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2019 fall fun activities in MN and western WI

Top fall fun activities in Minnesota and western Wisconsin

The Midwest truly does autumn the best! Whether you need date night plans or a weekend family activity, be sure to explore the top 10 fall activities in Minnesota and western Wisconsin in 2019.

Arts and culture

1. The Red Wing Arts Fall Festival is celebrating 53 years this fall. This popular event is known as one of the most exquisite art fairs in Minnesota, showcasing fine art with fall leaves as a beautiful backdrop. Not only will you be able to peruse 100+ artists and craft vendors, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy food trucks, live entertainment, a youth art fair and more!

  • October 12 – 13, 2019
  • Saturday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

2. Three years later, Prince’s death is still hitting Minnesotans hard. This fall, the Minnesota History Center is paying tribute with two incredible exhibits featuring The Purple One. The first is Prince: Before the Rain, which includes 50 digital prints of Prince taken before his meteoric rise in the 1980s. Then, head right next door for First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom, an exhibit detailing how the building that was once a Greyhound station became one of the most iconic music venues in the country — and the launching pad for local artists including Soul Asylum, Semisonic, Atmosphere and of course, Prince. Featured in the exhibit is the purple suit Prince wore in his 1984 film, Purple Rain.

  • Prince: Before the Rain opens September 21; First Avenue: Stories of Minnesota’s Mainroom is open through May 2020
  • Tuesdays, (10: a.m. – 8 p.m.); Wednesdays — Saturdays, (10 a.m. – 5 p.m); Sundays (12 p.m. – 5 p.m.)

3. The Stages Theater Company is performing James and the Giant Peach, Based on Roald Dahl’s quirky novel, throughout the early fall months. If you’re craving adventure on a rainy or brisk fall day, this musical will be the perfect indoor experience for you and your family.

Outdoor fun

4. Sever’s Corn Maze is the original fall fun destination for Minnesota families. Head over to Shakopee, MN to solve this year’s “Paleontologist Sever” maze and stay for the pumpkin patch, live music and yummy food.

  • September 13 – November 3, 2019
  • Fridays (1 p.m. – 8 p.m. ), Saturdays (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.) and Sundays (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Additionally, the maze will be open October 17th (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and 18th (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) for MEA break.

5. Celebrating the end of the apple harvest, Applefest at Carlos Creek Winery is an outdoor festival for the whole family to enjoy. This exciting event includes catapult demonstrations, pie-eating contests, horse-drawn wagon rides, a quilt show, apple and wine sampling, food vendors and so much more. Plus, admission is free!

  • October 19, 2019 (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

6. St. Croix River Cruises offer a variety of fall events. The Fall Colors Cruise is at the top of our list. After boarding the ship, you’ll bask in the fall colors that surround the scenic St. Croix River. Food and beverages are available for purchase as well.

Fall fitness

7. The Turkey Day 5K is a Minneapolis tradition. Since 1989, friends and families have come together to walk, run and cheer each other on at the Turkey Day 5K. After the race, participants are encouraged to partake in the Turkey Day Tailgate, offering post-race food and warm beverages.

  • November 28, 2019 (6 a.m. – 11 a.m.)

8. The Mankato River Ramble is kicking off fall with bike routes of all distances — 12 miles, 26 miles and 44 miles. Get a group together to pedal through the fall colors of this countryside ride. Each trail features rest stops, food, beverages, live music, and more!

  • October 6, 2019

And more!

9. To get in the Halloween spirit, visit the Duluth Haunted Ship this fall. Each year, the William A. Irvin transforms into a haunted boat. Walk through this self-guided tour and be prepared for a thrilling scare!

10. New Ulm is hosting a traditional Oktoberfest over two full weekends this year. The German festival will kick off with a parade and continue with music, German food, local beer and wine, trolley rides and much more.

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