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The fall season in Michigan is packed full of fun things to do. Visit pumpkin patches and cider mills to pick your own pumpkins and apples. Explore the fall colors exploding everything throughout the state. And don’t miss the Michigan fall activities that provide unique experiences full of art, beer, red flannel and fully-armored knights. Intrigued? Read on for more details!
As a lifelong Michigander, I can attest that there’s nothing quite like an autumn getaway in the Mitten State. Whether you are a ‘Yooper’ (living in the Upper Peninsula) or a ‘Troll’ (those of us who live ‘under the bridge’ in the Lower Peninsula), the Great Lakes, forests, farms and fields provide fall fun that can’t be missed.
Here are 25 fun fall things to do in Pure Michigan.
Read More: Best Resorts in Michigan for Families
Pumpkin Patches in Michigan
1. Post Family Fun Farm Days
This popular fall destination is located just west of Grand Rapids and offers plenty to do during the annual Fun Farm Days and Fall Festivals. Activities for all ages include hayrides, corn maze, farm animals and a nature trail.
For the kids, there’s a pumpkin train ride, outdoor play areas, giant tube slides and gopher tunnels. The Fall Festivals add pony rides, pumpkin painting and a kids’ activity area. See the website for dates and times. Just be aware that it gets crowded on good weather days. And don’t miss the excellent homemade pumpkin donuts and apple cider!
2. Gull Meadow Farms
Located northeast of Kalamazoo, Gull Meadow Farms has something for everyone. Try one of the two corn mazes – a giant 6-acre maze for big kids and adults and a mini-maze, which is just right for families with little ones. Or visit at night for the flashlight version – no scares, just fun.
Other family friendly activities include the apple chute slide, corn crib, apple and pumpkin cannons, jumping pillow, grain and pumpkin trains and a zipline.
With themed events most weekends in September and October, there’s always something new to enjoy. Don’t forget to u-pick some apples and pumpkins to take home after you enjoy donuts and apple cider.
3. Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo
Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo, located between Muskegon and Ludington, features almost 50 farm attractions. Along with the traditional corn maze, wagon rides and play areas, the highlights include pedal carts, slides, jumping pillow, pig races, apple cannons, petting zoo, an aviary and a dog show.
Take a wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard to pick your own pumpkins and apples. Then enjoy some fresh cider and yummy donuts – and buy more to take home!
4. Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch
Yes, there really was a Grandma who started it all! Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch is open seasonally in the fall in Midland. Most of the activities are weekend-only, but you can stop by during the week to pick out your pumpkins or enjoy Wednesday Night Fun with extra activities.
There’s a themed corn maze, petting zoo, hay ride, pony rides and combine slide along with events such as car/truck shows and a flea market.
5. Hayes Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch
If you’re visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, don’t miss a visit to Hayes Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch, open seasonally in the fall. Along with the themed corn and hay mazes, you can find pedal racers, pumpkin bowling, hay rides and a pumpkin tree house.
Kids can also explore a “straw tunnel” maze and rope maze. Just remember to pick out your pumpkin and enjoy a treat at Cassey’s Concessions.
6. Johnson’s Giant Pumpkin Farm
Open seasonally in the fall, Johnson’s is located in Saginaw. Don’t miss the giant, 13-acre corn maze or the hand-cranked cake donuts.
On fall weekends, the farm offers horse and train rides, face painting, live music and/or a DJ. One highlight is the dozens of Instagram-worthy straw cartoon characters just waiting to join you in a selfie!
7. Debuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch
Located southeast of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Debuck’s has a 20-acre pumpkin patch. The 15-acre corn maze has three levels of difficulty, so folks of all ages can enjoy finding their way out. Other activities include human foosball, rat races, pedal go carts, slides and play areas, which offer plenty of family fun.
And don’t miss the Instagrammable Sunflower Festival which runs in August and early September, where you can u-pick sunflowers and get amazing photos.
8. Moelker Orchards Pumpkin Patch
Pick out your pumpkin at Moelker Orchards and you can also take advantage of free pumpkin cleaning on Saturdays. Also on Saturdays, the orchard offers horse-drawn wagon rides with a scavenger hunt.
Especially for families with little ones, don’t miss Storytime at the Orchard (must register in advance). Adults can sip on a free cup of coffee or cider while everyone learns about the farm. It also includes pumpkin decorating.
Michigan Apple Orchards
9. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery
Robinette’s is Grand Rapids’ hidden gem. Open year-round, there’s no entrance fee – you pay only for the activities and food you choose. Families can explore the nature trail, hayrides, petting zoo, jumping pillow and corn maze.
Don’t miss apple picking for your favorite variety (see the orchard’s Harvest Guide for approximate dates). And make sure to stop in at The Apple Haus where you can find the bakery, lunch counter, cider mill and shop – and for the adults, wine tasting as well.
10. Uncle John’s Cider Mill
Located north of Lansing, at Uncle John’s you can watch apple cider being made or stop by the Pie Barn for your favorite pastry. With activities through the fall months, stop by for everything from a pumpkin run 5k to live music, car cruise and Sunflower Fest.
Adults can also visit the Taproom and Hard Cider Facility for a hard cider flight or glass of wine.
11. Wiard’s Orchards & Country Fair
Along with u-pick apples and pumpkins, Wiard’s in Ypsilanti also has a corn maze, petting farm, wagon rides, playgrounds, corn crib and mini golf. Weekends add in an apple cannon, fire engine rides, karaoke kabin, bounce houses and pedal tractor races.
