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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Tag: winter activities

50 Fun Things to do in Michigan This Winter

Andrew Norton

Based on the continued popularity of my post about 50 Fun Things To Do In Michigan This Summer I thought it was well past time to give the same treatment to Michigan's winter.

It seems like summer and fall get all the love, but Michigan has a lot to offer during the winter months. It’s interesting to visit the same places you usually only see in the summer and how different they appear during the winter.

Michigan winters create numerous opportunity for outdoor adventures. Did you know that a number of state park campgrounds and forests allow winter camping? Winter will be over before you have time to hike, bike, snowshoe, ski, or snowmobile the thousands of miles of trails throughout the state.

This was a fun list to put together. Let’s get started on our list in no particular order.

1._Visit an ice enclosed lighthouse - it’s a great photo opportunity. Just be careful on the ice!

2. Go for a hike in the woods. Stunning views abound along the lakeshore at Pictured Rocks

3. Go snowshoeing through Tahquamenon Falls State Park

4. Learn how to go ice sailing. The video below shows the many ways you can ice sail.

50 Fun Things to do in Michigan This Winter

5. Read a book set in Michigan’s winter - A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton is a great winter mystery .

6. Go snowmobiling on over 6,500 miles of Michigan’s trails

7. The quarter-mile long Echo Valley toboggan runs reach speeds of up to 60 MPH

8. Take up cross-country skiing - Michigan’s terrain makes for excellent cross-country trails.

9. Attend the UP Sled Dog 200

10. Go downhill skiing at one of Michigan’s more than 40 ski resorts.

11. Outdoor ice skating at one of Michigan’s numerous outdoor rinks - Rosa Parks Circle ice rink in downtown Grand Rapids is one of the best.

12. Learn the sport of luge at the Muskegon Luge Track - one of only 4 luge tracks in the United States.

13. Enjoy a fun winter afternoon snow tubing at one of Michigan’s numerous tubing hills.

14. The Winter Carnival at Michigan Tech had its humble beginnings back in 1922.

15. Go ice fishing - there is usually a free fishing weekend in February, no license required.

16. Take part in or go watch the U.P. Pond Hockey Championship in St. Ignace.

17. Like beer? You definitely don’t want to miss the Annual Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ball Park.

18. Ice Climbing in the Munising area.

19. The onset of winter doesn’t mean you have to stop biking. Try out Fat Tire Biking.

20. Think Summer at the Detroit Boat Show.

21. Enjoy all kinds of fun at the Kalkaska Winterfest.

22. Winter wine tasting - less crowded tasting rooms are a big plus.

23. Escape the cold at Klassic Arcade in Gobles and play classic arcade and pinball games for just $7 all day.

24. Make your own snowshoes at a Michigan state park.

25. Spend an afternoon out of the cold at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.

26. Get your sugar rush at the Hamtramck Paczki Day.

27. One of the most unique things you will see in a Michigan Winter - Trenary Outhouse Classic.

28. Make a day or a weekend of it at one of Michigan’s many indoor water parks.

29. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn has a number of great exhibits to see on a cold winter’s day.

30. Every Saturday until the end of March - Snowshoes, Vines, and Wines at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay.

31. If the weather gets too bitter, burn off those Paczki calories at one of Michigan’s indoor roller skating rinks.

32. Rent a cabin in the Porcupine Mountains.

33. Explore the Eben Ice Caves.

34. Spend the night in a yurt at Craig Lake State Park.

35. Don’t just see the Mackinac Bridge in the winter, drive across it for a real thrill.

36. Take in the competition at the Pine Mountain Ski Jump near Iron Mountain.

37. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway. You can be a big help and get to know your neighbors better.

38. Catch a hockey game at any of the college, minor league, or pro (go Red Wings!).

39. View elk while on a sleigh ride at Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman.

40. Take a winter road trip. There’s less traffic and the local businesses delight in the off season business.

41. Go on a night hike during or directly after a snowstorm. Pure magic.

42. Build a snowman. It doesn’t matter how old you are - it’s still fun.

43. Guided Winter rafting via Jordan Valley Outfitters.

44. Mt. Bohemia, out near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, was recently ranked the second best ski resort in North America.

45. Visit your local library and find some books to cozy up with.

46. Hike to the top of Mt. Lookout, near Eagle Harbor, for a breathtaking view of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.

47. Surf Lake Superior for a truly unique winter experience.

48. View the night sky in winter at Headlands International Dark Sky Park just west of Mackinaw City.

49. Watch a winter sunset over Lake Superior while dining at Fitzgerald’s Restaurant in Eagle River.

50. Experience the uniqueness of winter camping.

Please share what you love to do during Michigan winters in the comments below!

What is your favorite winter activity in Michigan?

Andrew Norton

We are past the halfway point for winter and by now people in Michigan start to count down the days until spring. Others have so much fun skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and other activities that only take place in the winter that they wish for spring weather to hold off so they can keep having fun in Michigan's Winter Wonderland. Personally, I'm okay with winter, but when the calendar rolls over to March I start to get the itch to work in the garden and not have to bundle up in layers to spend time outside. How about you?

Take a second to vote in this week's poll for your favorite winter activity:

[poll id="39"]

What do you think of winter in Michigan?

Andrew Norton

The goal of this week's poll question is to seek out who loves and who loathes winter in Michigan. I don't always enjoy the cold, but I really enjoy hiking, sledding with the kids, and other outdoor activities in the winter. It's also a great excuse to warm up with a big mug of hot cocoa and a book. [poll id="10"]

Also, if you enjoy winter camping there are 10 Michigan State Parks that are open all winter long.

Here they are:

  • Mitchell (bonus - heated restrooms!)
  • Traverse City (bonus - heated restrooms!)
  • Algonac
  • Bay City State Park
  • Fort Custer
  • Ludington
  • North Higgins Lake State Park
  • Rifle River Recreation Area
  • Tahquamenon Falls
  • Waterloo Recreation Area-Portage campground

Head over to for a list of the current events going on at state parks and recreation areas.