Tuey the Juggler at the MN Renaissance Festival

The Best Minnesota Fall Festivals in 2023

Minnesota is known for its stunning fall foliage and vibrant festivals that celebrate the beauty of the season. From the Twin Cities to the scenic North Shore, there are plenty of family-friendly events and activities to enjoy.

As a Minnesota Native, I eagerly anticipate fall every year. My weekends are packed with fun activities. I love celebrating everything about the season.

I’m sharing my favorite fall festivals in Minnesota, including where to find family-friendly fall activities, details about the best fall festivals, the events happening around the Twin Cities you don’t want to miss.

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What are the Best Fall Festivals in Minnesota?

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to experience the fall season around the state, you won’t want to miss these top fall festivals:

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

August 19th – October 1st

The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a popular annual event that takes place in Shakopee, Minnesota. It is a time when people can travel back in time to experience life in a medieval village. 

This festival is so much fun, I change up every year if I take the kids, or ditch them so we can see all the adult themed shows.

Festival-goers can enjoy jousting tournaments, period food and drink, live entertainment, and browsing through fun vendors selling costumes, swords, pottery, crafts and more. 

This seven-week event is so much fun. Eating Turkey Legs, watching great performances and a little bit of people watching.

The Royal Court at the MN Ren Fest

Harvest Moon Festival 

September 8-10

In Ely, they have a special celebration to welcome the fall season called the Harvest Moon Festival. Over the years, I’ve come to cherish this festival. It’s a fun event with lots of things to do for the whole family.

You can explore the Farm Market, check out arts and crafts, and enjoy live entertainment.

Kids will have a blast with pony rides and getting to meet cute animals in the petting zoo. There are also craft demonstrations by local artists and the Ely Folk School, where you can learn cool new skills.

And guess what? This awesome festival has been happening for 30 whole years! So, gather your family and friends, and let’s join in the fun and excitement of the Harvest Moon Festival in Ely.

Severs Fall Festival

September 16 – October 29th

The Sever’s Fall Festival has one of the best fall corn mazes in the State of MN. With plenty of family fun, including live entertainment, face painting, a corn pit and more. 

Watch a magic show and enjoy the great food vendors. One jump into the corn pit and you’ll feel like a kid again! I’m speaking from personal experience.

I actually attended the first corn maze in 2001 and it was so much fun! I was so excited to take my kids year after year.

This event all takes place in Shakopee MN. With multiple weekends to choose from, make sure to make your way out!

Extreme Corn Pit at Severs Fall Festival

Twin Cities Harvest Festival

September 17 – October 30

The Twin Cities Harvest Festival is one of the most popular fall festivals in Minnesota. Held in Brooklyn Park, this ongoing festival is prefect for fall fun.

On site you can work your way through the corn maze, jump in inflatables, pick out a pumpkin in their patch, do the giant slide or jump in a pit of corn. Make a new friend at the petting zoo.

They have great fair food onsite, like mini donuts, hot cider and more. This maze is easy to get to.

I took my kids when they were younger, and everyone had a great time!

Lost inside Severs Corn Maze

Boats and Bluegrass Festival in St. Croix

September 21st – 24th

Love music? You gotta visit the Boats and Bluegrass Festival in Winona. This event combines live bluegrass music with the love of paddling. 

Friday and Saturday, they take backwater canoe trips out on the Mississippi River. They provide the boats! After that enjoy a night of music and fun. 

Things to do in Winona MN

Grape Stomp Festival in Hutchinson

September 23

There is only one thing better than attending a grape stomp festival, and that’s stomping in one! 

The annual grape stomp festival in Hutchinson has grown over the years to include live music, goat snuggling, axe throwing, a corn maze, and live music. 

Best of all kids and adults can participate in the main event. Stomp grapes with the winner taking home a giant bottle of delicious red wine. 

The tasing room will be open for sampling and of course food trucks on site!

The first year we went, we learned what it was like to squish grapes. The second year, we took home the trophy. Check out these great tips so you can do the same!

Grape Stomp at Crow River Winery in Hutchinson MN.

Tricks and Treats at Valleyfair

September 23rd – October 29th

A theme park and family Halloween fun all in one place. Tricks and Treats at Valleyfair is just a few miles from Minneapolis in Shakopee. 

Changing up from their spooky counterpart, they’ve transformed their celebration to hall things fall fun. 

Kids can go trick-or-treating and participate in Halloween activities throughout the park. My kids loved it, plus it’s all included with admission!

Don’t forget to wear your best costume and join in the festive spirit! 

