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#MIAwesomeList

The Ultimate Michigan
Winter Bucket List

Michigan's Winter Bucket List Adventure

#MIAwesomeList is the ultimate winter bucket list in Michigan where you can experience Michigan to its fullest – from unique twists on the classics to the hidden gems and haunts known only to the locals.

We believe ALL of Michigan is great and we want to help you experience it to the fullest this season. And, now is the perfect time to explore in your own big, backyard – Michigan all while supporting local businesses and attractions!

The bucket list includes over 30 ways to explore Michigan with links off to more detailed guides to help you plan your experience.

#MIAwesomeList is brought to you by the Awesome Mitten and our partners at Alpena Area CVB and Explore Flint & Genesee.

We can’t wait to see what memories you create this winter!

Click on an item below to zip right down to that adventure!

Bucket List Table of Contents

Our Partners

#MIAwesomeList wouldn’t be possible without the generous support from our dedicated partners. These organizations truly investing into all that is uniquely Michigan. Learn more about them below and give them your support!

Winter At Frederik Meijer Gardens &Amp; Sculpture Park In Grand Rapids, Michigan

Experience the New Immersive Light Show at Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids is one of the jewels of Michigan that’s fun to visit all year long. But December is a great time to visit for the Immersive Light Experience.

This awe-inspiring show is inspired by the natural world and takes place at the Frederick Meijer Gardens Amphitheater.

The one-of-a-kind experience adds a new dimension to the holidays and is fun for the whole family. Shows last 20 minutes and play every half hour on select dates.

Frederik Meijer Gardens has several other winter events that are fun for the whole family.

Christmas Cabaret is making a return after several years and is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Cocktails and a gourmet dinner are followed by a choral performance and a musical featured entertainer.

Wintertime Walks are another great activity at the Gardens. Even on chilly days, you can bundle up and take the whole family for a stroll in the popular Children’s Garden to discover the wonders it holds.

Map Of Michigan

Celebrate Michigan’s Birthday With an A to Z Scavenger Hunt

January is the state of Michigan’s birthday month! On January 26, 1837, Michigan officially became the 26th state in the union.

And what better way to celebrate Michigan than by exploring and learning about our great state? Since Michigan became the 26th state on the 26th of January, we’ve come up with 26 ways to celebrate using the 26 letters of the alphabet.

Throughout the month of January, see how many of these 26 Michigan-themed activities you can check off!

Ice Fishing

Catch a Fish While Ice Fishing on Fletchers Pond in Alpena

Ice fishing is a great wintertime activity in Michigan. If you love ice fishing, you won’t find many spots better than Fletcher Pond. Located in Hillman, just east of Alpena, this pond is filled with plenty of pan fish and bass, and pike.

Hunker down in your shanty and spend a great day on the water hooking into all kinds of fish.

If you want to make the most of the ice fishing season, you can go to numerous spots around the state.

Head to the Upper Peninsula and go fishing in Keweenaw Bay in the heart of Lake Superior. The UP’s cold winters mean the ice is strong and solid for fishing and anglers can try their luck fishing for lake trout, brown trout, and whitefish among other species.

In Barry County, Gun Lake is a great place for ice fishing and anglers can hook into walleye, northern pike, and bluegill.

Lake St. Clair in the Southeast Lower Peninsula is an awesome fishing destination any time of the year. But in winter, Lake St. Clair is dotted with anglers, shanties, and ice fishing gear as anglers fish for perch and pan fish.

Bowling - Winter Indoor Thing To Do

Stay Warm and Have Fun Inside

Winter is a magical time to spend outdoors, but sometimes, you might want a warm (or dry) break from the weather. Flint and Genesee County are full of indoor attractions that are perfect for some winter family fun. 

No matter how old your kids are, you’ll be able to find fun indoor things to do throughout Flint and Genesee County during the winter season.

For some fun family competition, head to one of the Bowl Flint Blowing Centers — B’s Bowling and Richfield Bowl. These independently owned, modern bowling alleys even feature kid-friendly bumper bowling lanes. There’s also Cosmic Bowling with black lights, disco lights, laser lights, and runway lights.

At the Flint Children’s Museum, kids between 2 and 10 years will love all of the hands-on learning experiences, such as the Magnet Wall, Raceways, Augmented Reality Sandbox, and Simple Circuits.

