It’s October in Michigan, and that means fall is in full effect. It also means there are plenty of festivals, Halloween happenings and other activities taking place all around the state. Check out our listing of fall-themed events happening wherever you are in Michigan and head over to michigan.org for more information to help you fill your October calendar with fun fall activities!
Tuscola County Pumpkin Festival
October 5 – 9, 2011, Caro
Caro, in the thumb of Michigan, is the home of the Tuscola County Pumpkin Festival, an October tradition, which was started in 1981 by a small group of local residents. Join more than 50,000 people for the 31st annual festival, featuring parades, a White Pumpkin 5K Road Race, a car show and fireworks. For more information, call (989) 673-2511 or visit http://www.tuscolapumpkinfest.com.
Davison Pumpkin Festival
October 7 – 8, 2011, Davison
Davison has a fun Halloween tradition – the residents take a giant pumpkin and watch it splat as it is thrown from the top of a fire track ladder. Join them October 7th and 8th for the 22nd Annual Pumpkin Festival, featuring the Do Da Parade and Do Da Dude/Darlin’ Pageant. Saturday kicks off with a Country Breakfast; then enjoy the many crafts, activities, entertainment, contests, demonstrations and fun. For more information, call (810) 877-5028 or visit http://www.davisonpumpkinfestival.com.
Annual Clam & Lobster Fest
October 7 – 8, 2011, Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth is known for its world-famous chicken dinners, but this month, the city will be drawing crowds for a different reason when it hosts the 15th Annual Clam & Lobster Fest at the Frankenmuth Riverplace. Enjoy clam, lobster and BBQ chicken with oldies music provided by WHNN. For more information and exact times, call (989) 776-2100.
Flint Film Festival – 2011
October 14 – 15, 2011, Flint
Head over to the Riverfront Banquet Center in downtown Flint to celebrate the independent filmmakers, writers, actors and technicians at the Flint Film Festival. Discover a unique and varied spectrum of films– long, short, fiction, documentary and animation–and filmmakers from around the world. Meet filmmakers and learn about filmmaking and the filmmaking experience. Check out http://theflintfilmfestival.com for more info.
Lexington Oktoberfest Weekend
October 15 – 16, 2011, Lexington
Come to Lexington under the big tent for music, dancing, brats, wine and beer and a chance to dance the night away with a performance by the Big Daddy Lackowski Polka Band. For more information, call (248) 705-0260.
Halloween Ghosts & Goodies at Crossroads
October 1 – 31, 2011, Flint
Put some family friendly fun – not fright – in your Halloween. Take a trick-or-treat tour through a haunted village and ride a huckleberry ghost train. There’s even a ghost fort…and dancing monsters. No matter how young or old you are, come celebrate Halloween at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad with all your spooky friends. Weekdays 5:00-9:00 p.m, weekends 12:00-9:00 p.m. For more information, call (800) 648-PARK or for dates go to http://www.geneseecountyparks.org/pages/Halloween.
Scarecrow Fest at Frankenmuth River Place
October 15 – 23, 2011, Frankenmuth
Have you ever tried a pumpkin catapult? Or participated in pumpkin bowling? You can do all that and more in Frankenmuth at Scarecrow Fest. Enjoy fun weekend entertainment for the whole family. For more information, call (800) 600-0105.
Downtown Midland’s Pumpkin Festival
October 20, 2011, Midland
The city of Midland joins in the festival fun with pumpkin rolling, trick-or-treating, pumpkin bowling, free popcorn, cotton candy and much more. All are invited to wear their costume downtown from 6 - 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (989) 837-3330.
A Haunted Evening at Historic White Horse Inn
October 26 -27, 2011, Metamora
Did you know Michigan has more than its share of haunted adventures? Join Kat Tedsen and Bev Rydel, authors of “Haunted Travels of Michigan,” for a ghostly dinner presentation as they take guests on a journey of their most bizarre ghost hunting adventures. Call the restaurant for reservations at (810) 678-2150 or visit http://www.hauntedtravelsmi.com/whitehorse.
Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival
October 6 -9, 2011, Alpena
Michigan is known for its beautiful lighthouses, and this four-day event in Alpena provides activities for the young and old including lighthouse tours by air, boat or personal vehicle. The festival boasts more than 100 maritime related vendors including lighthouse preservation groups, artists, authors and more. Call (586) 566-1603 for more information or visit http://www.lighthousefestival.org.
Fall Colors Bridge Race
October 8, 2011, Mackinaw City
On your mark … get set … go! The third annual Fall Colors Bridge Race offers runners a unique opportunity to run on the majestic Mackinac Bridge. The race will begin at Bridgeview Park at the north end of the bridge and will end at race headquarters in Mackinaw City. Event registration closes at midnight on October 5. For more information on the event, call the Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau at (231) 436-5664 or visit http://www.mackinawcity.com/fall-colors-bridge-race-107/.
October 15 -16, 2011, Grayling
Punkin’ Chunkin’ is a simple concept – hurl pumpkins across a field in an attempt to knock down the walls of a “castle.” The Wellington Farm trebuchet - a catapult with a counterweight – will be in operation all day long. For more information, call (989) 348-5187.
Autumn Days at Historic White Pine Village
October 7 – 8, 2011, Ludington
Ludington’s White Pine Village will abound with the fall harvest, including pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks and colorful decorations during Autumn Days. Take a step back in time at this two-day event and watch apples being pressed into cider, enjoy a hayride, or stop by the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor for a slice of fresh baked apple pie! Call (231) 843-4808 for more information or visit http://historicwhitepinevillage.org/content.aspx?Page=E_AutumnDays.
Frankfort Fall Festival
October 8, 2011, Frankfort
Kick off fall the Frankfort way! This festival is jam-packed with activities for the whole family to enjoy, including a parade with the Scottville Clown Band, children’s games, giant pumpkins, squash and watermelons, Master Carver Ed Moody, Pumpkin Drop on a Car, and more.
Great Lakes Glass Pumpkin Patch
October 8, 2011, Cross Village
Where else can you see hundreds of glass pumpkins in pumpkin patches? Boyer Glassworks and Three Pines Gallery are hosting a pumpkin patch day featuring the work of glassblowers Harry Bower and Lynn Dinning. For more information, call Boyer Glassworks at (231) 526-6359.
33rd Annual Charlevoix Apple Festival
October 14 – 16, 2011, Charlevoix
If you love apples, cider, or fall in general, then you’ll go nuts for this long-running festival featuring more than 30 types of apples as well as other fall harvest crops and products such as pumpkins, squash, jam, honey, maple syrup and cider. Local organizations will warm you up with hot delicious foods like chili, hot dogs, kielbasa, French fries and more. The three-day event will also include a holiday art and craft show, face painting, pony rides and a petting zoo. For more information, visit http://www.charlevoix.org/News/apple-fest.html.
Stockbridge Harvest Festival
October 7 – 9, 2011, Stockbridge
Dance in the historic Stockbridge Township Hall, take a hayride and go camping overnight as part of Stockbridge’s Harvest Festival. Be sure to check out the classic car show for adults and the corn maze for kids. For more information, go to http://www.vil.stockbridge.mi.us/VillageServices/HarvestFestival2011/tabid/6769/Default.aspx.
Oktoberfest in Old Town Lansing
October 7 – 8, 2011, Lansing
Lansing only has one German-style festival, and it’s Old Town Oktoberfest. Come out and enjoy some German food, dance to some live polka bands and, of course, drink some wonderful German beers in a souvenir mug to remember the event. For more information, call the Old Town Commercial Association at (517) 485-4283 or visit http://www.oldtownoktoberfest.com/.
