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The Ultimate Guide to Annual Events in Ann Arbor

free summer events in Ann Arbor Michigan

Whether we’re in the freezing temperatures of winter or under the beautiful summer sun, Ann Arbor certainly knows how to celebrate. Our beloved hometown hosts some of Michigan’s biggest and best annual events—from nationally acclaimed music and film festivals to Main Street fairs and everything in between.

To make sure you don’t miss a thing, we rounded up Ann Arbor’s major events happening every single year—and some have been going strong for more than half a century!

 

 

Ann Arbor Folk Festival

January

Ann Arbor Folk Festival, a fundraiser for The Ark, began in 1977 and is now one of Ann Arbor’s most anticipated annual events. Over the course of two days, Hill Auditorium hosts the likes of Gregory Alan Isakov, Rufus Wainwright, Haley Heynderickx, Brandi Carlile and more. Tickets sell out every year, so follow The Ark on Facebook to get updates.

 

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week

January and June

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is a twice-yearly event hosted by the Main Street Area Association. The event brings together upwards of 50 restaurants all over town, which offer special lunch and/or dinner menus for a fixed price. It’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself to some of our town’s best local eats!

 

Ann Arbor Film Festival

March

free spring events in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Film Festival

One of Ann Arbor’s most important annual events, the Ann Arbor Film Festival presents 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries highlighting all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction and performance-based works. Founded by George Manupelli in 1963, the festival is the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America. Follow the team on Facebook for updates on tickets and special events.

 

Ann Arbor Marathon  

March

Whether you’re walking your first 5K or running your tenth marathon, this Epic Races event offers something for everyone. Beginning just outside of The Big House, each course winds through downtown Ann Arbor and through the University of Michigan campus. The longer races also traverse stretches of the Huron River, Gallup Park and Nichols Arboretum before returning to downtown. To learn more about the marathon and see all of the events hosted by Epic Races throughout the year, click here.

 

FOOLmoon

April

Considered one of the community’s favorite annual events, FoolMoon is the nighttime kick-off event to a very foolish weekend hosted by Wonderfool Productions. The celebration takes place in downtown Ann Arbor with tons of dancing, laughing and handmade luminaries. Other attractions include interactive installations, laser shows, live performances, DJs and a beer tent. You can even make your own luminary at several workshops in advance! For details, follow the Wonderfool Productions team on Facebook here.

 

FestiFools

April

free spring events in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Myra Klarman Photography via Wonderfool Productions

FestiFools is Wonderfool Productions’ daytime event of foolishness and art. The enormous public art spectacular showcases creations made by members of the community and U-M students. You can make your own puppet or come down to Main Street to watch the procession of colorful, bizarre, human-powered paper-mâché creations for an entire hour of fun!

 

Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival

April

The Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival is an annual celebration hosted by the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee, a coalition of local environmental nonprofits and agencies, and the Leslie Science & Nature Center. At this free, family-friendly event, guests can enjoy displays from 40 local organizations, live animal demonstrations, hands-on activities, live entertainment and much more.

 

Cinetopia Film Festival

May

Specially curated for the community of Southeast Michigan, Cinetopia features the best feature-length dramas, comedies and documentaries shown at the world’s best film festivals, including SXSW, Sundance and more. Outside of screenings, special pre- and post-film events include presentations, discussion panels, and Q&A sessions with directors, writers and stars. The Ann Arbor venues are typically the Michigan Theater, State Theater and The U-M Hatcher Library with various other events happening in Detroit and the surrounding area. You can find all the ticket and pass info here.

 

Ann Arbor Bloom Fest

May

Hosted by the Main Street Area Association in downtown Ann Arbor, Bloom Fest is a celebration of spring with our local businesses. Nearly all day on a beautiful spring day in May, you can enjoy special sales, events, deals, treats and more. To see all the offerings, click here.

 

Huron River Day

May

In celebration of our beautiful river, Huron River Day is an afternoon full of free, family-friendly river activities at Gallup Park. Attractions in the past have included live music, a butterfly house from the Michigan Native Butterfly Farm, an antique and classic boat show, water activities with the University of Michigan Natural History Museum, live animals from the Leslie Science & Nature Center, and so much more!

 

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week

June and January

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is a twice-yearly event hosted by the Main Street Area Association. The event brings together upwards of 50 restaurants all over town, which offer special lunch and/or dinner menus for a fixed price. It’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself to some of our town’s best local eats!

 

Sonic Lunch

June – August

Since 2008, Sonic Lunch has been bringing free, outdoor concerts to the streets of downtown Ann Arbor every summer. Suitable for all ages, the concert series kicks off in early June and continues through August for a total of about 11 shows. All of these shows begin at 11:30 a.m. and you can see the full lineup for this year here.

 

Treeverb Music Festival

June

As the newest event on this guide, Treeverb held its inaugural music festival on June 1, 2019. Free and open to the public, the festival brings both national and local artists to the stage in downtown Ann Arbor for a full day of live music entertainment. Other attractions include food trucks, a beer tent and, of course, all the attractions of downtown Ann Arbor! For event updates, follow the team on Facebook here.

 

African American Downtown Festival

June

This festival has been a tradition in downtown Ann Arbor for more than two decades and today offers even more fun and entertainment. That lineup includes street and stage performances, dancing, local vendors and information booths, kid-friendly fun and more. For updates, check out the website here.

 

Ya’ssoo Greek Festival

June

Hosted by St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, this annual event has become a local favorite thanks to the authentic Greek food, live entertainment, Greek dance performances and more. Admission ranges from free during the day up to $3 for evening admission, but children 12 years and younger are always admitted for free!

 

Ann Arbor Summer Festival

June

free summer events in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Myra Klarman Photography via Ann Arbor Summer Festival

As the can’t-miss, arts-centered event of the summer, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival offers world-class entertainment in comedy, cinema, food, jazz, pop and rock, acoustic, spoken word and public radio every year. Though some events are ticketed, the great majority of festival happenings are admission-free concerts, workshops and classes! You can see those listed on the website here.

 

Green Fair

June

A tradition for nearly two decades, the Mayor’s Green Fair comes to Main Street every June. In celebration of our community’s environmental leadership, the event closes down the street so pedestrians can enjoy environmental displays and green products, live music and fun in one of the town’s liveliest neighborhoods.

 

Juneteenth Celebration

June

Juneteenth is an annual holiday that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865 in several American states. In Ann Arbor, the celebration is hosted by The Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP and includes public readings, performances of traditional songs, historical re-enactments, cake walks, food, vendors and more.

 

Taste of Ann Arbor

June

This beloved annual event hosted by Main Street Area Association brings together dozens of local restaurants and vendors to show off their goods and their talents on the two blocks of Main Street between William and Washington. Each vendor offers bite-sized foods to showcase what they do best and to ensure you can taste more than one! Tickets for food can be purchased at the event for $1 each and no item is priced over $4 or four tickets.

 

Rolling Sculpture Car Show

July

Hosted by Main Street Area Association, the annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show returns to Main, Liberty and Washington Streets in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor every July. The event itself is free and open to the public and all cars are welcome to exhibit for a pre-registration fee of $20. On the day of the show, guests can enjoy 300 exotic, antique, classic and one-of-a-kind cars, live music from local artists, and family activities provided by The Ann Arbor District Library.

