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Free Things To Do in the Fall in Grand Rapids


There are many FREE things to do in the fall in Grand Rapids. Fall is a perfect time of year to come to Grand Rapids. The crowds are less, the temperatures are perfect for sweatshirts, and the colors are stunning. Here are some FREE things to do while in Grand Rapids in the fall time of year:

Photo by Karen Oothoudt

Fall Colors

The fall colors in the Grand Rapids area are beautiful! There is over 1 million acres of public accessible forest land in Itasca County. You will find a good mix of hardwoods of many colors, pines and bog areas filled with golden tamaracks. Check out the FREE Fall Leaves Color Tour Map that showcases four scenic drives where you will see beautiful fall colors. One of the roads drive the oldest scenic byway in the state of Minnesota, Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway. This is a beautiful 47 mile drive that takes you from Grand Rapids to Effie, Minnesota. On this Scenic Byway you will also find several way side rests, places to shop, and places to eat and drink.

Live Music and Nightlife

Grand Rapids has a wide variety of live music options every week. On FREE Wednesday’s there is Live Jazz at the VFW. The first Friday of each month is First Friday Art Walk which is a FREE event that showcases artists and musicians in downtown businesses. Every weekend there is Live Music at Klockow Brewing Company, Fraternal Order of the Eagles in Grand Rapids, and the Locker Room Bar in Coleraine. Pickled Loon Saloon and Zorbaz on Pokegama hosts live music and regular events monthly. Check out the Grand Rapids Events Calendar weekly live music, nightlife events, and other fall events.

Public Art

Grand Rapids has a rich and diverse art and culture scene.  The Grand Rapids Arts created a self-guided walking tour that highlights 14 locations where you can view sculptures, murals, mosaics, and other artwork in downtown Grand Rapid. You can pick up one of these FREE Grand Rapids Art Maps at MacRostie Art Center. The MacRostie has a FREE art gallery that showcases local and Minnesota based artists work. You can purchase and make art at this location as well. Check out their art class schedule HERE. Check out the Grand Rapids Events Calendar to view the FREE art exhibits, classes and events. Brewed Awakening is a great place to grab a cup of coffee, quick lunch, home baked goods and gelato. Brewed hosts monthly art exhibits,  regular live music.  The Reif Center performing arts center showcases a new local artists in its lobby every month. Their performance season is September-May each year. Check out their full season schedule HERE. They are a hidden gem of a theater that brings the stars up north to Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Museum Tour

In Grand Rapids we are very blessed to have the Itasca County Historical Museum that offers FREE admission to everyone. This museum is a hidden gem that has wonderful displays and exhibits that will take you back in time. If you are into history, you definitely will want to make time in your fall vacation itinerary to stop here. Every few months they create a new exhibit. Right now the new exhibit that  highlights up north resorts that are currently existing or those no longer running as resorts.

Biking & Hiking

Grand Rapids is a bronze bicycle friendly city. Get Fit Itasca offers a FREE Bike Share program where people can check out a bike, just like checking out a library book. Locations of these bikes are: Itasca YMCA, City Hall, Grand Rapids Area Library, Itasca Community College, and Itasca Resource Center. The City of Grand Rapids has many bike and walking trails created to enjoy for FREE, click HERE to download maps. You can also ride our newest bike trail in Cohasset called Tioga Recreation Area which is a world-class mountain bike trail and recreation area. This area encompasses 23+ miles of mountain bike trails, 2 miles of paved biking trail, playground, park, public beach area, boat landing. To view the current mapping of the completed trails check out the Grand Rapids Itasca Mountain Bike Association website.  Here are great places to a hike wooded well maintained trails: Suomi Hills, Sugar Hills, and Legion Trail. 
FREE is a great thing when you are on vacation. But, if you are looking for additional things to do in the Grand Rapids area, check out our Fall Itinerary Builder where you select how much time you have while you are here and up will pop boxes of things to do and see. Fall is a fleeting season, so we suggest that you view the Grand Rapids Fall Lodging Options, and book soon! Our season tends to sell out.