Top things to do in the fall in owatonna
Top things to do in the fall in owatonna
Owatonna is a hidden gem in south central Minnesota, where world-renowned architecture fills a recently designated National Register Historic District in the downtown. As temperatures grow cooler, you can wander streets full of classic, beautifully constructed and maintained buildings, erected from the 1870s to the late 1950s, while taking a self-guided Historic Walking Tour. Pick up a brochure at the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.
Fiery foliage turns Owatonna into a beautiful fall destination, whether you explore Kaplan’s Woods, a hardwood nature preserve near the city’s southern border, or Central Park—a beautiful focal point of the downtown district. The park lies near multiple local restaurants as well as book or bike shops, and much more.
It’s the home for the Owatonna Farmers’ Market, too, where seasonal produce abounds on Saturdays through the end of October. You can pick up farm-fresh squash and pumpkins or buy hardy fall flowers and houseplants, but also indulge in homemade arts and crafts as well.
Hunting for deals
Over Deer Opener weekend visitors flock to Owatonna – but for a different kind of hunting. The Hunt is On is an event when shoppers can get a jump start on purchasing holiday gifts. This year’s event takes place November 3-4.
This will be the third year of this popular Owatonna event. “It’s opening hunting weekend and there were [previously] all of these craft sales going on and we started having a little sale,” says Kristi Larson, owner of Kristi’s Clothing Boutique. There has historically been about 12 craft and artisan sales in Owatonna over the weekend. The Hunt is On encourages people to explore the craft sales, but also take advantage of specials at many businesses in town. “Most of the businesses are downtown, including flower, gift and shoe shops,” explains Kristi.
During this fun weekend event, jewelry, scarves, stained glass and homemade baked goods are only a few of the many items available. Visit the Pastimes Fine Arts and Crafts Show, as well as Owatonna Hospital, Steele County History Museum and other community organizations for a wide selection of gift ideas. For details see our calendar of events.
…and more deals
Cabela’s World Famous Outfitters becomes a shopper and hunter’s haven each fall. Located just off of I-35, and south of the Twin Cities, the 150,000-sq.-ft. retail showroom is packed with outdoor equipment. In addition, experienced Outfitters are dedicated to helping you get the most out of your next outdoor adventure.
Some of the items you can find at Cabela’s include the right footwear to accommodate individual hunting conditions, knives, archery equipment and more. “There’s something for everybody in every department,” says Kris Kappes, marketing specialist. “In the next month or two, we’ll have a lot of manufacturer vendors in the store as well.”
Kappes has noticed some recent shifts in local hunter demographics. “I’ve been here 19 years, since the store opened, and in that time frame I have seen women and youth increase, in general, probably within the last two years.”
Check out the Deer Hunting Classic on September 30th and October 1st or Big Buck Days over October 28th and 29th where you can get your last minute hunting gear in preparation for opening weekend, while learning new tips and tricks.
the links and trails
Take a break from shopping and go for a walk or bike ride on one of Owatonna’s many trails. Owatonna has a major interconnected city trail system that winds through picturesque parks all over town, providing the perfect chance to see fall colors.
If you love golf, you’ll enjoy playing the popular Brooktree Golf Course, a regulation 18-hole, par 71 course encompassing more than 6,400 yards. You don’t have to love golf to spend time at Brooktree. It is also a great place to grab a beer while cuddled up beside the cozy patio fire pit.
Hunting for great food and drink at Owatonna restaurants is another favorite fall activity. Explore many of the new restaurants that have opened recently, including the Black Sheep Burgers & Brews which specializes in gourmet burgers and a wide variety of craft beers. Love freshly baked pies? Order a slice of Rasp-Chocolate Cream Cheese or Sour Cream Raisin at the family-owned Kernel Restaurant, which has served breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1981.
More than half a dozen Owatonna restaurants feature Mexican fare, and you’ll also find locally owned Asian restaurants. Savor homemade burgers and pizza with a side of bowling at Spare Time Entertainment, or fresh brewed coffee and baked goods at Central Park Coffee while you do some shopping downtown. There are plenty of sweet treats available too, from fresh fudge to handmade chocolates.