Welcome to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, a charming town that transforms into a picturesque setting during the winter months. Here, the season brings a unique charm, offering both adventure and relaxation in this idyllic environment.
Mt. Pleasant has everything from thrilling outdoor adventures to cozy indoor spots that’ll make you feel right at home. We’re talking about a place where you can soak up all the fun and charm that winter brings.
Conveniently located in the middle of the Lower Peninsula, Mt. Pleasant is the perfect winter weekend getaway destination. Ready to explore what this beautiful town has in store for us? Let’s go!
Thanks to Mt. Pleasant Area CVB for partnering with Awesome Mitten to bring you this ad-free Michigan winter destination guide.
Outdoor Winter Activities in Mt. Pleasant
In Mt. Pleasant, the winter season transforms the landscape into a stunning playground for outdoor enthusiasts. And whether Mother Nature blesses us with snow or not, there’s plenty of fun to be enjoyed in the great outdoors.
You can embark on scenic hikes along our trails or experience the thrill of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. For more excitement, winter sports lovers can jump into exhilarating downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.
Winter Hiking Through CWC Nature Preserves
At the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy’s Nature Preserves, each step along the trails is a step into a tranquil world. The silence of the woods, punctuated by the occasional chirp of a winter bird, creates a serene backdrop for your adventure.
The frost-kissed trees and the soft crunch of snow underfoot add to the sensory experience, making the preserves the perfect retreat for nature lovers. Below are some of our favorite preserves with hiking trails.
Audubon Woods Preserve
Audubon Woods Preserve is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil escape into nature with its dense forests and well-maintained trails perfect for serene walks. A quarter-mile of the preserve rests along the Chippewa River, and the 40 acres has been a nesting ground for Louisiana Waterthrush for many years.
Starks Preserve is a haven for nature lovers, boasting diverse wildlife and a variety of native plants within its verdant landscape.
It has several well-marked trails that lead you through a serene forest, making it an ideal spot for peaceful hikes and bird-watching, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. You may even come across the abandoned orchard, which is marked by a group of old apple trees.
Sylvan Solace Preserve
Consisting of 78 acres, Sylvan Solace Preserve is the most accessible large preserve for Mt. Pleasant residents and visitors to explore. As it transforms into a magical winter escape, its 1.4 miles of trails become blanketed in soft snow, ideal for tranquil winter hiking and nature photography.
The quiet of the preserve, accentuated by the muffled sounds of the landscape, provides a serene refuge for connecting with nature in its most peaceful, wintry state. You can even visit the preserve for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, & Sledding in Deerfield Nature Park
Perhaps you prefer a day filled with snowshoeing or cross-country skiing across Deerfield Nature Park’s expansive white canvas. The nearly 8 miles of single and double-track trails are well-groomed for cross-country skiing and are a haven for enthusiasts of all skill levels.
And, there’s a separate section at the north end of the park that’s groomed for hiking, walking, and snowshoeing. For more thrills, the sledding hill offers a joyful descent, echoing with the laughter and cheers of families and friends.
No snow? No problem. A winter hike at Deerfield Nature Park is very enjoyable and a great way to get some fresh air during the colder months of the year.
Downhill Skiing, Snowboarding, & Tubing at Snow Snake Ski & Golf
For the exhilaration of downhill skiing, snowboarding, or tubing, head to Snow Snake Ski & Golf in nearby Harrison — one of the most underrated ski resorts. It has been open for skiing and snowboarding since 1949 and has two terrain parks, aiming to please all winter sports enthusiasts.
And, the facility caters to all skill levels — from gentle slopes for beginners to more challenging runs for the experienced. Feel the cold air against your face as you slide down the hill with the rush of adrenaline making every moment memorable.
Drinking Hot Beverages by the Outdoor Fire Pit at Ponder Coffee
After a day in the cold, warming up at the Ponder Coffee location in downtown Mt. Pleasant is one of the best feelings.
Sip on a hot beverage of your choice — a creamy hot chocolate or a robust coffee — while sitting around the fire pit. The warmth of the fire and the company make for a cozy end to an active day. The cafe menu features avocado toast, burritos, egg and other sandwiches, and waffles as well.
