GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Fall in West Michigan is arguably the best time of year. The air is crisp, the colors are changing, and the sunsets on Lake Michigan seem just that much brighter! Thanks to the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) both travelers and residents of West Michigan have no shortage of things to do this Fall!
All the way from the Indiana border through the U.P. the WMTA provides more than 800 partnered attractions, including lodges, events, and activities for western Michigan. So whether you’re a Yooper, Troll, or simply visiting, you can be sure to find an event near you! Over the past years, tourism in Michigan has grown into the second largest industry in the state, making the WMTA your best friend in finding the best attractions!
Lansing will hold the last of three Farmers Markets at the Capitol on Thursday, September 19th. The Michigan Farmers Market Association puts together these markets and are held on the grounds of the majestic State Capitol Building from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Vendors from all over Michigan attend these events. The products range from artisan cheeses to eggs, meat, pasta and sauces, baked goods, apples, cider, donuts, pies, mixes, rubs, jams, fish, chocolates and caramels, soaps, vegetables, fruit, honey, beeswax products, popcorn, maple syrup, dog treats and cut flowers. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it!
With numerous “U-Pick” spots to pick your own fruit, Saugatuck provides fun for the entire family! After a day at the Farmers Market, stop by the beach or hike the dunes to watch a beautiful sunset!
Going to the downtown Farmers Market used to be limited to the treat of selecting your own ripe, succulent fruits and vegetables. Things have changed! Saturday morning at the St. Joseph Farmers Market now includes jams, honey, hearth-baked breads and fine pastries, perennials, cut flowers, organic vegetables and so much more! The Farmers Market is open Saturdays, September 7, 14, 21, 28 from 9:00 am-2:00 pm.
Also happening in this quaint little town on September 21st is the 7th Annual Fall Fest! A weekend filled with fun events for all ages! Enjoy the Great Bed Race, Critter Barn, Face Painter, Balloon Twisters, Story Time on the Bluff, the Great Pumpkin Festival and more!
Celebrate the harvest this September at Overhiser Orchards near South Haven featuring U-Pick opportunities of locally grown pears, plums, and apples. Not only are there orchards, but there’s also plenty of animals and other attractions that visitors can explore: take a walk through the sunflower fields, visit the sunflower house, adventure into the corn maze, or take a visit to the onsite food trailer! Visit Overhiser Orhcard’s facebook page for updates on the fall harvest, special deals, and events.
South Haven Farm Markets
The Dutch Farm Market and the South Haven Farm Market run on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at the downtown Huron Street Pavilion. Pick up local groceries and savor the fresh flavors.
The Cranberry Bog Harvest is one of South Haven’s hidden gems! Once a year, DeGrandcahmp Farms opens their fields to share the beauty of their cranberry harvest with the public. On October 12th, take a hayride to the cranberry bog and watch as farmers harvest a sea of red, ripe cranberries! Then, head over to the market, which offers cranberry products, from jams to salsas, dried fruit, and baked goods. The cranberry season runs from October to November, so make sure to stock up while you can!
St. Julian Winery
St. Julian Winery hosts the Wine & Harvest Festival in Paw Paw September 6th-8th. Wine, beer and wine slushies by the glass are available and wine tastings will be offered for $1 each. All proceeds after 5pm go to support St. Mary’s School. Wine Tasting, beer tent and entertainment area open Friday & Saturday 10:00 am – Midnight, Sunday 11:00am – 5:00 pm. Open for sales Friday and Saturday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Lemon Creek Winery
September 7th brings the Harvest Festival at Lemon Creek Winery in Berrien Springs. This is a family friendly event that kicks off the grape harvesting season with an end of summer party.
Celebrate Michigan apples in Coldwater Country during the annual AppleFest, Saturday, September 21st. Join thousands of visitors in Downtown Coldwater to enjoy everything apple – from deep fried donuts to apple pie and more! Stroll the craft show and listen to live music performances while the kids enjoy the Kids Zone with a bouncy house and other activities.
Celebrate the harvest in Mt. Pleasant at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch with u-pick fruits and vegetables, freshly made cider and donuts, hayrides, and 50 acres of pumpkins and fall season ornaments. Be sure to stop by for Applefest September 28th!
River Country Chamber of Commerce
River Country Chamber of Commerce hosts the Harvest Moon Festival in Grant on Saturday, October 12th. The event includes a BBQ cooking contest, pumpkin decorating contest, an auto show, charity corn hole tournament, and pie baking contest. New this year will be a pumpkin derby and soap box derby races.
