Butler Tree Farm opens for the season, other attractions offer family festivities

DOWAGIAC — It is officially the fall season for many seasonal businesses in southwest Michigan, now seeing visitors ready to embrace the falling red leaves, orange pumpkins and warm apple cider.

One such business is Butler Tree Farms, which opened last Saturday for its fall season. The farm, known for its Christmas trees, offers a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, wagon rides and gift shop in the fall season. The farm is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays until Thanksgiving for the autumn. The day after Thanksgiving, the farm will begin daily hours for its Christmas season.

Calling the opening weekend a success, the owners of the longstanding Butler Tree Farm, Sam and Brenda Butler, said they are excited to be open for the 2018 fall season.

“Some people only think of us for the trees, but we love the fall season, too,” Sam said. “There is a lot to have fun with.”

Operating a business like theirs, Brenda said that she has the opportunity to help families come together for a fun day out.

“The best thing I can hear is someone saying they came out to spend a full day at Butler Tree Farm,” she said. “We love to make this feel like a family environment, like people are coming to grandma’s house. It’s like we are welcoming them into
our family.”

Sam agreed, adding that the family atmosphere has been in place since the beginning.

“We’ve been open long enough that we have seen children grow up here, then bring their own families,” he said. “It’s great to see that.”

The Butlers said they hope people will enjoy themselves out in the pumpkin patch until the Christmas season. Then, they said, they hope people will visit again to experience their winter attractions and to pick out the right Christmas tree for their family.

“We have so much fun doing this, and we really do love it,” she said. “We aren’t in this for the money. We do this to see the smiles on families’ faces.”

If Butler Tree Farm is out of reach, there are many other fall attractions in the southwest Michigan area. Here are five other fun fall activities to check out:

• Sprague Family Fun Farm, 33120 Middle Crossing Road, Dowagiac, offers a number of attractions including U-pick produce, crafts, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and baked goods. Sprague Family Fun Farm is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

• A-mazing Acres, 18430 US-12, Edwardsburg, offers more than 45 attractions including a corn maze, petting zoo, photo booth fall produce, crafts, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and baked goods. A-Mazing Acres is open 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

• Niles Scream Park, 855 Mayflower Road, Niles, is popular during the Halloween season, offering haunted houses, haunted hayrides and escape rooms. Niles Scream Park is open from 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October, 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays in October and 7 to 10 p.m. the first Friday and Saturday in November.

• Critzer Farms, 854 Olive Branch Road, Galien, offers a number of family friendly attractions including a fall produce and a corn maze. Critzer Farms is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

• Lehman’s Orchard, 2280 Portage Road, Niles, is one of the most well-known apple orchards in the area. Currently, apples are in season for U-pick. Lehman’s is open noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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