Fall Fun

It's Fall! Leaves turning, back to school, high school football games, Halloween. It's wonderful and it's here. And there's always fun stuff to do. Here's a list of "Fall Fun" ideas to keep in mind. Visit this page frequently, as we'll post more "Fall Fun" ideas as we receive them. (New info will be added to the top of this page so it's easy to identify it as "new.") If you have a "Fall Fun" idea, email us at

Family Service Rochester • 287-2010 • www.familyservicerochester.org
The Incredible Years - Parenting Course. Enjoy the Incredible Years! Family Service Rochester is proud to provide our community with The Incredible Years, a parenting course for parents of 8 –12 year olds. Pre-adolescence can be a challenging time, learn how you can best help your child through this stage in every way possible. The Incredible Years is an award winning, research based course, which helps parents:
• Increase skills
• Learn how to influence their child’s behavior
• Build positive child-parent relationships.
Fall 2006 Class Info: The program consists of an 8-week series meeting every Tuesday at 6:00pm, beginning September 26th (there will not be class on October 31st). Childcare is available during classes.
Here Comes Santa Claus! It's time for kids to write their letters to Santa. Send your letter to the Post-Bulletin and they will forward it to Santa at the North Pole! They will also publish it in the Post-Bulletin on Thursday, December 15. Deadline for submitting letters is Monday, December 5. Mail your letter to: Post-Bulletin, Letter to Santa, 18 1st Ave. SE, Rochester, MN 55904. Or email your letter to letterstosanta@postbulletin.com.
Bid on great stuff! Support a local, family-friendly organization! The Rochester Area Family Y’s 4th Annual Auction is here. And it's bigger and better than ever! There are lots of exciting items to bid on: fabulous food, holiday gifts, great getaways, entertainment and adventure, and lots more. The auction helps the Y serve hundreds of people who otherwise could not afford a Y membership. The auction runs November 1-14. Find out more at www.RochFamY.org!

Looking for something magical for your little princess? Allegro School of Dance's Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party will be held on Sunday November 27th at their studio (2342 Superior Drive NW). Tea sittings are at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm. The cost is $12 per person for children and adults. Seating is limited and by reservation only. For more information contact Allegro School of Dance, 288-0125 or visit their website at www.allegro-dance.com.

An Old Fashioned Christmas at Historic Mayowood Mansion. Tour the Historic Mayowood Mansion, festively decorated for the holiday season. Room interpretation by guides and docents. Light refreshments and Gift Shop in the gallery. Cost: $15/Adult, $8/Children 12 & under. Reservations required. Daytime and evening tours. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays (daytime). Mondays (evenings). November 4-20, 2005. Tickets on sale now at Olmsted County Historical Society (1195 West Circle Drive SW). For information or reservations call 282-9447.

What a great way to get into the holiday spirit.... The Festival of Trees presents, "Cookies and Milk with Santa." Friday, November 25, 5:30-6:30pm, at the Festival of Trees at Mayo Civic Center. Children 12 and under $5/child. Each child will receive a gift from Santa. Reservations required. For more information call 507-289-8683.

Speaking of the Festival of Trees..... Hiawatha Homes Foundation's, Festival of Trees will take place November 22- November 27, 2005 at Mayo Civic Center's Exhibit Hall. The whole family will ooh! and aah! while looking at these beautifully decorated trees. In addition to the Opening Night Gala (Tuesday, November 22, 2005: Featuring a large assortment of food, entertainment, a silent bid auction, and a live auction. Reservations are required. $60 per person.) there are also Theme Days (Children's Day, 11/25, 11-4; Family Day 11/26 & 11/27, 11-4).

More about the event's sponsor: In Southeastern Minnesota, Hiawatha Homes twenty-one locations and family support programs provide support for clients to have an opportunity for individualized growth, development and community inclusion. These programs provide care for more than 130 individuals with severe developmental disabilities and related conditions. To find out more about Hiawatha Homes or to see a photo album of previous years' trees visit their website at www.hiawathahomes.com or call 289-7222.

