Grand Rapids gets even cooler in fall – and we’re not just talking temperature. Fall brings new sports and performing arts seasons, a dazzling display of tree colors, one of the nation’s best apple harvests and the world’s largest public art event. Browse this page to see what strikes your fall fancy – and make plans for a grand getaway!
One of the world’s most attended art events has been a Grand Rapids tradition since 2009 – but new features make it fresh and surprising every year. ArtPrize 2023 kicks off with a Sept. 14 opening party, complete with fireworks over the Grand River and a performance by multimedia troupe Squonk. From then through Oct. 1, you can see 650 works of art all over downtown Grand Rapids and vote for your favorites to win $200,00 in prize money. Shop the Merchants and Makers Artisan Market Sep. 22-23, attend the Closing Party and Awards Ceremony Sep. 28, and relax in the riverfront ArtPrize Oasis every day of the event, Sep. 14-Oct. 1. It’s all free and all fun!
ArtPrize isn’t the only big event on our autumn agenda – check out these crowd pleasers:
Take a self-guided fall color tour that showcases the region’s lush forest canopy, abundant apple orchards and charming covered bridges. Visit local parks for a late-season picnic beneath an umbrella of red, yellow and orange leaves. Wander the trails at Blandford Nature Center, Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve and Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience & Environmental Education Center to see fall’s effect on all manner of native plants.
‘Tis the season for apples in West Michigan – pick your own or shop the selection at farm markets, and enjoy some fresh-pressed apple cider while you’re at it. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery and the markets of Fruit Ridge, a world-class agricultural region 10-20 minutes northwest of Grand Rapids, offer a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions in addition to fresh fall produce.
See the big shows everyone will be talking about this fall:
Savor the flavors of fall:
Celebrate the season with live music, comedy and theatre. Start with a slew of big names in concert at Van Andel Arena:
DeVos Performance Hall welcomes a diverse lineup of entertainment, including:
St. Cecilia Music Center presents a mix of chamber music, jazz and folk artists:
The Grand Rapids Symphony performs 16 concerts from Sep.-Nov., including a collaboration with the Violent Femmes (Oct. 6-7), Lehninger Conducts Liszt & Bartok (Oct. 20-21) and Coco in Concert (Nov. 3-4), a presentation of the Disney film accompanied by a live music score.
Comedy is thriving in GR – see shows every weekend at Dr. Grins Comedy Club, and every Monday, Friday and Saturday (plus the occasional Thursday) at The Comedy Project. And get tickets for these touring comics:
Broadway Grand Rapids welcomes theatre fans to a new season with:
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre continues to wow GR in its 98h season as it presents:
Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids stages Judgment at Nuremberg, a powerful stage version of the Academy Award-winning film. Oct. 12, 14, 15, 19, 21 & 22.
Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids offers Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties, which The New York Times called “a full-tilt lesbian/bi-curious/genderqueer/Shakespearean comedy for everyone.” Sep. 14-17 & 21-23.
Grand Rapids Ballet kicks off its new season with Contemporary Visions, featuring four stand-alone works created by explorative and dynamic choreographers sharing stories through movement. Oct. 6-8.
Make the most of the season’s temperate weather and sparser crowds:
Fall brings a cornucopia of kid-friendly entertainment:
One season winds down, two more rev up:
The West Michigan Whitecaps, High-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, close the regular baseball season with six home games (Sep. 5-10). Will they make the playoffs? Stay tuned!
The Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL Affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, open their season with two home games (Oct. 13-14 19) – and play seven more home games through November.
The Grand Rapids Gold, NBA G League Affiliate of the Denver Nuggets, hasn’t announced its 2023-2024 schedule yet, but it will open at home (Van Andel Arena) in early November.
Looking for more bruising action? AEW (All Elite Wrestling) Collision comes to Van Andel Arena for the first time Sep. 23.
Shop for fall and get a jump-start on holiday gifts at local malls and stores. And don’t miss the first-ever Christkindl Markt at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, Nov. 18-Dec. 23. It’s a European-style Christmas Village lined with 30+ artisan gift and food vendors, live entertainment and festive family fun.
More shopping events:
Many of the area’s biggest tourist attractions are open for business – including
Hours and procedures may have changed, so check websites for details.
The year-end holidays will be upon us before you know it – and now’s the time to get tickets for some of our most popular seasonal events, including:
Search our Events page for even more fantastic fall ideas!