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More than 80 things to do around Detroit to have a...

More than 80 things to do around Detroit to have a spooky and delightful October

Bikers riding over the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Canada for the Tour de Troit annual Biike the Bridge event in 2015.
The annual Bike the Ambassador Bridge ride to Canada happens on Oct. 27. Photo via Tour De Troit.

Why stay home and carve a pumpkin when you could do it at a Detroit bar? Why be scared of bats when you could learn from expert fans what makes them great? Why order your costume on Amazon when you could shop at spooky fairs with local vendors?

These are the kinds of urgent, seasonal questions you can trust Detour to tackle. Answer to all three: You shouldn’t! If you want to lean into those and more fall festivities around Detroit in October, you’ll find them here in the latest curated Get Busy events guide.

And it’s not all haunted houses and cider doughnuts. Keep reading for a roundup of the best activities, entertainment, eats, discussions, workshops and experiences going on this month. We hope you’ll find a bunch of events to add to your calendar. And even better, we hope you find some chances to get busy exploring the city and your own passions with a bunch of other cool Detroiters. See you out there!

OCTOBER 1-6

📼 Films: Weird Waves: Video Art From The Punk & New Wave Era 1978-1983. Oct. 1, UFO Factory, Corktown, info. Add to Google calendar

🎫 Community Listening Session: Traffic Court. Oct. 1, Northwest Activities Center, Northwest, free, info. Add to cal

🎷 Literary: Jazz from Detroit with author Mark Stryker. Oct. 2, Southfield Public Library, Southfield, free, info. Add to cal

🎂 John Sinclair’s 78th Birthday Party, with performance by the Blues Scholars. Oct. 2, Lager House, Corktown, $15, info. Add to cal

📚 Reading: Disquieting Reflections on Home with Angela Abiodun, Bree Gant and Cherise Morris. Oct. 3, Room Project, New Center, free, info. Add to cal

🎉 Tapestry: A Global Detroit Celebration fundraiser with music from Pathé Jassi and food from Baobab Fare. Oct. 3, Jam Handy, North End, $100, tickets. Add to cal

🍹 Detroit Cocktail Classic. Shed 3, Eastern Market, $40/$65, details. Add to cal

🌸 “Superbloom”: Recent paintings from Lindsay Farris. Oct. 4, Hard Gallery, Southwest, free, info. Add to cal

🎭 “Hot Flashbacks!” A Golden Girls Musical Parody. Oct. 4, Planet Ant, Hamtramck, $7+, tickets. Add to cal.

🍽️ Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week. Oct. 4-10, Southwest, prices vary, info. Add to cal

👩‍🍳 Vegan and Veg Tasting Competition. Oct. 5, Durfee Innovation Society, Dexter-Linwood, $5/$10, tickets. Add to cal

🦇 Great Lakes Bat Festival. Oct. 5, Belle Isle Nature Center, Belle Isle, free, info. Add to cal

🎶 Jazz: The Vizitors. Oct. 5, Trinosophes, Eastern Market, $12, info. Add to cal

😱Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Oct. 5, Senate Theater, Southwest, $5, tickets. Add to cal

🎸 Music: William Tyler with Lands & Buildings. Oct. 5, Third Man Records, Midtown, $12-$15, tickets. Add to cal

✍️ Poetry workshop: “The Imperfect Is Our Paradise”: Writing Toward the Failure of Language. Oct. 6-Nov. 24, Room Project, New Center, $60/$125, info. Add to cal. 

🏭 Discussion: The Meaning of Dodge Main. Oct. 6, Hamtramck Historical Museum, Hamtramck, free, info. Add to cal.

