Celebrate Harvest Season in West Michigan

Many people in West Michigan look forward to the harvest season every year. The freshest produce is available straight from the farms, and activities like corn mazes, hayrides, and harvest festivals make every weekend a treat. Find your favorite way of celebrating the harvest right here in West Michigan.

Harvest-centric Events & Festivals

The harvest fun starts on Labor Day at Post Family Farm in Hudsonville. Starting on Monday, September 3rd, Post Family Farm is serving up pumpkin donuts daily! Activities, including hayrides, the nature trail, and tube tunnels, begin on Saturday, September 8th, and run through November 3rd.

The Allegan County Fair is celebrating the harvest in a big way when it comes to the fairgrounds from September 7th to 15th. In addition to purchasing fresh produce, they have produce that is being judged, including fruit, vegetables, flowers, grain, honey, syrup, and more. This event is truly all about the harvest!

The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail in Traverse City is hosting the Harvest Stompede event on September 8th and 9th. This annual weekend event features a spectacular race through Leelanau’s vineyards, followed by a self-guided wine tour along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail, which features world-class wines and culinary delights that reflect the season’s bounty.

There are two opportunities to be a part of the Farm-to-Table Dinner & Tour at Castle Farms in Charlevoix. On Wednesday, September 12th or October 10th, enjoy a delightful farm-to-table dinner and live music along with a twilight tour at Castle Farms. Catered by Grey Gables Restaurant & Catering, a local favorite, the three-course meal plus welcome tasting will showcase meats and vegetables sourced from local farms.

This fall, celebrate Michigan apples in Coldwater Country during the annual AppleFest on Saturday, September 15th. 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 fun activities.

From the hop fields to the barrels, a lot goes into creating your favorite craft beers. Taking this process to the next level, Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids has been cooking up barrel-aged beers in anticipation of their big event of the year, the Wood Aged Beer Festival, on Saturday, September 15th. The event features over 20 beers to sample, with the opportunity to purchase limited bottles of these wood-aged beers.

While the morels of spring tend to garner the most excitement, the autumn mushroom scene offers a wide variety of colors and flavors that can be found in many different landscapes. Learn about the diverse world of fall mushrooms at a Fall Mushroom Foray at Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire on Saturday, September 15th. Enjoy a beautiful hike on well-maintained trails led by a GRNA naturalist to learn about and seek out the colorful mushrooms of autumn.

The St. Joseph area is hosting three harvest-time events in September, starting with their ongoing farmers market every Saturday through October 13th. The festivities continue on Saturday, September 22nd, for Fall Fest. Bring the family for a weekend filled with fun events for all ages. Live music, local tastes, and Lake Michigan take center stage at the new Roots & Brews on Saturday, September 22nd.

Visit HopCat in either Kalamazoo or East Lansing on Sunday, September 23rd, for their annual Hoptoberfest event. They’ll be pouring their favorite local and authentic imported Oktoberfestbiers, and serving up German-inspired food specials. With hops harvest season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to grab a beer and enjoy a delicious meal.

A variety of harvest-centric events are coming to Muskegon this fall! In addition to their farmers market, visit Pioneer County Park from September 28th to 30th for the 4th Annual Halloween Harvest Weekend. Decorate pumpkins, hop on the hayride, and celebrate both Halloween and the harvest!

Hosted by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, the 42nd Annual Harvest Fest is September 28th to 30th. This year will include returning events such as the Classic Car Show and the Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, September 29th, and will also feature children’s activities, a movie in the park, and Scarecrow Building!

Visit downtown Sault Ste. Marie for the 16th Annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 29th. This family-friendly event entertains all. Get your fill of beer, specialty foods, and nonalcoholic beverages at the Beer Garden, or go explore the farm and craft market!

Boyne City’s Harvest Festival will take place on Saturday, September 29th. The farm market booths will sell a variety of apples and other harvest items, including pumpkins, squash, apple butter, jam, honey, and cider. When you’re hungry, stop for a bite to eat in one of the many downtown restaurants.

