Eight Ways to Have Some Festive Fall Fun

By MNR News posted 10-27-2022 08:09

The days might be getting shorter, but you can fill them to the brim with fun, festive activities for the entire family. From meandering corn mazes and haunted theme parks to brilliant displays of Jack O-Lanterns and a spooky Halloween parade, Minnesota is alive with seasonal colors and celebrations. Here are eight ways you can embrace it all.

Valleyfair Tricks and Treats

Valleyfair’s annual “Valleyscare” event has been transformed into “Tricks and Treats”—a brand-new Halloween extravaganza the whole family can enjoy. Comprised of two different realms to explore within the theme park, you can venture into the Land of Tricks, which promises a spookier experience, or feast on fall comforts in the far sweeter Land of Treats. Open now through this Sunday, October 30. Check it out here.

Monster Bash Haunted House

Scream your way through the 2022 Monster Bash Haunted House while supporting the arts in education. Proceeds from the event go to Fillmore Central Schools’ arts and music programs. This year’s theme, Monster Bash X: Slim Chance, offers nonstop scares for those aged 13 and older. They also offer “Reduced Fright” experiences for younger children and those who prefer a less chilling tour. Now through Sunday, Oct. 30 in Harmony, Minnesota. Learn more.

Amazing Mazes of Minnesota

Getting lost is not frightening at the Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze in Brooklyn Park. Bring your friends and family to engage in the festival’s many amazing corn-themed activities. Make your way through an epic corn maze, jump in the corn pit, and play a game of cornhole for just $12 per person.
The festival runs through this Sunday, October 30. Find out more here.

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

Carve out a night with the whole family to wander through the enchanting paths of the Minnesota Zoo’s Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, which boasts thousands of pumpkin carvings and the ultimate Halloween ambience. From Disney favorites to Marvel superheroes to literary figures, there’s a pumpkin for every interest. Themed food and drink vendors along the path offer snacks, cider and even some familiar spirits for adults. Open now through Monday, October 31. Book your tickets here.

Spooky Skate

Get into the Halloween spirit like a real Minnesotan at the Coon Rapids Ice Arena Spooky Skate this Sunday, October 30. Dress in your Halloween’s best and lace up your ice skates for a chance to win the coveted costume and limbo contests. The best part of this event is the price: $5 for adults, $4 for students, free admission for kids 5 years and younger. Learn more here.

Pumpkins, Squash and Gourds Galore at the ‘Arb

You’d have to be out of your gourd to believe that pumpkins grow on trees—unless you visit the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s annual Pumpkin Displays. Built from hundreds of colorful pumpkins, gourds, and squash, the pumpkin tree towers above arrangements of Cucurbita grown at the Arboretum’s Horticultural Research Center. Also be sure to check out the very personable scarecrows protecting the Arboretum gardens. The displays are open to the public October 1 – 31.

Taste the Crisp Flavors of Fall at the Apple House

Apples, apples everywhere! Zestars, Honey Crisps, SweeTangos, and Triumphs! There’s no telling which of the University of Minnesota’s 29 apple varieties will be in the mix at the Apple House this year, but the results are guaranteed to be delicious! Sip on some hot cider while you’re browsing the best picks and treat yourself to a mini donut. The Apple House also sells wild rice, maple syrup, and has a holiday boutique. Open daily until November 5. Located on Arboretum Drive one mile west of the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Spirits on Parade in Anoka

The self-declared “Halloween Capital of the World,” Anoka is a small community on the Rum River that fully embraces the holiday with ghost tours, a haunted house, spirited wine and beer tastings, and a parade that culminates in the coronation of next year’s Halloween Ambassador. Don’t have a costume? Visit the Anoka Halloween store for a full selection of costumes, accessories, and masks. Open one day only on October 29. When the ghoulish festivities are over, don’t send your soggy pumpkins to the landfill. Bring them to the Anoka Pumpkin Smash on November 5 and give them a proper burial in the compost bin.