🥟 Dance and eat: PolkatoberFest. Oct. 6, Eastern Market, $8+, info. Add to cal

👻 Cine Mexico Now: “The Phantom of the Convent” (1934). Oct. 6-7, $10, Cinema Detroit, Midtown, tickets. Add to cal

🤝 ICE Breakers: A Fundraiser Benefiting Immigrant Rights, for Michigan United. Oct. 6, Marble Bar, New Center, donations, info. Add to cal

OCTOBER 7-13

📰 Report Your Story (Or Poem, or Memoir, or Script) with journalist Anna Clark. Oct. 7, Detroit Writing Room, Downtown, $45, tickets. Add to cal

🐶 Dog training seminar with Abigail Knue from K9 Turbo Training. Oct. 7, Canine to Five, Ferndale, free, register. Add to cal

🧘 Yoga in the Park. Oct. 8, Eliza Howell Park, Brightmoor, free, info. Add to cal

🏙️ Tour: We Are Our Own Heroes: Slavery & The Underground Railroad in Detroit. Oct. 8, Campus Martius, Downtown, $20, tickets. Add to cal

🥫 Food Industry Job Fair. Oct. 9, Eastern Market Partnership, Eastern Market, free, info. Add to cal

👨‍🏫 Engaging a Spectrum Workshop for Cultural Institutions: Welcoming People with Autism. Oct. 9, Detroit Institute of Arts, Midtown, free, info. Add to cal

🛣️ I-94 Modernization Project meeting with updates from MDOT. Oct. 10, Detroit Historical Museum, Cultural Center, free, info. Add to cal

📖 Talk: Until We Reckon, book on restorative justice, with author Danielle Sered. Oct. 10, Wayne State Law School, Midtown, free, info. Add to cal

🥘 Indigenous Australian Dinner Party with Rohani Foulkes of Folk. Oct. 11, Frame, Hazel Park, $60, tickets. Add to cal.  

🦉 Zoo Boo Halloween celebration. Oct. 11 and six more dates, Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak, $10-$16, tickets. Add to cal.

🧶 Handcrafters Fall Fair Market. Oct. 11-12, Northville, $3, info. Add to cal

🎙️ Coming Out Stories Open Mic Night. Oct. 11, Affirmations, Ferndale, free, details. Add to cal.

⏳ QUEER Speed Bonding hosted by Relationship Anarchy Discussions. Oct. 11, Trumbullplex, Woodbridge, free, info. Add to cal

🎨 Art: “Detroit: Nothing To Be Afraid Of” Opening. Oct. 11, Two Way Inn, Mt. Elliott and Nevada, free, info. Add to cal

🏡 2020 Designers’ Show House “Sneak a Peek,” with Junior League of Detroit. Oct. 11-13, Indian Village, $10, info. Add to cal

🗣️ Local native history from indigenous elders and leaders. Oct. 12, American Indian Health and Family Services, Southwest, free, info. Add to cal

🎻 Listen: The National Arab Orchestra Presents: Layali. Oct. 12, Music Hall, Downtown, $59+, tickets. Add to cal

🍁 Orange, Gold & Green: Fall Festival. Oct. 12, Eliza Howell Park, Brightmoor, free, info. Add to cal

🍷 Shakespeare in Detroit fundraiser: An Inebriated Reading: The Scarlet Letter. Oct. 12, The Detroit Club, Downtown, $45, tickets. Add to cal

⚰️ Lecture: Detroit Black Funeral Homes: The Legacy of the African American Funeral Business. Oct. 12, Detroit Public Library Main Branch, Cultural Center, free, register. Add to cal.

🕺 Late-night dancing: AfterThots: October. Oct. 12, the Eagle, Palmer Park, info. Add to cal

📚 Detroit Art Book Fair. Oct. 12, Trinosophes, Eastern Market, free admission, info. Add to cal

💨 High Times Cannabis Bazaar. Oct. 12-13, Russell Industrial Center, Russell Industrial, $40+, info. Add to cal

🎭 Public performance: Border Blast 2: Freeways + Side streets from the Hinterlands and others. Oct. 12-13, Play House, Banglatown, free, details. Add to cal.

🏺 Fall Antiques & Collectibles Market. Oct. 13, Historic Fort Wayne, Delray, free, info. Add to cal.