KTTC Lights @ Bluff Valley October 20- November 7, Fridays and Saturdays (5-11pm), Sunday through Thursday (5-10pm), 2 miles west of Zumbro Falls. Take a drive ($10/car) through the only lighted maze in the world. The maze is one mile long and includes 450 displays. You can also enjoy the free nightly entertainment (7pm and 8pm, includes "American Pop Forever," fabulous rotating schedule of music, dance, choreography and talent performed by area high school youth) and the Park and Play Activities (nightlight basketball golf, mini-golf, disc golf, and wagon tours). Also enjoy the dinner buffet, 5-8:30pm, $9.95/adults, $5.95/5-12, Free/4 and under with paid adult. For more info, including directions, visit their website www.KTTClights@bluffvalley.com or call 1-877-GO-SEE-IT.

Praise-Alluiah Blast
will be held October 31, 5:30-8pm at Christ Community Church (4400 55th Street, NW). Wear friendly costumes or PJs. Enjoy gooey carnival games, LIVE hosted activities, puppet show. Bring a bag to collect goodies. For more information contact Heather at 282-5579 ext. 214.

Lincoln K-8 Choice School invites you to its annual Auction and Bake Sale. Hundreds of items will be available, including: Disney on Ice - Suite for 16 at Target Center, Timberwolves and Vikings tickets, birthday parties, childrens toys and games, gift certificates to over 100 local businesses. Money raised from the auction supports projects and services for Lincoln K-8 Choice School. The auction and bake sale are open to the general public and will take place on Saturday, October 29 at Lincoln K-8 Choice School, 1122 8th Avenue SE. The Silent Auction and Bake Sale begin at 1pm and the Live Auction begins at 5pm. For more information, visit the auction website at http://auction.lincolnppt.org.

Thanks to Ellen for this great tip!

They shoot! They score! The Minnesota Ice Hawks are Rochester's junior hockey team. All home games are held at the Rochester Recreation Center (21 Elton Hills Drive NW). A fun (and reasonably priced) outing for the whole family. Upcoming home games: Oct 21 vs. Dubuque Thunderbirds at 7:05 pm; Oct 22 vs. St. Paul Lakers at 7:05pm; Oct 29 vs. St. Paul Lakers; November 11, 7:05pm vs. Dubuque Thunderbirds; November 12, 7:05pm vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights; November 18, 7:05pm vs. Wisconsin Mustangs; November 19, 7:05pm vs. Wisconsin Mustangs; December 9, 7:05pm vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights; December 31, 7:05pm vs. Wisconsin Mustangs; January 1, 5:35pm vs. Wisconsin Mustangs; January 6, 7:05pm vs. Minnesota Owls; January 11, 7:05pm vs. Minnesota Owls; January 13, 7:05pm vs. Saint Louis Lightning; January 14, 7:05pm vs. St. Paul Lakers; January 15, 5:35pm vs. Saint Louis Lightning; January 18, 7:05pm vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights; January 27, 7:05pm vs. Saint Paul Lakers; February 4, 7:05pm vs. Dubuque Thunderbirds; February 15, 7:05pm vs. Minnesota Owls; February 17, 7:35pm vs. Saint Louis Lightning; February 19, 5:35pm vs. Minnesota Owls. Games are subject to change. For latest information check the Ice Hawks website at www.mnicehawks.com or call 535-0100. Ticket prices are as follows: Adults/$6.50, High School-College Students/$4, Children (12 and under)/$1, Preschoolers/FREE. For buy one get one free adult ticket coupons visit www.rochesterconnection.com.

Rochester Central Lutheran School's Hallelujah Carnival is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, 4-7pm. The carnival is open to the public, and features Carnival games, door prizes, snacks and supper items in the cafeteria, and a pumpkin judging contest. We strive to have a God-pleasing celebration where children of all ages can dress up in God-pleasing costumes, play games, win prizes, and have a great time with their families. The pumpkin judging ends at 5:30pm, and there is a costume parade at 6pm. There is no charge to get in to the Carnival, but we do sell tickets that are used to participate in the games and purchase food.

