Affordable or FREE Things for Kids to Do in October Near Kalamazoo

Free Fun Near Kalamazoo October families

No Tricks – October is Bursting with Budget-Friendly Fall Fun

October is a month that kids and adults both enjoy for different reasons. 

Kids love the costumes and candy that come with the month of October. I love that the weather is cooler, cozy sweatshirts make an appearance, the leaves show vibrant colors, and cider and donuts are everywhere.

Okay, maybe I enjoy the candy too.

From fall festivals, spooky events, and special library activities, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy this month for free, or nearly free.

Looking for more fall ideas? KZOOKIDS has plenty to get you through the fall!

Thanks to our sponsor, the Air Zoo.

Make plans to attend the first ever Ice Cream Challenge at the Air Zoo on Saturday, October 26 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Local corporate teams will battle for your votes for the best ice cream made with the power of liquid nitrogen.

The Air Zoo is a world-class, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum with over 100 rare and unique aircraft and spacecraft; inspiring interactive, multi-sensory, exhibits; full-motion flight simulators; indoor amusement park rides; and hands-on, science-based camps and classes.

Free (or Affordable) Fun for Kids this October

Here are our top picks of 35+ things to do with the family this October. We’ve included a mix of fall and everyday fun.

Free fun October

Tuesday, October 1

Don’t forget, Flick’s Family Film Festival is back this fall with FREE Movies for kids all month long.

Borrow a backpack, grab a list of questions and take to the trails for a Fall Family Scavenger Hunt at Wolf Lake State Hatchery.

Wednesday, October 2

Have a Party in the Park with your favorite storytime characters and librarians at Galesburg-Charleston District Library. Each child will receive a free book courtesy of Kalamazoo Public Library and a snack.

Learn, play and improve your chess skills during Chess Club at Otsego District Library. Open to students in elementary through high school.

Thursday, October 3

Get ready to wiggle and rock during Musical Mayhem at Comstock Township Library. Have fun with action songs, musical instruments, parachute time and a short story.

Learn through games during Homeschool Gameschooling at Ransom District Library. Join other families to play and make new friends.

Friday, October 4

Help kick-off Downtown Kalamazoo’s SkeleTour. Downtown streets will be adorned with skeletons representing great local businesses. The launch party will include pumpkin carver, clowns, magicians, jugglers and lots of skeletons.

Stroll through artist exhibitions featuring various mediums of art during Art Hop “South” & Recycled Art in the Park at Celery Flats Park. Enjoy live music, food and beverages available for purchase from the on-site food truck and beer tent.

Saturday, October 5

Get your crafting skills on at Home Depot Kids Workshop to build a fire plane.

No stage, no seats, no problem. Babies and toddlers are invited to join the unconventional piano recital, Baby Grands at Willard Library in Battle Creek.

Want to check out the development of Oshtemo’s newest park? Visit Drake Farmstead Open House for vendor booths, bake sale, miniature horses and cart rides, children’s games, food vendors and see progress of the new grounds.

Watch cyclists from Open Roads and the Redford Township Unicycle Club in action as they demonstrate cycles and share knowledge during a Unicycle Show at Kalamazoo Public Library Alma Powell Branch.

Sunday, October 6

Head to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for the Annual St. Luke’s Animal Fair. Kids will love the petting zoo, carnival rides, and face painting.

St Lukes

Monday, October 7

Come join puppet Binkey and his buddies for a night of fun, laughter, and dancing during Binkey and Friends Book Buddies at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch.

Celebrate local hiking and learn tips for hiking with kids at Fall Hiking for Families at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch. Try out some gear, enjoy some hiking snacks, and make-and-take a pack of trail activities for family fun on the trail.

Tuesday, October 8

Enjoy the tot-friendly obstacle course, “baby disco,” indoor free play & get to know other caregivers at Just Move Fitness’ October Play Date.

Wednesday, October 9

Learn about fire safety, meet real firefighters and get an up-close look at a fire truck during Fire Safety Week at Richland Community Library.

Friday, October 11

Make a sedum pumpkin or painted pumpkin, enjoy pumpkin and apple games, fresh apples from a local orchard during Wedel’s Pumpkin Party & Apple Fest.

Free Fall Fun Kids

Dress up as a zombie and play a modified version of Zombies Versus Humans, Infection, and other games during Older Teen Nerf Night: Zombie War Extravaganza at Ransom District Library. For grades 8-12.

Saturday, October 12

Shop the Vintage Market at the Mill at Verhages Fruit Farm & Cider Mill. The Farm Market is a vintage-inspired upscale shopping event featuring amazing local curators, vendors, crafters, designers and artisans all selling creative and unique designs. Listen to live music and kids can enjoy fun activities.

Vote for your favorite superhero pumpkin during the Mattawan Pumpkin Trail. Enjoy games, activities and business displays at McGillen’s Crossing.

Sunday, October 13

Head to Three Rivers for a Fall Color Tour. Enjoy a scenic, fun-filled drive to a variety of destinations that have activities along the way.

Monday, October 14

Let your toddler get some energy out during Toddler Open Play at Kingdom Sports. Available on Mondays and Wednesdays, year-round.

Wednesday, October 16

Make a different art project each month during After School Arts and Crafts at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Library.

Portage District Library will provide the supplies, you bring the creativity during Family Night: Craftapalooza. Two sessions are offered.

Saturday, October 19

Celebrate Pumpkins in the Park Festival at Hicks Park in Plainwell. Enjoy contests, prizes, games, wagon rides, food vendors, and trick or treat downtown.

Join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo for a day of food, games, raffles, prizes, and music during Fun Day 2019.

Learn about science while having some Halloween fun during Spooky Science Saturday at Leila Arboretum. Check out interactive science stations, as well as $1 wagon rides, food trucks, and trick or treating.

Don’t miss the wildly popular Monster Mash at Ramona Park. The event includes trick-or-treating, inflatables, a spooky hayride, fun shows, on-site pumpkin carving demonstrations.

Monday, October 21

Build whatever your heart desires with the bricks at Ransom District Library’s Build-o-Rama. Your creations will be on display all week.

Wednesday, October 23

Get up close and wild with Michigan wildlife during Feathers, Furs, and Scales, OH MY! at Otsego District Library. Learn about animals including reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.

Purchase a kids meal at Chick-fil-A and get a free small pumpkin to decorate during Chick-fil-A Fall Fun Day.

Thursday, October 24

Trick-or-treaters throughout the museum galleries and vintage cars at the Gilmore Annual Spooktacular in Hickory Corners.

Trick-or-treat down the hall of Kellogg Community College during Bruin Boo in Battle Creek.

Friday, October 25

Stretch, move, and dance, dance, dance during Family Fun- Just Move at Portage District Library.

Saturday, October 26

Head to Davis Creek Apartments for Free Fall Festival. Enjoy a magician, petting zoo, bounce house, and delicious fall treats.

Monday, October 28

Practice your reading skills during Stories with Jethro at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch.

Teens can watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, eat candy, and make spooky Halloween crafts during Teen Halloween Extravaganza at Portage District Library.

Wednesday, October 30

Watch one of the worst movies ever made, on purpose, during Bad Movie Night: Halloween Edition at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch.

Thursday, October 31

It’s candy time!  Don the costume and head out in the neighborhood to score candy.

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