Top Fall Festivals in Grand Rapids

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Top Fall Festivals in Grand Rapids

The fall is one of the best seasons to experience all that Grand Rapids has to offer! From fun fall outings with the family to larger fall events and festivals, the Grand Rapids area has something for everyone. Check out this list exclusively from the Grand Rapids Bucket List of all the best fall festivals and events. Enjoy!

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1. Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest started in Bavaria (southern Germany) but has become loved all around the world as a celebration of good beer, good food, and warm camaraderie among friends. This event is now splashing down in Grand Rapids!

Enjoy this one-of-a-kind immersive experience as you spend the day tasting unique German beers and wines. Indulge in mouthwatering munchies, live music, tons of swag, and you better plan on busting out the gram for an epic photoshoot.

This fantastic Grand Rapids fall festival takes place at Riverside Park on September 25.

GR Bucket List is excited to partner with Oktoberfest to offer exclusive ticket access for the event. We are offering two different package options for you to get the most out of your fun experience!

VIP Wine Experience

VIP Admission

$40 per person

2 PM

What’s Included:

– 5 Wine Tastings

– Photo ops, games, and activities

– Oktoberfest collectible T-Shirt

– Food for purchase on-site

– Access Wristband for the Beer Tent

VIP Beer Experience

VIP Admission

$40 per person

4 PM

What’s Included:

– 5 Beer Tastings

– Photo ops, games, and activities

– Oktoberfest collectible T-Shirt

– Food for purchase on-site

– Access Wristband for the Beer Tent

2. ArtPrize

Of all the things to do in Grand Rapids, ArtPrize is one of the most iconic. Happening in the fall every other year, ArtPrize is an art extravaganza at its biggest and boldest. Since 2009, a quarter of a million people descend on Grand Rapids as the city itself is transformed into an art exhibit for two weeks. Over 150 venues around the area feature works done by amateurs and professionals, while the public votes on which one will win the $450,000 public prize.

The best place to start with ArtPrize is downtown. You can take in a lot of pieces just by visiting the Public Museum, Gerald R Ford Museum, DeVos Place, The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, and, of course, the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

ArtPrize 2021 takes place September 16 – October 3, 2021. You can visit ArtPrize’s venues page now to plan what you want to see and do.

3. Red Flannel Festival

The Red Flannel Festival is an 82-year Cedar Springs tradition that can’t be missed. This fun fall festival takes place every year on the first Saturday in October. The tradition of the Red Flannel Festival started in 1936 which was known as one of the worst winters in years and the entire area suffered heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures.

Some of the fun events include a golf outing, 5K run, Lumberjack breakfast, Chili cookoff, kids zone and so much more! This year the event takes place on Saturday, October 2.

4. Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival

The International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival is now in its 14th year and is certainly one of the can’t-be-missed events of the fall season in Grand Rapids. The event features over 1,500 beers, wines, ciders, and spirits from around the world and the West Michigan area. This year the festival takes place November 19-20 at The Devos Place. This is one of the best fall festivals in Grand Rapids!

The area’s finest restaurants also have a presence by offering various food booths in which visitors can try samples of different dishes. There is also an option to purchase tickets to wine and food dinners which are presented by some of the best restaurants in town.

5. Fallasburg Art Festival

The Fallasburg Arts festival takes place every fall in Lowell! This festival is one of the premier art festivals in the greater Grand Rapids area. This 2-day event, which is in its 53rd year, is presented by LowellArts. It features over 100 fine art and fine craft artists booth, live music, food booths, and children’s activities including free pumpkins!

The festival takes place September 18 and 19 from 10 am-5 pm at Fallasburg Park in Lowell, Michigan. The event is free and parking is $5 per car.

6. Bourbon Fest

Bourbon Fest is another great fall event that just can’t be missed! GR Bourbon Fest is an indoor bourbon festival hosted in the loft space at Studio D2D Event Center. This festival will feature 100+ whiskeys along with 30+store picks. The majority of the list is bourbon but there will be a few non-bourbon options such as rye whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, and Japanese whiskey. In addition to the great whiskey selection, there will be a food truck, live music, vendors, and more! There will also be beer and wine offered for non-bourbon lovers.

The GR Bucket List has partnered with Burbon Fest to bring the Grand Rapids area another exclusive experience. The experience includes entry and access to the main festival including over 100 Whiskeys, Souvenir Glass, and 10 Tasting Tickets. The event takes place on September 24 at Studio D2D Event Center.

7. African American Arts & Music Festival

The African American Arts & Music Festival takes place at Studio Park on September 25th from 12 pm-10 pm. This event celebrates African-American artists through the visual and performing arts. The festival will immerse the community in art, music, and dance all while reflecting the many sides of Grand Rapids diversity. There is also a two-part concert that is sure to bring outstanding music, song, and dance to the event!

Can’t Make it so the African American Arts & Music Festival?

Book the GR Bucket Lists exclusive cooking class with our partner Motherland Cooking!

Take a trip to West Africa with us in this hands-on, interactive cooking class. We will visit various African countries together by cooking some of the best dishes from each region accompanied by live music and storytelling. Your taste buds, soul, and mind will thank you at the end. This class brings you on a food journey where you will learn how to make Puff Puffs, and how to prepare fish/meats with legendary African marinade for grilling. While the fish is soaking up all those juicy flavors from the marinade, we will prepare veggies for the flavorful pesto-like sauce. You will also get to take the recipes home with you.

8. Restaurant Week GR  – November 5-13, 2021

Restaurant week in Grand Rapids is the perfect time to explore all that the cities culinary scene has to offer! During this week you will find the area’s best chefs serving up some fantastic food. Visit the various participating restaurants to get rewards along the way- Sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids.

Check back in October for details on Restaurant Week GR and the 2021 digital pass.

9. Michigan Apple Fest

A West Michigan classic, The Michigan Apple Festival, takes place in Sparta each September. This year the event is on September 17 and 18. The event celebrates the agricultural history of the area and The Ridge which has over 1,000 orchard acres filled with Apples. The event features an artisan market, various apple-type contests including apple pie eating and apple sling shot contest. There will also be plenty to do with the children at the event including a bounce house, petting zoo, kids activities, and crafts. Don’t forget the adults! There will be live music, hard apple cider, and specialty apple cocktails!

10. Zeeland Pumpkinfest

Don’t miss all the fall fun at the Zeeland Pumpkinfest! Taking place in the small town of Zeeland on October 1 and 2, this festival features tons of fun for all ages! The activities include scavenger hunts, art displays, Kidzfest, Bingo, Beer tent, Cookies & Cider classes, outdoor movies, 5K run, farmers market, contests and so much more!

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Book your next GR Bucket List Experience today!

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