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30 Fall Things To Do In Nisswa & The Brainerd Lakes Area | Minnesota

Updated: Sep 21, 2023


Nisswa Lake - Nisswa, MN | Fall
Nisswa Lake - Nisswa, MN | Fall

A Guide to Enjoying the Fall Season in Nisswa Lakes Area


As the days get shorter and the air turns crisp, there's a magical transformation happening in Nisswa, Minnesota and the surrounding lakes area. The leaves are trading their summer green for a breathtaking palette of reds, oranges, and yellows, and it's the perfect time to get outdoors and immerse yourself in the beauty of fall. To help you make the most of this season, we've put together a list of exciting fall activities and events in the Nisswa Lakes Area.


1. Nisswa Fall Festival & Smokin' Hot BBQ - September 16, 2023

  • Kick off your fall adventures by heading to Downtown Nisswa on September 16 for the Nisswa Fall Festival & Smokin' Hot BBQ. Start your day with a mouthwatering pancake breakfast courtesy of the Nisswa Fire Department. Take part in the medallion hunt and test your skills in the bean bag tournament. The air will be filled with the tantalizing aroma of barbecued ribs as teams compete in the Smokin' Hot BBQ Challenge, and you'll have the chance to savor these delicious creations. The festivities continue with live music throughout the day and into the evening with a live outdoor concert. Don't forget to explore the Fall Artisan & Crafters Market at the Nisswa Area Historical Society's Pioneer Village during the festival.

2. Copper Creek Fall Festival Days - September 16 to October 29, 2023

  • Join in the family fun at Copper Creek with activities like a Hay Bale Maze, Corn Pit Sandbox, Kids Activities, Face Painting, Pumpkin Carving, and more. Explore fall-themed classes and shop for seasonal goodies while enjoying the autumn ambiance.

3. Craft Beer and Fall Events

  • Fall and beer go hand in hand, and the Nisswa Lakes Area has its fair share of breweries hosting fall events. Check out these breweries and mark your calendars for their fall festivities:

    • Cuyuna Brewing Co. (Crosby, MN) - Oktoberfest from September 15 to 17, 2023

    • Roundhouse Brewery (Nisswa, MN) - Oktoberfest on September 22 & 23, 2023

    • Snarky Loon (Jenkins, MN) - Snarktoberfest on Saturday, September 23, 2023

    • Jack Pine Brewery (Baxter, MN) - Jacktoberfest on Saturday, September 30, 2023

    • Big Axe Brewing Co. (Nisswa, MN) - Octoberfest on Saturday, October 14, 2023

4. Fall Car Show at Dunmire's on the Lakes September 16, 2023

  • If you're a car enthusiast, don't miss the Fall Car Show at Dunmire's on the Lakes. It's a great opportunity to admire classic and unique vehicles.

5. Pumpkin-Picking Fun - Begins September 23, 2023 (Canceled due to drought)

  • Double T Acres - Regrettably, they won't be able to open for the Fall season due to factors like the drought and deer-related issues. However, they will have a trailer in the yard stocked with decorative pumpkins, gourds, and corn, all available for self-payment. On a positive note, strawberries will still be available through October 13th. To place an order, please don't hesitate to give them a call.

6. Saturday Night Lights at Northland Kart Kountry - September 16 & 23 & 30, 2023

  • Enjoy unlimited go-karts and attractions at Northland Kart Kountry for just $30. Plus, you'll receive a hot dog, chips, and a beverage. It's a fantastic way to spend a Saturday night with family and friends.

7. Crosslake Days - September 28-30, 2023

  • Crosslake Days is an annual fall event filled with family-friendly activities. From the Hunt for the Lost Chili Pepper to a Chili Cook-off, Corn Hole Tournament, and more, there's something for everyone. Don't miss the Arts & Crafts Fair with over 70 vendors offering unique handmade items.

8. Shimek Sisters Annual Pumpkin Sale - September 30 - October 1, 2023

  • Visit Shimek Sisters farm for their annual pumpkin sale and explore unique handmade items from local businesses. Enjoy everything from custom cookies to honey and handmade soaps.

9. Gull Lake Events Pub Crawl - Oktoberfest October 7, 2023

  • Join Gull Lake area businesses for Oktoberfest Pub Crawl. Enjoy a pub crawl shuttle to multiple locations, Oktoberfest beer samples, and the chance to win prizes—all while supporting local charities.

10. Casino Night at Dunmire's on the Lakes

  • Test your luck at Casino Night featuring Texas Hold’em and Blackjack, held every other Wednesday starting October 11. Prizes await the winners, so gather your friends for a night of entertainment.

