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Michigan Bucket List 2024: 12 Months, 12 Ideas for Fun in the Mitten State

Michigan Bucket List

2024’s Can’t-Miss Events in Michigan

Are you ready? Let’s Dive into 2024 with the ultimate Michigan Bucket List!

It’s filled with the year’s best events, from cool winter festivals to warm summer parties and everything in between. Join us as we explore the best of Michigan events, one month at a time.

January: World of Winter, Grand Rapids

When the new year dawns, art takes over downtown Grand Rapids and transforms it into an interactive winter wonderland. Expect many large-scale outdoor art installations, interactive experiences, and a variety of free family-friendly activities, including a big ice sculpture competition. link

Dates: January 12 – March 10, 2024

World of Winter Ice Piano VanderWeide
Ice Piano at World of Winter Festival, Grand Rapids

February: UP200, Marquette

This thrilling Iditarod qualifying sled dog race is the 12-dog, mid-distance variety. Participating teams cover 228 miles, with downtown Marquette set as the focal point. Grab your bells and cheer the dogs and mushers on as they come into town. link

Dates: February 15-19, 2024

UP200 Sled Dog Race, Marquette
UP200 Sled Dog Race, Marquette 📷: UP200

March: Butterflies are Blooming at Frederik Meijer Gardens

The Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory at Meijer Gardens transforms into a vibrant showcase of butterflies. This exhibition features a variety of species in a lush tropical environment, offering a unique and educational experience. link

2024 Dates: March 1 through April 30

Butterflies are Blooming Frederik Meijer Gardens VanderWeide
Butterflies are Blooming, Frederik Meijer Gardens

April: Hard Call – Grand Rapids Lantern Festival, or Go On Spring Break to Florida?

Sure, the buds are starting to pop in certain areas and the Grand Rapids Lantern Festival kicks off this month, but you might need to chase the sunshine and replenish your vitamin D (like any good Michigander). Do what you can to make it through fifth winter and we’ll see you in a few weeks!

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival
Grand Rapids Lantern Festival
out of office sign - canva

May: Tulip Time in Holland

Tulip Time, the annual tulip festival in Holland, MI, is the unofficial start to the Michigan festival season for many mitten-state residents and belongs on any Michigan Bucket List.

Featuring millions of blooming tulips, exceptional entertainment, and tulip-themed experiences for all ages, it’s a wonderful way to celebrate spring and the Dutch heritage that has shaped Holland, MI over the years. link

Dates: May 4-12, 2024

Holland Tulip Festival Holland MI VanderWeide
Tulip Time, the Holland tulip festival

June: Lilac Festival, Mackinac Island

The 76th Annual Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island promises 10 days of all lilacs all of the time. The celebration includes lilac-themed displays, walking tours, and an abundance of events, all set on the lovely, historic Mackinac Island. link

2024 Dates: June 7-16, 2024

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival 📷: Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

July: Cherry Festival, Traverse City

The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City is a grand celebration of Northern Michigan’s abundant cherry crop that features eight days of food, fun, family-friendly activities, and entertainment. Enjoy everything cherry, from pie to salsa, to thrilling airshows, headliner concerts, and parades filled with colorful floats and more. link

2024 Dates: June 29 to July 6, 2024

National Cherry Festival Parade Traverse City Michigan
National Cherry Festival Cherry Royale Parade

August: Michigan Renaissance Festival

Seven themed weekends of 16th-century fun let you step back in time when you visit the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly, MI.

Full-contact jousting, sword and fire shows, parades, and a host of live performances immerse you in this magical replica of a European village. Early Bird tickets are on sale as of 12/14/23. link

2024 Dates: Weekends (Sat & Sun) from August 17 to September 29, 2024, plus Labor Day and Festival Friday, September 27.

Michigan Renaissance Festival Jousting
Jousting at Michigan Renaissance Festival 📷: michrenfest

September: ArtPrize, Grand Rapids

This international art competition in Grand Rapids transforms the city into an open art gallery, showcasing artists’ works from around the globe. ArtPrize draws thousands of visitors and artists to this river city over its 3-week run. link

Free to attend, patrons are invited to participate in popup events and vote for their favorite pieces of art, too. Juried awards are also handed out.

Dates: September 13-28, 2024

“Optik” at ArtPrize 2023

October: Terror on Tillson St

Metro Detroit

Every year, Tillson Street in Romeo, Michigan, comes to life with elaborate Halloween decorations during the last few weeks of October. “Terror on Tillson,” is one of Romeo’s largest events, attracting around 80,000 visitors each year. link

Dates: Individuals decorate at their own pace, but most decorations are up for the last two weeks of October.

Terror on Tillson St
Terror on Tillson St 📷:halloweenontilson

November: Detroit Thanksgiving Parade

Known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, this fantastic event takes place in Detroit on Thanksgiving morning. A tradition since 1924, you can expect spectacular floats, marching bands, and giant balloons to kick off the holiday season. link

Date: November 28, 2024

December: Michigan SkyBridge ‘Lights in the Sky’

Named “Lights in the Sky,” this walk-through lights adventure at Boyne Mountain’s SkyBridge invites visitors to bundle up and cross the suspension bridge at night, surrounded by the magic glow of 150,000 twinkle lights. link

Dates: Expected early November to March 2025

Lights in the Sky at Michigan SkyBridge:📷 Boyne

Melody VanderWeide

INFJ. Mom of 3. Idea chaser-People believer-Inspiration seeker. Together we make GR amazing – Let’s go!

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