13 Quintessential October Experiences in Minnesota

Duluth Fall Colors from Enger Tower

If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent months counting down to this short but sweet season. Now that fall is in full swing, we’ve put together a list of quintessential October experiences in Minnesota. Whether you head up north for the fall foliage or stop by Minnesota’s very own Halloweentown, we hope you make the most of one of the best places to be this time of year.

Pumpkin Regatta at Stillwater Harvest Fest

Yes, those are people using giant pumpkins as boats and yes, you’re watching 2,000 pounds of pumpkin and candy being dropped from a crane like a piñata. No, you don’t want to miss the Stillwater Harvest Fest this weekend October 14–15.

Experience the Minnesota Fall Foliage

One of the most astonishing parts of the season is the spectacular show Minnesota puts on in the form of fall foliage. As fall marches forward, the show moves from north to south. If you have time to venture up north for the weekend, be sure to check out some of the best spots to view the fall colors on the Superior Hiking Trail. If you’re staying in the metro, stop by Highland Tower. The 127-foot tower is no longer in service but opens its doors twice a year for onlookers to enjoy the beauties of St. Paul and beyond.

Darkness Day

One Saturday a year, Surly Nation flocks to Surly’s Brooklyn Center brewery to get the first taste of the Russian Imperial Stout, Darkness. Darkness Day will be held on October 21 this year.

Pick fresh apples straight from the tree

Did you know that Minnesota is home to the Honeycrisp apple? Pick your own at one of Minnesota’s orchards or visit La Crescent, the “apple capital of Minnesota,” for their annual apple celebration. Like your apple in liquid form? Check out the second annual Minnesota Cider Fair, a sampling event of local, regional, and national ciders presented by the Minnesota Cider Guild.

Celebrate Halloween with the Governor

Stop by the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul on Halloween Night for tricks and treats.

Join the apocalypse

Like a scene from The Walking Dead, Minneapolis transforms into Zombieland once a year for the Zombie Pub Crawl.

Get your Oktoberfest on

Photo from Schell’s Brewery

Grab your dirndls and lederhosen and meet us in New Ulm to celebrate Oktoberfest in a big way. This southeast Minnesota town has been home to Schell’s Brewery since 1860. Can’t make it to New Ulm this year? Here’s a full list of Oktoberfest events around the state.

Head to the zoo

Enjoy a family-friendly Halloween festival at Como Zoo’s final year of Como ZooBoo. This will mark the 30th year of Halloween fun and the final year of the event in its current form.

Get lost in a corn maze

Are you ready to get lost? Stop by one of Minnesota’s many corn mazes… the more challenging the course, the better.

Be afraid… be very afraid

From haunted basements to haunted ships, Minnesota has a haunted everything. Bring a friend to hide behind.

Sip fresh hops

There is no shortage of fresh hop beers this time of year. Visit Town Hall’s Fresh Hop Fest this Saturday as they feature 30 taps from Minnesota and around the country.

Make a pit stop in Minnesota’s Halloweentown

The self-proclaimed Halloween capital of the world, Anoka, Minnesota, will have you feeling as if you stepped right into a Disney movie with events for all ages. See the full list of events here.

Close your cabin for the year

Take one more look around your cabin as you savor the memories of summers past and get ready for the winter ahead.