Fall Activities & Fun Ideas in Lansing + Beyond 2023
The leaves changing color, brisk mornings with cozy sweaters, and warm apple cider – the transition into fall helps remind us why we love Michigan’s seasons.
To quote Fraulein Maria in The Sound of Music, “then I don’t feel so bad” as we head into the colder months. In fact, we are actually excited about it!
Whether you’re up for corn mazes, apple picking, and pumpkin patches or beach trips, hiking, and fall activities, there are so many things to do during fall in Lansing. Read on to find events and activities for an epic Lansing fall season.
Fall Events & Festivals Around Lansing
1 – Charlotte Frontier Days
September 6-10, 2023
Eaton County Fairgrounds • 1025 S Cochran Ave, Charlotte, MI 48813
Charlotte Frontier Days highlights include the Michigan High School Rodeo, a parade with novel entries like the Dancing Deputies, great party fun at the Charlotte Frontier Days Saloon, bed races, cornhole, and lots of other fall events.
2 – Eagle Days
September 7-10, 2023
Eagle Park • 14331 S Grange Rd, Eagle, MI 48822
Enjoy midway rides, kiddie tractor pulls, a cruise-in, mud bog, an ox roast, food trucks, a demolition car scramble, and the parade at Eagle Days. The village of Eagle holds this annual festival the weekend after Labor Day and is a great way for families and friends to enjoy some end-of-summer fun.
3 – Meridian Heritage Festival
October 1, 2023 10 AM – 4 PM
Meridian Historical Village & Nokomis Cultural Center • 5151 Marsh Rd, Okemos, MI 48864
Celebrate the community’s history with a day of entertainment, demonstrations, games, and exhibits from Native American and early American cultures including children’s games, children’s fishing at the pond, cross stitching, rug hooking, inkle loom weaving, candle making, drop spinning, sewing and beading demonstrations, drumming and singing, and sweet grass braiding. The 7th Michigan Company B Volunteer Infantry will give a Civil War Reenactment Presentation. More info here.
4 – Grand Ledge Fall Festival
October 7, 2023 9 AM – 5 PM
Jaycee Park • 525 E River St, Grand Ledge, MI 48837
Celebrate fall in Grand Ledge with crafters, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, pumpkins, handmade items, baked goods, pony rides, pottery, candles, jewelry, and much more.
5 – Ionia Apple Festival
October 7 & 8, 2023
Ionia Fairgrounds • 317 S Dexter St, Ionia, MI 48846
This event will be an apple foodie’s dream come true. All food trucks must sell at least one apple-themed food item. Stick around to watch the coronation of the Apple King and Queen.
6 – Fall Harvest Festival
October 8, 2023
Ella Sharp Museum • 3225 4th St, Jackson, MI 49203
Enjoy apples, cider, make & takes, food trucks, a petting zoo and pumpkins at this Jackson-area festival welcoming autumn. Free admission to Farm Lane.
7 – Apple Butter Festival
October 21 & 22, 2023
Fenner Nature Center • 2020 E Mt. Hope Ave, Lansing MI 48910
Learn the art of making apple butter at this annual festival. Local music, artisan demonstrations, fall activities, historical crafts and more! Parking $5.
Fall Activities & Fun Fall Ideas in Lansing
8 – Visit a Corn Maze
Getting lost in a corn maze is another right of passage for a Michigan fall. Luckily, the Lansing area has some great corn mazes to choose from.
Find your way out at these Lansing area faves: Shawhaven Farm, Bestmaze II Corn Maze (new location!) and Uncle John’s Cider Mill.
» Find Corn Mazes in Lansing
9 – Go Apple Picking
What’s more fall than going to pick apples at an orchard? Walking or riding a wagon out to pick apples and smelling the sweet, ripe fruit just waiting to be picked is a quintessential Michigan fall tradition. Bonus: you’re forced to make lots of delicious goodies with all those apples!
The Greater Lansing area boasts tons of apple orchards from quaint family-owned spots to large operations with extras like watching cider be made, fresh donuts, entertainment, and food.
» Find Apple Orchards Around Lansing
10 – Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Picking your own pumpkin straight from a pumpkin patch is an exciting experience. Kids love to pick out just the right size and shape and make sure it’s carvable for jack-o-lanterns.
