Autumn ushers in moderate temperatures across the state of Michigan, which make the conditions ideal for lots of fun, indoors and out.
Attend a fall festival or event at a state park.
More than 30 state parks host fall harvest festivals throughout September and October. Each park has a different arrangement of activities, which run the gamut: from horse-drawn carriage rides to nature programs to pumpkin carving. These fall festivals are typically registered campers only, or if you’re visiting friends and family staying at one of the campsites. Here are some state park fall events that are open to the public, though you will still need a recreation passport, which can be purchased at the park entrance:
- September 20-21: Wells State Park – Spooktacular Halloween and Harvest Festival, Cedar River, MI
- September 27-28*: South Higgins Lake State Park – 16th Annual Halloween Festival, Roscommon, MI * Activities occurring Friday in the campground and Saturday at the Park Store (Day Use) are open to the public.
- October 4-5: Fayette Historic State Park – 14th Annual Fayette Fall Fest, Garden, MI
- October 11-12: Tawas Point State Park – Haunted Lighthouse Weekend, East Tawas, MI
- October 11-13: Harrisville State Park – Harrisville Haunted Halloween Weekend, Harrisville, MI
- October 12: Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Harvest Festival, Paradise, MI
- October 19-20: Leelanau State Park – Haunted Lighthouse, Northport, MI
If you like the occasional adrenaline rush, then visit one of the state’s haunted attractions. There are guided tours or you can embark on your own. Here are our top three picks for this Halloween, out of dozens of options.
Northeast Lower Michigan: The naval destroyer USS Edson, also known as the “Grey Ghost,” rests in the waters of the Saginaw River near Bay City and is a renowned haunted ship. It was even featured on the television show, Ghost Asylum. For $15 per person, you can go on a chilling tour of the vessel. www.ussedson.org/
Northwest Lower Michigan: Colonial Michilimackinac is an 18th century fort and fur trading village with its fair share of ghostly history. During Halloween, the fort is transformed into a hamlet for creatures and beasts of lore. Listen to folktales and munch on traditional autumn treats… perhaps after visiting the haunted house, demon walk, or werewolf walk.
Southeast Lower Michigan: There are few towns as historic as Metro Detroit. If you want the experience of being a professional ghost hunter, go on a two-and-a-half-hour tour of some of the city’s most haunted locations. Tickets are $35 and includes chartered transportation. www.haunteddetroittours.com
Sip on a fall brew.
Many of the state’s craft breweries honor the season with a pumpkin or spiced seasonal beer. Hard cider is also prominent during the fall, as the fresh taste of ripe apples seems to pair well with the cool breezes, flannel shirts, and crisp leaves. If beer doesn’t strike your pallet, then you can choose to visit one of the local coffee shops for a warm beverage of your choice to chase away the autumn chill.
For more ideas of what to do this fall, read our other article.