News

October Events Around West Michigan

Visit Downtown Mt. Pleasant for fresh fall produce at the Farmers Market every Thursday and Saturday now through October 31st.  

Discover 100 plus things to do, every day, in central Michigan from now until December with Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s 100 Days of Fall blog. 

During the month of October, you’ll find family-friendly activities that don’t include spooks happening throughout Mecosta County, including storytimes, painting workshops, the Big Rapids Cranktoberfest, and live music events

October shows at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant include Toto, Fantasticon (a two-day comic book ad pop culture experience), Off Color Comedy Tour with Shawn Wayans, Tommy Davidson and David Alan Grier and more! Find a schedule and ticketing information at SoaringEagle.com

Chrysanthemums & More is on display now through October 27th at Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. An annual celebration of autumn, Chrysanthemums & More! is the largest of its kind in Michigan, featuring expansive chrysanthemum displays, fall foliage and family-friendly activities. Mum Day, October 20th will provide members and guests an opportunity to interact with horticulture staff and learn more about the fascinating chrysanthemum and fall themed plantings.

Through Oct. 31st, HopCat will be celebrating Hoptoberfest at their Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Holland, and Kalamazoo locations, as well as offering a delicious German variation on their Double Smash Burger — including custom blend beef patties, ham, arugula, stout onions, smoked gouda, ground mustard, lettuce and pickles. It’ll go great with an order of Pretzel Nuggz or a delicious seasonal beer such as the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Warsteiner Oktoberfest or New Holland Ichabod.

On October 3rd the Velvet Caravan will perform at  The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor. Velvet Caravan is a high-energy, acoustic-based quintet of guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion, accordion, and keyboards. One of the shining lights of Savannah’s burgeoning music scene, Velvet Caravan brings together musicians from as close as Austin and as far away as Venezuela and Slovenia. 

Welcome the Resiliency exhibition to Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph at opening party on October 4th. Celebrate with a cash bar, light bites provided by The Bistro on the Boulevard, and explore resiliency through the work of contemporary artists. 

The West Michigan Fire Prevention Council invites you to the annual Downtown Holland Fire Truck Parade and Open House on Friday, October 4th, beginning at 7:00 pm. The Fire Truck Parade will begin at the corner of 8th Street and College Avenue before proceeding west down 8th Street to the Holland Civic Center Place. Be sure to check out the free Fire Prevention Open House at the Civic Center at the conclusion of the Parade to learn fire safety tips and say hello to the fire fighters.

The Plaidurday Party is on Friday, October 4th from 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville, with Snack Fivecoate performing live from 6:30pm – 9:30pm.

Treetops Resort in Gaylord hosts a Fall Color Tour and Progressive Dinner on October 5th and a Farm 2 Fork dinner on October 12th.

St. Joseph will host two more Farmers Markets this season, October 5th and 12th, 9:00 am-2:00 pm. 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 Market now includes jams, honey, hearth-baked breads and fine pastries, perennials, cut flowers, organic vegetables and so much more!  

The annual Grayling Promotional Association Arts & Crafts Show will be held on Saturday, October 5th. This is an indoor show located at the Grayling Elementary School and is held as a fundraiser for GPA, an organization which helps to promote and improve its community.

Sam and Bill are performing live at Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville on Saturday, October 5th from 7:00pm – 9:30pm.

Herman’s Boy will be celebrating 40 years of business in Rockford the first week of October! In the fall of 1979, Floyd & Sharon Havemeier opened The Melting Pot – “A potpourri of the best that’s American”. The shop featured cheese & meats from the Midwest, nuts from local roasters, and baked their own bagels & caramel pecan rolls. The Havemeiers wish to thank all their current/former customers & employees… and the great city of Rockford for 40 years of blessings! Check their Facebook page for ways to post your fond or even humorous memories and to follow their walk down “Herman’s Boy memory lane”.

Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek will take full advantage of West Michigan’s beautiful fall season with the launch of a special extended season of fun at the zoo. The last day of the regular season is Sunday, October 6th, when the zoo closes to prepare for Bonteboktoberfest, the tenth annual beer tasting festival on Saturday, October 12th. The zoo reopens on October 14th for “FALL into the ZOO”, an extended season that features a series of one day events. Open daily from 10:00 am-4:00 pm, admission will be reduced to $10 per person (free for zoo members). FALL into the ZOO includes these themed days for all ages to enjoy:

  • Senior Safari, Wednesday, October 16th – Seniors 60+ will receive free admission for activities, games and more.  Sponsored by Senior Health Partners.
  • Zoorific Kids Day, Saturday, October 19th – It’s a day for youngsters and their families to visit the zoo and meet guest vendors and mascots, enjoy demonstrations, activities, animal encounters, and more. Sponsored by Meijer
  • Stroller Safari, Tuesday, October 22nd – Geared for parents with tots, with special play-stations, pumpkin-coloring, and other age-appropriate activities.
  • Harvest Celebration, Saturday, October 26th – Watch as the zoo animals receive harvest-themed enrichment, admire a collection of antique tractors on display inside the zoo, and much more.
  • TAILgate at the Zoo, Sunday, October 27th – What better place to tailgate than at the zoo? Come dressed in your team colors for the Lions vs Giants game, complete with beer stations, prizes to win, and general game day merriment.

October 9th is Family Night at Benton Harbor Library-Painting Pumpkins and Gourds! Krasl Art Center is excited to continue partnering with the Benton Harbor Public Library to present free and fun art activities for families. ‘Tis the season for gourds and pumpkins! Express yourself by painting on the canvas of these members of the squash family. 

The annual free fall festival, Urban Hay Day, will be held in Hudsonville on Saturday, October 12th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Downtown Hudsonville will be filled with fall themed fun for all ages, including pumpkin carvings, food eating contests, Lumberjack shows, and a live band.

Head to Southwestern Michigan October 12th for “Dowagiac Under the Harvest Moon”, a celebration of Michigan-grown produce, antiques and artisans showcased in Dowagiac’s central business district. Enjoy sampling Michigan wine and craft brews, view vintage farm tractors, and tour the city by horse-drawn wagon. 

Patty PerShayla performs live at Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville on Saturday, October 12th from 6:30pm – 9:00pm.

Celebrate everything you love about fall at Downtown Holland’s annual Fall Fest on Friday, October 11th and Saturday, October 12th! Watch the nation’s best professional pumpkin carvers craft jack-o-lanterns and 3-D sculptures like you’ve never seen before! (You may even recognize a few faces from the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars.”) Shop for fall finds at the Holland Farmers Market and for fall fashions in Downtown Holland as you enjoy pumpkin painting, hayrides, street performers and more! Fall Fest is proudly sponsored by Crown Motors, member of West Michigan Honda, with in-kind support from the Courtyard Marriott, Fris Downtown, Hops at 84 East, and The City Deli.

The Centreville Antique Market will hold the final market of season Sunday, October 13th at the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds.

Guy’s Ultimate Kayak Service in Muskegon has fall color paddles on the Muskegon river. Take a 2 hour trip on the lower Muskegon river and see the fall colors from a kayak. On October 13th, a Full Moon Halloween paddle departs at 10:30 pm. Anyone participating who wears a costume will receive $5 back on their kayak rental. Only 20 spots available, so reserve yours today

Mark your calendar for Spooky Sip and Paint with Star Buxum, October 16th at 7:00 pm at Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids. Join local drag queen and artist Star Buxom as she takes over a paint and sip class you will not forget. Get ready for crude humor, vulgar language, messy sing-alongs, strong drinks, and fabulous art with a Halloween theme. Your $35 ticket includes an 11×14 canvas board, a well drink or draft PBR, an appetizer, painting instruction, and a good time. Reserve your spot today

Prepare yourself for fall flavors and fright-filled nights at Haven Harvest, October 18th-20th in downtown South Haven. Taste the flavors of fall as hayrides roll, pumpkins fly, and headless horsemen ride. Experience a true South Haven harvest with apple orchards, bonfires, pumpkin chunkin, and delicious good-as-grandma’s pies. Grab some cider, dance to live music, and see South Haven transform.

