Fall, to me, is the return of football, bonfires, tall boots and cozy scarves, a kaleidoscope of changing leaves, apples (Honeycrisp, preferably), and Halloween. And then, in November, there’s a long stretch of boring weekends while we wait for Thanksgiving, when we count our blessings and eat too much pumpkin pie.
That is, there was a long stretch of boring weekends—until the Minnesota Monthly Slice of the Twin Cities event was introduced in the local market. Now on November 5, after the novelty of pumpkin spice lattes has worn off and Halloween has come and gone, you’ll have something fun to look forward to, whether you’re searching for a family-friendly event (aka: a way for the kids to burn off some energy) or planning a unique outing with a date or a handful of pals. There will be more than 10 local pizzerias serving up slices of everything from wood-fired to Neapolitan, classic American to Chicago-style pizza (and more) while competing for the honor of being named the “2017 Pizza Champion” (judged by local celebrity food bloggers/media personalities Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers), wine and beer, charcuterie and dessert samples, live music, kids’ activities, and a bonfire at Minnetonka Orchards in Minnetrista. Last year was the first year of this event, and I whole-heartedly recommend it to everyone.
Living in the northern ‘burbs, and having previously lived in the eastern ‘burbs, I can honestly say that an orchard in Minnetrista wasn’t on my radar prior to this event. I feel like we’ve been missing out.
It’s a beautiful, scenic piece of property—it feels like being out in the country—with a hay mountain for the kids to climb, a maze to explore, a large playground and sandbox to play on/in, and hayrides (last year my then-6-year-old sat with an orchard employee and actually drove the tractor, cool-as-a-cucumber, while we sat in back praying he would stay on the trail. When we later took his photo, his expression was all, ‘I’m in first grade and driving a tractor. No bigs.’) ((He was secretly thrilled to have the opportunity and talked about it on the ride home, after he asked if he could drive our car. Um, no. Hit us up in another 10 years.))
As if that isn’t enough to keep the little ones busy, Kinderberry Hill is also sponsoring a Kid Zone featuring pumpkin bowling and other fun activities (this was another highlight for my boys last year).
Attendees will have free reign of the orchard, as it will only be open to Slice ticket-holders, entertainers, and exhibitors—with the main hub being a tented area beyond the pizza plaza featuring live music, wine and beer, food and dessert samples, and a large bonfire/gathering area right outside. (You can bring your wine and pizza out by the bonfire and still hear the live music.) *Hint: If you know anyone shopping for a wedding venue, this place is really cool! Check it out during Slice!
This isn’t just another pizza party, it’s a pizza experience … and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in November. P.S. The Vikings don’t play November 5, so no “gotta watch the game” excuses.
Tickets are $25 in advance for those 21 and over here or $30 at the door. Tickets for those 11-20 are $10. Kids 10 and under are free. Slice of the Twin Cities is from 1-5 p.m. November 5, rain or shine. Minnetonka Orchards, 6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista.
Congratulations to Minnesota Monthly reader Katherine, who won four tickets to Slice of the Twin Cities!