It seems like school just began, but it’s already almost time for MEA (which has now been re-christened as MEA again, after a short stint with a different name—but let’s be honest, no one called it anything but MEA). The MEA break will be Oct. 15 and 16. Here are a few ideas for keeping your kids entertained during the long weekend.

It shouldn’t be too late to go apple-picking. Contact your local apple orchard that weekend to see which ones are open and which ones might have special events going on. Another popular fall activity is finding your way through a corn maze, several of which will be open that weekend as well, including the giant one near Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Sever’s Corn Maze.

The Minnesota Historical Society has a number of family-friendly events going on. On Thursday and Friday, the North West Fur Post in Pine City will host an MEA History Break, with tours of the fur post and a nearby Ojibwe encampment. Visitors to Elk River’s Oliver Kelley Farm on Thurs.-Sun. will get to experience a farm harvest, complete with field work, a quilting bee, and 19th-century games. On Friday, contemporary times merge with the past at CSI: Fort Snelling (recommended for ages 14 and older, with beer and wine available for sale for those 21 and older). And on Sunday, New Ulm’s Harkin Store prepares to close for the season with Lonesome Ron’s Round-Up, with all kinds of live music.

The Minnesota Zoo offers an ambitious slate of fall camps, including a Rainforest Safari for preschoolers and kindergarteners, Animal Olympics at the Farm for grades 1-3, and Animal Survival Skills 101 for grades 4-6.

The Bakken Museum will be open Thurs.-Sat. and offers Science Studio all day.

Bloomington’s The Works Museum will host MEA Break camps on Thursday and Friday, with Frankentoys being the morning theme and Haunted Cardboard Castles for the afternoon.

Como Zoo will open its annual ZooBoo event on the 17th, a non-scary Halloween fundraising event that benefits the zoo. Non-scary costume characters will be on hand to entertain the kids, who are invited to do some early trick-or-treating.

The Mall of America is also getting in on some early Halloween events with Nickelodeon Universe’s Monster Bash on Friday and Saturday nights. There will be disco zombies, mad scientists, and special attractions both silly and scary.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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