Pure Michigan 2013 Halloween Events Roundup

Halloween is fast approaching! Whether you’re dressed as a ghoul or a goblin, there is plenty of Halloween fun happening across the state. From haunted houses to family-friendly parades, below is your guide to celebrating Halloween in Pure Michigan. Visit michigan.org full a full listing of Halloween events happening around the state!

Amazing Acres Corn Maze
September 14 – October 31, 2013, Edwardsburg
If you’re looking for fun, family entertainment in Cass County, Michigan, make plans to visit the Amazing Acres Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch this Fall! The farm is over 90 acres and is packed with events for every member of the family, young or old. Explore the 14 acre corn maze with over 3.5 miles of paths. Keep a watchful eye for the 12 hidden check points. The Maze is available both day and night. In addition to the corn maze itself, there are many other fun activities for the entire family at Amazing Acres that includes hayrides with horse-drawn and tractor-pulled, pumpkin patch, child-sized haybale maze, thousands of pumpkins and holiday decorations, a goat walk and farms animals. Picnic area, snacks and refreshment stand, campfires available by reservation, face painting, hay jump, two straw mazes and two corn boxes. Located at 18430 US 12 East; Edwardsburg, MI 49112. Open Tuesday thru Friday 4pm to 9pm and Saturday & Sunday noon to 9pm. For more information, click the website link or call (574) 370-3403.

Niles Haunted House
September 13 – November 2, 2013, Niles
The Niles Haunted House Scream Park has 44 acres of multiple haunted attractions, hayrides, games and concessions. It’s guaranteed to scare the YELL out of you. Visit the web site for dates, times, coupon, and admission prices. Niles Haunted House Scream Park is located at 855 Mayflower Road; Niles, MI 49120. Phone for details at (269) 687-FEAR or visit the website. 

Corn Maze at BestMaze
September 13 – October 27, 2013, Williamston
The Corn Maze at BestMaze is great fun for the entire family on weekends from September 13th to October 27. Nineteen acre Corn Maze hours are Fri. 6-10pm; Saturdays 1-10pm, and Sundays 1-9pm. Tickets $8. The BestMaze Corn Maze is located at 3803 Noble Rd; Williamston, Michigan 48895.

Houpt’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch
September 21 – October 31, 2013, Dundee
We have a two acre corn maze, ten acres of U-Pick pumpkins, a Gourd Slinger, Craft Barn, and cider & donuts. We have hayrides on weekends, weather permitting. Offer field trips to groups. A huge favorite is our “Kid’s Weekend” held the third weekend of October every year. Both days of that weekend we have a clown for a couple of hours, a costume contest, and rides all day. We always have the following activities for free, Kid’s Haunted House, Petting Farm and Miniature Golf. Open daily, 10am to dusk. Located at Houpt’s Pumpkin Patch at 19929 Tecumseh Rd; Dundee, Michigan 48131. (Just five miles west of Dundee and Cabela’s on M-50.)

The Bone Yard Scream Park
September 21 – November 2, 2013, Stockbridge
Extreme haunted house, haunted woods, haunted corn maze, and haunted hayride. This attraction takes over an hour to enjoy and have the fear put into you. This is an indoor and outdoor event, please dress accordingly. Scream Park located at 5010 Green Road; Stockbridge, Michigan 49285, just west of Hell. Friday and Saturday, open at 8pm. For more information, visit the website.

Tee Lake Halloween
September 27 – November 2, 2013, Lewiston
Northern Michigan Haunted House & Halloween Attraction, Tee Lake Halloween, offers three unique treats for Halloween fans & families. First, the Drive-Thru Haunt is a FREE, family friendly, self-guided tour through haunted displays. Tune your car radio to our spooky station to hear creepy music. No monsters will jump out at you. Nightly September 27 – November 2, dusk – 10pm. Admission is free. Second, Terror at Tee Lake is a terrifying walk-through haunted house open October 19, 25, 26, and November 1 from 7-10pm, with an admission of $5. Third, stay over in a haunted cabin – The Witch’s Cottage or Igor’s Hideaway. For more information, visit the website.

