Holland might make you think of glorious sunsets on Lake Michigan, a delightful downtown with cobblestone sidewalks and, of course, world-famous tulips. Did you know that Holland also goes hand in hand with…fossils and geodes?
That’s right! Each September, Holland hosts the Tulip City Gem and Mineral Show. From professional dealers to kids who find Petoskey stones on the beach, this show is the place to be for a weekend of exhibits, demonstrations and games featuring all kinds of rocks. You’ll be amazed by all the treasures on display!
You might also be surprised by these other fascinating tidbits about fall in Holland:
- Fall in Holland gets underway with the Labor Day Truck Parade. Dozens of big rigs from West Michigan companies drive through downtown to Holland Civic Center Place for a huge ice cream social that bids a sweet farewell to summer.
- Did you know there’s an island in Holland? Windmill Island Gardens is where thousands of colorful tulips bloom each spring. In the fall, it’s home to the Art on the Island Gala featuring the work of local artists. Admission is free, leaving you money to buy a piece or two that catch your eye! You can vote for a People’s Choice award, too.
- You can qualify for the Boston Marathon in Holland. The Holland Haven Marathon in September follows Lakeshore Drive south out of Grand Haven and winds to the finish line in downtown Holland. Later in September, Holland hosts the Riley Trails Marathon on mostly unpaved paths. Both events also have half marathon options and shorter routes, too.
- Holland’s Van Raalte Farm Park each September hosts a Civil War Muster including a battle reenactment, Abraham Lincoln impressions, an 1860s-era church service and more. Interesting Civil War fact: A son of Holland’s founder, the Rev. Albertus van Raalte, lost an arm in battle and went on to serve three terms in the Michigan State Legislature.
- While Holland was settled by van Raalte and fellow Dutchmen, today it’s one of the most diverse cities in Michigan. That diversity is celebrated each fall during the International Festival of Holland with food, music, dance and art representing cultures from around the world.
- Holland’s iconic cultural attraction, Nelis’ Dutch Village, remains open through September with a petting zoo, rides for younger kids and traditional elements of Dutch culture – from food, gifts and entertainment to Dutch dancing and wooden shoe carving. Taking a step back in time to experience the authentic Dutch way of life is a fun way for every generation of your family to celebrate the season.
- Just as tulips are a sign of spring in Holland, so are hay bales and corn stalks a sign of fall. The pinnacle of autumn décor comes with October’s Fall Fest, a two-day downtown event featuring street performers, an artisan market and professional pumpkin carvers.
- The Holland Farmers Market continues on Wednesdays and Saturdays all fall at the Eighth Street Marketplace downtown. Find a huge selection of apples from local orchards as well as carrots, turnips, pumpkins, gourds and more.
- There are many ways in the Holland area to take in October’s glorious fall colors. A drive along Ottawa Beach Road or a bike ride along Lakeshore Drive. A hike through the woods of Saugatuck Dunes State Park or the Sanctuary Woods Nature Preserve. An excursion to Crane’s Orchard & Pie Pantry or Fenn Valley Winery. Check out these fall color itineraries in the Holland area.
- Colorful ofrendas, or altars, filled with pictures and other items from a loved one’s life are displayed during Holland’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration in late October. Halloween activities also include Trick or Treating in Downtown Holland with about 50 storefronts handing out candy to kids.