Fall Family Bucket List

Fall into Family Fun!

After the summer heat we’ve had, the cooler weather and changing leaves are a welcome sight for many of us. And what’s fall in Minnesota without pumpkin patches and apple picking? Luckily, the Cottage Grove area has plenty of options to enjoy both, on top of even more fall activities for the entire family!

So break out the sweaters and fuzzy socks, it’s time for some fall fun! We can practically taste the warm apple cider and home cooked apple and pumpkin pies already!

Afton Apple Orchard
Open Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

General admission is $7.00 for ages 5 and older and $5.00 for ages 4 and younger. Additional admission is required for the Corn Maze and some other attractions.

  • Apple Picking: Choose from a whopping 15 varieties of apples! Pick your own or purchase them pre-picked.
  • Berry Picking: Pick your own raspberries, blackberries, and black raspberries.
  • Pumpkin and Gourd Picking: Pick pumpkins, squash, gourds, and ornamental corn for all your decorating, carving, and cooking needs!
  • Shop: Pick up packaged items like frozen pies and crisps, jams, local honey, baking supplies, gifts and more. If you’re craving something fresh and hot off the press, opt for the warm apple cider, donuts, hot dogs, cider brats, and other fall favorites!

If you’re still not satisfied, Afton Apple has lots of other activities for the whole family. They’ve got a playground, petting farm, Straw Mountain, Johnny Combine, Retread Hill, the tire swing corral, hayrides, Grammals Barnyard, and so much more!

Special Events

Corn Maze Opening Soon:
Check out their Facebook page for more details!
15-acres of twins and turns, themed “2021 No Prob-Llama – We Goat This!” Concessions, yard games, mini mazes, and the Barnyard Apple Blaster!

Apple Festival Weekends: October 2-3, 9-10 & 16-17
Magic shows, music, yard games and more!

Whistling Well Farm
Open Daily, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Whistling well has no admission fee, you only pay for the products you pick out yourself!

  • Apple Picking: Eight varieties of apples. Pick your own or purchase pre-picked apples.
  • Pumpkin Patch: Find the perfect pumpkin for all your pumpkin needs!
  • Mums: Grab some colorful mums for the perfect fall décor!
  • Country Store: Preserves, jellies, pumpkin butter, pancake mixes, maple syrup and so much more!

In addition to all of these activities, there’s also a kids climbing area, goats and chickens. On certain weekends, Whistling Well Farm also has live music, food trucks and other special entertainment! Keep an eye on their events calendar to know when these events are happening.

Before you leave the farm, don’t forget to toss a coin into the whistling well and make a wish! The coins are collected, matched dollar-for-dollar by the family, and donated to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital! And if you’re lucky, you’ll even hear the well whistling!

Annual Fall Festival
Sunday, September 26 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Join the All Saints Lutheran Church in welcoming fall! There will be concerts, games, food trucks, family photo sessions, and more!

Cottage Grove Farmers Market­
Thursdays, 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. until October 14

Make sure you stop in to one of the last CGUCC Farmers Markets this year to pick up all your farm to table ingredients! You’ll find all kind of delicious foods there like local honey, farm fresh eggs, veggies galore, handmade beauty products and so much more! And don’t forget to stop at the delicious food trucks on site every week!

Family Evening at Shepard Farm
Friday, October 1, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Enjoy a fun night of environmental education at Dodge Nature Center’s newest property right here in Cottage Grove, Shepard Farm. Attendees of this evening of fall fun will be able to go on wagon rides, see all the farm animals and participate in hands-on nature activities. Jason DeRusha of WCCO-TV will be emceeing programming. There will also be food trucks on site or you can bring your own picnic, and enjoy your tasty dinner while listening to live bluegrass music! The event is free to attend for children under the age of 16 and $25 for all others.

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