Ah tis’ the season of cooler temperatures, the changing colors of leaves, and the takeover of pumpkin spice everything. We all know what fall means, I won’t get too deep into it. Last year, I did a full-fall experience with a Minnesota Fall Bucket List – feel free to give it a read for more ideas. This year, we wanted to branch out and try new things and new places. And when I say we, I mean my favorite local adventuring pal (especially in the fall season), Nayda, or healthywholebeautiful.
Dim Sum at Mandarin Kitchen
Dim Sum. One of my favorite culinary experiences. It’s a Cantonese tradition for breakfast or lunch, where you share lots of little plates of steamed dumplings and other Cantonese dishes. I’ve had it in Hong Kong and it was so good, even when I was by myself. Sharing it with friends, however, is much better, and we did just that at Mandarin Kitchen in Bloomington. Some of my favorite items for Dim Sum are Lo Mai Gai, pork buns, and Shu Mai, but truly I love everything on a dim sum menu.
Hot Soups for Cold Days
I love summer, it’s my favorite season by a long shot. That being said, I do love the foods that accompany the cooler weather and transition from long, sunny days to early sunsets and dark dinners in the cold. SOUP SZN LADIES!
Go out for pho, (Pho 79 in Minneapolis is one of my favorites, but there are so many great Vietnamese places to choose from) cook soup at home, try ramen, or one of my favorites, get Khao Poon, a Hmong curry noodle soup. You can get this from Hmong Village or Hmongtown Marketplace, or Union Kitchen.
Visit to the Pumpkin Patch + UMN Apple House
Instead of trekking out to Apple Jack Orchards again, we opted for a quicker “express” version of apple picking – visiting the University of Minnesota Apple House which is located at the Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota. Here you don’t pick your own apples right off the tree, but they have a huge selection of different apples available as well as apple products and cute Minnesota gifts. It’s a great stop to get ahead on Christmas shopping and pick up loads of different types of apples for cooking with or just enjoying. There is also a small pumpkin “patch” of arranged pre-picked pumpkins if you need to get decorations for Halloween.
The real draw for us to come here instead of a traditional orchard was North Star Donuts. This apple cider donut food truck is a MUST try in the fall season in Minnesota. Get a hot cider and a bag of fresh, hot cider donuts to immerse yourself in autumn flavors.
Spend a Day at a Farm
Ok this might not be the most realistic bucket list item for everyone because it requires knowing someone who has a farm, but we were lucky enough to get an invite for an evening up in Princeton, Minnesota at our landlords new farm! They moved here in May and it was so incredible to see the property and play with baby goats!
Weekend up on the North Shore
I detailed my trip to Madeline Island in another post. It was an amazing weekend and made me realize how crucial it is to get up north during the fall in Minnesota. If you do one thing on this list – take a weekend day in mid to late September to drive up north and marvel at the changing colors. Better – take a weekend vacation up north and enjoy hiking. The views of bright red, orange, and yellow leaves against a blue sky and lake are truly stunning.
High Tea at the Lynhall
I am SO GLAD we got to experience this before another shutdown hit Minnesota’s bars and restaurants. This afternoon tea is available from 3pm-5pm at The Lynhall Friday-Sunday (hoping they will continue it after COVID restrictions are lifted) and it costs $55/person. It’s awesome – they have lovely tea options and arrangements of a mix of savory and sweet treats.
And those are the highlights of my Fall 2020, trying to experience the most of life even amidst a pandemic. I hope it was helpful for any readers in Minneapolis looking for something to do. Even when you can’t travel, you can still have fun!