The Ultimate 2021 Guide of October Michigan Events, Festivals, Music and Best Things to Do in Michigan This Weekend (+Cider Mills, Color Tours, Pumpkin Patches and Haunted Houses!)

The ULTIMATE SOURCE of 2021 October Michigan events and fun things to do in Michigan for families, couples and friends! Grab our 21 Boredom Zapping Ideas! 

Destinations: DetroitTraverse CityFrankenmuthAnn ArborKalamazooPetoskeyCharlevoixMidland, South Haven, St. JosephGrand Rapids, Upper Peninsula and more!  

October Michigan events are full swing!  Scary haunted houses, visiting haunted places in Michigan, squash and pumpkin picking, changing leaves, bon fires and wine tasting is just a few of October events to look forward to!

Traveling Michigan in October is absolutely stunning as our nights are cool but our days are sunny and perfect for discovering forest walks! 

So check out our October 2021 calendar and start traveling Michigan!

Join us on Instagram where I've posted all of our October Michigan adventures!  We hope you enjoy our October Michigan events and fun things to do!

And as always, if you have 2021 October Michigan events and festivals that you would like listed, let us know here!

Get ready to pick squash and pumpkins in October!!

You just gotta visit these Michigan Cider Mills and Apple Orchards this fall! 

And fall just isn't fall without picking out your own pumpkins from these awesome Michigan Pumpkin Patches!


What October without going to spooky haunted houses in Michigan?

Oh, if you like everything that goes bump in the night, you need to read about Michigan's spooky houses, asylum, steam tunnels, haunted bridge and abandoned places

What is there to do in Michigan in October 2021 near me?

Holy moly!  There are so many things to do in October in Michigan near you! 

*Deep breath...

There's haunted houses, scary haunted places to visit, tons of pumpkin patches to pick pumpkins, apple barns for apple picking and hard cider (oh, and donuts!) and corn mazes galore! 

Keep reading for inspiration, maps and tons of information!

What are the events in October?

So we've been asked, "What are the best events in October in Michigan?" Well, my friends, we pulled together a great list of Michigan events, activities, festivals and fun things to do below! Lots of events in Detroit and Michigan festivals!

There's fall and harvest festivals, best places to go pumpkin picking, haunted houses, cider mills, apple picking, train tours and art festivals like ArtPrize! 

Keep reading for more information!

THE BEST October Michigan Events and Things to do - 2021

  • ArtPrize is back! Returning to Grand Rapids September 16 - October 3, 2021, Downtown Grand Rapids
  • Frankenmuth Corn Maze Weekends, 5450 Weiss Rd, Frankenmuth, MI,  7:00 pm - 10:00 pm.  Sept. 24-Oct. 31, 2021.  Fridays: 7-10 pm, Saturday: 12 p.m. -10pm
    Sundays: 12 p.m -7 p.m.

Admission: $8-$12. Voted Mid-Michigan’s #1 corn maze several years in a row!  Five acres of towering corn stalks, two miles of twisted trails, and strategically located observation bridges within three interconnected mazes await you at the Frankenmuth Corn Maze. Enjoy hayrides to the dairy farm Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 pm.

  • Wein and SteinOctober 7, 2021, Frankenmuth. 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Come on out and sample beer, wine and snacks at a variety of pubs, waterparks, quaint wine bars, breweries and more.  Purchase your tickets at the Visitor Center on Main Street.
  • 2021 Midland/Saginaw Fall Parade of Homes-October 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 2021 | Fridays + Saturdays 1pm - 8pm, Monday - Thursday 4pm - 8pm
  • Red Flannel Festival, Cedar Springs - October 2, 2021.  Live music, craft fair and carnival.  Saturday is the grand parade, art fair, car show and High School Marching Band Competition
  • Acme Fall Festival, Williamsburg, MI October 2, 2021 at Flintfields Horse Park.  Gates open at 10:00 am. 10am to 4pm, on Bates Road in Williamsburg. Events include Classic Car show, Kids events, Wings of Wonder live raptor show, Bake sale and Farmers market, Craft show, Silent auction, Princess Competition, and Hospice Memorial butterfly release! 
  • Fall Harvest Festival, October 2, 2021 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Chippewa Nature Center, Midland, MI. One of Chippewa Nature Center's largest events of the year! Demonstrations and programs will focus on autumn traditions of the 19th century.
  • Huron Township Apple Festival - October 2021 Cancelled due to construction, Saturday 8 am – 6 pm, Sunday 9 am – 4 pm. $6/pp, 37283 Huron River Dr. Huron Township, Check out handmade quality craft vendors, food vendors, apple pies, entertainment. Festival is held in the downtown area of New Boston.
  • Michigan Antique Festival - October 9-10, 2021. Saturday 8 am-6 pm & Sunday 9 am-4 pm, $6 per person – 11 & under free! Free Parking. 12451 Andersonville Rd. Davisburg. About 1000 Vendors selling Antiques, Folk Art, Crafts, and unique items.  Check out the auto & truck show, parts & accessories swap meet, and huge auto for sale lot. Indoor and outdoor event held rain or shine.