For 29 years Rochester families have been going to Apple Ridge Orchard just north of Oronoco near Mazeppa. It is only 15 minutes north of Rochester and is open daily 9am-6pm. Apple Ridge Orchard and Vineyard is in the scenic countryside and offers guests "you pick" or pre-picked apples every day plus weekend wagon rides, family corn mazes, pick your own grapes and pumpkins and an animal barnyard with llamas and other animals. The 50 acre apple orchard also has great caramel apples and fresh-pressed apple cider and apple pies. Find out more by calling 843-3033 or visit their website at www.appleridgeorchard.com.

Thanks to Caroline for this great Fall Fun tip!

Plan now to attend the inaugural Empty Bowls event to benefit Channel One Food Bank and Food Shelf. The event will take place at the Rochester Art Center, 10am-8pm, October 13. Empty Bowls, presented by Think Federal Credit Union, will help to raise awareness about hunger in our community through art. Event attendees will receive a simple meal of soup and bread to remind them of those who struggle with hunger in our community. Additionally, participants will choose a handcrafted bowl that has been donated by local students and artists as a memento of the event. A silent auction of professional art, kid's activities, and access to all Art Center exhibitions will also be available. Tickets ($15/adult, $3/child 12 years old and under - the $3 includes food only and not the souvenir bowl.) For more information visit www.channel-one.org or 287-2350.

King Corn Maze, is 2 1/2 miles east of Stewartville on Hwy 30 SE (take highway 63 to Stewartville - at the stop light in town turn left onto hwy 30 and go 2 1/4 miles - there are signs for the maze and where to park). King Corn Maze is open weekends (11am-6pm) through Oct 30. Admission is $4, 12yrs - adult, $3, 5-11 year olds, and under 5yrs, free. In addition to the maze they have a produce wagon where you can buy gourds, pumpkins, painted pumpkins, squash and colored corn.  There is also an area available for roasting marshmallows.  King Corn Maze, 533-8472, 2238 Hwy 30 SE, Stewartville.  

Thanks to Virginia for this great Fall Fun tip!

Northwoods Orchard offers pick-your-own or pre-picked apples fresh from the orchard, two corn mazes, a wide assortment of fall ornamentals (including pumpkins), and the Back Forty Animal Area for up-close, hands-on farm animal interaction (feed the goats, hold a chick, hear the turkey call, pet a bunny, visit the pig pen). Wagon Rides are offered as conditions permit. Northwoods Orchard opens for the 2005 Season on Saturday, September 10. Hours are as follows: September: Saturdays, 10am-6pm. Sundays, 1pm- 6pm. October: Fridays, 10am-6pm. Saturdays, 10am-6pm. Sundays, 1pm-6pm. Special "School's Out" Day at the Orchard - Thursday, October 20 - Open 10am-6pm. Northwoods Orchard, 8018 75th Ave. NW, Oronoco, 280-0591, www.northwoodsorchard.com.

Quarry Hill Fall Harvest Festival. September 17 & 18, 11:30-5pm. Quarry Hill Nature Center, 281-6114, www.qhnc.org. Each fall Quarry Hill begins the season with a Fall Harvest Festival on a September weekend. During the two day event a variety of activity stations are set up outside and inside the Nature Center including candle rolling, cave tour, rock climbing, canoeing, animal tracks, and pumpkin painting. Live music provides a lively atmosphere where young and old can enjoy time outdoors. This event is free with a nominal fee for activity and food tickets.

2nd Annual Halloween Happening - Quarry Hill. Friday, October 28 (beginning at 5:30pm) and Saturday, October 29 (beginning at 5pm) with new hikes starting every 15 minutes. Quarry Hill Nature Center, 281-6114, www.qhnc.org. Come and enjoy a non-threatening Halloween Hike through the Quarry Hill woods, cave and across the pond bridge. Along the hike participants will encounter this year's human-portrayed "creatures of the night," including a snapping turtle, white-tailed deer, skunk, cricket, and coyote. Hour long hikes will end at the Nature Center with treats and other fun things to do. Reservations are required for hike times. Please call the Nature Center to reserve a time. Cost is $5/person, with proceeds going to support Quarry Hill programs the coming year.

