Your September Guide to Fun and Affordable Around Kalamazoo
Summer is winding down, the kids are going back to school and the weather is getting cooler, but that doesn’t mean the family fun has to end. September is full of FREE fall festivals, outdoor movie nights, park activities, library events and shows across Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan.
Check out our picks for must-try activities for all ages. We’ve listed 25 events that are free (or reasonably priced) to enjoy with the family this September!
Don’t forget to check out our EVENT calendar as activities are always being added.
Free September Fun for Kids in Kalamazoo – 2018
Saturday, September 1
Home Depot Kids Workshop: Field Goal Game
Home Depot – Portage and Plainwell | 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Kickoff football season with a portable action-packed field goal game. In this workshop, you and your child can build a game to test your aim. Recommended for children ages five to 12. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
Hook, Line and Sinker Kid’s Fishing at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery
Learn how to fish for bluegill and bass at the FREE Kid’s Fishing Program. This program is for kids between the ages of 3-16 years old. All equipment and bait provided. Last opportunity this season.
Lake Bluff Artisan Faire
Downtown St. Joseph | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Don’t miss this annual craft fair in Lake Bluff Park! Enjoy gorgeous views while shopping. Find all kinds of unique hand-crafted, homemade goods such as home décor, furniture, jewelry, candles and clothing.
Kingman Museum Planetarium: Lamps of Atlantis
Kingman Museum – Battle Creek | 11:15 AM – 3:15 PM
Kingman Museum, with free admission, has a Digistar 4 Planetarium. Shows rotate on a monthly basis and average between 20 and 40 minutes in length with an additional night sky star talk, exploring seasonal constellations you can find in your own backyard. Tickets $2 per person. Planetarium shows run on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sunday, September 2
Perfect Little Planet
Kalamazoo Valley Museum Planetarium | 2:00 PM
Imagine the ultimate space vacation. Discover our solar system through a different set of eyes – a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, our best known dwarf planet. Dive over the ice cliffs of Uranus’s moon Miranda. Sail through the rings of Saturn. Feel the lightning storms on Jupiter. And walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose? This is the solar system journey for space travelers of all ages. Tickets only $3. Show available daily through September.
Monday, September 3
Labor Day Back to School Bash
Airway Lanes | 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Join Airway Lanes on the eve before school begins. FREE Face Painting, Inflatable Obstacle Course, Outdoor Kiddie Bowling, Pinz n’ Skinz, Corn Hole and more!
Community Appreciation Day at Flash Flood Water Park
Flash Flood Water Park – Battle Creek | 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Cool off with FREE admission from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Discounted concessions will also be available.
Tuesday, September 4
Discount Ticket Tuesday
AMC Theatre | 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
See a movie on Tuesday. Tickets are just five dollars every Tuesday with AMC Stubs membership.
Wednesday, September 5
Wednesday Night Cruise-Ins at the Gilmore Car Museum
Gilmore Car Museum – Galesburg | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday Night Cruise-Ins at the Gilmore Car Museum is an annual summer tradition! It is FREE to bring your collector car on the grounds or come as a spectator during the cruise-in. The Blue Moon Diner will be serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and creamy old-fashioned custard. The museum is closed during this event. Cruise-ins are every Wednesday through September.
Friday, September 7
Lunchtime Live! Presented by Lake Michigan Credit Union
Bronson Park – Kalamazoo | 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Live music, great scenery, fun summertime games, and amazing food….Lunchtime Live! has it all! Get the family out of the house and head to Bronson Park in Downtown Kalamazoo for a Friday afternoon on the town. Occurs every Friday through September.
Downtown Kalamazoo | 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Take in Art Hop for an evening of art exhibits and events. This FREE event is held on the first Friday of every month. It is fun, interactive, and great way to explore downtown with the family.
Free Back to School Art Party
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Help your children get ready for school at this annual night of family fun. Partnering with area groups such as Read and Write Kalamazoo, Open Roads Bike Program, Peace Jam, and the Girl Scouts, the community is invited for an evening of activities and art exploration for all ages. Look for a special appearance by Arty the Art Detective.
