A Fall Party On The Slopes

I’m a sucker for a good fall festival. And I love the atmosphere of a cozy ski lodge despite the fact that I am the absolute worst skier on the planet.

Seriously. The worst. When I snowplow, pointing my toes in a perfect pie shape just like countless instructors have showed me, I don’t stop. Ever. You’re supposed to, but I don’t. After narrowly avoiding crashing into a ski lodge at 18 (I finally just tumbled out of the way at the last minute) I hung up my skis and become a cocoa drinking, fire-sitting connoisseur of ski lodge ambiance.


This rambling story of my incoordination is the backstory to why I think the Afton Alps Family Fall Fair and Slopeside Swap is such a fun idea. It combines all the elements of a classic fall festival (pumpkins, colorful leaves, hayrides) with that cozy ski lodge ambience.

It all happens over the course of two weekends, September 30 through October 2 and Friday, October 7 through Sunday, October 9 at Afton Alps near Hastings, Minnesota. This pretty resort is tucked into the woods in the scenic St. Croix River Valley just outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro.


There’s a slopeside movie at dusk and food from local food trucks on September 30 and October 7. And there’s a ton of fun, family-friendly stuff happening on Saturdays and Sundays, including hayrides, pumpkin decorating, inflatable games, a candy hunt and chairlift rides.

And if (unlike me) you’re actually good at skiing, you can get some new gear at the swap portion of the event. You swap or sell your current ski or snowboarding equipment and upgrade before the season starts. There’s also a free, family-style bootcamp offered on October 2 and discounts on ski and snowboarding classes and season passes.


If you’re completely clueless at skiing, you can also buy a “I Will Ski” package that features four ski classes and lift tickets. You get free skis and bindings and a little party at the end. You can get more details about everything going on at the event at Afton Alps.

Afton Alps Family Fall Fair and Slopeside Swap
September 30-October 2
October 7-9
The Alps Chalet at Afton Alps
6600 Peller Avenue South
Hastings, MN


What about you?
What are your favorite fall and winter activities?
What makes a fall festival fun for you?
Are you completely uncoordinated any any activities, or is that just me?

If you’re on Twitter, join us for the #PrairiePlaces Twitter Chat tomorrow (Monday, September 23) at 8 p.m. Central Standard Time. We’ll be talking about fall events and activities just like these and I’d love to hear from you.

Here are the questions if you want to check them out ahead of time! (The instructions tell you how to participate as well, just in case you’re new to Twitter chats.)

All photos in this post are provided by Afton Alps.

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