All winter long, you have the opportunity to watch the Flint Firebirds fly across the ice in energetic matches at Dort Financial Center. Since 2015, dozens of the players on this junior ice hockey team have been drafted and signed into the National Hockey League.

Downtown Holland Shopping

Shop, Sip, and Stroll Snow-Free on Downtown Holland's Heated Sidewalks

If you love winter shopping, you’ll love shopping in the West Michigan town of Holland, which has the largest municipal snowmelt system in the nation. A network of plastic tubing heats the sidewalks, so there’s no snow to walk through.

After you’ve had your fill of shopping, head to Pigeon Creek Park, where there are plenty of trails to explore by hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

If you’re looking for more outdoor winter, head to the local sledding hills of Holland. Throughout the city, you can find hills of all different sizes and lengths that appeal to sledders of all ages. So bundle up and grab your sled!

Tea

Sip a Hot Mug of Tea at Tabby's Tea at Tea Bee

If you’re looking for a way to take the chill out of a cold winter day, there’s no better place to warm up than Tabby’s Tea at Tea Bee in Grand Blanc. Run by a husband and wife team, this quaint shop prides itself on offering customers delicious, organic, fair-trade tea. 

Tea enthusiasts can pull up a seat and sample some of their favorite flavors in the tea room with 4 and 6 tea flights available. There’s also wi-fi, delicious welsh cakes, and even mugs available for purchase — all the ingredients you need for a fun visit!

If you’re a lover of coffee and tea, pay a visit to some of the other amazing coffee shops in the Mitten State.

Java Jones in Elk Rapids has numerous coffee specialties, including an Elk Rapids Cherry Mocha and great gourmet sandwiches.

Water Street Coffee Joint in Kalamazoo aims to give customers the perfect cup of coffee every time and offers visitors numerous coffee and tea options. You can even pick up all you need for brewing coffee and tea at home.

Foster Coffee Company in Owosso is located right in Owosso’s historic downtown and aims to “foster community through coffee.” To that end, you’ll find everything from hot chocolate to tea to espresso-based drinks and everything in between.

Tahquamenon Falls

See Frozen Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a popular destination for Michiganders and out-of-state visitors alike. It’s not hard to see why.

The Upper Falls are 50 feet high and 200 feet wide and the Lower Falls, located four miles below, are just as fun to see. At both spots, you can catch excellent views of some of the best frozen waterfalls the state can offer in winter.

Michigan has a lot of frozen waterfalls worth seeing if you’re up for an adventure this winter.

In the Northern Lower Peninsula, be sure to stop by Ocqueoc Falls. It’s the biggest and only natural waterfall in the Lower Peninsula and has universal accessibility.

Bridalveil Falls, along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, is a fantastic spot if you’re yearning to climb a frozen waterfall. It’s about a half-mile from Miner’s Beach and the water plunges right into the mighty Lake Superior.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park near Ontonagon has beautiful hemlock forests, but it’s also home to several frozen waterfalls worth seeing, especially along the Presque Isle River.

Winter Up Road Trip

Take a Winter Road Trip in the UP

The Upper Peninsula may not seem like a great place to visit, but winter is actually the perfect time to explore the wonders of the U.P.

There are so many places you can go on a UP road trip: the photo possibilities are endless, there are tons of scenic views, and lots of great local restaurants.

Here are a few of our favorite spots:

Head west of the Mackinac Bridge to Epoufette. You can enjoy incredible views from a bluff along Lake Michigan and then head into the local diner for a great meal and a cup of coffee.

Sugarloaf Mountain, which overlooks Marquette is a road trip you’ll want to take. In the winter months, you can hike up the mountain for a 360-degree look at the mighty Lake Superior.

Munising Falls is a great spot to see a frozen waterfall up close. The frozen falls are completely frozen and visitors have reported being able to walk directly up to the huge column of ice and touch it.

The Market

Experience "The Market" in St. Joe

St. Joesph is one of Southwest Michigan’s most scenic towns and one of the best things to do there is pay a visit to The Market. Opened in September 2021, this place has become a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike.

If you love all-in-one shopping, the Market is the spot to go. The indoor market has (to name a few stores), the Wine Shoppe, Wild Ginger Flowers, Dad’s Cafe, Dad’s Farm, and the Cheese Lady. So grab yourself a cup of coffee and start shopping!