The Lansing area has lot of pumpkin patches to choose from, whether you want to scoop up a pre-picked one or select from endless fields of orange. Many pumpkin patches give you a whole experience with corn, corn mazes, apples, pony rides, cool gourds, decorative hay to purchase, and more.
» Find Pumpkin Patches Around Lansing
11 – Visit a Local Farmers Market
Farmers markets around Lansing aren’t just for summer; some go through the fall and a couple are even open year round.
Seeing who grew your food and picking out exactly what you want is a satisfying experience. Kids might enjoy seeing unique fruits and veggies they don’t always see in the grocery store. And who doesn’t love to support local?
» Find Farmers Markets Around Lansing
12 – Take the Lansing Area Cider & Donut Trail
Eating donuts that are still warm from the fryer and sipping cider that you know was made locally is a special autumn experience. Is it even fall if you haven’t treated yourself to some cider and donuts?
Take our fun cider & donut trail around the Greater Lansing area that we’ve mapped out for you to ensure a great time. Mom-and-pop or large operation, Lansing has you covered in the fall deliciousness department.
» Find Cider and Donuts Around Lansing
13 – Take a Lansing Color Tour
It’s no secret that Lansing boasts tons of trails, hiking destinations, nature centers, and parks. These relaxing destinations are home to a variety of trees which makes for a spectacular fall color show.
Take in the breathtaking reds, oranges, and yellows right here in the capital city. Make a complete family day of it with a walk, hike, bike ride, picnic, and of course a photo shoot!
Take a Lansing Color Tour at one of these destinations:
» The Lansing River Trail
» Nature Centers
» Fitzgerald Park Ledges and Trails
» Hawk Island
» Lansing Parks
14 – Celebrate Halloween
The thought of trick-or-treating on a cool October night, doing a local trunk-or-treat with the kids, and participating in festive Halloween events just puts me in a good mood! See where Lansing families are celebrating Halloween this year.
» Find Halloween Events Around Lansing
» Look Up Trunk-or-Treats Around Lansing
» See Trick or Treat Times
15 – Visit Uncle John’s Cider Mill
If you’re looking for endless fall fun, you’ll have to check out one of mid-Michigan’s favorite fall destinations: Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns.
One of the most popular attractions at Uncle John’s is the jumping pillow, a gigantic, air-filled pillow made for jumping, that was replaced in 2023.
Plan your perfect fall getaway at Uncle John’s and enjoy the cider mill, pumpkin patch, corn maze, train (new in 2023), wagon rides, sunflower patches, 5K farm trail, pickle ball, gemstone mining, bakery, gift shop, tap room, and cider yard with live music, food trucks, bonfires, yard games.
A favorite Uncle John’s activity is watching cider being pressed (usually on Saturdays, Sundays, and an occasional weekday) and eating warm donuts fresh off the line.
» Make a Trip to Uncle John’s
16 – Take a Paddling Adventure
Don’t limit your fall color tours to just your vehicle or a foot path. Take your autumn foliage game to the next level by viewing the color changes from a kayak, canoe, or paddle board!
Lansing has you covered for kayak and boat rentals on area lakes and rivers. Start planning an adventure now and see trees and wildlife you don’t normally get a chance to see.
» Find Boat & Kayak Rentals Around Lansing
17 – Bike a Trail
Take advantage of the cool air and beautiful fall foliage by biking around Lansing’s many trails.
With miles and miles of trails spanning Lansing’s north side to south side, and east side to west side, you’re sure to find a biking trail that’s perfect for your crew.
Need to rent a bike? Try River Town Adventures or the MSU Bikes Service Center.
» Bike on Lansing’s Trails This Fall
18 – Play at a Playground or Park
Less heat can make all the difference when it comes to playing outside. Fall is the perfect time to go outdoors to play on playgrounds, have a picnic in a park, and savor beautiful Michigan weather before winter comes.
Play your heart out at the dozens of diverse parks Lansing offers. You’ll find tons of hidden gems, cool play equipment, and unique options.
» Play at Lansing’s Playgrounds & Parks
20 – Walk in Gardens
Enjoying gardens in the fall as the flora changes can be such an invigorating, therapeutic, and educational experience for kids and adults alike.
The Lansing area has gardens all over the city including impressive ones on the campus of Michigan State University and Lansing Community College.