 

Ann Arbor Art Fair

July

free summer events in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Fair

Kicked off by the Townie Street Party and hosted in conjunction with the State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair has grown into one of our hometown’s largest and most beloved annual events. All around town, you’ll find stage performances, street performers and street painting, an art activity zone, a youth art fair, and even more.

 

Ann Arbor Blues Festival

August

In August 1969, several thousand blues lovers gathered in a small field in Ann Arbor for the first ever Ann Arbor Blues Festival where they sang and danced along with blues legends that included B.B. King. Every August, it all comes back to the Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds for an all-ages music event you don’t want to miss. For information and tickets to this year’s event, click here.

 

Ann Arbor Pride

August

Originally called OUTFest, Ann Arbor Pride has been showcasing equality and LGBTQ support for decades. Throughout the Kerrytown District, guests can enjoy a parade, face painting, family-friendly activities, presentations, a silent auction and more. And proceeds from the event benefit the local organization Jim Toy Community Center!

 

Ann Arbor Antiques Market

October

Established in 1968, this historic antique market has been fueling our love of home decor and vintage finds for more than 50 years. Admission is below $10 with free parking and kids are admitted for free! Come by every October to peruse antiques, jewelry, paintings, mid-century and industrial design, folk art, repurposed furniture and more. It’s the perfect place to get some holiday shopping done!

 

Jewish Book & Arts Festival

October

This huge, multi-week festival celebrates culture and arts of all kinds but is heavily anchored by authors as it has been for the past three decades. Most of the events are free to attend and the authors, performers, artists, topics and projects are Jewish or have significant Jewish connections. Check out the schedule for this year’s event here.

 

Midnight Madness

November

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, downtown Ann Arbor businesses stay open late for one of our community’s favorite shopping events. Main Street Area Association’s Midnight Madness includes holiday specials inside shops and restaurants, as well as visits by Santa Claus and Miss Washtenaw County and performances by various outdoor entertainers.

 

Kerrytown KindleFest

November

Coinciding with Midnight Madness on Main Street, Kerrytown KindleFest is Ann Arbor’s version of the German tradition Christkindlmarkt. In the same location as the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, you’ll find artisans, farmers and retailers selling their holiday wares, plus traditional food like pretzels, bratwursts, roasted nuts, Glühwein (a mulled wine) and beer. Then, you can shop Kerrytown retail businesses that will be open late and grab a spot around a fire pit for warmth and s’mores!

 

Is your favorite event missing?

Please tell us about it in the comments below!

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Your Guide to Fishing in the Ann Arbor Area

where to fish in Ann Arbor Michigan

The state of Michigan is made up of more than 40 percent water. Here in Southeast Michigan, much of that acreage is the Huron River, a designated National Water Trail that winds through the entire region and has been developed into one of the best, most beautiful, and most accessible recreation opportunities in Michigan. And where there’s water, there’s fishing!

In this guide, we’re focusing our attention on the basics of fishing in the Ann Arbor area: what to know before you go, where to cast your reel, how to learn, and where to find communities of like-minded fishers. Enjoy!

 

BEFORE YOU GO

where to fish in Ann Arbor Michigan

The most important things to have before you embark on your fishing adventures are a fishing license and the right equipment—and both are easy to get if you know where to go!

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers fishing licenses to both residents and nonresidents. Options include an annual license, a discounted pass for seniors, a 72-hour license and a 24-hour license for different prices. Anyone under 17 years of age can fish without a license, and licenses are available to residents online. For all the information and online purchases, click here.

The Michigan DNR also publishes a Weekly Fishing Report covering conditions around the state and the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services publishes Eat Safe Fish Guides so you know what to catch and eat safely.

To get the right equipment, we recommend heading to a local shop where you’ll meet fishing guides and experts who have been fishing here for years. Schultz Outfitters is one of the most popular options, and they’re located in Ypsilanti’s historic Depot Town. In their brick and mortar shop, you’ll find fly fishing gear and fly tying supplies, but they’re also the area’s only full-time, four-season guide service and destination outfitter!

The Painted Trout is another great, locally owned option in Dexter. They are a fully stocked outfitter shop with a focus on field sports, sporting dogs and fly fishing so you can get everything you need, from clothing to fishing rods and everything in between.

 

 

WHERE TO GO

Gallup Park guide to kayaking in Ann Arbor Michigan

The primary reason Southeast Michigan is a haven for water sports like kayaking and fishing is the rejuvenated Huron River, which meanders through Island Lake Recreation Area over to Dexter, through Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, then all the way to Lake Erie. And though the river offers fantastic waters for fishing, it’s not the only place where you can practice your casting!

 

Huron-Clinton Metroparks

A haven for all kinds of outdoor recreation throughout the year, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks system is made up of 13 parks which cover more than 25,000 acres in five different counties of Southeast Michigan. Of those parks, 11 offer fishing and/or ice fishing, including Delhi Metropark in Ann Arbor, Dexter-Huron Metropark and Hudson Mills Metropark is Dexter, Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton and more. For more information on all the fishing opportunities in these parks, click here.

 

Spring Valley Trout Farm

Spring Valley sits on 20 acres of carefully maintained grounds in a private, park setting. Their facility offers nine spring-fed ponds at least one-half acre or larger, two covered picnic pavilions, a children’s play area, and an authentic American log cabin. Especially ideal for kids and beginners, Spring Valley Trout Farm offers wheelchair accessibility and a family atmosphere, and their pollution-free ponds are stocked weekly with fish grown right on the farm.

 

Argo Nature Area

Argo Park, home to Argo Park Canoe and Kayak Livery, is a great place for water sports of all kinds on the Huron River, and it’s located right in the heart of Ann Arbor. Fly fishers can catch carp along the eastern embankment that forms part of the Argo Dam and it’s the closest fishing site to Downtown Ann Arbor! For more fishing tips, we recommend heading to the livery where you can also rent paddle boats. To get more info on the facility and fishing programs, click here.

 

Gallup Park

Gallup Park also offers boat rentals, expert tips and special programs through their Gallup Park Canoe and Kayak Livery. With a total of 69 acres along the Huron River and Geddes Pond, fishers have plenty of opportunities to cast, whether on the shore, from the pier or in a boat.

 

Olson Park

Olson Park is a popular choice in Ann Arbor for pond fishing. The 54-acre parcel is centered around a creek and pond with its own fishing dock, and the area is maintained by the City of Ann Arbor and the County Drain Commissioner.

 

Lillie Park

Lillie Park in Pittsfield Township boasts 148 acres of outdoor recreation opportunities, including a pond with two fishing docks and the picturesque Haven Lake.  

 

 

HOW TO LEARN

where to fish in Ann Arbor Michigan

If you’re a beginner when it comes to casting, tying your own flies or just fishing in general, a local shop or club is a great place to start your education. Many even offer dedicated classes for beginners and advanced students!

 

Schultz Outfitters

In addition to selling all the necessary gear, Schultz Outfitters in Ypsilanti is the area’s only full-time, four-season guide service and destination outfitter. Their offerings include guide trips and destination travel as well as classes and events which include beginner and advanced fly tying workshops and the full spectrum of casting instruction.

 

The Painted Trout

The Painted Trout in Dexter is a fully stocked outfitter shop and their team also offers classes and lessons for various levels of experience. Their fishing courses include group fly fishing classes for beginners both in the classroom and on the water, private lessons in beginner and advanced casting, and more. To see the full lineup, click here.