Scream Machine
September 27 – November 2, 2013, Taylor
The Scream Machine is back with new special effects and scares for the 2013 season. Back by popular demand–the Hellevator. This portal to the unknown takes you to the depths of your worst fears where nightmares and reality collide. Open September 27-29, October 4-6, 11-13, 18-November 2. For hours and admission, click the website link or call (734) 309-0756. Coupon for $3 off found at website. Located at 21207 Eureka Rd; Taylor, Michigan (in the shopping plaza next to Gibralter Trade Center).

Shawhaven Haunted Farm
September 27 – November 2, 2013, Mason
Fear surrounds the Farm. All 140 acres have been lost onto a haze of despair, since the dark years when the crops and animals were lost to a devastating invasion of bugs. Fear had engulfed all the grounds. Local people have tried to face their fears on the Wagons of Fear. Some exit safely and unchanged only to be lost into the darkness of despair with time. Others try to make the trip through the Dead Maze to the next town only to join the Zombies that linger within the corn. Fee. We also offer an unhaunted corn maze. Open Fridays and Saturdays, September 27 to November 2. Open Thursday, October 31. Kids matinee tour Sunday, October 13. Shawhaven Haunted Farm located at 1826 Rolfe Road; Mason, Michigan 48854. For admission prices or more information, visit the website link or call (517) 676-1649.

Psycho Ward & Nightmares Haunted House
October 4 – October 31, 2013, Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Speedway. Experience West Michigan’s most terrifying haunted attraction this October–if you dare! Many have experienced the terror of Floyd Cranston and his clan of twisted misfits. Their reign of terror has been inflicted on Psycho Ward visitors for more than a decade. Some have survived—but not without years of intensive therapy. What disturbing twist on Floyd’s unique form of horror does he have in store for you this year? There’s only one way to find out. Not recommended for children under 12 or the faint of heart. Open weekends in October: October 4, 5, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 , 24, 25, 26, 30, 31 (open 7:30pm each night). Admission fee.

Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village
October 11 – October 27, 2013, Dearborn
The Henry Ford. Step back in time to a turn-of-the-20th century Hallowe’en. Follow an endless path of hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns, and meet colorful characters along the way. Feel the whoosh as the Headless Horseman rides by, banter with a clever witch and make stops at several treat stations spread throughout Greenfield Village. It’s frightfully fun for the whole family! For information call (313) 982-6001.

Pumpkin, Cider & Donut Wagon Ride
October 12 – October 27, 2013, Ray
Take a wagon ride with a guide to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect Halloween pumpkin, then stop for a cup of cider and a donut. This year, take a walk from the pumpkin patch to the farm’s 5-acre corn maze. Then, get into the Halloween spirit by visiting the Boo Barn. Wagon rides 11am – 4pm (Oct. 12-13, 20, 26 & 27). Pumpkins are priced according to size. Fee for wagon ride. Additional activities on specific dates for additional fee. For information call (586) 752-5932.

Haunted Horrors
October 18 – October 27, 2013, Armada
Blakes Big Apple has four attractions for 2013—Nighttime Spooky Hayride, three story Haunted Barn, Spookyland, and Zombie Paintball Safari. Open every Fri, Sat & Sun nights in October. For rates, hours, or more information, click on the website link or call (586) 784-9710.

Haunted Hayrides
October 25 – October 26, 2013, Suttons Bay
Black Star Farms Tasting Room & Inn. Miles of wooded trails, old barns and a bonfire area make the farm in Suttons Bay a perfect venue for haunted hayrides. Participants board a wagon that takes them into the dark woods and old orchards on the farm. The trail rides are approximately 10-15 minutes long and are $10 per person. Due to the subject matter of the scenes and the surprises lurking in the woods the rides are recommended for those 12 years and older as well as individuals who appreciates a good scream. Rides begin (7pm) and end (9:30pm) at the Hearth & Vine Café where ghostly refreshments, warm cider and wine will be served.

