Ready to rein in the fall season?
You need a harvest festival.
Every year, plenty of places around the Twin Cities host family-friendly fall festivals.
As someone completely obsessed with everything fall, here are my 11 favorite.
- Map of the Twin Cities’ Best Fall Festivals
- Best Harvest Festivals near the Twin Cities
- More Harvest Fests around Minnesota
- P.S. – There’s always Oktoberfest
- P.P.S. – Pumpkin Patches, too!
Map of the Twin Cities’ Best Fall Festivals
Best Harvest Festivals near the Twin Cities
1. Stillwater Harvest Fest (Stillwater, MN)
Ever wanted to see a thousand pound pumpkin hoisted into the air by a crane, then dropped down for a spectular smash? Or maybe you just can’t get enough of folks turning giant pumpkins into boats and racing down the St. Croix?
You can have all these dreams come true at the Stillwater Harvest Fest, one of my personal favorite fall activities in the entire Twin Cities.
The shenanigans take place in mid-October every year.
- Address: 101 Water St S, Stillwater, MN 55082
- More info: Stillwater Harvest Fest
2. Sever’s Corn Maze (Shakopee, MN)
Sever’s claims fame as the “original Minnesota farm festival” and for good reason.
Every year, this 100-acre farm transforms into a fall-season spectacle. Visitors can expect to find a massive corn maze, live music, artisan markets, corn pits, petting zoos and even pig races!
It’s family fun in the most wonderful way. Check out our full review of Sever’s Fall Festival here.
- Address: 3121 W 150th St, Shakopee, MN 55379
- More info: Sever’s Festivals
3. Twin Cities Harvest Festival (Brooklyn Park, MN)
By far, one of the biggest fall festivals is the annual Twin Cities Harvest Festival.
Located 20 minutes north of Minneapolis in Brooklyn Park, TC Harvest Fest claims to have the largest corn maze in the Twin Cities. That’s clearly a shot fired directly at Sever’s, and to be honest, they feel pretty similarly sized to me. BUT, the Brooklyn Park grounds also offers plenty of fall activities, like a pumpkin patch, farm market, yard games (including a giant slide!), face painting, and even magic shows.
But maybe my personal favorite feature? The array of food options. On any given weekend, a dozen or so food trucks and concession stands arrive for our chowing pleasure.
You can read our full review of TC Harvest Fest here.
- Address: 8001 109th Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
- More info: Twin Cities Harvest Festival
4. Autumn Daze Fall Festival (Minneapolis, MN)
Every year, the St. Helena Church in Minneapolis hosts Autumn Daze on their church grounds. The festivities last for a full weekend in mid-September, and they pull out all the stops!
The three day event kicks off with a Friday Fish Fry, then rolls right into plenty of carnival rides, games, fireworks, and even a classic car show!
- Address: 3204 E 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55406
- More info: Autumn Daze
5. Anoka Halloween (Anoka, MN)
To my knowledge, Anoka is the only city proclaiming itself as the “Halloween Capital of the World.” But this little town about 30 minutes north of Minneapolis also backs up that claim by spending the entire month of October celebrating the holiday.
While this isn’t a traditional “harvest fest” like some of the others on this list, if you’re looking for something different, check out Anoka’s schedule of Halloween events. All through October, they plan various one-off events, like a “Pumpkin Bowl” football game, a scary movie night, children’s costume contests, ghostly 5k runs, town parades, and pumpkin carving contests.
If it’s a fall night in October, you can probably find a seasonal festivity in Anoka!
- Address: Anoka, MN
- More info: Anoka Halloween
6. Dozinky Festival (New Prague, MN)
About 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities, the historically Czech town of New Prague pays homage to its heritage every fall.
Dozinky is technically spelled Dožínky, but my keyboard isn’t Czech enough to say that five times fast. What’s more important is that the word equates to a Slavic harvest festival, and in that spirit, New Prague is offering a Main Street parade, classic car cruise, a Czech bun eating contest, and all sorts of other festivities.
Oh, and there’s also a “race” that I can get behind – the Dozinky Zero K. It involves zero running and is actually just a post-race party from the word go. (“All the fun without the run!” might be the best slogan I’ve ever heard.)
They’re no strangers to the fall celebrations, either. New Prague’s Dozinky Festiavl is actually nearing it’s 40th annual celebration!
- Address: New Prague, MN
- More info: Dozinky Festival
More Harvest Fests around Minnesota
If that’s not enough fall fun for you, or you’re just a really dedicated fall lover, check out some of these other harvest festivals around the state.
7. SeptOberfest (Wabasha, MN)
One of our favorite fall activities is the scenic drive down to Red Wing, and the town of Wabasha is a perfect stop along the route. Thanks to river bluffs, the area offers some of the best fall colors around, and the town of Wabasha doubles down by planning their annual fall fest around those colors.
At SeptOberfest, you can meander through town, take in festive fall displays, and get into the spirit of the season.
- Distance from the Twin Cities: 1 hour, 45 minutes
- More info: SeptOberfest
8. Big Island Rendezvous and Festival (Albert Lea, MN)
For a more historically accurate fall festival, head to Albert Lea. For the first weekend every October, the town is taken over by historical re-enactors and entertainers. Expect to find period-accurate encampments and markets, mixed with modern food vendors.
- Distance from the Twin Cities: 1 hour 30 minutes
- More info: Big Island Rendezvous
9. Boats and Bluegrass Festival (Winona, MN)
This unique camping festival mixes live bluegrass music with paddle trips around the backwaters of the Mississippi River. You’ll have to grab tickets in advance, but this is a great option for the adventure seekers.
- Distance from the Twin Cities: 2 hours 15 min
- More info: Boats and Bluegrass
10. Great Pumpkin Festival (Brainerd, MN)
This annual event in the resort town of Brainerd promises pumpkin rolling races, pumpkin coloring, pumpkin weighing, and pretty much anything and everything pumpkin-related.
- Distance from the Twin Cities: 2 hours
- More info: Great Pumpkin Festival
11. Moose Madness (Grand Marais, MN)
Normally we wouldn’t expand the radius this far, but nothing beats a fall trip to the North Shore and all its awesome things to do. Grand Marais’s Moose Madness fall festival celebrates the moose mating season, which is a very real phenomenon in a place as wild as the Minnesota North Shore.
- Distance from the Twin Cities: 4 hours
- More info: Moose Madness Family Festival
P.S. – There’s always Oktoberfest
Of course, nothing says fall like a sip of seasonal beer to the tune of polka music.
If that’s your jam, then don’t miss our guide to the best Oktoberfest celebrations near the Twin Cities.
P.P.S. – Pumpkin Patches, too!
And if you’re just looking for that fall tradition of picking your own pumpkin with a hayride or two, don’t miss our guide to the best pumpkin patches near the Twin Cities.