There’s something for everyone at CraneFest!

Crane Viewing

A crowd gathers to view Sandhill Cranes return to Big Marsh Lake during Michigan Audubon’s Annual CraneFest.

Enjoy the spectacle of thousands of Sandhill Cranes flying into Big Marsh Lake, a brief pit stop on their way to warmer wintering grounds. The “Fly-In” typically begins slowly throughout the afternoon with the best viewing of large numbers of cranes between 5 p.m. and dusk. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars if you have them. We also recommend bringing lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy your viewing experience.

Learn more about Sandhill Cranes

Artist and Vendor Booths

Enjoy and buy the work of some of Michigan’s top professional artists! Or grab a bite to eat and visit with representatives from a variety of conservation and environmental organizations to learn more about their important work in Michigan. Find out which vendors are participating by clicking on the Vendor page.

Children’s Education Tent

Visit a variety of conservation-focused and environmental artists, vendors, and organizations to learn more about their important work in Michigan.

CraneFest is a family-friendly event. Kids will enjoy a variety of fun and engaging activities at the Children’s Education Tent. Children’s activities will include crafts, the migration game, a crane scavenger hunt, and more! Story time is schedule for 1 and 3 p.m. and a kids’ habitat walk will leave the education tent at 2 and 4 p.m.

Live Birds of Prey and Other Animals

Get an up close and personal look at a variety of hawks, falcons, owls, other birds of prey, as well as a variety of reptiles and amphibians.

Saturday October 12, 1-6 p.m. Nature Discovery reptiles and amphibians of Michigan

Sunday October 13, 1-3 p.m. Binder Park Zoomobile                                                                                                                      3-5 p.m. Michigan Avian Experience birds of prey

Guided Nature Walks

Take a family-friendly guided nature walk and learn about the diversity of bird species in the area. All walks will meet at the Information tent near the pavilion. Walks will leave every half hour both days beginning at 1 p.m. The last walk of the day will leave at 3:30 p.m.