» Explore the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens at MSU
» Explore the Shigematsu Memorial Garden at LCC
» Explore the Cooley Gardens in Lansing
» Explore the MSU Horticulture Gardens
» Explore the Beal Botanical Garden & Campus Arboretum at MSU
21 – Explore a Nature Center
Nature Centers are an ideal place to visit during the fall because you can get up close and personal with the changing leaves, witness animal behavior in the fall, and take shelter indoors at a visitor center if Mother Nature throws you a curve ball.
Take a look at these 5 amazing nature centers in the Greater Lansing area and immerse yourself in the great outdoors.
» Find a Nearby Nature Center
24 – Play Mini Golf at the Little Hawk Putting Course
A perfect family outing for littles and bigs is the putting course at Little Hawk Putting Course. This natural grass putting course, one of only three in Michigan, is located at Eagle Eye Golf Course in East Lansing.
Little Hawk Course features 18 holes on an immaculately groomed course complete with picturesque landscaping and a variety of holes.
» Book Your Tee Time at The Little Hawk Putting Course
25 – See the Horses at MSU
Something fun, easy, and FREE to do is head to MSU’s Horse Teaching & Research Center on the east side of campus and see the horses up close! This unique activity gives you the chance to get outside, admire the horses, and learn about taking care of these majestic animals. Take a self-guided tour Mon-Fri 8-4:30 PM.
» Find out More about the MSU Horse Teaching & Research Center
26 – Experience Horrocks
IYKYK. There’s just no other place like Horrocks! Take a trip to Horrocks in the fall and get ready to be put into full fall mode: caramel apples, gourmet popcorn, seasonal vegetables, meats, cheeses, and an expansive selection of beer and wine.
Meander your way on over to the Beer Garden and enjoy the refreshing fall breeze while partaking in food from the food truck, delicious beers, live music, and the best ambience.
» Visit Horrocks Farm Market This Fall
27 – Try Horseback Riding
There’s no time like the present, and if horseback riding is on your bucket list, we say go for it! Put on your jeans, flannel shirt, and cowboy boots and saddle up at these great Lansing spots to try your hand at horseback riding.
» Sundance Riding Stables in Grand Ledge
» Northfork Farms & Outback in Webberville
28 – Check Out Downtown, Old Town, & REO Town Lansing
There’s so. much. to. do. in Lansing! These parts of town offer history, charm, scenic routes, great shopping, and great food. Have yourself a perfect fall adventure and start at the Brenke Fish Ladder and stroll around Old Town. Continue on the Riverfront Trail to downtown Lansing, and then on to REO Town.
» Find out What to Do in Downtown, Old Town, & REO Town
29 – Check out the Animals & Feed the Fish at Preuss Pets
Walking through Preuss Pets in Lansing is like going on a field trip! Around every turn is a new animal to observe – reptiles, fish, birds, bunnies, gerbils, snakes, and spiders to name a few. A favorite activity at Preuss Pets is to feed the fish in the indoor river.
» Take an Adventure to Preuss Pets in Lansing
30 – Watch a Movie at the Drive-In
Take advantage of the crisp fall weather and cozy up at a drive-in theater. Pack the blankets, snacks, and adventurous spirit as you partake in this retro family favorite. Be sure to check when each theater’s season ends.
» Check Out one of These Michigan Drive-In Theaters + Tips for a Great Time
32 – Go Kayaking, Canoeing, & River Tubing in West Michigan
See Michigan fall colors like never before from a different perspective: on the water. Go kayaking, canoeing, river tubing this season in West Michigan. Many boating and tubing rental spots stay open during the fall, but be sure to make sure they’re open when you plan your trip.
» Plan a Water Adventure in Michigan
33 – Take a Fall Road Trip
Fall is one of the most beautiful times to appreciate Michigan. Try out these ideas to make the most of a fall day in the Great Lakes State.
» Travel to One of These Lake Michigan Beaches
» Find the Best Things to do in Downtown Detroit
» Experience Fall in Grand Rapids
» Use this Kalamazoo Fall Fun Guide
Stay Connected this Fall with the LFF Newsletter & Community Group
There are two great and easy ways for you to stay connected to even more fun fall happenings in the Lansing area:
First, sign up for our monthly newsletter and receive extra tidbits about what’s going on around Lansing and cool events for families. Add your email here!
Second, join our Facebook community which is growing every day, and feel free to ask questions, share your favorite events, and get inspired to go adventuring. Join our Lansing Family Fun Connection group now.
Have a great fall Season, Greater Lansing!