Top 24 Michigan Fall Activities Bucket List: Best Places to Visit and Things to Do in the Fall | Cider Mills, Color Tours, Apple Festivals, Wine Tasting, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Patches (Warm Donuts=Happy Kids!) 

Inspiring Michigan Fall Activities | By Sherry Trautman | | Updated September 2, 2023

Let's pick pumpkins, visit apple orchards and cider mills, explore corn mazes, sip delicious wine, photograph sunflower fields and hike scenic trails as we explore Michigan this fall! 

  • Experiencing fall and Autumn in Michigan is an explosion of color, fun fall family activities and color tours. Below are some of the best places to visit in Michigan in the fall and tons of fun things to do!

What is paradise, but, a garden, an orchard of trees and herbs, full of pleasure and nothing there but delights."

William Lawson

1. Visit Michigan Cider Mills and Apple Orchards! Great Michigan Fall Activities for the Whole Family!

Red barn at a cider millMichigan's Best Apple Cider Mills and Orchards Worth Visiting This Fall

NOTHING says fall like Michigan cider mills with warm donuts! Grab our guide for Michigan Best Apple Cider Mills and Orchards! Such fun fall things to do in Michigan!

Click the links above for:

  • Interactive Maps!
  • Tons of ideas, pictures and locations to inspire your Michigan fall activities! Such fun fall things to do in Michigan!

2. Go Apple Picking This Fall! Best Michigan Apple Orchards and Farms for U-Pick Apples + MAP!

People walking with a bucket of freshly picked applesSee Where to go Apple Picking in Michigan!

Here's a HUGE LIST of apple orchards and apple farms for apple picking this fall season. Chris and I LOVE the u-pick apples option at Leaman's Green Apple Barn near us. 

Chris and I highly value "back to nature," healthy, wholesome family-friendly Michigan fall activities!  Apple picking in Michigan begins mid September and continues into October. 

3. Let's Go Michigan Pumpkin Picking...Perfect Michigan Fall Activities!

One of my favorite Michigan fall activities growing up was running along the pumpkin patches trying to find the best one before my brother snatched it up! 

Making memories in a pumpkin patch is so much more beneficial than buying a pumpkin at the grocery store. 

I absolutely adore picking out my pumpkins and wandering cute farm stores during SeptemberOctober and November each fall!

4. Go On Michigan Fall Color Tours to See the Fall Colors! Leaf Peeping at the Peak Color!

We created THREE special Michigan leaf peeping guides with our favorite spots to see the fall color:

There's an interactive map in each guide to help you find your locations as you drive. We also included lots of photos for inspiration and plenty of locations across Michigan. 

5. Wondering When the Michigan Fall Colors will arrive? 

The leaves begin to change in late September in Michigan's upper peninsula and continue through mid-October in the lower peninsula.

Leaf peeping is perfect Michigan fall activities, loved by the whole family!

6. Embark on Scenic Michigan Fall Train Rides! Perfect Fall Color Tour By Steam Train!

What better way to enjoy the splendor of Michigan's fall colors than embarking on Scenic Michigan Fall Train Rides!  

Grab our BIG list of the Best Scenic Michigan Fall Train Rides! Perfect family-friendly fall activities!

7. Visit Gorgeous Sunflower Fields for Awesome Photography: One of Our Favorite Fall Things to Do in Michigan!

Field filled with Michigan SunflowersWhere to Find Michigan Sunflowers!

Michigan Sunflowers! Michigan is ablaze with cheery yellow faces throughout the months of August and September

8. September is the Month for Oktoberfest Festivals (German Beer!), Events and FUN All Across the State!

It's time to break out your lederhosen, dirndls and plaid shirts during Michigan's incredible Oktoberfest celebrations across the state! One of the biggest is Frankenmuth's Oktoberfest in Michigan's Little Bavaria!

  • Oktoberfest events are occurring in Grand Rapids, Detroit, Sterling Heights, Saline, Frankenmuth, Traverse City, Holland, Ludington, Ann Arbor, Escanaba, Lansing and beyond! SO, lots happening in Southwest, West and Southeast Michigan.

The BIG LIST of Michigan Oktoberfest Festivals, Events and Fun Across the State!

9. Go on Super Fun Hayrides!

Several farms across the state of Michigan offer fun hayrides! Check out:

  • Fruit Ridge Hay Rides and Fall Fun!  Embark on horse-drawn hayrides through their scenic, West Michigan farm. Rides available year-round.
  • Post Family Farms - Enjoy a hayride to the pumpkin patch!
  • Maybury Farm has tons of fall festivals and family fun! Come out for wagon rides, corn maze, Farm Fest and Great Fall Festival!
  • Getzloff's Farm: Relax on a hay ride while enjoying the fall colors or catching a sunset!  Hay rides are included in the visit.
  • Spicers - We loved our hay ride out to the pumpkin patch!

10.  Visit Michigan Wineries in Traverse City! What Better Way To Stay Warm in Northern Michigan!

People wine tasting, water views and a lovely red barn with a horse looking out the doorVisit Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsula's in Traverse City Michigan

My friends, if you haven't visited Old Mission Peninsula or Leelanau Peninsula's wineries yet this summer, be sure to visit in the fall.  The views of the grape orchards are stunning, the energy is buzzing and the drive is incredibly scenic.  

