Ultimate Fall Bucket List for Family Fun Around Kalamazoo

Fall Bucket List for Families Kalamazoo

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

I always feel unprepared for the transition from summer to fall. Seemingly yesterday, it was over 90 degrees and our grass was so dry that it could have stuffed a scarecrow. A walk to the mailbox was accompanied by loud, crunching footsteps as our lawn was multiple days (or weeks?) removed from a significant rain shower.

And yet today’s walk to the mailbox was quiet. Our grass is green and lush again. The mornings and evenings are now cool and breezy. In the blink of an eye, fall is marking its appearance.

That being said, autumn in Kalamazoo is something special. As the colorful leaves begin to cover those newly greened lawns, apples and pumpkins are now ripe for picking. Local orchards host festivals and make cider and donuts on site. Weekends now include tailgating and bonfires.

Kickstart your fall fun with our roundup of the best ideas and activities to savor autumn.

Thanks to our sponsor, Kalamazoo Smiles

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Fall Family Fun

Fall Fairs & Festivals
Fall Fun Guide
Corn Mazes & Hay Rides
Halloween Happenings
Pumpkin & Apple Picking
Fall Color Tour

Make it the Most Awesome Autumn + 30 Ideas for Fall Fun with Kids

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). Read on for 30+ ideas to maximize your autumn experience in Southwest Michigan.

Whether your headed to an indoor museum or itching to get outdoors to an apple orchard, we’ve found plenty of events, crafts, and food that will guarantee an absolute ball this fall.

Fall Family Gun Guide Kalamazoo

Art & Museums

Create some fall foliage indoors with a tissue paper tree.

Enjoy the Free Day at Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum in Albion – the 4th Thursday of every month.

Take souvenirs from raking and turn your leaves into art.

Blast off in a rocket, build a Velcro mural, or explore the other hands-on exhibits with your kid at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.


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

Make a pumpkin spice scented candle on Tuesday’s during the Kid’s Day Out at Kalamazoo Candle Company – Marketplace.

Get inspired by local artists at the KIA’s new exhibit, Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan.


Make your own baked donuts at home.

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

Take the kids out for waffles, pancakes or crepes at a local restaurant.

Try making a pumpkin pie from scratch.

Visit a local farmers market and pick the perfect fall pumpkin and gourds for decorating your front porch.

Turn your freshly picked apples into homemade applesauce.

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

Cider not your thing? Warm-up with some hot cocoa from your favorite local spot.

Animals & Nature

Go for a hayride at a local orchard.

See the varied shades of yellow, oranges and reds with a Fall Color Tour.

Take a road trip to Dutch Creek Animal Park in Shipshewana through mid-October.

Trips less than 2 hours from Kalamazoo

Slide, climb and play at one of our readers’ favorite parks or playgrounds.

Go on a nature hike on the trails at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

Feed the waterfowl at the W.K Kellogg Bird Sanctuary.

Get lost in a local corn maze at Gull Meadow Farms or Harvest Moon Acres.

Special Events

Grandparents can join the kiddos for free at Gull Meadow Farms during Touch-A-Tractor/Grandparents Weekend (September 7 -8).

Gull Meadow Farm

Enjoy hayrides, old-time photographs, food and entertainment for free at Vicksburg’s Harvest Festival (September 29).

The Air Zoo is opening the SR-71 Blackbird’s cockpit for the first time ever. Attend the Spy-Posium and see one of their most intriguing planes up close (October 4-6).

Macaroni and Cheese is so delicious that it now has its own festival! Enjoy this classic meal at Homer Stryker Field (October 5).

Fall into the Zoo! Join Binder Park for five fun fall events this season (October 14-31).

Watch the Broncos take on Miami University at the WMU Homecoming Game (October 12).

Ever trick or treated at the zoo? John Ball Zoo offers six days when the Zoo goes Boo (October 18-20, 25-27).

Attend the K-Wings Orange Ice hockey game (October 26).

Wave to Santa as he kicks off the holiday season at the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade downtown (November 16).

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Fall bucket List Kalamazoo

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