September marks the end of summer temps and the beginning of sweater weather, but just because summer comes to an end doesn’t mean that the fall months don’t hold plenty of family-friendly festivals in Michigan’s southeast region. From pumpkin fests to pre-holiday wonderlands, Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties are packed with fairs and festivals that are sure to tickle your fancy.
Peruse this list to find festivals to commemorate the start of fall, which kicks off on Sept. 23, Halloween-themed happenings in October and holiday kick-offs making their way into town this November. If you’re looking for a smaller event, take a peek at the Metro Parent calendar to find one-day events happening at the same time.
Saline Main Street’s Oktoberfest
Sept. 25-26, 2015
- Where: Main Street area, Saline
- Times: 5-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday
- Cost: $5/ages 21-plus, free/ages 20 and under
Find authentic German cuisine, music and more at this annual fest.
South Lyon Area Pumpkin Fest
Sept. 25-27, 2015
- Where: Downtown South Lyon area
- Times: times vary Friday-Sunday (check ahead for details)
- Cost: Free admission
This fest kicks off with a Dr. Seuss-themed pumpkin parade, live music food and games; plus a farmer’s market, craft show, kids’ activities and inflatables.
Sept. 26-27, 2015
- Where: Kensington Metropark, 4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford
- Times: noon-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
- Cost: $7/vehicle entry, free/admission, some fees/hayrides and pumpkins
Get a closer look at the farm animals by watching some live animal demonstrations, then enjoy performances by Rosco the clown, crafts, a hayride and pumpkins available for picking.
Sept. 26-27, 2015
- Where: Diehl’s Orchard & Cider Mill, 1479 Ranch Road, Holly
- Times: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
- Cost: Free/admission
It’s all about fall family fun at this 34th annual event, which features the works of some 50-plus vendors, a four-mile run, corn maze, hayride, pony rides, kids’ activities and much more.
Deneweth’s Fall Fun Fest
Sept. 26-Oct. 25, 2015
- Where: Deneweth’s Garden Center, 16125 22 Mile Road, Macomb Township
- Times: noon-5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays
- Costs: $10/kids, free/adults
There’s a spooky train ride and haunted house for kids; plus a straw mound for climbing and pumpkin painting, too.
Wilson Barn Pumpkin Fest
Sept. 26-Oct. 30, 2015
- Where: Wilson Barn, 29350 W. Chicago St., Livonia
- Times: 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekends
- Cost: Free/admission, fees/some activities
Find the perfect pumpkin, gourd or cornstalk to decorate your house this Halloween, pony rides, a haunted barn and more. There’s doughnuts, cider and kids’ crafts on certain days, too.
Trenton Scarecrow Festival
Oct. 2-4, 2015
- Where: West Road and Jefferson Avenue, downtown Trenton
- Times: 6-10:30 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
- Cost: Free/admission; carnival wristbands: $15/Friday and Sunday, $17/Saturday
This 14-year-old shindig offers a Scarecrow Idol singing competition, a carnival packed with games and rides, pumpkin carving demonstrations, a dog costume contest, food and much more.
Oct. 3-4, 2015
- Where: Downtown Huron Township area
- Times: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
- Cost: Free
This annual family festival has been around since 1979 and is still going strong in 2015 with a car show, parade, live entertainment for kids and grown-ups and, of course, and apple pie contest.
Oct. 10-11, 2015
- Where: Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield
- Times: noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
- Cost: $3/person, $5/family
Introduce the kids to other cultures at this multicultural celebration which offers a taste of cultures from around the world, including Greek, Polish, Middle Eastern, Spanish, African and others, through their music, art, crafts, food, jewelry and more.
Oct. 9-11, 16-18 and 22-25, 2015
- Where: Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
- Times: 5 p.m.-8 p.m. (tickets sold every half hour)
- Cost: $12/ages 15-61, $8/ages 2-14, $10/ages 62-plus and active military with ID, free/under age 2
This family-friendly event offers some not-so-scary Halloween fun for little ones like trick-or-treating, a haunted reptile house, games, shopping, crafts and more.
Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village
Oct. 9-11, 15-18 and 22-25, 2015
- Where: Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
- Times: 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays (happening every half hour)
- Cost: $13.75/members, $16/nonmembers, free/ages 2 and under, $6/vehicle, parking
This creepy, kooky but not-so-spooky annual Halloween celebration lights up the paths of Greenfield Village with some 800 jack-o’-lanterns, and trick-or-treating stops along the way. There’s costumed characters, live performances and music, too.
Wayne County Lightfest
- Where: Along Hines Drive between Ann Arbor Trail and Warren Avenue, Westland
- Dates: Nov. 19-Dec. 31, 2015
- Times: 7-10 p.m. weekdays, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. weekends
- Cost: $5/vehicle
Kick the holidays off early at this annual happening, which offers five miles of holiday light displays for folks to drive by.
This post was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for 2015.