Fall in northern Michigan offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure, simply by the colors of hardwood leaves, the quiet beaches, and the seemingly endless autumn harvest bounty. Combine these things with a myriad of fall festivals, and weekend schedules can be booked well into November. We've rounded up a few of our favorites here.
Pond Hill Fall Festival Weekends every Saturday and Sunday through October 27
A must visit staple on a fall weekend, Pond Hill's weekly festivals happen from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and include chances to go on a hayride, U-Pick pumpkins and pumpkin painting, kiddie train rides, pig races, pumpkin bowling down the vineyard, wine tasting, squash rockets, animal and fish feeding, as well as cider and donuts. On Friday, October 4 at 7 p.m. Pond Hill will also host a Halloween Costume Barn Dance that includes square dancing, live music, buffet dinner, and a bonfire.
Skitober Fest at Boyne Mountain October 4-5
This wild and zany family-friendly weekend includes everything from scenic chairlift rides and facepainting to live street theatre, a parade, kids area, and beirgarten.
Snowsports Summit, 10am - 5pm on October 5
This year's guest speaker will be Sarah Schleper, former U.S. Ski Team member, four- time Olympian and mother! Ski and snowboard reps will be on-hand to answer your questions and showcase the latest equipment, plus seminars and workshops will be offered by industry professionals. Boyne City High School will once again host their annual Ski Swap and best of all, admission is free
Boyne City Harvest Festival, Saturday October 5
The Harvest Festival is held in Boyne City's downtown with music, crafts and fall produce. The festival will also include folk art demonstrations, children's games, hay rides from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a scarecrow-making contest for residents and businesses. Festival hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. New this year - a fall color version of the Charlevoix Area Humane Society's 5k walk/run with your dog. The night before the festival, Freshwater Art Gallery kicks off its concert season with the Thornetta Davis Trio at 8 p.m.
Charlevoix Apple Fest October 11-13, 2013
Dozens of Northern Michigan orchards are represented at Apple Fest and they bring more than 30 varieties of traditional and heirloom apples along with cider, baked goods, apple butter, and other fall produce like pumpkins and squash. The accompanying holiday and art and craft show with 125 exhibitors brings craftspeople to Charlevoix to show their talent. Family activities include face painting, pony rides, and a petting zoo. The 2nd annual pumpkin carving contest offers prizes to carvers with the pumpkins displayed in Bridge Park during the weekend. A 5/10K foot race sponsored by the Charlevoix Kiwanis Club takes place Saturday morning.