If you love shopping, there are numerous markets and malls in Michigan to shop at.

Detroit’s Eastern Market is a great place to shop, whether you’re looking to stock up on fresh produce or some specialty foods. Not only can you buy fresh flowers and produce from the market’s sheds, but you can also visit Al’s Fish Seafood and Chicken, City Girls Soap, Corridor Sausage Co, Cheech’s Chicken, and the famous Rocky Mountain Peanut Co.

The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is one of Traverse City’s premier shopping destinations with plenty of options for shopping and dining. Stop into unique boutiques and local shops and grab a tasty bite to eat. If you want to stretch your legs after shopping, the Commons is surrounded by hiking and biking trails to explore.

Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills is a perennial favorite shopping spot among Michiganders. Shoppers can find a number of brand-name stores, tasty eateries, and even a few play areas for kids.

Cross Country Skiing

Experience Algonquin Cross-Country Ski Trail in Sault Ste. Marie

Located in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, this trail is always beautifully groomed and maintained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The trail opens in November and is last groomed in late February. The pathway stretches for nine miles and has lighting so visitors can go for a nighttime ski.

There are numerous cross-country ski trails in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and when snow hits the ground, there’s no shortage of places to go.

The ABR Ski Area in Ironwood is a full-service ski touring center, but also offers miles of trails for scenic cross-country skiing. It is traditionally open from November to early April.

The Keweenaw Peninsula offers skiers about 100 kilometers of groomed trails that are perfect for skate skiing as well as classic Nordic skiing.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park has lots to see, but in the winter it offers more than 20 miles of groomed cross-country trails across 60,000 acres of wilderness right next to Lake Superior.

Ice Carving

Attend the Plymouth Ice Festival

Michigan has lots of great winter festivals and events, including the annual Plymouth Ice Festival. This world-class event takes place each February and is packed with fun events, including ice craving displays, ice festival bingo, and plenty of opportunities to explore Downtown Plymouth’s eateries and shops.

If you love winter festivals, you’re in luck because Michigan has a lot of them.

The Michigan Ice Fest in Munising is one of the nation’s longest-running ice festivals and is a welcome break from the chill of winter every February.

The festival’s schedule of events includes courses on climbing, presentations from climbing equipment manufacturer sales reps, and lots of after-parties and socials.

Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival in Houghton is an annual February celebration of everything people love about winter and has been going strong for 100 years. There’s a snow statue-building competition, sleigh rides, comedy skits, outdoor activities like broomball, and so much more. 

Head to West Michigan for Grand Haven Winterfest, which has activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy. There’s a famous cardboard sled race, bonfires, glow bowling, a family dog pull, and even snow volleyball.

Sloan Discovery Museum - Flint, Michigan

Experience the Sloan Museum

The Sloan Museum is part of the Flint Cultural Center and is home to fun hands-on science exhibits that visitors of all ages can enjoy. In all, it holds more than 400,000 artifacts that relate Flint’s rich history, including a collection of historic autos.

No matter what your interests are, Michigan has dozens of delightful museums that you’ll want to make plans to explore.

The Museum of Ojibwa Culture in St. Ignace celebrates Native American culture with indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as videos. There’s also a gift shop with numerous handmade native crafts.

The Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Experience in Portage brings air and space exploration to life with a multitude of experiences. Visitors can enjoy a flight simulation, hands-on exhibits, and even airborne amusement park rides.

The Saginaw Railway Museum is one of the state’s smaller museums, but it’s impressive nonetheless. It’s located at the former Pere Marquette Rail Depot and features a cool collection of old train cars.

Sledding Hill

Sled Down City Forest Sledding Hill

One of the best parts of winter is all the fun activities you can do. If you love sledding and tobogganing, Midland’s City Forest is one of the premier spots in Michigan to go.

City Forest has four hand-packed toboggan runs, each measuring a tenth of a mile long. There are also 7.5 miles of groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and 13 miles of year-round mountain biking trails too.

As if that wasn’t enough, City Forest also has a large ice rink available to skaters of all levels, a groomed sledding hill that allows for night sledding, and a chalet to warm up with a hot drink.

If you’re a sledding junkie, here are a few more of our favorite spots to go:

Kensington Metro Park in Milford is the perfect metro Detroit spot to go for a fun sledding experience and tobogganing. Make sure to bring your own sleds and dress warm.

Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township becomes a wonderland in winter spread out over 5,000 acres. If you’re looking for downhill adventure, you’ll find it here with opportunities to sled and tube.

Binder Park Golf Course in Battle Creek is popular in warmer months, but it’s also popular in winter when it transforms into a winter sports park with places to sled, toboggan, and tube. Equipment rentals are also available. 

Mackinac Bridge, Straits Of Mackinac

See Blue Ice in the Straits of Mackinac

If you ever needed a good excuse to see the Mackinac Bridge in winter or to see Mackinac Island in the distance, the blue ice that forms in the Straits of Mackinac is the perfect reason.

Ice shards with their pretty blue hue line the water, attracting local, tourists, and so many others. When the sun hits the ice just right, it’s enough to make your jaw drop in wonder.

For the record, the ice isn’t really blue, but it seems that way because it doesn’t have bubbles in it so it’s easily able to reflect the blue part of white light.

If you’re not able to make it to Northern Michigan to see the blue ice, you can find it in the Upper Peninsula as well on the shores of Lake Superior in Munising. If you want to travel even further, north you can see it in Houghton near Michigan Tech University.

Dog Sledding

Go For a Dog Sled Ride at Shanty Creek

There are lots of fun activities to enjoy at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire and dogsledding is one of the most unique.

Visitors can travel along the landscape of Schuss Mountain and enjoy incredible views as they enjoy a dogsledding experience that lasts about 20 minutes.

The ride is about a mile long and visitors can also have a meet and greet with the sled dog team and take photos. Ride options include one adult, one adult and one child, or two children.

If dogsledding isn’t quite your thing, you can enjoy alpine tubing at Summit Mountain’s Alpine Tubing Park. It allows all the thrills of sledding without having to climb all the way back up.

Shanty Creek Resort also has 25km of groomed, track-set trails that are perfect for cross-country skiing. Visitors can enjoy a village-to-village experience as they see the winter wonderland around them.

Visitors can also slip on a pair of snowshoes and start trekking. You can make your own trail or traverse a 3km multipurpose trail.

Winter Camping

Experience Winter Camping at Clear Lake State Park

Winter camping isn’t for everyone, but a handful of Michigan State Parks offer winter camping, including Clear Lake State Park in Atlanta.

Clear Lake State Park offers visitors a quiet spot to retreat to, especially as the weather turns colder and the leaves change color. Remember to pack plenty of winter gear and weather clothing.

If you’re camping around Clear Lake State Park, you have many recreation options right at your fingertips.

Travel to Hillman, where you can go ice fishing at Fletchers Pond, or head to Thunder Bay Resort, where you can board a horse-drawn carriage and see majestic elk up close.

If you want to travel a little further, head further east to Alpena and visit the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. You won’t be able to see any of Thunder Bay’s famous shipwrecks in winter, but you can learn all about them at the visitor’s center.

Alpena Ice Fest - Alpena, Michigan

Attend the Alpena Ice Festival

The Alpena Ice Festival made a triumphant return in 2022 and was well-received despite bone-chilling temperatures.

The festival has plans to return in 2023 and should be chockful of activities, including ice sculptures, a huge bonfire, demonstrations, kids’ activities, and plenty of warm drinks and yummy food.

There are so many fun activities we can recommend in Alpena. 

If you’re in Alpena during wintertime, you can head to local lakes for some ice fishing, explore downtown Alpena for some excellent shopping and dining, and even head to Northern Lights Arena for some ice skating.

Night Snow Tubing

Experience Night Tubing at Bowers Farm

If you live in Metro Detroit, then you’ve likely heard about Bowers Farm and all the fun you can have there. This one-of-a-kind farm is a cold-weather destination that draws thousands of visitors each year.

One of the most popular activities here is snow tubing and Bowers Farm has a huge course. But Bowers takes things to the next level by offering nighttime tubing where the hill is lit up for glow tubing. It’s a truly unique experience you need to try for yourself!

Bowers Farm offers so much more than tubing and there are plenty of winter activities worth visiting for.

Every year, Bowers creates an outdoor ice skating rink, allowing visitors of all ages to create some wonderful winter memories. Get here while you can because skating is available when the temperatures are cold enough to maintain the rink.

