7 Fall Traditions Done the Detroit Way

Modified: November 11, 2019 | Story by Sarah Bence | Photos by Westview Orchards & Winery, Beacon Park

Things are cooling down in Michigan – the air is brisk, the leaves are tinging red and orange, and we’re starting to reach for our knit sweaters and flannel. September 23rd marks the first day of fall, so it’s time to start enjoying some fall traditions – done the Detroit way, of course. Here are seven ways to enjoy the season in metro Detroit.

1. Go apple picking at an orchard or metro Detroit cider mill

Apple picking is one of the most-loved fall activities in Michigan. Add in some fresh, hot doughnuts, chilled apple cider and maybe a hay ride for the kids, and you’ve got the perfect fall day out. There are plenty of apple orchards and cider mills within metro Detroit, including Blake Farms in Armada, Westview Orchards & Winery in Washington Township, Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield Hills, Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills and more.

2. Enjoy the fall colors in Detroit

Give it a few weeks and the Michigan trees will be a riot of colors. Make time to get outdoors and enjoy the leaves before they drop. There are plenty of urban green spaces in Detroit for an autumn stroll, including the Dequindre Cut Greenway, Belle Isle and the Riverwalk. And if you really want to get outdoors, go all in with the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon on October 19-20, which even crosses over to Windsor, Canada for a few miles.

3. Shop for fresh autumn produce

So many fruits and vegetables come into season in Autumn – from the final heirloom tomatoes and peaches to newly sprouted squash, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, leeks and so much more. Dedicate a Saturday morning to wandering through Detroit’s famous Eastern Market (the largest outdoor farmers market in the entire United States) and take advantage of the freshest produce in the city. You can also visit one of the city’s many urban farms.

4. Go trick or treating

No Michigander can get through October without either trick-or-treating, or being trick-or-treat-ed. Northville hosts the Streets of Treats event on October 26, with a children’s costume parade and plenty of trick-or-treat stations. Beacon Park hosts the Halloween Family Fun Day on October 27, with costume contests, face painting, cider, donuts, and more. The Detroit Zoo hosts a special trick-or-treating trail each weekend throughout October for children – fondly called the “Zoo Boo.” Adults may prefer the “Zoo Brew,” which is held in September and features samples of 12 beers throughout the 125-acre grounds.

5. Celebrate Oktoberfest in Detroit in style

Don your lederhosen and grab your stein, because fall means Oktoberfest has come to Detroit. Suddenly, everyone’s just a little bit German. There are many Oktoberfest events and festivals across the metro Detroit area. Food truck lovers should snag a ticket to the Detroit Fleat Oktoberfest and the traditionalists shouldn’t miss the weekly Oktoberfest celebrations at the Dakota Inn.

6. Get involved with the fall sports scene

The Detroit sports scene comes alive each fall. And as the only city in the nation that houses four major sports teams within its downtown area, by alive we mean this city goes wild! From tailgating by Ford Field, to catching a Red Wings or Pistons game at Little Caesar’s Arena, there are plenty of chances to cheer on your favorite teams in downtown Detroit this fall.

7. Gobble up everything pumpkin-related

The flavor of fall is pumpkin, pumpkin, oh and did we mention pumpkin? There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favorite seasonal flavor in Detroit. Stop by the iconic and award-winning Sister Pie for a slice of pumpkin pie, fresh out of the oven. If you must indulge in the culturally divisive “PSL” (pumpkin spice latte, for the non-initiated), order yours from Fourteen East – where each PSL is brewed with real pumpkin puree. If you’re feeling particularly brave, head to Atwater Brewery where you can even order a pumpkin-flavored beer to sip in their rooftop beer garden.

Whether you’re downing pumpkin-flavored beer, trick or treating in the Detroit Zoo, or simply taking in the fall colors along the Riverwalk, there are so many chances to enjoy fall in Detroit. This season, you can experience Midwestern fall traditions without leaving the city, and all with a special Detroit twist.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues





  1. 1
    Westview Orchards & Winery
    65075 Van Dyke Ave., Washington Twp., MI 48095
    586-752-3123
  2. 2
    Dequindre Cut Greenway
    Dequindre Cut Greenway, Detroit, MI 48207
  3. 3
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
    313-821-9844
  4. 4
    Detroit International RiverWalk
    1340 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-566-8200
  5. 5
    Eastern Market
    Russell Street between Mack Avenue and Gratiot Avenue, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-833-9300
  6. 6
    Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
    248-541-5717
  7. 7
    Dakota Inn Rathskeller
    17324 John R St., Detroit, MI 48203
    313-867-9722
  8. 8
    Ford Field
    2000 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226
    313-262-2000
  9. 9
    Little Caesars Arena
    2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
    313-471-7000
  10. 10
    Detroit Red Wings
    Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
    313-349-5777
  11. 11
    Detroit Pistons
    Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
    313-471-7575
  12. 12
    Atwater Brewery
    237 Joseph Campau St., Detroit, MI 48207
    313-877-9205