Touring a real-life working farm, twisting crisp Michigan apples from our orchard trees, or taking a harvest-time hayride to the back patch to snap the perfect pumpkin straight off the vine — wholesome fall fun for the entire family is as ripe and ready as the homegrown Pure Michigan produce that fills our fields and orchards!
Enjoy every colorful memory made here with the kids this fall — swinging through the autumn leaves on a ziplining adventure or trekking the country's longest canopy walk, up to four stories high in the trees!
As we welcome you back, we’ll be doing our best to keep you in the loop on what’s open & closed in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Just look for the orange banners below on our partner listings as you start planning for your next trip!
While we all navigate this new normal, some experiences may be slightly different, and some businesses may only be partially reopened. Please check with the individual businesses for their reopening status, new hours of operation, and updated policies before visiting!
Pumpkin Patches, Apple Orchards + Corn Mazes
Johnson's Giant Pumpkins (Saginaw) 25-acre pumpkin farm featuring u-pick pumpkins that range from small 50-cent gourds to gargantuan $20 pumpkins you'll barely fit in the backseat! Enjoy the on-site petting farm — home to llamas and emu, goats and alpaca — and everything from a corn maze to a soybean maze, horse rides to kiddie barrel train rides!
Leaman's Green Applebarn (Freeland) Named "Mid-Michigan's Best Apple Orchard" by WNEM voters for multiple years, experience this family-owned farm that's been in operation for over 130 years! Enjoy pre-picked or u-pick apples, fresh-pressed cider and cider slush, and pure family fun down on the farm — even Goat Yoga! Stop to meet the farm animals, take a hayride, or hop aboard the Apple Barrel Express!
Bayne's Apple Valley Farm (Freeland) Family-owned fruit farm and cider mill — touting, "Love, peace, and apples". Stop into this small-town orchard with heart and enjoy a full cafe, over 30 different bakery items, and the wares of 30+ Michigan vendors! Devour their locally loved, fresh-baked cider donuts or a colossal caramel apple — hand-dipped in gooey caramel and coated with gourmet toppings before your eyes. And, don't dare leave without a sip of their cider slushies!
LeCronier's Baby Acres (Freeland) Pet, feed, and hold baby animals on this educational, interactive farm — from bunnies and chicks to pigs and goats! Take a hayride past the animals on the way to pick your very own pumpkins, and enjoy other extras from pony rides to a corn maze!
Grandma's Pumpkin Patch (Midland) 20 acres of pumpkin farm joy, plus pony rides, barrel train rides, Kidland Play Yard, and a three-acre corn maze — transformed into a flashlight corn maze at night! After you pick from the patch, swing by The Feed Trough for cinnamon sugar donuts and apple cider slushies.
Witzgall Apple Orchard (Bay City) Small, family-owned farm offering 40 apple varieties. Enjoy gourmet caramel apples, apple cider and apple cider slush, homegrown honey, and apple cinnamon donuts whipped up fresh daily!
Moore Orchards (Midland) 2,500 apple trees of more than 100 varieties, spread across 22 acres! Head to the Apple Haus to purchase, and treat the whole family to freshly made donuts and caramel apples while you're there!
Apple Blossom Orchard (Midland) Hometown orchard celebrating 20+ fruitful years in Midland, with 23 varieties of apples, made-fresh-daily cinnamon apple donuts, fresh-pressed cider, and tasty caramel apples, too. Be there for their Annual Apple Butter Day in October, where you can take a hayride through the orchard and even help stir the bubbling cauldron as a batch of delicious apple butter is made!
Jacques Orchard (Hemlock) 2,000-tree orchard with over 20 varieties! Find their apples, cider, jams, and jellies at the Midland Area Farmers Market or Downtown Saginaw Farmers Market, or stop by the orchard.
Apple Valley Orchard (Saginaw) Freshly picked apples to gourmet caramel apples, warm cider to cider donuts — dive into seasonal deliciousness here!
Frankenmuth Corn Maze (Frankenmuth) Massive five-acre maze with 2.5 miles of winding trails, three observation bridges, and more than 20 interactive game stations that'll take you on a Farm Scene Treasure Hunt! Enjoy yard games in the courtyard, a farm animals petting zoo, and weekend hayrides on the grounds of Weiss Centennial Farm.
Amazing Maize! Corn Maze (Frankenmuth) On-site corn maze of Grandpa Tiny's Farm, open September - October. Wind your way through the stalks, then pick your own pumpkins and take a petting zoo tour!
Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens (Midland) Venture into this forest full of wonder, where you'll roam the longest canopy walk in the country together — up to four stories high in the trees, overlooking a four-zoned orchard! Lounge in suspended cargo nets — 25 feet in the air and tucked into a grove of spruce trees — or take in panoramic views of a forest pond before enjoying the on-site playground! Best of all, parents? Whiting Forest Cafe overlooks the nearly-14,000-square-foot playground, making it easy to watch over the kiddos while you warm up with a cup from local roaster, Creation Coffee!
Dow Gardens (Midland) 110 acres of breathtaking botanical gardens, connected to Whiting Forest by pedestrian bridge. Explore both for one low admission price and be sure to swing by the award-winning Children's Garden to see pint-sized plots that were planted, tended and harvested by local families — alongside rows of silly scarecrows!
Frankenmuth Aerial Park (Frankenmuth) Bring every member of your crew, ages seven on up, to zipline and climb together along six aerial ropes courses — designed for every skill level from beginner to expert — at this adventure park tucked into a scenic forest. Enjoy special events like Glow Nights, offered through September, where you'll see the park illuminated by color arches and LED lighting, and even have the chance to stop at glow paint stations along the way!
Chippewa Nature Center (Midland) One of the largest private, non-profit nature centers in the United States, set on 1,200 awe-inspiring acres! Hike any of 19 miles of trails together on a self-guided family fall color tour, or experience 19th century life on the farm during Fall Harvest Festival — complete with a hayride to the Homestead Farm log cabin for everything from woodcarving to woodstove cooking demonstrations!
PedAle Trolley (Frankenmuth) Rent PedAle Trolley's four- to six-person Circle Cruiser, and you and yours will be pedaling a fun, quirky, circular bike through the Downtown Frankenmuth streets!
3rd Street Star Bridge (Bay City) Bring the kids to stare up at the "stars" of this illuminated bridge — made of bistro lights strung across 3rd Street between historic downtown buildings — and capture the way their eyes light up with a keepsake family selfie!
Saginaw Children's Zoo (Saginaw) Open daily through October, explore this incredible zoo — home to more than 150 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates! Pet an alpaca or an Alpine goat, see African penguins and an eastern grey kangaroo, and watch for colorful peacocks and peahens roaming free on the paths! After meeting the animals, head to the hand-carved carousel and iconic miniature train for $1 rides to round out the entire experience!
Wilderness Trails Zoo (Birch Run) 56-acre zoo open through October, with everything from a Petting Area to a Parakeet Encounter — even a Rainforest Experience! Feed and interact with the animals, then enjoy lunch at the Picnic Pavilion!
Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail (Multiple Cities) Set out to explore stretches of our scenic Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail together — maybe on rented rides from Ray's Bike Shop in Midland and Bay City or Jack's Bicycle Shop in Bay City!
Family Farm Tours
Weiss Centennial Farm (Frankenmuth) Family-owned working dairy operation where you and yours will learn all about life on the farm! From feeding baby calves to harvesting crops, spreading straw to stocking hay — you'll get to experience the ins-and-outs, and maybe even see the magical cow-milking robot, "Johann LELY".
Grandpa Tiny's Farm (Frankenmuth) Tour this working historical farm, founded by Grandpa William "Tiny" Zehnder, and enjoy hands-on family fun from start to finish! Take a Petting Zoo Tour to meet and greet the animals (Apr - Dec), or weave your way through the Amazing Maize! corn maze and pick your own pumpkins in September and October.
Autumn Excursions on the Water
Bay Sail - Autumn Color Tour River Cruises (Bay City) Sip warm apple cider and snack on fresh donuts while you watch for fall foliage and wildlife as a family on these two-hour sails aboard the Appledore IV tall ship schooner!
Johnny Panther Quests Adventure Trips - Fall Color Tours (Saginaw) Head out with your crew and this expert local guide for an adventure on the water no one in the family will forget! Spot abundant wildlife (even mature bald eagles) as you cruise the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge on these one-of-a-kind ecotours through the "Everglades of Michigan".
Frankenmuth FunShips (Frankenmuth) Take a 30-minute or 1-hour River Tour aboard these electric boats, or rent a pedal-powered Aqua Cycle to enjoy 45 minutes of fun that's just $20 for a crew of four!
Bavarian Belle Riverboat (Frankenmuth) Take a one-hour cruise through Frankenmuth on this 150-passenger paddlewheel riverboat, and let the kids "ooh" and "ahh" at incredible views from the upper deck!
Ike's Mobile Kayak Rentals (Midland) Set out together on a self-guided fall kayaking tour after Ike's drops you off at your choice of several launch sites for a fun day of paddling!
Frankenmuth Kayak Adventures (Frankenmuth) Paddle the calm waters of the Cass River together, spotting iconic Frankenmuth landmarks and sights as you go!
Float Paddle Center (Bay City) Rent tandem kayaks or stand-up paddleboards and dip into a day of fun on the water as a family!