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PHS’s Top 11 Twin Cities’ Kid-Friendly Fall Activities

What are your kids into these days? Chances are, there’s a place to indulge those interests right nearby that’s accessible and affordable. There’s still plenty of time to enjoy some great kid-friendly fall activities with your family around the Twin Cities area.

You can always ask your child’s PHS caregivers what types of experiences may best for your kid and your family. Here’s our Top 11  (we couldn’t pick just 10!) list of kid-friendly activities in the Twin Cities this fall, in no particular order:

carving pumpkins1. Into arts? Decorate pumpkins

Beyond carving kits, consider simply using paints (acrylics work best) so even the little ones can show their artsy side—and these designs last longer. Dress up pumpkins with masks, add ribbons and yarn for “hair,” which is also good for those with limited fine motor skills.

Sports fanatic? Get ready for some football

Live game action is much different than watching your favorite teams on TV. Check around for youth football games or high school games. The state tournament is in mid-November and games are in the cozy Mall of America field: Ticket info here. If you have kids with more stamina, consider a home Vikings football game. Go early to enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors of the Plaza area. In case of an emergency at Mall of America Stadium you can locate first aid in section 116 or by asking any concession stand employee or security guard to call for you.

3. Monkeys? Animal lovers? Zoo!

HallZooween at the Minnesota Zoo features lots of activities, plus a new baby dolphin, new lynx kittens and the new Africa exhibit. Bring warm jackets for the MN Trail, Russia’s Grizzly Coast, Family Farm and play areas, which have climbing, sliding and swinging activities for every age and ability level. Or, plan to stay indoors at Discovery Bay, the Tropics Trail and an IMAX movie.

Como Zoo is a classic urban zoo, with a new Polar Bear exhibit. It’s best for younger kids or shorter outings. Don’t miss a ride (or two) on the legendary carousel, which also accommodates wheelchairs.

4. Competitive? Bowling brings out the bestbowling

Anyone and everyone can bowl, keep score and try on the cool shoes! Check this lists of MN bowling alleys. Look for coupons, family bowling times and special events like laser light bowling times to fit your family’s needs. Don’t forget to put the gutter guards up for less frustration.

5. Aspiring actor or actress? Settle in for a movie

Go for a matinee or look for theaters that offer family-friendly showings of not-so-new but still wonderful films. Check on ratings, reviews and handicap accessibility before you go. Find a theater and show times near you here.

6. Curious explorer? Build, experiment and learn

The Minnesota Children’s Museum offers special Halloween activities and ever-changing displays with an emphasis on hands-on experiments. Don’t miss the rooftop. See what’s on tap here.

7. Proud Minnesotan? See where Honeycrisp apples come from

Several orchards around the metro area offer apple-tasting, apple-picking, hayrides, crafts and games. Some spots also have pumpkins, gourd making, maple syrup and maple syruping demonstrations. Just a few options: On the west side, see how cider is made at Minnetonka Orchards. East of St. Paul, check out Afton Apple. South, don’t miss the corn maze at Applewood Orchard. On the north side, there’s Applecrest Orchards at 651-426-7388. See the full listing of area apple orchards here.

8. Culinary inclined? Get in the kitchen

While you’re baking those apples into pies and crisps, you can also bake and decorate cookies into shapes of leaves, Halloween- and Thanksgiving-themed treats. Find great sugar cookie recipes, including gluten-free options here.

9. Sporty? MN Wild hockey game, MN Timberwolves basketball game

Both teams offer family-friendly ticket and concessions packs, plus group ticket options for less seats required than you may think. Get a group together and save. See the Wild options and the Timberwolves ticket info.

10. Outdoorsy? Go for a walk in the woods

You never know what you’ll discover outdoors, and the fresh air is good for all of us. See a list of nature trails near you. Be sure to look for a paved path if you have a child in a wheelchair.

11. Bookworm? Story time

Visit the Wild Rumpus bookstore, Minneapolis, with its child-size entrance door, resident cats and “tail time.” Enjoy puppet shows, Friday night pajama time and other kid club action at The Valley Bookseller in Stillwater. In St. Paul, enter the kid-friendly Red Balloon Bookshop.

As always, infection prevention is a top priority for PHS, if you are venturing out to public areas be sure to take precautions with proper hand hygiene or just choose an activity you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Have any other ideas for families and friends to enjoy? Share ideas here or photos of your kids out enjoying fall activities!

We provide these resources as a convenience and for informational purposes only. Always consult your child’s doctor regarding your child’s care plan.

PHS is not liable for the content of any of the resources listed nor do we endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or suggested.

Originally published: October 29, 2010