It’s easy to spot October in North Dakota as it takes on an orange tint. Leaves are turning and pumpkin patches are in full swing, hoping to attract the likes of the Great Pumpkin and visitors to North Dakota.  

In Bismarck, families spend hours wandering through the trails, riding the barrel train and taking hayrides at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch (through Oct. 19) before picking out a pumpkin for Halloween. Just outside of EmeradoNelson’s Pumpkin Patch (through Oct. 27) kids and adults can take a hayride, work their way through an 11-acre corn maze and wind up at the Gruesome Granary. Or enjoy events like Sips, Succulents and Sparkles on Oct. 3Twenty-five attractions await, including - of course - pumpkins at Lil Bitz Pumpkin Patch (through Oct. 27just outside Fargo. The patch has horse-drawn wagon rides, an eight-acre corn maze and many other games and activities. Berry Acres (through Oct. 27) near Minot also has a corn maze, obstacle course and pumpkin cannons for those who like tossing the gourds. Grafton adds a monster hunt, corn cannons and many more kid and adult activities (through Oct. 13). 

And what would October be without an Oktoberfest or two? Celebrate German-Russian heritage at Napoleon’s Oktoberfest (Oct. 4-5) and nearby Ashley’s Oktoberfest (Oct. 5). Come as you are or break out the lederhosen and try your hands at the stein holding contest. 

Keeping with the season, the Haunted Fort  at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park (through Nov. 2) is as scary as it gets. A historic fort (haunted) … pitch black nights … haunts at every turn …    

But if it’s quiet garden solitude you seek, the International Peace Garden near Dunseith has what you’re looking for in the Fall Festival on (Oct. 26)Enjoy hayrides, food vendors, pumpkin carving and more, surrounded by the quiet sounds of nature.