Home #WHERETONEXT USA North Dakota Beckons with Fun and Frights this Pumpkin Season

North Dakota Beckons with Fun and Frights this Pumpkin Season

In North Dakota, shades of fiery red, vibrant orange and golden yellow leaves are beginning to pop up all over the state heralding a fall full of family-friendly delights and spooky experiences. Dotted across the colorful landscape are charming communities and farms that host the season with spectacular festivals and events.

Visitors will delight in celebrations that highlight the harvest season with picturesque barns, pumpkin patches, and more. North Dakota Tourism welcomes those planning a trip to the state with the Fall Adventures Guide bursting with highlights on the fall foliage map and details for upcoming events. A few of this year’s fall events and activities highlights are below. 

Norsk Høstfest, Minot (Sept. 27-30) 
Norsk Høstfest, the largest four-day celebration of Scandinavian culture in the United States, is held at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot. The festival, now entering its 44th year, features world-class entertainment, authentic Scandinavian cuisine, handcrafted Norsk merchandise, and much more. This year’s Great Hall lineup includes Million Dollar Quartet, Daniel O’Donnell, The Oak Ridge Boys, Terry Fator, Daughtry and Brothers Osborne.

Giant Pumpkinfest, Walhalla (Sept. 30)
Nestled along the Pembina Gorge in northern North Dakota, Walhalla is surrounded by thousands of acres of unspoiled wilderness and trails that turn into a sea of autumnal colors in the fall. To accompany the changing colors, the town is hosting its 19th Annual Pumpkinfest, a free celebration of all things fall featuring enormous pumpkins, proudly displayed by local growers who have dedicated their time and effort to cultivate these colossal wonders. The event also has various activities, contests and live music throughout the day.

35th Annual Fargo Fall Big One Art & Craft Fair Fargo (October 13-14)
The Annual Fargo Fall Show, with more than 300 booths of handmade home goods, furniture, candles, jewelry, framed art, and plenty of fun fall décor, will be held at the FARGODOME in October. The shopping is not to be missed and come hungry – the baked goods and flavorful foods will tempt your tastebuds!

Papa’s Pumpkin Patch, Bismarck (Through Oct. 21)
Celebrating its 40th year, Papa’s Pumpkin Patch is a seasonal attraction not to miss in Bismarck. Every year, Papa’s grows up to 30,000 pumpkins, gourds, decorative corn and harvest items making it the place to find the perfect seasonal finds. In addition to produce, more than 25 activities and concessions are available. From zip lines and hayrides to corn cribs, there is something for people of all ages to enjoy.

Haunted Fort, Mandan (Fridays/Saturdays in Oct. with a children’s event on Oct. 22)
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, the oldest state park in North Dakota, has long been thought of as one of the most haunted places in the state. More specifically, The Custer House, where Lt. Col. George Custer lived and the 7th Cavalry rode out for the ill-fated expedition at Little Big Horn in the 1800s, is known for its various bouts of paranormal activities. Every October the fort is transformed into the Haunted Fort, a downright frightening experience full of phantoms, evil spirits, and other beings chronicling the fort’s history and paranormal sightings.

International Peace Garden, Dunseith (open year-round)
There’s no better place to immerse yourself in the changing of a season than the International Peace Garden. Nestled in the vibrant Turtle Mountains, the Peace Garden’s landscapes of rusty reds, brilliant oranges and splendid yellows lend a stunning backdrop for exploring the vast network of hiking and biking trails that connect 2,400 acres of pristine prairie and wilderness.