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Harvest to Halloween: Fun fall activities for families

Whether you're looking to get spooked, or just want to relax on a hay ride, there's a fall activity for you.

MINNEAPOLIS — 'Tis the season to get bundled up in a medium-weight coat and some light gloves, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and hit the hay (bales).

Whether you're looking for a spooky Halloween activity or just want to enjoy the fleeting autumn season, there's an event for you in the Twin Cities.

We've rounded up a few of them here:

Pumpkins and scarecrows at the arboretum

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers some fun displays from now through Halloween. Check out the Scarecrows in the Garden exhibit, along the walkways behind the main buildings; or the Scarecrow Village next to the picnic shelters. The World of Pumpkins Display is also open, displaying hundreds of varieties of pumpkins and squash. All displays are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., through Oct. 31. On Halloween itself, put on a costume and check out ArbBOOretum.

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Jack-O-Lanterns galore

The Minnesota Zoo shows off more than 5,000 glowing pumpkins for its Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, every night from Oct. 1 to Nov. 3. Children up to 2 years old can get in free, and tickets are $18 for adults or $16 for kids under 12 and seniors 65 and up. Zoo members get special prices. Check out tickets here.

Twin Cities Harvest Festival

Wander through a corn maze, wade through a corn pit, listen to live music, and get your cute animal fix at the petting zoo! The Twin Cities Harvest Festival is open every weekend through Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 per person, and children under 3 feet tall are free.

Trick or Treat Trail

The seventh annual Afton Trick or Treat Trail allows kids to collect treats at more than a dozen businesses along the main street of Afton. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 26.

Boo Bash Dash

Wayzata holds a Boo Blast all around town on Oct. 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sign up for the 5K, 10K, competitive mile, or family fun run; or maybe opt for the pumpkin derby. You can also trick-or-treat at stores throughout the city. Costumes encouraged!

50th and France Pumpkin Fest

Cruise your favorite restaurant and shopping district, this time with a fall theme and plenty of activities for the kiddos. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 26, swing by the pumpkin fest for face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, a jewelry store full of ring pops, antique fire truck tours, trick or treating, live performances and more. The costume contest and parade start at 12:45 p.m.

Halloween Puppet Extravaganza

BareBones Outdoor Puppetry holds its annual Halloween Puppet Extravaganza on Oct. 25, 26, 31 and Nov. 2. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. at Hidden Falls Regional Park for the awe-inspiring multimedia storytelling presentation. The show starts at 7 p.m. each night, with a $10-20 suggested donation. The story deals with the themes of death and honoring loved ones who have passed, but it's family-friendly and includes children in its cast.

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