During the summer we had an epic time in the beach town of Ludington, Michigan, a small community on the west coast of Michigan. But summer is not the only time for fun — they offer so much for families during the fall. Explore these fabulous ideas for fall fun to get you going in Ludington, Michigan.
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Fall-themed Family Fun in Ludington, Michigan
Haunted Village at Historic White Pine Village
Credit: Historic White Pine Village
For a non-scary ghoulishly fun time, kids in costume can trick-or-treat at the historic buildings located at Historic White Pine Village. Don’t forget to dress up for a fun costume contest for kids 12 and under. Prizes will be offered for funniest and scariest costumes. (Oct. 21, 3 – 6 p.m. Admission is free for kids 11 and younger and $5 for 12 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult for admission.)
Celebrate 150th Anniversary of Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Ludington’s iconic black-and-white Big Sable Point Lighthouse celebrates 150 years in a big way with special events through November. Located in the beautiful Ludington State Park, some festivities include Halloween activities in the afternoon followed by an evening haunted lighthouse. (Oct. 28, 1 – 4 p.m. for daytime activities, 6 – 8:30 p.m. for haunted lighthouse.) Celebrate Big Sable’s monumental birthday with a 150th Birthday Party. Starting with a dedication ceremony with speakers and cake, free buses will be shuttling celebrants to the lighthouse, and free tower tours happening all day. (Nov. 1, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Downtown Ludington Halloween Festivities
Downtown is the place to be for all Halloween fun. Start off with the Run For Your Lives 5K and 10K then participate in the Downtown Ludington Costume Parade. Head to participating downtown businesses and the library for trick-or-treating fun. (2 – 4 p.m.) End the day with an After Party at Mason County District Library. (Oct. 28)
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Explore the Haunted Fairgrounds
Take a free tractor-pulled wagon through the Haunted Fairgrounds and find ghosts and goblins ready to give you a fright. (Oct. 28-29, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Donations are accepted to support NHS projects. )
Enjoy a Fall-Color Drive
A plethora of options await for fall color enthusiasts. Visit Ludington State Park with its 5300 acres of unspoiled natural forest for hiking, biking, and paddling. Another option is Ludington School Forest for more than five miles of urban biking and hiking trails or Cartier Park’s trail system with a paved, one-mile walking/cycling loop plus a four-mile singletrack mountain biking loop. For a true immersive learning experience try a self-guided Mason County Cultural Trail Drives. This cell phone tour takes travelers to certain routes that include the Lumber Heritage Trail with 14 stops ranging from lumber baron homes to historic cemeteries, the Barn Quilt Trail and Agricultural Trail. For more leaf-peeping opportunities, explore the 17 stops on the Agricultural Trail which include autumn-themed Orchard Market for all your fall produce needs or five-generation Kistlercrest Farms with apples from its orchard and homemade maple syrup for sale.
Take a Wagon Ride through Amber Elk Ranch
For a unique fall experience, take a wagon ride through 130 acres of the beautiful pastureland of Amber Elk Ranch to see cows, spikers, calves, and bull elk up close. (Open weekends through Oct. 16, Saturdays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 6 p.m. 2688 W. Conrad Rd. www.amberelkranch.com. $10 for adults, $7 for children ages 4 to 12, free for children ages 3 and under. Group rates available.)
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Where to Stay in Ludington
After all these fun activities, you’ll want to find a place to rest and recharge. We found our “home away from home” by staying at the family-owned Nader’s Motel and Suites, located a couple blocks from the beach. After a day of Ludington adventures, we looked forward to just unwinding and resting at our double queen suite with kitchen. We could lounge in the separate living room or hang out on the balcony and enjoy peace and quiet. Their heated pool was an additional plus.
Read this guide to find out what else you can do in this charming small beach town.
DIsclosure: The author’s family visited Ludington, MI as guest of Pure Ludington. While we appreciated their hospitality, all opinions are her own.
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