33 Fall Things to Do Near You – Family Events and Ideas in Lansing + Beyond

Don’t want summer to end? Either do we! That’s why I love making these seasonal lists. Fun bucket lists help to remind us why we love Michigan and its many seasons. There are so many things to do this Fall in Lansing that I’ll bet we won’t think about Summer again until about mid-March (ok – let’s be real, more like January.)

As much as I mourn the warm summer months through the end of August heading into September, I have a true confession. I start longing for my big knit sweaters, hot cups of hot chocolate or coffee on the porch, and walks in the brisk wind around town. I even texted a friend one year saying, “Is it wrong that I’m secretly dreaming of cozy winter time right now? Don’t tell anyone!”

Well, I’m not dreaming of winter right now – BUT I’ve finally embraced the next season and I’m ready for AMAZING FALL SEASON FUN! (My family is especially pumped for number 13 on this list.)

Lansing’s 33 ideas to enjoy with your family this Fall Season

If you’re wanting to find something to do right nowcheck out our calendar. Read on to start making your own catered fall bucket list:

Outdoor Play Lansing Leaf trail

Jump to find…

Fall Things to Do
Fall Road Trips

Fun Activities Around Lansing to Enjoy During Fall Season:

June Calendar Kayaking River Town Adventures Downtown Lansing

01 – Kayak while the leaves change and see Lansing in a whole new way with River Town Adventures 7 days a week.  

02 – Go Biking:

Riverfront Cycle

River Town Adventures

MSU Bike Service Center

03 – Go on a COLOR TOUR/hike:

River Trails

Nature Centers

Fitzgerald Park Ledges and Trails

Hawk Island

Hawk-Island-Park-Lansing

04 – Play at amazing parks and playgrounds. Make your own park bucket list using our guide.

05 – Pick Apples. See our big list of U Pick farms around town. Know a great apple pie recipe you’d like to share? Comment below!

U-Pick-Pumpkins-with-Kids

06 – Pick and carve pumpkinsComment below with your favorite spots families should check out.

Potter-Park-Zoo-kids-otters

07 – See the Animals at Potter Park Zoo at what we think is one of the best times to visit. The cooler weather brings out the fun and playfulness of the animals and their interaction with visitors makes this place a blast. FREE admission for Ingham county residents on non-holiday Mondays from 9 am-Noon.

08 – Enjoy a walk through the MSU Children’s Garden Center/Horticulture Center or attend one of their story times in the garden.

Howell-Nature-Center-Bridge

09 – Explore a Nature Center: Every facility listed is fabulous. They each have many year-round interactive opportunities for kids and families.

10 – Get out on the bike track at Capitol Area BMX or just watch all of the action and fun from Nip N’ Sip.

11 – Race at Grand Woods Park’s RC Car Track or go Disk Golfing in their trails along the Grand River.

12 – Go Mini Golfing at The Falcon – Hawk Hallow’s amazing nine-whole links-style golf course. 15101 Chandler Rd, Bath Twp, MI 48808, (517) 641-4295.

Uncle-John's-Cider-Mill-Kids-Bouncing-pillow

13 – Visit Uncle John’s Cider Mill There’s always something fun going on at Uncle John’s. Check out their event calendar or just stop by to eat donuts, drink cider, pick pumpkins, jump on the big jumping pillow, watch them make cider and more.

14 – Visit and feed Horses at MSU. Bring the horses apples and carrots only and enjoy a peaceful day with these gorgeous animals.

15 – Play a game of soccer the two Beacon Fields.

MSU-Gardens

16 – Visit a garden:

MSU River trail and Gardens and Greenhouses

Cooley Law School Garden

LCC Shigematsu Memorial Japanese Garden

17 – Go to Horrocks and read in the book nook. Plus shop their seasonal food, plants, and amazing atmosphere. Don’t forget your FREE cup of coffee.

18 – Go horseback riding:

Sundance Riding Stables

Northfork Farms and Outback.

19 – Try out High Ropes Courses in Howell, MI

Brenke-Fish-Ladder-Art-Path

20 – Visit the Brenke Fish Ladder then stroll around Old Town. There’s a newly added playground behind Crossroads church that’s kitty-corner to Scoops on the corner of Grand River and Washington. 

Preuss-Pets-Feeding-Fish-kids-pond

21 – Feed the Fish in the outdoor and indoor ponds at Preuss Pets. It’s fun for ALL and just $1.

22 – Drive into a Drive-In Movie in Coldwater, MI.

23 – Play Indoors at these fun locations around town.

Horrocks Farmers Market lansing

24 – Visit our many farmer’s markets ending their seasons in October, November + a couple of year-round locations!

Painting-and-Carving-Pumpkins-with-Kids-in-Lansing

25 – Celebrate and Dress up for Halloween. Lansing doesn’t play around when it comes to Halloween, find all of the fun listed here + indoor halloween ideas.

26 – Go to a football game and tailgate. Brisk air and Autumn vibes means football season has arrived! Read our tips on how to have a great tailgating experience with the family.

