2023 SWMI Fall Activities Guide: Your Bucket List for Fall Fun

Gull Meadow Farms fall activities

Welcoming Fall Activities with Open Arms

I’m a big fan of summer. Lazy days, trips to the beach and more relaxed schedules are all big wins in my book.

As the 80 degree days and drought-like weather subside, I can’t help but look forward to Southwest Michigan’s next beautiful season full of fall activities and seasonal events.

With cooler, breezier mornings returning and leaves just starting to show glimpses of their amazing fall shades, I can’t help but get excited.

Within the next couple of weeks, school wakeups will be the new normal, football will be happening every weekend, and our fridge will be stocked with fresh cider.

I’m ready for apples, pumpkins, warm, gooey donuts and any weather that requires a sweater.

Kickstart some seasonal fun with our roundup of the best fall activities in Kalamazoo.

Fall Family Pumpkin Picking

sponsored partners

Fall Activities in Portage
6151 Portage Road, Portage, MI 49002 - (269) 382-6555
📧 info@airzoo.org

Boasting more than 200,000 square-feet of gallery space throughout two exciting centers, and located just south of I-94, the Air Zoo is the perfect place for your family to spend the day. 

With more than 100 rare and unique air and spacecraft, hands-on science stations, interactive exhibits, and flight-based rides, this Smithsonian-affiliated museum has something for everyone.

Make sure to catch a movie in the Missions Theater and explore the Air Zoo’s nationally-recognized Restoration center where their volunteer-based restoration team is actively bringing two WWII aircraft back to life after more than 50 years on the bottom of Lake Michigan!

All exhibits, rides, and interactives are included with admission. The Kitty Hawk Café boasts an assortment of lunch options, and the Fly Buy Gift Shop offers an extensive assortment of goodies to commemorate your day.  Start planning your Air Zoo trip today!

Fall Activities in Mattawan

60139 CR 652, Mattawan, MI 49071 - (269) 668-3724
📧 schultzfruitfarms@gmail.com

Our peaceful and authentic farm is the place for your family to take a step back and keep things simple.

We are a 3rd generation family farm that features seasonal fruits and veggies including asparagus, strawberries, sweet & tart cherries, blueberries, sweet corn, peaches, apples, grapes, pumpkins and squash. Donuts and apple cider in the fall.

U-Pick options available: tart cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and concord grapes.

Please check our website, Facebook, or call to confirm availability.

Harvest Fun: Orchards, Pumpkin Patches + Corn Mazes

Southwest Michigan’s farms offer hayrides, petting zoos, U-pick produce and special events. Here are some suggestions for fall activities at these favorite spots:

Go Apple Picking at a Local Orchard

Local orchards make it easy to enjoy apple picking season in Southwest Michigan. Be sure to follow them on Facebook or call ahead to see which varieties are available.

~ SWMI Apple Orchards

3 – Grab some Honeycrisp with U-Pick at Gull Meadow Farms
8544 Gull Rd, Richland, MI 49083

Gull Meadow Farms offer apple picking all season and they start early! Early Honeycrisp is typically available in August.

Gull Meadow Farms
You do not need an admission ticket to pick apples at Gull Meadow Farms

Tip: Gull Meadow offers “apple alerts” if you would like to receive a text message on apple availability. To sign up, text Apple85 to 91011.

4 – Refuel with an Apple Cider Slushie at Husted Farm Market
9191 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Husted’s cider slushies are legendary, and a perfect complement to the U-pick apples on their farm.

Apple Orchard

In addition to slushies, we highly recommend their from-scratch pies and donuts. Their market is also stocked all year long with fresh produce, fudge, and other goodies.

Husted's Market Donuts
Find donuts, cider, fudge, pies and more tasty treats inside the market

Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin

Whether you’re decorating your house or carving up a stellar jack-o’-lantern, Kalamazoo and surrounding cities offer up a good selection for pumpkin patches.

Tip: Most patches prefer cash. Call ahead to confirm payment options.

~ Pumpkin Patches

5 – Make a Quick Pumpkin Dash at Prairie Acre Farms
12196 Oakland Dr, Schoolcraft, MI 49087

Need a pumpkin (or several) without all of the farm activities and crowds?

Prairie Acre Farms is a local favorite for an easy, fun and no-nonsense pumpkin shopping experience.

Stop by this hidden gem in Schoolcraft and find your orange beauties- then pay in the cash box or scan the QR code to pay by phone.

Pumpkin Patch
6 – Say Hi to Gene the Pumpkin Man
22637 M43 Hwy West, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Gene the Pumpkin Man is a Kalamazoo celebrity of sorts- just look for the guy decked out in orange when you pick your pumpkins.

This farm has one of the best selections in town, from giant to mini, in addition to gourds, mums and local honey. They have wagons on site to help transport to your vehicle.

Cash or check only.

Pumpkin Patch Gene

Test Your Navigational Skills at a Corn Maze

Corn mazes are a popular way to spend a fall afternoon in SWMI. We recommend researching the size of corn maze before heading out as some may take more than an hour to complete.

~ Corn Mazes

7 – Conquer 20 Acres of Corn Maze Fun at Crane Orchards
26054 124th Ave, Fennville, MI 49408

That was not a typo: Crane Orchards goes BIG when it comes to corn mazes (20 acres big) and their designs are more complex each year.

While visiting them in Fennville, be sure to try their U-pick. Kids will also want to take a ride on their cow train.

Crane Orchards 2022 maze
2022 maze at Crane Orchards
8 – Visit a Corn Maze at Night at Harvest Moon Acres
18725 M-40 Hwy, Gobles, MI 49055

If standard corn mazes aren’t your thing, consider a more challenging option: navigate them at night.