With so many fun, family-friendly fall festivals, Shanty Creek Resorts is the perfect place to stay while celebrating the harvest in northern Michigan. Mark your calendar for the Bellaire Harvest Festival & Scarecrow Extravaganza on Saturday, September 29th, and the 40th Annual Charlevoix Apple Festival from October 12th to 14th. Throughout the fall season visitors can experience fall color from a new perspective, from a chairlift ride to the top of the mountain or a four-hour fall color tour of one of Shanty Creek Resorts’ four championship golf courses.

Cheboygan’s Fall Fest is October 5th to 7th. A community celebration of Cheboygan’s waterways, trails, and harvesting heritage is presented annually during the first weekend in October. Nearly 50 events are on tap for this year’s festival, with coordination among over 25 groups and organizations.

Visit Battle Creek with the whole family for fun harvest activities. The Pumpkin Festival is Saturday, October 13th, and includes games, pony rides, pumpkin arts and crafts, food, and more. You can also stop by for hayrides every Saturday and Sunday from September 29th to October 28th to enjoy one of fall’s favorite traditions.

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids celebrates the harvest every year with the release of Harvest Ale, brewed with 100% Michigan wet hops, in October. For some extra harvest fun, stop by the Grand Rapids taproom on Saturday, October 13th, for their annual Harvest Party!

Prepare yourself for fall flavors and fright-filled nights with Haven Harvest in South Haven from October 19th to 21st! Taste the flavors of fall as hayrides roll, pumpkins fly, headless horsemen ride, and haunted houses awaken. Experience a true South Haven harvest with apple orchards, bonfires, pumpkin carving, and delicious good-as-grandma’s pies. So grab some cider, dance to live music, and see South Haven transform!

The Michigan Maritime Museum is being transformed into a maze of terrifying thrills and chills that are not for the faint of heart on October 19th and 20th. This annual event, now in its fourth year, occurs during South Haven’s annual Haven Harvest Festival weekend.

Virtue Cider in Fennville is hosting their 3rd Annual Apple Fest onSaturday, October 20th. If you can’t make it for the event, or you would like an in-depth look at Virtue Cider’s operations, they host Harvest-Time Tours every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, where you can learn how they make cider using all Michigan-grown apples.

The Arts & Eats tour through Allegan and Barry Counties may not be until October 20th and 21st, but you can still celebrate the harvest with them in September! Visit some of the tour’s stops this month for a harvest-centric meal, including one serving fresh carrots, green and yellow beans, red skin potatoes, and onions. This is comfort food at its finest!

From Harvest to Your Table

The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula paired with celebrating the grape harvest makes for a picture-perfect getaway. The kaleidoscope of colors offers a beautiful backdrop for touring the wineries along the peninsula, stretching out 19 miles into Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay. Watch grapes being harvested as you explore the peninsula, tasting and taking home wines from each of the nine distinct wineries.

This fall, Chateau Chantal in Traverse City will help you explore the relationship between wine and food, while utilizing the local harvest. The Quaff & Nosh tasting is an unmatched wine experience with light European-inspired pairings. Chateau Chantal’s Fall Wine Dinners are a fan-favorite for the winery, featuring a new menu for 2018. This seven-course wine pairing dinner is prepared daily by their in-house chef. These events and pairings are available throughout the fall.

Visit two of Grand Rapids’ favorite restaurants and have a meal that celebrates the harvest. Located inside the JW Marriott, has an herb wall garden which is regularly used by the chefs when preparing your meal. Cygnus 27 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel uses the current harvest for some of their dishes, including the vegetarian tapas, homemade pasta, lamb, and radishes.

Brys Estate in Traverse City has a unique harvest: lavender. You can find lavender in nearly all of the products in their farmhouse-style shop, from soaps and lotions to home decor and pet accessories. You’ll also discover delicious homemade lavender and blueberry infused cookies, lemonades, and custom flavors of Moomers Ice Cream in the shop!