Bowers also has a farm kitchen/farm store that allows visitors to buy farm-fresh goods and hot concessions. This is the perfect way to warm up after tubing, especially with a hot slice of pizza and some hot chocolate.

Unique Romantic Date Ideas In Flint

Sneak Away for a Romantic Weekend

If you think there aren’t many romantic things to do during the winter in Michigan, you’re in for a real treat when you visit Flint and Genesee County. Whether you want to spend time together indoors or outdoors, you can choose from several unique and intimate winter date ideas in Mid-Michigan.

In the evening, a romantic dinner is always a great winter date idea in Flint and Genesee County. Like having a candlelit dinner, getting cozy together with steamy cups of coffee or hot chocolate (or whatever treat you choose) can be a very romantic experience.

Are you a couple who loves to enjoy art, music, and culture on a date? Flint is the place to be. In fact, the city is home to the Flint Cultural Center, which has some of the most fantastic winter date ideas. Beyond that, though, there are other venues to enjoy the arts on your romantic rendezvous. If you and your partner love to watch shows while you eat, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in Flint and Genesee County that host live entertainment.

The Hilton Garden Inn is one of the best places for couples because it’s located in downtown Flint and within a short drive from many of the date activities above. The hotel is also home to Sauce Italian American Kitchen and the Simmer Rooftop Lounge.

Charles H. Wright Museum Of African American History

Celebrate Black History Month at the Charles H. Wright Museum

Black History Month in February is a time to highlight the impact that Black people have made in their rich history. If you’re looking to learn more about Black history, there’s no better place than the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit.

With immersive exhibits and well-crafted displays, the museum takes visitors on a journey to learn the rich history of Black people, their struggles during colonial times, and their contributions to so many aspects of world and American society.

Michigan has many great museums, especially in Detroit and we have several we recommend if you’re in the Motor City.

The Motown Museum in Detroit is home of Hitsville USA, where so many great singers like Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and the Temptations made their mark.

 The Detroit Institute of Arts is arguably one of the finest art museums in the nation. Visitors will be blown away by nearly 70,000 pieces and more than 100 galleries, covering everything from African American art, European art, and even baseball cards.

Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village could be considered one of the best Michigan museums that no one knows about. Its phenomenal collection of historic items, including the Rosa Parks bus, a chair Abe Lincoln once sat in, and even a historic carousel are a sight to behold.

Little Caesars Arena - Detroit, Michigan - Detroit Red Wings

Cheer on the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena

If you’re a sports fanatic, wintertime is one of the best times of the year to cheer on Michigan’s pro and college teams.

As of the National Hockey League’s Original Six Teams, the Detroit Red Wings have a storied history and lots of up-and-coming talent that make a winter trip to Little Caesars Arena a must during the colder months.

Michigan sports nuts are in luck because there are lots of places you go to watch live sports in the winter.

If you’re more of a basketball fan, that’s ok too. You can still head to Little Caesars Arena to watch the Detroit Pistons play.

Not to be forgotten, but a trip to Ford Field to watch the Detroit Lions play. The Lions may infuriate fans one week and excite them the next, but a trip to Ford Field always makes for a fun time.

If you’re looking for other options besides pro sports, head to Ann Arbor or East Lansing. The University of Michigan has highly-ranked men’s basketball and hockey programs.

The same is true in East Lansing where Michigan State University’s men’s basketball and hockey programs are always a tough matchup for opponents. If you’re lucky, you may see Michigan and Michigan State go head-to-head.

Kalamazoo Curling Club

Go Curling in Kalamazoo

If you’ve ever wanted to try an Olympic sport without actually competing in the Olympics, the Kalamazoo Curling Club is the perfect spot to have a unique winter adventure.

Curling may look difficult, but anyone of any age can learn and you’ll find that curlers and curling clubs tend to support one another. Review some curling basics, bundle up and come with an open mind as you prepare to learn curling in Southwest Michigan.

There are many places you can learn Olympic sports in Michigan and plenty of cities in Michigan with curling clubs. You can head to Alpena, Traverse City, and Lansing among other cities.

If you’re looking to experience thrills (sort of) like an Olympian, you can try speed skating at the Wolverine Sports Club in Ann Arbor.

