October is awesome. It's still warm, the leaves are turning and Halloween is waiting for us at the end of the month like a piece of candy in a shiny wrapper. Here are ten events to asterisk on your calendar.
1. ArtPrize (through Oct 8)
The city of Grand Rapids is transformed into an incredible, colorful art gallery for all to explore. Candy for the eyes, brains and souls. Plus it's free.
2. Fire Prevention Parade (Oct 6)
A flashy procession of fire trucks and emergency vehicles heads down 8th Street in downtown Holland, followed by vehicle displays, fire safety demos and more at the Civic Center. Also free.
3. Bats in the Library! (Oct 7)
Visitors can meet real bats from around the world and learn why these wonderful animals are vital to our ecosystem at Holland's Herrick District Library. Free :)
4. Goose Festival (Oct 13-15)
This small town celebration in Fennville features carnival rides, delicious food, a parade and so much more.
5. Cranberry Harvest (Oct 14)
Curious crowds can a hay ride out to DeGrandchamp's cranberry bogs and watch the annual harvest. A caramel apple bar, cider, games and other activities make this a perfect fall family tradition in South Haven.
6.Constellations & Cocoa (Oct 20)
A special evening event to explore the stars on a guided night hike and sip a mug of hot cocoa at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Free with admission.
7. Haunted Scarousel (Oct 26)
A spook-tacular evening at the Silver Beach Carousel, with so many fun Halloween decorations, music, games and treats. Wear a costume for one free ride.
8. Glow in the Park (Oct 27)
A family-friendly Halloween party with face painting, crafts and black light areas to keep the crowd glowing and entertained for hours. The evening's lineup also includes a non-candy trick or treat for the kids, wine/beer for the adults, and food for all.
9. Treats & Trails (Oct 27-28)
A fun, candy-dotted walk along the trails of the Outdoor Discovery Center Nature Preserve, with wildlife encounters, barrel rides, games and other goodies. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes. $10 per family.
10. Alaskan Lumberjack Show (Oct 29-Nov 1)
Competitive log splitting, ax throwing, tree climbing and log rolling are sure to please the crowds during this spirited event on Gull Meadow Farms' Back Forty.