There’s music, great entertainment and food. Defiantly check them out!

Trick or Treak

Anoka Halloween

October 6th – October 31st

Anoka is known as the “Halloween capital of the world.” The city hosts a month-long celebration filled with light up the night parades, Big Parade of Little People, and a Grand Day Parade.

There are contests, and parties, and even an ambassador coronation. 

There’s everything from a pumpkin carving contest to haunted house tours. Do a pumpkin bowl.

People from all over the country come to enjoy the spooky attractions and embrace the Halloween spirit in Anoka. 

New Ulm’s Oktoberfest

Oct 6th – 7th and 13th – 14th

If you only have time for one Oktoberfest, this is the one to visit. New Ulm was founded by Germans.

The fun is spread out in four different locations, the Best Western Plus, Downtown, Morgan Creek vineyards and Shell’s Brewery. 

They have a Grape Stomp, Parade, Sauerkraut Eating and Stien Holding Competitions. They also have kids games.

Multiple locations have a Beer Wagon, Music performances by Alpensterne, Schell’s Hobo Band and the Dain’s Dutchmen.

Food Trucks are on site to make sure you stay fueled up for the two weekends of fun! 


Twin Cities Oktoberfest in St Paul

October 6th – 7th 

Twin Cities Oktoberfest is an annual celebration held in Minnesota, to honor the German heritage and culture. 

The event includes traditional German music, food, and beer, as well as activities such as live entertainment, dancing, and games. 

Chow down on brats and German Potatoes salad from Gerhard’s Brats, or get traditional German pretzels form Aki’s Breadhouse. 

Watch German dancing, and listen to the live entertainment. 

Onsite you can purchase German clothes and collectables. 

This all takes place on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and admission is free.

Big Island Rendezvous and Festival

October 7-8

If you’re interested in history and culture, the Big Island Rendezvous and Festival in Albert Lea is the perfect fall festival for you.

Step back in time and experience life during the fur trade era with reenactments, live music, and traditional arts and crafts.

This festival offers a unique glimpse into Minnesota’s past.

Stillwater Harvest Fest

October 14-15

Another must-visit fall festival in Minnesota is the Stillwater Harvest Fest.

Located in the charming town of Stillwater, this festival is known for its giant pumpkin weigh-off. They’ve had the world record pumpkin in 2010.

Watch pumpkins smash as they do their pumpkin drop!

The pumpkin regatta is always fun! Watch as brave participants paddle their way across a body of water in giant hollowed-out pumpkins.

Watch as competitors race their handmade pumpkin boats across the St. Croix River.

Browse the arts and crafts vendors for unique fall-themed treasures. Fall might be one of my favorite times to visit Stillwater.

Stillwaters Pumpkin Raggata

Moose Madness Family Festival

October 20th – 21st

Head up to Grand Marais for the annual fall festival, where you can enjoy live music, arts and crafts, and delicious food from local vendors.

Join in the Moose Madness. Kids can participate in the scavenger hunt. Everyone can search for the Medallion, take a moose safari. 

Plus, you’ll get to take in the stunning fall colors along the North Shore on the drive up

Where can I find family-friendly fall activities in Minnesota?

Minnesota offers a variety of family-friendly fall activities that are perfect for creating lasting memories. Here are a few options to consider:

Corn Mazes

Get lost in the twists and turns of a corn maze and see who can find their way out first. Many farms across Minnesota offer corn mazes with varying levels of difficulty, making it a fun activity for all ages.

Pumpkin Patches

Minnesota offers a variety of pumpkin patches for families to enjoy during the fall season. From picking out the perfect pumpkin to navigating through corn mazes, these patches offer a fun-filled day for all ages.

Many also have additional attractions such as hayrides, petting zoos, and cider tasting, making them a great destination for a day of autumn adventure. 

Apple Orchards

Minnesota is home to numerous apple orchards that are a delight to visit during the autumn season. With a variety of different apple types to choose from, visitors can pick their own apples or purchase them from the onsite market.

Many orchards also offer fun activities for families, such as hayrides, corn mazes, and petting zoos, making it a perfect destination for a day of fall fun. 

Looking for something Scarier? 

If your idea of a fall festival includes a haunted house, there are plenty to choose from. Make sure to check out: The Scariest Haunted Houses in the Twin Cities

Minnesota Fall Festival Favorites

Minnesota is truly a fall lover’s paradise. With Minnesota fall festivals and activities happening every weekend.

Whether you’re exploring the Twin Cities or venturing out into the countryside, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the best fall festivals in Minnesota.

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