You can also hit the slopes, not for skiing, but for snowboarding, which is one of the more popular winter Olympic sports. Muskegon is actually said to be one of the birthplaces of snowboarding and you can visit Boyne Highlands or Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac to bust out a few moves.

Point Betsie Winter

Explore Frozen Lighthouses

There are dozens of lighthouses across Michigan that are fun to visit any time of year. But you’ll gain a new appreciation for all of Michigan’s lighthouses by visiting in the winter. You may even argue that Michigan’s lighthouses look better in winter.

Head just north of Frankfort to Point Betsie on the shores of Lake Michigan, where you can this majestic lighthouse amid the frozen waters.

Head north toward the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinaw City to Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. This is a great place to see the Straits of Mackinac and you can even see the Mackinac Bridge during the colder months.

Hug the Lake Michigan coastline and visit Muskegon to see the South Breakwater Lighthouse where you can see the iconic red tower mixed with the frigid cold of winter.

Ice Balls - South Haven, Michigan

Throw Ice Balls onto Lake Michigan

During the winter, ice balls of all sizes have been known to form on Lake Michigan, just to the south of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Some are smaller, but the bigger ones can grow as big as softballs and beach balls.

The phenomenon happens in several places in Europe as well, including in Germany and Scandinavia.

According to experts, the balls form when weather conditions are just below freezing along Lake Michigan’s shallow beaches. When that happens, frozen slush collects into rounded shapes and waves polish the chucks into their orb shape.

So if you’re around Lake Michigan when it happens, take a minute to marvel at the collection of ice around you and take another minute to grab a couple of these icy balls and chuck them into Lake Michigan.

Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park

Play in the Snow at Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park

The luge is one of the most exhilarating and iconic Winter Olympic sports and if you’re a fan of luge in Michigan, you’re in luck. You can become a luger yourself by visiting Muskegon Luge Sports Park.

You read that right! The luge track in Muskegon is only one of four in the nation and is considered by some to be a hidden gem.

The track is a kunstbahn track (German for artificial track) and is made from natural ice. The track measures 850 feet and was designed by a former Olympian. There are six curves and two starting areas. Once visitors are on the track, it’s possible to reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

If you love outdoor recreating in the winter, Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park offers much more than luging and is a fun year-round spot.

Visitors have a chance to go cross-country skiing on immaculately groomed trails in the state park. These trails are gentle and lighted, so they’re perfect for night skiing and for visitors of all ages to hit the slopes.

Those looking for something a little slower-paced can strap on a pair of skates and go ice skating. The park actually has more than two acres of natural ice and even offers lighted skating trails. For both of those reasons, it’s known as one of the best places to learn to ski.

The natural ice isn’t just good for skating, it’s also good for pond hockey. Native Michiganders know hockey is a popular wintertime activity and the park offers space for pond hockey as well as equipment rentals, so you can bring your friends and family for a fun pickup game. 

Eben Ice Caves

Explore the Eben Ice Caves

As you’ve read, there are some seriously cool natural phenomena that happen during Michigan winters. If you love seeing these wonders up closer, then may we suggest a visit to the Eben Ice Caves in the Upper Peninsula?

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to travel to the UP in winter to check out some marvelous ice formations? As long as you’ve got some ice cleats on, you can ease your way into the cave openings for some seriously cool views you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re brave enough to attempt it, you can get some awesome pictures.

If you think those ice caves are cool, there are other spots in Michigan where you can see more of them.

In Munising, the Grand Island Ice Caves can be seen from the Sand Point beaches. Take care though, because walking on the lake is not recommended due to undetermined ice thickness.

Michigan also has numerous caves you can visit during warmer months too. Greenland’s Adventure Mine is a great showcase of Michigan’s mining history and offers different seasonal tours that take you inside a mine.

Spider Cave, located near Fayette, is perhaps one of the most unique caves in Michigan and has two distinct features that make it a place worth visiting. It’s been the site of a lot of artifact collecting and it’s the site of different cave drawings, including a spider-man.

Go Snowshoeing At Fumee Lake

Go Snowshoeing at Fumee Lake

Fumee Lake Natural Area in Quinnesec is one of the Upper Peninsula’s most popular destinations for outdoor recreation in cold weather months. For skiing, it’s an easy place for beginners to gain confidence and build their skills.

The area has many multi-use trails, including the Little Fumee Lake Loop and the Big Fumee Lake Loop. Both trails encompass almost seven miles, so it’s perfect for strapping on some snowshoes and exploring the UP’s natural beauty.

