18 Things to Do in the Twin Cities This Fall

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1. Pick apples at Afton Apple Orchard. {Hastings}

With so many varieties of apples, this is the destination if you are looking for a pick your own. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. they have festivals and lots of additional fall attractions on the weekends. {Local blogger Dining with Alice just did a great review of everything they have to offer.}

2. Ride the cow train at Apple Jacks Orchard. {Delano}
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If you live out in the Western or Northwestern suburbs it’s likely you’ve been {or your kids have been} to Apple Jacks a time or twenty but it is still a classic apple orchard and family fun day. From riding the cow train to jumping in the hay or on the giant pillow. The hayride is the same each year but you’ll do it every year just because of the driver/narrator.

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Apple Jacks Orchard Fall 2013

3. Jump in the corn at 101 Market. {Otsego}

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101 Market Fall 2012

What I love most about 101 Market is that you can make it as much or as little as you’d like whether that’s an after school trip to jump in the corn or the pumpkin bouncer or if it’s an all day Saturday adventure. They have duck races, pedal cart races, a maze, a petting zoo and jumping pillow. {They are also on Groupon right now!}

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101 Market Fall 2012

4. Take a hayride through Minnetonka Orchard. {Minnetonka}

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One of those orchards you can do anything at. From sharing a meal to kids playing, hayrides, picking pumpkins and more. You can make it a day and they are open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

5. Buy a Minnesota grown mum at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

If you’ve never been to the Minneapolis Farmers Market, you are missing out! Runs each Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is the best place to buy your fresh, locally grown produce, flowers and even plants.

6. Eat and drink all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice lattes, Pumpkin flavored beer, pumpkin bread, cookies and even pie. ‘Tis the pumpkin season.

7. Speaking of pumpkins, pick your pumpkins at Eveland Family Farm. {Andover}

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We visited this gem of a farm for the first time last year and we loved it. Open daily September 20-Halloween, it’s the perfect place to pick out pumpkins. A miniature maze, hayride and animals make this working farm a really unique fall attraction.

8. Go get lost in the maze at Severs Corn Maze. {Shakopee}

 It’s the 18th year for the infamous Severs Corn Maze and Fall Festival. The event grows larger every year and for many Twin Cities families THIS is their fall tradition. Tickets start at $13/person over the age of 4 and they are open Friday-Sunday through October.

9. Have a bonfire.

10. Go to a Gopher game.

11. Take family pictures.

With the holidays approaching, there really is no better time to take family pics than now. Find a photographer or call up old aunt Susie and get something on the books. You will want to remember this.

12. Get scared at Valley Scare. {Shakopee}

Whether you are looking for Halloween fun or something truly spooky, ValleyFair has it this October. Planet Spooky is daytime, family fun that is not scary and tickets start around $30/person. The Halloween Haunt begins after dark and you will leave terrified. Tickets start at $31.99/person.

13. Take in a local High School football game.

Cheer on the home team and support your local schools enjoying popcorn from a box and cold bleacher seats. It will bring back high school memories like no other and is more than worth the couple dollar admission.

14. Drink a stein full of beer at Oktoberfest.

The first weekend of October the Minnesota State Fairgrounds will be transformed to a German Oktoberfest with music, dancing, lots of German food and of course, beer. Ages 21+ are $25 and tickets include a beer stein and a beer coupon. {Check Groupon for a half off deal!} Ages 12-20 are $5 and kids under age 12 are free. Hours: October 3 4 p.m.-11 p.m and October 4 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

15. Take a scenic Fall Colors drive through Red Wing.

16. Don’t want to use up a tank of gas? Take a look at the fall colors at the Arboretum in Chaska.

For $12/adult {kids are FREE!} you can enjoy 1000+ acres of beauty. In the fall there is also a not to miss Apple House full of all of the University of Minnesota varieties. {There’s also a BOGO deal on LivingSocial right now! Check out the review local blogger MinneMama Adventures wrote about the different activities.}

17. Have a carmel apple sundae and take in some live music at Deer Lake Orchard. {Buffalo}

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Deer Lake Orchard Fall 2011

I’ve had a lot of carmel apple sundaes in my time but hands down my favorite, Deer Lake. Family owned and operated with a full petting zoo, a fabulous gift shop and plenty of apples, this is an orchard not to be missed.

