1. Defeat of Jesse James Days
Through September 9
Northfield’s annual Defeat of Jesse James Days is a wild and wooly community festival that recreates one of the most dramatic episodes of the Old (Mid)West—the Great Northfield Bank Raid of 1876. Horses thunder down the historic main street and bullets fly during the many authentic bank raid re-enactments that tell this amazing story. It is street theater at its best. In addition, the celebration features a professional rodeo, the Northfield Arts Guild Riverfront Fine Art Festival, car shows, parades, great music, great food, and plenty of activities for the family. Learn more.
2. James J. Hill Days
Free festival with a cost for beer bash concerts
Wayzata celebrates community tradition with the 43rd annual James J. Hill Days. Family-friendly activities all weekend long include a beach bash, carnival, street market, fireworks, beer gardens, live music, water-ski show, dachshund races, kids zone, food trucks, coaster cart races, classic car show, parade, and much more. Catch the Friday-night Beach Bash Concert—Johnny Lang, $40; with Toby Keith, $75, Saturday night. Learn more.
3. St. Paul Classic Bike Tour
Begins at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul
September 9, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Adult, $50; student, $20; youth, $12
Discover traffic-free glee on Minnesota’s biggest bike tour—the 24th annual St. Paul Classic Bike Tour. Enjoy 15-, 32-, or 47-mile routes featuring great rest stops, ride support, delicious food and beverages, and live music. Learn more.
4. O.A.R. with Special Guest Matt Nathanson
Mystic Amphitheater in Prior Lake
September 7, starting at 6:30 p.m.
5. Grape Stomp Festival
Saint Croix Vineyards in Stillwater
September 8-9, Noon to 5 p.m.
Enjoy stomping grapes the old-fashioned way with grape stomping competitions at noon, 2, and 4 p.m.; free tours at 1 and 3 p.m.; live music from noon to 5 p.m. Everyone will get a chance to stomp grapes between competitions. Enjoy a day of wine, grapes, music, and food. Free vineyard and winery tours take place at 1 and 3 p.m. each day (no pre-registration required). There’s live music from 12:30 to 4 p.m. each day—featuring the soulful sound of the Twin Cities’ own Funktion Junction. Wine sampling offered for $6 a person in the tasting room from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Learn more.
6. Sever’s Fall Festival
Sever’s Corn Maze in Shakopee
Runs Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 28
Since 1997, thousands have enjoyed the corn mazes at Sever’s, built by the family. Learn more.
7. Taste of Greece Festival
St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis
Taste of Greece will feature authentic Greek food and handmade Greek desserts, including gluten-free options. The Levendes and the Chris Kalogerson Band provides live Greek music while the St. Mary’s Hellenic Dance Troupe performs folk dances. Check out the church tours or browse the Greek Boutique. Send your kids over to the inflatables and don’t forget to check out the Courtyard Café—with wine tastings and mezes (Greek snacks). The sunsets are spectacular. Learn more.