by Amy L.

There’s plenty of family fun to be had in October without breaking the bank. We have a great list of fun things you’ll want to do in October around Kalamazoo. So, break out your calendar now and pencil in these events into your family’s “Fun Calendar”.

Want more fall fun? Our 2017 Ultimate Fall Bucket List has a huge list of fall-related ideas and events to attend with many of the events free and family-friendly.


Free Fall Movies at Kalamazoo 10

September 8 – October 29

Frequent Movie Goer Club members will receive up to 6 free admissions for Friday-Sunday morning movies. Non-club members can pay an admission fee of $1/person. All movies will happen at 10:00 am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. All movies are fun, family movies. In October, guests will enjoy The Boss Baby, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Despicable Me 3, and The Emoji Movie.


Play Space Ribbon Cutting | Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Hastings

Thursday, October 5th

The Pierce Cedar Creek Institute invites families to register for The Play Space Ribbon Cutting. The event will celebrate the grand opening of The Play Space at the institute. Healthy snacks and fun for the entire family will be provided. Children will enjoy the play area made of natural products such as wood, stone and gravel. Families can register at


Home Depot Workshop

Saturday, October 7th

Register online for this free workshop your children will love! All kids will receive a kit to make a fire station themed coin bank, apron and certificate. Children must be present at the workshop with a parent to make the project. The workshop runs from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at the area Home Depot locations.



Sizzle, Glow, and Attract!  | Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Sunday, October 8th

Families will learn all about rocks and minerals in this informative presentation. Guests will explore properties of rocks and minerals as they effervesce, fluoresce, and are magnetic. This free presentation begins at 1:30 pm on October 8th, no registration required.


Family Discovery Series Concert: Gershwin’s Magic Key | Chenery Auditorium

Sunday, October 8th

The KSO will perform (3 pm show) Gershwin’s greatest works as the master composer shares historical anecdotes about his life and musical passion in this story of a poor newspaper boy’s encounter with the great American composer, George Gershwin.  A bonding friendship develops as they explore the vast melting pot of American music and discover the key to unlocking the boy’s own musical potential. Tickets only $5 each. Pre-concert activities begin at 2:00 pm! Meet the Conductor and Instrument Petting Zoo.


Fire Prevention Day | Battle Creek

Wednesday, October 11th

The Emmett Township Department of Public Safety will host the 2017 Fire Prevention Day at Bailey Park in Battle Creek from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Families will learn about fire safety and enjoy games and activities. There will be fire trucks on display and a simulation smokehouse. Refreshments and door prizes will also be available.


Elementary Pumpkin Palooza | Portage District Library

Friday, October 13th

At the Portage District Library, students in grades Kindergarten – 5th grade will have fun doing activities with pumpkins, including rolling, decorating, playing games and making crafts. The event is free, but registration is required.


Chemistry Day | Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Saturday, October 14th

Visit the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on October 14th from 12 pm – 4 pm as area chemists come together to explore their favorite chemistry experiments and rocks and minerals. This year’s National Chemistry Week theme: “Chemistry Rocks!” At this FREE event cChildren and adults of all ages will love demonstrations and experiments on slime, oobleck, elephant toothpaste, magic sand, insta-snow, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, chemiluminescence, and acid and base indicators.


Mattawan Pumpkin Trail | Village of Mattawan

Saturday, October 14th

Families will love the Mattawan Pumpkin Trail as they travel throughout the community completing a scavenger hunt and participating in kids’ activities. Families have a chance to win great prizes and vote for their favorite pumpkins. The event takes place from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm and begins at 24221 Front Ave. in Mattawan.

Community Pumpkin Carve | Binder Park Zoo

Tuesday, October 17th

Binder Park Zoo will again host the Community Pumpkin Carve event that precedes its annual ZooBoo. Pumpkins and carving tools will be provided as guests carve a pumpkin to put out at the zoo during the ZooBoo. Carvers will enjoy cider and donuts as well. The event takes place at the Pine Picnic Pavilion from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.


Alligator Fall Round-Up  | Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary

Saturday, October 21st – Sunday, October 22nd

A unique opportunity for families to actually pick up and carry alligators will take place from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary in Athens, MI. The alligators need to be moved to their winter building and will have their mouths taped shut. Guests will carry the alligators to their baths before taking them to the winter building. The event can get messy but is sure to be a fun, educational experience. Price is $7.95 per person and no registration is required.


Fall Color Hike  | Eliason Nature Reserve, Portage

Saturday, October 21st

Families will enjoy breath-taking views of fall colors and making art from leaves and seeds. Kids will learn more about why leaves change color in the fall. There is no admission fee for the hike, which takes place at the Eliason Nature Reserve located at 1614 W. Osterhout Avenue in Portage from 10:00 – 11:30 am.

Monster Mash | Schrier Park, Portage

Saturday, October 21

The City of Portage Parks Department is hosting the 2nd annual FREE Monster Mash, Saturday, October 21st from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Schrier Park (850 W. Osterhout). This event will include trick-or-treating, face painting, a spooky hayride down the trail, a magic show, photo booth with surprise guests, on-site pumpkin carving demo and much more.

Smoked Down BBQ and Papa’s Italian Sausage will be at the event for food purchases so bring your appetite.


The Gilmore Spooktacular!   | Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners

Thursday, October 26th

For a fun and safe family halloween event, look no further than the Gilmore Car Museum’s Spooktacular event on October 26th. From 4:00-7:00 pm, kids will have fun trunk or treating, watching a kid-friendly film, and trying special treats and samples from local businesses.

Families will enjoy vintage car rides, a visit from local Fire and EMS departments and outdoor activities. Kids under 12 years old are free of charge, and adults and teens are $5 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Gilmore Car Museum is located in Hickory Corners, MI. Sponsored in part by, it will be a howling good time!


Making a Difference at Spooky Science Saturday | Leila Arboretum, Battle Creek

Saturday, October 28th

The Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek will host a day of fun science activities, free take-home items, and all around family fun. Suggested admission donation is $2 per person. Donations support the Kaleidoscope Garden – the children’s garden at the arboretum. Join us for a FREE trick-or-treating event from 11 am to 3 pm on the grounds of Kingman Museum, Inc., Leila Arboretum, and the Kaleidoscope Garden.

Dozens of interactive science stations and giveaways focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities hosted by our community partners. Aimed at children 6 to 12 years old, but whole families welcome. There will be $1 hayrides through the arboretum. A fun day for all!


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By | 2017-10-02T09:16:59+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Newly Published|Comments Off on October Free or Cheap Family Fun Around Kalamazoo

About the Author:

Amy is an elementary school teacher and mother to two young girls. She enjoys spending time with family and being active within the community. In her free time, she likes to sew, read, and take her dog for long walks.