Celebrate the season at Octoberfest in Ludington, a fall craft beer and music festival including a pub crawl and chili walk, September 27th and 28th.
Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo
September kicks off Fall Festival Season at Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo in New Era. They offer over 25 varieties of home grown apples with many available for U-pick in the orchards. Their Pumpkin Patch was voted the best in Michigan and the corn maze features a new design to explore each year! Fall Festivals at the farm also offers a wide variety of activities and entertainment. Cheer on your favorite at the Pig Races, watch the amazing canines in agility Dog Shows, and experience the thrill of shooting an apple out of a cannon.
Muskegon Farmer’s Market
The Muskegon Farmer’s Market is dedicated to casing the best in locally-grown foods, flowers, nursery stock, handicrafts, and baked goods. The Market also hosts “The Flea,” where everything imaginable is sold. Farmers’ Market hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays from 8:00am – 2:00pm. The Flea Market is Wednesdays from 8:00am – 2:00pm.
You’ll find a variety of farmers markets and harvest events in the Muskegon area. Celebrate chefs from Muskegon, Ottawa, and Kent counties along with local breweries and wineries at Chef Prize at Hampton Green Farm on September 8th. Enjoy dinner, games, live music and more at the 2nd Annual Party in the Pasture Ox Roast at Hidden Creek Farm September 29th.
Holland Farmers Market
The fall harvest brings a bounty of locally sourced produce to the Holland Farmers Market, held on Saturdays and Wednesdays from 8:00 am-2:00 pm. In addition to freshly picked apples, squash and root vegetables, you can also purchase a variety of baked goods, meats, cheeses, spices, and more from over 75 vendors.
The Fall Peddlers’ Market in Zeeland is September 14th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Church Street between Main and Central, featuring over 70 vendor to shop as well as food trucks.
Mecosta Country has various locations where you can fulfill your harvest needs. From local farmers’ markets and roadside stands full of fresh fruit and produce, pumpkin patches to corn mazes, there are a number of stops and events throughout the harvest season. For a list of what days each farmer’s market is open this harvest season and other special events, visit the Mecosta County Community Events Calendar.
Breweries and taprooms
This year, The Mitten will brew three different Harvest beers with freshly-picked wet hops. The first is a Harvest Ale utilizing Comet hops from Michigan Hop Alliance and Columbus hops from Pure Mitten Hops. This modern interpretation of an American Harvest Ale will be featured at their home base in Grand Rapids and their Saugatuck taproom in late September. For the Northport taproom in the Leelanau Peninsula, The Mitten will be making a Session Harvest IPA using Summit & Chinook hops grown only a few miles from their taproom by Michigan Hop Alliance. Look for it in Northport in late September or early October. Last but not least, they will be collaborating with DeHops Brewing Company in Walker to craft a Harvest Lager. Pure Mitten Hops will be providing Vojvodina and Perle hops to make this treat. It will be available sometime in early to mid October.
With so many fun, family-friendly fall festivals Shanty Creek in Bellaire is the perfect place to stay while celebrating the harvest in northern Michigan. Mark the calendar for the Bellaire Harvest Festival and Scarecrow Extravaganza, September 28th, and the Charlevoix Apple Festival, October 11th-13th. Throughout the fall season visitors can experience fall color from a new perspective: from the chairlift, the top of the mountain, or take a four-hour fall color tour of one of the four championship golf courses at Shanty Creek Resort.
Celebrate everything Antrim County with the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce’s 21st Annual Harvest Festival on September 28, 2019 from 10-6. Experience why Antrim County is “in the heart of it all” with Bellaire’s Harvest Festival featuring art, flea markets, local brews, tunes, scarecrows and more.
Black Star Farms
Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay will be hosting a number of special autumn dinners this season.
- Early Autumn ~ Wednesday, September 11 – As summer slips into fall plenty of delicious fresh produce is still coming from area farms and orchards, this month’s dinner will feature these early Autumn treats. $100
- Fall Squash & Apples, In the Barn, Wednesday October 9 – The farm’s historic Pegasus Barn will be the rustic, yet elegant backdrop for dinner that will feature fall favorites, squash and apples, incorporated throughout the menu. $100
- Fall in the Forest, Saturday, November 2 – This month will honor fall in the forest featuring wild game and late season mushrooms incorporated throughout the menu. $100