Fall Festivals & Events are a Plenty this October

If you ask me, October is the best month of the year. Not too hot, not too cold and a lot less bugs! We get to watch nature change as the many plants and trees turn to vibrant fall colors and watch as the birds start to migrate south for the winter. Football season has begun and pumpkin spice everything is now available. And to top it all off, October holds my favorite holiday of the year…Halloween! So as you start to decorate for fall or Halloween, make sure you mark your calendars for the many fall festivals and events (especially all of the Trunk or Treats and Halloween Parties) taking place in the Willmar Lakes Area this month!

Here are some of the larger events we’d like to highlight this month:
September 30 – October 1 – Kandi Land Farm Opening Weekend
Come celebrate opening weekend at Kandi Land Farm with a variety of activities for the whole family! Activities include a corn maze, barnyard petting area, pumpkin picking, hay slide, hayride, playground, scavenger hunt, bounce house and much more!

October 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, 31 – Wrong Turn Haunted House
Studio 38 is ready for spooky season all month long as they debut their Wrong Turn Haunted House each Friday and Saturday in October. They will also be open Halloween night so you can experience true horror on the most frightfully fun holiday of the year!

October 7-8 – Fall Fun Days and Brisket Feed
Join the fun at Grandpa’s Granary Fall Festival! There will be a hay ride, mini maze, corn pit, bounce house, and more! They will have brisket, burgers, and hotdog meals for purchase. The Grandpa’s Granary meat wagon will be open and there will be some baked goods as well as possibly some other vendors with products.

October 7 – 3rd Annual Atwater Oktoberfest
Don’t miss Atwater’s Oktoberfest event filled with events for the whole family! Activities include a Kids Color Fun Run/Walk, a Kickball Tournament, Teen Laser Tag, Hayrides, Car Show, Craft Vendors, Stein Holding Competition, Lots of Delicious Food & Music, Outdoor Kid’s Movie and a street dance!

October 14 – Promise 5K Bensky’s Race
The Promise 5K is an annual event held in effort to raise funds and awareness for the work of Children of the Promise in Northern Haiti. This year, the 5th Annual Promise 5K will be held at Robbins Island Park in Willmar. In addition to the great outdoors, enjoy a slice of pie at the Pie-K, stick around for prize drawings, and browse Haitian-made artwork. It will be a fun day for all!

October 14 – The Continental Ballet Company Presents “Cinderella”
You’ll want to see this production of “Cinderella”! This performance features CBC’s professional dancers. The dancing, costumes and sets are exquisite and will have fairies, a castle, a ball scene and the quest to find who can fit into the missing shoe! Get your tickets today!

October 15 – Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra
Bring the whole family to this “Mysterious Orchestra” event at the WEAC Auditorium. Come early and investigate with mystery activities for all. There will also be a Concert Detective March just for kids and an instrument petting zoo! You won’t want to miss this!

October 19 – Michael Shynes and Chris Kroeze Concert
Join Platinum Recording Artist Michael Shynes and ‘The Voice’ Season 15 Runner Up Chris Kroeze for a night of songs & laughs at Little Crow Event Center! Click the event name for ticket information.

October 26-31st – Holmstrom Haunt Presents Nursery Rhyme Nightmares
See your favorite nursery rhymes in a new way at this year’s Holmstrom Haunt at its new location: The Land by Model Citizen! Enjoy the outdoor trails, vendors and more! All are welcome but 12 years old and older are recommended for regular haunt nights! There will be a special family day for the younger crowd! More info to come!

October 27 – Great Annual Halloween Haunt
Come out to Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center dressed in your favorite Halloween costume and talk with the creatures of the enchanted trail, play games, decorate a cookie, and climb the indoor wall!

October 27-28 – Hayloft Players Children’s Theatre Presents Rumpelstiltskin, Private Eye
In this witty film noir fairytale spoof, Fairytale Land has been hit by a crime wave. The Three Bears’ home was broken into. The Three Little Pigs’ homes were destroyed. Now Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother is missing. The crimes seem unrelated, at least if you listen to those shady Grimm brothers. But could an evil mastermind be behind them all? Something punny is going on! Only hard-boiled detective Rumpelstiltskin and his wise-cracking partner Ugly Duckling can solve this wacky case. Full of hilarious roles and snappy one-liners, this private eye parody is pure gold! Don’t miss this adorable production with a cast of children grades 1-9!

October 28 – Fall Festival Family Fun Run
Get ready for a spooktacular time at the YMCA’s Fall Festival Family Fun Run! Walk or run 1 mile or a 5K, and don’t forget your festive costume – it’s a family-friendly event, so keep it fun, not scary.

October 28 – Doggy’s Day Out! Wruff or Treat!
Come bring your fury friend out for a Halloween themed party at the Community Center! We will burn off some steam in our obstacle course, test out some easy to make games, and mingle with other pups! After a good play time, we’ll have a snack break to enjoy a tasty treat, while the humans make a game for pups, & end our outing with a relaxing puppy massage with K9-Oasis! There will be a costume contest and other Halloween Themed activities!

October 28 – Freedom Ridge Spooktacular
Join in on the family fun taking place at Freedome Ridge on this Saturday. This free event includes hay rides, bonfire, activities for the kids, fire truck, concessions on site and a trunk or treat event!

October 27-29 – Kandi Acres Halloween Carnival
Enjoy this creepy carnival with a haunted house and laser tag each day. On Saturday, the event gets bigger with games, pumpkin smashing, food, live DJ, silent auction, petting zoo & more! They will have a low scare time and a full scare time for the haunted house. Click on the event title for more details.

October 28 – Lutefisk & Meatball Dinner
Tis’ the season to eat Lutefisk & Meatballs and embrace your Scandinavian Heritage or experience a tradition that is decades old. Faith Lutheran Church of Spicer hosts the first Lutefisk Dinner of the season in the area! Get your tickets ahead of time for a discounted price.

October 29 – Zombie Bicycle Crawl
Join us for the first annual Halloween Zombie Crawl! Dress up as a zombie, grab your bike and meet at Goat Ridge Brewery for a brew. From there you’ll take the Glacial Lakes State Trail and ride to Zorbaz in Spicer for the second stop. Full schedule will be given to you when you arrive at Goat Ridge.

October 31 – Spooky Dungeon at the Pennock Community Center
Check out this haunted basement if you dare! Whether you’re brave enough to explore the Spooky Dungeon or not, stop by for cookies and cider!

And continuing throughout the month of October are Willmar WarHawk Home Games!

More events will be added to our community calendar throughout the month. So for the most udpated listing of events, please see our Events Calendar.

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report