  • Hess-Hathaway Harvest Happening, Sunday, October 3, 2021, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. 825 S. Williams Lake Road. Exciting event for the entire family! Come enjoy the hayrides, pony rides, bouncers, children’s contests and crafts, entertainment for adults and children, crafters, bake sale, food concessions, historical house tours and games, pumpkin patch and more! 
  • Bruckelaufe (Bridge Race), October 7, 2021. The Frankenmuth Jaycee's sponsor the Brukelaufe Half Marathon and 5K.  The Bruckelaufe crosses 13 scenic bridges during its 13.1 mile course.
  • Flints Festival of Quilts, October 2021 CANCELLED, 816 Saginaw St., Flint. This annual event showcases quilters with exhibitions, workshops and social events.
  • Toughest Monster Trucks in Saginaw, Dow Event Center, Rescheduled from March to October 8-10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.  Cheer on your favorite Monster Truck at this perfect Michigan event for kids!
  • Charlevoix's Applefest, October 8-10, 2021, 10 am- 4pm. 109 Mason St, Charlevoix. Enjoy a lovely Farmer's Market, food booths, arts and crafts show! 
  • Greater Detroit Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show, October 8-10, 2021. Macomb community college south campus expo center, 14500 E. 12 Mile Road, Warren.  One of the Midwest’s largest collection of gems, minerals, fossils, and jewelry shown under one roof! Amazing displays and attractions from world-renowned universities and institutions.
  • Mac and Cheese Festival, Saturday, October 9th 2021, 4 - 8 pm with VIP early entry at 2 pm​ at the Homer Stryker Field, adjacent to Mayors' Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St. (between King Highway & E. Michigan Ave.) in Kalamazoo, home to the Kalamazoo Growlers. The festival will be located directly on the field at the ballpark.
  • Annual New Buffalo Harvest & Wine Festival,  October 2021 Dates TBD, Lions Pavilion Park, New Buffalo, 12–9 p.m.
  • Bonteboktoberfest, Binder Park Zoo, October 10, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. 2021 Battle Creek,  6–10 pm.  Bonteboktoberfest features a variety of Michigan craft brews, ciders, meads and wines and is a fun beer tasting event in October! 
  • Annual Garden City Chili Cook Off, Hot Rod and Motorcycle Show, October 9, 2021, 5805 Central / Farmers Market Lot, Garden City, MI.  See a 25 team chili cook-off, enjoy live music, beer, kids fun activities, local artisan vendors, food trucks, and more.  Car Show Registration opens at 9 am. The beer tent opens at 11 am. Chili tickets on sale at noon. Free Shuttle service until 5pm.
  • Michigan International Alpaca Fest, October 16-17, 2021, Saturday 9:00 am-6:00 pm (expected, not verified), Sunday 9:00 am-1:00 pm, Summit Sports Complex Dimondale, Large halter show, silent auction, alpaca product sales. Public event, FREE admission.
  • 27th Annual Appleumpkin Festival, October 9th and 10th, 2021
    Festival Hours: Sat. 9-6 and Sun. 10-5 Tecumseh, MI. Fun for the entire family!  Midway rides & carnival games, inflatables (fee), Bungee Jump (fee). Make-it-take-it crafts, corn box and kid's putt putt golf, helicopter rides - (fee) and monster truck rides (fee). Super fun October Michigan event!
  • Detroit Bourbon Fest, Detroit Bourbon Fest, Sat, Oct 16, 4:00 PM, Boat House on Belle Isle, Detroit, MI, Starts at $10.00

