Summer is over and the kids are back in school. It is time to prepare for winter and activities that come with lots of snow. Just because summer has passed by doesn’t mean that the fun has to as well. Luckily, Minnesotans are treated with the best fall season in the country. Take some time out this year to enjoy a fall day in Minnesota with the family.

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Jacobsen’s Pine Tree Apple Orchard
450 Apple Orchard Road
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
(651) 429-7202

Pine Tree Apple Orchard provides a number of fun family activities during the fall that include wagon rides, pony rides and pumpkin picking, in addition to award-winning, locally grown apples and strawberries. One activity that families may want to check out this fall is the corn maze which is open from September 29 to October 28 and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Take a break afterwards and visit the bakery for homemade pies and baked goods as well as holiday gift baskets and boxes.

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center
12805 St. Croix Trail S
Hastings, MN 55033
(651) 437-4359

With over 10 miles of hiking trails, the Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center provides a simple, laid-back environment for the entire family to explore and learn about environmental education and the outdoors. In addition to the Visitor Center which offers live animals and hands-on exhibits, there is an apple orchard. Noteworthy activities include the Fall Raptor Release on September 22 and the Nature Challenges that take place throughout the fall and winter.

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Erickson’s Petting Zoo
11890 Hope Road
Osakis, MN 56360
(320) 762-0184

Families that miss the farm or want to share the farm experience with their children will want to visit Erickson’s Petting Zoo. The petting zoo is nothing like a regular zoo and is instead a 97-year-old farmstead which is now home to various animals. Children and adults will enjoy visiting pygmy goats, miniature horses and even a llama as well as birds, chickens and peacocks. Fall is the perfect time to take the family to wander through the corn maze and visit the pumpkin patch.

Caponi Art Park Learning Center
1220 Diffley Road
Eagan, MN 55123
(651) 454-9412

The Caponi Art Park Learning Center provides a number of trails for families that would like to enjoy a quiet fall hike. In addition to the trails however, the park is also home to a sculpture garden which displays over 30 sculptures by Anthony Caponi and the Theater in the Woods outdoor amphitheater. At the Theater in the Woods, families are able to view an open-air stage of productions such as the Shakespeare Festival and Poets in the Park.

(credit: Emily Hanson)

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318
(952) 443-1400

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum gives families a wide range of fun fall activities to participate in. Of particular interest may be the Free Family Weekends-Drop In Activities. These activities involve Seed Savers and take place Saturdays and Sundays in September. Visitors will learn how to harvest, replant and store seeds as well as participate in seed art. At the Squish Squash activity in October, visitors dissect a pumpkin and sample pumpkin soup from the Harvest Kitchen.

Related: A Guide to Apple Orchards Around the Twin Cities

Christina Majaski is a full-time legal assistant and freelance writer for online and print publications. She has an obsession for all things related to social media and invites you to follow along with her on Twitter @cmajaski. She currently resides with her daughter in central Minnesota. Her work can be found at