27 – Go to a corn maze. Know a corn maze we missed? Comment below!

Shawhaven Farm

BestCorn Maze

Uncle John’s Cider Mill

28 – Hit up a Mid – Michigan Fall Festival or Fair from this Big List

Here you’ll find events like Apple Butter Festival at Fenner, Boo at the Zoo at Potter Park and more! Does your family have a go-to adventure during the Fall season? If so, comment below we’d love to hear and share with our community!

Wednesday September 4, 2019

Charlotte Frontier Days

Time: All Day
Location: Eaton County Fairgrounds – 1025 South Cochran Ave Charlotte

Charlotte Frontier Days was founded in 1970 by Steve Musselman. Musselman set out to enhance the city of Charlotte through community involvement with a festival that, still today, draws in thousands of people from Michigan and beyond. Musselman put together a successful and entertaining festival that has become a tradition [...]read more about Charlotte Frontier Days]

Thursday September 5, 2019

Bright Walls 2019

Time: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: Downtown Jackson- W. Cortland St. – W. Cortland St Jackson

Join us in Jackson, Michigan for a free six-day festival featuring 20+ artists from all over the world painting large-scale murals on buildings.read more about Bright Walls 2019]

Eagle Fair Days

Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Eagle Park – 14331 S Grange Rd Eagle

Annual festival at Eagle Fairgrounds in Eagle, Michigan. Come out to Eagle Park, Eagle, Michigan for some end-of-summer fun! Highlights include: midway and concessions, fair exhibits, Cruise-In in conjunction with Portland Cruisers, Demo-Car Scramble (Fri. & Sun.), Parade (Sat.) merchant booths, kiddie tractor pulls, chicken barbecue, softball tournaments, Mud Bog [...]read more about Eagle Fair Days]

Saturday September 7, 2019

A Festival of Oddities

Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Location: Turner-Dodge House and Heritage Center – 100 E. North Street Lansing

Scream Queen Productions and Lansing Parks and Recreation present: A FESTIVAL OF ODDITIES! This event will be a day-long celebration of all things weird and macabre in Michigan. The festival will run from 11am-7pm, with a paranormal investigation of the Turner Dodge House from 8pm-10pm. Admission to the grounds is [...]read more about A Festival of Oddities]

Saturday September 14, 2019

Fowlerville Annual Fall Festival

Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Fowlerville Fairgrounds – 8800 W Grand River Ave Fowlerville

Join Livingston Centre Historical Society on September 14th for the Annual Fall Festival from 10am - 5pm. There will be Crafts for all ages, Village Tours, Bicycle Races, Food Vendors, Wagon Rides, Craft sales, Kids Games, Train Rides, Model Train Display, Live Entertainment and more! Bring your family! Admission is [...]read more about Fowlerville Annual Fall Festival]

2019 Leslie Fall Festival

Time: 11:00 am - 11:59 pm
Location: Russell Park – North Main Street Leslie

Our annual festival is coming back September 14. We're traveling back to the 80s with an action-packed day! Start off your morning by bringing the kids down to Russell Park for free events! Pony rides, inflatables, CADL craft, mobile gaming trailer, food trucks, DJ, face painting and so much more [...]read more about 2019 Leslie Fall Festival]

Sunday September 15, 2019

REO Town Art Attack

Time: 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: REO Town Marketplace – 1027 S Washington Ave Lansing

On Sunday, September 15th the REO Town Art Attack kicks off Below The Stacks Mural Festival and returns with a smattering of youth competitions, workshops, art vendors, and more! This year's festival will feature a slightly different format than previous years with an emphasis on family-friendly events. On the agenda: Super [...]read more about REO Town Art Attack]

Friday September 20, 2019

BluesFest

Time: All Day
Location: Old Town Lansing – 1232 Turner St. Lansing

The 2019 festival will take place Friday – Saturday, September 20-21. It started in 1994 featuring such renowned bands as Kid Rock, Marcy Playground, Duncan Sheik and Nineteen Wheels, plus local showstoppers like Powerface, Knee Deep Shag, The Lash, and The Weep. In 2002 the festival moved from October to [...]read more about BluesFest]

Saturday September 21, 2019

BluesFest

Time: All Day
Location: Old Town Lansing – 1232 Turner St. Lansing

The 2019 festival will take place Friday – Saturday, September 20-21. It started in 1994 featuring such renowned bands as Kid Rock, Marcy Playground, Duncan Sheik and Nineteen Wheels, plus local showstoppers like Powerface, Knee Deep Shag, The Lash, and The Weep. In 2002 the festival moved from October to [...]read more about BluesFest]

Saturday September 28, 2019

Williamston Alley Fest

Time: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Location: D&W Fresh Market- Williamston – 151 W Grand River Ave Williamston

Williamston Alley Fest is in its 2nd year featuring art, crafts, food and live music, held in the Alley next to D&W Fresh Market in Williamston Michigan. Our festival live local musicians, food trucks, and bounce house for the kids.read more about Williamston Alley Fest]

