20 Fall Things to do in Brainerd Lakes Area

Events, Packages

In fall, schools are back in session, people are back to there regular schedules, and the chaos in the lakes area seems to dwindle slowly. The water-ski boats and tourist seem to diminish gradually, and the autumn colors are vibrant. Although summer is the most beloved season in the area, fall is another very popular season that hasn’t gone unforgotten.

There is still plenty of things to do, and the best part is that there are way fewer people and crowds. Autumn’s crisp air and bright colors inspire many travelers to embrace the outdoors. Make Grand View Lodge your next fall destination getaway. We’ve put together a list of things you can do on the resort and events that are occurring in the area!

1. Autumn Pontoon Cruise

Fall Pontoon Ride

Enjoy the beautiful sights of Gull Lake and take in the fall colors from the changing of the leaves on a pontoon cruise. Pontoon rides are offered daily in August, and on weekends through October. Each pontoon cruise is one hour long and is complementary to your stay at Grand View Lodge.

2. Horse-drawn Wagon Rides

Horse Rides

A relaxing horse-drawn wagon ride through the beautiful property of Grand View Lodge awaits. Rides last 10-15 minutes and you can even take a selfie with the two beautiful Clydesdale horses after your ride. The horse-drawn wagon rides are happening the weekend of our Fall Break and Spooktacular packages.

3. Haunted House/Kids Spook House

Haunted House

Halloween, marking the end of harvest and bringing on the dark half of the year. Spooktacular is an unforgettable experience at Grand View because we transform a cabin or one of our event spaces into a spooky and scary haunted house. Cobwebs, mummies, zombies – a thrilling experience awaits. We also cater to a family-friendly spook house that isn’t as scary.

4. Trick-or-Treating on the Resort | October 26 & November 2

Halloween Costumes

Spooky fun and full of delight, Grand View Lodge hosts a trick-or-treating event for our guests. Dress spooky, like your favorite superhero, movie star, or however you wish – and venture the resort and collect all sorts of sweet treats. We even have a costume contest!

5. Fall Carnival

Fall Carnival

The resort puts on a fun fall carnival for all ages every year during this time. The carnival this year is October 20. Pump up your excitement and get your kids energized for yard games like the gaga pit, corn hole, and nine-squares in the air that guests can enjoy.

6. Fall Golf

Fall Golf

So long are the hot, long days of summer. The brisk fall season is around the corner. This season provides some of the best weather and views for golf. Greens and fairways are rich in color, and the trees are changing their tones to brighten up every turn.

Golf is the best during the fall not only because of the scenery but because of the price drops after September 16. There are many fall golf package available that include different amenities, depending on what you are searching.

7. Grand Brewfest Weekend

Grand Brewfest

It’s back for another year— beer, food, and fun! Grand Brewfest weekend is November 22-24. The kickoff party includes live music by 14 Stories and Fred Savage and the Unbeatables.

Saturday includes classes and seminars throughout the day where you can learn from the brewery masterminds. Saturday evening (and probably the best part of the weekend) is the Grand Tasting. Sample from over 100 beers from approximately 20 breweries and culinary pairings expertly prepared by our chefs at Grand View Lodge. Every year gets bigger and bigger, so book your room now and save the date before it sells out!

Other Area Events

8. Brainerd Zipline Tour

Brainerd Zipline

A thrilling outdoor adventure located nearby, the Brainerd Zipline Tour adds the perfect outdoor experience to your stay. As the leaves begin to change, this fun tour showcases the beautiful scenery that the Brainerd Lakes Area has to offer. Staying at Grand View Lodge? Mention you’re staying with us, and you’ll get a special discount.

9. St. Mathias Corn Maze | September 15-October 28

St. Mathias Corn Maze

Photo Credit: St. Mathias Facebook Page

The Farm on St. Mathias is an 80-acre family farm located a few miles south of Brainerd. Growing food and providing a beautiful event setting, the farm is home to the region’s biggest and most intense corn maze. Recently added was a kid-friendly maze. Fall isn’t the same without cider and a corn maze adventure. Learn more.