18. Try a new orchard, maybe one that’s lesser known, or maybe one that’s real popular that you’ve never visited. Minnesota is the goldmine of orchards and fall festivals and harvest, make it count by exploring.

 What’s on your fall checklist?

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Honey Maid Does it Again! #NotBroken

Today is National Stepfamily Day and Honey Maid has done it again! They have launched their newest ad and I am a fan.

I have written many, many things over the years about being a stepmom. From the beginning when insecurities loomed and life was hard. We were figuring it out. One day at a time. In some ways, though it is good, we still are figuring it out. In the words of the infamous Momastery, we can do hard things, we do every day.

I shared more of my story today on Star Tribune.

In recognition of celebrating blended families everywhere, I’m pretty sure you too will love and appreciate this ad.

Did you know:
1 in 3 weddings in the US results in a stepfamily?
1300 new stepfamilies are formed EVERY DAY?
40% of Americans have at least one step family member?
Blended families are the fastest growing family group but slowest growing church ministry?

Please watch and share the ad using #NotBroken and #ThisisWholesome

{Comments here are closed but you can join the conversation on Facebook or on the Star Tribune today.}

Creative Kidstuff Grows with Goodness

We love Creative Kidstuff! It’s been a favorite store of ours since my oldest (now 12) was young. They have an amazing assortment of educational games, books & toys. Earlier this summer, my girls and I stopped in to the Linden Hills location on a day of fun as part of our Summer Bucket List. […]

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Insta-Lately.

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Two weeks in the books and I can’t say the mornings have gotten any easier. Each morning my alarm goes off and I instantly miss summer and pretty much pout and whine my way out of bed but within three hours time when everyone but Miss F is at school and the day has begun […]

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My Perspective on Education: On Parent Signatures

Today’s guest post is from Heather Shumaker, author of the book, It’s OK NOT to Share… and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids. This post originally appeared on her blog and was submitted and shared here with her permission. For more information on the series or to submit your own perspective on […]

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Minnesota Children’s Museum Back to School GIVEAWAY

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With school back in session, I can’t be the only mom excited about spending a little more time with my youngest. I’m headed to the Children’s Museum with Miss F and some friends today and excited to take a look at things from Miss F’s perspective. {You can follow along on instagram as I’m sure […]

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Macy’s Ridgedale Remodel Celebration!!

Macy’s Ridgedale is ready to reveal a new and improved store and shopping experience. The grand opening celebration kicks off this Wednesday {September 10} with a gift card giveaway. The first 300 customers to enter through the West doors adjacent to the Lake Shore Grill will receive a $10 promotional gift card. Two lucky contestants […]

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There’s Something About Fresh Flowers. {The Bouqs Review.}

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I LOVE having fresh flowers in my house. There is just something about walking in and seeing a vase of fresh, beautiful flowers that makes me happy. Which is why I was super excited to see an email in my inbox from The Bouqs Company and that they wanted to work with me. Because, flowers! […]

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$10 Tickets at Children’s Theatre Company

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The Children’s Theatre Company has made some exciting changes to their $10 ticket program and I think you’re going to like it. Where the old program used to require calling in the Sunday ahead to request tickets for that week’s show, you can now order your $10 tickets online ANYTIME. No more waiting on hold […]

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Moms’ Night Out DVD Giveaway!!

OK Moms, you made it through the first week {or for some of you, weeks} of school! It’s time for a back to school giveaway JUST for MOMs! Moms’ Night Out came out on DVD on Tuesday, September 2 and if you missed this one in the theater you are missing out. I LOVED this […]

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