News

It’s Time to Celebrate the Fall Harvest!

As temperatures are cooling down, pumpkins and apple cider are starting to pop up everywhere you look! Find seasonal favorites at one of the many area farmers markets, visit a farm or orchard, make your way through a corn maze, or take part in one of the many harvest celebrations happening throughout West Michigan.

South West Michigan 

 

As summer transitions to fall, it’s time to celebrate the bounty in West Michigan. With Michigan being the third top producer of apples it’s no wonder there are so many apple festivals throughout the fall. Visit historic Downtown Coldwater on Saturday, September 17th for apples, cider, fresh baked goods, crafts, unique artwork, and the kid zone during Apple Fest!

Virtue Cider located in Fennville is the perfect fall stop to celebrate the apple harvest. Each fall, Virtue Cider gears up for a new year of apples and cider making. They make cider-like wine, using sustainable practices right on their farm. Stop in and enjoy the crisp air, a flight of ciders inspired by European tradition, and charcuterie made with local ingredients. Join them at Apple Fest, the celebration of all things cider, on October 1st. Play games, drink cider, and listen to live music at their largest event of the year. 

If you’re ready to have a grape stompin’ good time, come to the Third Annual Grape Stomp in Southwest Michigan on Saturday, September 17th! Enjoy live music with Dart Board Compromise, the annual grape stomp competition & Silly Sausage food truck! Music will be from 5 – 9 PM and the grape stomp competition will be between sets. One round, 8 teams, two people per team. The winner will receive a prize from Chill Hill Winery & bragging rights for all eternity. 

The Lakeshore Harvest Ride is Saturday, September 11th. This is the best time for a Michigan bike tour, as September graces Southwest Michigan with dryer, cooler weather. The Lakeshore Harvest Ride is the one Michigan bike tour that lets you see, touch, smell, and taste the riches of this breathtaking region. Glide through the rolling countryside on your bike and visit wineries, cider mills, family farms, orchards, and art studios along the way. Register here.

Visit one of South Haven’s nearby farms and markets for harvest produce, u-pick apples, and apple cider. Bumbleberry Acres, Dutch Farm Market, and Overhiser Orchards are three of many u-pick farms in the area that boast bountiful fall harvests.

Not only is Saugatuck/Douglas fortunate enough to be in the country’s second most agriculturally diverse state, but they are also situated within Michigan’s Fruit Belt region. The Market, held at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, provides a unique hub for the local producers that reflect on the region’s agriculture and seasons. These weekly, seasonal farmers markets feature artisan foods, local fruits and vegetables, honey, maple syrup, fresh eggs, coffees, plants, live music, and more. And when it comes time to dining, savor the unforgettable flavors of  fall harvest at these local restaurants such as; Pennyroyal Café & Provisions, Salt of the Earth, and Farmhouse Deli and Grow Café + Bistro that serve the season’s bounty picked at its peak. 

Enjoy Crane’s Cider Fest in Fennville to celebrate apples, cider, and their 50th year anniversary on Saturday, September 10th from 12:00 – 5:00 pm. This will be an afternoon of amazing food, award winning wines and hard ciders, games, prizes, pie eating contest, and live music by Vinylicious and Nate Holly. All ages are welcome, and kids 12 and under are free. Click here to purchase tickets.

Join the celebration of Vicksburg’s agricultural heritage during the Vicksburg Harvest Festival held at the Vicksburg Historic Village, with activities for the whole family on Sunday, September 25th from 11 am – 4 pm. The Harvest Festival is a fundraiser to support the preservation efforts of the Vicksburg Historical Society. Bring your appetite for the pie baking contest; and stop by the  petting zoo to see a variety of barnyard animals including sheep, lambs, pigs, goats and even Tornado the bull. 

September is Michigan Craft Spirits Month and distilleries around the state are celebrating at Michigan Distilled 2022, coming up Friday, September 23rd (5-10pm) at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market. Distilleries are part of a growing agricultural and agri-tourism industry here in the Great Lakes state, thriving due to the abundance of fresh water and locally grown fruits, grains, and herbs. VIP and General Admission tickets for this autumn festival, presented by the Michigan Craft Distillers Association, are available here.

Don’t miss the Paw Paw Wine & Harvest Festival, happening September 9th-11th in Paw Paw! The festival offers something for everyone. Wine enthusiasts can participate in tastings and tours. Feeling active? Get involved in the 5k, grape stomping competition, kayak race, and other contests. Music lovers can check out four different stages with entertainment. Visitors of all ages can enjoy carnival rides, fireworks, and Sunday’s parade. Plus, take advantage of free trolley transportation to help you easily access all the fun the festival has to offer. This is one weekend you won’t want to miss.

