– The First Flight’

The aerial and acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil brings its newest show, inspired by James Cameron’s film “Avatar.” This tale of first flight transports the audience to the world of Pandora with a story of imagination and discovery, and breathtaking scenery.

Sept. 28-Oct. 2. Target Center, 600 1st Av. N., Mpls. $32-$157, axs.com

‘Octonauts Live!’

Families can take their tots on an underwater adventure with Capt. Barnacles and his eight-member crew. This Disney show takes the audience on a quest full of sea-life surprises. Sing along with fan favorites and new songs, while watching the antics of Medic Peso and Lt. Kwazil.

6 p.m. Oct. 24. Northrop, 84 SE. Church St., Mpls. $31-$46, northrop.umn.edu


The Minnesota Zoo takes the fear out of Halloween with fun for all ages. Enjoy the fall color on zoo grounds while getting a close encounter with cute and furry creatures, including bats, tarantulas and tapirs. Participate in hands-on education programs and listen to live music. Gather themed treats and get your face painted.

9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 22-23, 29-30. 13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley. $12-$18, mnzoo.org

Fall = football

In partnership with the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota History Center hosts the traveling exhibit “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” Museum visitors can see the Vince Lombardi Trophy up close as well as memorabilia from Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and others. Opening day features a pep rally and parade with the Vikings cheerleaders, a selfie station, art activities and appearances by former Vikings players.

Sept. 24-Jan. 15. 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. $10-$20, mnhs.org

An apple a day

A walk through an orchard for apple picking is just what the doctor ordered — a little exercise mixed with a little fun. Afton Apple Orchard has a variety of fruits available as well as baked treats such as apple doughnuts and fritters. Try not to get lost in the corn maze — 6 miles of twists and turns, with three levels from beginner to expert explorer.

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun., 4-10 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. Ends Oct. 31. 14421 S. 90th St., Hastings. $7-$9, aftonapple.com

Prairie Sugar Weekend

The autumn harvest yields not only savory foods, but sweet ones as well. Join farmhands on the Oliver Kelley farm as they make prairie sugar, otherwise known as sorghum molasses. Guests will help strip the leaves off the cane and press them through a horse-powered press to extract the juice. After a few more steps, families can taste the end result in gingerbread or molasses candy.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 24-25. 15788 Kelley Farm Rd., Elk River. $6-$9, mnhs.org

Fall Harvest Celebration

Throw on your overalls for some good old-fashioned fun. The Barley Jacks provide toe-tapping tunes, while children enjoy a variety of activities. Take a tour of the historic Dorenkemper House, built in the 1860s and one of the last log homes built in the area.

2-5 p.m. Oct. 1. Riley-Jacques Barn, 9100 Riley Lake Rd., Eden Prairie. Free, edenprairie.org


The friendly amusement park turns dark and mischievous in the autumn months for tricks and treats. During the day, families with young children can enjoy Halloween-themed activities and rides. After the sun sets, tweens, teens and other souls who dare walk among the ghouls and ghosts can explore six scare zones and other attractions.

Oct. 23-30. Valleyfair, Hwy. 101 and Valleyfair Dr., Shakopee. $35, valleyfair.com

Batter up!

The Baseball Hall of Fame Tour is a traveling experience aimed at fans of America’s pastime. The exhibit includes such artifacts as the cap Jackie Robinson wore in the 1955 World Series and the baseball Babe Ruth hit for his 714th home run. Immerse yourself in the “We Are Baseball” experience with five mobile galleries containing nostalgic elements and interactive experiences.

Sept. 18-29. Mall of America, Bloomington. $10-$26, mlb.com/hall-of-fame-tour

Minnesota Transportation Museum

Railroad enthusiasts can learn about the museum’s history at its two locations. St. Paul’s Jackson Street Roundhouse takes visitors on a journey through local and regional railway and bus history. There are 50 historic train cars on site, and short train rides are offered on Saturdays. The Osceola & St. Croix Valley railway offers themed rides, including fall leaf viewing and the Pumpkin Express, which takes families to a pumpkin patch with hay wagon and pump-car rides, face painting and a haunted depot.

Various days and times, trainride.org