Summer's oppressive heat has given way to fall days, accented with colorful leaves and harvests of crunchy, sweet apples. The temps maybe be coming down quickly, but there's still time for you and the kids to test your mettle in a themed corn maze, take a flying leap into a corn pit, go for a hayride and taste the delights of our shoulder season. Twin Cities orchards are now open with varieties of apples for picking, pumpkins for carving and special weekend and MEA festivities.
Here's a sampling of where to get lost in a straw bale maze, pick fresh fall fruit (and some veggies), pet a goat, maybe even enjoy some live music and down a hard cider or two.
Aamodts Apple Farm: The orchard celebrates its 75th anniversary season with apple picking and special fall activities — wagon rides, goat petting and food and drinks — on weekends.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
Admission: Free, except for some $5 weekend activities
Where: 6428 Manning Av., Stillwater
More info: aamodtsapplefarm.com
Afton Apple: This year's corn maze theme, "No Prob-Llama — We Goat This," opens Sept. 24. In addition to the 15-acre maze, weekends offer a straw mound, barnyard animals, giant swing and more.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; corn maze 4-10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays and 4-10 p.m. Oct. 21
Admission: $5-$7; corn maze admission $10-$12
Where: 14421 90th St. S., Hastings
More information: aftonapple.com
Applewood Orchard: A healthy offering of apples, pumpkins and local honey, maple syrup, jams and jellies. Weekend attractions include wagon rides, Little Farmville and more.
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31
Where: 22702 Hamburg Av., Lakeville
More information: applewoodorchard.net
Country Sun Farm and Greenhouse: Gem mining, Silly String zone, corn pit and hayrides accompany a corn maze.
Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 9 am.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Where: 11211 60th St. N., Lake Elmo
More information: countrysunfarm.com
Ferguson's Minnesota Harvest: Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins and walk through the corn maze. Also, a variety of activities in the Apple Blossom park (including a pumpkin jumping pad and corn pit) and farm market with pastries and handcrafted local foods.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
Where: 8251 Old Hwy. 169, Jordan
More information: fergusonsorchard.com
Fresh Acres Farm: The fall festival hosts corn mazes, inflatables, petting zoo, pumpkin patch and more.
Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 19-20 through Oct. 29
More information: freshacresmn.com
Harvestober Fest: OMNI Brewing Co. partners with Maple Grove for local craft and food vendors, live music and seasonal fun.
Hours: 1-8 p.m. Oct. 7.
More information: maplegrovemn.gov
Holz Farm Harvest Festival: Usher in fall at a farm that is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.
Where: 4665 Manor Drive, Eagan
More information: cityofeagan.com/holzfarm
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: The annual Scarecrows in the Gardens is an autumnal display made by the staff of the arb, Bachman's staff and community members. Vote on your favorite.
Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31
Admission: $15, online advance tickets required
Where: 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska
More information: arb.umn.edu
Minnetonka Orchards: Weekdays yield fresh fruits and local goods at the U-pick orchard and retail barn. Weekend activities include hayrides, playgrounds, a giant sandbox and animal barn. The orchard also hosts Boo Bash on Oct. 29 with trick or treating and games.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
Admission: Free Mon.-Fri.; $10 Sat.-Sun.
More information: minnetonkaorchardmn.com
Pine Tree Apple Orchard: Pick your own seasonal fruits, wind through the corn maze and partake in weekend entertainment. Hours vary through Oct. 22, see website for details.
More information: pinetreeappleorchard.com
ROCtoberfest: A Bavarian-themed festival with beer games and challenges, food trucks and polka.
Hours: 5-9 p.m. Sat.
More information: discoverstlouispark.com
Severs Fall Festival: Take the maze challenge in the robot-theme field with chance to win $500. Wear the kids out with a day of giant slides, obstacle courses, pumpkin blasters and more.
Hours: 10 a.m-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29, plus Oct. 19-20
Where: 3121 150th St. W., Shakopee
More information: seversfestivals.com
Stillwater Harvest Fest: Pumpkins are at the center of this weekend with a giant pumpkin weigh-off, a pumpkin drop and a pumpkin regatta. Throughout the two days there are kids' activities, bingo, pie eating contest, inflatables and food trucks.
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 14; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 15
Where: 101 Water St. S., Stillwater
More information: harvestfeststillwater.com
Twin Cities Harvest Festival: Billing itself as Minnesota's largest corn maze, this year's theme is the St. Paul Saints. There's also a straw bale maze, corn pit, petting zoo and a car show.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29, plus Oct. 19-20
Admission: Free, activity area $13
More information: twincitiesmaze.com
Twin Cities Oktoberfest: The 13th annual festival celebrates all things German but local — beer, cider, food, dancing and music — on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Hours: 5-11 p.m. Oct. 6, noon-10 p.m. Oct. 7
Admission: Free, wristbands for drinkers $10
More information: tcoktoberfest.com
Waldoch Farm: Seasonal attractions include sunflower walk, corn maze, pumpkin patch and more.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Oct. 30
Where: 8174 Lake Drive, Lino Lakes
More information: waldochfarm.com