The wineries of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail in southwest Michigan are preparing for harvest season. These wineries welcome you to stop in the tasting rooms to try the award-winning wines made from the grapes grown right here. You can even stop by for the many events, festivals, and weekly entertainment that are scheduled to enhance your tasting experiences.

Located in Lake Leelanau, Northern Latitudes Distillery uses Michigan corn, wheat, and fruit in their spirits. Pick up a bottle of their spirits and take a look at their online recipes to wow any guest this fall.

The Farm2Fork Dinner Adventure series returns to Treetops Resort in Gaylord on September 22nd with “Back to Our Roots.” Enjoy a four-course meal crafted by the Treetops Culinary team with local ingredients from area farms. Each course of the meal is thoughtfully infused and paired with a different beer or wine. A guest presenter from the hosting farm will talk a little bit about their operation and practices.

A tell-tale sign that fall is here are the chocolate caramel apples at Chocolates by Grimaldi in Grand Haven! Their limited edition chocolate caramel apples are created using crisp, sweet, and hand-picked apples fresh from local orchards. First, they drench them in their buttery and creamy caramel. Next, they coat them with their decadent chocolate, and finally, they top them with a layer of crunchy nuts or other toppings.

Farm Fun & Produce to Bring Home

Begin your journey to local farms and farmers markets with the help of Michigan Agritourism. This statewide resource helps keep family farms sustainable, support local economic growth, and provide rich and unique experiences for visitors to make lasting memories.

Corn mazes are a fan-favorite fall activity, and the corn maze at Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery in Grand Rapids is opening on Tuesday, September 4th! This year’s theme is Gummy Bears.

It’s time to decorate your porch and bring home fall flavors with the help of Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo in New Era. Take a ride on the apple express wagon to the orchards where you can pick apples yourself, or visit the pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect pumpkin to take home and carve. You can even purchase straw bales, corn stalks, and more to spruce up your front porch. Finish up your visit with a cup of apple cider and an apple cinnamon or pumpkin donut.

Twin Oaks Inn is located in downtown Saugatuck, hosting guests in a harvest wonderland. Many guests who stay in the fall visit Crane Orchards and Fenn Valley Vineyards in Fennville, located only 15 minutes away from the inn. A fan-favorite for locals and visitors alike, Crane Orchards’ annual CiderFest is coming up on Saturday, September 8th, with ciders and wine, delicious eats, and live music.

Since September is the beginning of the harvest months, there’s bound to be those looking for fall activities in Mecosta County. Some of the area’s local farmers markets provide plenty of harvest treats. This is where you can find farm-fresh produce which changes as the seasons do.

In addition to the farmers market, Holland has a new restaurant that takes advantage of the early fall harvest. Stop by for one of their unique recipes, or bring the harvest home and see what you can create with these fresh ingredients.

Marshall’s popular Farmers Market is open every Saturday through October. Featuring local growers with flowers, corn, tomatoes, apples, a myriad of vegetables, and so much more, this market also includes cheese, bread, coffee, and homemade quiche. Take advantage of the harvest season and find homegrown fare just perfectly suited for your table.

The last Farmers Market at the Capitol event is Thursday, September 20th, in Lansing. Farmers Markets at the Capitol provides a thriving marketplace showcasing Michigan food and agricultural products, all on the east capitol lawn!

Visit Mt. Pleasant for their autumn-inspired celebrations and family-friendly farms. Here, you’ll find cider, doughnuts, pumpkins, vegetables, and more. If it’s related to the harvest, they have it in Mt. Pleasant!

Visit the Cadillac area for their harvest festivals. These festivals celebrate the fresh, local ingredients that Michiganders love. In addition to harvest-themed activities and food, these events include live music, flea markets, craft shows, and more.

More Farms & Produce

For more on everything fresh, local, and healthy, check out the 2018 Carefree Travel Guide or’s agriculture section.