October 8, 2011, Albion
Oktoberfest celebrations aren’t always about beer. Sleeping Bear Winery will be hosting its Winetoberfest, featuring its award-winning wine and hard cider (on tap), great ethnic food and lots of fun. No cover charge. For more information, call (517) 592-4663 or visit http://www.sleepingbearwinery.com/scripts/eventPg.cfm.
Tecumseh’s Appleumpkin Festival
October 8 -9, 2011, Tecumseh
Apples and pumpkins come together in Tecumseh for a fall festival residents call Appleumpkin. The Antique Street Fair and Flea Market, Juried Arts and Crafts Show, midway rides and live entertainment offer fun for the whole family. You’ll also find free Make-It-Take-It art projects for children, and the entire family will enjoy building a scarecrow to take home at the Make-It-Take-It Scarecrow tent. Businesses throughout Tecumseh also offer specials and savings throughout the entire weekend. For more information, call (517) 424-6003 or visit http://www.downtowntecumseh.com/downtown/appleumpkin.htm.
Kensington’s Fall Festival
October 8 -9, 2011, Milford
Take a horse-drawn hayride to a pumpkin patch to select your jack-o-lantern. Learn how cider is made. Laugh along with Rosco the Clown. Enjoy all this and more at Kensington’s Fall Festival – a fun-filled weekend of activities for the entire family. For more information, call the Kensington Metropark at (800) 477-3178 or (248) 685-1561 or visit http://www.metroparks.com/calendar_item.aspx?ID=2182.
The Great Pumpkin Hunt
October 15, 2011, Huron Valley
Kids, put on your thinking caps! The Great Pumpkin Hunt at the Environmental Discovery Center in White Lake will feature crafts, face painting and food, and as the main event, kids can search for clues on pumpkins to solve the puzzle that is “The Great Pumpkin Hunt.” Open to all ages. For additional information, call (800) 477-2757 or (248) 625-6640 or visit http://www.metroparks.com/calendar_item.aspx?ID=1585.
Apple Butter Festival 2011
October 15 – 16, 2011, Lansing
This fun festival in Lansing features apple butter cooking over an open fire, cider pressing demonstrations and heritage arts and crafts. This is a free event. For more information, call (517) 483-4224 or visit http://www.mynaturecenter.org/.
Cranes, Colors, and Cabernet Festival
October 15, 2011, Jackson
Sandhill Crane Vineyards is teaming up with the Haehnle Bird Sanctuary and other local nature groups to celebrate the Sandhill Crane. Its newest vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon will be available for tasting and purchase as a sneak peek — once the festival is over, it’ll go back into the cellar until its official release. For more information, call (517) 764-0679 or visit http://www.sandhillcranevineyards.com/pages/events.html.
Detroit Fall Beer Festival
October 22, 2011, Detroit
The 3rd Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival at Eastern Market will feature more than 40 Michigan craft breweries offering more than 200 different beers for sampling throughout the day. Admission to the Detroit Fall Beer Festival is $35 in advance or $40 at the door and includes 15 drink tokens (each good for one 3-ounce beer sample). Festival attendees must be 21 to enter, and ID must be shown (no exceptions). For more information, please call (517) 327-5004.
2011 Hilton Fall Festival
October 22, 2011, Ferndale
Enjoy a day of activities, including carnival games, face painting, hayrides, pony rides, a rock climbing wall, a costume contest, trick-or-treating, and an arts & crafts fair with an admission fee of just $5 per person. For more information, check out http://www.ferndaleac.com/events/hilton-fall-festival/2011.
Color Cruise and Island Festival
October 7 – 8, 2011, Grand Ledge
This early October event in Mid-Michigan offers visitors the chance to relive history by taking a ride in an old-fashioned covered wagon or cruising down the scenic Grand River on a riverboat. The Color Cruise and Island Festival also features pioneer demonstrations of cider pressing, live folk music, traditional dance and more. For more information, please call (517) 627-2383 or visit http://www.grandledgechamber.com/color_cruise.php.
