5 Things To Do in West Michigan This Fall

5 Things To Do in West Michigan This Fall

Now that school is back in session, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and summer is unofficially over, it’s time to look ahead to one of Michigan’s most vibrant seasons, Fall! There are a ton of activities this time of year to pack your weekend schedules, and here are 5 of my West Michigan favorites to get you started:

1. Coopersville and Marne Railway

Coopersville Marne Railway Co. - Awesome Mitten
All aboard the Coopersville and Marne Railway! Photo courtesy of Coopersville Marne Railway Co.

The Coopersville and Marne Railway is a train of vintage passenger cars that departs from downtown Coopersville and ventures approximately 7 miles through family-owned farmland and fields to Marne. Along the way, passengers will have the chance to see native wildlife, farm animals, Interstate 96, and a great view of the rapidly changing fall colors. The conductor will note different points of interest and provide the passengers with historical facts about the area. Once arriving in Marne, the diesel locomotive will uncouple and reconnect to the train cars to return back to Coopersville. The round trip takes approximately 90 minutes.

In the Fall, the railway also offers a Famous Pumpkin Train, which includes live entertainment on board and a pumpkin for each child after arriving in Marne.

2. “Ghosts of Grand Rapids” Walking Tour

On Saturday evenings through October, brave souls can take a guided tour through the streets of downtown Grand Rapids for a mix of educational and paranormal activity at the “Ghost of Grand Rapids” Walking Tour. Participants will learn the history of the legendary AT&T building, Patlind Hotel, Ashton Building and many, many more! The tour is based off the local bestselling book and is sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck.

3. Grand Haven Zombie Walk

Grand Haven Zombie Walk - Awesome Mitten
The first-annual Grand Haven Zombie Walk is on its way! Photo courtesy of Shelley Wilber

On October 24, 2016, the undead will depart the west end of Washington Ave. at 4:00pm for a Zombie Walk through downtown Grand Haven. This is a family friendly event for all ages, and everyone is encouraged to participate and dress in a costume. Even if you’re not feeling up to being a part of the ghoulish mob, this is a great time to people watch, especially from restaurants and bars that line the route! Participants are asked to bring a canned food donation to benefit Love, Inc. Food Pantry.

4. Holland Fall Fest

The Holland Fall Fest kicks off October 14th at 3:00pm with nationally recognized professional pumpkin carvers, hay rides, face and pumpkin painting, as well as a large outdoor farmer’s market. The activities run until 8:00pm on Friday and Saturday nights to give visitors the opportunity to see the jack-o-laterns glowing in the night. This would also be a great time to stop in to New Holland or Our Brewing and order a festive, fall libation!

5. ArtPrize in Grand Rapids

ArtPrize - Grand Rapids - Awesome Mitten
ArtPrize takes over nearly every corner of Downtown Grand Rapids each Fall. Photo courtesy of Experience GR

Running for 19 days each fall, 3 miles of downtown Grand Rapids is transformed into international art competition with over 400,000 in attendance. ArtPrize is recognized as the most attended public displays of art in the world and has been described as unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing!

The art is displayed in 160 different venues through downtown and the event is completely free to the public. One of the best parts of the event is that winning entries are decided on by public vote and an expert jury making art visitors an integral part of the  competition.

What are your favorite things to do in Michigan in the Fall? Let us know in the comments!