If you seek a pleasant fall activity, look about you

Whether you get your kicks from shivering with fear at haunted houses or soaking up the sun’s rays from deep inside corn mazes, the Great Lakes Bay Region offers plenty of fall entertainment.

If you want to get outside, but still want to catch a football game, then check out your favorite high school’s schedule. You may even run into some friends you haven’t seen in awhile. If college games are more your style, then catch a game at Saginaw Valley State University.

Football fans can catch a college game at the nearby Saginaw Valley State University campus. For high school football, Bay County alone offers a half-dozen options.Love to spend cool, fall days putting up produce for the long winter ahead? The Auburn Farmers Market is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. through Sept. 22. The Market holds its third annual HollyWeen Daze on Oct. 3.

Here are some of special events planned for the fall of 2022:
The Hell's Half Mile Music & Film Festival fills Downtown Bay City with music buffs and film fans.
  • If you love a good story or toe-tapping music, then the Hell’s Half Mile Music & Film Festival is a must-see. The festival brings independent  films and a variety of musical artists to Downtown Bay City Sept. 22-25 for the 16th annual festival. Keep an eye on the website and Facebook page for ticket sales and schedule updates.
  • If you’ve got a tent or a camper, then consider spending a weekend at the Bay City State Park during the annual Fall Harvest Festival in late September and early October. Reserve your campsite now and you’ll get a weekend schedule when you arrive on Friday. No matter what weekend you pick, the park promises to deliver decorations and fun. One highlight is trick or treating on Saturday night. Park officials say to bring candy for about 1,000 kids.
If you love wine, food samples, music, and catching up with friends, then Downtown Bay City's Annual Wine Walk is made for you. Tickets are on sale now for the Thurs., Sept. 8 event.(Photo courtesy of Downtown Bay City)
  • Not every event at the State Park requires you to sleep outside. The annual Mother’s Nature Halloween Trail takes place again this year on Sat., Oct. 8 between 5 and 8:30 p.m. The skies are dark, but friendly pumpkins light the path as you encounter actors portraying animals that often are misunderstood. The animals share information that should make bats, wolves, and spiders a lot less scary. Reservations aren’t required, but you’ll need a State Park Visitor Pass to enter the park. Halloween costumes are encouraged at this kid-friendly event.

The USS Edson earned a nickname in North Vietnam when smoke from a battle blocked the ship from view. It re-appeared weeks later, earning the moniker 'Grey Ghost of the Vietnamese Coast.' (Photo courtesy of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum)
  • For a spooky night out, visit the USS Edson: Ship of Nightmares. Organizers promise a spooky tour of the historic ship docked in the Saginaw River. Parents beware, tour guides recommend kids younger than 10 sit this one out. The tours begin Sept. 16 and run through the end of October. Watch the website and Facebook page for tickets to go on sale.
 Fresh, warm donuts, fanciful backdrops for selfies, and more make Johnson's Pumpkin Farm a family favorite every fall.
  • If wandering through corn mazes, gobbling up warm donuts, and strolling past fun fall décor is your idea of a fun fall afternoon, then a trip to Johnson’s Pumpkin Farm is in order. The pumpkin farm’s season runs from Sat., Sept. 10 through Mon., Oct. 31. For many in Bay County, it isn’t fall without a trip to this iconic business.
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Read more articles by Kathy Roberts.

Kathy Roberts, a graduate of Central Michigan University, moved to Bay City in 1987 to start a career in the newspaper industry. She was a reporter and editor at the Bay City Times for 15 years before leaving to work at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Covenant HealthCare, and Ohno Design. In 2019, she returned to her storytelling roots as the Managing Editor of Route Bay City. When she’s not editing or writing stories, you can find her reading books, knitting, or visiting the bars of Bay County. You can reach Kathy at editor@RouteBayCity.com