If you love snowshoeing, there are dozens of spots to go in Michigan for the perfect winter adventure.

Mount Ripley Ski Area offers excellent snowshoeing and ski trails overlooking the Keweenaw Peninsula. The area is perfect for snowshoers and skiers of all ages and has nearly two dozen trails and plenty of scenic overlooks.

Believe it or not, the east side of Mackinac Island is also a great place for snowshoeing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. There are two pathways for snowshoers and 10 miles of trails for cross-country skiing.

The Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids has more than 250 acres for snowshoeing and also has an education. If you come back in February, you can participate in the Snowshoe With Your Sweetie event, which includes some candlelit snowshoeing.

Ski Brule

Plan a Ski-cation at Ski Brule

Michigan has so many excellent ski resorts and areas and Ski Brule resort in Iron River is one of our absolute favorites.

Located just a few miles from the Wisconsin border, this is a great place for some family fun. It has everything from skiing to snow tubing, and kids programs too.

Ski Brule is a family-owned operation that has offered quality skiing since 1977 across 150 acres of gorgeous terrain. In all, there are 17 trails suited for skiers of all skill levels.

Because Michigan has so many top-notch ski resorts, there are so many places we recommend checking out.

Mount Bohemia at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula gets dozens of inches of snow every year and has nearly 600 acres of skiable terrain and a 900-foot vertical drop.

Boyne Resorts in Harbor Springs is not just one of the biggest resorts in Michigan,  but it’s also perfect for beginners. Boyne Highlands has more than 50 runs, 20 easy green trails and so much more.

Boyne Mountain Resort packs plenty of fun for families too, offering 60 runs as well as ice skating, snow tubing, and snowboarding among other activities.

Winter Yurt

Go Winter Yurt Camping at Craig Lake State Park

Craig Lake State Park is billed as the most remote in Michigan, but if you’re looking for a slice of solitude, the Park’s Teddy Lake Yurt is the place to go.

If you’re wondering what a yurt is, it’s essentially a fancy tent resting on a wooden platform with some essentials inside. It allows people to indulge in a bit of glamourous camping, or glamping.

The Teddy Lake Yurt is about seven miles from US-41 and is the only structure on the lake. You’ll find two sets of bunk beds, a dining table, and a few basic needs for a rustic camping experience.

If you’re looking for other glamping experiences in Michigan, you’re in luck because there are several spots you can go to.

Head to Northwest Michigan into the middle of the Leelanau Peninsula to Wild Cherry Resort. You’ll be able to glamp in the middle of wine country and you can even pay for an upgrade of wine, cheese, and flowers. This is a perfect experience if you’re a camper and a wine lover.

In Alanson, you can go glamping at RGarges Farm Vintage Airstream. You’ll be tucked into a secluded corner about 40 miles from Lake Michigan and you can even get your hands dirty with some farming or fun activities like barnyard yoga.

Mount Bohemia Adventure Resort’s Mountaintop Yurt morphs into an all-inclusive resort in the wintertime. Visitors can book a yurt in a hostel, inn, or log cabin and many of these packages also include meals, lodging, and guides for outdoor activities.

Bronner'S Christmas Wonderland

Spend the Day Browsing Bronners CHRISTmas Wonderland

If you love Christmas and Christmas decor, you’ll be in heaven when you visit this famous Frankenmuth store. Stopping at Bronners is an absolute must and it’s little wonder that more than 2 million people make a trip here every year.

Here you’ll find just about anything Christmas related you could dream of — ornaments, sweet treats, trees, lawn decorations, stockings, and so much more. And it’s spread out over more than 1.5 football fields worth of space, so there’s plenty to see.

Take your time and fill your basket with Christmas goodies, because you’ll definitely be in the holiday spirit by the time you’re done. 

Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region has lots of shopping options and you can find numerous gifts for friends and family.

River Place Shops in Frankenmuth has many quaint little shops including Bead Haven, a jerky outlet, a comic and gaming store, and much more.

My Secret Garden in Downtown Bay City is a great spot to find the perfect gift. You can find sweatshirts, bags, footwear, kitchen gadgets, and lots of other surprises.

