7 Outdoor Fall Activities in Central Minnesota

central minnesota fall outdoor activities

With last weekend’s snow, it seems like winter came early this year (before Halloween in fact). But some nicer Fall weather quickly returned, and with it an opportunity to continue some Fall traditions in central Minnesota – or maybe start some new ones! Here are just a few ideas to get you outside and active in this fantastic Minnesota season!

1. Pick pumpkins

A fall classic! There are plenty of pumpkin patches around the St. Cloud area as well as no shortage of roadside pickup locations that farmers tend to have. Picking out the best pumpkin you can find, bringing it home and carving it always makes for a great family activity. Carving one now will help ensure it gets plenty of display time before Halloween!

2. Attend a Fall Festival

Lots of Fall/Halloween festivals going on already this week. On Thursday (10/17) there is a Fall Festival at Edgewood Senior Living in Sartell. Then on Friday (10/18) the City of St. Cloud is putting on a festival at Lake George open to children 12 and under. With these events, as well as a couple of organized trick-or-treat events at local businesses, kids are sure to get to wear their Halloween costumes for more than one night.

3. Visit a corn maze

Corn mazes may be the main attraction, but many of these farms have other activities for kids as well. The closest corn maze is in St. Joseph, but there are others within an hour’s drive. Depending on the complexity of the corn maze these can make for some long walks and tough problem-solving.

4. Run a 5K

There’s nothing quite like running in the crisp fall air. Now you can do it while you’re wearing your Halloween costume and not look out of place in the process! The Endurance Shop is hosting a free 5K on Wednesday (10/16) in downtown St. Cloud. Participants are encouraged to wear their Halloween costume and the best-dressed runner will receive a prize. Not to mention it sounds like there will be plenty of other giveaways as well!

5. Take a nature hike

Central Minnesota sees some great colors in the Fall and one of the best ways to really take it in is with a nature walk. While there are plenty of trails in the area that can offer great sightseeing there is one place in particular often recommended, the St. Johns Abbey Arboretum.

6. Visit the Minnesota Zoo

Not only is the weather not too hot (and hopefully) not too cold to be out at the zoo, but the Minnesota Zoo also offers a special event for Halloween. The Jack-O-Lantern spectacular returns for its second year at the zoo. Featuring a trail of 5000 illuminated pumpkins, this is a unique experience!

7. Rake your leaves

This might sound like the most boring activity on this list, but regardless it’s a chor you probably want to take care of. Most of all though, raking leaves can make for great physical activity for your entire body!