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14 Best Fall Things to Do in Mid-Michigan | Lansing, Frankenmuth, Flint, Midland, and More

If you are planning to be in mid-Michigan this fall, you are probably wondering what things you can find to do in the center of the state. Michigan is an amazing fall destination, with plenty of autumn colors and family-friendly activities galore.

Whether you are looking for Halloween events, outdoor fun, or something else, you can find it all in the middle of the state. Here are some of the best fall things to do in mid-Michigan

Best Fall Things to Do in Mid-Michigan

Tailgate and/or Attend a Football Game

Each year when fall rolls around, the parking lots at local mid-Michigan schools fill up on Fridays and Saturdays for a yearly tradition of enjoying food before heading into the big game.

Whether you’re cheering on your local high school team or trekking across campus to Spartan Stadium, enjoying a tailgate and/or attending a football game is one of the best fall things to do in mid-Michigan!

Enjoy Fall Colors from the Water

Whether you bring your own or rent a kayak, seeing the fall colors from the water is a unique fall thing to do in mid-Michigan. With so many lakes and rivers to choose from, mid-Michigan is one of the best places to enjoy the changing leaves while paddling a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard!

Not into paddling? Take a river cruise along the Grand River or Cass River. The Michigan Princess and Grand Princess offer color tours on the Grand River. Frankenmuth FunShips offer sip and cruise tours along the Cass River.

Michigan Princess
photo via @marcuswells613

Take Some Fall Pictures

With 53 percent of the state covered in forest, there is no end to the opportunities for taking fall pictures. There are also plenty of public gardens that are perfect for family photos, engagement photos, or whatever else you might be looking for.

If you are looking for a great spot near Lansing, for example, some of the most popular choices include the Lansing Community College Shigematsu Memorial Garden, Hawk Island Park, and Cooley Gardens.

These are available throughout the year, but they offer a particularly unique and captivating image in the fall when the leaves change color. Mid-Michigan offers a nice variety of backdrops that include lakes, forests, gardens, or cityscapes.

Fall Pictures Cooley Gardens 1
photo via @wynken_blynken_nod_lansing

U-Pick Pumpkins & Apples in Mid-Michigan

With so many great local farms and orchards providing farm stands and u-pick pumpkins and apples, you won’t have to travel for the “best pumpkin patches and apple orchards near me” in mid-Michigan! This traditional fall thing to do in Michigan is a favorite of families, couples, and individuals from across the state.

Don’t miss our list of the best mid-Michigan apple orchards and cider mills to create your own mid-Michigan Cider and Donut Trail this fall!

Pumpkin Patch Johnsons Giant Pumpkins 1
photo via @valsulfaro

Best Fall Things to Do Near Flint Michigan

Get Scared At Bonadeo Farms

There is nothing like a haunted house to usher in the Halloween season — but a haunted house that covers a whole farm is another experience entirely!

From mid-September through late October, this Highland Township farm becomes the spookiest spot in mid-Michigan. During the day, you can enjoy tons of family-friendly activities and treats, including freshly-made apple cider doughnuts, a corn maze, hayrides to the pumpkin patch, and more.

But when night falls, it’s time to have some spooky fun! You can scare yourself by trying to make your way through the corn maze in the dark as well as venturing into the haunted house itself. Don’t worry, there is always the chance to recover afterward by enjoying more freshly-made doughnuts and apple cider.

Bonadeo Farms offers attractions that are great for all ages, making it a destination that draws visitors year after year. Younger kids can enjoy the treats, rides, and new sights, while older kids and adults take advantage of the spookier activities.

In short, there is something for everyone at Bonadeo Farms, which is the main reason why it’s a can’t-miss attraction during the fall in mid-Michigan!

Bonadeo Farms
photo via @dinosaursanddresses

Explore Flushing Farms

Flushing Farms is one of the biggest and best local farms to visit in mid-Michigan in the fall. Featuring tons of family-friendly activities, this farm really knows how to celebrate the harvest season.

At Flushing Farms, you will find activities like pick-your-own pumpkins, hayrides, straw mounds where kids can climb, inflatable obstacle courses, and a bounce house. There are also three corn mazes, a raceway, unlimited hay and train rides, and even a petting zoo. In other words, it is impossible for kids to get bored at this action-packed farm.

Parents will enjoy it too, especially as they eat their complimentary doughnuts and drink fresh apple cider. If you stay until dusk, you can also participate in a twilight corn maze run with a flashlight.

Flushing Farms
photo via @justinesstory

Don’t miss How To Spend 48 Hours of Fall Family Fun in Flint & Genesee Co.

Best Fall Things to Do in Lansing & St Johns

Visit The MSU Childrens’ Gardens And Arboretum

Mid Michigan has some of the most breathtaking gardens, arboretums, and other green spaces, and fall is the perfect time to visit. Michigan State University features gardens and an arboretum specifically for kids.