Christmastide in Traverse City is open year-round and is a great place to get into the holiday spirit. The store, along with a sister store, Country Christmas, specializes in beautiful handmade, hand-painted items.

Christmas Tree Farm

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree at Dutchman Tree Farms

There’s something fun and exhilarating about going out and cutting down your own Christmas tree to have in your home for the holidays. If having a real tree is part of your holiday tradition, Dutchman Tree Farms is the perfect place to get it.

Here you’ll get a high-quality tree directly from the source and it will be one you’ll be proud to have in your home. You can even request a product catalog to see all their amazing products.

In addition to Dutchman Tree Farms, there are many other spots to cut your own trees around the state.

Huron View Tree Farms in Black River is another family-owned tree farm where you can pick from several different species of tree and then cut the one you want.

Pinecrest U Cut Christmas Tree Farm in Galien has both U-cut and pre-cut options available. The farm even has colored trees available to take your Christmas tree to a new and exciting level.

Hill Top Nursery in Bad Axe offers a real slice of Americana and, of course, the chance to cut your own Christmas tree. Visitors can choose from Norway Spruce, White Spruce, and Colorado Blue Spruce, among other options.

Nite Lites At Michigan International Speedway Mis

Tour the Best Holiday Light Displays in Jackson

The most wonderful time of the year means sipping hot cocoa, sledding, and of course, holiday lights. There’s nothing better than piling into the family car, snacking on treats, and looking at the lights around you.

Some of the best free displays you can find during Christmastime can be found in Jackson County.

If you really love looking at Christmas lights, there are so many magnificent displays you can see all around the state. 

Head to N. Vandenboom Ave in Marquette in the UP to the Carter’s Christmas Lights. This house is ridiculously decked out in lights and covered with everything from the Grinch to Santa Claus.

The Herman family creates holiday magic at their home on E. Murray Ct in Suttons Bay. They open their property to the public and allow visitors of all ages to see their wonderful light displays.

The Croton Township Campground in Newaygo puts on an annual Colors of Christmas display that visitors can take a slow drive through or even hike through. The display is open from around Thanksgiving to the beginning of January, so you’ve plenty of time to see it.  

Christmas Tree

Experience the Magic of the Holidays at Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad

Visitors to this Flint mainstay have described it as taking a trip back in time. Crossroads Village contains more than 20 structures, some dating back to the 1800s. Because some of the buildings are so old, the village is traveled on foot with no vehicles allowed.

Spend the day marveling at a one-room schoolhouse or take a ride on a genuine 1900s steam locomotive. You can even watch a vaudeville show at the Colwell Opera House. Once you’ve checked out all the structures, come back for some of the village’s special events.

There’s so much to see and do in Flint, including several family-friendly places you can visit to unplug.

The Flint Children’s Museum has tons of activities for kids of all ages, even toddlers. Many organizations contribute money to allow for free admission days, allowing visitors to enjoy this treasure.

The Longway Planetarium is quite impressive and recent renovations have given it the biggest dome in Michigan and one-of-a-kind projectors. Different shows highlight the vastness of space, the human body, robots, and even Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon album with cool visuals.

The For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum in Burton is a marvelous oasis of nature with so much to see. Grab one of the preserve’s discovery backpacks and encounter wildlife, trees, and much more on a peaceful nature walk.

Christmas House

Visit the Santa House in Midland

Located right in the heart of Midland, the Santa House sees nearly 300 Santas come to town to learn the fine art of being the man in the red suit. In fact, this is the best and oldest Santa school in the world!

When Christmastime comes, Santa takes up residence at the Santa House and is visited by scores of children wanting to share their Christmas wishes.

In addition to visiting the Santa House, there are many great holiday activities in Midland to get into the holiday spirit.

Holly Jolly Days offers visitors a chance to get some holiday shopping done with some great deals in downtown Midland.

Midland’s Holiday Parade takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving and has been going strong with a different theme every year since its inception in 1985.

The Jingle Bell Fun Run in downtown Midland is the perfect excuse to don your Christmas apparel and take part in a mile-long fun run.

"This list was amazing. We haven't taken a trip together in the ten years we've known each other... We decided life was too short and there were too many great places we were missing because we weren't making adventures a priority. I’m sure this sounds super cheesy, but having this list was a true blessing for us.”
Love On Lake Michigan.
Amber
Past #MIAwesomeList Participant