN CITIES WITH KIDS
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. Or, here are a few quick notes to jot, some from readers who have voted for their favorite color spots in our OCTOBER SURVEY:
- HYLAND LAKE PARK RESERVE, Bloomington – for the well-groomed paths.
- MINNEHAHA FALLS REGIONAL PARK, Minneapolis – take the stairs down into the gorge and hike the little trails to admire the colors.
- MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM, Chaska – beautiful colors, displays and an apple house.
- TAYLORS FALLS, Minnesota – Interstate State Park, on the St Croix River, is some of the best scenery and colors in the state.
Take a fall weekend road trip: Hiking or heritage?
RED WING, Minnesota – Barn Bluff is one of our favorite fall hikes and less than an hour from the metro. The climb to the top of the bluff takes some leg work and there are some narrow paths and quick drop-offs so plan to do this with sturdy kiddos. The view over Red Wing is magnificent. Take along our list of THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN RED WING for some more day-trip inspo.
NEW ULM, Minnesota – It’s Oktoberfest in possibly the most German city in our state. We have spent time exploring New Ulm but never during their big heritage weekend – we’re assuming they do it up right.
More ideas for fun this weekend
Parents, need a quick break? Enjoy a delicious beverage from Bob’s Java Hut (next door to Snapology) while your child plays at Snapology. If they are 5+, you can drop them off! Playtime at Snapology is a creative building experience that includes LEGO bricks, a race track, magnatiles, train tracks, k’nex, polydrons, marble mazes and more. October 15, 2023, 9-11:30am, $15/child, includes beverage.
ALWAYS FREE TO VISIT WEEKENDS
- MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART
- 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
Find hundreds more things to do in Minneapolis & St Paul with kids!