Halloween Spooktacular
October 26, 2013, Gaylord
Treetops Resort. Join us as we celebrate Fall. Treetops will feature wagon rides followed by a chairlift ride. Activity and game stations with trick or treating for the kids. Minimal fee applicable for activities. Public welcome to enjoy our holiday celebration.

The Legend of Sleepy Howell
October 26, 2013, Howell
Come to downtown Howell and experience the 11th annual Legend of Sleepy Howell from 5pm – 9pm. Activities include trick or treating at candy stations, business booths offering giveaways, games and prizes, costume contests, live music, hay rides, creepy campfires, a hay maze, food vendors and the 5k/10k Headless Horseman Run. Don’t miss the scary fun in downtown Howell – this event happens despite the fall weather.

For more Halloween-related events happening in your neighborhood, visit michigan.org. How will you be showing your Halloween spirit this year? Share with us below!

Eight Ways to Spend a Long Weekend in Michigan

Memorial Day weekend starts tomorrow! If you’re still looking for ways to spend it, check out the ideas below from Erin Bernhard of The Awesome Mitten.

Grand Traverse Bay. Courtesy of The Awesome Mitten.

Memorial Day weekend often marks the beginning of summer in many Michigan towns. All over our great state, Michiganders spend the weekend putting in boats and docks, firing up grills, and finishing yard work. Memorial Day is also a patriotic holiday, commemorating lost soldiers and veterans who dedicated themselves to defending this country, so there are parades and American flags galore! We celebrate the end of a long, cold winter by breaking out shorts, sundresses and flip flops, crossing our fingers that it doesn’t snow in June (and knowing full well that it might). And the best part? Having an extra day off of work! Let us help you plan your long weekend with our top eight favorite ways to celebrate Memorial Day.

  1. Throw some shrimp on ‘the barbie.’ From Marquette to Milan, grill chefs will rejoice next weekend as they celebrate the beginning of barbeque season. Whether you’re of the charcoal or propane persuasion, you know that almost everything tastes better grilled. Hit your local farmer’s market and stock up on seasonal asparagus, rhubarb, and mixed greens to complement your choice of meat. Create a make-your-own burger bar with mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and condiments OR throw together some shish kebobs with steak, chicken, bell peppers, pineapple, and cloves of garlic. Invite twenty of your closest friends to bring a dish or drinks to pass, pull your bocce ball and croquet sets out of the basement, and bam! You have yourself a party.
  2. Get outside. Generally, Michigan in late May is warm enough to go out and play. Whether you take a quick spin around the neighborhood on your freshly tuned bike or throw the kayaks on top of the car for a weekend-long adventure, make sure you enjoy the outdoors at some point this weekend. Pop over to the sunrise coast and hike somewhere off of historic US-23, or head up north to Keweenaw National Historical Park. There are plenty of outdoor treasures across the state; if you don’t feel like leaving home, you don’t have to look any further than your own backyard.
  3. Celebrate. Michigan has an incredible amount to offer and Memorial Day weekend is a great time to celebrate every little thing. In northwest Michigan, the cherry blossoms are blooming along M-22. Mackinac Island is preparing for the Lilac Festival that begins on June 7, and visiting over Memorial Day is a great way to beat the crowds. Recognize our military heritage by attending a parade in a new town or check out a festival that celebrates Michigan food, drink, nature, or history.
  4. Break out your orange and blue. This weekend, the Detroit Tigers face the Minnesota Twins at home in Comerica Park. Get tickets on Friday to check out the fireworks and Polish-American Heritage Night, or go on Sunday for Kids Day. If you’d rather be wearing red and white, the Red Wings face the Chicago Blackhawks in round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs during Memorial Day weekend; get tickets for Monday’s game three at Joe Louis Arena to watch Datsyuk and Zetterberg up close.
  5. Chill out, but not literally. But what good is a long weekend if you don’t get to relax? If you’ve already finished the yard work, sometimes there’s nothing better than a hammock or blanket in the sunshine, a glass of ginger-mint lemonade, and a copy of The Great Lakes Book Project or anything by Jim Harrison, either of which will make you yearn for the lakes and land that are much closer than you think.
    Fishtown. Courtesy of Ken Scott Photography (facebook.com/KenScottPhotos).