 

Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited

The mission of Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect and restore Michigan’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, including our own Huron River. As a chapter of Trout Unlimited, they offer education and community focused around fishing and coldwater fisheries. For more information of meetings, programs and membership, click here.

 

Huron River Fishing Association

Based in Flat Rock along the Huron River and near Lake Erie, the Huron River Fishing Association is an affiliate of Michigan United Conservation Club and organizes tournaments, holds meetings and hosts members-only events throughout the year. Dedicated to both fishing and conservation, HRFA hosts two monthly meetings and monthly fly tying groups at Flat Rock Community Center. For more information, click here.

 

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS?

If you love fishing in Southeast Michigan, share your local tips in the comments below!

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Everything You Can Do in Waterloo Recreation Area

things to do in Waterloo Recreation Area Chelsea Michigan

Waterloo Recreation Area offers more than 20,000 acres of outdoor paradise just minutes from Ann Arbor in Chelsea and is the largest park in the Lower Peninsula. Especially famous for its campgrounds, mountain biking trails and educational opportunities, guests in the park can walk or ride more than 40 miles of multi-use trail, boat and fish, visit the Gerald Eddy Discovery Center, bike the DTE Energy Foundation Trail, rent kayaks and canoes, play on swimming beaches, camp, hunt, play disc golf, and even ride horses.

Directly adjacent to Pinckney Recreation Area, the two open spaces offer a combined 31,500 acres of wilderness to explore and it’s all connected by the 36-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail!

To learn about all the ways you can explore Waterloo, keep reading.

 

 

Ride horses with Horse ‘N Around Stables.

things to do in Waterloo Recreation Area Chelsea Michigan

Waterloo Recreation Area offers 18 miles of horseback riding trails accessible to anyone. If you don’t have your own horse, stop by Horse ‘N Around Stables for guided trail rides, riding lessons and even kid-friendly summer camps! Their trail ride offerings include moonlight rides and special occasion BBQ picnic rides with Hotel Hickman Chuckwagon BBQ; to see all the options, dates and prices, click here.

If you do have your own horse, the park also offers equestrian camping at the Waterloo Equestrian-Rustic Campground where sites are available on a first come, first served basis.

 

Bike the DTE Energy Foundation Trail.

The DTE Energy Foundation Trail is a multi-use trail that loops through Waterloo Recreation Area. Though it’s still being developed and grown—with plenty of help from international mountain biking associations—the trail already offers multiple different loops and more than 10 miles to explore. The planning vision includes five loops with one loop built per year over five years for a total of 25 miles. For more information and updates, click here.

 

Visit the Gerald Eddy Discovery Center.

A great way to introduce yourself to our natural surroundings inside Waterloo, The Discovery Center explores the glacial geology of the region, the diverse natural habitats and the many recreation opportunities available in the park and the Chelsea area. Established in 1981, the facility offers educational exhibits, special programs and even year-round events.

 

Play disc golf.

Located near Portage Lake—along with a boat launch, the public beach, a concession stand and a campground—you’ll find an 18-hole disc golf course open to the public. Be sure to bring your own frisbees!

 

Camp overnight.

things to do in Waterloo Recreation Area Chelsea Michigan

As the largest park in the Lower Peninsula, Waterloo Recreation Area is one of the most popular places for camping. In total, the park offers nine different campgrounds, which include equestrian camping, modern camping, rustic camping with limited amenities, a group campsite, an accessible and reservable yurt, multiple rustic cabins and a modern cabin. The Sugarloaf Campground even has an ADA accessible playground! To see a full list of campgrounds, click here.

 

Go fishing.

With a whopping 11 fishing lakes inside the park, this is a popular activity in Waterloo. While doing so, you may catch bass, panfish and pike, but be sure to get your fishing license first! For more information on that, click here.

 

Take a hike.

A variety of trails are available for hiking, including nature trails at the Discovery Center and the 36-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail that traverses from Big Portage Lake to Green Lake and further into Pinckney Recreation Area. Additionally, the new DTE Energy Foundation Trail offers more than 10 miles of loops and will soon consist of 25 miles to explore.

 

Watch wildlife.

Waterloo Recreation Area Chelsea Michigan

One of the most popular activities in Waterloo is viewing sandhill cranes which nest and migrate throughout the region. Directly adjacent to the park on the west side, you’ll find the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Audubon Sanctuary, a bird sanctuary that consists of more than 1,000 acres and is famous for its sandhill cranes. Also in the park, you may encounter deer, wild turkeys, ducks, coyotes and more.

 

Visit Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Audubon Sanctuary.

As we mentioned, the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Audubon Sanctuary is an Audubon sanctuary located on the west end of Waterloo. Though outside the park, the sanctuary offers more than 1,000 acres of trails and wildlife observation opportunities. Renowned for its sandhill cranes, a record 8,177 cranes were counted on one fall afternoon as they landed in Mud Lake Marsh. To learn more about visiting the sanctuary, click here.

 

Kayak on a lake.

things to do in Waterloo Recreation Area Chelsea Michigan

One of the most popular activities in Southeast Michigan, Waterloo offers spectacular settings for still water kayaking. The park’s 11 inland lakes are all available for paddle sports and you can even rent rowboats at the Portage Campground near Portage Lake. Campers can also rent kayaks, canoes and rowboats at Sugarloaf Campground.

 

Swim at the public beach.

With 11 inland lakes and the recreation gem that is Portage Lake, Waterloo offers tons of water recreation opportunities. Day-use swimmers should head to the public beach at the Portage Lake Unit, and registered campers can also take a dip at the beach accessible from the Sugarloaf Campground.

 

Hunt for deer, turkey and small game.

Waterloo Recreation Area is open to hunting for all species following regular state regulations. Opportunities include deer, wild turkey and small game throughout the mix of open brush, open meadows, wetland habitat and mature hardwood forest. Hunters should be aware of private lands, hikers and equestrian trails throughout the open hunting areas; to learn more about the open areas, check out the Mi-HUNT map here. And to learn about the proper licenses, click here.

 

Hit the trails for cross-country skiing.

During our snowy months, all the trails within Waterloo are open for cross-country skiers, offering more than 40 miles of ungroomed exploration. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources put together a map of recommended cross-country ski trails, which you can see here.

 

Hike on snowshoes.

things to do in Waterloo Recreation Area Chelsea Michigan

All the trails within Waterloo are open to snowshoeing throughout the winter. Though they’re not groomed, this offers more than 40 miles of snowy trekking. To see a list of all the park’s trails, click here.

 

Go snowmobiling.

When snow falls, the majority of the park is open to snowmobiling. Check out the snowmobile map here to see these specific areas.

 

 

What do you love about Waterloo Recreation Area?

Are you a camper, a horseback rider or a cross-country skier? In the comments below, let us know what you love to do in our region’s largest park!

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10 Ann Arbor Area Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day 2018

Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a time for our families to come together to share a meal inside our homes. But we don’t all have traditional families and that’s okay! If you’re on the hunt for places to dine out where you can get a turkey dinner minus the clean-up, or where you can enjoy some of Ann Arbor’s best Chinese food, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking in advance, check out Zingerman’s Roadhouse Thanksgiving To-Go where you can take home a full family feast November 20th, 21st and 23rd. Their Coffee Spiced Smoked Turkey was named “the greatest turkey recipe in the history of Thanksgiving” by Esquire.

And if you’re looking for food on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, keep reading! All of these restaurants have been confirmed, but we provided their phone numbers so you can double check and make your reservations. 

