Without a doubt, autumn in West Michigan is our favorite seasons. It’s a time when cider begins to flow, ArtPrize comes to life, hiking trails explode with vibrant colors, and the brisk, invigorating lake breeze sweeps in. Michigan offers a multitude of fall activities, especially in Grand Rapids, where options are as plentiful as the apples dropping from trees. Whether it’s exploring pumpkin patches or indulging in fine wine tastings, Grand Rapids offers a wide array of autumn experiences to savor.
Autumn is the ideal season to plan a visit to Robinette’s Orchard. With a history spanning over a century, this beloved farm located to the north of Grand Rapids has been cultivating apples and producing cider. Additionally, they offer the opportunity to sample and purchase their in-house wines and ciders.
Savoring Robinette’s cider and donuts is an essential fall indulgence. You can witness the apple-crushing process at the cider mill and fill your jug with freshly pressed cider right before your eyes. Pair a steaming cup of cider with one of their delectably warm cinnamon or apple donuts from Robinette’s Bakery for a truly delightful experience.
If you plan to visit, allocate some extra time as Robinette’s tends to get quite busy during the peak fall season.
Situated on 6 Mile Road in Grand Rapids, Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm Market has been a cherished autumn destination for generations of Michiganders. Their extensive pumpkin assortment includes everything from petite decorative gourds to large pumpkins ideal for carving.
In addition to the pumpkin patch, visitors have the opportunity to engage in apple picking, savor weekly live musical performances, and, perhaps most appealingly, relish craft beer, hard cider, or wine in the taproom. Always a fun Grand Rapids place to visit in the fall!
For additional details, please refer to the Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm Market website.
Other Grand Rapids Pumpkin Patches:
Corn Maze at Deep Roots Produce
When autumn arrives, a visit to a corn maze becomes a must, and Deep Roots Produce boasts an exceptionally amazing one! (Apologies for the pun—couldn’t resist!)
Nestled southeast of Grand Rapids in Alto, the Deep Roots Produce farm market has been featuring its corn maze for a few years now, and each year brings a uniquely captivating design.
In 2022, the 10-acre maze paid homage to none other than the iconic Happy Gilmore! Within this Happy Gilmore-themed corn maze, you’ll navigate through golf clubs, golf balls, and even Happy’s head. There’s even a section of the maze where you can practice your putting skills!
For further information and ticket purchases, please visit the Deep Roots Produce website.
Other Grand Rapids Fall Corn Mazes:
Zoo Goes Boo at John Ball Zoo
Zoo Goes Boo at John Ball Zoo (JBZ) is a memorable event for kids and families. Dress up as your favorite monsters or superheroes and walk through decorated paths while kids trick-or-treat through stands and tents set up by community businesses and organizations. It’s a fun way to see lots of costumes, get a taste of the Halloween spirit before the big night, and visit all the animals!
Enjoy the Changing Seasons at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, often referred to as Meijer Gardens, becomes an idyllic destination as the trees undergo their vibrant autumn transformation, and the brisk air beckons for leisurely strolls amidst the sculptures and horticultural wonders. The changing foliage during this season is truly a captivating spectacle! The outdoor gardens are adorned with a profusion of mums in rich shades of red, purple, and orange, while the Michigan Farm Garden is bustling with the bounties of harvest, featuring heirloom vegetables and colossal pumpkins that are large enough to serve as makeshift seats.
To stay informed about the special events taking place this autumn, be sure to consult the Meijer Gardens calendar.
There are scenic drives all over West Michigan, but they’re never as beautiful as they are when at peak color during the fall season.
When the reds, oranges, and yellows really start to pop, hit the road with these maps from the Kent County Road Commission. You’ll see some great views and spectacular colors that show off what this area offers. The maps also mark some of the best parks to stop at along the route.
- Eastern Kent County
- Northern Kent County
- Western Kent County
- Southwestern Kent County
- Southeastern Kent County
To fully immerse yourself in the splendid autumn foliage that Mother Nature presents, a visit to the Blandford Nature Center is a must. Spanning 264 acres of pristine land teeming with diverse wildlife, the Blandford Nature Center promises an enchanting experience amidst the wonders of nature.
Be sure to explore their events calendar and engage in enjoyable activities like “Wizards, Witches, and Owls” or “The Blandford Halloween Hunt.” For details on upcoming events and access to trail maps, please visit their website. This is an essential autumn activity you won’t want to miss in Grand Rapids!
Grand Rapids Area Fall Festivals:
Treat Your Palate to the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival
In November, this autumn season brings you the well-established Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer, and Food Festival, a renowned tasting event in West Michigan. With over 1,500 bottles of wines, beers, ciders, and more available for sampling, along with an array of unique and signature dishes from local Grand Rapids eateries, this festival promises a delectable experience.
Whether you are an experienced aficionado of fine wines and gourmet cuisine or someone new to the world of exceptional food and beverages, this festival offers an ideal opportunity to discover new favorites and expand your palate.
For more information and to secure your tickets for this event, please click here.
Take in Everything ArtPrize
ArtPrize is a biennial autumn spectacle that showcases art on an immense scale. Since its inception in 2009, this event has drawn a staggering 250,000 attendees to Grand Rapids, effectively turning the city into a massive art exhibition for a fortnight. Over 150 venues scattered across the area display artwork from both amateurs and professionals, while the public and jurors cast their votes to determine the recipients of the $400,000 in prizes and $200,000 in artist grants.
Strolling among these venues, bathed in the pleasant autumn atmosphere, offers an excellent opportunity to explore more of the city and discover new places you may not have visited before. A must-do Grand Rapids fall activity!
Pull out your red flannel and head out to one of the longest-running festivals in Michigan. Always occurring on the first Saturday in October, this festival takes place in Cedar Springs, Michigan, and celebrates over 80 years of being a staple event for locals and surrounding cities. Head down to downtown Cedar Springs during this two-weekend festival and enjoy an array of events, an Arts and Crafts Show, Parade, Car Show, Lumberjack Supper, and more! Don’t show up without your red or you’ll wind up in “jail” and have to pay $1 to get yourself out. For more information on events head over to their website and don’t forget to read up on the rich history of the Red Flannel Festival.
This two-day, free event takes place in the beautiful Fallasburg Park in Lowell, Michigan. The yearly event takes place in September and hosts 100 fine art and craft artist booths. Live music, food booths, and children’s activities make this an event the whole family will enjoy. Head on over to their website and get more information on the event and make sure to check out their sponsors and parking information. This is certainly one to add to your West Michigan fall activities bucket list.
Looking for an event with many vendors, food trucks, bounce houses, kids’ fall activities, and a petting zoo? Look no further than Michigan Apple Fest in Sparta, Michigan. Downtown Sparta hosts this festival annually and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Kick off the fall season with this two-day event that combines new and traditional festivities each year. For more information on the event and its offerings, visit their website.
Feeling competitive? Don’t miss the many contests, including apple peeling, apple pie eating, apple slingshot, and more.