Fun and Frugal Activities for Fall

boundary waters trip

Trygve, Dave, Michael, Beth and I in the boundary waters Fall 2011
Photo Credit: Trygve Wastvedt

October is upon us. The leaves are changing and the air is developing a distinct chill. Don’t let this beautiful season pass you by! Here are some great ways to enjoy the season both outdoors and indoors:

    • Camping: Looking for a cheap weekend gateway? Fall is the perfect season for camping and sitting around a campfire. If you’re not quite ready to spend a weekend in a tent why not enjoy the crisp fall air with a bonfire, some smores and hot cider?
    • Apple Picking: Grab some friends, drive to an apple orchard and enjoy this fun, fall tradition. For some extra special fun, check out the Afton Apple Orchard’s Apple Festival featuring hayrides, corn maze, live music, a petting zoo and of course apples! Looking for ways to use up all of those fresh apples? Check out these 101 crisp & juicy apples recipes from Southern Living.
    • Outdoor Attractions: Visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.It is free on Thursdays all day (November-March) and every third Thursday after 4:30pm (April-October). Say a last goodbye to the animals at the Como Zoo before they hibernate. Check out the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and if you get chilly head inside to the Walker Art Center– free on Thursday night. Visit the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, a peaceful garden in Minneapolis with free regularly scheduled birding walks and nature hikes.
    • Ride A Bike: Explore the twin cities by bike, using these handy bike maps. Take in the fall colors at these places around the cities. Don’t have your own bike? No worries! Take out a Nice Ride Bike, for a small fee.
    • Relive Your Childhood: Rake some leaves and jump in the pile. Go for a walk with a friend and collect some colorful leaves to press.
    • Pumpkin Patch: Go to a pumpkin patch and find some pumpkins to decorate.
    • Study Outside: Savor the last few moments of fall by taking your reading or writing outside to study amongst the falling leaves. Need a break from all of the studying? Check out the Twin Cities Book Festival for some fun reading!
    • Farmer’s Markets: Many of these markets are soon to be coming an end for the year, don’t miss your opportunity to get some fall fresh fruits and veggies.
    • Grape Harvesting and Wine Tasting: Grab a friend and join the harvest crew at your local vineyard for a few hours. One of my favorite’s is Cannon River Winery. The harvesting is fun and free, plus you often get to try some of the wine after! Fall is also a great time to go wine tasting. Check out LivingSocial or Groupon to see if there are any good deals in your area.
    • Cheer on Fall Sports: The sports scene roars to life in the twin cities as football gets underway for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Minnesota Vikings. The Minnesota Twins wind down their season at Target Field, and the Minnesota Lynx make their playoff push at Target Center. Check out the sports teams’ websites for discount ticket opportunities.
    • Celebrate Halloween: Attend a harvest festival, throw a halloween party, go to a haunted house or check out a spooky tour at the State Capitol. For more Halloween events, deals and fun check out

Join the Conversation: What is your favorite fall activity?


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