SOLD OUT. 🐦 Chemistry Club: Talking Birds & Avian Flu with Dr. Jen Owen, hosted by Shady Ladies Literary Society. Oct. 13, POST, Kercheval and Chalmers, $27, tickets. Add to cal

📜 Legends of the Fall Storytelling and Biking Tour. Oct. 13, Grosse Pointe Historical Center, Grosse Pointe, free, info. Add to cal

🖼️ My Turn: Sensory Friendly Sunday at the Museum. Oct. 13, Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, free, details. Add to cal

OCTOBER 14-20

👷 Commercial Property Ownership Workshop with the DEGC. Oct. 15, Ford Resource and Engagement Center, Regent Park, free, register. Add to cal

🏆 Torch Awards for Ethics by Better Business Bureau. Oct. 16, Durfee Innovation Society, Dexter-Linwood, $50, info. Add to cal

⚖️ Candid Conversations: 400 Years of Inequality. Oct. 16, Co. Act Detroit, New Center, free, info. Add to cal

🎃 Fam fun: Smashing pumpkins with zoo animals. Oct. 16 and 26, Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak, Zoo admission $11+, schedule. Add to cal

🚴‍♀️ World Food Day Bike Tour. Oct. 16, Wayne State Farmers Market, Midtown, free, RSVP. Add to cal

👻 Let’s Just Say: Ghost Stories. Oct. 17, GO Comedy! Improv Theater, Ferndale, $10, info. Add to cal

🌎 Planet Detroit Panel + Conversation: What are Detroit’s essential environmental stories? Oct. 17, Room Project, New Center, free, RSVP.  Add to cal

🥞 Pancake Fundraiser for Heidelberg Project Student Study Abroad. Oct. 18, Rose’s Fine Food, East Village, $25, info. Add to cal

😎 Documentary: “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool.” Oct. 18, DIA, Cultural Center, $7.50+, tickets. Add to cal

🍿 Cult classic: “Army of Darkness,” directed by Metro Detroit native Sam Raimi. Oct. 18, Redford Theatre, Old Redford, $5, tickets. Add to cal

🌆 Art: “Moving Targets: Michigan’s Evolving Cities” opening Oct. 18,  AIA Michigan, Midtown, free, info. Add to cal.

🎵 Soul and funk: Melvin Davis / Funkwagon / Denise Davis & theMotorCitySensations. Oct. 19, Old Miami, Midtown, $10, info. Add to cal

✍️ Teen workshop and open mic: InsideOut presents Scratch the Page. Oct. 19, MOCAD, Midtown, free, sign up. Add to cal

🖌️ African American arts conference: Converge Detroit 2019: Beyond Space Unbounded Theory and Practice. Oct. 19, Detroit School of Arts, Midtown, $25+, tickets. Add to cal.  

🤖 “Young Frankenstein.” Oct. 19, Redford Theatre, Old Redford, $5, tickets. Add to cal

🌳 Boxwoods and cedar planting at Sarah Garrett Park. Oct. 19, Hamtramck, free, info. Add to cal

☠️ Haunted Detroit Bike Tour. Oct, 20, 26 and 27, Wheelhouse Detroit, Rivertown, $35, tickets. Add to cal

🕯️The Detroit Spook Show Halloween Sale II. Oct. 20, Sanctuary, Hamtramck, free admission, info. Add to cal

⛪ Spiritual: Detroit Mass Mob at St. Francis D’Assisi Catholic Church, 130 years old. St. Francis D’Assisi, Chadsey Condon, free, info. Add to cal

🍗 Eat: Hot Wings and Hot Ones with Darren McCarty and Hell Fire Detroit. Oct. 20, frame, Hamtramck, $50, tickets. Add to cal

OCTOBER 21-27

📓 Talk: Leah Vernon, author of Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim. Oct. 21, Pages Bookshop, Grandmont Rosedale, free, RSVP. Add to cal. 

🎭 Theater: “Tiny Beautiful Things,” based on the book by Cheryl Strayed. Oct. 21 and multiple dates, Ringwald Theatre, Ferndale, $10+, tickets. Add to cal

📖 Discussion: How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X. Kendi. Oct. 22, Wright Museum, Cultural Center, free, info. Add to cal

👻 Tour: Ghosts of Piquette. Oct. 22-23, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Milwaukee Junction, $25 adults/$0-$5 kids, tickets. Add to cal.  

