September is officially here—kids either just went back to school or are going after this weekend, Target has Halloween decorations out, and the temperature can swing from 50 to 90 degrees in the same day—it’s time to soak up what’s left of summer. You could brave the traffic and squeeze in one last trip to the cabin, or you could stay closer to home and visit some of these places before they close for another season.
Minnesota State Fair: Are you truly Minnesotan if you don’t attend “The Great Minnesota Get-Together?” If you haven’t made the trip to one of the seven best state fairs in America, this is your last chance. This year’s fair offers the most ever State Fair foods. So why not spend your last weekend of summer indulging on classic summer treats with a twist, such as a caramel chocolate-dipped bacon ice cream bar or BBQ pickle ice cream? Lynyrd Skynyrd and Collective Soul perform at the Grandstand September 3, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor is the September 4 entertainment, the Avett Brothers with Preservation Hall Jazz Band are on September 5, the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest Finals will take place September 6 (free!), and country legends Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson perform the evening of Labor Day, September 7.
Minnesota Zoo Music in the Zoo Concert: Just like it’s your last chance to visit the State Fair, this weekend is your last chance to see a show in the outdoor ampitheater. Robert Randolph and the Family Band, with the Ben Miller Band, will perform at 7:30 September 3. Doors open at 7, but your concert ticket gets you into the Zoo starting at 4 p.m., so you can also check out the animals.
Valleyfair: Whether you’re into thrill rides or more easy-paced family rides, there is something for everyone in your group at Valleyfair. Labor Day weekend is a great chance to take advantage of the warmer weather, while it’s still here. This is the last weekend before the Soak City Waterpark closes for the season as well.
Minnesota Renaissance Festival: Passport to Adventure is the theme of the festival for Labor Day weekend. Visit the Renaissance Festival’s International Bazaar in search of unique treasures and immerse yourself in culture. Or channel your competitive side by signing up for the Tattoo Competition, Bocce Ball Tournament, or Spaghetti Eating and Steampunk Costume Contest. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for various pirate activities, which are guaranteed to be running all day.