Apples and touchdowns and goblins, oh my! Greater St. Cloud is filled with activities to enjoy all the wonderful aspects of fall. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Picking the plumpest
Whether it’s apples in an orchard or pumpkins in a patch, there’s something magical about the fall harvest season that prompts perfect family outings around Central Minnesota. Hungry for a Honeycrisp? Collegeville Orchards sells over twenty different varieties of apples in their shop! Plus, with a pumpkin patch on sight and a petting zoo for the family, this place is a must-stop in the fall in Central MN.
Need to outfit your digs with the trendiest fall decor? Hidden Cove Orchard not only offers nearly a dozen different varieties of apples, but two different home decor gift shops onsite with irresistibly adorable goodies. Looking for the Jack O’ to your Lantern? A&G Produce & Corn Maze not only has a huge pumpkin patch, but also two different corn mazes, hayrides, a petting zoo, mini pony rides, and much more.
Let’s get spooky
Fall is all about cool weather, changing leaves, and of course, Halloween! Get your fright on at Molitor’s Haunted Acres. This terrifying attraction features a hayride of doom, several haunted houses, a nightmarish walk through the woods, and more that will leave you shaking for hours beyond. Not for the faint of heart! Equally scream-worthy is the Harvest of Horror, featuring a horrifying hayride, a creepy corn maze, a bone chilling haunted house, and a walk through the terribly frightening forest. Plus, this year they feature a Werewolf Experiment Escape Room. Looking for a kid-friendly alternative to the terror-inducing attractions listed here? Halloween Historia, presented by the Stearns History Museum on October 12th features a scavenger hunt, petting zoo, crafts and snacks – costumes encouraged! Watch the Stearns History Museum Facebook page for more event details. There is also Pumpkinfest at Lake George on October 18th, which includes trick or treat stations, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and more. The event is free to attend – just make sure sport your coolest costume.
Cheer for the home team
Let’s face it, for a lot of people, fall means one thing: Football. Friday night lights, college Saturdays and Sunday Funday’s watching your favorite NFL team. Fortunately, Central Minnesota is home to St. John’s University, where the Johnnies play at Clemens Stadium. This stadium was voted one of the top 10 “Dream Destination” college football stadiums by Sports Illustrated. Football + fall colors? Count us in! There is also Husky Stadium at St. Cloud State University, which is nestled right along the banks of the Mississippi River. Looking for that young spark (and something fun to do on a Friday night)? St. Cloud Tech, Apollo High School, and St. Cloud Cathedral, as well as a number of surrounding area schools have amazing football programs that will bring you right back to your glory days.
Color watchers rejoice
There is no shortage of fall foliage in Central MN, and the number of ways to see it are endless! Of course, Quarry Park and Nature Preserve offers unique views of the pretty pallet in the sky, with reflections twinkling in the clear waters of granite quarries. It’s a sight to behold! Want to mix it up? Try checking out the colors along the banks of the Mississippi River – from a canoe! Clear Waters Outfitting is still offering paddle trips through the fall which allow you to get a unique perspective on the fall colors from atop the water’s surface. Are you the type of person who needs a destination for you fall hike? The Stella Maris Chapel Trail at St. John’s University winds around the shores of Lake Sagatagan, ending at a tiny chapel tucked into the woods like a secret. Your Instagram will thank you for this one, trust us.
Cool weather cravings
There are just some kinds of food and drinks that make us think fall. Fall means apples, and apples mean Milk and Honey Ciders. Hard cider in a beautifully scenic rural taphouse in the rolling hills of St. Joseph, what could be more fall? When the temps drop, we think comfort food, and there’s nothing quite like the home-cooking comforts of stew, mashed potatoes, and seafood chowder from Olde Brick House. Fall is the season for Oktoberfest, after all, and we crave nothing more than a frothy pint of beer and a giant warm pretzel with beer-cheese dip from either Granite City Food and Brewery or Crooked Pint Ale House. And when you need to cap it off with a sweet treat, what could be better than a warm homemade pie from Kay’s Kitchen (except maybe some caramel apple fritter bread from Clearwater Travel Plaza, or at least a tie).