Gull Meadow Farms near Kalamazoo is a great place to enjoy fall with the whole family. There are over 20 acres of apple orchards, pumpkin patch, and family friendly activities including a corn maze each year.

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.

Head down country roads in Calhoun County to a local family farm to harvest a full crop of vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, along with beef and pork. The pumpkin patch opens in mid-September, which can be paired with other family activities, such as the corn maze.

Central West Michigan

 

Check out Bethke Farms Pumpkin Patch, Gavin Orchards, Mellema Farm Market, Green Acres Farms, Reende’s Blueberry Farms, Rasch Cherries & Apple Market, Winkel Chestnut Farm Farmers Markets, Spring Lake Farmers Market, and Grand Haven Farmers Market for some down on the Farm pumpkin patches, apple orchards, & more in the Grand Haven Area.

The Midwest’s premier autumn culinary celebration, the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival returns to DeVos Place, November 18th & 19th. Since its inception, this event has grown into the largest and most popular of its kind in the region…this year celebrating 15 years! The annual kick-off to the holiday season is meant for both experienced culinarians as well as those who simply want to spend time with family or friends in an entertaining and educational setting. This Festival offers countless immersive experiences with an unparalleled diversity of beverages available for sampling with more than 1,200 offerings from around the world under one roof. The area’s top chefs are also on hand, dishing out ideas and recipes for their favorite seasonal, holiday and entertaining menus from the demonstration stage. Meanwhile, local restaurants serve up mouth-watering small plates as well as multi-course pairings which are not to be missed for an elevated festival experience.

Looking for something to do with the kids this fall?  Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo has great events in store all autumn long. Head to the U-pick apple orchard, capture an Instagram photo in the pumpkin patch, and enjoy over 46 farm attractions, including a corn maze, lumberjack show, and giant slide. From littles to adults, there is something to keep everyone entertained all day!

Ready. Set. Grow! The Holland Farmers Market at the Eighth Street MarketPlace is ready to greet you with a new slate of special events and wonderful fresh goods. Alive with activity and ripe with fresh produce, jams and honeys, artisan cheeses and cut flowers, this renowned market is a destination not to be missed. 

Harvest a lifetime of memories as you wind through canopies of glorious crimson, burnt orange and gold. Your autumn adventure awaits in Holland. Surrounded by vineyards and orchards, Holland offers the best of fall’s bounty. Drop a few coins in an open guitar case and hum a favorite tune en route to the New Holland beer garden for an award-winning Hazy River Ale. Explore the cornucopia of flavors in downtown’s eateries – perhaps a shepherd’s pie at The Curragh, seared scallops at Butch’s, or a brick-oven pizza at Hop’s. And make your apple pie a la mode to top off the day’s memorable moments. Find this fall fun and much, much more here.

On September 24th, the Annual Harvest Fest in Rockford will have all of the Fall family activities including a classic car show, hay rides, entertainment, food and craft vendors! Join Hermans Boy and celebrate the harvest fest with Caramel apple pies, house made chai, fall flavored coffees, and much more!

Up North Farm Market in Ludington is a must-see destination for fall! This newly established business offers an assortment of fresh produce, high-quality meats & cheese, wine, craft beer, and fresh baked goods. Visit the free petting barn and enjoy a draft beer, glass of wine, and delicious grilled panini while you shop and visit the animals.

On Friday, September 23rd, Michigan Apple Fest in Sparta begins! This two-day festival celebrates the harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables grown on “the Ridge” near Sparta, in the heart of apple country. Enjoy food trucks, market vendors, tractor rides, and the Apple Slingshot Contest, plus many more great activities!

Enjoy the splendor of autumn at Blandford Nature Center’s annual Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 9th in Grand Rapids! Bring the whole family to enjoy a day of crafts, games, candle dipping, rope making, and even make your own scarecrow to take home with you. Meet some of the Wildlife Ambassadors and also visit their farm where you’ll press your own cider, visit with farm animals, explore the children’s garden, and more. Concessions will be available including Doughrunts Food Truck. 

This October, Muskegon County invites you to celebrate the vibrant colors of their woods, dunes, and water (and win prizes!) with the “Depot to Depot Fall Color Tour”. Take your car or bike on this self-guided color tour; stretching from the Muskegon South Pierhead Light to the White River Light Station along the historic and scenic West Michigan Pike Byway. Wind your way along Lake Michigan under a canopy of fall-kissed trees in all their autumn glory. See the sites, snap some “selfies,” and discover local shops, restaurants, attractions, and more.

