Whether you get lost in the corn maze or brave the Halloween Spook Train, there is something for the entire family to enjoy when visiting Michigan’s Little Bavaria. Guest blogger Ashley Smith from the Frankenmuth Convention & Visitor Bureau shares just some of the many things to look forward to during a visit to Frankenmuth this autumn.
Every year, thousands of people flock to Frankenmuth in the fall and early days of winter in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season – enjoying the glistening lights along Christmas Lane near Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland and the all-around festive spirit throughout town.
Although Michigan’s Little Bavaria is well known for its winter holiday delights, guests should take time to embrace the joy of the season before them as autumn boasts its own charm in Frankenmuth.
The Frankenmuth Corn Maze is host to a gigantic 5-acre corn maze, petting zoo and hayrides for the family. A tradition for many locals, the Frankenmuth Corn Maze is also great for newcomers looking to start a different holiday custom in the Great Lakes Bay Region. This year, kids – and kids at heart – can become a “farm scene investigator,” discovering what happened to Farmer Joe by looking for clues throughout the 2.5 miles of twisted trails within the maze. The maze will be open until Nov. 1.
And what’s fall without a straw-filled sack made to look like a person? Adorning most of a shopping center and the majority of downtown businesses will be scarecrows as part of the Scarecrow Fest in Frankenmuth, held Oct. 17-18 and 24-25. As a true showing of the fall spirit, festival goers can enjoy activities like pumpkin catapulting, face painting and trick or treating within the Frankenmuth River Place Shops.
If you need more fall fun and are looking for a memorable way to pick out your pumpkins this year, consider heading about 14 miles north of the downtown to experience Johnson’s Giant Pumpkin Farm where the kids can ride a barrel train.
If trains are what you’re into then you might also enjoy the Halloween Spook Train at Junction Valley Railroad, just west of Frankenmuth.
You might also consider checking out the Haunted Forest of Bavaria at The Adventure Park at Frankenmuth on Weiss Street, – directly behind Bronner’s. Open from 6-9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays throughout October, but closed on Halloween, the Haunted Forest of Bavaria features ghastly zombies, creepy clowns and a host of other terrifying monsters that are sure to frighten. Designed for kids who are 10 and older, this is a haunted trail the family can explore together. The park will also still be open to climbing during the event, so if you’re not one who enjoys being startled, you’re still able to zip and climb through the trees in the cool evening air.
When taking a break from the festivities for a world-famous chicken dinner at Bavarian Inn Restaurant or Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, make sure to check out the cleverly costumed scarecrows outside many of the local businesses and vote for your favorite. And speaking of eating, fall is one of the best times to indulge at one of the two famous restaurants as they feature locally grown blue Hubbard squash as the seasonal vegetable and as the key ingredient in their pumpkin pies, which are not only crowd favorites, but great ways to really celebrate the fall harvest.
While the annual holiday celebration, snow lined streets and Christmas cheer will always echo throughout Michigan’s Little Bavaria, make sure to fall into Frankenmuth this autumn for a whole new take on the popular German-themed destination.
What do you plan on doing in Frankenmuth this season?
About the author: Although originally from Arizona, Ashley Smith, Sales and Communications Coordinator for the Frankenmuth Convention & Visitor Bureau, has become an honorary Michigander and loves the Great Lakes state. Be sure to share your favorite memories with the hashtag #MuthMoments and follow Frankenmuth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.