Harvest Moon Acres invites guests to try their 5-acre maze in the dark with “Flashlight Nights” every Friday and Saturday evening, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

9 – Try the Corn Maze at Bumbleberry Acres
6785 Baseline Rd, South Haven, MI 49090

Bring your walking shoes for this 1.5 mile maze at Bumbleberry Acres.

Bumbleberry Acres’ 2022 maze

Celebrate Fall Fun at a Local Farm

Some SWMI farms offer more than just apples and pumpkins; we’ve highlighted two of our favorites in the area where families can spend an entire day (or multiple) enjoying some family-friendly activities.

10 – Gull Meadow Farms
8544 Gull Rd, Richland, MI 49083

Gull Meadow Farms continues to innovate each fall, adding more activities and events for families to enjoy. Some highlights:

  • U-pick Apples, Pumpkins + Flowers
  • Jumping Pillows
  • Ziplines
  • Farm Animals
  • Food Trucks
  • Lawn Games
  • Wagon Rides
  • Corn Maze
  • Donuts
  • Market
  • Special Events
Gull Meadow Farms

~ Gull Meadow Farms Trip Planner

11 – Harvest Moon Acres
18725 M-40 Hwy, Gobles, MI 49055

Located in Gobles, Harvest Moon Acres carves up its own fun fall activities for families, offering the following:

  • U-pick Pumpkins
  • “Saloon Shootout” (pumpkin slingshots)
  • Ziplines
  • Farm Animals
  • Concessions
  • Wagon Rides
  • Corn Maze
  • Donuts
  • Campfire

Fall Festivals + Events

Celebrate the season with fall festivals. These events often combine seasonal favorites like pumpkin painting or hayrides with historical demonstrations.

~ Fall Festivals

12 – Travel Back in Time with the Fall Festival at Celery Flats
7335 Garden Ln, Portage, MI 49024
September 17, 2023 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Portage’s Celery Flats’ buildings will be open on Sunday, September 17 for crafts and historical exhibits at their annual Fall Festival.

Visitors will find horse-drawn rides, cooking demonstrations, animals, and more fun activities at this FREE event.

13 – Take a Model A Car for a Spin at the Harvest Festival in Vicksburg
300 N Richardson St, Vicksburg, MI 49097
September 24, 2023 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This annual FREE favorite event in Vicksburg includes the following:

  • Horse Drawn Wagon Rides
  • Model A Car Rides
  • Pumpkin Decorating Contest
  • Pumpkin Weight Guess
  • Secret Word Hunt
  • Saw Mill Demonstration
  • Antique Tractor Demonstration
  • Animal Zone (petting zoo)
  • Food Vendors
  • Children’s Entertainment

Bucket List Fall Activities

If you’re like me, you want to take in all that fall has to offer before something other than leaves is covering our lawns (hint: it’s white).

Here are more fall activities to check off your list before winter:

14 – Take souvenirs from raking and turn your leaves into art.

15 – Keep little hands busy with a handprint Jack-o-Lantern.

16 – Make a pumpkin spice-scented candle at the Kalamazoo Candle Company.

17 – Create some fall foliage indoors with a tissue paper tree.

18 – Book a Pumpkin Painting Party with Colors & Cocktails.

19 – Slide, climb and play at Ramona Park or another one of our readers’ favorite playgrounds.

20 – Make mummy brownies.

21 – Carve your family’s pumpkin and toast the pumpkin seeds.

22 – Try making a pumpkin pie from scratch.

23 – Visit a local farmers market and pick some gorgeous gourds for decorating your front porch.

24 – Turn your freshly picked apples into homemade applesauce.

25 – Create the perfect jack-o-lantern with these pumpkin carving skills.

Fall Activities: Halloween Fun

Halloween is BIG in SW Michigan, and we love to celebrate all month long in October. Read on for spooky and fun ways to commemorate the October 31 holiday near Kalamazoo:

~ Halloween Activities

26 – Tour Some Spooky and Silly Decorated Houses

While many of our local homeowners break out the outdoor décor at Christmas time, Halloween house decorating is growing in popularity.

Take a drive and find some skeletons doing yoga, some famous bad guys, and other fun-themed decors.

Halloween House
This Portage house pays homage to some famous movie villains
Halloween House 2022
Visit the Hungry Clown Circus in Portage

~ Halloween Displays

27 – Go Trunk or Treating

Trunk or Treats are popular in SWMI, and we have a BIG list to help find them throughout October.

These events can serve as a complement or alternative to trick or treating and are often a favorite for little legs that aren’t up for a lot of walking.

Halloween Trunk or Treat
Many SWMI churches host Trunk or Treat events

~ Trunk or Treats

28 – Celebrate with Halloween Events throughout October

We celebrate Halloween events all month long in Kalamazoo with Trunk or Treats, pumpkin decorating contests, Halloween festivals and even events for dogs.

29 – Stay Warm and Dry with Indoor Events on October 31

Mother Nature is very unpredictable in Michigan, and October is no exception. Many organizations offer indoor Halloween events to help celebrate the holiday in case it rains (or snows!).

30 – Check your Neighborhood’s Trick or Treat Times

Before you make your candy dash, confirm whether your community has established trick-or-treat times on Halloween.

Trick or Treat Times Kalamazoo

Did we include your top fall activities?

Leave us a comment with any favorite fall places, events or activities that we may have missed!

Fall Fun Finder

Pumpkin Patches Button
Apple Orchards Button