Traverse City is one of the best places to visit in Michigan in the fall!  Perfect Michigan fall activities for couples or friends!

11. Visit Uncle John's Cider Mill in West Michigan: Pick Pumpkins, Tap Room for Hard Ciders, Fall Festivals!

We love attending Uncle John's Cider Mill's fall festivals and events. They have car cruises, a lovely bakery and cider mill.  Come out for Sunflower Fest, Gordy's Pumpkin Run and family fun days!  

12. Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes Along Lake Michigan This Fall

If you love to explore Michigan's wonders but hate the crowds, September and October are great months to explore Sleeping Bear Dunes. Less crowds mean much closer (and easier) parking, more peaceful experiences and great photography as the trees change color. 

  • Check out our Sleeping Bear Dunes guide for several days of things to see and do! It's one of the best places to visit in Michigan in the fall and perfect for Michigan fall activities with the whole family.

13. Tour Pierce Stocking Drive, a Top Michigan Scenic Drive to See the Beautiful Fall Colors in Northwest Michigan

Chris and I absolutely LOVE driving, hiking and photographing along the scenic Pierce Stocking Drive located in Northwest Michigan.  There is a fee of $25 (at the time of this writing) but it's VERY worth it.

14.  Check Out Our Michigan September and October Events, Festivals and Things To Do!

Ferris Wheel September Michigan Events
Pumpkins at October Michigan Events

There are tons of car shows, monster truck events, rib festivals, parade of homes and tons of Halloween events like haunted houses and haunted places to visit in Michigan!! 

As for festivals, there's apple, bourbon, wine, pumpkin, alpaca, harvest and scarecrow festivals!!

15. Attend Michigan Apple Festivals + Cider Festivals! 

So guys, this fall, there are so many super fun apple and cider festivals all across the state!  Of course, there will be live music, fun parades and all kinds of entertainment!  Family friendly fun for sure!

So many fun things to do this fall!

16. Visit Michigan's Upper Peninsula for Fall Fun! 

Grab our Ultimate Guide to Michigan's Upper Peninsula!  Top cities to visit, waterfalls, Pictures Rocks and fun things to do!

17. Check Out These Incredible Hiking Trails in Michigan's Upper Peninsula: Incredible Fall Foliage!

Chris and I always prefer to go hiking and exploring in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the fall.  It's cooler, there are less bugs and the scenery is spectacular. 

Grab our guide of the Best Hiking Trails in Michigan's Upper Peninsula!

18. Fall is a Great Time to Visit Michigan's Upper Peninsula Waterfalls

Waterfalls in Munising and across the Upper Peninsula are spectacular in the fall.  There will be WAY less visitors, hotel prices are lower and you can enjoy the scenery in a sweatshirt instead of dripping in sweat!  

45 Upper Peninsula Waterfalls and Jaw-Dropping Scenic Spots! 

19. Check Out Lower Michigan's Waterfall, Ocqueoc Falls!

Located in Northern Michigan (lower peninsula), Ocqueoc Falls are simply spectacular. It is the largest waterfall in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.  Chris and I visited in the spring but the hundreds of trees flanking these incredible lower peninsula waterfalls would be spectacular in the fall.  

20. There are TONS of Michigan Fall Activities Happening Across the Mitten State!

There are TONS of Michigan Fall Festivals happening across the state in September and October! Grab our list!

21. Ride a Ski Lift to See the Fall Colors!

You need to head to Boyne Mountain to ride their ski lift this fall or harvest season! 

For a small fee, you can glide to the top of the ski hill for a magnificent view of the changing trees and lovely resort. You don't need to buy tickets ahead of time but you may stand in line for a few minutes.  Plus, plan to stay for lunch or dinner as there is a cute restaurant right near the chair lift. 

Chris and I always look forward to visiting Boyne Mountain as it's one of our favorite Michigan fall activities. Plus, it's perfect for the whole family!

Sherry and Chris enjoying a hot chocolate at the top of the ski lift in the chaletSherry and Chris: Boyne Mountain Ski Lift is Fantastic in the Fall as the trees change color!

22.  See If You Can Find Your Way Out of Michigan Corn Mazes and Jump on a Hay Ride!

Fall is such a fun time to play outside!  There are so many things to do including CORN MAZES!  It's one of our favorite things to do in September and October as it seems to be a fall tradition with many families.

23. Let's Go Camping This Fall!

Blue tents in a campgroundBest KOA Campgrounds in Michigan

If you are like me, the idea of "sleeping" inside a tent with stifling heat in the middle of July is no bueno. Instead, I like to camp in the fall when I can cuddle up with a blanket after an evening sitting around the fire making smores.

Where should you go camping? Michigan KOA's are great places to camp for sure.  

Speaking of smores, a few avid campers and I created an AMAZING list of camping food ideas (with recipes and photos) and a camping food hacks checklist to make your planning easier.

24. Go Michigan Elk Viewing! 

Did you know September is one of the best times to view Michigan Elk? Their breeding season, or rut, is around September 1-20th!  Grab our Michigan Elk Viewing guide that tells you the best places to spot Michigan elk!

Pin This Michigan Fall Activities Page!

Be sure to check out my other articles about Michigan's fabulous harvest time!

Need More Inspiration? Check out my posts about the following Michigan destinations:

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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