Zoo Goes Boo is six days of trick-or-treating, costumes, entertainment, cool decorations, games & fun at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. Wear your costume – they provide the candy! John Ball Zoo is always looking for ways to be more sustainable and ask that you please bring your own reusable bag for trick-or-treating, or purchase one from our gift shop. Zoo Goes Boo will be held October 18th-20th and October 25th-27th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Tickets are $12.00 for adults, $10 for children, college students, and seniors, free for JBZ members.

Our Town Players present “Harvest Horror”, a collection of psychological thrillers, October 18th and 19th at the Masonic Temple in South Haven. Performances begin at 7:30pm, box office opens at 7:00pm.

The Barn Theatre School in Augusta will have two special weekend performances of The Rocky Horror Show October 18th, 19th & 20th and October 25th, 26th & 27th.

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts will premier an ambitious indoor-outdoor exhibition featuring interactive, light-infused artwork, Luminescence, Friday, October 18th from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. The kickoff party, free and open to the public, features Detroit-based art rock quartet, Saajtak, along with food trucks, cash bar, and hands-on creative activities for all ages. Luminescence, housed in the Bertha Kruger Reid Gallery, runs October 18, 2019 – January 3, 2020. Playful Spaces, an installation in the SCA’s rain garden, runs October 18, 2019 – March 2020. The exhibition and the opening community party are free of charge. 

Otsego Resort in Gaylord will host a  Wine & Cheese Color Tour on October 19th.

Grand Rapids Public Museum will host Organ Concert & Silent Film “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” October 18th at 7:00 pm and October 19th at 2:00 pm, a special Halloween themed Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Concert by Dale Zieger accompanying the 1920 silent film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In the silent film, viewers will meet Dr. Henry Jekyll, his fiancé Millicent and her father. Upon the challenge of there being two types of self, good and evil, Dr. Jekyll experiments with scientific means to reveal the hidden, dark side of man, in turn releasing a murderer within himself.  

Design Zone exhibit opens at Grand Rapids Public Museum on Saturday, October 19th. What does it take to create an addictive and fun video game? How many beats per second does a DJ need to get bodies moving on the dance floor? What goes behind creating a roller coaster or a skate park that produces the most fun and biggest thrills? Discover the secrets behind how video game developers, music producers, roller coaster designers and other creative problem solvers do what they do in this new exhibit! Design Zone is a highly interactive, hands-on exhibition where visitors can explore a variety of creative concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create a successful design. Design Zone is organized into three thematic zones, all highlighting the importance of science and mathematical thinking in areas critical to building creativity and innovation: art, music, and engineering.

Wink is performing live at Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville on Saturday, October 19th from 6:30pm – 9:00pm.

Explore Southwest Michigan October 19th and 20th with the annual Arts & Eats Tour, a free self-driving tour of rural regions in Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, and Van Buren counties and the surrounding rural region. Partner organizations collaborate to bring you quality experiences in art, local food, and agriculture in those little out-of-the-way places that beg to be discovered.

Bring your furry friend to downtown South Haven all dressed up and ready to show off for the Pet Costume Parade 11:00 am October 20th. Prizes for the pet costumes that are the scariest, funniest and matching their owner.

BOO on Your Bike will take place October 20th, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm, on the Kal-Haven Trail in South Haven. This free annual event invites riders of all ages to dress up in costume and get out for a scenic fall bicycle ride on the Kal-Haven Trail starting at the South Haven trail head. Prizes, candy, apple cider, doughnuts, and free helmets for children will be given out. Plus, there will be a bike rodeo supported by the South Haven Police Department. Riders can ride up to six miles total (further if desired), and expect to see fairies, witches, goblins and ghouls along their ride! 

Get in the Halloween mood with a spooky West Michigan Beer Tours Halloween Beer Tour on October 25th in Kalamazoo to try some great fall seasonal beers and enjoy a night of frights, flights, and fun.

