Best Things to Do with Kids This Fall in Metro Detroit

Photo credit: iStock/Leonid Andronov

The brutal summer temps are cooling down, school is back in full swing and the leaves are bound to start changing colors any day now. Fall is officially here in southeast Michigan, and we couldn’t be more excited to help your family get into the spirit of the colorful, crisp (and sometimes spooky!) season. 

We’ve put together this guide to help you plan out your fall events, activities and holidays for 2023. We’ve rounded up some of the best seasonal activities for families around the city and the suburbs and included our family guides to celebrating fall holidays with the kids. Don’t worry, we also included plenty of ideas for indoor activities, because this time of year, you never know if you’ll be OK with just a sweatshirt or need to pull your winter coat out of the closet. 

Take a look below to find our suggestions for things to do with your family in metro Detroit this fall. Also, be sure to bookmark or come back to this guide regularly because we’ll be adding more autumn activities, events and ideas all season long!

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Close-up of apples in a tree
Photo credit: iStock

From apple picking and pumpkin patches to planning out Halloween costumes and prepping for the holidays, fall seems to fly by every year. Make the most of your family time this season with these kid-approved picks.

Explore the outdoors 

You don’t have to go far from home to appreciate the beautiful colors of autumn. Find gorgeous fall colors at these spots in Michigan. Outdoor enthusiasts can also explore the fall colors with these kid-friendly hiking trails, bike paths and local nature centers

Go apple picking

Apples are a delicious fall treat and picking them yourself can be a whole day of family fun! These apple orchards and cider mills near metro Detroit offer u-pick opportunities; cider, scrumptious apple treats and fresh farm goodies; and kids activities like corn mazes, pony rides, photo ops and more. 

Pick out a pumpkin

Sure, you can get a pumpkin at the grocery store, but why not turn a fun tradition into an entire day of fall memories by visiting a pumpkin patch? From small patches in the city to amazing pumpkin farms that are worth the drive, we found some of the best pumpkin patches for metro Detroit families. Pick out a pumpkin, go for a hayride, enjoy cider and doughnuts and so much more! 

Get lost in a corn maze

Challenge your child’s navigation and memory skills with a trip to an a-maze-ing Michigan corn maze. Walk miles through themed mazes with your big kids, or opt for shorter, easier mazes designed just for littles. Some of these mazes even offer night flashlight sessions or — for the brave of heart — haunted mazes! 

Attend a fall festival

Who says summer gets to have all the fun? Here in Detroit, festival season continues into the fall with cultural festivals, art fests, harvest fests and more. 

Get spooked at a haunted house 

Boo! Did we scare you? If not, then you may be ready for these kid-friendly haunted houses and trails in metro Detroit. From haunted houses to spooky hayrides and trails, find an age-appropriate outing that has just the right amount of spooks and thrills for your family.  

Try forest foraging

Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt? Turn nature into an epic adventure game by foraging for wild mushrooms. Kids will love the hunt, but they’ll also learn valuable lessons about nature and where our food comes from. Use these 5 tips for families to get started on your foraging journey. 

Get your game on

For sports fans, nothing says fall like the return of the Detroit Lions! Catch a game as a family and get our best tips for bringing the kiddos to Ford Field. 

Tour a new neighborhood

You may think you know all there is to know about a community, but there’s something special about exploring a town or neighborhood when it’s decked out in fall foliage. Our family neighborhood guides make exploring new communities a breeze with suggestions on where to eat, shop, play and explore with your kids. Check out our latest family guides to downtown Detroit, Auburn Hills, Northville and Harrison Township

Learn something new 

Take a family field trip and learn something new through immersive exhibits and hands-on activities. These new exhibits are great for families.

New Metro Detroit Museum Exhibits to Check Out

Visiting a local museum is a fun and educational outing for families and these upcoming exhibits will have your kiddos excited to go again and again.

Pumpkin Patches Worth the Drive from Metro Detroit

Are you looking for the perfect pumpkin to adorn your home this fall?

Family Guide to Attending a Detroit Lions Game at Ford Field

Head to downtown Detroit to check out a football game with your family.

Family Fun at Cedar Point HalloWeekends

The Sandusky, Ohio park celebrates the holiday in a huge way Sept. 14-Oct. 29, 2023.



Photo credit: Lauren Jeziorski

Whether your family is a clan of cozy introverts or you just need a day off from being on the go, these at-home activities are just what you need to celebrate the season in the comfort of your home. 

