Wave goodbye to summer and say hello to the delights of fall

There is nothing quite like a Michigan autumn — even die-hard summer fans have to enjoy the fresh, brisk air; the colorful, crunchy leaves; and those incredibly vibrant fall sunsets. Autumn brings out some of Michigan’s best natural features and fun events.

There are many ways to enjoy this beautiful season in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Whether you are looking for family fun, spooky entertainment, or other activities to get you in the festive spirit, the area has something to offer you this fall.

Chippewa Nature Center – October 10

One of the best ways to see fall colors in the region is by kayak! Check out the colorful landscape with a leisurely autumn kayak trip down the Chippewa River. Expect to paddle from CNC down to the Tittabawassee River near Downtown Midland, return to CNC by van for the event. Learn more here.

Eastman’s Forgotten Ciders – Oct 12 & 19

Nothing says fall like a good cider, whether fresh pressed or hard and you’ll find plenty at Eastman’s Forgotten Ciders. You’ll find the release party of the long-awaited return of Eastman’s Cinnister, a cinnamon-infused cider on October 12. And if you’ve been to the taproom, you know that the Ward’s pooches are often frequent visitors. On October 19, Eastman’s Forgotten Ciders will be celebrating Growler the Cider Dog’s second birthday, with support going towards helping the Humane Society of Midland County.

Mother Nature’s Halloween Trail – Oct. 12 – Bay City State Park

This pumpkin-lit nature trail walk is perfect for ghosts and ghouls of all ages. Take a moonlit stroll from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. through Bay City State Park, 3582 State Park Dr., and maybe even encounter some of Mother Nature’s night-time creatures – bats, spiders, owls, coyotes, and more. Along the trail, learn how these special creatures live and why humans sometimes misunderstand them. For more information, visit the Friends of Bay City State Park Facebook page or the Bay City State Park Facebook page.
Rocky Horror Picture Show 
Oct. 12 – Historic Masonic Temple Theatre

Are you ready to do the time warp? This cult classic film comes to the Historic Masonic Temple of Bay City, 700 N Madison Ave., in a spooky Midnight Monster Movie premiere. Seating is limited, so get your tickets now for this special performance. Break out your best look for the costume contest, enjoy a cash bar (with Rocky-themed cocktails!), pick up a prop bag, and be sure to buy a few raffle tickets. You will not want to miss this night — showtimes are 8 p.m. and midnight. Get there early for photos, contests and concessions. For more information, visit the Friends of the Historic Masonic Temple Facebook page.

Paul’s Produce Farm

Paul’s Produce Farm, 1775 Cass Avenue Rd., is a festive and unique place to enjoy a fall afternoon. The pumpkin selection is prime and they have many other fall decorations available – straw bales, corn stalks, mums, gourds and more. Stop for a pumpkin (or two) for carving, pick up some other local produce, and let the kids play awhile in the large pumpkin yard. This is a fun place to enjoy a nice fall day. More information can be found on Paul’s Produce Farm Facebook page.

Johnson’s Giant Pumpkin Farm

There is so much to see and do at Johnson’s Giant Pumpkin Farm, 4715 Portsmouth Rd. A corn maze, music, magicians, craft shows, petting zoo, rope making, blacksmith demonstrations and so much more wait for you. Oh, and of course, the fresh cider and cider donuts — mmmmm. You will not be disappointed with the variety of fun to be had a Johnson’s. Plan for a whole afternoon at the farm. There’s plenty to keep you busy. Check out the variety of fall events they have cooking, either on the farm’s Facebook page or website.

Halloween Costume Party – Oct. 26 – Historic Masonic Temple

*Read in your best Vincent Price voice*: Costumes, cocktails, dancing and more! This Halloween party at the Historic Masonic Temple, 700 N Madison Avenue, is this season’s most spooktacular event. This costume party is not to be missed. You might even win an award for cutest, cutest couple, scariest, or most original costumes. Dress to impress, dress to scare, dress to spook — the possibilities are endless and this night is sure to be an eerie blast. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door – more information can be found on the Facebook event page.

Halloween Horror Catastrophe – Nov. 1 & 2– Lumber Barons and Stables

“Oh no! There has been a chemical spill at the Lumber Baron's Brewpub. The staff is all trapped inside! Their DNA is mutating and we do not know what will become of them!” Yikes —y ou will not want to miss this. Head to Lumber Barons, 804 E Midland St., on Nov. 1 or 2 for your chance to walk through the disaster area and witness the results. Who knows what you might encounter? This toxic evening takes place from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 1-2. Tickets are $10 and include drink and food discounts. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.

Cider & Donut Hike – Nov. 7 – Ringwood Forest

Here’s your chance to enjoy that crisp, fresh, fall air. Join the Saginaw County Parks staff on a hike through Ringwood Forest in St Charles. Wrap up the hike with cider and doughnuts. This is a free event that requires reservations. Please call Saginaw County Parks and Recreation at (989) 790-5280 to reserve your spot. See you on the trail!

ChristKindlMarkt – Nov.29 – Dec. 1 – Frankenmuth

As fall comes to a close, get ready to slide into the holiday season. This festive celebration of the wonders of Christmas will surely get you into the holiday spirit. Enjoy a beautiful pop-up street market, musicians, food, entertainment, carriage rides and more. Interested in showcasing your handmade goods or wares at the market? Sign up here to be a vendor.

This is a free event that lasts all weekend, so you have plenty of time to plan a charming holiday afternoon. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.

Fall is a beautiful, refreshing time to venture out with family and friends. Whether you are searching for the perfect pumpkin and Johnson’s or Paul’s, touring the changing colors at Whiting Forest, perfecting your costume for the Masonic Costume Party or Rocky Horror, strolling the trails of the Bay City State Park or Ringwood Forest, winning a game of cornhole at City Market’s Family Harvest Day or heading over to Lumber Baron’s to check out that Halloween Horror Catastrophe — have a safe and fun fall season.