Movies in the Park: Thor Ragnarock
Celery Flats – Portage | 9:00 PM
Looking for something to do on a Friday night with the cooler September air? See the movie Thor Ragnarock. Seating will be on the lawn in front of the Grain Elevator, so bring a blanket or chair. Popcorn will be available for purchase.
Saturday, September 8
8th Annual 5K Doggie Dash & Fun Run
Spring Valley Park | 10:00 AM
Bring the family for the 8th Annual, Fun 5K, Doggie Dash. Come out and walk or run the trails at the beautiful Spring Valley Park while raising money for the SPCA of Southwest Michigan.
Outdoor Youth Day in Hastings
Historic Charlton Park | 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
The 5th annual Outdoor Youth Day is a FREE day of fun where kids can get hands-on experience in many different outdoor activities. Hiking, Archery, Bird watching, Fishing, Target Shooting, Biking, Trapping, Canoeing and Kayaking, Fly Tying, and Working Dog Demonstrations.
Monday, September 10
“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” Costumed Storytime
Willard Library – Battle Creek | 6:30 PM -7:00 PM
The famous mouse from The New York Times No. 1 best-seller “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” will be appearing at the library to kick off the new fall storytimes and programs. Families will enjoy stories, crafts, fun surprises, and photo opportunities with the mouse.
Wednesday, September 12
Hot Wheels Racing at KPL Washington Square Branch
Kalamazoo Public Library – Washington Square Branch | 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Build tracks, race cars, crash into LEGO buildings, jump block towers, and more. Bring the family to this STEM-related event.
Friday September 14
Just Move Fitness Playdate
Just Move Fitness and More | 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM Drop-in
Grab the kiddos, invite your friends for some family fun! Enjoy the tot-friendly obstacle course for indoor free play & get to know other caregivers. There will be dancing and upbeat music in our “baby disco”. Cost is $10 per family.
Saturday, September 15
Applefest & Craft Show in Coldwater
Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce | 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Head to Coldwater for the fall harvest with fresh local apples, crafts, food, entertainment, and fun. Children will love kids zone and parents can shop thousands of handmade arts and crafts.
Tuesday, September 18
Goodbye Summer Storytime
Celery Flats – Portage | 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Bring your picnic dinner and meet the librarians at Celery Flats to share some favorite stories and say goodbye to summer. No registration required. The event will be canceled if inclement weather.
Wednesday, September 19
Party in the Park at Vicksburg Historic Village
Vicksburg Historic Village | 10:00 AM
Sign up your child or your daycare/preschool program to attend the Party in the Park. Enjoy a free book for each child, costumed characters, lots of wonderful stories, healthy snacks and juice. Bring a blanket to sit on and weather cancellations may apply.
Friday, September 21
Fall Into Magic
Celery Flats – Portage | 6:00 PM
Abracadabra! See local magician, Brian Penny in a special fall show at the Hayloft Theatre, along with a visit from the Kalamazoo Ghost Busters and a couple friends from a galaxy far, far away. Each child will also receive a FREE magic trick. Glow necklaces and concessions will be available for purchase. FREE tickets to the show can be picked up at the Portage Parks & Recreation office during normal business hours.
Saturday, September 22
Just Move Family Fit Camp at Wenke Greenhouses
Wenke Greenhouse | 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM
Join Just Move at Wenke’s Fall Festival and work out together as a family. Enjoy fitness games and challenges suitable for all ages. Suggested donation of $5/family to be accepted onsite. All funds will be donated to the Kalamazoo County Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Council (KCAN).
Friday, September 28
Fall Family Campfire and Owl Prowl
Schrier Park | 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Celebrate autumn with the whole family and learn how animals prepare their families for winter. Snuggle up to a campfire, meet a live owl and go on an owl-prowl night hike. Event is FREE
Saturday, September 29
Kalamazoo County Expo Center | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Geek Fest is all about entertaining the geek in you. There will be guests and activities for comics, tabletop gaming, cosplay, video games, crafts, and robotics.