  • Harvest Moon Festival October 17, 2021 Grant, MI. Old Iron Bar & Grill, 189 S Maple St, Grant, MI.  Activities for the whole family!  BBQ Cooking Contest, The Great Pumpkin decorating contest and Auto Show!
  • Halloween at Greenfield Village - 2021 TBD 4:00 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Tahquamenon Falls State Park Harvest Festival (campers only), Saturday, September 25, 2021, 10 a.m. -7 p.m. . 41382 W M-123, Paradise, MI Annual autumn event at the Lower Falls campgrounds. Activities include pumpkin decorating contest, chili cook off, costume contest, trick-or-treating and more! Fun for the whole family! 
  • Michigan's Big Country Fest-Fri, October 1-2, 2021, 4:00 PM to 11:30 PM, Heritage Park, 601 Weiss St, Frankenmuth, MI. Stop in for awesome bands, a mechanical bull, bloody Mary bar, craft beer flights, food trucks, free line dancing lessons, cornhole tournament, Iron Pour, pumpkin stacking world championship, human bubble games, football, bowling, and more! Indoors. $8 admission, free parking, handicap accessible.
  • Detroit Job Fair - JobFair X. October 18, 2021, 11:00 a.m. Virtual. Share with friendsShare on FacebookShare on Facebook MessengerShare on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare by Email Date and timeMon, October 18, 202111:00 AM – 2:00 PM EDT
  • Scarecrow Fest, South Main St. Frankenmuth, October 23-24, 2021, 12 p.m - 6 p.m. Special scarecrows are displayed throughout downtown with a family-friendly festival at Frankenmuth River Place Shops! We love this October Michigan event!
  • Official Halloween Bar Crawl,  Detroit, MI - Bar Crawl LIVE! October 23 and 30, 2021. Fee. Entrance To 5+ Venues with spooky drinks, costume contest, music and fun.  Buy your tickets early! Venue List On Super fun events in Detroit!
  • Kalamazoo Craft Fair Kalamazoo Expo Center, October 2021 tbd, 9 am–3 pm Free!
  • Lightsaber Pub Crawls, October 23, 2021, Locations in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids. $15,000 costume contest! 7:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. Super fun events in Detroit!
  • Kalamazoo's Ultimate Indoor Garage Sale, October 2021 TBD 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Kalamazoo Expo Center
  • Saugatuck’s Annual Halloween Kids & Pet Parade, Saugatuck, October 30, 202111:30pm - Parade Line-up at Wicks Park 12pm - Parade starts on Water Street and continues to Butler Street turning and going along Butler to Mary Street where the parade turns left and travels back to Water Street and to Wicks Park.
  • Saugatuck Adult Halloween Parade: Parade starts at 10pm -- Line-up for the parade starts at 9:30 pm at Berry Field, 86 W Center St. Douglas, MI 49406

What is Michigan like in October?

Michigan is absolutely stunning in October as the trees are changing and the days are crisp.  It's perfect for hiking, biking and exploring as the bugs are minimal and the weather tends to be pretty moderate. 

However, the temperatures can vary from needing a t-shirt to a full winter coat, so if you are visiting Michigan, be sure to check the weather before you pack! 

We have toured Sleeping Bear Dunes in t shirts in October and by the end of the week we needed our winter jackets, so as the saying goes, "if you don't like the weather, wait a day!"

Have you Ever Picked Chestnuts?  

Kastanu Farms has U Pick Chestnuts usually ready in October for you to pick on the weekends.  Check their Facebook Page for info! What an awesome October Michigan event!

The address to check in for U-Pick is: 11943 Campbell Rd., Kewadin, MI 49648

Michigan Farms to Visit in October (Can You Say DONUTS?!)

Gull Meadow Farms-Richland, MI. Pumpkins, delicious donuts and a corn maze.  We used to go there weekly when we lived in the area.  There is a train for kids and a tractor drawn hay wagon for the whole family.  Great place!! What a fun October Michigan event! We love it!

Uncle Johns Cider Mill-8614 US-127, St Johns, MI.  Gorgeous barn with hard ciders and treats!

Grandma's Pumpkin Patch-4277 N Eastman Rd, Midland, MI 48642

Leaman's Green Applebarn-7475 N. River Road, Freeland, MI.  Cider and donuts are a must. Baked goods are outstanding!