     

  6. Embrace the season. The last weekend in May is exciting for many reasons, but topping the list is the opening of seasonal shops and businesses and extension of hours for summertime. Because the sun sets later, restaurants and local shops are open longer to accommodate a higher level of patronage. You’ve waited all winter to walk to your corner ice cream shop at 8:30pm for a cone, and summer is the season for that. Small tourist towns like Leland’s Historic Fishtown and Saugatuck are open for business and ready to provide you with all the fudge, souvenirs, great food and drink, and goods you can handle.
  7. Raise a glass. Last week, Grand Rapids was named Beer City USA for the second year in a row. Michigan brewing is at a record high and Michiganders statewide are happy to help pick up the slack. Bell’s Oberon opening day, a state holiday, was March 25th but enjoying the ale has been somewhat lackluster this year, considering the influx of wintry weather over the last two months. Fear not! Memorial Day brings the promise of the type of wonderful weather that good summer ale will always compliment. So, crack open a cold one; cheers to craft brewing in Michigan.
  8. Predict the unpredictable. We all know the old adage: if you don’t like the weather in Michigan, wait five minutes. For as much as we always hope for bright sunny days over Memorial Day weekend, all Michiganders know to prepare for rain. Not sure what to do if you can’t be outside? Watch a movie! Michigan has been featured in films for years, and there are plenty of made-in-Michigan films available for rental or purchase. Even if you can’t enjoy the great outdoors yourself, you can still get a glimpse through some wonderful films. 

This is only the beginning of ways to spend your long weekend. How do you do Memorial Day?

Erin Bernhard is the Managing Content Editor for The Awesome Mitten. She’s a northern Michigan twentysomething who loves good microbrews, great wine, summertime grillouts, and well-roasted coffee. She is also a dedicated yoga practitioner, social media and marketing enthusiast, reader and writer, local food junkie, and outdoors explorer–and she’s always adding to the list. She is located in Traverse City and loves helping to make her hometown shine. Follow her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/errnbrrn), connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/erin.bernhard) and feel free to email (erin@awesomemitten.com) her anytime!

Seven Awesome St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in Michigan

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and Michiganders sure know how to celebrate this Irish holiday! For those looking for things to do, here’s a roundup from Jake Cagle and Brian Murray of The Awesome Mitten of just some of the many celebrations happening around the state.

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten and Katy Batdorff

When the Irish came to America, they brought their customs, traditions, and pride.  Today, over 34.7 million Americans claim Irish ancestry according to the 2010 U.S. census — seven times the current population of modern day Ireland.  With so many people to celebrate their heritage, it is no surprise that Saint Patrick’s Day has been co-opted from a religious feast day into a celebration of all things Irish.  Here in Michigan, we have a wide variety of great ways to celebrate the Emerald Isle.  Read about some of the best below.

Irish on Ionia
Ionia Street, from Oakes to Weston, Grand Rapids
Saturday, March 16, 7a.m. – 10p.m.
Tickets $10,  VIP $55

Brought to you by McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon, Irish on Ionia is an open-air festival in downtown Grand Rapids. You’ll have to leave the kids at home for this one, but the 21+ crowd is guaranteed a great time. The day kicks off at 7 in the morning with McFadden’s “Kegs and Eggs” breakfast buffet. If you show up late, never fear: the pinnacle of Grand Rapids street cuisine, Stoner Tacos, will be there to satisfy any hunger. You won’t be able to swing a cat without hitting something good to drink, either. Green beer will be going for $3 a cup, while Guinness and craft beers will run you $5. For just ten bucks you can buy a commemorative Irish on Ionia cup that you can fill for the same price as the other, smaller drinks.

But there’s more to Irish on Ionia than food and drink. A local Irish folk group with punk rock flair, The Waxies, will be there to play some traditional tunes. If they’re not your thing, stick around for The Crane Wives. You can also catch the Shamrock, Paper, Scissors tournament or the live circus performers. With all that going on, it’s no wonder the party goes all day.