 

Carlyle Grill | Ann Arbor

3660 Jackson Rd | Facebook | (734) 213-9800

Carlyle Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Carlyle Grill

Ann Arbor’s Carlyle Grill is driven by comfort—from the atmosphere to the menu filled with homestyle dishes made with regional ingredients. Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the team is serving up hand-carved turkey, Sparrow’s Market prime rib, acorn squash stuffed with kale risotto, Faroe Island salmon, family-style sides, and a dessert of pumpkin or pecan pie. For all the details and to make your reservations, click here.

 

Gandy Dancer | Ann Arbor

401 Depot St | Facebook | (734) 769-0592

Famous for seafood, steaks and pasta dishes, Gandy Dancer is located in the beautifully restored 1886 Michigan Central Depot, making it the ideal setting for elegance, food and celebration. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect combination for Thanksgiving?

 

Haab’s | Ypsilanti

18 W Michigan Ave | Facebook | (734) 483-8200

Haab’s has been serving the Ypsilanti community since they opened their doors in 1934. When it opened way back then, The Haab Brothers’ Café was the first establishment in Washtenaw County where food was the primary draw. And today, everyone is still understandably crazy about the food. In addition to being open on Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Haab’s serves a killer Grilled Turkey Reuben throughout the year!

 

Holiday’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

2080 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook | (734) 668-1292

In keeping with their name, Holiday’s is open 365 days a year and they’re open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on holidays. Their menus cover everything from breakfast to lunch and pancakes to ribeye, so if you’re dining out this Thanksgiving, you can come for breakfast and lunch! When you do, be sure to order something from the dessert menu (like Gourmet Carrot Cake or pumpkin pie).

 

Lucky Kitchen | Ann Arbor

1753 Plymouth Rd + 2370 S Wayne Rd | Facebook | (734) 357-8823

Consistently named as Ann Arbor’s best place for Chinese food, Lucky Kitchen has been serving our community since 1993. They also offer catering and are a University of Michigan Strategic Supplier for catering needs, and they make food for the Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels Asian Menu. You can dine in with them at both locations during the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

 

Mediterrano | Ann Arbor

2900 S State St | Facebook | (734) 332-9700

Mediterrano Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Mediterrano

Mediterrano is the Carlyle Grill’s sister restaurant serving up flavors inspired by 14 different countries. Driven by the belief that the Mediterranean diet is inherently nutritious, they source their meats and produce from local farmers and purveyors as much as possible.

On Thanksgiving Day, they’re turning that local sensibility and Mediterranean inspiration into a festive family dinner. Open from 12 to 7 p.m., they’re serving Sliced Turkey Breast, Turkey Leg Confit, Scottish Salmon, Prime Rib, Vegetarian Paella and an impressive lineup of family-style sides. To see them all and get more details, click here.

 

The Original Cottage Inn | Ann Arbor

512 E William St | Facebook | (734) 663-3379

Back in 1948 when it opened, The Original Cottage Inn was Ann Arbor’s first restaurant to serve pizza. Today, they still serve some of the best pies in town as well as classic American, Italian and Greek cuisine. On Thanksgiving, you won’t find their regular menu, but you will find a restaurant filled with volunteers to continue an Ann Arbor tradition that has been going strong for more than 30 years. Each year on Thanksgiving Day, Cottage Inn opens its doors to the impoverished people and families in our community to enjoy a free meal that includes roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies and seasonal fall favorites for dessert. If you’d like to volunteer, call the restaurant at (734) 663-3379.

 

The Quarter Bistro & Tavern | Ann Arbor

300 S Maple Rd | Facebook | (734) 929-9200

The Quarter is the only place in Ann Arbor where you can get European-inspired, bistro-style dining with a Creole twist. Driven by the rich heritage of New Orleans cooking, their menu of homemade dishes includes things like Bronzed Stuffed Chicken with Gumbo Sauce, Catfish and Shrimp, Cajun Crawfish Flat Bread and different specials every week.

On Thanksgiving Day, The Quarter celebrates the holiday with their special event, Thanksgiving Supper. Follow the team on Facebook for event updates.

 

Weber’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

3050 Jackson Ave | Facebook | (734) 665-3636

Weber’s has been serving the people and families of Ann Arbor since 1937 and the restaurant has become a go-to for prime rib, live Maine lobster and house-made desserts. For Thanksgiving 2018, they’re offering four different dining options. Dinner in the dining room features a special holiday menu of individual turkey dinners, prime rib, fresh seafood, roast duck and more. You can also take complete Thanksgiving dinners to go or enjoy the family-style dinner at Weber’s, which is a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings to feed parties of four or more. To see all the options and make your reservation, click here.

 

5ive Restaurant At The Inn At St. John’s | Plymouth

44045 Five Mile Road | Facebook | (734) 357-5700

Located about 30 minutes outside of Ann Arbor in Plymouth, 5ive has become a destination steakhouse that offers an impressive suite of bourbons and wines from around the world and hand-cut steaks that are chosen from the top 2% of grain- and grass-fed beef in the world. The menu covers everything from breakfast and brunch to pub grub and desserts (check out the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake). On Thanksgiving Day, they’ll be offering a special holiday menu in the dining room for anyone hoping to celebrate outside of their home kitchen. Call in advance to make reservations.

 

Want to add to the list?

If you know of a restaurant in the Ann Arbor area that will be open on Thanksgiving Day, tell us about it in the comments below.

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The 10 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend November 2018

November 2018 events Ann Arbor Michigan

November is fast approaching, and with it, some of the most festive holidays of the year. This month’s event lineup includes the culture festivals we’ve all come to love, as well as craft fairs, a Veterans Day event, a Thanksgiving race, and plenty of holiday preparation events like local markets and cookie classes. Enjoy!

 

Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink

 

 

Arts + Culture

 

Jewish Book & Arts Festival | Ann Arbor

October 18 – November 8, various times | Various locations

November 2018 events Ann Arbor Michigan

Continuing into November, this multi-week festival celebrates culture and arts of all kinds but is still heavily anchored by authors as it has been for the past three decades. Most of this year’s events are free to attend and the authors, performers, artists, topics and projects are Jewish or have significant Jewish connections. Check out the schedule here.

 

Stories of Service | Ann Arbor

November 5, 11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Hill Auditorium

In honor of veterans, Fisher House Michigan is hosting Stories of Service on November 5th. This year, the free event at Hill Auditorium will include a silent auction to raise funds for Fisher House construction, and this auction will include a bi-plane donated right out of Yankee Air Museum! Last year, more than 2,000 people attended this free event in support of our local veterans and Fisher House Michigan.

 

Saline Craft Show | Saline

November 10, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Saline Middle School

Featuring an impressive lineup of products and crafts from local makers, bakers and entrepreneurs, Saline Craft Show is the perfect place to shop local before the holidays. Organized through Saline Middle School, the youth groups involved get the opportunity to practice life skills and leadership, as well as earn money for their activities. So swing by the school on November 10th to shop and support!

 

Saline Antiques & Vintage Market | Saline

November 11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds  

Since beginning just a few years ago, Saline Antiques & Vintage Market has become one the area’s favorite places to shop real antiques. Every show features collectibles, jewelry, home goods and more. It’s the perfect place to find holiday gifts for friends, family and yourself!

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

Wine, Women & Shopping | Chelsea  

November 10, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Downtown Chelsea

November 2018 events Ann Arbor Michigan

This annual event in downtown Chelsea invites the community into local shops and restaurants for discounts, deals, free samples and services, and more. To see the list of the more than 30 participating local spots, click here—and get ready to celebrate local!

