STILLWATER, Minn. - The Aamodt's apple farm in Stillwater started with its first seedlings back in 1948.
"This is our 65th anniversary this year, and we've really kind of grown into the whole agri-entertainment kind of thing," explained Chris Aamodt, a third-generation apple grower.
It's grown into a business with 6,000 trees spread across more than 50 acres and so much of what they've built depends on what happens right now.
"It's the next six weeks that make it or break it. So, we're looking for good weather. We're looking for beautiful colors and I become a real big fan of the Vikings after the apple season," smiled Aamodt.
The less people pay attention to the Vikings, the better for Aamodt's and dozens of other orchards in the state.
Additionally, the more colorful the leaves and the longer lasting the fall season and it's all an apple grower can ask for. But just in case, Aamodt's is more than apples. They added grapes to the farm in 1992.
"In fact, we were the third licensed winery in the state of Minnesota," said Aamodt. "Now, there's over 50."
It costs five dollars for a wine tasting and wineries all over the state offer similar deals. Harvesting and grape-picking happens over the next several weeks.
There may be no better way to capture the beauty of the fall season than from the sky, as part of the family's agri-entertainment, Aamodt's has you covered there too.
Chris' brother Scott offers balloon rides for a little less than $200.
Still, it's free to hang out all day at the orchard and winery, simply pay for what you eat and drink and you're good to go.
Down the road on the river there is more fall fun to be had.
"Right around the first, second week of October is generally the peak right here on the St. Croix," said Afton-Hudson River Cruise's Dan Jarvis.
Jarvis is already taking reservations for fall cruises, for $20 you can take a two-hour casual cruise on the St. Croix from Hudson or Afton.
Jarvis said the Saturday and Sunday fall color cruises have a tendency to fill and it's best to make a reservation at least the week before. Fall foliage cruises are also available on the Mississippi, Lake Minnetonka and Duluth's Lake Superior Harbor.
Pumpkin patches are also plumb full. If you're thinking, "C'mon a pumpkin will never last until Halloween," think again. If you go online you'll find dozens of ways to preserve that pumpkin or jack-o-lantern.
Of course, there's always pumpkin pie.
For list of MN apple orchards click here.
For a list of pumpkin patches click here.
For a list of MN wineries click here.
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