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The “Must Do” Places to Take the Kids For Fall Family Fun

by Julie S

 

Fall is here and that means apples, pumpkins, hayrides and fall family fun! We are lucky to have a ton of places in southwest Michigan to take the family. So if you are looking for an hour on a weekday or an entire Saturday to spend with your family taking in all that southwest Michigan has to offer, check out one of the places below:

Harvest Moon Acres

18725 M-40, Gobles | 269-628-5401

Harvest Moon Acres Corn Maze & Fun Park opens on September 19 for the season and will be open until November 1. They have a variety of fun things to do with the family including a petting zoo, a pumpkin slingshot, ziplines, and a 40-foot super slide complete with secret tunnel. They also have a 5-acre corn maze and this year’s theme is “Wild West Adventure” which comes with a hayride. There is a huge new expansion called “Quakie’s Showdown”, a duck race and a western town. Don’t forget to pick up a pumpkin while you are there! They are open only on weekends. This year check out one of the additional events:

  • One-mile family fun run: The run will be October 3, 2015. Check in will be 9:00 am. The cost is $8 per person. The fee does include entrance into the park. The $8 can be paid at the park entrance the day of the event.
  • All Treats, No Tricks event: October 31st for 6:00 pm-10:00 pm. Bring the whole family for our flashlight mazes (mini and 5 acre), Treat or Treating, Hayrides and other family approved events. This event is approved for kids of all ages.

 

Gull Meadow Farms

8544 Gull Rd, Richland | 269-629-4214

Gull Meadow Farms opened for the season for fall family fun on September 5 with the petting farm, apple orchard, pumpkin patch, wagon rides and all of the activities in Pumpkin Lane, including a new and improved Apple Chute. They’ve even added a baby changing area this year for parents. This year’s corn maze is a thank you to farmer’s with the help of Culver’s. Their donuts are freshly made and their cider is refreshing after a trip to pick apples and a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch. They offer several wristbands, from a hayride and maze only or a hayride, the petting zoo and activities for $7.00, and a fun pass which includes everything for $9.00.

  •  Pumpkin Princess: The pumpkin princess will be at the farm starting September 26. Saturday and Sundays only from 2:00-4:00 pm.
  • Pumpkin Destruction Weekend: November 1st. End the Fall Season with a SMASH!

 

VerHages Fruit Farm and Cider Mill

8619 West ML Ave.Kalamazoo | 269-375-0153

A popular tradition for many families is a visit to VerHages Fruit Farm and Cider Mill. Activities include a zip line, hayrides, pumpkin jumpin’, apple train, pony rides, and more! There is also a cider mill, donut shop, country store and a snack shack. Rides and activities are only available on the weekend. Their donut shop opens on September 12 and their big opening day for all activities this year is September 19. Some special events to look forward to are:

  • September 26 is AppleFest 2015,
  • October 10 is the Pumpkin Patch Party (which is similar to AppleFest).
  • October 24 is their Trunk or Treat,

 

Crane Orchards in Fennville

6054 124th Avenue (M-89) Fennville | 269-561-8651

Crane Orchards has a 20-acre corn maze, this year with new and different challenges than ever before! The corn maze is open on weekends from 12:00-6:00 pm and on weekdays from 10:00 am-6:00 pm and cost $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 6-10 and 5 and under are free. They also have an adorable cow train for kids ($2.00) and a tractor driven hayride through the orchards ($3.00). Don’t forget to pick some apples while you’re there, with over 17 types, you can try something new!

 


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Nottawa Fruit Farm

24976 M-86, Sturgis | 269-467-7719

This year marks the 28th year that Nottawa Fruit Farm offers its “Fall Family Fun” which happens for five weekends, beginning the last weekend in September and continuing through October. Hours are 11:30am-4:00pm and starts with a hayride as part of the “Weekend Hayride Package” for $10.95 and includes picking a large pumpkin from the field, walking through the Sorghum Path, riding the John Deere pedal tractors, catching a balloon in Strawberry Typhoon, crawling through the straw tunnels, digging for a dinosaur egg, playing Musical Characters, fishing in the ‘Ole’ Fishing Hole, painting a mini-pumpkin and visiting the farm animal family. This year there is also a Thursday and Friday afternoon package, which is only $6.95 and includes the hayride, sorghum path, musical characters, painting a mini pumpkin and choosing a large pumpkin from the field. They are located in Sturgis, near the Indiana line.

