Fall is just around the corner and if you live in the Midwest (or plan on visiting), there are plenty of festivals and fun activities to entertain your family over the next few months. The changing leaves provide the backdrop for spectacular drives and hikes, so make time to get outside and explore. There’s a lot to see in these states, so we’re sharing the best places to celebrate fall in the Midwest.
Best Places to Celebrate Fall in the Midwest
Fall is a beautiful time to explore the Midwestern United States, with its apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and spectacular drives to see the leaves changing color. If you’re looking for places to enjoy this fall, here are some places Traveling Moms would recommend.
Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival
From October 3rd through 6th volunteers and community members are hard at work trying to collect and carve pumpkins to break the Guinness World Record for most lit Jack O’ Lanterns on display. From October 7-9 the pumpkins are on display and the festival has games, food, and demonstrations. You can read more about it in this post by Jamie Bartosch, Suburban Traveling Mom.
Richardson corn maze
Located in Spring Grove, Richardson Adventure Farm boasts the world’s largest corn maze. Every year the maze has a different image carved through the corn and this year happens to be Star Trek! Families can take the short or long option when navigating the course and when they are finished they can enjoy many of the other activities offered at the farm. Some favorites include the zip line, rolling in an ORB ball, and watching the pig races! A fun day out for everyone.
Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park is beautiful any time of year, but it sparkles in the fall. The changing leaves of autumn line the hiking paths and tourists and day trippers come out in full force to enjoy Mother Nature’s display. There are 13 miles of trails to explore for all skill levels, so pack a picnic and make a day of it!
Blake’s Orchard in Harlant, Michigan has a fall festival with apple picking, a Barnyard Funland, petting farm, and train ride through the orchard. As Halloween approaches they have haunted activities such as: Zombie Paintball, a 3-D spooky maze, a haunted barn, and a haunted hayride. From good old fashioned fun to scary Halloween experiences, Blake’s has lots to see and do!
Circleville Pumpkin Show
The Circleville Pumpkin Show attracts visitors from all over to the town of Circleville, Ohio. It’s one of the largest autumn festivals celebrating gourds with many competing for the coveted Giant Pumpkin Trophy. There are parades, contests, vendors, and games and it all revolves around pumpkins.
Vala’s Pumpkin Patch
This is the ultimate fall destination in eastern Nebraska. It’s a combination of pumpkin patch and theme park, and families can easily spend an entire day there. There’s a pumpkin-eating dragon, pig races, stage performances, haunted houses and so much more to enjoy.
Several attractions get into the Halloween spirit with not-so-scary events for families. Favorites include the Spooktacular at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Cobweb Castle at the Omaha Children’s Museum and the Ghoulish Garden Adventure at Lauritzen Gardens. Another kid-friendly fall tradition is the Symphony Spooktacular that the Omaha Symphony presents each October. The musicians dress in costume and the concert is a lot of fun. Kids can trick or treat following the performance.
Door County is located on a peninsula north of Green Bay on Lake Michigan. It attracts visitors from near and far year round with its charming small towns, historic lighthouses, and state parks, but in fall it is especially popular. There are many places to drive and see the leaves change, enjoy fall festivals, apple orchards, and outdoor adventures.
If you’re looking for apples this is the place to go. With over 74 acres and 30,000 trees, Apple Holler allows visitors to roam through their orchards and fill up their bags starting in mid-August. They also offer activities such as pony rides, gem mining, a playground, and pedal carts. There is a full-service restaurant and shop on site for take-home apple products, like donuts, apple butter and cider.
The Elegant Farmer
Located just southwest of Milwaukee, The Elegant Farmer is known for its famous apple pie you bake in a paper bag. In the fall, they host an Autumn Harvest Festival with apple picking, hayrides, pony rides, and a corn maze. Don’t forget to stop in the market and grab a pie to take home.
County Line Orchard
Located in Hobart, Indiana, this is “THE” place for all things fall in northwest Indiana and even some in the Chicago suburbs. Here visitors will find a corn maze, pumpkins, apple orchards, cider, and donuts. Enough for an entire day’s outing with the family.
Brown County is one of those places Midwesterners often visit when looking for a weekend escape and a place to see colorful fall foliage. In addition to beautiful drives, there are orchards, pumpkin patches, quaint towns, and outdoor adventures in abundance. With 170,000 acres of forested land there is a lot to explore off the beaten path!