New Buffalo Harvest & Wine Fest
October 8, 2011, New Buffalo
New Buffalo’s Harvest & Wine Fest has it all – from awesome live music to world-class wines from the Southwest Michigan fruit belt. There will also be tasty fare from local restaurants, a farmers market and hayrides to a pumpkin patch, not to mention an abundance of free activities for the kids! For more information, call (773) 791-1809.
Harvest Paddle Fest
October 7 – 9, 2011, St. Joseph
St. Joseph’s Harvest Paddle Fest is a tribute and celebration of the area’s three world-class flat-water paddling venues – the St. Joseph and Paw Paw rivers and Lake Michigan. Experience these unique waterways with an all-day Saturday paddle trip on the St. Joseph River from Berrien Springs to St. Joseph, and Sunday trips on the Paw Paw River and Lake Michigan. After paddling Southwest Michigan, head down to downtown St. Joseph for the Harvest Festival, which features wine tasting from local wineries, street music and food from local restaurants. For more information, visit http://www.berrienpaddlers.com/
October 8 – 9, 2011, Bellevue
Be a part of this FREE event to increase awareness of the majestic Sandhill Crane featuring more than 9,000 of them! Guests can also take in a wildlife art show and sale with 25 artists, guided nature walks, educational presentations, and hands-on activities provided by local environmental groups. For more information, visit http://www.cranefest.org
Fennville Goose Festival
October 8 – 9, 2011, Fennville
Don’t miss a weekend of fun-filled activities at the Fennville Goose Festival including a craft show, parades and carnival. Not enough? How about a Loose Goose Trolley, Wild Goose Chase 5k Run & Gosling Run, live entertainment, dog show, car show and much, much more! For more information, please call (269) 561-2981 or visit http://www.greaterfennville.com/relax/goose_festival.htm.
October 8, 2011, Escanaba
You’ve heard of Oktoberfest, but what about UPtoberfest? UPtoberfest is the Upper Peninsula’s only beer and wine festival and this year, the focus is on beers and wines from the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan. All proceeds from UPtoberfest benefit The United Way of Delta County. For additional information, call (906) 420-0779 or visit http://www.uptoberfest.org/about.shtml
Pumpkinfest in Downtown Zeeland
October 6 – 8, 2011, Zeeland
Pumpkinfest in Zeeland is a three-day festival providing a glimpse of what is best about Zeeland – its people. Check out display of scarecrows in full décor. Enjoy quilts, artwork and games. Participate in the pumpkin seed spitting contest or the chili cook-off. For more information, call (616) 772-2494 or visit http://www.pumpkinfest-zeeland.org.
Oktoberfest and Classic and Hot-Rod Show
October 7 – 8, 2011, Pentwater
Head over to Pentwater for the city’s Oktoberfest and Classic and Hot-Rod Show. Check out legions of classic cars and hot rods. Take part in a chili and spaghetti sauce cook-off or a strudel bake-off. Take the kids to paint a pumpkin. For more information, call (231) 869-4150 or visit http://www.pentwater.org/CALENDAR/2010-10-08/Oktoberfest.
October 8, 2011, Montague
The most popular event at Montague’s Pumpkin Fest is the Dowling Hill pumpkin roll, and there are plenty of other pumpkin activities for the family, including a pumpkin pie competition, painting, carving and the biggest pumpkin weigh-in. For more information, call (800) 879-9702 or visit http://www.whitelake.org/event/pumpkinfest-0.
The Great Pumpkin Train
October 8 – 9, 2011, Coopersville
Come over to Coopersville for a fall tradition – the Famous Pumpkin Train! Passengers are entertained during the journey by The Great Pumpkin, Scarecrow and Little Crow. Songs and jokes abound over the clickity-clack of the rails during the 90-minute round trip. Each paid child’s ticket includes a locally-grown pumpkin that the child can select at the end of the trip. For prices or more information, call (616) 997-7000 or visit http://www.coopersvilleandmarne.org/Pumpkin.html.