Get crafty with DIY decor ideas and fall-themed projects, or curl up with a seasonal treat and kick back at a family movie night. Find even more suggestions for at-home activities to get you in the spooky fall spirit below. 

Decorate pumpkins

Need tips for carving pumpkins? These pumpkin carving ideas and templates are sure to help you make the coolest jack-o’-lantern on the block. If you’d prefer to skip using sharp utensils with the kiddos, try one of these easy, no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas

Make Halloween costumes

Store-bought costumes can be expensive, and that’s assuming your child only needs one costume for the many school events, Halloween parties and trick-or-treat events they’ll want to attend. 

Make costume-making an event of its own (and save a few bucks) with these budget-friendly costumes you can make at home. Plus, the kids can even help with some of these simple ideas. 

Make apple treats

Whether you pick apples at a nearby orchard or buy them at the store, turn your delicious fall apples into scrumptious apple treats with these apple recipes. Make apple pie parfaits, or bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit by making baked apples

Read a spooky story 

Get into the spooky spirit with a Halloween book. These spooktacular Halloween titles have cute Halloween stories and mild scares for kids of all ages.

Get crafty

Pinecone hedgehogs, autumn leaf crowns and more await your creative family in our fall craft roundup. Display your fall crafts all season long, or go all out and elevate your Thanksgiving festivities with these creative kids table decor ideas from Chicago Parent. 

Host a family movie night 

Cozy movie nights are great any time of year, but why not enjoy a frightening family film or an adorable Halloween-themed kids movie this fall? Check out these classic ‘90s Halloween flicks for families, including Disney channel originals like “Halloweentown” and “Don’t Look Under the Bed.” 

Make a decadent dessert

Ditch the store-bought candy bars and create a homemade Halloween dessert your kids will love. Try candy apples or make some spooky ghost cake pops. Plus, we have some great ways to use up that leftover Halloween candy

Drink hot chocolate

A good cup of cocoa can make the falling temps and gray skies melt away. Elevate your family’s hot chocolate with these delicious cocoa recipes

Apple Recipes and Activities to Try this Fall

Make the most of your apple-picking weekend with these apple recipes and activities that are perfect for welcoming the fall season.

Fall Books for Kids to Celebrate the Season

Read children's books about pumpkins, apples, football and more.

Things to Do with Leftover Halloween Candy

You'll burn through that Halloween candy in no time with these fun ideas.

Halloween Books for Kids

Monsters, witches, ghosts and All Hallows Eve fun come to life in these Halloween books for kids.
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Photo credit: iStock

Before the holiday season kicks in, enjoy fall holidays including Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, Veterans Day, Diwali and Thanksgiving.

That’s a lot of fun to pack in such a short time and you can find all the activities and events you need.

Plus, score books, crafts and other activities in our at-home guides, so that you can celebrate even if you don’t want to leave your home.

Oktoberfest – September and October

Oktoberfest is celebrated in Germany from Sept. 16-Oct. 3. Metro Detroit families can get in on the fun by attending these family-friendly Oktoberfest events. Parents looking to sample local Oktoberfest brews can head to a kid-friendly brewery for craft beers and family fun. 

Halloween – Oct. 31, 2023

Get in on the spooky spirit of the season with local Halloween events, budget-friendly costume ideas and decadent Halloween treats. Plus, we found some of the best events for trunk-or-treating in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.  

Dia de Los Muertos – Nov. 1-2, 2023

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with these events in the city and suburbs that include dancing, ofrendas, face painting, candy and other festivities. 

Veterans Day – Nov. 11, 2023

Support our veterans at these local parades, activities and events that celebrate the brave men and women who serve our country. 

Diwali – Nov. 12, 2023

Celebrate the five-day festival of lights with our Diwali Guide for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families. Get recipes, ideas for festive activities and more. 

Thanksgiving – Nov. 23, 2023

Enjoy a day of gratitude, thanksgiving and, of course, food with your family. Find Thanksgiving events and activities in our Thanksgiving Guide for Metro Detroit Families, or try these ideas for sharing gratitude with your family.

Veterans Day Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Honor and show appreciation to those who have fought for our country at these Veterans Day events in southeast Michigan.

Diwali Family Guide for Metro Detroit Families

Diwali, a five-day Festival of Lights, kicks off on Nov. 12, 2023. Here are some fun ways you and your family can celebrate.

Día de los Muertos Events and Activities

Looking for a fun ways to celebrate the Day of the Dead this year? Our Día de los Muertos guide is here to help.

Best Halloween Events for Kids in Metro Detroit

Trick or treat! Check out these fun activities this spooky season.