More than 90 years have passed since James N. Erwin planted his first tree at Erwin Orchards. Since then, three generations of the Erwin family have expanded onto more than 200 acres of land. In the fall, trees burst with a palette of crimson, carmine, and pink as the Erwins transform their farm into a celebration of autumn. Wagons carry visitors and families around the farm during the day, and people cozy up next the bonfire on haunted attraction nights with hot cups of cider, banners of steam unfurling into the evening. Monsters wander the barn's old halls at night, and echoes of screams drift from the doors as live actors horrify visitors in a corn maze around Halloween each year. The farm strives to use biologically friendly pest controls instead of pesticides, keeping the fields of raspberries and pumpkins as safe as they were when the farm was founded.
Willow Greenhouse's 15,000 square feet flourish with color. Flowers, vegetables, and leaves occupy every space. It's all thanks to one family, who has owned Willow Greenhouse for more than 30 years. Each year, they plant nearly half a million seeds by hand, including mum and pansy seeds. To keep things fresh, they add a few new plants to their collection every season.
The staff at Family Mattress and Bedding know that finding the perfect mattress often requires a lot of trial and error. That’s why they ask that clients set up an appointment prior to perusing the store so that an expert can guide them to the bed that suits them best. Their showroom houses twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and california king mattresses sealed in their original factory packaging so that they retain their value when sold at an auction 100 years later. Each also comes with the manufacturer’s original warranty, and the staff can schedule delivery service and layaway plans if necessary.
For three generations, Brainer’s Greenhouse has proudly sprouted leafy life forms in its plant nursery, providing customers with top-quality plants and products. Avid gardeners relish the lush variety of annual, perennial, and seasonal potted-plant options, such as 48-count annual flats including impatiens and wax begonias ($9.95), 1-gallon perennials ($9.95), and premium annual plants in hanging baskets ($14.95–$21.95). Moss hanging baskets and pillar geraniums offer stunning décor for outdoor patios and houseboat transients. Novices to the wilds of the backyard will appreciate Brainer’s pre-planted, patio-pot combination inserts, which allow for easy set-up and care. Various classes ($10+) offer continuing education on topics ranging from wildflower gardening to personal-container planting, in which participants help to plant each other in oversize terra-cotta pots.
One empty school bus, twenty-seven abandoned cars, and a desolate two-story house are the only refuges for combatants roving an expansive urban field. Fourteen additional playfields set the stage for games, surrounding players in open fields and dense forests. It's at Futureball Paintball's 115-acre facility that friendly paintball and Airsoft battles unfold each day and have unfolded for more than 20 years. While vehicle carcasses characterize the urban landscapes, two airfields exhibit red inflatables that mimic the ruins of ancient bounce castles. Between games, a 5-acre picnic area serves as neutral ground to strategize and nibble snacks.
To ensure fair play, Futureball Paintball's staff leads brief orientations and monitors all action. They can also repair and upgrade guns.
The strumming of an acoustic guitar lets you know you’ve found The Northville Winery’s outdoor patio. Live bands regularly serenade guests enjoying the patio’s view while sipping on the winery’s selection of wine and hard cider, as well as beer brought in from Michigan microbreweries. Guests can get a taste of the house’s signature vintages in preselected tastings, which bring together a flight of five wine and cider samples. The tastings can include pours from Northville's bottled vintages or the tasting room’s special menu of ciders, which only flow from the winery's taps and the cider fountain at the owner's home.