Sunday September 29, 2019

The American Heritage Festival

Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Woldumar Nature Center – 5739 Old Lansing Rd Lansing

Woldumar Nature Center invites you to its 2019 American Heritage Festival! This annual event features a variety of local vendors, demonstrators, and performers, all celebrating local history and traditions. This FREE* event features tours of the Moon Log Cabin, horse drawn wagon rides, pontoon boat rides on the Grand River, [...]read more about The American Heritage Festival]

Friday October 11, 2019

Color Cruise and Island Festival

Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Grand Ledge Island Park – 206 West River St Grand Ledge

The Color Cruise and Island Festival is a fall festival featuring the history of Michigan along with crafters and demonstrators such as woodworking, blacksmith, broom making, sewing, painting, quilting just to name a few! There will be a pumpkin patch, balloon twisting, a petting zoo, candle making and lots of [...]read more about Color Cruise and Island Festival]

Saturday October 12, 2019

Color Cruise and Island Festival

Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Grand Ledge Island Park – 206 West River St Grand Ledge

The Color Cruise and Island Festival is a fall festival featuring the history of Michigan along with crafters and demonstrators such as woodworking, blacksmith, broom making, sewing, painting, quilting just to name a few! There will be a pumpkin patch, balloon twisting, a petting zoo, candle making and lots of [...]read more about Color Cruise and Island Festival]

Sunday October 13, 2019

Color Cruise and Island Festival

Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Grand Ledge Island Park – 206 West River St Grand Ledge

The Color Cruise and Island Festival is a fall festival featuring the history of Michigan along with crafters and demonstrators such as woodworking, blacksmith, broom making, sewing, painting, quilting just to name a few! There will be a pumpkin patch, balloon twisting, a petting zoo, candle making and lots of [...]read more about Color Cruise and Island Festival]

Saturday October 19, 2019

Apple Butter Festival

Time: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Fenner Nature Center – 2020 East Mount Hope Avenue Lansing

Fenner’s Apple Butter Festival promises to excite the senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn. Visitors will be immersed in nature, while celebrating the harvest season and all of its history, glory and tradition. The festival is truly a community event, with visitors trying their hand at heritage [...]read more about Apple Butter Festival]

How-To Halloween 2019

Time: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Lansing Center – 333 E Michigan Ave Lansing

A Festival For Ghouls and Goblins of All Ages How-To Halloween is a family-friendly festival that celebrates the do-it-yourself spirit of haunt season with hands-on activities, theatrical displays, interactive games, unique vendors and great entertainment. Our mission is to inspire kids and the “kids at heart” to head into their garages, [...]read more about How-To Halloween 2019]

Sunday October 20, 2019

Apple Butter Festival

Time: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Fenner Nature Center – 2020 East Mount Hope Avenue Lansing

Fenner’s Apple Butter Festival promises to excite the senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn. Visitors will be immersed in nature, while celebrating the harvest season and all of its history, glory and tradition. The festival is truly a community event, with visitors trying their hand at heritage [...]read more about Apple Butter Festival]

How-To Halloween 2019

Time: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Lansing Center – 333 E Michigan Ave Lansing

A Festival For Ghouls and Goblins of All Ages How-To Halloween is a family-friendly festival that celebrates the do-it-yourself spirit of haunt season with hands-on activities, theatrical displays, interactive games, unique vendors and great entertainment. Our mission is to inspire kids and the “kids at heart” to head into their garages, [...]read more about How-To Halloween 2019]

or, Hit the Road and Find Fall Fun Beyond Lansing

South-Haven-beach-fall-winter

29 – Take a drive to the Beach – On Both the East and West Shores.

Beach time is usually known for being a summer experience but Fall season is a great time to visit. The crowds are gone and you’ve got the whole place to yourself almost. It’s not too hot to play on the playgrounds directly on the beach, and the sunsets are gorgeous. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointing.

belle-isle-winter-in-detroit

30 – Head over to Detroit.

Go on a bike ride through Dequindre Cut and land at the splash pad in front of the Renaissance Center to cool off. Cross the bridge to Belle Isle to see the Conservatory, Aquarium, Nature Center, sit at the look out point, and slide on a burlap bag down the huge slide. 

Outside-Coffee-Grand-Rapids

31 – Experience Fall in Grand Rapids.

Our sister site and friends over at GRkids.com have been doing “fun with kids” for almost a decade and will hook you up with some great ideas while you’re there.

32 – Go boating or tubing on the Muskegon River with Wisner Rents Canoes.

33 – Go to Ann Arbor With Kids

Our friends at Ann Arbor with Kids have all the details on where to go and what’s awesome to do with your kiddos during this season.

Delta District Library Trail Kids Walking Lansing

Make the Most of this Lansing Fall Season with Our Bucket List

We’d love to keep you up to date during this Fall season. Stay in-the-know each week with our newsletter. This is where I send our highlights for the week and fun tidbits. It’s also a great way for us to stay connected as a parent community. We’d love to hear form you!

Have a great Fall Season, Lansing!