 

Giving Tuesday | Everywhere  

November 28 | Various locations

Giving Tuesday is an annual day of giving that is honored all across the globe. Here in the Ann Arbor area, specific local events encourage philanthropy right here in our communities, and because the day is driven by social media and online donations, you can help from anywhere!

For example, the University of Michigan celebrates with Giving Blueday and Eastern Michigan University celebrates #GivingTrueday.

 

Midnight Madness | Ann Arbor

November 30, 7 – 9 p.m. | Main Street

Just in time for holiday shopping season, downtown Ann Arbor businesses stay open late for one of our community’s favorite shopping events. Main Street Ann Arbor’s Midnight Madness includes holiday specials inside shops and restaurants, as well as visits by Santa Claus and Miss Washtenaw County and performances by various outdoor entertainers.

 

Kerrytown KindleFest | Ann Arbor

November 30, 4 – 10 p.m. | Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Coinciding with Midnight Madness, Kerrytown KindleFest is Ann Arbor’s version of the German tradition Christkindlmarkt. In the same location as the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, you’ll find artisans, farmers and retailers selling their holiday wares plus traditional food like pretzels, bratwursts, roasted nuts, Glühwein (a mulled wine) and beer. Then, you can shop Kerrytown retail businesses who will be open late and grab a spot around a fire pit for warmth and s’mores!

 

A Manor Christmas at Concordia University | Ann Arbor  

November 30 – December 2nd, various times | Concordia University

One of Ann Arbor’s favorite Christmas celebrations kicks off on November 30th this year. A Manor Christmas is another local Christkindlmarkt, featuring tours of the historic Earhart mansion decorated for Christmas by professional designers, a unique Festival of Trees, premium artificial pre-lit trees for sale and, of course, the European-style Christmas market. Tickets are between $5 and $7 and you can buy them online here.

 

 

Sports

 

The Original A2 Turkey Trot | Dexter   

November 11, 9 a.m. | Hudson Mills Metropark

November 2018 events Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Greg Sadler Photography via Epic Races

Epic Races is celebrating Thanksgiving the only way they know how—with a race through Hudson Mills Metropark! This running and walking event features three different distances: a 5K loop around scenic Hudson Mills, a 10K course comprised of two 5K loops, and a quick mile fun run. If you’re looking for a challenge, you can run both the 5K and 10K races for a total of 9.3 miles in the Iron Turkey challenge!

 

 

Food + Drink

 

Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookies | Ann Arbor

November 28 – December 24, various times | Zingerman’s Bakehouse

November 2018 events Ann Arbor Michigan

The most popular event from Zingerman’s Bakehouse is back for the 2018 holiday season! Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookies will teach participants how to make the best cookie creations using even more whole grains, local ingredients and freshly milled flours. There are 70 classes through Christmas Eve and all the spots are currently sold out, but if you sign up for the waitlist, you may be able to snag an opening in the event of a cancellation.

 

 

Happy November!

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26 Family-friendly Halloween Events in the Ann Arbor Area

Halloween events in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Saline Michigan 2018

Each year, Halloween brings the ghouls, goblins and monsters out to play in Ann Arbor. But thankfully for our families and kids, the fun isn’t all scary. Starting with the most frightening option up first, we rounded up the region’s best family-friendly events where you can celebrate Halloween 2018.

Using our event guide, you can keep the festive fun going even past Halloween!

 

Wiard’s Night Terrors | Ypsilanti

September 22 – October 31, various times | Wiard’s Orchard | Event info

Halloween events in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Saline Michigan 2018

Michigan’s premier haunted attraction comes alive once again this October. Open at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through October 28th and then again on Halloween night, Night Terrors features 89 acres of terror. The six haunted attractions include The Asylum, Hayride of the Lost, The Ultimate Haunted Barn and less frightening options like Scaryoke Live Music and Wiard’s Bakery where you can enjoy the homemade cider and caramel apples of Wiard’s Orchard.

For more information on the less haunted fall attractions available at Wiard’s Orchard, check out 19 Pumpkin Patches, Apple Orchards and Cider Mills You Can Visit Near Ann Arbor.

 

Monster Mash | Ypsilanti

October 13, 12 – 3 p.m. | Rolling Hills Park | Event info

Halloween events in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Saline Michigan 2018

The 4th Annual Monster Smash will include a candy hunt, a costume contest, face painting, a scavenger hunt, festive hayrides, cider and donuts, carnival games, the Trek-or-Treat Trail, and a pumpkin patch! For information on registration, click here.

 

Trick or Treat on the Trail | Dexter

October 13, 4 – 6 p.m. | Hudson Mills Metropark Activity Center | Event info

On the trails of Hudson Mills Metropark, little ones in costume can trick-or-treat along the trails decorated with a festive theme. The cost is $5 and you can find pre-registration information here.

 

Trick or Treat on the River | Ann Arbor

October 14, 12 – 5 p.m. | Gallup Park | Event info

Spend this haunting afternoon on the waters of the Huron River for Trick or Treat on the River! While paddling up and down Gallup Pond, participants will encounter creatures handing out treats and candy. There is no pre-registration required and the fee is $20 per boat. For more information, check out the Argo Canoe Livery website.

 

Pumpkin Carving Party | Dexter

October 14, 1 – 3 p.m. | Hudson Mills Metropark Activity Center | Event info

At Hudson Mills Metropark on October 14th, you and your kids can pick out a pumpkin and a design then have fun carving it together! Participants can also enjoy cider and donuts, included in the $6 fee.

 

Preschool Pumpkin Hunt | Saline

October 16, 10 – 11 a.m. | Saline Recreation Center | Event info

In Miller Field behind the Saline Rec Center, preschoolers are invited to play and track down their perfect pumpkin to decorate and take home. The fun also includes snack time and story time! Register online here.

 

Boo Bash | Saline

October 19, 6 – 8 p.m. | Saline Recreation Center | Event info

Halloween events in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Saline Michigan 2018

The 27th Halloween event at the Saline Rec Center will include tasty treats, a Trick or Treat trail, costumes, games, dancing, a balloon drop and more! Register in advance here.

 

Pumpkins, Lanterns & Leaves | Ann Arbor

October 19 + 20, 6 – 7:30 p.m. | Matthaei Botanical Gardens | Event info

Happening on two days this year, the annual Halloween celebration at Matthaei Botanical Gardens includes the famous pumpkin trail, lantern crafts, magic tricks, stories, cider and donuts!

 

Haunted House: The Show | Ann Arbor

October 19 + 20, 8 – 10 p.m. | Ring of Steel | Event info

This haunted house experience brings the scares to you! Presented as a spooky show instead of a journey through a set, Ring of Steel has put together a performance full of fire dancing, circus acts, stunt work and general silliness. Though the show is family-friendly, the second half will feature slightly darker material, so parents of younger children should plan accordingly.

 

Girls on the Run Superhero 5k | Dexter

October 21, 2 p.m. | Hudson Mills Metropark | Event info

Girls on the Run Southeast Michigan Halloween run

Photo courtesy of Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan

This costumed race benefits Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan‘s financial assistance program. Suitable for kids and adults, race day includes three events: a 5k run/walk, a one-mile fun run and a kids dash for participants five years and younger. For registration information and pricing, check out the website.

