North Iowa fall fun


Today, we’re celebrating the 2023 autumnal equinox, also known as the September equinox or fall equinox. This marks the official start of the fall season in the Northern Hemisphere and the commencement of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

But let’s not get lost in the technicalities, shall we?

It’s the First Day of Fall, Y’all!

To me, the beginning of fall signifies a plethora of delightful experiences. Firstly, it heralds the arrival of SWEATER WEATHER! For us ladies, there’s nothing quite like slipping into a fresh pair of cozy black yoga pants paired with an oversized sweater on a crisp autumn day.

It transforms the ‘pop’ of a wine cork at the end of a busy day into a heavenly symphony.

‘Tis also the season of all things pumpkin spice and apple-flavored delights. For some reason, fall often takes the crown as many people’s favorite season. Whether you call it autumn or fall, it’s that time of year when sweat dries up, and humidity takes a break until next year.

Before we know it (and yes, I’m counting down the days), the first frost will make its appearance. Now, some may wrinkle their noses at this, as it signifies the impending arrival of winter. But for me, it’s a reason to celebrate because frost means those pesky little black bugs retreat to the depths from whence they came.

Am I right?

Fall in North Iowa offers a treasure trove of experiences. Our Chamber Members have an exciting array of activities planned for all ages to enjoy.

Plain Ol’ Pumpkins, located at 4333 260th Street in Clear Lake offers old-fashioned fun! Head on over for an entire day filled with your favorite autumn activities—corn maze, apple launcher, giant slide, a thrilling game of wagon ball, and so much more! This year, they even have a thrilling new zip-line! Opening day is also the official first day of fall!

If you missed the first evening of North Iowa Artist Studio Tour, don’t worry, there are two more days to explore and shop with these talented artists! Studios will be open today, Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sunday 1-4pm.

You definitely want to bring the family to the Garden Fiesta at Central Gardens of North Iowa on Sunday from 2-5pm! In addition to an amazing Tropicante performance at 4pm, food demos, salsa tasting, and silent auction for flower bouquets (and so much more), the team at CGNI has tons of children’s activities scheduled including cookie decorating, bilingual story walk, drawing for free books, arts and crafts, bubbles, balloon artist, musical instruments to play and of course PIÑATAS! This event is free and everyone is welcome!

The Clear Lake Library is your one-stop shop for a variety of fall fun. It’s more than just a place to borrow books. The library offers a wealth of informational, educational, cultural, recreational, and technological services. The library strives to be a welcoming community center for everyone seeking personal and professional growth and development. Be sure to explore their brand-new permanent StoryWalk™ at the Outlet Recreation Complex and the special StoryWalk™ at Central Gardens!

The Clear Lake Arts Center is a dynamic and vibrant hub dedicated to nurturing and preserving creativity. They currently feature a new exhibit, “Intuition by Madalyn Vorrie.” Check out their complete schedule of exhibits and events!

Clear Lake Fire Department Pancake Breakfast: In honor of Fire Prevention Month, indulge in mouthwatering pancakes and sausages, generously smothered with delectable syrup on October 1st!

The Nightmare – Haunted Hike: Officially opens its doors for the 2023 season on Saturday, October 7th. Get ready to get your scare on every weekend from then until Halloween. Located at 2532 South Shore Drive, their motto remains, “If you dare, we will scare.”

Clear Lake Farmer’s Market: Don’t miss out on the freshest produce from the gardening season! The final market of the year is on October 14th, so make sure to visit and explore all the delectable offerings.

Harvest Festival: This event is the Chamber’s flagship fall extravaganza and is the ULTIMATE girls’ day out! The festivities kick off on October 7th with a special BUBBLY (Barbie)-themed Champagne 5K. The vendor market runs from 9 am to 4 pm, along with live music, wine tasting, craft beer sampling, salsa contests, and the ever-popular grape stomp competition.  Mark interested or going on our Facebook event to keep up to date on announcements!

Pumpkin Palooza: This incredible 2nd Annual event is a collaboration between the Clear Lake Library, the Clear Lake Arts Center, and of course, Central Gardens of North Iowa, the host location! The festivities kick off on October 14th at 4:00 pm. Come join the celebration of “all things pumpkin” with decorating, activities for kids and adults, a photo booth, food trucks, apple cider, popcorn, and MORE, running until 6 pm. And don’t forget to stick around for the LIGHTED PUMPKIN PARADE through Central Gardens from 6 pm to 7 pm.

Whew, that’s quite a cornucopia of autumnal delights, my friends. Make sure to mark your calendars and attend as many of these events as you can, celebrating this splendid season of harvest in North Iowa.

Before we know it, it’ll be time to start pulling together those holiday shopping lists!

Updated 9/22/2023