Updated: Oct 3
Hey gang! I hope you enjoyed your summer because it’s pretty much over. We might still see some nice weather for various outdoor activities, but you’re not going to sunbathe in your backyard or the beach.
But soon the really cold stuff will show up, so grab the kids (if you’ve got 'em) and get in the car and go. We’re still dealing with COVID-19, and it looks like we might be for a while yet, so take advantage of the nice weather and the ice-free roads while you can.
For many of us, our kids started the school year doing online learning at home. At the very least, they stay home with their tablets or laptops three times a week and show up at the school twice a week, ready to social distance with a mask or face covering most likely coordinating with their outfit.
Kids adapt to almost anything. But this COVID thing represents a heck of a challenge for adults and children of all ages. Thankfully, autumn in Minnesota brings us plenty of enjoyable family-friendly activities to help us all from going stir-crazy:
Minnesota orchards remain open. Afton Apple Orchard, now in its 32nd year, may not offer festivals and hayrides during COVID, but you can still pick apples and feel safe while doing it. Make sure you bring your masks and know that you need to social distance.
The staff practices vigilance when it comes to cleanliness, and they also use Plexiglas at the registers.
Halloween happens at the end of the month. Trick or Treating might look a lot different. Still, Anoka, Minnesota, (which happens to hold the title of The Halloween Capital of the world) offers plenty of fun activities during October. They've scheduled a couple of social distancing movie nights, a coloring contest, drive-in bingo, and a model clay haunted house event.
Parks remain open, and in some communities, football and soccer leagues provide kids physical activity and a chance for some in-person socialization.
Fun Stuff for Adults:
If you don’t happen to have kids or you’re lucky enough to secure a babysitter, you might want to get out and enjoy some grown-up fun. Crowded bars, theaters, concerts, and dance floors don’t make much sense right now, but there are still things you can do by car, outdoors, or in relatively open indoor areas:
Take a relaxing drive just to see the beautiful leaves. At this time of year, you’ll need to head south. You will still see some brilliant colors south of the Twin Cities and if you want to plan for next year, check out this link.
Many breweries struggle with the pandemic problem, but some remain open and could use your support. We’ve mentioned lots of these breweries in our ‘spotlight’ sections, but a couple of suggestions that practice excellent safety precautions include10K in Anoka and 612 in Northeast Minneapolis. The 612 occupies part of the beautiful, historic Broadway Building, and they feature food trucks and music on Saturdays.
We also like to suggest wineries for some enjoyable adult time. Again, Minnesota and Wisconsin offer plenty to choose from, but why not take a trip to Minnesota’s oldest winery, Alexis Bailey, Founded in 1973, Alexis Bailey continues to win awards for their wines. These days, they only open their doors Friday through Sunday, but they also offer outdoor jazz on Sundays.
Spotlight on Ham Lake:
Ham Lake and her approximately 16,000 residents nestle in the vicinity of Andover, Blaine, and Coon Rapids. First settled by Scottish immigrants in 1855, a fire ravaged the township soon after its initial settlement until the Norwegians resettled it in 1866.
What to do:
The name of this municipality, of course, derives from a beautiful ham-shaped lake. Ham Lake boasts plenty of natural beauty but, also boasts a relatively new winery. Willow Tree Vineyard in Ham Lake deserves a visit. As the new kid on the block, Willow Tree Winery can’t wait for you to visit. Of course, they offer wine tastings but also possess venues for weddings, graduations and other parties. Though the inside provides a lot of social distancing options, many beautiful outdoor areas also exist.
Right in Ham Lake, you will find an impressive park system, and nearby communities offer just about any form of entertainment you could want.
Where to eat and drink:
If you’re looking to dine right in Ham Lake, try out Maxx Bar and Grill. It’s a great place to watch sports, listen to music, or just enjoy some tap beers and delicious comfort food.
And don’t forget about Majestic Oaks Golf Club. In addition to a great golf course, you’ve got musical entertainment and fabulous food.
Whether you’re driving out to see the leaves, taking the kids apple picking, enjoying a wine tasting or a beer flight, or checking out the Town of Ham Lake, we want you to travel in style.
If your vehicle still displays hail damage or other dents and dings, we can help with that. We’ll work with your insurance company and take every safety precaution regarding COVID-19.
Thanks again everyone! We appreciate your business. Give me a call here for an estimate or any questions.