October Fall Weekend Events in Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan Events: Per my usual morning frazzle, I paralleled, threw my scattered bits-o-junk into my bag and popped out of the car all under 50 seconds. I was desperately attempting to make up for time with a hulk-proportioned stride when I suddenly stopped dead in my wedges. Washington looked different. It was shining in a new gold, glowing from the city court house down to the neatly ordered town houses blocks away. It was fall. So when I did make it into the office (per my usual 3 minutes late…rebuilding momentum in-wedge ain’t easy) I thought Welp, tis the season—a fall-festive article it is. So here’s a month of weekend events for the leaf-crunchin’, pumpkin-pickin’ lover in all of us.

PS: Should you not make it to these harvest blow outs, just stop at Potter’s, grab yourself a donut and stroll down Washington. Happy fall, Northern Michigan.

October 3-6

Families: Boyne City Harvest Festival, Oct. 5th 8am-4pm

Held downtown with music, crafts, fall produce, shopping and dining specials, and a 5k fun run/walk (with your dog). The entire Boyne City Farmers Market will move to Water and Lake Streets from 8 a.m. to noon. The farm market booths sell a variety of apples and other harvest items including pumpkins, squash, apple butter, jam, honey and cider. Portions of Water Street will be closed to traffic during the festival to make room for the Farmers Market, music and more than 30 arts and craft vendors. The festival will also include folk art demonstrations, children's games, hay rides and a scarecrow-making contest for residents and businesses.

Adults: Chateau Chantal Harvest Festival, Oct. 5th 12pm-4pm

Share the excitement of Harvest! Mark & Brian’s cellar and still will be open to smell wines, stomp grapes, and tour. The tasting room staff will serve wine tastes and take private label orders. Also, special pricing on full case orders of any one varietal of wine!

Activities for All, Open to Public: 1pm: Mini Slurpin’ Seminar  Learn the basics of wine tasting – slurping noises encouraged! 2pm: Grape Stompin’ Put Lucille Ball to shame and get in line for your chance to crush grapes the old fashioned way: with your feet! 3pm: Distillation Seminar – join the winemakers as they show off their shiny copper pot still.

Outdoors: Kayak to Brown Bridge Quiet Area, Oct. 5 10am-12pm

Enjoy a spectacular paddle down the Boardman River that concludes at the Brown Bridge Quiet Area. Led by Boardman River Program Coordinator, Steve Largent, the trip provides an opportunity to share the growth and change over the last year, discuss efforts still underway with the dam removal and appreciate the beauty of the fall colors. Kayaks provided by Backcountry North.

October 10-13

Families: Charlevoix Apple Festival, Oct. 11-13,  10am-6pm

Local organizations will warm you up with hot food items such as chili, hot dogs, apple flappers, kielbasa, French fries and more. Activities include a holiday art & craft show with 125 exhibitor booths, face painting, pony rides, petting zoo and pumpkin carving contest display.  Don’t forget to stop at the Chamber booth and pick up your Apple Fest t-shirt. 

Adults: Brys Estate Harvest Celebration, Oct. 12, 11am-7pm

For $5 per person, guests will receive a large souvenir wine glass to use as they visit four different wine and food pairing stations throughout the tasting room, barrel rooms and winery cellar giving visitors a glimpse into the inner workings of the winery. The patio will be open for guests to enjoy their favorite wine by the glass or a cheese & charcuterie board, while soaking up the fall colors that will be exploding in every direction. Guests may even sneak a peak at the grapes being harvested in the estate vineyards that surround the tasting room. Admission is complimentary for current wine club members. No reservations are needed.

Outdoors: Fall Color Bike Tour, Oct. 12, 1pm-4pm

A unique opportunity to bike ride the new Burt Lake Trail and hike LTC nature preserves with a guide, and in the peak fall color season. The bike ride will begin at Maple Bay Campground and go to Carp Creek and then return by the same route (11 miles total). The Burt Lake Trail winds through the Chaboiganing Preserve and near UMBS’s Colonial Point Memorial Forest, so you will explore these protected properties by foot and view the old growth oak forests there. Participants will also have a chance to hike along Carp Creek on Biological Station property. Please bring your bike, good hiking footwear and a water bottle for your bike.

Oct 17-20

Families: Fall Festival at Pond Hill Farms, Oct. 19 & 20, 11am-4pm

Enjoy u-pick pumpkins, hayrides, lunch in the cafe, wine tasting, hot cider and donuts, shop our farm market, watch a pig race, feed our farm animals, free pumpkin painting, kiddie train rides, squash rocket, feed the fish at the Trout Pond, and more with free admission!

Adults: InsideOut Gallery & Shorts Brewing Present Mixology 202, Oct. 18, 6pm

Short’s is teaming up with creative friends at InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City for another craft beer cocktail extravaganza. This time they are employing the help of another craft artisan, Journeyman Distillery, to truly make this a night of Michigan themed concoctions. Pushing the limits of craft beer and locally made spirits, this is definitely a night you won’t want to miss.

Outdoors: Fall Color Hike at Green Point Dunes, Oct. 19, 10am-12pm

Join GTRLC for a fall color hike through beautiful forests to unparalleled views of Lake Michigan, a shipwreck and a quintessential Lake Michigan beach. A quintessential Lake Michigan beach, you ask? Come on out, you will see! The hike is approximately 2 miles. Please note the trail is relatively steep in places. Dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water.

Oct 24-27

Families: Leland Fall Frenzie, Oct. 26, all day

A day for cider, doughnuts, special downtown sales and a late fall chance to watch the fish try to jump the dam. Leland is beautifully situated on M-22 between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau.

Adults: The Native Grapes of Northern Italy Wine Dinner, Oct. 24, 7pm

A lovely evening featuring Tim Tebeau of US Wine Imports and wine/food editor of Traverse Magazine and the complex, interesting, and food-friendly wines of Northern Italy! Chef Branden Gatrell’s menu for the evening will focus on Fall seasonal ingredients with an Italian flair. Cru Sommelier Jen Bingham will work with Tim to pair the wines with each course and teach you a little bit about Northern Italian wines! RSVP Required – 231-399-0200

Outdoors: Traverse City Zombie Run 5K, Oct. 26, 9am

The Zombie Run has become a Halloween tradition. What's not to like? Zombies and beer have always been a winning combination. Stick around after the race for the 50/50 raffle, medal ceremony and best costumes prizes. There will be a few other surprises as well. Plus the beer will be flowing, who says you can't drink before noon? Besides, you’re already dead anyway!

Get more Northern Michigan events on the MyNorth Events Calendar!

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