Five fun fall weekend activities to take advantage of now

It’s Central Michigan University’s annual Homecoming weekend, and the Mt. Pleasant community is ready for an influx of visitors. From MMDC’s Coming Home event to a popular downtown restaurant’s grand re-opening, and a wealth of outdoor fall fun available, there are many options for locals and visitors alike to explore the area this weekend.

Here are five fun activities happening in Mt. Pleasant this weekend.

U-Pick Sunflowers and Hemp at Heirloom Grove

Heirloom Grove holds its first-ever Hemp Days this weekend.(Photo courtesy of Heirloom Grove)Heirloom Grove, with its long-stemmed sunflower fields being open for u-pick, has been a hot spot for locals lately. This Saturday and Sunday will be the last weekend they’ll offer u-pick for the season. Plus, they are opening their hemp farm for visitors to explore.

“We are thrilled to welcome the public to our final u-pick weekend of our very first season here at Heirloom Grove,” exclaims Heirloom Grove CEO and Owner, Jaime Klumpp. “This weekend we will be hosting our first ever ‘Hemp Days,’ an opportunity for us to share another unique specialty crop we raise here, as guests can tour our 20-acre hemp field while learning more about this magnificent crop.”

Only three miles from CMU, don’t miss your last chance to get a bountiful bunch of sunflower blooms, pose with a 1949 Chevy flower truck, shop at their pop-up market, and enjoy the day on Heirloom Grove’s specialty farm at 5297 S. Whiteville Road in Mt. Pleasant from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Final Saturday Farmers’ Market Downtown

Broadway Street will be bustling with farmers’ market shoppers for the final Saturday Farmers’ Market downtown this season. On Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., vendors will welcome consumers with plentiful fresh produce, and artisans’ products that promote a healthy lifestyle.

Vendors at this Saturday’s Market include: Angel of Potpourri; God’s Green Earth; Local Color Farm; Mama T’s Sunshine; Papa’s Pumpkin Patch; Rainbow Produce Farm & Green Houses; Rose Lane Flowers; Swier Family Farm; and Whitehead Family Farm.

“This Saturday will be our last ‘Cook the Kit’ distribution,” shares Carol Moody, the Market’s Manager. “The ‘Cook the Kit’ recipe is Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash.”

In partnership with Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market, McLaren Health Plan, and the Chippewa River District Library, “Cook the Kit” is a complete recipe kit featuring farm-fresh ingredients to take home and try. If you didn’t get a chance to register prior to the Market guaranteeing a kit, stop by to pick up samples and potential extra kits. The kits include vouchers to purchase ingredients sold at the Market.
Discover the beauty of mushrooms at Bundy Hill during a guided hike on Saturday morning. (Photo courtesy of Courtney Jerome)
Mushroom Hunt at Bundy Hill Preserve

The fourth Chippewa Nature Conservancy fall mushroom hunt will take place on Saturday morning. Led by Sister Marie Kopin of the North American Mycological Association, participants are invited to explore the beautiful fall woods of Bundy Hill Preserve in search of wild mushrooms.

“Most of us rarely take the time to see fungi even though we are surrounded by them daily,” says Mike LeValley, Chippewa Watershed Conservancy’s Executive Director. “The diversity of fungi species is truly astounding and we can reasonably expect to encounter 80 to 100 species — or even more — during our search at Bundy Hill. This hunt led by Sister Marie Kopin is an opportunity to learn more about a mysterious part of the natural world that is rarely thought about, and often hidden from view.”

The free trek takes off at 10:30 a.m. at the base of Bundy Hill. Details and directions to the preserve can be found at If you can’t make it this Saturday, a final fall mushroom hunt will take place Oct. 22 at Hall’s Lake.
Fall colors are plentiful at Heirloom Grove.(Photo courtesy of Heirloom Grove)
Pleasant City Coffee’s Grand Re-Opening

Downtown’s Pleasant City Coffee is hosting a re-opening event this Saturday, celebrating the addition of Michigan-made beer, wine, and spirits to their menu.

According to its Facebook page, “After months of false starts, loads of paperwork, a huge renovation, and a labor of love to an old building in a historic downtown, we were finally approved for a Redevelopment Liquor License. In addition to the delightful crêpes and coffee, we will soon be able to bring you beer, wine, and spirits.”

Those who travel to 205 W. Broadway for Saturday’s re-opening can anticipate food specials during the day and drink specials in the evening.

Explore the Apple Orchards at Forgotten Ciders

If you’re not planning on attending the CMU Homecoming Football game and want to get slightly out of town, less than a half-hour drive east will get you to Wheeler, Michigan – and to the home of Forgotten Ciders.

“It’s our goal for visitors to feel like family when they come to Forgotten Ciders,” shares co-owner Nicole Ward, apple picker extraordinaire at 1068 W. Midland-Gratiot County Line Road in Wheeler.

With limited fall hours in October (see its Facebook page for details), this Saturday the 8th, cider, music, and pizza will be the focus at the orchard. Forgotten Ciders’ barn doors open at 2 p.m. for guests. Pizza from Who Doesn't Love Pizza food truck will be served from 3 to 7 p.m., followed by music from Aaron Gonzalas starting at 4 p.m. Hard cider made from hand-picked, old world varieties of applesgrown right at the orchardis available for tastings and by the glass.
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Read more articles by Courtney Jerome.

With 15 years of professional media experience, Courtney Jerome has found a passion for storytelling and showcasing our region in a positive light. She's written stories for television broadcasts, numerous magazines, and digital publications. In addition, she owns a boutique creative marketing agency that focuses on social media, photo, and video storytelling for small businesses across Michigan and the country — Contact Courtney, the managing editor of Epicenter, at