Get creative at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s Hallo-Wee Ones event in Grand Rapids, a special event designed for the youngest visitors, October 25th, 10:00 am-noon. Dress your child as a sculpture, mammal, fish, insect, bird, tree, flower, geologist, or any other way that highlights something about the Children’s Garden and participate in one of two costume parades, held at 10:15 am and 11:15 am. Listen to Halloween-themed stories and celebrate Halloween with your wee-ones. 

Get ready for a spooky night of fun on Saturday, October 26th, at Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire as they celebrate Short’s Halloween Party. With supernatural brews, ghostly food specials, and the annual costume contest, it’s sure to be a night you won’t want to miss! 

Barefoot is performing live at Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville on Saturday, October 26th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

Join the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a day of cultural celebration at the Ethnic Heritage Celebration on Saturday, October 26th. Watch live performances and presentations, including music, dance and storytelling, enjoy traditional foods at the Museum Cafe and explore Museum exhibits like Newcomers: The People of this Place, an exhibit celebrating Grand Rapids’ cultural communities. Ethnic Heritage Celebration is included with general admission to the Museum.

Children of all ages are invited to give their Halloween costumes a “test run” and Trick- or-Treat in Downtown Holland on Saturday, October 26th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Participating businesses will be handing out free candy while supplies last. 

Enjoy Halloween fun at the Holland Museum, with trick-or-treating in the exhibits, flashlight tours of the Dutch Galleries, fun games, and spooky crafts at “Monsters at the Museum”, Saturday, October 26th, 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Come prepared with a flashlight and camera. This event is open to all ages, but not recommended for children 8 years old and under.

Experience the magic of science this Halloween season at the Air Zoo in Portage! Visit October 26th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm for the first ever Ice Cream Challenge event, where West Michigan teams will use the power of liquid nitrogen to transform flavors and ingredients into frozen treats to taste! Your votes decide the winner of this epic culinary battle, powered by spooky science. Explore the Air Zoo’s interactive exhibits and immerse yourself in the past, present, and future of science, space travel, and aviation.

Dablon Vineyards in Baroda offers live music by Mike Struwin on October 27th. Incorporating a myriad of genres, including Alt-Country/Blues & Bluegrass/Roots/Folk/Soul and even Reggae, this Michigan born artist has forged a truly unique style all his own.

Enjoy your favorite local beers and the Southwest Michigan’s best tribute bands at Rockin’ Brew Fest on Sunday, October 27 from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Silver Creek Event Center at Four Winds Casino New Buffalo.

Grab your costumes and get ready for trick-or-treating in the Benton Harbor Arts District and downtown St. Joseph merchant locations. Participating merchants and organizations will hand out treats during this festive event, 4:30-6:00 on October 31st. 

Bring the kids to downtown Mt. Pleasant for the Pumpkin Promenade, October 31st from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm for trick-or-treating at local businesses. 

Join the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven on Halloween for a free Trick-or-Treating family event from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Collect candy at different stations around the Museum. This event is for kids ages toddler to 10 years old. Children must be in costume and be accompanied by an adult. 

Attention all Monsters and Goblins, Mermaids and Super Heros, and all the ghosts in between: Grand Haven Main Street’s Annual Trick or Treating night is Thursday, October 31st. Local businesses will provide treats for all those that are brave enough to endure the mystical streets of Downtown Grand Haven from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm on Washington Avenue from 3rd Street to Harbor Drive. 

Spooky decorations and family-friendly fun await you this Halloween at the downtown South Haven Trick-or-Treating event, October 31st beginning at 5:00 pm. Put on your best costume and join in the fun! 

Come to the Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids November 1st at 10:00 pm as they kick off their Halloween party in the front bar. Terrified of clowns, toys and dolls? Head to the back bar with DJ Chowdur and dance your fears away. $5 cover and food and beverage specials throughout the night.

Visit the WMTA Events Calendar for more upcoming events around West Michigan.