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Winter is here! We’re gearing up for a season of chilly fun and endless snowy adventures. Imagine a place that offers everything from pristine starry skies to top-tier dining, winter wonderlands and every sport under the snow. There is a little something for everyone in the Great Lakes State of Michigan.
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a city girl or looking for the next family-fun activity, we’ve got you covered. Check out these top Michigan destinations to make your winter season a memorable one.
Grand Rapids World Of Winter Festival
What better way to embrace the season than with a dreamy winter wonderland? From January 6 to March 5, Grand Rapids hosts one of the ten most epic U.S. winter festivals worth braving the cold for – the World of Winter Festival. The event features everything from large-scale, interactive art installations to live entertainment, ice sculptures and tons of local food vendors. The best part is that it’s totally free!
Dance your way over to the silent DJ booth or sign up for interactive games with the kids. Take your best Instagram-worthy pics with one of several art installations or catch a live performance on the center stage. A little bit of magic and a lot of entertaining fun make this one of our top choices for a wintery adventure.
Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park
If you ever wanted to try a “Cool Runnings” bobsled-style winter sport, here is your chance. Check out this popular winter sport at the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park. The Muskegon Winter Luge Track, one of four in the entire nation, has been a training home to world-class Olympic athletes. In fact, it was designed by three-time Olympian Frank Masley.
If this is your first time attempting the mighty luge, don’t worry. Every 2.5-hour session includes a lesson and even an awards ceremony to celebrate your first-time victories! If luging doesn’t top your list of winter sports, the Muskegon Snow Park has a plethora of options including skating, cross-country skiing and even snowshoeing. If you’re tagging along for the ride but want to skip the sport, grab yourself a warm hot chocolate and set up at the bonfire garden.
Go On A Winter Shopping Spree In The City Of Flint
You won’t want to miss an opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Flint. Find top-tier local cuisine, booming arts and culture, as well as unique shopping experiences at Flint’s core. While the Flint Institute of Arts or the Capitol Theatre attracts lovers of art and entertainment, the year-round (and indoor) Flint Farmers’ Market boasts an impressive 50+ vendors and can meet the needs of every shopper’s list. It even features an impressive 70-foot atrium for your next party or event. If that doesn’t entice you, make your way to the rooftop and enjoy a full-service bar at Market Tap.
While you’re shopping, you can easily support Black-owned vendors such as Tee’s Plentiful Salads and Spectacular Spudz. Once you’ve finished stocking up on goodies at the market, make your way downtown to Comma, a popular BIPOC-centered books and cultural hub. The Flint-native store owners have a unique mission to educate their community with literacy and culture-focused events.
Snowshoe To Frozen Waterfalls
Looking for something that doesn’t include speeding down a hillside? Try a more relaxed outdoor activity. Snowshoeing is for nature lovers who won’t let the chill stop them from exploring the majestic wintery landscapes of Michigan.
The best part about this activity is that it’s open to all those who are interested. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. There is no training required. However, you might want to check out this snowshoeing for beginners video for some tips and tricks. We recommend the beautiful Tahquamenon Falls Lower Falls Trails as your snowshoeing destination for its miles of hiking trails and of course, the majestic frozen waterfalls. Be sure to download a map and properly prepare for the outdoor adventure. Find all the information you need at Tahquamenon State Park.
Fine Dine And Wine
Perhaps your style of adventure includes less snow, more wine? Check out this rustic wine bar and charcuterie in Bay City. Prost offers six wines on tap, a build-your-own charcuterie board and even live music on Sundays. Big on brunch? Prost hosts a special Sunday Brunch menu from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. including a brunch cocktail menu curated by Thomas Miller, a Detroit based mixologist. The first cocktail on the menu is a house-made Bloody Mary, and of course, you’ll find a variety of local charcuteries to meet everyone’s needs.
Chill Out In An Igloo
Looking for a unique winter escape? Hoplot Brewing might have what you’re looking for. This family-friendly brewery has an outdoor garden complete with its own igloos. Enjoy tasty, freshly brewed ales in the middle of the frosty woods but in the comforts of your own nicely heated dome. It’s the perfect balance of outdoor and indoor to meet the city girl’s needs.
Make sure to reserve your spot ahead of time as the domes are limited and as you can imagine, a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Starry Night Dark Sky Preserves
The winter season is a time to slow down, bundle up and savor the light. Yet, with travel, family gatherings and holiday events, it can be a challenge to slow down and relish the moment. Luckily, hidden gems like these Michigan Dark Sky Preserves give you the perfect excuse to detach, relax and take in the stars.
Never heard of a Dark Sky Preserve? They’re specially designated areas that are prime for optimal stargazing activity. The artificial light is limited so that you can take in the vast and endless starry night sky. In the wintertime, the Upper Peninsula boasts prime viewing opportunities. While you’re there, you might even catch a glimpse of some stellar northern lights.
The Mitten State is the destination for all your wintertime needs. From wonderland festivals to scenic frozen waterfalls to alehouse igloos, there’s always something to do. Pursue the purest winter, uncover your bliss and find a little something for everyone this winter at https://www.michigan.org/.