Pumpkins are filling patches, apples are filling trees, so it’s time for our 12 things to do in Michigan in October 2022. This month is a treasure trove of fall splendor.
Oct 1-31 (weekdays only) The Hunt for Reds of October – Leelanau Peninsula
What a wonderful time of year it is to soak up yellow, orange, and of course, reds, on the glorious Leelanau Peninsula. Thankfully, this fantastic opportunity to discover many of Michigan’s best red wines is back. For only $35 a person, participants can enjoy a 3-oz pour of red wine at 21 participating wineries, plus a souvenir glass. Each bottle is hand-selected by the winery. The Hunt is on, on weekdays throughout October. Brighten up a Mopey Monday, delight your palate on Tasty Tuesday, or relax on Wine Down Wednesday. Perhaps you’ll want to welcome the weekend early on Thirsty Thursday, or wait and celebrate that TGIF feeling. There’s never a bad day to discover a Michigan red.
October 7-31 Skeletons Are Alive – Northville
This has become one of Metro Detroit’s favorite fall traditions. It kicks off with a special celebration on Friday October 7, featuring a skeleton stilt walker, balloon twisters, face painting, a photo booth, and live pumpkin carving. Ghostbusters will be on site to thwart any scary spirits, while Social Bones rocks Town Square. Costumes are welcome, and even encouraged. The streets will be filled with 120 life-sized skeletons with various themes. Those skelly selfie opps abound until the end of the month. The kids will have a blast discovering them, and adults scare up a little fun of their own in the town’s social district.
October 8-9 Fall on the Island Festival – Drummond Island
For a real autumn treat, hop on a car ferry for a short 10-15 minute trip across the St. Mary’s River to Drummond Island. There, music, food, drinks, and family entertainment, await. This annual event includes some great Northern Michigan traditions like a pasty eating competition and Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows. You can also compete in cornhole and pong tournaments, shop for crafts, or take in a dueling piano show and other live entertainment.
October 8-9 Cranefest – Bellevue
A sure sign of fall is the Sandhill Crane migration, which is a delight to experience, and in this case, can also help raise some funds for a worthy cause. Join the Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek from 12pm-7pm for this natural phenomenon. Come early to view outdoor-themed art and shop with local vendors. Experience live animal exhibits, participate in youth activities, and roam the color-coded trails in search of seasonal birds and wildlife. Then, as dusk approaches, be in the viewing areas on the lakeshore to witness thousands of migrating Sandhill Cranes gather and touch down into Big Marsh Lake. Be sure to bring your camera, or at least your camera phone. Parking is $7 as a Kiwanis Youth Conservation Area fundraiser.
October 8-9 Appleumpkin Festival – Tecumseh
This is a coupling that gives “Bennifer” a run for its money. Apples and pumpkins are the ultimate fruits of a fall harvest, so why not celebrate both equally? That’s what our friends in Tecumseh do, and it makes for an incredibly fun event. Catch a ride, via monster truck, helicopter, or a good old fashioned carnival. There are also lots of games, live performances, arts & crafts, dining, and shopping opportunities. While in the area, take a short drive out to Kapnick Orchards and enjoy fresh apples, cider and donuts. Wagon rides, a petting zoo and over 80 craft booths add to the fall fun there.
October 13-16 Fresh Coast Film Festival – Marquette
When you live in Michigan, you develop a deep appreciation for fresh water, especially when spending time in the Yoop. That’s what makes Marquette the perfect host for this event. The feast of flicks features the best in environmental and cultural filmmaking from around the world. It’s also home to some of the most profound Great Lakes storytelling. Of course, you can’t go to Marquette only to watch movies inside, you have to get out there and soak it all in. That’s why attendees are able to spend their mornings exploring the pristine countryside on their own, or by joining one of several guided tours. Then, as the sun goes down, the screens light up.
October 14 Eastern Market Harvest Gala – Detroit
In 1891, the first sheds were built on the current Eastern Market site, and it has been a Detroit institution event since. It’s all about food, fun, and promoting the best of our local flavors. Eastern Market’s Gala is making its triumphant return this month with premier Detroit chefs Marc Djozlija & Kyle Schutte of Wright & Co. Enjoy an exquisite farm-to-table dinner, wine, cocktails, live music, and dancing in Shed 3. This benefit is one of the city’s best nights out of the year.
October 14-16 Apple Festival – Charlevoix
Autumn means apples all around the state. Set against the stunning beauty of Charlevoix, this popular event has become annual tradition. Aside from stocking up on fall’s favorite fruit, guests can hit the farmers market for local products like pumpkins, mums, squash, jam, maple syrup, pies, bagels, mustard, crepes, cider, honey, meats, eggs, soups, and a variety of baked goods. Bring a bag or two and your appetite because you’ll also find delicious soup and chili, hot dogs, kielbasa, apple flappens and Irish apple cake, available to eat on site. In addition to the food a plenty, you can get a jump on unique holiday gift shopping with the arts & crafts show in East Park and on Mason Street.
October 22 Fall Beer Festival – Detroit
Detroit’s brewing scene has come a long way since the days when Goebel and Stroh’s were the staples. Now it’s a place where quality craft brews abound, and this is the premier tasting event for those who want to explore the beer scene. General Admission is 1pm-6pm, with the gates opening at Noon for a VIP hour for Enthusiast Members. Tickets are $55 per person in advance or and $65 at the gate, if still available. Fifteen drink tokens are included with admission and each drink token is redeemable for a 3-oz. sample of beer. Food trucks will also be on site too, so you can soak up some suds with good grub.
October 22-23 Scarecrow Fest – Frankenmuth
Celebrate fall in Frankenmuth during Scarecrow Fest. The fest actually runs over two weekends, the first is dedicated to doggies, while this one is all about family fun. Head to the Frankenmuth River Place Shops, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-6pm. Try your hand at the catapult and see how far you can launch a pumpkin. Give pumpkin bowling a go. Kids can also paint pumpkins, do arts and crafts, and take a ride on Grandpa Tiny’s barrel train. There will be dance performances, music, yard games, and a Kids Costume Parade on Sunday, October 23 from 5:30pm-6:00pm, starting at the Fest Platz. Kids who participate will receive a treat bag. Plus, you’ll find adorable scarecrows all throughout the town.
October 26 TEDx Detroit – Detroit
It’s been a tough few years for many of us, so it may be time to seek out some emotional and mental rejuvenation. Thank goodness, TEDxDetroit is coming back to the Motor City. The event will be held at Music Hall this year. The speaker lineup is filled with talented, unique individuals, whose stories and ideas will ignite a fire in your soul. They include academics, artists, investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators, each with only a short block of time to share their positive idea for improving the world. The main stage isn’t the only place to experience big ideas during the event. TEDxLabs showcases technological breakthroughs, while TEDxMarketplace gives you an opportunity to buy local products. Taking place together, right outside the theatre, it’s part business expo, part art gallery, and part science fair. Get inspired and get a jump on your holiday shopping in one exceptionally cool day.
October 28 YpsiGLOW – Ypsilanti
OK, so one thing most of us don’t love about fall are the shorter days, but in Ypsi they have found a way to embrace the night. This annual feast for the eyes is a community-built celebration that showcases Ypsilanti’s creativity and diversity. You’ll find light-filled luminary processions, crazy costumes, public art installations, street art performances, music, dancing and oodles of GLOWing fun.
Join us on social media for ongoing discussions about Michigan travel destinations. Tweet @BuyMichiganNow to tell us about your favorite places or questions you have. We’d especially love to know which of our 12 things to do in Michigan in October 2022 you get a chance to enjoy. For next month’s events, or to get ideas for your local bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page.