Healthy, family fun for the 4-day fall break

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Looking for some fun, family activities for the upcoming long weekend? Fitness expert Chris Freytag has tips to help you makethe most out of the four-day breakand get active with the family.

Here are a few ideas:

Shafer Corn Maze:

Friday, Saturday and Sunday August 31 Until November 3
In Shafer, about an hour north of the Twin Cities, there's a huge corn maze, plus petting zoo, and pumpkins for sale. Visit during the day for the corn maze, or in the evening for the haunted corn maze. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, plus Thursday on MEA weekend.

For a more complete list of pumpkin patches,click here.

Apple Jack Orchards, Delano:
A cheerful family-run orchard, with lots of varieties of apples, including the latest University of Minnesota apple, SweeTango. (Introduced in 2009, SweeTango is a cross between the Honeycrisp and Zestar! varieties.) There arelots of things to do for children, like a play area, petting zoo, and wagon rides all week, and entertainment and live music are added at the weekend.

For a more complete list of apple orchards, click here.

Como Zoo's Zoo Boo:
A family-friendly ticketed event at Como Zoo on several evenings leading up to Halloween. Costumed characters and trick-or-treating all around the zoo. Tickets are $6 per person. The event is one of the major fundraisers for the zoo, which usually doesn't charge for admission.

The Minnesota Children's Museum:
A single entry to the museum runs around $8 for anyone over age one. But theMinnesota Children's Museum is on the list for the great value memberships. $80 covers everyone in a household for free admission to the museum for a year. A family of four only has to visit three times to make a membership worthwhile and if you have small children, they will want to come back again and again. And again and again and again!

The Water Park of America:
In the Radisson Hotel, near by the Mall of America, is a giant water park. The indoor park, open year-round, has a mile-long raft ride, surf simulator, wave pool, water slides and water playgrounds for babies, and for kids. Admission is pricey at around $20 but save money by buying advance tickets, and look out for special offers and coupons in local papers and flyers in the Mall of America.

For a more complete list of metro waterparks, click here.

Blackout at Nickelodeon Universe: October 18, 19
For older kids,Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America will go dark from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., Ride in the dark, or black light, with fog and other spooky effects. There will be a live DJ, costume contest, and glow-in-the dark t-shirt and airbrush tattoos.

Mall of America Power Walking:
While your older kids shop or hit Nickelodeon Universe, you can get in a workout. The Mayo Clinic Mile includes one mile, 5K and 10K walking paths inside Mall of
America. Follow the signage throughout the Mall and walk your way to a healthier you!Click here for the routes.


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