Top Things to Do During the Fall in Edina
As leaves start to fade into brilliant shades of gold, orange and red, Edina, Minnesota, transforms into an even more stunning city during the fall season. With the added perks of daytime temperatures hovering around 75 to 78 degrees, it’s no wonder the area brims with outdoor activities. From annual festivals to leisurely shopping trips, here are some terrific ways to celebrate fall in Edina.
Fall into Fun
The 50th & France charming downtown neighborhood hosts several seasonal events, including September’s annual Open Streets on 50th on Sept 23. You’ll be able to walk, bike and dance to live music along traffic-free blocks, and enjoy crafts, games, yoga and more from participating stores, civic and artistic groups. The event also has safe bicycling tips for kids, and dogs are welcome too.
Another fall favorite is the neighborhood’s Pumpkin Fest on Oct. 27. This event has perfect family-friendly activities for youngsters 12 and under like trick or treating at area businesses, getting their faces painted for free, going on a cake walk and more.
Edina Fall into the Arts Festival draws approximately 20,000 visitors to Centennial Lakes Park each September. From Sept. 8-9, this free event hosts more than 250 artists from across the nation, including artists from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota, with food and beverages available, too.
“We had one artist who said [he] thought this was probably the most beautiful location for a festival in the country,” says Michael Frey, the Festival’s executive director and director of the Edina Art Center. “We have about 150 booths along the lakefront and another 100 booths in our upper parking terrace. We’re geared toward the artists and patrons that really want to purchase the art.”
Twenty-four lush acres surround a 10-acre lake at Centennial Lakes Park. With pedestrian and bicycle paths, the Edina Promenade greenway connects the park to retail, residential and recreational sites, too. Slated to encompass 15.3 miles of pedestrian and bicycle trails, Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail will traverse wetlands and woodlands throughout Edina. Nearly five miles of trail, in Richfield and Hopkins, are already finished.
Come fall, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at the University of Minnesota in Chaska becomes a blazing kaleidoscope of colors. Explore the gardens on foot or by tram, or join a class to learn about seasonal changes at this peaceful oasis.
In Minnehaha Regional Park, the 53-foot Minnehaha Falls draws more than 850,000 visitors annually, with limestone bluffs and river overlooks surrounding this breathtaking water feature. Don’t miss the pergola garden with native trees, woodlands and prairie plants. Outdoor enthusiasts will also enjoy the 22-mile Minnehaha Creek and the additional local rivers and lakes that are perfect for kayaking.
Seasonal Food and Drink
Edina restaurants feature many autumn-inspired dishes, from Beaujo’s Wine Bar & Bistro, where delicacies like three sisters corn and black bean and squash pizza are favorites among locals. Or swing by Crave for comforting butternut squash soup, the perfect bowl to warm you up in this crisp fall weather. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want your fix of seasonal sweets at Cocoa & Fig, where an impressive display of baked goods like apple streusel pie and pumpkin cake are waiting for you. You can’t go wrong with pumpkin doughnuts or freshly baked pecan pies at Wuollet Bakery either. Give your relatives something to be thankful for once you show up to their doorstep on Thanksgiving with a pie or two.
Arezzo Ristorante, in the 50th & France neighborhood, has served authentic Italian cuisine and brick oven pizza for 15 years. “We try to bring a little piece of Italy here,” says Christina Monesterio, general manager. “There’s a mural that’s directly from one of the [Arezzo] monasteries and we have arches, too.”
“We use a lot of our local [food] merchants here, and the chef considers what is available for the season, keeping in mind ingredients from different areas of Italy. We never offer caprese salad without Farmer Bob’s fresh tomatoes. [In the fall] customers call and ask for our pumpkin ravioli with butter sage sauce, too.”
“Food and beverage options in Edina convey casual elegance provided by locally owned businesses, striving to deliver excellence to food lovers,” says Angela Johnson, editor of Edina Magazine. “There are many unique options to suit any appetite at a variety of price points.”
Johnson especially loves Edina’s happy hours. “It’s the time of day to unwind with friends and share a few appetizers like grilled flatbreads, sweet potato fries or sliders at one of Edina’s great patios—for as long as the weather holds out,” she said. “Plus, all the great specialty brews available on tap at many Edina restaurants make fall an exciting time to celebrate.”
Back to School Shopping
Trendy fall fashions fill many locally owned shops in the 50th & France neighborhood. With convenient parking along the blocks, Edina has plenty of stores like Bluebird Boutique that specializes in high-end denim, or shop at Equation for stylish fall and winter wear. Find the perfect pair of fall boots at Luya on France, which has hand crafted shoes from around the world and unique accessories that make fantastic gifts to get your early holiday shopping out of the way.
Don’t miss shopping at Edina’s Southdale Center, which has more than 120 stores including Coach, Madewell and Macy’s, along with a range of cuisines including Asian, Mexican and classic American fare. This fall, find exceptional back to school sales and a variety of events such as Mall-O-Ween, a not-so-scary trick or treating event for the little ones. On Halloween day, families can collect their treats from participating stores and partake in various activities like face painting and making Halloween crafts.
Visit the upscale Galleria Edina that has more than 70 shops and restaurants from renowned brands such as Kate Spade, Cole Haan and Tiffany & Co.. The mall is known for carrying items from bohemian-chic clothing and designer shoes to sporting goods and houseware.
For shoppers, “All aspects of a person’s lifestyle are covered from apparel to accessories to home decor,” says Rachel Oelke, marketing director. “Our breadth and depth of luxury retailers and brands found in one place is unmatched in the market. Our store owners also…can help customize a shopper’s experience.”
Looking to vamp up your home with new decor and furnishings? Luckily, Edina has a wealth of fabulous home stores like Room & Board (Edina boasts the only showroom in the Midwest), West Elm, and Crate and Barrel. Restoration Hardware has plans to build a new four-story destination store located on Southdale Center’s property that will include a café and wine vault. No word on an exact date yet, but this addition will further establish the community as an upscale home furnishing mecca. Another addition, Design Within Reach, is slated to open this fall with a18,000-sq.-ft. space at Galleria Edina, which is undergoing an expansion itself. Galleria Edina currently houses well-known Gabbert’s and The Pottery Barn, and right around the corner are Macy’s Furniture Gallery and Ethan Allen to round out your home shopping needs.
Fall is a perfect time to explore every enticing destination and activity in this area. For more information to inspire your fall itinerary, visit Explore Edina.