The crisp fall air and crunchy leaves are coming. The first official day of autumn is Saturday, September 22nd, and we know how to celebrate! Living in a farming community means pumpkins and apples galore with all the baked treats, like warm pumpkin donuts and hot apple cider. Wondering where to find the celebrations with family-friendly events? The Cherry Life has scoured the local websites, event calendars, and the *hard to find* to bring you the ultimate list of family-friendly fall festivals in Northwest Michigan. The first celebrations are happening this Saturday and more festivals and activities will be added to this list as more events are created.
Looking for Family-Friendly Farms to Visit in Northwest Michigan? Here’s the guide to area farms and what experience they each bring >>
FESTIVALS and FALL EVENTS
24th Annual Taste of Harbor Springs
Date: September 22nd | Time: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Location: Harbor Springs Waterfront
This is the 24th year for Taste of Harbor Springs. Enjoy your favorite restaurants and food vendors outside as you take a stroll through the first day of fall!
Boyne City Harvest Festival
Date: Saturday, September 29th | Time: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Location: Downtown Boyne City
See Boyne City decorated for fall and enjoy many family-friendly activities. Kid activities include: children’s games, pumpkin painting and activities sprinkled around town.
Harvest Festival at Friske Orchards
Date: Saturday, September 29th | Time: 1:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Location: Friske Orchards Farm Market
Celebrate fall and harvest season with U-pick apples, fresh-pressed Apple cider, Apple and Pumpkin Donuts. Kid activities include: tractor/wagon rides, face painting, our NEW GIANT Apple sling shot! Petting zoo, Orchard playland, kiddie corn maze, and Noah’s ark ship!
Spooktacular Saturday at Crystal Mountain
Date: Saturday, October 13th, 20th, 27th | Time: 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Walks: 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Location: Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville
Enjoy a day of fun fall activities on Crystal Mountain during Spooktacular Saturday in October. Besides breathtaking views of the fall colors, the kids will have MANY fun activities to choose from. Kid activities include: wagon rides, caramel apples, petting zoo, pumpkin carving, burlap races, fall Bingo, pumpkin seed spitting contest, pin the nose on the pumpkin, and a spooky trail and haunted trail walk.
40th Annual Apple Festival in Charlevoix
Date: October 12, 2018 – October 14 | Time: Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The 40th Annual Apple Fest in Charlevoix will take place in East Park, Bridge Park and along Mason Street. Walk around and visit the apple market with over 30 different types of apples, farmers market with all kinds of tasty vendors, and the art and craft show with over 165 exhibitors! Kid’s activities include the Whispering Pines Petting Zoo, face painting with the Charlevoix High School Art Department, and Twister Joe Balloon Artist.
Apple Fest Days at Friske Farm Market
Date: Saturday, October 13th | Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
All the same activities as Harvest Fest, but with MORE apples! More varieties available for sale and U- Pick, Cider and donuts EVERYWHERE!
Get your own pumpkin for carving! Enjoy fresh-pressed Apple cider, Apple and Pumpkin Donuts and other treats from the cafe. Kid activities include: tractor/wagon rides, face painting, the NEW GIANT Apple sling shot, petting zoo, orchard playland, kiddie corn maze, and Noah’s ark ship!
Frankfort Fall Parade
Date: Saturday, October, 13 | Time: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Location: Downtown Historic Frankfort Hotel in Open Space Park
Taking place on the same day as the Frankfort Fall Arts and Crafts Show, the Frankfort Fall Festival offers loads of family fun, starting with a parade. Kid activities include: a pumpkin weight guessing contest (your kid could win a new bike!), “Hillbilly Olimpiks”-the silly-themed obstacle course, cake walk at First Congregational Church, straw maze, scavenger hunt, The Garden Theater showing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., and more!
12th Annual Fall Festival at Marvin’s Garden Spot in Interlochen
Date: Saturday, October 20th | Time: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Marvin’s Garden Spot will have free cider and popcorn, free games and prizes for kids, a free prize with purchase, pictures with Tigger, and the entire place is decorated in fall and Halloween decor!
Glen Arbor’s Pumpkin Festival 2018
Date: October 20th | Time: 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Location: Glen Arbor Township Park
Family friendly event open to all ages! Festivities include: Costume Parade, Pie Eating Contest, Pumpkin Carving, Kid friendly activities like Face Painting and Fun Games! There will be a food, a Live Music Performance and NEW this year, Lord of the Gourd will be doing a demonstration!
T,J & K’s Pumpkin Patch Party at Olds Paradise Farms
Date: Saturday, October 20th | Time: 5:00 p.m. | Location: 11499 Blackman Rd, Kingsley, Michigan
Come pick a pumpkin and enjoy a fun fall party. Kid activities include: wagon rides, corn maze, and more!
Halloween Hoopla at Boyne Mountain Resort
Date: Friday, October 26 – October 28, 2018 | Time: Friday – 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Saturday – 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sunday – 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Ghosts and goblins await your arrival at Boyne Mountain and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark! Bring your costume, swimsuit, and a sense for spooky adventure… there’s entertainment for all ages.