Top 10 Grand Rapids Fall Activities

A tree laden road with autumn colors in full bloom behind the words, "Grand Rapids Fall Activities"

We dig fall, some might say it’s our favorite season, or at least the person writing this blog will (it’s Kim). 

It’s the season of wet leaves, fall-scented candles, crisp autumn air, Halloween costumes, cozy sweaters, boots, and colorful mums on neighbors’ doorsteps.

We think fall in Michigan is something to be celebrated and enjoyed, so we’ve compiled the top 10 activities to do locally and yes, it does involve an orchard, drinking cider, and photos of giant pumpkins.

Apple Picking

We know it’s a little cliche, but some members of our team are big fans of swinging by an orchard and filling up some bushels of apples. It’s an activity that’s jam-packed with autumnal spirit, but it’s also a great way to save money.

Grab some friends (or your kids), load the car with buckets and bags, and go check out an orchard you’ve never visited before. You can all pitch in for the price of the harvest and then split your fruity goodness between everyone who helped. Plus, once you have more apples than you know what to do with, you’re set for some hardcore friend vs. friend apple pie baking competitions. May the biggest lover of fall win.

Artprize

Um hello? Are we really just going to skip past the sacred ritual of experiencing art all throughout the city of Grand Rapids, rain or shine? This fun-filled West Michigan wonderland runs throughout the month of September and into the beginning of October and livens up the town with local artists, makers, and visitors. There’s no beating a good coffee and art excursion throughout the city as you welcome the crisp Fall weather. 

There are so many ways to get involved with volunteering for Artprize to get the full scope of all the event has to offer. Get your art on y’all!

Leelanau Cellars Witches Brew

That’s it, that’s the whole activity.

Visiting Abandoned Buildings (AKA: Going to Spirit Halloween)

Whether it’s an abandoned Toys R Us or some other store that fell victim to the retail apocalypse, chances are at some point it WILL be a Spirit Halloween. Albeit the last two weeks of Halloween, Spirit Halloween is a magical place full of spooky Halloween decorations, overpriced costumes, and those creepy zombie baby things that apparently there is a market for. If you’re in the Grand Rapids area, some Spirit Halloweens are already opened or slated for August. Get the good stuff while you can.

Sticking our Noses Up at Candy Corn

This one might be team member specific…👀 But seriously, why does this exist, and more specifically, if you like it…why?

Heidi’s Corn Maze

If you’re not terrified of corn fields after watching Signs when you were 12, Heidi’s Corn Maze is a fall necessity. With two mazes for different challenge levels, Heidi’s is prepared to give a good time to the entire family. You can wander throughout the maze and get your punchcard punched at different checkpoints… and all that work for what, you may ask? If you visit all the checkpoints, a free cider slushy is your prize. We’ll meet you there!

Ghost Tour

Fall isn’t all candy corn and nostalgic Halloween movies (shout out to Hocus Pocus). It’s also time for spooky ghost stories and haunted houses, and GR has no shortage of that. If you’re brave enough to join the Grand Rapids Ghost Tour, it’s bound to be a spooktacular time! Scary, eerie, and memorable stories are waiting to be told.

Grand Rapids Griffins’ Home Opener – October 14

While the AHL season goes through winter and into spring, the Griffins’ home-opener features a sold-out crowd with $2 beers and dogs, resulting in a high-energy hockey game. As the official affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, the Griffins are perfect for scouting out the up-and-coming talent. 

Perrin Backyard Bash – September 17

Okay, so this isn’t technically in the fall, but it fits the vibe. Featuring a slew of local musicians, the Backyard Bash draws in people from around West Michigan looking for good beer, good food, and great tunes. Check out their website for more information.

Oktoberfest – September 24 & 25

Celebrating German heritage in the best way possible, with tall beers and heavy food, Oktoberfest GR brings the German holiday state-side. Both days feature live music such as the Edelweiss Choir and the Route 161 Happy Wanderers, both in the tradition of classic Oktoberfest vibes. If you’re feeling extra bold (or drunk—let’s be real), enter your name into the keg tossing or stein carrying competitions. Bonus points for lederhosen and dirndls. 

Happy fall y’all! Stay tuned to our stories and reels to follow along on all our fall-related activities. 

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