 

Stokes Homestead Farm Market

13988 Co Rd 215, Grand Junction | 269- 427-7777

Located in Grand Junction, just 12 minutes from South Haven, Stokes Homestead Farm Market is another place to enjoy fall family fun. Their wagon rides travel through working fields of strawberries, asparagus, apples, pumpkins and blueberries while the tractor driver tells you what it takes to keep a farm running. They also have a ton of activities from mining for gems and fossils, tractor pulled airplane rides, a pedal kart track and a fun playground complete with tire climb. The gem mining attraction is separately priced, but the other activities are $4.00 for children during the weekday and $6.00 on the weekend. Children under two are free. Don’t forget to stop by Hazel’s Bakery and Café for their fresh “Farm to Table” meals. They have both breakfast and lunch and donuts that are fried every morning, and pies made from the blueberries grown on the farm. U-pick apples happen in the fall and you can choose from many different varieties. Visit soon, because they are running a special through September for Back to School, 25% off Fun Farm Yard Admission. They will be open until the end of October from Tuesday-Sunday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

  • Of special note is their 3rd Annual Homestead Fall Festival complete with face painting, s’mores roasting, caramel apple station, pumpkin painting and trick or treating. This event is October 10 from 10:00 am-5:00 pm.

 

The Jollay Orchards Farm

1850 Friday Rd, Coloma | 269-468-3075

The Jollay Orchards Farm has a fall harvest festival that includes many activities such as an animal farm, ferris wheel, caterpillar crawl, corn maze, a haunted house and hayrides. They offer u-pick apples from well maintained and manicured orchards making it easy to pick with your family. When you’ve picked your apples, they will be transported up to the Farm Market for your convenience. They also offer a ten acre pumpkin patch to pick your pumpkins from, and a hay wagon to take you there, which is your mode of transportation through the farm stopping at all of the sights and attractions. The farm is open during the week but their Harvest Festival is weekends only from 10:30 am-6:30 pm and is $8.50 for children and adults, two and under is free. Don’t forget to stop in the farm market to pick up one of their homemade jams or jellies made from fruit from the orchard.

 

Amazing Acres Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

18430 U.S. 12, Edwardsburg | 574-370-3403

This fall family destination is south and located in Edwardsburg, close to the Indiana border. Opening day is September 15 and they are open until November 1. The farm is over 90 acres and activities include a 20 acre corn maze with checkpoints, hayrides, pumpkin picking, mining for gems or arrowheads, farm animals, pumpkin blaster cannons, a miner mountain slide, a 16 foot spider web and more than twenty others. General admission is $9.00 for the barnyard and maze and they offer a combo price of $16.00 which includes the barnyard, maze, 1 hayride or cow train, one gem mine bag, and one shot with the pumpkin blaster. They are open Tuesday-Friday from 4:00-8:00 pm and on weekends from 10:00 am-8:00 pm.

 

Little River Railroad

29 W Park Ave, Coldwater | 574-215-0751

Enjoy the beautiful fall colors of Michigan on this train ride starting in Coldwater and get a pumpkin fresh off the farm trailer in Quincy too! Sundays in October at 11:00 am and 2:00pm. Advance tickets needed.

 

Pumpkin Train in Coopersville

311 Danforth St, Coopersville | 616-997-7000

This is a fall tradition not to be missed! Local actress Eva Swietec and her cast of wacky characters love to sing and dance for you. Each paid child’s ticket includes a free, locally grown pumpkin that kids can pick from the pumpkin patch. Children under 2 are free and get a small pumpkin. Train runs Saturday and Sundays and there are 200 seats on each train.

 

Gene the Pumpkin Man

22637 M 43 Highway West, Kalamazoo | 269-668-2952

If you’ve never visited Gene, you’re missing out on a Kalamazoo area legend. For 58 years, Gene the Pumpkin Man has stood out on West Main/M-43 with orange barns, orange tractors and an orange car. He offers pumpkins, squash, honey, and pumpkin butter and opens mid-September. Pumpkins arrive early October and his last day for the season is October 31.

 

 

 

 

 

Julie S

Julie is stay-at-home mom who homeschools two beautiful rainbow girls, and a self-professed geek. She enjoys playing video and board games, writing, reading, tennis, traveling, and just about everything else. She never wants to stop learning and loves sharing what she's learned with Kzoo Kids readers.

 

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