Bismarck, N.D.

Plenty of fun fall festivities will draw families to Papa’s Pumpkin Path starting today and continuing through Oct. 20. Dozens of activities will be offered from noon-7 p.m. daily with some being offered only on Thursday evening and weekends. The festival’s most popular attraction is the straw bale mazes. Of course, attendees will find plenty of pumpkins and also a corn maze. For a small fee ($1-$4) you can enjoy horse-drawn hayrides, pony rides, ziplines, a barrel train ride, an obstacle course and more (­

Hayward, Wis.

The 36th annual Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival Saturday in Hayward will draw cyclists and spectators from around the country for the popular Chequamegon 40 race. More than 2,000 registered bikers will make the 40-mile trek from downtown Hayward, along the scenic route of the American Birkebeiner Ski Trail, to the Telemark Resort in Cable, Wis. The daylong event also features a Short and Fat race, a children’s bicycle parade and rodeo plus music, bike vendors and food and drinks under the big top (

Des Moines

Live bands, beer gardens, authentic German food and polka demonstrations and more will highlight the 15th annual Oktoberfest Sept. 28-29. Held downtown, the blocked-off 4th Street will be teeming with activities as visitors and residents celebrate the city’s rich German history. Make sure not to miss the two quirky yet popular stein-holding competitions Sept. 29. Hours both days: 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Admission is $7-$10. Get the full festival schedule at

Colleen A. Coles