Labor Day doesn’t mark the end of summer, we’ve still got weeks of mild weather and fun events ahead. Get out and enjoy flowers, music, art and more at our 12 things to do in Michigan in September 2022.

September 2-5 Detroit Jazz Festival – Detroit

For over 40 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has celebrated Detroit’s rich history of jazz music by organizing the world’s largest free jazz festival over Labor Day weekend. The past few years have been virtual, but this year it’s back live and in person. World class talent will descend upon Detroit for this cool party by the river. Performers include The Soul Rebels, Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet, Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya, Nubya Garcia, The Lighthouse Project, Dianne Reeves, JD Allen Trio, Chucho Valdés Quartet, and a host of other notable talent. It’s a jazz lover’s paradise.

September 3-5 Blake’s Sunflower Festival – Armada

Sunflowers are unquestionably one of the best additions to the landscape at this time of year. Bask in their glory with a visit to Blake’s for a celebration of the last whispers of summer. Take a ride out to the sunflower field. Pick some flowers of your own. Enjoy DIY make and take workshops with real sunflowers. Shop at an open-air market that features local artists and makers. Find your way through a sunflower maze. It’s a selfie heaven. Of course, don’t forget to pop by the tasting room for summer or fall delights. Tickets are $10 per person. Admission is free for children 10 and under, as is parking.

September 5 Mackinac Bridge Walk – St Ignace

It started all the way back in 1958. Since then, many generations have taken a turn or two trekking across Mighty Mac. It’s an experience that makes nearly every Michigander’s bucket list, but the opportunity only comes around once a year. The walk begins at 7am on Labor Day and concludes at 11am Buses are available for transportation to the North end of the bridge. You’ll start in St Ignace and end in Mackinaw City. At the finish line you will be awarded a numbered certificate of completion, adding a bonus to an already rewarding experience. Check out this first-person account of the bridge walk, for more insights into the experience.

September 8-11 Bright Walls – Jackson

Like a painting in the sun, the opportunity to attend the event that has single-handedly transformed the aesthetics of downtown Jackson, is fading away. Bright Walls, a public art and mural festival, is making its final appearance. 31 artists from around the globe are scheduled to make their mark on the town this September. Watch the art come to life before your very eyes. You can also take in a concert or two during the course of the weekend.

September 9-11 Wine and Harvest Festival – Paw Paw

If you love tasting wines and experiencing Michigan wine country, then why not make a trip to the tiny hamlet where it all began? Home to St. Julian, Michigan’s oldest and one of the most highly respected wineries, head to Paw Paw. The town celebrates the harvest each year with this fun fest. Stomp some grapes. Tour a winery or two. Work off your wine by entering the 5k run, kayak race, or getting in on a bicycle tour. Relax to live entertainment. Try your hand at axe-throwing. Hop on a carnival ride. Enjoy the Grape Escape Car Show. You can even ride a mechanical bull, or can you? There’s truly something for everyone, including fireworks.

September 11 Michigan Brewer’s Guild U.P. Fall Beer Festival – Marquette

What happens when you combine two of our favorite things: the Upper Peninsula and Michigan craft beer? You get the U.P. Fall Beer Fest, of course. Set in scenic Mattson Lower Harbor Park, overlooking Lake Superior, in downtown Marquette, the views are almost as tasty as the brews. The festivities run 1pm-6pm. If you’re an Enthusiast Member, then the gates will open at noon for you to enjoy VIP access. Attendees can choose from hundreds of locally-crafted beers. Tickets are $50 in advance, or $65 for same day purchases, if available. Your ticket includes admission to the festival and 15 tokens for beer samples.

September 15-17 Michigan Blues Fest – Lansing

Chances are, folks heading to Old Town, Lansing, the middle of the month, won’t be leaving without singing the Blues. Well, if not singing, then at least getting a lovely ear full, as this popular fest makes its return. The stellar lineup includes Lady Champagne, Crossroads Resurrection, Tom Duffield, Brotha Earth, Clique Vocals, Gina Garner, Lady Sunshine Band, Kathleen Murray & the Groove Council, School of Rock, and more. You know what goes great with the Blues? Why, ice cold brews of course, and you’ll find an excellent selection at nearby Lansing Brewing Company.

September 9-11 Arts & Apples Festival – Rochester

Consistently ranking as one of the top fine arts festivals in the country, this is the place to be if you are looking for a phenomenal new piece to accent your home. Alongside the art, you’ll also find 15 food vendors, a free Kids Art Zone and Creation Station, and a full lineup of musical entertainment from open to close each day. Best of all, even if you can’t find a piece of art you like, we guarantee you can find a piece of pie you’ll enjoy. Afterall, it is about art AND apples.

September 15-October 2 ArtPrize  – Grand Rapids

There’s really not a bad time to visit Grand Rapids, but arguably, none better than when ArtPrize breathes new life into the slightly crisp air to welcome fall. Simply put, it’s 3 square miles of art, and there’s $250k in art prizes up for grabs. That draws some very creative work. For 18 days, art is exhibited throughout the city, not just in museums and galleries, but bars, laundromats, empty storefronts and even bridges. Events and happenings pop up every day of the event—from concerts and dance parties to festivals and family art-making. The event is free, so why not buy a little art while you’re there? This is one of the state’s coolest events and a great excuse to wander the streets of Grand Rapids, shopping, dining, and sipping.

September 16-17 Balloons Over Bay Harbor – Bay Harbor

It’s Northern Michigan’s turn to fill the sky with colorful balloons. Bay Harbor will be hosting some of the best pilots in the nation, some of whom compete in national festivals across the country. In addition to the amazing combination of balloons, blue skies, and beautiful water, there will also be night glows each evening. That’s when balloons light up while grounded, making for a spectacular and highly photogenic sight.

September 23 Michigan Distilled – Kalamazoo

If you’re looking for a great grownup celebration this month, then check out the return of this taste sensation from the Michigan Craft Distillers Association. General Admission tickets are $40 and include five 3-ounce batch cocktails or ¼-ounce samples of spirits available from different local distilleries. This event, at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market, also includes food trucks, live music, and a variety of shopping opportunities. You can really kick it up a notch with VIP access for $75. The enhanced ticket also includes a VIP Hour (5pm) one handcrafted cocktail (available only during the VIP hour), one food item, a swag bag, and a commemorative logoed cup.

September 23-24 Cadillac Fall Festival & Concours d’Elegance – Hickory Corners

The Gilmore Car Museum houses one of the coolest car collections in the nation. What could possibly make it cooler? How about putting extra emphasis on Cadillac? Long revered for its technical excellence and design, Cadillac was the ultimate symbol of success. Experience some of the best, including the earliest models to the pre-war classic V-12s and V-16s to the flashy flamboyant designs of the 1950s and 1960s and beyond. This feast for car lovers is much more than a celebration, it is about supporting worthwhile causes, including the Cadillac Museum and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo.

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 September 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.


Author: BMN Staff