Here, you can experience both educational and fun activities that will teach your kids important lessons about biology and plant life. There are countless gardens here, each with a distinct theme. Some favorites include:

  • Teddy Bear Garden
  • Science Discovery Garden
  • Alice in Wonderland Maze
  • Native American Garden
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Bird Garden
  • Storybook Garden
  • Pizza Garden

It is impossible to run out of activities here, making it a perfect destination for your family this fall in mid-Michigan.

Attend the Fall Zoo-tacular at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing

Weekends in October are the perfect time to take the family to the Potter Park Zoo for their annual Fall Zoo-tacular. Prepare for a colorful event filled with costumes, candy, and more!

Bring the whole family, dress up in your best Halloween costume, and enjoy this seasonal stroll through Potter Park. As you visit all of your favorite animals, you will be surrounded by beautiful autumn colors and decor. Everyone who comes will also receive a gift bag of assorted candy.

Fall Zoo Tacular
photo via @owchness

Visit Uncle John’s Cider Mill 

And speaking of picking apples, don’t miss out on visiting your favorite local cider mill! One of our favorites is Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns.

Uncle John’s Cider Mill is always bustling with activity, especially in the fall. Check out their event calendar before you go, or simply stop by to eat donuts, drink cider, pick pumpkins, jump on the big jumping pillow, and watch them make cider, to name a few activities.

Uncle Johns Cider Mill 3
photo via @thesassycorgis

Best Fall Things to Do in Frankenmuth

Hit Up Frankenmuth’s Oktoberfest

One of the most famous events in mid-Michigan takes place in the city of Frankenmuth. This city is known for its Franconian architecture, a relic of its German ancestry. When the fall rolls around, the German roots really come out!

Despite the name, Oktoberfest actually takes place in mid-September. During this time, visitors of any heritage can take part in listening to music, participating in traditional dances, and of course, eating plenty of wurst and pretzels while drinking German beer.

It’s an incredibly fun time for adults and kids alike. One visit and you will understand right away what draws people back to Michigan’s “Little Bavaria” year after year!

Take a Fall Color Tour in Frankenmuth

Whether you choose to explore a local nature center or hiking trail on foot or prefer to enjoy the fall colors from the comfort of your vehicle, there are plenty of fall color tour opportunities across mid-Michigan. In fact, we know of several fall color drives near Frankenmuth that are definitely worth planning a day trip for!

Fall Frankenmuth
photo via @a.jimenez.u

Best Fall Things to Do in Midland

Explore Whiting Forest at Dow Gardens

Dow Gardens’ Whiting Forest is 54 acres of woodlands, ponds, apple orchard, meadows, and streams. The nation’s longest canopy walk, 1,400 feet long and soaring up to 40 feet above the ground, immerses guests of all ages and abilities in the forest. A playground, apple orchard, cafe, and two pedestrian bridges are also included.

It is intended to be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, and it is open all year. Canopy Walk has three arms, each ending at a different viewing platform, with views of a forest pond from 25 feet up, a large cargo net in a grove of spruce trees from 25 feet up, and an orchard view from 40 feet up, including a viewing platform with a glass floor and railings.

While you can explore the beautiful gardens and forest at Dow Gardens all season long, it’s one of the best places to enjoy a fall color walk. They are even offering a special evening walk this fall with music and luminaries!

Whiting Forest At Dow Gardens 1
photo via @emily.joannee

Find Your Way Through a Corn Maze in the Dark

At Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch in Midland, guests can take on the corn maze after dark for a spooky experience. The maze is not haunted, but it is eerie walking around in the dark, so bring a flashlight!

This is a fantastic event for families, friends, and anyone looking for a new challenge. After you’ve finished the maze, relax by the campfire with a warm apple cider and caramel apple from the concession stand.

The corn maze will be open from dusk until 9 p.m. on the final two Friday and Saturday nights of October.

Grandmas Pumpkin Patch
photo via @megsymarie13

Head to the Fall Festival at the Chippewa Nature Center

With the arrival of autumn and the end of the growing season, it is time to rejoice in the harvest. Visitors of all ages will enjoy demonstrations, crafts, and activities that depict farm life in the nineteenth century during harvest season at the annual Fall Festival hosted by the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland.

Observe cider making and woodworking, learn about spinning, weaving, and quilting, see how rope is made, dip your own candle, and so much more at this one-day event in October.

Chippewa Nature Center 4
Chippewa Nature Center | photo via @karen.helfrick

More to Explore This Fall in Mid-Michigan

There are few places more beautiful than Michigan in the autumn. But there is so much more to do than enjoy the fall foliage. From festivals to trips, family activities, Halloween celebrations, and more, there is always something happening in the middle of the state.

What are your favorite fall things to do in mid-Michigan?

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