11. The Babinski Foundation Fall Festival - October 14, 2023

  • Make your way to The Babinski Foundation Animal Shelter for a family-friendly Fall Festival taking place from 12 PM to 4 PM on October 14th. This event promises fun for both kids and adults! Enjoy carnival games, delectable food trucks, a delightful petting zoo, live music by Eric Whitson, and much more!

12. Nisswa Christmas Home Tour - October 19-21, 2023

  • Get a head start on the holiday season by taking part in the Nisswa Christmas Home Tour. Explore beautifully decorated private homes and support a good cause, as all proceeds from this event are donated to Lakes Area Food Shelf.

13. Halloween Bash - October 29, 2023

  • Prepare for the spooktacular event of the year at the Northern Pacific Center on October 29th, running from 11 am to 4 pm. This day is packed with thrilling adventures and family fun. The lineup includes hay rides across the property, enchanting Halloweentown trick-or-treating, blazing bonfires, bouncy houses, the Traveling Art Pub, a petting zoo, an outdoor market, an array of food trucks, and mesmerizing face painting for all ages.

14. Grand Brewfest Weekend - November 17-19, 2023

  • Don't miss the Grand Brewfest Weekend at Grand View Lodge in November. This event celebrates Minnesota's craft beer scene with a beer run/walk, brewery mastermind meetings, and a Grand Tasting featuring a wide range of MN brews.

15. Guided Nature Hikes at Northland Arboretum

  • Connect with nature by joining a guided nature hike at the Northland Arboretum in Baxter, MN. Some events may require an RSVP and may have a fee. Additionally, don't miss other fall events like the Scarecrow Contest, Haunted Trail, and Trunk or Treat.

16. Visit Farmers Markets

17. Haunted Hidden Hollows at Paul Bunyan Land

  • Get into the spooky spirit by visiting Haunted Hidden Hollows at Paul Bunyan Land. It's an immersive Halloween experience that promises chills and thrills.

18. Explore the Paul Bunyan Trail

  • Fall is the perfect time to take a leisurely walk, hike, or bike ride along the Paul Bunyan Trail. As the leaves change color, the trail offers a picturesque backdrop for your outdoor adventures. If you need a bike rental, Up North Bike Rentals in Nisswa has you covered with a variety of bicycle options, including e-bikes and bike trailers for kids.

19. Fall Fishing in the Lakes Area

  • While the weather may be cooling down, the fishing in the lakes area is heating up during the fall season. It's your chance to enjoy some quality time on the water and make the most of the last few weeks of fishing before winter sets in. Stop by Sportland Outdoor Outfitters in Nisswa to gear up with bait and tackle for your autumn fishing excursions.

20. Fall Football and Pizza Nights

21. Explore Fritz Loven Park

  • Take a leisurely walk around Fritz Loven Park in Lake Shore, MN, and appreciate the serene nature trails adorned with the stunning fall colors.

22. Pine River, MN, Dam Riffle

  • Visit Pine River, MN, to admire the stunning scenes around the Dam Riffle. After your visit to the Pine River Riffle Dam, head down the street to GuidePoint Pharmacy for a delightful treat and a chance to experience their charming old-time soda fountain!

23. Thrilling Zipline Adventures by Brainerd Zip Line Tour (Located in: Mount Ski Gull)

  • Experience the thrill of ziplining through the colorful treetops of Minnesota's forests. Enjoy the exhilarating feeling of soaring through the air while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes.

24. Fall Flannels, Brews, and Axe-Throwing

  • Embrace the season by wearing your favorite fall flannels and trying your hand at axe-throwing at the Wreck Room at Roundhouse Brewery in Nisswa, MN.

25. Fall Golfing in the Lakes Area

  • For golf enthusiasts, fall offers the perfect weather for hitting the links. Explore the amazing golf courses in the Lakes Area and enjoy a round of golf surrounded by the beauty of autumn.

26. Shop Local for the Holidays

  • With the holiday season approaching, it's a great time to support local businesses and find unique gifts and décor items for your loved ones.

27. Live Music!!!

28. Warm Up To Hard Cider at Woodlore Cider

  • Visit Woodlore Cider in Brainerd, MN, and savor small-batch craft cider in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

29. Visit 5Rocks Distilling Co. For Unique Crafted Cocktails

  • Make a stop at 5Rocks Distilling Co. in Brainerd, MN, to try their small-batch vodka, gin, whiskey, and unique cocktails.

30. Campfire Nights

  • Unwind by a cozy campfire, share stories, roast some marshmallows, and savor the cool fall evenings in Minnesota.

Fall is a time of vibrant colors, exciting events, and cozy gatherings. With this guide, you're ready to make the most of the fall season in the Nisswa Lakes Area. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a foodie, or a fan of seasonal festivities, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this picturesque corner of Minnesota. Get out there and savor the beauty and fun that autumn brings to the Northwoods!





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