As the sun sets earlier and the temperatures drop, Greater Lansing transforms into a destination for all things fall. From pumpkin patches to homemade donuts and cider, there's no shortage of fun fall activities to enjoy with the whole family. Here are our top picks for the best family-friendly fall things to do in the area:
Potter Park Zoo is open all year round, but the autumn season is the perfect time to visit! With the beautiful colors of the changing leaves, you can enjoy seeing all of your favorite animals in a colorful and festive environment. Plus, don't forget about the Boo at the Zoo event! Filled with fun-themed activities like straw mazes, trick-or-treating, bounce houses and much more. So grab the family, put on your best Halloween costume, and come on down to Potter Park Zoo for a seasonal stroll you won't forget!
Have a family of thrill seekers looking for a good scare? Then Awaken Haunted Attraction is just for you! Not for the faint of heart, seriously, you'll find over 32,000 sq. ft. of terror inside and outside. There is something sure to frighten everyone including differently themed haunted areas, The Black Box—an extreme horror experience, Dr. Cyclops Escape Room and Dead On Paintball—the newest attraction of zombie poppin' fast paced fun. This haunt also has food/concessions, a gift shop and hosts special events. Open for the 2023 Halloween season, September 29-October 30.
MSU's athletic program has over 20 varsity sports teams competing in the Big Ten Conference. So your Spartan family will have an abundance of options to choose from when it comes time to cheering on your favorite team. Our favorite during the fall season are football Saturdays. The kids will have so much fun screaming "GO GREEN!", "GO WHITE!", watching the Spartan Marching Band and helping our favorite muscular mascot, Sparty, cheer on the Spartans. The entire campus will be roaring with Spartan pride.
Greater Lansing is surrounded by family farms full of fall activities. Our favorite place for seasonal fun is Uncle John’s Cider Mill. Offering hay rides, train rides, a giant inflatable jumping pillow, pumpkin patches and special events. Check out their event calendar before you go, or simply stop by to indulge in their homemade donuts, apple cider, and baked goods. Those 21+ can sample hard ciders, meads and fruit wines in the tasting room or enjoy fun and games in the outdoor beer garden.
One of our favorite ways to color tour in Greater Lansing is kayaking the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers. It's such a unique way for the whole family to experience the autumn season. River Town Adventures will equip you with all you need. They also offer bike rentals for the 20+ mile Lansing River Trail along both the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers.
Not into paddling? Take a river cruise along the Grand River. The Michigan Princess offers color tours and for the adults, Halloween themed events including a Murder Mystery Dinner and Retro Halloween fun.
Woldumar, Harris and Fenner Nature Centers are perfect for the family to get out and walk some trails in natural settings this fall. Each nature center has seasonal festivities like Fenner’s Apple Butter Tours in October—a chance to visit the old orchard, stir the big vat of apple butter cooking on the fire and use the cider press.
Photography: Valeri Gill (header image) and our #lovelansing community—a special thanks for their awesome imagery and social media posts.