Halloween Spooktacular. Friday October 28, 5-8:30pm. Rochester Area Family Y, 709 First Ave SW, 287-2260, www.rochfamy.org. Bigger and better than before: refreshments, pumpkin bowling, halloween BINGO, pumpkin decorating, tailgate trick or treating, costume parade and contest, vehicle decoration judging, monster mash dance, and spooky hunt. Sign up to attend the event or better yet sign up to bring your decorated vehicle and hand out treats to all the ghosts and goblins. (The Y will provide treats to hand out at your vehicle.) $5/person for members. $10/person for non-members.

The History Festival is Sept 24 (10am-4pm) at the Olmsted County History Center (1195 County Road 22 SW, 282-9447, www.olmstedhistory.com). The public is invited to travel through the whole time continuum of regional history, with over 40 demonstrators giving hands-on demonstrations. Children will be invited to participate in a parade celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Olmsted County’s creation. Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in the Pioneer Olympic Games – including hoop rolling, sack races, stilts, and the broad jump. In addition, “Unity Through Diversity” will be presented by Ash and Reuben Fast Horse, Eric Scites will present the Faire Wynds Medicine Show, and the St.Croix Chippewa Youth TRAILS Dance Troupe will present a mini-powwow. Local actors will portray famous people giving their greatest speeches. Pioneer food will be available. Admission is $5 per person. Children 5 and under are free.
There's still plenty of time to get down to the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market. 4th Street & 3rd Avenue, SE, www.ams.usda.gov/statesummaries/MN/FarmersMarkets.htm. The farmers market is open Saturdays, May-October, 7:30 am-noon. Scout out all the fall treats - decorative garlands, pumpkins, honey, homegrown fruits and vegetables, baked goods, flower arrangements, and much more.

Oxbow Park is always a great place to spend the day. This fall, it offers a number of fun Saturday programs for the whole family: prairie hike, feed the critters, Minnesota wildlife in the Fall, and more. Visit RochesterFamilies.com's Calendar of Events (Sept 3) for a list of this Fall's programs. Oxbow Park, 5731 County Rd 105 NW, Byron, 775-2451, www.co.olmsted.mn.us/index.php?loc=358.

Fire Prevention Week Open Houses. Fire fighters will be hosting open houses at each of the four Rochester fire stations on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday October 10th, 11th and 12th from 6-8pm. There will be fire station tours, equipment demonstrations, fire safety information, refreshments for all, and fire hats and stickers for the children. They plan to have the Safety House Trailer at Fire Station #1 where there will be home exit drills and residential sprinkler demonstrations. Sparky will be at Station #4.

Station 1 - 521 S. Broadway
Station 2 - 702 Silver Lake Dr. NE
Station 3 - 2755 2nd Street SW
Station 4 - 1875 41st Street NW
Chester Woods Park is a great summer spot (camping, swimming, hiking). It's also fun in the Fall. This autumn, the Chester Woods staff will host a variety of nature-related activities for the whole family: moonlight paddle, campfire tales, and more. Visit RochesterFamilies.com's Calendar of Events (Sept 10) for a list of this Fall's programs. A $5 daily or $25 annual vehicle pass is required to enter Chester Woods Park. Programs may be cancelled due to inclement weather - when in doubt call ahead. Call 287-2624 for program information and registration www.olmstedpublicworks.com.

Community Ed offers a family pass to Northwoods Orchard. Family passes include: entrance to either corn maze (a 4-acre corn maze, and for younger visitors, a 1-acre "think like a bee" maze) for your entire immediate family, a visit to the animal area (see goats, chickens, pigs, and more in the Northwoods' "Back Forty"), 1/2 peck of pick-your-own apples, and a pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch. Northwoods Orchard is located just 5 miles NW from Rochester near Douglas. A brochure with map and your Family Pass can be picked up at Northrop or will be mailed to you after registration. The Pass can be used any time the Orchard is open in 2005. Hours are Saturdays 10am-6pm and Sundays 1-6pm, September 10 through October 30. Beginning Oct 7, the Orchard will also be open Fridays 10am-6pm. $25/Family Pass. For more info, turn to pg. 11 of the Rochester Community Ed Youth Programs (K-8) booklet or contact Community Ed at 287-2135.

