As fall brings crisp weather, fallen leaves and pumpkin spice lattes, turn your resting witch face upside down and enjoy autumn to its fullest. Sipping cider, celebrating Día de los Muertos and running away from zombies are just a handful of the fall-tastic events that the whole family can participate in this October.
Grab your friends, family and jackets as you check out these seven a-maize-ing activities that are happening all around Grand Rapids. Be unbe-leaf-able and try them all or choose your favorites and have a trick-or-treat yo’ self day.
Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery
Open Year Long
Fall is the most spice-tacular season so why not get a taste of it by sampling the apples, doughnuts, cider and wine at Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery? With a variety of activities for all ages, families can enjoy picking apples, solving their way through the corn maze, hopping on a hayride, visiting the petting zoo, flying through the air on the jumping pillow and wandering through an outdoor trail. To learn more about each activity and operating hours, visit Robinette’s website.
Harvest Festival @ Blandford Nature Center
Hay there! Autumn has arrived and there is no better way to enjoy the fall weather than by heading outside to a festival. The Blandford Nature Center hosts its Harvest Festival for the entire community on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Make candles, catch a lift from the wagon rides and take home a scarecrow. Pre-registration is optional. Tickets are $5 for members and $8 for non-members. Children 2 and under are free. To register, check out Blandford Nature Center’s event page.
The Zombie Dash 5K Grand Rapids
Prepare to run for your life at the Seventh annual Zombie Dash 5K on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Sixth Street Park. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to make it 3.1 miles without losing all three life strips. Beware though, there will be 300 zombies out for your brains. Runners, walkers and children are all welcome, and a portion of the event’s profits will be donated to Michigan Blood and the Michigan Blood Stem Cell Programs.
What does it take to become a zombie? Dead-ication. If dressing up as a zombie is more your style, come volunteer at the Zombie Dash and chase some humans as they race around downtown Grand Rapids. All zombie volunteers will receive a free shirt for participating. To register or learn more, visit the Zombie Dash’s website.
Zoo Goes Boo @ John Ball Zoo
October 19 – 21 & October 26 – 28
Be on the lookout for monsters at the John Ball Zoo from Oct. 19-21 and October 26-28. For six days from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., families and children are invited to practice their treat-or-treating as they explore the zoo, eat sweet treats and play games.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Admission is free for all members. Non-members can buy tickets for $10 for adults and $9 for children. Visit John Ball Zoo’s website for more information.
Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival @ Wealthy Street Theatre
October 23 – 27
Here’s a treat for all the horror film fanatics. From October 23-27, Wealthy Theatre will present the 2018 Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival, featuring action, sci-fi, suspense and horror films every night of the week. Movies include a John Carpenter Double Feature of “The Thing” and “They Live” as well as a showing of “Night of the Living Dead” and other freaky films made by local and indie filmmakers. Tickets can be bought for each film or if you plan to be scared the entire week, you can purchase the all-access festival pass for $50. Visit Wealthy Theatre’s website for all the details.
Spooktacular! @ Grand Rapids Ballet
October 26 – 28
Are you spooked yet? From October 26-28, the Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior production of Spooktacular! will keep you on your toes for the entire show. It all takes place on Halloween night when a young girl’s wish is to join her older sister trick-or-treating. However, when her older sister refuses, she decides if she wants some treats, she will have to get tricky. Join in on this ghostly good time by dressing up in your own costume. For tickets, check out Grand Rapids Ballet’s Junior Co. page.
Día de los Muertos @ Grand Rapids Public Library
October 29 – November 4
Celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the Grand Rapids Public Library with crafts, face painting, live music, local dishes and bilingual storytime from Wednesday, Oct. 31 – Sunday, Nov. 4. Families are invited to preserve their ancestral history through recording anecdotes at the storytelling station and scanning digital copies of old photographs, letters and journals.
Want to build an altar to honor a deceased loved one? Altars will be built on Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30. School groups are also welcome to schedule tours to look at the altars displayed and learn more about the history of Día de los Muertos. For more information, visit the Grand Rapids Public Library’s event page.
*Main photo courtesy of John Ball Zoo