Fall is the perfect season for family togetherness. The weather is chilly yet gorgeous, and the crisp air can provide a new sense of energy after a long, hot summer. Here in Michigan, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beauty of autumn and celebrate everything our state has to offer. If you’re looking for some one-of-a-kind events to explore, here are 10 fall festivals in the Great Lakes State that offer a little something for everyone.
1. Michigan Blues Fest (September 16-17th, Lansing)
This annual event in Lansing offers a series of free blues concerts to Michiganders who want to appreciate great music in the city’s Old Town district. The festival typically draws crowds of over 7,000 people and has featured such artists as Kid Rock and Nineteen Wheels. Don’t miss out — this is an incredible way to enjoy your favorite sound.
2. Michigan Antique Festival (September 24-25th)
This epic event in Midland is the largest antique festival in the state, and you’ll be blown away by the rows goods to peruse. Nearly one thousand dealers show up to sell at the festival each year — and have been doing so for over 45 years. If you can’t make it to Midland, never fear: the festival makes its way to Davisburg on October 1st-2nd.
3. Ann Arbor Russian Festival (September 17-18th, Ann Arbor)
Head to Ann Arbor for the fourth year of this fun and educational festival, which celebrates Russia’s beautiful heritage. Taste traditional food, enjoy Russian folk dances, and even sample a few sips of infused vodka.
4. Fall Fest Art & Craft Fair (September 24-25th, Pentwater)
Visit Pentwater’s Village Green to take in the sights and sounds of the annual Fall Fest Art & Craft fair, which features more than 100 vendors who offer one-of-a-kind art pieces, crafts, and other goods. Enjoy live music as you peruse each kiosk on the Green.
5. Zoo Boo (October 7-9th, 14-15th, and 21-22nd, Detroit)
Round up the family and venture out to the Detroit Zoo to participate in its annual Zoo Boo, which gives children a chance to trick-or-treat throughout the zoo. Enjoy pumpkin carving demonstrations, a Haunted Reptile House, and several live performances within the zoo.
Fayette Fall Festival (October 1st, Fayette Historical State Park)
Michigan’s historical state park in Fayette is the perfect setting for a Upper Peninsula celebration. For 11 years now, the park has hosted visitors of all ages at its Fall Festival, which offers everything from hayrides to campsite decorating.
7. Michigan Apple Dash (September 17th, Grand Rapids)
Lace up your tennis shoes for a fun run and walk through the corn maze and orchards at Dunneback Farm Market. There is a small fee to enter, but it’s certainly worth it: participants receive an Apple Dash t-shirt, a quarter of a peck of apples, and memories to last a lifetime.
8. Festival of the Book (September 3rd-October 2nd, Harbor Springs)
Bookworms unite! This Harbor Springs festival brings together readers and writers from all over to celebrate literary culture. Attend book signings and keynote talks with your favorite authors, sit in on panel discussions, and purchase a few new works to add to your bookshelf.
9. Great Lakes Bat Festival (September 17th, Clinton Township)
Are you fascinated by bats? Then this annual celebration in Clinton Township is the perfect place for you. Head to the Great Lakes Bat Festival to learn more about how bats influence Michigan’s ecosystem and why they are important for the health of our environment. This unique fest offers fun for all ages.
10. Scarecrow Fest (October 15-16th and 22-23rd, Frankenmuth)
This classic autumn festival brings the town of Frankenmuth together for a family-friendly celebration complete with music, trick-or-treating, and face painting. Throughout town, you’ll find a series of “themed scarecrows” designed to suit each business or restaurant. You can even vote for your favorite.
These are just 10 of the hundreds of celebrations that Michiganders participate in each fall. What’s your favorite way to welcome the new season? Tell us about it in the comment section.