Come to the Plummer House for the Pumpkin Patch Party. There will be games, crafts, and stories for everyone. Your costume will add to the thrill of the night; but don't worry, it won't be an evening of fright. If you joined us before it won't be a repeat. We have all new ideas - right down to the treat. Two parties (one for 4yr-1st grade (adult must attend child at this party) another for grades 2-5) to be held Thursday, October 27 (4:30-6pm and 6:30-8pm). $12.50/child. For more info, turn to pg. 6 of the Rochester Community Ed Youth Programs (K-8) booklet or contact Community Ed at 287-2135.

This Fall, how about a visit to Tweite's Pumpkin Patch. 1821 Frontier Road SW, Byron, 365-8035, www.tweite.com. Tweite's is open October 1 through October 23. Saturdays 10am-5:30pm and Sundays noon-5:30pm. No tickets sold after 4:30pm. Also open on MEA: Thursday Oct. 20 and Friday Oct. 21, 10am-5:30pm. (Please call during inclement weather.) Admission is $7/person, toddlers 23 months and younger are free. Gate fee includes: Pumpkinville, Harvest Town, Enchanted Forest, Storybook Land, Wagon Ride, and Dodge City. Tweite's also has Fall decorating items (think decorative gourds, corn stalks, and bales of hay) and a concession stand (homemade caramel apples, hot bowls of soup, tasty soft pretzels, melt in your mouth fudge, cotton candy, drinks, and much more).

Sekapp Orchard and Farms, the apple, berry, produce and pumpkin place, offers 30 varieties of apples, fresh garden produce, pumpkins (tons to choose from on display in their front yard), fall decorations, jams, maple syrup and honey. Salesroom hours 9am-7pm, June 15 through November. Sekapp's also offers low-cost tours that are a fun activity for your playgroup or club. Sekapp's (3415 Collegeview Road East, 282-4544, www.mnfarmtours.com/sekapp.html) is located one mile east of Rochester on County Road 9 (which is Collegeview Road).

Oxbow Park (775-2451, www.co.olmsted.mn.us/index.php?loc=55) will be hosting a Halloween Program- October 29 at 7pm. Food, Games, and Fun! Costumes encouraged! (More information will be available at a later date.)

Enjoy the last of the season's (hopefully) warm weather at Rochester's First Avenue Street Market & Concert Series. September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (music 4:30 - 7:30pm). 1st Avenue SW between 2nd and 3rd Street. Downtown Rochester comes alive. The market brings together over 40 vendors who sell their arts, crafts, fresh flowers, and veggies in this outdoor urban marketplace. The concerts provide free live music featuring local and regional artists.

Old fashioned fun for the family! Join Tim and Deanna Treadway, of the PBS show "Pioneer Quest," and hear about the year they spent experiencing a Manitoba pioneer homesteader's way of life (flood, fire, crop failures, and relentless mosquitoes). Wednesday, Oct 5, 6:30-8:30pm, Century Auditorium. $10/family. Find out more on pg. 36 of Community Ed's, Adult & Family Enrichment Fall 2005 booklet or call 285-8646.

Even if your kids are more preschool than high school, fall high school sports are always a good time for the entire family. And what a fun way to show your school (and community) spirit! Visit the Big 9 Conference website, www.big9.org/g5-bin/client.cgi?G5button=1 for Mayo (Spartans), Century (Panthers), and John Marshall (Rockets) athletic schedules. Visit www.hvlconference.org/g5-bin/client.cgi?G5genie=10&school_id=4 for Lourdes (Eagles) athletic schedules.

Pipsqueaks is scheduled to open October 24! Ever feel like your kids just need a place to run, jump, scream, and play? Pipsqueaks is a public indoor play zone designed for children kindergarten-age and younger to play under parental or guardian supervision. Pipsqueaks offers young children a safe, clean play space to burn off energy during the long winter months. Play zones include infant/crawler, climb and slide, riding and running, and an imagination center. A fun place to go with your kids and/or to meet with your play group. Pipsqueaks is located at the United Way of Olmsted County (903 W Center St), www.rochestermn.gov/park. Admission is $2/child; $5/family max. per session. Hours are 9am-3pm Mon-Sat.

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