 

Halloween Hootenanny | Ann Arbor

October 25, 4 – 7 p.m. | Zingerman’s Deli | Event info

The Hootenanny at Zingerman’s Deli includes pumpkin drawing, cookie decorating, face painting and more Halloween-themed fun. Come dressed in costume and enjoy music and snacks as you and your kids participate at your own pace.

 

Spooky Species | Ann Arbor

October 26 – 31, various times | The Creature Conservancy | Event info

Spooky Species in The Creature Conservancy’s annual Halloween event that invites families to check out creepy crawlies you may not normally get to see on a typical visit. Sessions include interactions and viewings of spiders, snakes, bats and more as well as cider and donuts! For more information on registration and specific dates and times, click here.

 

Halloween Downtown | Ypsilanti

October 26, 5:30 – 7 p.m. | Ypsilanti District Library | Event info

In Library Park Plaza, Ypsilanti District Library is hosting Halloween fun even before the fun of YpsiGLOW. Stop by to trick-or-treat for candy, enter giveaways and visit the Boo! Mobile. Then, stick around downtown Ypsi for the luminary fun!

 

YpsiGLOW | Ypsilanti

October 26, sunset | Downtown Ypsilanti | Event info

YpsiGLOW 2018 Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ryan Rupprecht via Wonderfool Productions

From the same team that brings us FestiFools and FoolMoon every April, ypsiGLOW is a light-filled celebration through Downtown Ypsi. In the weeks leading up to the event, local artists, businesses and organizations host GLOWorkshops so you can create your own luminary and costume. Then, you can join the community on October 26th for a celebration of Ypsilanti and art! Follow the team on Facebook for updates on workshops and the big event.

 

Den of Darkness Haunted Hallway | Pittsfield Township

October 26, 6:30 – 8 p.m. | Ann Arbor Community Center | Event info

Hosted by Pittsfield Charter Township, the Den of Darkness Haunted Hallway is an annual tradition for families with kids of all ages. There will be crafts, donuts and cider, a costume contest, candy bags, the famous haunted hallway, and a Spooktacular Halloween Story provided by the Ann Arbor District Library. Register in advance here for $5–7.

 

Celebration of Halloween: 1978 | Ann Arbor

October 26, 7:30 p.m. | Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College | Event info

In honor of the Washtenaw Community Concert Band’s 40th year, they’re going back in time to 1978. Dress like it’s 1978 or come in a traditional Halloween costume, and join in the fun of this free Halloween celebration!

 

Tag And Treat Costume Party | Ann Arbor

October 27, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Zap Zone | Event info

Zap Zone Ann Arbor is turning into a festive destination on October 27th complete with candy stations, a kid-friendly haunted house, a costume contest with prizes, and admission to one free Zap Zone attraction to be used that day!

 

Halloween Spooktacular | Belleville

October 27, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Yankee Air Museum | Event info

Halloween events in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Saline Michigan 2018

The Yankee Air Museum Halloween Spooktacular features spooky games, family-friendly activities, a costume contest and trick-or-treating.

 

Halloween Skate | Ann Arbor  

October 27, 1 – 2:30 p.m. | Veterans Memorial Ice Arena | Event info

For the cost of general admission to Veterans Memorial Ice Arena, you and your family can enjoy ice skating to the spooky sounds of Halloween as well as a costume contest!

 

Zombie Apocalypse Survival | Dexter

October 27, 1 – 3 p.m. | Hudson Mills Metropark Activity Center | Event info

Hudson Mills Metropark is celebrating Halloween by preparing you and your family for the zombie apocalypse. For a $5 registration, you can learn shelter building, fire making and other zombie-proofing techniques.

 

Animal Haunts | Ann Arbor

October 27, 6 – 8 p.m. | Leslie Science & Nature Center | Event info  

For $10 person or $35 per family, Leslie Science & Nature Center is offering Animal Haunts on October 27th. The non-scary event will include a guided hike through Black Pond Woods, harvest crafts, a hay jump, live animals and more.

If you’re looking for the adult-only version, check out Animal Haunts: Adults Only on October 26th here.

 

Muttster Mash Bash | Ann Arbor

October 27, 6 – 8 p.m. | Humane Society of Huron Valley | Event info

Halloween events in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Saline Michigan 2018

Hosted by Humane Society of Huron Valley, this Halloween event brings together the community with animals in need. The event will include family-friendly activities throughout the shelter that include games, trick-or-treating, crafts for the animals, meet and greets and more. Adults are admitted for free and children cost $10. Register in advance here.

 

Halloween Concert | Ann Arbor

October 28, 4:30 p.m. | Hill Auditorium | Event info

The University of Michigan orchestras are joining forces for this Halloween tradition. Featuring spooky sounds, musical classics and Halloween favorites, the show celebrates the holiday with tricks, treats and great music. Come in costume or come as you are!

 

Halloween Treat Parade | Ann Arbor

October 31, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Main Street | Event info TBD

Halloween events in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Saline Michigan 2018

For the 18th year, trick-or-treating is coming to Main Street Ann Arbor on Halloween day! Neighborhood merchants welcome costumed kids and their parents for treats. In addition, the Downtown Ann Arbor District Library will be throwing a Halloween Party that includes stories, puppets and more trick-or-treating.

 

The Great Pumpkin Roll | Saline

November 3, 9 – 10 a.m. | Mill Pond Park | Event info

After Halloween, bring your old Jack-O-Lanterns to Mill Pond Park for The Great Pumpkin Roll! At this free event, you’ll race your pumpkin against others. Winners will get a fun mystery prize and everyone can enjoy hot cider, donuts, a pumpkin launcher and plenty of laughs. For updates, RSVP to the event on Facebook.

 

Pumpkin Smash | Ypsilanti

November 3, 12 – 5 p.m. | Rolling Hills Park | Event info

Bring your carved pumpkins to Rollings Hills Park on the Saturday after Halloween to literally roll your Jack-O-Lantern down the park’s rolling hills. The event is free to participate in and includes themed targets to hit on the way down.

 

 

Happy Halloween!

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The 11 Best Places to See Michigan’s Fall Colors Near Ann Arbor

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Michigan is famous for its fall foliage thanks to the kaleidoscope of color found in our state’s open spaces, along the shores of our lakes and rivers, across rolling hillsides, and even in our tree-filled cities. And no other city could be more tree-filled than Tree Town.

Though the state’s Gold Coast rates as one of America’s Best Color Drives, according to Travel and Leisure magazine (and we definitely recommend doing it at least once), you don’t have to travel outside of Ann Arbor for a Michigan fall color tour of equally epic proportions.

Right in the city, you can meander the sidewalks and parks of the Old West Side, Huron Parkway or the University of Michigan campus. But if you have a little extra time and a stronger craving for brilliant reds, oranges and golds, we recommend hitting up these regional parks, recreation areas, and even one railroad!

 

Gallup Park | Ann Arbor

One of the best ways to see Michigan’s changing leaves is to hop on a canoe and cruise down the Huron River. Ann Arbor’s canoe liveries—located in Gallup Park and Argo Park—are open through the end of October so you don’t even need to buy your own canoe or kayak! While you’re in Gallup Park, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the 69 acres that make up the town’s most popular recreation area. Amidst the trees, you can enjoy scenic walkways that traverse small islands and pedestrian bridges as well as more than three miles of asphalt trails available for biking, rollerblading, walking and running.