Baynes Apple Valley-5395 Midland Road, Freeland, MI Awarded Mid-Michigan's Best Orchard 3 years in a row! Great homemade baked goods and fresh pressed pure apple cider. We love grabbing a sandwich in the cute shop and grabbing some fresh cider on the way out! Great place to meet friends during October Michigan afternoons!

Coveyou Scenic Farms-4160 US-131, Petoskey, MI We loved our stop at Coveyou Scenic Farm market, the owners are super friendly and the market has so many great things! We purchased bottles of syrup and a pumpkin!

Pond Hill Farms-5699 S Lake Shore Dr, Harbor Springs, MI.  If you are out and about for Michigan fall color tours, be sure to stop at Pond Hill Farms to enjoy fresh warm donuts and cider around their bon fire!  There's a cafe and pumpkin launching too! Super fun October Michigan things to do!

When Will the Fall Colors Peek in Michigan?

Click here for the estimated dates!

Embark on Michigan Fall Color Tours by Train!

Pere-Marquette 1225 Color Tour Train- The Museum Operations Support Manager of the Steam Railroading Institute told us all Fall Color Tours for 2021 have been cancelled but they plan on having the North Pole Express this November and December.

190 W. Cass Street, Cadillac, MI.  The Steam Railroading Institute will be commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Michigan State University Railroad Club and their initial restoration of the 1225 with an all-day excursion behind the world-famous steam locomotive.

Here is a link for reservations!

Planning Ahead...

North Pole Express (FOR PLANNING AHEAD PURPOSES AS IT SELLS OUT VERY QUICKLY)- Departing from Owosso, MI. Embark on a nostalgic journey back in time to the Christmas of yesteryear when you climb aboard the North Pole Express, pulled by the world-famous Pere Marquette 1225! Depart from the Steam Railroading Institute for a four-hour, round trip excursion to the Village of Ashley’s Country Christmas. 

We hope you enjoy our exciting October Michigan events and ideas of fun things to do!

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Need More Inspiration! Check out my posts about these destinations for more FUN THINGS TO DO IN MICHIGAN!

Disclaimer: Please be sure to visit a particular event's website to verify dates, times, happenings and details.  We make every possible effort to be verify these the event details but as we are human, mistakes can occur and event dates/times can change.  If you see an error below, PLEASE let us know and we will correct it.

Event Centers in Michigan

Still bored? Don't forget to check these Michigan event centers/theaters/auditoriums across Michigan for concerts, events, shows or comedy entertainment! 

Here are a few Michigan event centers to inspire you!  

  • Cobo Hall-Detroit
  • Midland Center for the Arts-Midland
  • Dow Gardens-Midland
  • Kalamazoo State Theatre
  • Fire Keepers Casino
  • Soaring Eagle Casino-Mt. Pleasant
  • Wings Event Center-Kalamazoo
  • Miller Auditorium-Kalamazoo
  • Civic Auditorium-Kalamazoo
  • Chenery Auditorium-Kalamazoo
  • Kellogg Arena-Battle Creek
  • LMC Mendel Center-Benton Harbor
  • Franke Center for the Arts-Marshall
  • The Bob-Grand Rapids
  • Van Andel-Grand Rapids
  • Devos Place-Grand Rapids
  • Dow Event Center-Saginaw

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Butterflies will soon be blooming! Don't miss out! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So guys, I'M SUPER EXCITED for Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids (March 1- April 30, 2019) and Dow Gardens in Midland (March 1-April 21, 2019) to open their butterfly houses! So mark your calendars! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's such a great break from our cold blustery winter to enjoy these little fluttery beings!! I like to visit several times as the light changes and different species of butterflies have emerged!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ HUGE TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: I always call ahead to see if there is a school group scheduled for the day of my visit...just sayin'. Also, I like to get there first thing in the morning when it's quiet and hopefully less traffic. Some places won't let you bring tripods so check ahead. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Please let me know of any other butterfly houses in MI that you love as I would like to check out some new locations this year!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #liveauthentic #beauty #nature #Michigan #puremichigan #greatlakesstate #travelingmichigan #michiganders #mittensmitten #butterflies #butterflies_lovers #butterfliesofinstagram #buterfliesandflowers #butterflieseverywhere #loving_butterflies #butterflyhouse #welivetoexplore #colorful #naturelovers #getoutdoors #adventure #instaphotographer #landscape #wanderlust #outdoors #keepitwild #fredrikmeyergardens⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #simplyadventure #lifeofadventure

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