The crisp air, changing leaves, and Halloween fun make October one of the best times of year in Michigan. From pumpkins and apples to haunted attractions, there are many fantastic autumn activities happening across the state.
October brings an array of festivals that celebrate fall harvests, food, music, and family traditions. Here are the best October festivals in Michigan that you should add to your fall bucket list!
1. Red Flannel Festival
The quaint town of Cedar Springs has hosted its Red Flannel Festival for over 80 years. Main Street gets taken over by a lively parade, 5K run, bed races, lumberjack shows, contests, music and more. You’ll find delicious food like fudge, donuts and cider to enjoy amidst the fall fun.
One highlight is always the Festival Grand Parade on Saturday morning with creative floats, dancers, bands, and celebrities. Be sure to visit the Arts and Craft Fair and Antique Tractor Show too!
The Red Flannel Festival is a fabulous small-town celebration. Arrive early to get a good spot for the Festival Grand Parade. Wear red to show your flannel pride!
Frankenmuth really gets into the Halloween spirit with its annual Pumpkinfest celebration! The Bavarian-themed town brings fall fun with pumpkin bowling, a costume contest for pets, trick-or-treating, pumpkin checker tournament and more.
You can witness some giant pumpkin weigh-offs and even see pumpkins launched into the air during the Pumpkin Blast. There is endless family entertainment all weekend long. Be sure to sample seasonal beers, ciders and German fare too.
Pumpkinfest is the perfect October kickoff! Take the free trolley around town. Check the schedule for your favorite music acts and entertainment.
3. Detroit Fall Beer Festival
Beer lovers can sample over 1,000 craft beers from over 100 breweries at the annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival. It takes place right in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market district, making for a fantastic fall setting.
You’ll find a massive selection of Michigan seasonal beers, ciders, meads and more. Live music plays while you wander between the different sampling tents. Make sure to bring a pretzel necklace, stein or other fun gear to really get into the beer spirit!
Check online for discounted tasting tickets in advance. Come with an open mind and empty stomach to try all kinds of unique brews.
4. Seoulfood Festival
West Michigan’s largest Korean culture festival takes place right inside Twelve Oaks Mall every October. You’ll find Korean street food vendors, dance and musical performances, exhibits, contests, crafts, games and more.
Some of my favorite activities include making traditional Korean masks, watching K-pop dance troupes, and learning about Korean handicrafts. It’s awesome to experience the sights, sounds, tastes and entertainment of Korea right here in Michigan.
The Seoulfood Festival has something for all ages to enjoy. Arrive hungry and ready to sample all the delicious Korean eats! Take part in the paper folding and fans craft area.
5. Appleumpkin Festival
Fall harvest foods take center stage at Tecumseh’s Appleumpkin Festival held downtown. You’ll findapple cider, apple pie, pumpkin treats, and other tasty edibles as you explore the arts and crafts fair. My favorite festival contests are the apple pie baking competition and pumpkin chunkin events.
Live music and entertainment provides the backdrop for this small-town autumn celebration. Be sure to stop by Raisin River Farms for hayrides, corn mazes and more fall fun too. From apples to pumpkins, it’s a delicious festival!
Grab an apple cider doughnut and caramel apple for a perfect festive treat. Check out the Giant Pumpkin Growers weighing-in pumpkins.
6. Michigan Apple Fest
Celebrate the height of Michigan apple season at the state’s largest apple festival held in downtown Grand Rapids. You’ll find apple treats galore from pies, donuts, dumplings, crisps and cider. Plus, a juried arts and crafts fair, live music, a beer tent and family entertainment.
Apple Fest is the perfect outing on a crisp fall day in West Michigan. Be sure to stop by the apple dessert competition to sample entries and cast your vote. And don’t miss the comic apple peeling championship – it’s hilarious fun to watch!
Come hungry and ready to sample all kinds of apple goodies. Check the music schedule to catch bands you might know.
7. Detroit Fashion Week
Fashionistas can enjoy runway shows, shopping parties, networking events and more during Detroit Fashion Week in October. Attend high-energy runway shows and presentations from international designers like Custo Barcelona along with the best of Michigan fashion talents.
Affordable tickets let you experience the glitz, glamour and latest fashion trends. I love the energy and creativity on display from diverse designers, models and stylists. Detroit Fashion Week offers a fun insider’s look at the world of fashion.
Splurge on VIP tickets for the best seats and exclusive events. Check the schedule ahead of time and purchase tickets for your favorite shows.
8. Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village
For family-friendly Halloween fun, head to Greenfield Village for their Hallowe’en nights filled with trick-or-treating, spooky decor, magic shows, haunted houses, costume contests and more. Stroll the streets of the historic village as costumed interpreters hand out candy from Model Ts.
My favorite activities include the magical theater performances, Headless Horseman hayrides, midway games and treats like caramel apples. Kids will love dressing up and collecting candy while you enjoy the fall sights. It’s a memorable Halloween tradition!
Come in costume to fully embrace the Halloween spirit. Walk through the decorations once it gets dark for the full ambiance.
9. Yale Bologna Festival
The small town of Yale celebrates its bologna-making heritage each October with its annual Bologna Festival. You can sample all kinds of unique bologna creations from sandwiches to bologna bean bag toss and other fun foods.
I always get a laugh watching the outhouse races and bologna bowling! In addition to meaty fun, the festival has a carnival midway, parade, contests, craft show and more for families. Celebrate everything that makes Yale and its bologna great!
Make sure to grab a fried bologna sandwich and watch the bologna eating contest. Check the schedule for parade and event times.
10. Freep Film Festival
Film buffs will enjoy the Freep Film Festival showcasing over 100 documentary films across metro Detroit venues in October. You’ll find compelling true stories about diverse topics that inform, enlighten, and entertain.
Screenings take place at venues like the Detroit Film Theatre, AMC Theatre, and Redford Theatre. The affordable tickets provide access to incredible documentary features and shorts you won’t see anywhere else. Freep Film Festival is a cinematic delight each fall.
Browse the film schedule and purchase tickets for ones that interest you most. Arrive early for screenings to get good seats.
From harvest celebrations to Halloween fun, live music and theater performances, unique cultural events and more, you’ll find an awesome array of fall festivities to enjoy. Mark your calendars and start planning your October in Michigan. Hope to see you out there!