 

Nichols Arboretum | Ann Arbor

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum

The University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum began in 1907 and has developed into miles of trails and land home to collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs. These plants transform during the fall to showcase some of the best colors in Southeast Michigan, including golds, reds and even inky purples.

 

Furstenberg Nature Area | Ann Arbor

Furstenberg Nature Area is a 38-acre park containing wetlands, woodlands, prairie and oak savannah just west of Gallup Park. Owned and maintained by the city since 1971, the open space offers a half-mile paved trail that loops through the park and a granular trail that goes through the prairie and woods then connects to a quarter mile of wetland boardwalk. The heavily wooded lands boast a huge variety of oaks, maples and other types of colorful trees.

 

Riverside Park | Ypsilanti

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Located on the Huron River in the center of Ypsilanti, Riverside Park consists of 13.8 acres and connects downtown Ypsi with Depot Town. Whether you’re fishing on the river, riding your bike, or walking along the trail during the fall, you’re guaranteed a glimpse of our state’s famous seasonal foliage.

 

Delhi Metropark | Ann Arbor

Located just five miles northwest of Ann Arbor, Delhi Metropark offers 52 acres of mature oak trees, open, grassy lawns, playgrounds, softball diamonds and more. Because the park is nestled against a bend in the Huron River, it has become a popular fishing and canoeing destination—both great activities during the fall! While you’re there, you may even spot a great blue heron, turtles or a white-tailed deer.

 

Southern Michigan Railroad | Tecumseh

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Southern Michigan Railroad

Each year, the Southern Michigan Railroad hosts Fall Color Tours, seasonal events that explore the area’s changing foliage from the comfort of a train car. Because the rides sell out every single year, the railroad is offering even more seating options now, including the open-air car for fair weather, the historic interurban coach and the entire Memorial Caboose available to rent. Rides depart on October 6th and 7th, 13th and 14th during the Appleumpkin Festival, 20th and 21st, and 27th and 28th. You can get more details on the website here.

 

Pinckney State Recreation Area | Pinckney

Covering a whopping 11,000 acres, Pinckney State Recreation Area is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Ann Arbor area. Known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes, the park also offers over forty miles of multi-use trails, picnicking, playgrounds, beaches, a concession stand, boat launches and rowboat, canoe, paddle boat and kayak rentals.

 

Waterloo Recreation Area | Chelsea

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

The largest park in the Lower Peninsula, Waterloo Recreation Area consists of more than 20,000 acres. Across these grounds, you’ll find two modern campgrounds, a rustic campground, an equestrian campground, swimming beaches, several picnic sites, 11 fishing lakes, eight boat launches, 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails, four rustic cabins, a yurt, equestrian trails, mountain biking trails, and the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center. While exploring these grounds during the fall, keep your eyes peeled for russet red and blazing oranges.

 

Brighton Recreation Area | Howell

Covering 4,947 acres, Brighton Recreation Area is a hilly, outdoor paradise interspersed with a number of picturesque lakes, 19 miles of trails and a full-service riding stable open through early December. When you reserve a trail ride with Brighton Recreation Riding Stable, you can explore Michigan foliage on horseback!

 

Hudson Mills Metropark | Dexter

Combing serene woods with the calm waters of the Huron River, Hudson Mills Metropark offers 1,536 acres of land home to an 18-hole golf course, two 24-hole disc golf courses, a three-mile, paved hike and bike loop, and the nearly five-mile West River Trail which connects to the Hudson Mills loop and takes hikers and bikers on a journey that ends in downtown Dexter.

 

Independence Lake County Park | Whitmore Lake

Independence Lake County Park is one of Washtenaw County’s favorite open spaces thanks to 360 acres, 3.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, two miles of paved trails and, of course, fishing, boating and swimming in Independence Lake. Stroll along the lakeshore to get accustomed to the bright, changing colors then head to the edges of the Indy and Woodcock prairies to see the best color in the park!

 

Do you have a go-to fall foliage destination?

Tell us about it in the comments below!

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19 Pumpkin Patches, Apple Orchards and Cider Mills You Can Visit Near Ann Arbor

pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Southeast Michigan and our Ann Arbor area communities have been built on a strong agriculture history. As a result, we’re blessed with year-round farmers markets, local agriculture experiences, and plenty of places to pick a pumpkin and sip fresh apple cider every fall.

To prove it, we rounded up 19 local spots where you can pick your own pumpkin, pick your own apples, watch your cider being pressed, eat a pumpkin donut, an apple donut and a cinnamon sugar donut, then enjoy festive, farm activities. This fall, make a trip to one (or more!) of these family farms and you’ll want to come back every year.

 

 

Alber Orchard & Cider Mill | Manchester

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Alber Orchard & Cider Mill is located just 30 minutes west of Ann Arbor in Manchester. Over the years, their tractor-drawn hayrides, 7-acre corn maze, you-pick pumpkin patch, kids play area, free straw maze and animal area have become family favorites. While visiting, you can also enjoy tours of the vintage cider press, fresh pressed and specially blended apple cider, and delicious, crisp heirloom and family favorite apples. There is no admission charge to enter Alber Orchard, but there are fees for some activities.

 

Blast Corn Maze | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Pumpkins

Blast Corn Maze is a famous seasonal destination in the Ann Arbor area. The huge, 10-acre corn field contains 3.5 miles of corn maze trails with three exits available for a short, medium or long journey. After you successfully traverse the maze, the whole family can pick a pumpkin from the you-pick pumpkin patch, take photos with farm props, test out the corn cannon, drive pedal cars and more.

 

Coleman’s Corn Maze | Saline

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Coleman's Corn Maze pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Coleman’s Corn Maze

A trip to this family-owned and operated farm includes three professionally designed corn mazes with five miles of challenging trails, hayrides, some of the best seasonal donuts in the region, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, you pick apples, a petting barn and more. Though these mazes aren’t haunted, you do have the opportunity to find your way through after dark—just bring a flashlight!

 

DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch | Belleville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

DeBuck's Corn Maze pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

Open to the public every fall, DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch offers more than 15 acres of winding corn maze trails, a 20-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, family-oriented fall attractions and hands-on field trips. During your visit, be sure to order up a delectable festival treat from Linda’s Country Kitchen; the menu includes homemade cinnamon sugar donuts, pulled-pork sandwiches, apple cider, nachos and more.   

 

Dexter Cider Mill | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples + cider

Just 20 minutes northwest of Ann Arbor, Dexter Cider Mill is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in the entire state. Today, the team makes cider the same way it was made 120 years ago: using locally grown, hand picked apples on an oak rack press. Even their equipment is over 100-years-old! In addition to natural cider, fresh apples, doughnuts, apple nut bread, made-from-scratch apple pies, apple strudel, apple turnovers and hand rolled gingersnaps, you can also purchase homemade hard ciders made on-site.

 

Donahee Farms | Plymouth

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

This working farm in Plymouth has more than 80 acres of pumpkins! During the fall, families can also enjoy hay rides, fresh apple cider, seasonal donuts, a hay maze and other activities. And when you’re not visiting during the fall season, you can find their produce, flowers and pumpkins at the Ann Arbor and Northville farmers’ markets.

 

Erwin Orchards | South Lyon

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

A famously fun destination in South Lyon, Erwin Orchards offers a you-pick raspberry patch, you-pick sweet cherries, a huge you-pick pumpkin patch and you-pick apples with 15 different varieties. Available seasonally, you can also enjoy award-winning, fresh pressed, unpasteurized apple cider or raspberry cider paired with apple spice and pumpkin donuts!

 

Jenny’s Farm Market and Cider Mill | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Jenny’s Farm Stand is a 200-year-old working farm in Dexter. Available year-round, you can shop seasonal produce, Jenny’s Hot ‘n Sweet Pickles, local products, baked goods, pie filling and more. During the fall, the family fun increases with a free straw maze, horse-drawn hay rides through the pumpkin patch, pony rides, hot and fresh pumpkin donuts, fresh apple cider and, more.

 

Lesser Farms and Orchard | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Lesser Farms and Orchard is a family-owned and operated farm. Though you can’t pick your own here, you can find some of the region’s best plums, apples, fresh pressed cider, homemade jams and jellies, beeswax candles, raw, local honey and pumpkins!

 

Lutz Orchard | Saline

Get directions | Apples + pumpkins

Located on 12 acres in Saline, this real, working farm offers fresh picked apples available seasonally, squash and pumpkins. During the fall, you’re invited to pick your own apples and meet the farm animals!

 

Maybury Farm | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider

Maybury Farm pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Maybury Farm

Situated on 85 acres, this Northville farm has been a landmark in the community for more than 100 years. Here, children and families can experience the joy of animals, agriculture, farmland and forests year-round. During the fall, the farm fun gets festive with the Great Pumpkin Festival—a two-day family festival in October—and the corn maze, a festive adventure that continues through October before the farm closes up to prepare for Santa. Because they partner with Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery, you can also enjoy homemade donuts and fresh apple cider during your visit!

 

Obstbaum Orchards | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Apples + cider

Famous for their cherry juice concentrate, Obstbaum Orchards is a 40-year-old apple orchard and cider mill nestled in Salem on the outskirts of Northville. On autumn weekends, everyone is invited to taste fresh apple cider, seasonal donuts, homemade apple pies, hay rides and more.

 

Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider

Parmenter's Cider Mill pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery

With no admission fee and free parking, Parmenter’s in Northville is a great fall destination near Ann Arbor because they offer their own treats and they partner with neighboring places like Maybury Farm and Northville Winery and Brewing Co. for even more fun. Located within the historic homes of Cabbagetown, the urban cider mill offers year-round cider and you can watch it being pressed on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. During weekends through September and October, you can also step inside the Nut Hut where they make candied almonds, the Fudge Hut where they make fresh fudge, and the Chow Mill where they serve hot dogs and kielbasa.

 

Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill | Plymouth

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Since 1977, Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill has been the local destination where families can enjoy fresh-pressed, award-winning apple cider, fresh-made donuts, crispy caramel apples, icy apple cider slushies, fresh baked pies and a fun farm experience that includes wagon rides, a children’s animal park, a cider mill garden and October pumpkin picking.

 

The Pumpkin Factory | Belleville

Get directions | Facebook | Pumpkins

Located just 30 minutes from Ann Arbor, The Pumpkin Factory is a family-friendly Halloween farm complete with a corn maze, a pumpkin patch and haunted hayrides through the fall season.

 

Three Cedars Farm | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

Three Cedars Farm pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Three Cedars Farm

Beginning Labor Day weekend each year, Three Cedars Farm offers old-fashioned fun for all ages. Farm activities include a you-pick pumpkin patch, a seven-acre corn maze, a barn yard play land with live animals, hay rides, train rides and reservable bonfire sites. Inside the Donut Hut, you can taste fresh, homemade donuts, freshly pasteurized cold apple cider, hot cider, coffee and icy apple cider slushes.

 

Wasem Fruit Farm | Milan

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

During the fall season, Wasem Fruit Farm offers more than a dozen varieties of apples you can pick yourself, you-pick raspberries available in September and early October, you-pick pumpkins in October, and pears! During your fall visit, you’ll get the chance to taste plain, apple, blueberry and pumpkin donuts paired with some of the best, fresh cider in the region!

Just next door, you can venture to Talladay Farms, where you can challenge your family on a trip through one of the Midwest’s largest corn mazes. It covers 27 acres!

 

Wiard’s Orchard & Country Fair | Ypsilanti

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Wiard's Apple Orchard pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard was founded in Michigan by George Wiard in 1837 and has become one of the region’s most beloved fall destinations. Covering nearly 100 acres and located just minutes from Ann Arbor, attractions include the seasonal Wiard’s Country Fair, an agri-entertainment park that offers orchards, a cider mill, you-pick apples, a corn maze, a you-pick pumpkin patch, an apple cannon, giant inflatables, pony rides, hayrides, a petting farm, miniature golf, a haunted barn, children’s play areas and even more. Step inside the Country Store and Bakery to taste fresh cider, seasonal donuts, fresh baked pies, jams, jellies, honey and apple salsas.

 

Wing Farms | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

Founded in 1852 by James Wing, Wing Farms has lasted through more than 150 years and five generations and is still going strong today. Comprised of 205 acres, including the homestead, the family produces primarily corn, soybeans and rye as well as giant pumpkins available to pick every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the fall season. To get to the pumpkin patch, you’ll hop on a free hayride and you can enjoy fresh apple cider, too!

As an added bonus, Wing Farms raises their own turkeys and every bird is all-natural, non-GMO, antibiotic free and hormone free.

 

Do you have a favorite fall destination?  

Tell us all about them in the comments below!

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4 Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Ann Arbor Home for Autumn

Autumn is associated with the changing of leaves and temperature. For homeowners, there are also changes that need to be made to prepare their homes for the upcoming winter. These four tips will get you on the way to preparing your home for Autumn.Ceiling fan, indoors

Clean and Reverse Fans
Your ceiling fans have been hard at work all summer so they may have gathered more dust than you realize. Turn your fans off, and clean the sides, tops and bottoms of the blades. Reverse your fans so the blades send air upward to disrupt the warm air that collects near the ceiling and disperse it downward. This is particularly effective in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings and rooms with stoves or fireplaces.

Women and drapesClean Window Treatments
Use a cordless hand-held vacuum to remove dust from hanging window treatments. If you have hanging curtains, take them down for a gentle launder. While they’re down, clean your windows and sills thoroughly.Female hands cleaning couch with vacuum cleanerVacuum and Clean Furniture
 Vacuum your upholstered furniture, and spot-clean the big stains as needed. Always test an inconspicuous area of your couch before applying any cleaning agent to a main area.

Caulking window in houseSeal the Air Leaks
Check your windows and doors for damaged weather stripping and cracked caulking, and make repairs as needed.

Credit: Home Warranty of America

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Why Fall is the Right Time to Sell Your Home

School has started. Leaves are changing colors. The holidays are coming. This is the perfect time to sell your house. With inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, don’t miss out on this opportunity to sell your home.

1. Demand Is Strong
The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. With fewer homes for sale, buyers have fewer to choose from. This creates an increased demand for available homes. Buyers are ready and are looking for a home right now. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

 

2. There Is Less Competition
If you have been waiting to sell your home, consider acting now. According to NAR, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

New construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Listing before the wave of new construction homes hits the market can put your home in a more favorable competitive position and result in a higher price.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

 

3. The Process Will Be Quicker
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring. This means a quicker process for the loans to process, and the house to get inspected. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.

 

4. Mortgage Rates are Still Low
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you thousands more in both down payment and mortgage payment if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

 

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market.  If you are on the fence about moving this fall, please contact us. We’d be happy to learn about your goals and how we can help you start living the life you desire. 

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