Fall in Minnesota is an all-too-fleeting beauty with a bit of a bite. So naturally, we pack in as many outdoor activities as pawsible. There’s no shortage of things to doo, and a few that are practically required, like an annual apple orchard trip (or five).
Take your pick from our list of dog-friendly options, then go forth and slurp up our furbulous fall with your furry bestie.
(Editor’s note: Pups are allowed on orchard grounds only, not in buildings. Bring your own poop bags, leash your dog – and for dog’s sake, no flexi-leashes!)
AAMODT’S APPLE FARM, Stillwater
10am – 6pm daily, open now
Aamodt’s is sheer apple heaven, with apples, apple cider, seriously delicious apple brats, and a bakery with apple pies. And this apple farm also happens to share its acreage with the award-winning Saint Croix Vineyards. Salut!
CARLSON’S ORCHARD, Winsted
10am – 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, opening Sept. 10
Carlson’s Orchard offers tons of activities for you and your family: self-guided tours, tractor and hay rides, you-pick apples, live music, straw mountain, pumpkin patch, and more.
DEARDORFF ORCHARDS & VINEYARD, Waconia
10am – 6pm Friday through Sunday, opening Sept. 7
After picking your apples (and pumpkins) at Deardorff, mosey over to the winery for some award-winning Parley Lake wine, then head down the road to pup-paradise Carver Park Reserve dog park.
FAIRHAVEN FARM, South Haven
10am – 6pm daily, open now
Choose from over 25 varieties of apples (or just get some of each!) at Fairhaven Farm, and enjoy the corn maze, pumpkin patch, and hay rides (Saturdays and Sundays 12-4pm). They also produce raspberries, pears, plums, grapes and more.
FALL HARVEST ORCHARD, Montrose
10am – 6pm Thursday through Sunday, opening Aug. 29
Apples, pumpkins, and plenty of activities – like a corn maze and wagon rides – await you at Fall Harvest Orchard. Free admission.
GILBY’S ORCHARD, Aitkin
9am – 5pm daily, opening Aug. 30
Wanna get away? Head “up north” to Gilby’s and you might see pheasants and deer as you walk the orchard trails. Pick from over a dozen apple varieties, go on a hay ride, explore the corn maze, and get your pumpkins, gourds, jams, and jellies. New for 2019: a slingshot game called the Ultimate Apple Blaster.
GLACIAL RIDGE WINERY, Spicer
12 – 9pm Thursday through Saturday, 12 – 6pm Sunday, open now
Glacial Ridge Winery offers not only wine but apples, apple cider, and caramel apples during apple season from the beautiful Jimmy Appleseed Orchard on their property.
LUCELINE ORCHARD, Watertown
10am – 6pm Wednesday through Sunday, opening Aug. 31
At 155 acres, LuceLine is the Great Dane of apple orchards. Ultra-friendly and bred for both work and play, this orchard offers a variety of apples, pumpkins and squash, loads of apple-y fare, and tons of space to pick, walk, ride, watch, and romp. On Sept. 7, you can stick around later: bring lawn chairs and sit out for a stargazing party with WCCO meteorologist Mike Lynch beginning at 7:45pm.
MINNETONKA ORCHARDS, Minnetrista
10am – 6pm Saturday, 11am – 5pm Sunday, opening Aug. 31
So. Many. Pumpkins. Also you-pick-’em apples, hayrides, a corn maze, tractor rides, a hay bale “mountain” to climb, farm pets to pet, and delish food and drink, making this place grrreat for kids and fur-kids. There’s even a donut hut, and if you visit for this reason alone we will not judge you. Or just go with your sweetie and get turned around in the corn maze. Feign fear. Sneak some smooches. Embarrass the dog. Then walk next door to dog-friendly Painter Creek Winery and Cidery for a brew or two.
NELSON’S APPLE FARM, Webster
10am – 6pm Friday through Sunday, opening Sept. 6
Sprawled across 15 acres, you’ll find 25+ varieties of apples to satisfy your taste buds. Visit the store for pre-picked apples, jams, jellies, trinkets, take-n-bake apple pies, and much more. We recommend visiting on Sept. 22 for Dog Day at the Orchard, a full day dedicated to pups and apples.
PLEASANT VALLEY ORCHARD, Shafer
10am – 6pm daily, opening Sept. 5
Pleasant Valley Orchard offers a fun fall experience for the whole family. In addition to your favorite MN-grown apples (pre-picked and ready for you), you’ll find an amazing array of pumpkins, a bakery, and a gift shop.
SOGN VALLEY ORCHARD, Dennison
12 – 6pm daily, opening Sept. 3
SOGN Valley is a beautiful orchard with the best (we hear) apple cider you’ll ever taste! The owner, John, also has a Border Collie who might just be your pup’s new best friend.
SPONSEL’S MINNESOTA HARVEST APPLE ORCHARD, Jordan
10am – 6pm daily, open now
Sponsel’s is one of the best in the biz, featuring cider, caramels, donuts, an apple catapult, and wagon rides. Oh, and plenty of apples. (Did we need to say it?)
SWEETLAND ORCHARD, Webster
10am – 6pm Saturdays and Sundays. opening Sept. 7
This southern gem offers a lip-smacking selection of pre-picked apples, along with cider for sale and for tasting, tours of the cidery and orchard, a kids’ area in the barn, and free-range chickens. Bring your pooch – and a picnic – and enjoy a quiet day in their gorgeous world.
WHISTLING WELL FARM, Hastings
9am – 6pm daily, opening Aug. 31
An excellent apple selection and WAY more: you can also pick your own pumpkins, dig your own fall mums, or shop for jams, ciders, gourds, squash, honey, fall decorations, and ornamental corn.
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