Mt. Pleasant Indoor Winter Activities
In Mt. Pleasant, the winter season offers a delightful array of indoor activities, providing warmth and entertainment even on the chilliest days. You can glide across the ice on skates, immerse yourself in culture, or enjoy some playful competition.
On top of that, a waterpark and museum offer families engaging and fun-filled experiences, ensuring that there’s something enjoyable for everyone indoors.
Ice Skating at Martin Ice Arena
At Martin Ice Arena, you get to ice skate with others while sharing smiles and laughter. The sound of blades cutting across the ice is rhythmic and soothing, and it’s a fun way to stay active during the winter months too.
You could even plan your trip to align with the Winter Wonderland Public Skate around mid-December, for which the arena plays holiday-themed music and offers snowflake-making, on-ice games, yummy treats, and hot chocolate.
Or, visit around the Christmas Public Skate closer to Christmas when the arena is filled with holiday music and offers hot cocoa, sweet treats, and photo opportunities. You can even enjoy arts and crafts during the event.
Learning at Ziibiwing Cultural Center
A visit to the Ziibiwing Cultural Center — where the rich history and vibrant culture of the indigenous people are showcased — can be enriching during the winter. The center’s exhibits and events offer a unique and insightful indoor experience, giving you a better understanding of the area’s heritage.
Hitting the Target at Valhalla Indoor Axe Throwing
Experience the unique thrill of axe throwing at Valhalla in Mt. Pleasant. Perfecting your throw and hitting the bullseye provides a sense of achievement and fun, making it a great way to spend time with friends or family. Additionally, it’s a fun way to celebrate birthdays, have a date night, and relieve stress.
Bouncing High at The Jump Station
The Jump Station is an indoor trampoline park where you can jump and flip until your heart’s content. There’s a freestyle jumping area, foam pit, trampoline basketball hoop, separate dodgeball section, and an inflatable park with four large bounce houses.
Open every day, The Jump Station is an energetic and fun way to spend a winter day, especially for families with children who need to burn some energy while staying dry and warm.
Watching Basketball at Central Michigan University
Visiting Mt. Pleasant in winter opens the door to the excitement of a live basketball game at Central Michigan University — both the men’s and women’s Chippewa teams play throughout the season. The energy of the crowd, the sound of the ball hitting the court, and the thrill of the game make for an unforgettable experience.
Swimming at Soaring Eagle Waterpark
For a warm and tropical oasis in the middle of winter, head to Soaring Eagle Waterpark. A day pass to this indoor waterpark offers a warm escape from the winter chill with a variety of water slides, lazy rivers, and an interactive play area for kids.
This indoor paradise can be the perfect escape for adventure and relaxation during the chilly season. Plus, the property has a pizza restaurant and a food court with an array of menu items, including hand-dipped and soft-serve ice cream.
Bowling at Riverwood Resort
Offering a timeless, vibrant experience for all ages, bowling at Riverwood can be a relaxing activity to do indoors during winter in Mt. Pleasant. The resort’s modern bowling lanes, combined with a lively atmosphere and excellent facilities, make it an ideal spot for casual play. And, a little bit of friendly competition can make the day or evening of bowling even more exciting.
Satisfying Curiosity at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum
With interactive space designed especially for children, the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum is a place where curiosity, exploration, and creativity are ignited. It focuses on hands-on learning experiences through a range of educational and engaging exhibits about science, nature, and the arts, providing a fun and educational environment for the young and young at heart.
Shopping in Downtown Mt. Pleasant
Spend a leisurely day browsing the charming shops in Mt. Pleasant’s downtown, which is lined with nearly 100 businesses, including specialty shops, art galleries, and a range of dining options.
Each store offers something unique — from Michigan-made art and books to high-quality boutique clothing — but has the charm and personal service of a small town. Here are a handful of highly recommended shops:
- At Trillium Fine Clothing, you can browse the latest fashions, including high-quality clothing, Vera Bradley products, and Clinique cosmetics.
- If you’re a book lover, Sleepy Dog Books is a must-visit for your next great read, and it also features items from women-owned businesses.