Make your way through the corn maze at Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery in Grand Rapids. The maze will open just after Labor Day, runs through the end of October, and costs $8 per person. While you’re at Robinette’s, we definitely recommend you pick up some donuts, cider, and one of their many delicious varieties of apples!

Northern West Michigan + Upper Peninsula 

Take a color tour on Mackinac Island this Fall at the Harbour View Inn! Their Experience Autumn Package includes round trip ferry passes, tickets to historic Fort Mackinac, one pound of fudge from JoAnn’s (try the pumpkin flavor!), half day bike rentals to explore the island and $50 to Yankee Rebel Tavern for some cozy comfort food. Available for 2-night stays only September 22nd – October 20th, 2022. Book your stay here!

Marquette County shares its excitement for the fall harvest with the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market and Marquette Food Co-op. As the harvest arrives in the Upper Peninsula, residents and visitors can peruse a selection of produce and goods from local farms, growers and artisans with the weekly Farmers Market held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 4 – 7 p.m. The Marquette Food Co-op is at the center of the U.P.’s emerging local food economy, open daily from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. The co-op helps promote the growing and eating of local food through presentations and workshops, an on-site store, farm tours, cooking classes, the U.P. Food Exchange and much more. 

Who’s excited for fall color tours, pumpkin spice lattes, corn mazes, and caramel apples? If you can’t tell, fall is one of Visit Charlevoix favorite seasons. And there is no better place to be during the season than Charlevoix, in fact, Expedia recently named Charlevoix as the best place to travel in October. The fall colors are ablaze, the night sky is brilliant, and Northern Michigan is full of delights. 

This year Taste of Harbor Springs celebrates 27 years of raising funds for the Mary Ellen Hughes Culinary Scholarships. Your admission will help area professionals pursue their dreams in the culinary arts. This very popular fundraising event takes place at the waterfront in Harbor Springs on September 17th, 2022 from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Enjoy tastes from participating restaurants with your admission ticket. Every admission ticket does include a commemorative “27th Annual Taste of Harbor Springs” cup! Learn more here!

Enjoy your fall color tour by starting at the 19th hole to pick up your golf cart and a bottle of either red or white signature wine with Drummond Island Resort’s Fall Color Tour Package. Experience a leisurely ride through The Rock golf course stopping at three stops to sample, chili, caramel apples, cider, and donuts. After returning your cart, each registered adult will enjoy three 4 oz. samples of various hard ciders at the fire pit located behind the lodge. Click here for available dates.

September in the Petoskey Area brings signs of fall with a few area events! Petoskey Wine Region presents a Harvest Showcase at 14 area wineries on September 17th & 18th, where you can indulge in wine tastings with small plates. Check out Boyne City Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 24th from 8 AM – 3 PM for music, crafts, children’s activities, fall produce and more! 

Walloon Lake is spicing up your fall harvest season with its 2nd Annual “Chili Cook-Off for Charity” on Sunday, September 25th (Noon-4pm) in Circle Park, adjacent to Barrel Back Restaurant. Throughout the afternoon, enjoy not only the chili competition and tastings, but a local farmers’ market, canned food drive, kids’ activities, live music and more,all benefitting the Manna Food Project. For details click here.

Michigan ranks #6 in the nation for the number of craft breweries – supporting the moniker of the Great Beer State. The U.P. Fall Beer Festival will be held on Saturday, September 10th at Mattson Lower Harbor Park, along the shores of Lake Superior in Marquette. This fall festival is planned where visitors can savor the season by sampling from hundreds of craft beers from many of Michigan’s popular and award-winning breweries presented by the Michigan Brewers Guild. Tickets are available here.

Chateau Grand Traverse is gearing up for harvest at the winery! Harvest is the perfect time to make a trip up Old Mission Peninsula. Head to their blog to find 6 Reasons to Visit During Harvest.

Harvest often begins in September at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. Book a private tour and go behind the scenes with a golf cart ride up to the top of the vineyard, where you will enjoy a sparkling wine toast, discuss what is currently occurring in the vineyard, and enjoy views of Grand Traverse Bay. Your tour concludes with a premium tasting paired with an artisan meat and cheese board.

Statewide

Enjoy the Michigan Farmers Market fresh flavors of fall through scrumptious squash and plentiful pumpkins while snuggling up in your warm seasonal sweaters. Your tasty fall dishes will pair perfectly with your favorite fall activities. Find your farmers market here.

More Farmers Markets, Orchards & Farm Fun: