Every year, thousands of people flock to Frankenmuth in the fall and early days of winter in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season; enjoying the glistening lights of Christmas Lane at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, and the all-around festive spirit throughout town. Although Michigan’s Little Bavaria is well known for its holiday delights, guests should take time to embrace the JOY of the season before them as Autumn boasts its own charm in Frankenmuth.
The Frankenmuth Corn Maze is host to a gigantic 5-acre corn maze, petting zoo, and hayrides for the family. A tradition for many locals is also great for newcomers looking to start a different holiday custom in the Great Lakes Bay Region. This year, kids (and kids at heart) can become a “Farm Scene Investigator,” discovering what happened to Farmer Joe by looking for clues throughout the 2.5 miles of twisted trails within the maze! These a-maize-ing activities will be going on through November 1, 2015.
What’s Fall without a big sack full of straw made to look like a person, adorning most of a shopping center and the majority of Downtown Main Street? Not Fall in Frankenmuth, that’s for sure! The Scarecrow Fest in Frankenmuth (October 17-18 and 24-25) is a true showing of the spirit that is Fall! Visitors can enjoy activities such as pumpkin catapulting, face painting, and trick or treating within the Frankenmuth River Place Shops. If you need more fall fun and are looking for a memorable way to pick out your pumpkins this year, consider heading north about 14 miles to experience Johnson’s Giant Pumpkin Farm where the kids can even ride a barrel train! if trains are your thing, you might really enjoy the Halloween Spook Train at Junction Valley Railroad just west of Frankenmuth.
Getting ready for the upcoming holiday season with a trip to the World’s Largest Christmas Store? Consider a detour down Weiss Street (directly behind Bronner’s) to find the Haunted Forest of Bavaria at the Adventure Park in Frankenmuth. The month of October is filled with thrills and chills that can help you enjoy two seasons at once! The Haunted Forest of Bavaria is open from 6-9pm on Fridays and Saturdays throughout October, although they are closed on Halloween. It features ghastly zombies, creepy clowns, and a host of other terrifying monsters that are sure to frighten. Designed with kids 10 and up in mind, this is a haunted trail the whole family can explore together. Remember, the park will still be open to climbing during this Fall event, so if you’re not one who enjoys being startled, you’re still able to zip and climb through the trees in the cool evening air.
When taking a break from the festivities for a world-famous chicken dinner at Bavarian Inn Restaurant or Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, make sure to check out the cleverly costumed scarecrows outside many of the local businesses and vote for your favorite! And speaking of eating, Fall is one of the best times to indulge at one of the two famous restaurants as they feature locally grown Blue Hubbard Squash as the seasonal vegetable and within their pumpkin pies, which are not only crowd favorites, but great ways to really celebrate the Fall harvest!
While the Annual Holiday Celebration, snow lined streets, and Christmas cheer will always echo throughout Michigan’s Little Bavaria during the holiday season, make sure to fall into Frankenmuth this Autumn for a whole new take on the popular German-themed destination.