- For locally-made and unique items, Art Reach of Mid Michigan is a great stop for Michigan-made art, jewelry, stationery, and more.
- For Arts Sake offers an array of Michigan-made art and unique items that could be perfect for gifts or personal treats.
- If you’re interested in health-conscious and locally grown products, GreenTree Co-Op Market features local and Michigan-made beer, wine, food, and vegetables all year.
Catching Shows at the Broadway Theatre
An evening at the Broadway Theatre immerses you in the arts. Opened in 1929, it has become a cornerstone of the community’s cultural landscape. A rich history makes the theatre a unique and cherished part of downtown Mt. Pleasant.
Featuring 480 seats, this Mt. Pleasant icon hosts a variety of events, including concerts, classic films, and theatrical performances by local community theater troupes — The Broadway Players and The Broadway Playhouse Kids — all of which are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Relaxing With Spa Services at Pure Vitality
For a day of pampering, Pure Vitality has a serene environment and rejuvenating treatments, providing a peaceful escape from the winter cold.
This wellness center focuses on natural wellness and relaxation, featuring float pods for stress and pain relief, cryotherapy facials and spot treatments for skin health, and infrared massage beds and saunas with therapeutic benefits, like muscle relaxation and detoxification.
Complementing these spa services, Pure Vitality operates a juice bar that makes fresh, healthy options for nourishment. This combination of spa treatments and nutritional offerings caters to a holistic approach to well-being, refreshing and revitalizing both body and mind.
Enjoying Local Brews & Delicious Eats
There’s nothing like a relaxing evening at one of Mt. Pleasant’s breweries or restaurants. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or just looking for a cozy place to unwind, these venues offer a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Mountain Town Station
Mountain Town Station is a distinctive brewery and restaurant in a beautifully renovated train station. Known for its handcrafted beers it usually has about a dozen brews on tap.
The restaurant also has a comprehensive wine list and a diverse menu that appeals to a variety of tastes, including steaks, seafood, pasta, appetizers, and burgers. Its stone pizza oven is a local favorite with unique hand-crafted pies served piping hot.
The ambiance combines historical charm with modern brewing techniques, making it a unique and enjoyable dining and drinking destination in the area.
Hunter’s Ale House
Renowned for its high-quality handmade craft beer, Hunter’s Ale House is also popular for its delicious craft pizza, which is made with Michigan-sourced ingredients. It’s a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike, offering an authentic experience of Michigan’s craft beer culture along with daily food specials in a family-friendly environment.
This friendly and welcoming establishment is not just about great beer and food, though. Hunter’s Ale House also hosts weekly events — like Trivia and Karaoke — adding to its lively atmosphere.
Summit Smokehouse & Tap Room
Popular for its delectable smokehouse-style barbecue, Summit Smokehouse & Tap Room has a wide selection of craft beers — more than two dozen. The combination of hearty smoked meats and handcrafted beers provides a unique and satisfying culinary experience. Plus, the dining room has a cozy, inviting atmosphere that allows you to relax as you eat and drink.
Wood Shop Social
Wood Shop Social, a gastropub in the heart of the community, offers a unique blend of new American cuisine with a fine dining touch. Its relaxed atmosphere is perfect for families, students, and everyone in between. Enjoy their wood-fired options, small plates, and a fun Sunday brunch.
The Golden Churro
If you’re needing a sweet treat this winter in Mt. Pleasant, stop at The Golden Churro. Indulge in their heavenly churros, perfect for family treats, with various catering packages that promise to make your experience memorable. Savor the sweetness of Nutella, Chocolate, Caramel, and Lecherita syrups, served with warmth and joy.
Plan Your Michigan Winter Adventures in Mt. Pleasant
Mt. Pleasant Michigan offers a unique blend of exhilarating outdoor adventures and comforting indoor activities. From the quiet beauty of a snow-covered trail to the lively atmosphere of a local brewery, it offers a winter experience that is both diverse and fulfilling.
Play for the day, or grab a room at a local hotel and make a weekend of it. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Mt. Pleasant is the perfect Michigan winter weekend destination that’s close to home.