1. Get Lost in a Corn MazeSt. Joseph’s A and G produce offers a 13-acre daytime corn maze sprinkled with fun trivia questions. Or visit Delano’s Apple Jack Orchards, for one of the area’s budget-friendliest mazes, at just $6. For the more thrill-seeking Littles (older ages suggested) check out the Harvest of Horror trail in St. Augusta, open every weekend in October.
2. Spend the Day in an Apple OrchardThere’s no shortage of orchards in Central Minnesota. Spend as much or as little as you want – you pay for what you pick! Fairhaven Farm in tiny South Haven (near Kimball) sits on 50 acres. In fall, the farm has a pumpkin patch and horse-drawn hay rides, as well as famously yummy apple pies. For a simpler apple orchard experience, try J.Q. Fruit Farm and Orchard in Princeton, where you can pick your own apples, try fresh cider, and tour the farm.
If you don’t have a hobby farm in the family, a petting zoo is the next best thing. You may know Collegeville Orchards for its apples, but the orchard also has a small petting zoo with friendly goats, sheep, alpacas, rabbits, and horses. Or pay just $8.50 per person to see an even larger variety of animals at Erickson’s Petting Zoo in Osakis.
3. Make Some Furry Friends at a Petting Zoo
4. Carve a Pumpkin Together.You can pick one out at Nelson Family Farm in Litchfield, which hosts a “pumpkin festival” each weekend through Oct. 28th. For a classic pumpkin patch experience, head to Grandpa’s Pumpkin Patch in St. Cloud.
5. Soak in the Fall Colors at a Local Park or Hiking Trail
Lake Wobegon Trail covers 60 miles from Osakis to St. Joseph. Or drive just 30 minutes north of St. Cloud to visit the nearest state park, Charles A. Lindbergh, along the Mississippi. Before you decide on a park, check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Fall Color Finder for optimal colors.