Pick up delicious treats at the cider mill or shop at the Country Store & Bakery.
12. Alber’s Orchard & Cider Mill
This fun spot is located just west of Ann Arbor. Enjoy award-winning apple cider, or choose some apples from more than 100 apple varieties. With fall family activities, it is a great place to take kids apple picking.
13. Apple Charlie’s Orchard and Cider Mill
You can find Apple Charlie’s southwest of Detroit. It’s a family-run farm that offers pick your own apples as varieties ripen. Call ahead to see which variety is available for your visit.
14. Knaebe’s Apple Farm & Ciderworks
The admission-free orchard at Knaebe’s can be found near the very tip of the Lower Peninsula in northern Michigan. It offers farm animals, playground, Mac ‘n’ Squasher apple slingshot, U-pick pumpkin patch, barrel train ride and hay rides.
Don’t miss the wood-fired pizza in the tasting room; adults can also enjoy hard cider.
Fun Fall Events in Michigan
15. Oktoberfest – Frankenmuth
September 15-18, 2022
Known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth boasts the only Oktoberfest officially sanctioned by Germany. Visit the cuckoo-clock store or the scaled-down version of a German beer hall for live German music and food.
And don’t miss the Weiner-dog races!
Make a weekend of it and treat the kids to an overnight stay at one of the best indoor waterparks in Michigan!
16. Michigan Renaissance Festival – Holly
August 20 – October 2, 2022
This annual festival is located northwest of Detroit. Go back in time to the 16th century where you can immerse yourself in the culture and entertainment of the renaissance era. Live, full-contact jousting, 17 stages of entertainment, and more than 100 artisans make this an exciting and magical place to explore.
Kids can ride a pony or see the Birds of Prey, while adults can enjoy whiskey tastings, Kings Happy Hour or the Pub Crawl. And don’t forget to dress the part!
17. ArtPrize – Grand Rapids
September 15 – October 2, 2022
Art is for everyone, and so is ArtPrize. This international art competition involves the entire city as venues and celebrates artists working in all mediums. Every ArtPrize is different and offers so much to explore, see and do. The almost 200 venues include everything from restaurants to museums, churches, offices and shops.
All venues are free to the public during ArtPrize and there are many events and activities scheduled during ArtPrize as well.
18. Red Flannel Festival – Cedar Springs
Saturday, October 1, 2022
One of the longest running festivals in Michigan, this will be the 83rd year for this unique event. The Keystone Kops drive an antique fire truck to ‘arrest’ everyone not wearing red. (Get out of jail by paying a $1 bail, for charity.)
And don’t miss the parade, where you can see that year’s Red Flannel Queen and Court.
19. Harvest Fest and Food Truck Rally – Detroit
October 1-2, 2022
At the Detroit Harvest Fest and Food Truck Rally, you can find more than 60 food trucks, 6 live music stages and lots of family-friend harvest fest fun. Kids can enjoy trick-or-treating, crafting, pumpkin patch, scavenger hunts and spooky science activities.
And while you’re in Detroit, don’t miss the Eastern Market, one of the biggest farmers markets in the state.
Fall Color Tours in Michigan
To be honest, you can find beautiful fall colors just about anywhere in Michigan throughout September (Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula) and October (Lower Peninsula). But to truly experience an awe-inspiring fall color tour, check out these options for Michigan color.
20. Sleeping Bear Dunes
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore contains miles of sandy beaches and towering dunes along Lake Michigan just west of Traverse City. The views are spectacular any time of the year, but the fall colors truly make this an incredible place to visit.
If you’re driving, don’t miss the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive (7.4 miles, winding road) that ends at a scenic overlook above the lake. The thickly forested drive provides color in all directions.
If you’d rather hike, check out the Empire Bluff Trail (1.5 miles round-trip, hilly, non-motorized) for expansive views of trees, lake and dunes.
21. Porcupine Mountains – Lake of the Clouds
Located near the Keweenaw Peninsula, the Lake of the Clouds is the one of the most photographed parts of the Upper Peninsula. You can drive or hike to the fully-accessible M-107 overlook to view the blue waters set off by the reds, golds and oranges of the surrounding forest.
22. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
You can find this 42-mile national lakeshore near Munising in the Upper Peninsula. Named for the mineral stains along the rocky cliffs, you can find beaches, dunes, waterfalls and lighthouses to explore by foot, bike, car or kayak.
In the fall, the area comes alive with color, making it even more picturesque.
23. Mackinac Island
Already unique due to its non-motorized vehicle policy, Mackinac Island offers a timeless charm year-round. Hike, bike or take a carriage ride around the island, visit historic Fort Mackinac, enjoy the word-famous Mackinac Island fudge and explore the beautiful views.
Along with the beautiful fall foliage, there are spectacular sunrises and sunsets over Lake Michigan.
24. Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees
If you’d rather take a road trip than explore hiking trails, don’t miss the 20-ish-mile-long Tunnel of Trees in northern Michigan near Petosky and Harbor Springs. The scenic byway takes you through a leafy canopy of trees which can’t be missed during the autumn months.
25. Boyne Mountain Resort Skybridge
Constructed of locally-sourced lumber, this suspension bridge will be the longest timber-towered skybridge in the world when it opens in fall of 2022 at the Boyne Mountain Resort in northern Michigan.
Walk along the bridge, high over the valley, during the day to view amazing Michigan fall color or at night when it will be illuminated.