Fall in Love with These 31 Things to Do During Fall in Lansing


Fall Things to Do & Family Ideas in Lansing + Beyond 2020

Don’t want summer to end? Either do we! That’s why we make a fall things to do bucket list each year. I think we are going to need one more than ever this year with all of the life changes we’ve had due to Covid-19.

It 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” heading into the colder months. In fact, we can get excited about it!

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.)

From hayrides, apple, and pumpkin picking, to beach trips, hiking, and water adventures – after the year and start to the school year we’ve had, fall may just be the cozy comfort we all need right about now.


John Ball Zoo

Take a day trip to John Ball Zoo! Visit meerkats, tigers, chimpanzees, penguins, red pandas, otters, and more. Plus, don’t miss BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise – featuring over 40 life-sized animal sculptures created with over 1.8 million individually colored toy building bricks!

1300 W. Fulton St.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616 336-4300



31 Fall Activities Around Lansing

Are you ready for AMAZING FALL SEASON of FUN with the fam?!

It’s time to break out the big knit sweaters, drink hot cups of hot chocolate or coffee on the porch, and take walks in the brisk wind around town. Plus, these 35+ ideas for fun in the fall in the Lansing area.

01) Go to a Fall Event

If you’re wanting to find something to do right now, check out the recurring events calendar and the special events on the Facebook calendar.


02) Pick Pumpkins & Apples

Picking out the perfect pumpkin and creating all kinds of apple dishes are highlights for most Lansing families. It’s a real treat going to get them straight from the farm.

Find pumpkin patches in and around Lansing »

Find u-pick apples and apple tree farms  »


03) Take the Cider & Donut Trail

Deliciousness awaits around every corner of Lansing and beyond!

Find local favorite cider and donut shops »


04) Explore a Corn Maze

Another right of passage for fall, right!? Here are a few Lansing area pumpkin patch farms with corn mazes:  Shawhaven Farm, BestCorn Maze, Uncle John’s Cider Mill.

Find more farms with corn mazes »

Corn-Mazes-and-Hayrides fall things to do

05) See The Changing Colors

It’s no secret that we have tons of trails and hiking destinations around Lansing. Many connect to each other and you could hike for days! But the great thing about these places in the fall is the variety of colors that show up on each trail!

Because of the different types of trees present, some are in vibrant yellow, others in magnificent orange, and some in a rainbow of reds galore!

Find fall color tours:

The Lansing River Trails » 

Nature Centers »

Fitzgerald Park Ledges and Trails »

Hawk Island »

Lansing Parks all over town »


06) Paddle in a Kayak or Boat

Paddling along the river and lakes while the leaves are changing, you’ll see Lansing in a whole new way.

Find kayak and boat rentals in Lansing »

Kayaking Lansing Outdoor Rivertown Adventures

07) Go Biking

Get your bike out! If you need to rent a bike, here are some great places around town: Riverfront Cycle, River Town Adventures, MSU Bike Service Center

moores park kids Downtown Lansing bikes

08) Play at a Park or Playground

We love parks in the fall. Hours of play + less hot sticky weather + brisk breeze = little to no complaining.

Make your own park bucket list using this guide »


09) Visit the Zoo

See the Animals at Potter Park Zoo at what may be 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. But the big draw to Potter Park in the fall is Boo at the Zoo!

*FREE admission for Ingham county residents on non-holiday Mondays from 9 am-Noon.

21 reasons to visit Potter Park Zoo year-round »


10) Walk the MSU Children’s Gardens & Arboretum

Fall is an awesome time to visit these grounds! The arboretum has several gardens in one, and the children’s garden has interactive play throughout. 

Find a map to visit MSU Children’s Garden & Horticulture Gardens »

summer things to do: MSU-Butterfly-House-children's-garden-maze

11) Explore a Nature Center

Each nature center in our area is fabulous. They each have many year-round interactive opportunities for kids and families.

Fenner Nature Center holds the Apple Butter Festival every year and it’s a fall must-do!

Find a Nature Center»


12) Fun at Capitol Area BMX

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

13) Play a Game of Disk Golf

There are courses all around town and this is so much fun! If you haven’t been before here’s all you need to know to get started:

Find where and how to disk golf in Lansing »

14) Try Epic Mini Golfing at The Falcon

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.

