DNR Events: Halloween fun, Micro-Mystery Weekend, Archaeology Day

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DNR Events - October 2021

People in animal costumes by Saginaw Bay Visitor Center sign

Here are a few ways to get out and enjoy Michigan’s natural and cultural resources in October. For a full list of events, see the Department of Natural Resources calendar at Michigan.gov/DNRCalendar

Get into the Halloween spirit with fun family events

Tawas Point Lighthouse with pirate ship decorations in front

While many of the harvest festivals at Michigan’s state parks are for registered campers only and those campgrounds are mostly booked, there are opportunities for noncampers to enjoy some Halloween-themed outdoor family fun, too.

Haunted Lighthouse Weekend at Tawas Point State Park (East Tawas), Oct. 8-9

This year's schedule includes hay rides, kids’ games, making corn husk dolls, mini golf, skee ball, Plinko, pumpkin painting, corn hole and an opportunity to shop at the museum store.

Mother Nature's Halloween Trail at Bay City State Park (Bay City), Oct. 9

Take a guided hike along the pumpkin-lit trail, where you will encounter a few of Mother Nature’s favorite Halloween animals such as bats, wolves and spiders (animals are portrayed by talented volunteers). There will also be a variety of activities, treats and presentations. Come dressed in your Halloween best! 

Harvest Festival at Higgins Lake Nursery and CCC Museum (Roscommon), Oct. 23

Explore the historic buildings at the CCC Museum and Higgins Lake Nursery and collect candy at each one. Plus, carve a pumpkin, go on a hike and show off your costume. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. RSVP to reserve pumpkins for carving.

Be a detective during Micro-Mystery Weekend at the RAM Center

Chairs on the shore of Higgins Lake at RAM Center

Don’t miss your chance to be a detective during Micro-Mystery Weekend, a unique whodunit event Oct. 22-24 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. A crime has been committed on Higgins Lake … by an aquatic animal! Use your sleuthing skills and knowledge of Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams to find out which animal is the culprit.

Cost is $150 per person. This package includes two nights of lodging, five meals, two bonfire snacks and all mystery experiences. Spots are limited. This event is suitable for ages 13 and up.

Book your stay by calling 989-821-6200 or emailing MacMullanCenter@Michigan.gov.

Save the date for Michigan Archaeology Day

Boy and girl look at pottery

Have you ever thought about what it's like to be an archaeologist? Here's your chance to talk to archaeologists about investigations and buried artifacts that tell the story of 14,000 years of Michigan history!

Michigan Archaeology Day, a popular annual event, returns Saturday, Oct. 23, with a twist: due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most exhibits and activities will take place outside, rain or shine. The event is free for all ages and runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Michigan History Center in Lansing. Join us for demonstrations, presentations, artifact displays and fun family activities.

Archaeologists working across Michigan will set up, tailgate-style, in the parking lot, where they will talk about their research, show some of the artifacts they have found and answer questions.

Do you have an artifact that you want to know more about? If it fits in a shoebox, bring it to our "Archaeology Roadshow!" Experts in archaeology, geology and paleontology will assess your finds and teach you how to report sites.

At 1 p.m., stop by the auditorium (face mask required) to hear underwater archaeologist Wayne Lusardi speak about the legacy of the World War II Tuskegee airmen in the Great Lakes, including a pilot and airplane lost in Lake Huron.

For more information on archaeology in Michigan, and details on the event as they become available, visit the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office's Archaeology Day webpage.

While you’re at the Michigan History Center, check out the special exhibit “I Voted: Michigan's Struggle for Suffrage” to learn more about the people, protests and policies that have transformed voting in Michigan from the time of statehood in 1837 through today.

Know before you go

Closures and detours may happen due to improvement projects, repairs and weather-related events. Go to Michigan.gov/DNRClosures to find information on temporary closures and detours in DNR facilities, including trails, boat launches, parks and campgrounds.

Recreate responsibly

With so many people flocking to the outdoors during the pandemic, it's critical that we all do our part to protect our favorite places and resources so everyone can enjoy them. Find out some steps you can take to recreate responsibly and keep you, and the outdoors, safe.