10. Roundhouse Oktoberfest | September 19-22

Roundhouse Oktoberfest

Photo Credit: Roundhouse Facebook Page

Roundhouse, a Brainerd brewery is hosting a 4-day Oktoberfest event. Brush off your polka shoes and prepare for the sights, sounds, and tastes of southern Germany in Brainerd. Join them on Thursday to tap the Der Zug at 5 pm. Friday and Saturday feature German-style food and live music. Learn more.

11. Nisswa’s Fall Festival and Smokin’ Hot BBQ | September 21

Nisswa Fall Festival

Photo Credit: Pineandlakes Echo Journal

The 46th annual Nisswa Fall Festival is Saturday, September 21. Start your day with the pancake breakfast, participate in the medallion hunt, and compete in the bean bag tournament. There is multiple activities to enjoy. One of the most significant events is the annual Smokin’ Hot BBQ Challenge. The tantalizing smell of barbecued ribs wafts through town as teams compete in the challenge. After the winner is announced, the public gets its chance to taste the creations. Learn more.

12. Crosslake Days | September 26-28

Crosslake Days

Photo Credit: Pineandlakes Echo Journal

Thousands flock to Crosslake each year to enjoy Crosslake Days. From silent auctions, outdoor movies, and flea market to a bazaar, crafts, and a Chili Cook-off – the celebration offers something for all ages. Learn more.

13. Jacktoberfest | September 28

Jack Pine Jacktoberfest

Photo Credit: Nor-Son Commercial Construction

Jack Pine Brewery, one of our favorite breweries in the area and a local brewer that joins us at Brewfest, is hosting fun fall shenanigans. Polka music will be played during the afternoon, and The District will play in the evening. Learn more.

14. Gull Lake Events Oktoberfest | October 5

Gull Lake Events Oktoberfest

Join Gull Lake area businesses for the 9th Annual Oktoberfest event. Grab your lederhosen and hop on the pub crawl shuttle to six locations around Gull Lake. Included in the event is an exclusive Oktoberfest mug, promos at each establishment, a punch card for 4 oz. Oktoberfest beer samples, and a shuttle to each location. Complete the punch card and be entered to win from multiple prizes. All proceeds benefit Confidence Learning Center, The Soup Kitchen, and the Food Shelf. Learn more.

15. Fall Arts & Craft Festival | October 12
The Brainerd Senior High School hosts a Fall Arts and Craft Festival ever year. Walk around and view quality hand-made items from over 150 artists and crafters. Learn more.

16. Out of Darkness Walk | October 12

Out of Darkness

Photo Credit: Brainerd Dispatch

Help stop suicide. The Out of Darkness Walks raises awareness and fund that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Learn more.

17. Nisswa Christmas Home Tour | October 17-19

Nisswa Christmas Tour

The Nisswa Christmas Home Tour departs from the Nisswa Chamber and takes you around Nisswa to see beautifully decorated homes decorated by Nisswa merchants. The proceeds are donated to the Lakes Area Food Shelf. Tickets are $40. Save the dates October 17-19. Learn more.

18. Northland Arboretum Haunted Trail | October 17-19
Experience haunted thrills and chills as you walk 1.5-mile-high trails in the dark woods of the Northland Arboretum. Special effects, costumes, black lights, games, and more! Learn more.

19. Axetoberfest | October 18-19


Photo Credit: Big Axe Brewing Company Facebook Page

Nisswa’s brewery, Big Axe Brewing Company is hosting their version of Oktoberfest. German-inspired food specials, entertainment, and a new release of their new craft beer. Learn more.

20. Hidden Hollows: Haunted Corn Maze and Haunted House

Hidden Hollows

Photo Credit: Haunted Hidden Hollows Facebook Page

Paul Bunyan Land transforms into the Haunted Hidden Hollows in the fall. Named as central Minnesota’s largest haunted attraction, Hidden Hollows will scare the yell out of you! The venue has a haunted corn maze, haunted house, tractor ride, and even a fear photo booth. Learn more.