Best Fall Festivals In Detroit

September 5, 2016 2:00 PM

(credit: istock)

Detroit and the metro area have a wide variety of festivals going on this fall — from music, to art, to special events, the area truly does have it all. Check out this list for the best and most unique in the area.
The Lantern Fest
Auto City Speedway
10205 N. Saginaw Rd.
Clio, MI 48420

The Lantern Fest is a unique event that takes place across the country, and it involves music, dancing, s’mores, and releasing lighted lanterns into the sky. The lanterns are made with 100% biodegradable rice paper, bamboo and string, and staff collects the lanterns after the launch. Historically, lanterns were used to “symbolize good fortune, request favorable weather, or celebrate the life of a loved one.” The event will also have snacks provided by local vendors, and a portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Angels of America’s Fallen, which honors fallen military, police, and first responders. Tickets range from $35-45 per adult and can be bought on The Lantern Fest’s website.

Greenfield Village Fall Flavor Weekends
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 982-6001

Greenfield Village’s Fall Flavor Weekends occur September 24-25 and October 1-2, and “the glories of traditional American food, from farm to table” are celebrated. Several of the historic homes on GV’s campus will have cooking demonstrations, ranging from 19th century meals, to crab gumbo, to cherry pudding. On October first, a food drive benefiting Gleaner Community Food Bank will be held — donate five nonperishable items and receive a coupon for one free admission to GV with the purchase of one admission (valid Oct. 1 only). The fall flavor weekends are free with Greenfield Village admission, which ranges from $19.50 (children) to $23.50 (adults) — you can save 10 percent by purchasing online ahead of time, as well.

Michigan Renaissance Festival
12600 Dixie Highway
Holly, MI 48442
(248) 634-5552

The Michigan Renaissance Festival, aka “Ren Fest,” is a Michigan staple, and runs for seven weekends (through Oct. 2), plus Labor Day Monday and Festival Friday. More than 250,000 visitors come to Ren Fest, from Michigan, the Midwest and Canada, and the festival began in 1976 in Clarkston. The festival has a variety of activities, and a 16th century village is reenacted on its grounds. Activities include full-contact jousting with knights and horses, the Human Combat Chess Match, and other entertainment; there are also goods to be bought in the marketplace such as glassware, leather, jewelry and Renaissance clothing, and food such as bread bowls, turkey legs, and apple dumplings. There is also a Children’s Realm which includes a castle playscape.

Related:  Best Fall Festivals in the Detroit Area

Detroit Fall Beer Festival
Eastern Market
2934 Russell St.
Detroit, MI 48207

The Detroit Fall Beer Festival takes place October 21st and 22nd at Eastern Market. Tickets can be bought on its website or at the gate, if still available, and they run from $40-45; however, it’s encouraged to buy tickets in advance, as the festival plans on being sold out. Admission includes 15 drink tokens, and each token is redeemable for a 3 oz. sample of beer; additional tokens can be purchased inside the festival for 50 cents each. The festival is open Friday, Oct. 21 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 22 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Art & Apples Festival
Rochester Munipal Park
Paint Creek Trail
Rochester, MI 48307
(248) 651-4110

The Arts & Apples Festival, sponsored by the Paint Creek Center for the Arts, is a yearly event that “transforms the 30-acre Rochester Park into one of the nation’s top art fairs.” The fair includes over 290 artists from all over the U.S., and this year it will take place Sept. 9 through 11. There will also be music, at the Main Stage, and apple treats available for purchase; check out the Kids Art Zone too, if you have children or grandchildren.

Related: Best Places to Go Apple Picking Near Detroit

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at and