15) Visit Uncle John’s Cider Mill

There’s always something fun going on at Uncle John’s Cider Mill, especially during fall. Some of their annual events are canceled this year due to Covid-19 but there are still plenty of other options for the family this year.

Check out their event calendar before you go or just stop by to eat donuts, drink cider, pick pumpkins, jump on the big jumping pillow, watch them make cider, and the list goes on!


16) Feed the Horses

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


17) Discover a Garden

Lansing has gardens all over the city, from the community to MSU projects. Some of the most exciting and beautiful to visit are:

MSU River trail, Horticultural Gardens, Arboretum, and Greenhouses

Cooley Law School Garden

LCC Shigematsu Memorial Japanese Garden


18) Relax in Horrocks’ Beer Garde

Go to Horrocks because no matter the time of year there’s bound to be something new to explore. They have recently added a Beer Garden near the north entrance.

There’s room to be socially distanced outside where you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere with a bevy and food of choice.

Plus shop their seasonal food, plants, and amazing atmosphere.


19) Try Horseback Riding

Go horseback riding with Sundance Riding Stables and Northfork Farms and Outback.

20) Stroll and Explore Old Town & Reo Town

Start your visit at 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.

Walk the riverfront trail to REO Town for more fall fun and shops.


21) Feed the Fish at Preuss Pets

Feed the Koi Fish in the outdoor and indoor ponds at Preuss Pets. It’s fun for ALL and just $1. While you’re there try petting the fish!

We were so excited to hear from a Preuss employee that petting koi is totally a thing!


22) Watch a Movie at the Drive-In

Drive-In Movie theatres are all over Michigan. This family favorite has made a comeback as of recent and we hope it never goes away!

michigan drive in movie theater

Find a Drive-In Movie Theatre » 

23) Play Indoors

Playing indoors has changed a lot in the last six months but there are a few places that are open and taking precautions to keep families safe.

Find an indoor play place » 

24) Support the Local Farmers Markets

Most Lansing farmer’s markets end their seasons in October and November. Plus, a couple are year-round locations!

Find a Farmers Market »


25) Celebrate Halloween

Celebrate and Dress up for Halloween! Lansing doesn’t play around when it comes to Halloween, find all of the fun listed here.


26) Spartan Tailgating

Brisk air and Autumn vibes mean football season has arrived! Who’s ready to scream Go Green! Go, White!?

Tips on Tailgating with the Family »  



Hit the Road and Find Fall Fun Beyond Lansing

As the leaves are changing, fall is one of the most entertaining times to take a road trip. Here are some places where the destination is pretty great during this time, as well.

27) Take a drive to the Beach

Beach time is usually known for being a summer experience but going during the fall just as ideal –  just for different reasons.

The big crowds are gone and you’ve got the whole place practically to yourself. It’s not blazing hot playing on the playgrounds directly on the beach, and fall sunsets are no joke – absolutely stunning.

Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

Find a beach on the West and East Coasts for your fall trip »


28) Head to Downtown Detroit

Start at the Eastern Market and go on a bike ride through Dequindre Cut. You’ll eventually get to the splash pad in front of the Renaissance Center to cool off (we all know fall doesn’t necessarily mean cool all the time.)

On your way, you’ll pass the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center. Plan to make a stop there some time because it’s a must-visit (In fact I can’t wait to go back!) 

Cross the bridge to Belle Isle to see the Conservatory, Aquarium, Nature Center, sit at the lookout point, and slide on a burlap bag down the huge slide. 

Find more ideas of epic places to visit in Detroit »


29) Experience Fall in Grand Rapids

Our sister site and friends over at GRkids.com have been chasing “fun with the family” for more than a decade and will hook you up with some great ideas while you’re there.


30) Go on a boating or Tubing Adventure

You can tube down the Muskegon River with Wisner Rents Canoes and many more on this unbeatable list. Many stay open through the fall!


31) Fall in Love with Kalamazoo

The first time we spent a solid amount of time in Kalamazoo I wouldn’t have known the slightest thing to do and had no idea how great it is!

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a must-visit, and Kalamazoo Valley Museum is free to the public.

You can find all kinds of fun ideas on our sister site KZOOKIDS’ fall fun guide.


Make the Most of Your Lansing Fall Season

We’d love to keep you up to date during this Fall season. Stay in-the-know each week with the newsletter. This is where you’ll get 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 from you!

Have a great Fall Season, Lansing!

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