As we continue to adjust to our new reality, some live events are taking place in modified form. Meanwhile, others are being adapted to a virtual form. Either way, there are lots of fun options to explore this month. Here are our 12 things to do in Michigan in September 2020.
September 1-5 Chairlift Ride at Crystal Mountain – Thompsonville
There’s nothing quite like a panoramic vista, and Crystal Mountain is eager to please. Hop aboard the Crystal Clipper chairlift for a view that stretches out over three counties. You’ll also find live musical entertainment, a snack bar, a cash bar, and other attractions when you reach the top. This unique experience costs just $9 per person. Kids that are 8 and under ride for free alongside a paying adult.
September 1-7 Arts, Beats & Eats – Various & Virtual
Like most event organizers, the team behind Southeast Michigan’s annual Arts, Beats & Eats festival had to cancel the live event. However, they found a way to do some good with a major effort to support the local music industry. “The Beats Go On…” will raise money to help local musicians. Additionally, it will spread the joy of music through limited capacity drive-in concerts. It all takes place on Labor Day Weekend. More than 400 bands across nearly 15 styles, are performing virtual concerts. Performances run from Aug. 27 through Sept. 3. Also, there will be Art by Appointment. You can preview top Michigan artists’ work online. Then, schedule a 75-minute visit in downtown Royal Oak with any of 20 participating fine artists. In other words, think of it as your own private art fair.
To truly understand the social injustice happening in our lifetime, it is critical to grasp its origins. One way to do that is to learn more through events like the third annual Underground Railroad Heritage Gathering. It’s a series of online presentations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during September. The sessions are free to anyone interested in our statewide Underground Railroad heritage. Once you register for a session, you will receive an email with more details.
Kids and adults alike are marveling at this unique spectacle at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. It’s cool whether you’re into the comic books a fan of the films. In fact, there are more than 300 artifacts. Guests can see some of Marvel’s most iconic and exciting costumes and props. Hence, it is sure to provide smiles and memories for every superhero fan. Immersive set pieces, soundscapes and interactive elements bring this unique universe to life. This is the biggest Marvel exhibition ever. It chronicles the role of Marvel from its own origin story to its influence on popular culture. Experience the worlds of Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, and so many more beloved characters.
September 1-30 GlenLore Trails Light Forest – Commerce Twp.
Despite most of their events being canceled, a talented lighting team saw a new opportunity. They used their available equipment to create a fantasy world all their own. Now, you are invited to enter Glenlore Trails. This half-mile outdoor walking path uses lighting, projection, and other elements to tell a story. Uniquely, it centers around the mysterious happenings of Glenlore. This is a land where adorable, colorful, and often mischievous little creatures can be discovered. While mostly quiet by day, they come to life at night and unleash a fury of color and magic. Expect this experience to take around 40 minutes, depending on your speed.
It’s not Labor Day Weekend in Detroit without Jazz! While the gathering may have been silenced, the music cannot be. Fear not, jazz fans, the 2020 Detroit Jazz Festival will be broadcast for free this year. The fun begins on Friday, Sept. 4 and runs through Monday, Sept. 7. All performances will be broadcast live. Fans can view or listen to performances in a number of ways including. First, there’s Channel 22, the city’s new arts and entertainment channel. Second, there’s the festival’s web page. Third, some of it will be on public radio and television stations. Lastly, there is also an app available for download to enjoy the shows. This year’s celebration will showcase mostly local artists, highlighting Detroit’s incredible jazz talent to the world.
September 6-13 Bright Spots – Jackson
If you haven’t been to Jackson in a while, you’re in for a big surprise. The city has been visually transformed in many ways, including public art, thanks to previous Bright Walls events. The full showcase has been postponed until next year, but a scaled back version is slated for Sept. 6-13. Three artists from around the United States will be in Jackson, creating fresh art. They will be painting murals on buildings in town that allow for appropriate social distancing so guests can swing by and soak in the creative process. Plan to stroll around town and check out the many murals from years past as well. The Bright Walls Grand Finale is scheduled to return in 2021 with a full roster of artists from around the world and special community events.
Lunch & Lavender – Boyne City
Not only does lavender smell incredible, it can also be used as a culinary accent to brighten up foods and beverages. That’s why Lavender Hill Farm is partnering with Lake Street Market for a unique dining experience. Gourmet boxed lunches made with fresh foods featuring lavender from the farm will be served in the barn at noon. The lunch menu has been carefully created by the culinary masterminds at Lake Street Market to highlight both sweet and savory lavender accents. Lunch is $23.50 per person and will include a lavender beverage, a choice of a lavender-themed salad or sandwich, and their famous lavender shortbread cookies. Tickets are available for purchase online until 6pm the Monday before the lunch or until sold out.
September 11 Rock the Gilmore – Hickory Corners
If you’ve been missing the big, live musical performances, then head to Hickory Corners for a concert by The Rock Show. This Michigan-based Journey tribute band has performed all over the country. That includes appearances in Las Vegas, numerous festivals, and more than a few nightclubs. The show will be drive-in style. Entry is $35-50 per carload. It depends on how close to the stage you want to be. Best of all, in remembrance of September 11, a percentage of the proceeds from this concert will benefit the Barry Township Fire Department.
September 18-20 BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration – Vicksburg
The event will look a little different this year. Still, the welcome mat is out for cyclists throughout the spectacular Fall Bike Celebration weekend in Vicksburg. Enjoy more than seven fantastic routes through the beautiful Southwest Michigan countryside. It is all centered in the charming village of Vicksburg. Can’t make it into town physically? No problem. They we will be offering expert webinars on important subjects related to bicycling during the weekend.
September 19-20 Michilimackinac Secrets and Scandals – Mackinaw City
Secrets and scandals are nothing new to the world. Although, today, much of it plays out in politics and reality TV. Yet, they’ve always captured attention. Some even become jokes for generations. This new themed weekend at the fort presents visitors with a variety of programs focused on some of Michilimackinac’s lesser known history. Each program looks back on what was a shocking incident in its day. The types of events that caused the original residents to gossip and share secrets with one another, for example. This program is included with regular admission to Colonial Michilimackinac.
September 30 TEDx Detroit – Virtual
Since 2009, TEDxDetroit has been bringing people together to share big ideas. Join creators, entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, educators, geeks and non-geeks from across the Great Lakes region. The handshakes are gone, but the inspiration rolls on. TEDxDetroit 2020 is going virtual. It’s also free this year, thanks to generous sponsor support. Perhaps you’ve wanted to attend before, but didn’t have the funds. Maybe you’re curious, and not really sure what it is all about. Then this is a great opportunity. Long-time fans can still get inspired online. The whole day is designed to celebrate creativity while also fostering new connections. Shake off those quarantine blues and get reenergized with fresh ideas.
Tweet @BuyMichiganNow to tell us how you’re getting out again. We’d love to know which of our 12 things to do in Michigan in September 2020 you try. Snap some pix and tag @BuyMichiganNow on Instagram. For next month’s suggestions, or to get ideas for your travel bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page.