Mackinac Island’s iconic Halloween Weekend

Lilacs and fudge are big deals on Mackinac Island. So are horse-drawn carriage tours and bicycle rides, butterfly houses and historical sites.

But on the last weekend in October each year, nothing on Mackinac Island is bigger than Halloween costumes.

The annual Halloween Weekend on Mackinac Island features downtown trick-or-treating for kids dressed up as their favorite fairytale friends and superheroes. Festivities also include after-dark costume parties for adults who get to let loose in outfits both spooky and sweet.

Take a look at some of the characters and creatures who pop up during Mackinac Island’s Halloween Weekend:

What is Mackinac Island’s Halloween Weekend?

For one, Halloween Weekend is a fun way to get into the spirit of the season and maybe pick up some candy (or world-famous Mackinac Island fudge!) along the way. It’s also a big last hurrah for the visitor season on Mackinac Island, which sees most restaurants, shops and places to stay close at the end of October.

Halloween Weekend has four main activities:

A man wearing a Captain America costume with a shield and American flag runs in Mackinac Island’s Great Turtle Trail Run

  • Great Turtle Trail Run – The most popular of the four road races held each year on Mackinac Island, the Great Turtle Trail Run attracts 2,500 to 3,500 participants for either a half marathon (13.1 miles) or a 5.7-mile course on the Saturday morning of Halloween Weekend. Runners (and walkers) on each route get to see stunning fall colors as they head up into the interior of Mackinac Island and eventually make their way back downhill toward the water. Because 5.7 miles is an unusual distance, newcomers are basically guaranteed to get a personal record time since they’ve probably never run that distance before.

A family of four on Mackinac Island poses in Halloween costumes from the Disney movie Toy Story

  • Trick-or-treating for kids – Just like going door to door in your neighborhood, kids can go from one downtown Mackinac Island storefront to the next on the Saturday afternoon of Halloween Weekend. The costumes are adorable, and the candy is almost as good as Mackinac Island fudge!

A band plays live music as patrons dance in a bar on Mackinac Island during Halloween Weekend

  • Costume parties for adults – After dark on Halloween Weekend, Mackinac Island pubs invite the adults to come out in costume and have a great time not only closing down the bar but closing down the entire visitor season. Most everyone does go out in costume. The live music, dance parties and wide variety of getups make for some of the liveliest nightlife of the entire year!

A band plays live music as patrons dance in a bar on Mackinac Island during Halloween Weekend

  • Sales at Mackinac Island shops – Candy for trick-or-treaters isn’t the only gift that Mackinac Island shops give on Halloween Weekend. With the winter offseason looming, shops practically give away their remaining inventory. Many shops markdown prices as they strive to make space on the shelves for new items the following spring.


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