🎤 Reading: An evening with David Sedaris. Oct. 23, Fisher Theatre, New Center, $51+, tickets. Add to cal

REGISTRATION CLOSED. 🏢 The Architect & the Campus: Minoru Yamasaki’s Lasting Legacy at Wayne State. Oct. 23, Urbanum, New Center, free, register. Add to cal.

🚍 Mobility & Equity: Shaping Detroit’s Future. Oct. 23, The Beacon at One Woodward, Downtown, $5-$25, tickets. Add to cal

SOLD OUT. 🌌 Haunted Detroit: the Dark Side of History Tour. Oct 24 and multiple dates, Coolidge Inn Bar, River Rouge, $58-$61, tickets. Add to cal

🎬 Screening: “At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal.” Oct. 25, DIA, Cultural Center, free, info. Add to cal

🖼️ Art opening: “This Land Is…,” featuring artists addressing environmental concerns. Oct. 25, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Wayne State, free, info. Add to cal

🍻 Drinks: Fall Beer Festival, hosted by Michigan Brewers Guild. Oct. 25-26, Eastern Market, $45+, info. Add to cal

👄 Midnight Madness: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Oct. 25-26, Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak, $7, tickets. Add to cal.

🏘️ Detroit Housing Summit 2019. Oct. 26, Midtown, free, RSVP. Add to cal

🏎️ Car design for kids: Sketchbattle JR Pilot. Oct. 26, Lafayette Garage, Hubbard, free, register. Add to cal

🗺️ Curator panel: States of Flux: Regional Identities x Global Content. Oct. 26, MOCAD, Cultural Center, $5, info. Add to cal

🏭 Shutdown party: Celebrating activists fight against the incinerator. Oct. 26, James and Rose Robinson Community Center, 4190 Chene St., free, info. Add to cal.

🧪 Family fun: Halloween Science. Oct. 26-27, Cranbrook Science Museum, Bloomfield Hills, $10-$18, info. Add to cal.  

💃🏽 Performance: Ballet Folklórico de Detroit for Dia de Los Muertos. Oct. 26-27, Detroit Institute of Arts, Cultural Center, free with admission, info. Add to cal

REGISTRATION CLOSED. 🌉 Bike the Ambassador Bridge 2019. Oct. 27, Clark Park, Southwest, $100, register. Add to cal

🔮 Rock Your World Psychic & Holistic Fair. Oct. 27, Psychedelic Healing Shack and Vegetarian Cafe, Woodward and Goldengate, $5 admission, info. Add to cal

OCTOBER 28-31

🌡️ Mag release party: Geez 54: Climate Justice. Oct. 28, Swords into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery, Downtown, $20/free for subscribers, tickets. Add to cal

🎃 Pumpkin carving (pumpkin provided. Oct. 29, Briggs Detroit, Downtown, free, info. Add to cal.

🥁 Music: Season of the Witch – Devil’s Night with bbymutha, Starcrawler, Wiccans and Werewolves. Oct. 30, Third Man Records, Midtown, $25, tickets. Add to cal

🎶 Drag performance art: Sasha Velour Presents: Smoke & Mirrors. Oct. 30, Royal Oak Music Theatre, RO, $35+, tickets. Add to cal

🚴‍♂️ Bike tour: Haunted Detroit at Dusk. Oct. 30-31, Wheelhouse Detroit, Rivertown, $30, tickets. Add to cal

🎉 Kids: Day of the Dead Celebration. Oct. 31, Clark Park, Southwest, free, info. Add to cal

🏝️ Island of Souls: Halloween Night at Lost River. Oct. 31, Lost River, Morningside, free, info. Add to cal.


Kate Abbey-Lambertz is the co-founder and editorial director for Detour Media. She leads editorial strategy for the signature Detour Detroit newsletter, The Blend and special projects, while shaping Detour’s membership program, audience development initiatives and design. Kate was previously a national reporter at HuffPost, where she covered equitable cities and urban issues. She launched HuffPost’s Detroit vertical, serving as reporter and editor, and has reported on Detroit for a decade. Follow her on Twitter: @kabbeyl

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