The air is finally crisp, the leaves are beginning to turn, and cider mills are open. Another glorious autumn is upon us so here are our 12 things to do in Michigan in October 2021.
October 1-24 Zoorasic Park – Battle Creek
Perhaps the only thing that could make a zoo more exciting to kids is the addition of dinosaurs. The much-anticipated Zoorassic Park has opened to the public at Binder Park Zoo. After many months of renovation, a herd of colorful, life-size dinosaur replicas have moved into their new habitat. Triceratops, spinosaurus, tyrannosaurus rex, stegosaurus and other strange and fascinating species stand ready to thrill zoo-goers. Paleontologists-in-training can dig for ancient fossils and velociraptor remains in several areas of Zoorassic Park. Other hands-on experiences include oversized puzzles that reveal unusual facts about dinosaurs. Intrepid young explorers can climb on a prehistoric snake called titanoboa or pose with a trio of attacking allosauruses. Binder Park Zoo is open daily 10:00am-4:00pm through October 24. Regular admission to the zoo will include free entry to Zoorassic Park.
October 1-31 Hike with the Herd – Ada
Looking for a really unique experience to bring a little joy to an ordinary day? How about hiking with a herd of adorable, playful goats? Dreamgoats in Ada is waiting for you. Each of these community hikes lasts about an hour and is limited to 15 hikers. Note that you must be able to comfortably walk that distance on a rustic, unpaved trail with some inclines. Enjoy the seasonal delights with a herd of happy goats almost any day of the week. Tickets are $10 per person, and free for kiddies two and under.
Oct 1-31 (weekdays only) The Hunt for Reds of October – Leelanau Peninsula
Wine lovers will love weekdays in October along the Leelanau Peninsula. Because our state’s bounty of white wines are more commonly known, the vintners on the peninsula are determined to focus some extra attention on the reds this month. The region has a unique ability to grow and create some of the world’s finest red wine varietals, including Cabernet Franc, Blaufränkisch, and Pinot Noirs. Enjoy the gold, orange, and red leaves of autumn as you hunt for your favorite red wines. You’ll be doing some good for the community too. Event benefits Tickets are $35.00 each and include a pour of a selected red, from each of the participating wineries. For every ticket sold, $5.00 goes to the American Red Cross.
October 2 Red Flannel Day – Cedar Springs
What’s more cozy than flannel? During the lockdown, many of us wore it day after day. Well for more than eighty years, this small town in West Michigan has been inviting guests to proudly flaunt their flannel in public. Don some flannel garb and come on out to Cedar Springs. The community will welcome you as warmly as its favorite fabric. The festivities include a flapjack breakfast, parades, classic cars antique tractors, a carnival, lumberjack shows, and high school marching band competition.
October 8-10 Apple Fest Art & Craft Show – Charlevoix
Aside from fall colors and football, there is probably nothing more closely associated with fall in the Great Lakes State than apples. Set against the stunning beauty of Charlevoix, this popular event is a fall tradition. Fill up on soup, chili, hot dogs, kielbasa, apple flappens and Irish apple cake, with proceeds benefitting local nonprofits. Take home fresh goods from the Farmers Market. Support local artists as you shop early for special holiday gifts or pick up a little something to spoil yourself.
October 9 Beer and Fall Fests – Grand Ledge
This is a two-for-one, with neighboring events. There fall festival has 165 crafters and vendors selling items like pottery, wood work, candles, and more. There are free pumpkins for kids, a fall photo booth, pony rides, a petting zoo, and 5 food trucks. Hop aboard the Grand Princess Riverboat to see the fall colors. Stroll across the parking lot to enjoy craft beer and cider on Fitzgerald Field. Tickets for the beer fest range from $25-$40. It features products from Austin Bros., Blake’s, Dark Horse, Founders, Perrin, Rochester Mills, Virtue Cider, and several others from which to choose.
October 9-10 Appleumpkin Festival – Tecumseh
Apples may say autumn in this state, yet nothing says harvest season like pumpkins. Perhaps that’s why the good folks in Tecumseh have opted not to choose betwixt the two. The combination may also be one of the reasons this event has been voted Lenawee’s Best Community Festival for several years running. Among the highlights of this autumnal party are the rides: carnival, monster truck, and even helicopters. There are also lots of games, live performances, arts & crafts, antique and flea markets, street vendors, and a haunted house.
October 14-17 Fresh Coast Film Festival – Marquette
This might be the most aptly-named film fest in our Great Lakes state. Head to Marquette and combine your passion for film with your love for our waters. Over the course of four days, 100 outdoor-inspired films will intrigue and inspire those who seek them out. Guests can purchase day or weekend passes to catch as many flicks as possible. Another element that makes this film fest unique is the opportunity to take adventure off the screen and into real life. guided outdoor activities to introduce visitors to the outdoor playground of the Marquette area. Rock-climbing, yoga, waterfall hikes, and mountain bike rides will all be offered as part of the Fresh Coast weekend.
October 16 Barrel-aged Brew Fest – Three Oaks
Right on the heels of its 10th anniversary, Journeyman Distillery invites guests to join them for this annual fundraiser. It features tastings of barrel-aged beverages from dozens of local breweries, wineries, and mead/cideries. It’s a friendly competition for bragging rights of the coveted Golden Barrel trophy. Admission includes tasting tickets, with additional tickets available at the festival. Best of all, 100% of ticket proceeds benefit Islay’s Barrel, a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to extend summer enrichment opportunities to Southwest Michigan children.
October 16 Spooky, Silly Magic – Marshall
The fact that Houdini died on Halloween (in Detroit, in fact) is just one of the things that ties the holiday and magic together. Another is this enchanting event. Located in Marshall, Michigan, the American Museum of Magic has delighted the public with all the wonders of magic since 1978. Visitors are invited immerse themselves in the largest collection of magic artifacts on display anywhere in the U.S. From 10am-4pm, the focus is on the spooky, yet silly. Kids can explore the museum and learn how to do magic tricks while gathering up a few treats. Wanda the Wacky Witch will entertain with a special magic show at 12pm. The Halloween activities are free with a museum admission ticket.
October 22-23 Southwest Michigan Ghost Tours – Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids
Add a little ghostly fun to your month. Paranormal Michigan Tours are run by the authors of the Paranormal Michigan Book Series. There is one in Kalamazoo on Oct. 22 and one in Grand Rapids on Oct. 23. Each tour is led by one or more of the authors who will share the history behind the best known haunted locations in town, while simultaneously letting you know exactly what activity has been reported at each location. Tickets start at $15 each. Both tours involve walking outdoors, so dress appropriately.
October 23 Fall Beer Festival – Detroit
Head to Motown for your chance to attend one of the largest all-Michigan beer tastings there is. Attendees can purchase and savor some incredible food from Detroit area restaurants. There’s also a talented line-up of local musicians eager to delight a live audience. However, make no mistake, beer is the star of this marquis Eastern Market event. General Admission is 1pm-6pm, but the gates open at noon for a VIP hour for Enthusiast Members. Tickets are $50 per person in advance, plus service fees, and $60 the day of, or at the gate, if available. Fifteen drink tokens are included with admission and each drink token is redeemable for a 3-oz. sample of the beer of your choice.
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 2021 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.