Grand Ledge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration
Downtown Grand Ledge
Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, various times
Event dependent

There’s plenty to do in Grand Ledge this year; so much, in fact, that they’ve split events between two days. On Friday evening at 6:00pm, the Glen Erin Bagpipe Band will be putting on their Saint Patrick’s Day concert at the Grand Ledge Opera House. The show wraps up around 11a.m., and it’s important to run home and get some sleep because it picks right back up in the morning. There’s an Irish stew contest at the Cole-Briggs American Legion Post, where the public is welcome to come in and vote for their favorite. While you’re digesting, you can take in the parade at 2p.m., then head back to the Opera House for the Goderich Drum and Bagpipe Band and some traditional Irish dance.

The 59th Annual Bay City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
The corner of Center and Park Avenues, Bay City
Sunday, March 17, 2p.m.
Free

Photo courtesy of The Awesome Mitten and Katy Batdorff

Bay City kicked off this tradition with a bang in 1955. Over ten thousand people came together to watch marching bands, floats, and the St. Patrick’s Day Queen make their way to city hall. Each year the Queen is chosen from a list of young Irish ladies, selected based on personal interviews and a Miss America-style pageant. The winner  gets to ride on the biggest and baddest float in town, and also receives a tidy scholarship. Join Parade Marshall Kelly Reed and carry on this awesome tradition.

Saint Patrick’s at The Curragh
73 E. 8th Street, Holland
Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, 9a.m.
No price listed

The Curragh is an Irish pub in Holland, and they’re bringing you all the music you could want and more. This is another one of those 21+ events, but it’s a great chance to sit in a classic pub setting, drink your fill, and listen to some great Irish folk tunes. Bands include Peat in the Creel, AnDro, Millish, and a few more great choices. For the full list, just click the link at the head of this section. Breakfast starts at 9 each day, with music starting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

18th Annual Official Unofficial Traverse City St. Patrick’s Day Pub Walk
Downtown Traverse City
Friday, March 15, Noon
Free

A Traverse City tradition, this downtown pub crawl hits up 10 pubs in 10 hours. While walking from pub to pub, you can enjoy traditional Irish music played by members of Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums (this event is not organized, sponsored, or sanctioned by the Grand Traverse Pipes & Drums, hence the “unofficial” tag).  Walkers can join or stay behind at any stop along the way, ensuring a nice variety of attendees.

St. Patty’s Small Plates Wine Tasting
716 S. Kalamazoo St. Paw Paw, MI 49079
Saturday, March 16, 3-5 p.m.
$12 for wine club members, $15 for non-members

For those who are looking to celebrate the holiday in a low-key manner, St. Julian Winery hosts a three plate dinner and wine tasting event at their Paw Paw winery Saturday March 16.  Spend the afternoon at one of the oldest wineries in the state, enjoying Irish-themed dishes and terrific wine pairings.  There is limited seating, and reservations must be made by calling 1-800-732-6002.

Port Huron Pub Crawl 2013
Downtown Port Huron
Saturday, March 16, 1-7 p.m.
$10 in advance at Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau or participating pubs
$15 day of at transfer point on Quay Street or participating pubs

Those in the Port Huron area looking to celebrate the Irish at as many bars as possible should look no further than the Port Huron Pub Crawl.  Pub Crawl attendees wear wristbands which entitle them to free party bus rides that shuttle between 20 downtown bars.  Enjoy the best of Port Huron safely; discounted hotel packages are also available.

Of course there are many more great things to do in Michigan for St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re looking for other ideas, visit michigan.org. No matter what you do, be sure to celebrate safely and responsibly!

Jake Cagle is a feature writer for The Awesome Mitten. Born in Adrian, Michigan, Jake currently resides in Grand Rapids.  He graduated from Grand Valley State University.  Jake’s work has also been featured on MittenBrew.com and Visit Detroit Blog.

Brian Murray lives in Grand Rapids and is a feature writer at The Awesome Mitten. He also writes reviews of music and comic books for destroythecyb.org.