20+ Affordable & Free Fall Things to Do in Kalamazoo

Free Fall Things to Do

Fall into Fun, Family Activities in Kalamazoo

As each day passes in late August, the little hints of fall start to appear. Evenings now include a brisk breeze. Lake swimming is now too cold for comfort. And the last of summer’s perennials have bloomed, signaling the leaves changing is just around the corner.

While fall and the start of school are still outside of our norm in 2021 thanks to COVID-19, autumn in Kalamazoo is still very special. Whether your children are learning at home or in a classroom, the leaves will still transform into amazing auburn, yellow and orange tones. The local orchards will still have Honeycrisp apples ready to pick and fresh donuts ready to devour.

We’ve found some free and affordable activities in Kalamazoo for families to enjoy this season both indoors and outside.

Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo

The Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo are a strong faith-based community serving preschool through high school. We are committed to the formation of the entire person: mind, body, and soul, through the cultivation of faith, knowledge, and service.
St. Augustine Cathedral School
St. Monica Catholic School | Hackett Catholic Prep


Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo

Important Message: Area businesses are working to implement procedures based on the new safety guidelines. For each of the attractions and events we mention, we include a link to the business website. Please use this link to confirm the details, hours of operation and any requirements guests must follow before visiting. Thank You!

Free Fall Things to Do

Whether you want to hike among the falling leaves, try a new spot for food or visit a museum, we have you covered with free and affordable activities for families in Kalamazoo this fall:

Outdoor Activities

The varied shades of autumn’s leaves and smells of roasted marshmallows over open fire merit some quality time with Mother Nature.


Have a Picnic Lunch

Pack a lunch and head out to your favorite local park

Lake Playground
Dumont Lake Park in Allegan provides a beautiful lake view for your picnic lunch

Take a Fall Color Tour

Whether it’s a drive, hike or bike ride, Kalamazoo offers many locations to bask in the varied hues of autumn’s beauty.


Feed The Birds

Stop by the Visitor’s Center at the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary and feed the geese, ducks, and swans.

Bird Sanctuary
The paved paths at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary are stroller friendly

Go Apple Picking

Visit Husted’s Farm or other favorite orchard and stock up on some Honeycrisps, Fuji or other tasty variety of apples.

Apple Orchard
Husted Farm’s Market is located at 9191 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Take a Family Hike

Watch the water squirt up through the planks on your hike at West Lake Nature Preserve in Portage.

SEE ALSO: Hiking Trails Near Kalamazoo »

Portage Hiking Trail

Visit Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery

Feed the fish at Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery. Admission is free; bring quarters for the fish food dispenser. Wolf Lake is also a fantastic spot for hiking and bird watching.

Fish Hatchery

See Some Dinosaurs

Western Michigan University’s dinosaurs near Rood Hall are worth the visit. There is no charge to hang out with these prehistoric pals, but be mindful of campus parking rules.

Dinosaur Park Western Michigan University
This photogenic spinosaurus is ready for its close up

Try a New Playground

Visit a new to you playground! We’ve got the scoop on which ones have swings, mess-free surfaces and are toddler-friendly.

Kalamazoo Parks
Fray’s Park in Kalamazoo has an extensive set of paved walking paths to explore

Go on a Mural Crawl

Kalamazoo’s buildings are covered in dozens of masterpieces. Take our map and go explore these artistic beauties outside.

Kids at mural in Kalamazoo

Go for a Bike Ride

Grab your bikes and head over to the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail for some two wheeled fun.


Take Some Fall Photos

Fall in Kalamazoo is pretty special, offering some photogenic backdrops.

Wedels Fall Photo
Photo taken at Wedel’s in Texas Corners


Facing a rainy day? Museums are a great way to spend a fun, educational day inside. Some require timed ticket entry; verify admissions policies before you head out.

Tip: EBT cardholders can visit many museums for FREE with the Museums for All program.


Fly High at the Air Zoo

Enjoy some indoor, amusement-park style rides at this local favorite. Free admission for kids 4 and under.


Explore Your Artistic Side

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts offers free admission for kids 12 and under. Be sure to reserve your tickets online.


Go “Shopping” in the Little GR Exhibit

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum has reopened, including a fun Meijer shopping experience for kids! Non members can visit Thursday – Saturday (verify hours online).


Visit the KVM Downtown

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is now open with limited visting hours. Reserve your FREE admission online.

Things to do in Kalamazoo - Museum, Zoo, Science Center

See the new POPnology Exhibit at GRPM

The Grand Rapids POPnology exhibit welcomes the combination of pop culture + technology, featuring androids, extraterrestrials, virtual reality, and cool exhibits like the DeLorean from Back to the Future. Admission is only $3 for kids 3-17 (2 and under are free).


Try a Museum You’ve Never Visited Before

We’ve rounded up our favorites in Michigan that are kid-friendly. Make a list and see how many you can visit!

Ludington MI
Sandcastles Children’s Museum in Ludington brings construction play fun in this giant sandbox



Go Nuts for Donuts

Fall invites families to expand their donut horizons as many local farms and orchards make their own donuts seasonally.


Try a Dinner Out- With Free Kids’ Meals

Make dinner out more affordable with free or discounted meals for the kiddos.

Kids Eat Free Only
Main Street Pubs locations offer Kids Eat Free Nights on Sundays and Mondays

Shop the Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are still going strong into the fall season. As we transition from berries to apples and begonias to mums, stop by one of these spots to grab locally-sourced food, plants and crafts.


Have S’more Fun

Put your firepit to work with some s’mores kits from Cherri’s Chocol’art.


It’s Always Ice Cream Season

While summer may be the obvious season for ice cream, we are fans all year long.

Ice Cream place in Battle Creek - Station 66 Diner
Station 66 in Battle Creek


*The status of these events may change at any time due to COVID-19. Confirm your destination’s status before heading out.


Sep 10: Food truck rallies are still on for the fall in Kalamazoo. Grab some (mobile) grub in September and October.

Sep 11: Visit the Kalamazoo Scottish Festival at Kindleberger Park.

Sep 11: Join Rootead’s Community Drum and Dance at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

Sep 19: Go on a Bug Hunt at West Lake Nature Preserve (registration required).

Sep 25: Kickstart some fall shopping with Kalamazoo Kitty’s Marketplace event.


Oct 3: Support a great cause at the Kalamazoo Autism Center Art Show at Bell’s.

Oct 8: Food truck rallies are still on for the fall in Kalamazoo. Grab some (mobile) grub in September and October.

Oct 9: Test your word-making skills at Kalamazoo Scrabblefest, while raising money for the Kalamazoo Literacy Council.

Recurring Events

Exercise while social distancing at Bronson Park. Every Wednesday evening, head downtown from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM for a free workout session outside.

Listen to some Beats on Bates Alley every Wednesday evening in September. Grab some food or beverages from downtown while taking in some tunes from 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM.

Learn to fish! Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery offers Hook, Line & Sinker fishing lessons (registration is required).

Fall Fun Finder