Fall Outdoor Fun for Families in Grand Rapids

From u-pick pumpkin patches & orchards to zoos & animal parks — each of these outdoor spots is a must-try for fall, families!

John Ball ZooMeet more than 200 species of animals and see your kiddos smile from ear to ear! Watch penguins fly underwater at the Van Andel Living Shores Aquarium and feline predators roam at Crawford Tigers of the Realm. Swing past the chimpanzees at Mokomboso Valley, and help brush the goats and sheep on Red’s Hobby Farm. Catch Living Lights events on select autumn evenings for an after-dark, illuminating family experience!

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture ParkSee the gardens come alive with harvest hues this fall! Adults will marvel at the elaborate displays of “Chrysanthemums & More!” and littles will love Fall Storytime, plus the always-popular Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. Tinker with old-fashioned toys inside the Log Cabin, dig for fossils together at the Rock Quarry, and run carefree in the crisp autumn air at Treehouse Village!

Blandford Nature CenterExplore 264 acres of kid-friendly fall oasis! Pull up Blandford’s interactive, mobile-friendly map to learn about the land around you as you roam — with short, informational videos highlighting popular spots throughout the property. Run & climb at the Nature Nook Playscape, make mud pies at the Farm Playscape and greet the goats and sheep on Blandford Farm, and discover the season’s bounty at the Children’s Garden before a family hike along the Wildlife Trail!

TreeRunner Grand Rapids Adventure Park: With more than 60 exciting obstacles and ziplines, 9 challenging courses to choose from, and 5 different difficulty levels, make the adventure your family’s own at TreeRunner Grand Rapids this fall! Ages 7 & up can brave the aerial forest to climb & zipline through the colorful canopy — and anyone not participating can cheer on the rest of the fam from the park grounds!

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park: Journey through 80 acres of more than 120 exotic animal species this fall! Feed the giraffes, make friends with the monkeys, wave “hello” to the antelopes, and experience the wild like never before on an elevated walk-through safari!

Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park: Bring the whole bunch to a place where “It’s all about family, animals, and fun!” Experience Michigan’s only drive-thru safari, Site 57 Safari, to feed llamas, alpacas, bison, and yaks from the comfort of your car! Or, walk your way through the Adventure Park to get up close to mini cows and donkeys, camels, bunnies, and lots of baby animals. End the day with cool treats from the Plop Plop Ice Cream Shop, featuring farm-fresh, homemade ice cream, handcrafted on the ranch! 

Ed Dunneback & Girls FarmGrab your Fall Fun Passes and get access to a farm full of activities! Enjoy the giant playground, farm animals, super mega slide, bounce pad, corn maze, corny bin, wagon rides, straw mountain, and, of course, the pumpkin patch! Or, upgrade to the Pick N Play for all the fall fun above, plus a half-peck of delicious apples. Treat the fam to fresh, warm donuts and cool cider slushies to end the day!

Robinette’s Apple Haus & WineryRoam 125 acres of orchards (or tour the property on a horse-drawn hayride), pick a peck of apples together, and challenge yourselves in the 6.5-acre corn maze. Explore the petting zoo on Sundays, bounce on the giant jumping pillow, and finish at the Apple Haus with fresh cider & pumpkin donuts!

Schwallier’s Country Basket: Watch the kids board the cow train and climb a straw mountain — and pet adorable goats and bunnies — before a weekend family hayride through the orchards! Pick from apples & pumpkins galore, and grab extra cider & donuts for the road!

Post Family Farm: Discover 80 acres of harvest fun on an old-fashioned family farm! Ride a tractor-pulled wagon to the pumpkin patch, discover the corn maze, and toast with cider & pumpkin donuts by the bonfire! A pumpkin train, pony rides, and kiddie corral play area complete the unforgettable fall experience!

Frugthaven Farm: Enjoy an afternoon on the farm, pure & simple. Explore the gorgeous property, venture out to the pumpkin patch to find your future jack-o-lanterns, then cozy up to savor fall tastes & treats! Inside, you’ll find fresh-pressed cider, baked goods from Classic Orchard Donuts to New York Style Bagels — plus The Cidery, parents, where you can sample flights of locally crafted hard ciders!

Red Barn MarketHave a blast at the BarnYard meeting horses, donkeys, cows, sheep and goats — then stock up & get your fill of nostalgic, old-fashioned candies at the Farm Store. Milkshakes, sundaes, flurries, and floats from the Ice Cream Parlor are the perfect cherry on top!

Moelker Orchards & Farm Market: Watch horses trot around the orchard while you take a half-hour hayride as a family! Pick pumpkins from the patch to carve at home and harvest your own apples before indulging in creamy fudge and fresh donuts from the Old Bell Bakery!

Heidi’s Farmstand & Bakery: Find the corn maze that fits your fam! With a Large Maze option for ages 8 & up and a Junior Maze for 8 & under, everyone will love getting lost — and finding the way back together! Treat yourselves to cider slushies, fresh baked goods, and pumpkins to bring home!