The heat of summer breaks for cooler weather and crisp evenings. Fall is harvest time, a time to gather together with friends and families for inspiring food, arts, and events. If you’re planning a visit, don’t miss these fabulous fall things to do in Owatonna!
Ghoulish Fall Events
Owatonna goes all out for Halloween with spooky events for the family to enjoy! Get in the spirit and take part in the ghoulish festivities.
Pick-up sweet treats from local businesses at Downtown Trick-or-Treating event. This event is a safe and fun way for your little ghouls and goblins to dress up at this annual spooktacular trick-or-treat event! You’ll also be able to enjoy a crisp fall afternoon with your family partaking in a favorite fall past time… A Haunting We Will Go! Ghosts and goblins of all ages dress up in their costumes and head out to this trick-or-treat at the Village of Yesteryear. This is a great way to enjoy a fun outing with family and friends in a unique and beautiful historic setting. Check out the multiple crafting and games tables available like paint a pumpkin or gourd, create a fun Halloween themed mini piñata or play spooky guessing game.
The fall festivies aren’t all about Halloween, there are events that don’t include candy but will include craft beer and craft decor! The Rustic Mamas’ FALL Market is back and its sure to be a great girls day! This upscale market is where you will find everything from repurposed items, finds from grandma’s attic, unique artists, flea market finds, & oh so much more! Brand new this year is the Oktober Fest under the big top at Mineral Springs Brewery. Come celebrate three days of food trucks, pretzels, beer and live performances.
Fall is probably one of the best times to head out on the trails! These Owatonna leaf-changing hotspots will be the place to be this season, with moderate temperatures and no mosquitoes!
Venture through over 200 acres of deciduous trees dawning their majestic gold and red colors at Kaplan Woods. The multi-use trails are perfect for hiking and biking, and there are even 6 miles of mountain bike trails for those looking to adventure further into the forest. This trail ranges from easy to intermediate, and include hills, dirt terrain, and heavily wooded landscape. You will feel like you escaped the hustle in bustle while being within city limits.
West Hills sits in the heart of Owatonna and engulfs you in seasonal colors. Sit on a park bench with the warmth of your coffee and take in the color AND history that surrounds you. The entire grounds was once the site for the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage, a self-sustaining institution for neglected children in the 19th & 20th centuries. While you’re enjoying the fall colors, stop by the Orphanage Museum and glimpse into the lives of the children who once called these grounds home. With lots of different trails, a playground, riverside scenery, mineral-rich spring water, and an 18-hole Disc Golf Course, you will never want to leave. You might even see a deer or two prancing through the park. It will feel like you stepped into a postcard!
Warm Fall Flavors
Comfort food has made its rightful place in the fall. In Minnesota, we take our hot dishes, pies, and candy seriously… Owatonna is no exception. We are glad oversized sweatshirts are still in style this Autumn, try these restaurants and candy stores for the best Fall Flavors.
If you imagine fall, there is going to be a warm, buttery, crisp pie sitting on a table, right? The Kernel Restaurant offers delicious comfort food including their homemade pies of all flavors. After biting into one of their pies you will feel like you are back at grandmas. Visit the hometown diner, The Kitchen, where you can sit at the bar with your cup of joe, a slice of pie and converse with one of the locals. You will feel right at home with one of Linda’s homecooked meals this autumn!
During fall you normally fly though candy bags like no one’s business! But before you put another snickers in your mouth, stop by Costa’s Candies and let their chocolate take you out of this world! Indulge in hand-dipped candies, caramels, and truffles all season long. Plus all their candy is Gluten Free! If you need to warm up before you hit the trails, Old Town Bagel has some of the best homemade soups in town.
It doesn’t feel like fall until you’ve had a caramel apple from Russel Stover’s! Yes, there is a Russel Stover’s store in Minnesota, and we hog all the goodies here in Owatonna. Just seconds off I-35, lies gourmet caramel apples from the classic caramel to varieties with chocolate drizzle and peanuts, handmade fudge, and exclusive flavor boxes. This is a must on your next trip through Owatonna!
Central Park Coffee in Dowtown is known for their waffles and brand new this fall, they’re celebrating with a pumpkin pie dessert topping! Add it to a cinnamon rolls, waffle or a hot beverage for a delicious twist.
Cozy Fall Boutiques
Everyone tries to get a head start on holiday shopping every year; with Labor Day, Black Friday and Shop Local sales it’s hard to avoid it. Take a weekend with your besties to find the unique and charming stylings of Owatonna’s local boutiques.
Make sure to match your house, office or wardrobe with the weather outside. Urban Loft and Sterling Home Downtown has crisp, trendy home décor and clothing so let your fall inspiration take flight! Graif Clothing and Hidden Rose are two new boutiques downtown and have the perfect outfit for a casual lunch date or a fancy dinner party.
Ask a Local
“I love raising my kids here for many reasons, but one of which is the awesome community. From the festivals to holiday parades, Owatonna is always offering some sort of nostalgic ‘days of yore’ type of activity that are enhancing to the imagination and encouraging their creativity.”