As many a Michigander knows, Michigan winters can sometimes be downright harrowing with freezing temperatures, heavy snow, and dangerous travel conditions. Sometimes those conditions can make things pretty miserable. But Michiganders know that winters in the Mitten State can be beautiful too, and no matter where you go, there are always plenty of fun activities.
If you’re looking for fun winter things to do in Mid-Michigan this year, the list below can help you make the most of the winter months:
Mid-Michigan Winter Things to Do: Winter Sports
The Greater Midland Curling Center offers plenty of fun for folks of all ages. Whether you’re new to the game or have been playing it for years, locals will tell you it’s highly addictive.
If you want to learn the ins and outs, the facility hosts several Learn to Curl events during the season and offers leagues for curlers of all skill levels.
If you’re a native Michigander, then you know how big hockey is throughout the state. Taking to the ice is a wonderful way to get into the spirit of the winter season and have some fun while you’re at it.
In Mid-Michigan, there are several ice rinks where you can go for free skates, pick-up hockey games, or to do on-ice activities like curling. The Isabella County County Events Arena, the Big Rapids Figure Skating Club, and the Gladwin Community Arena are a few more spots you can go if you want to lace up your skates.
If you’re in the Flint area, check out Physicians Park in Grand Blanc or the University of Michigan-Flint’s ice rink in downtown Flint.
If you’re looking to make the most of your outdoor time during the winter, you can’t go wrong by trekking the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, a 30-mile, paved scenic trail between Midland and Clare.
It’s maintained every day right down to the pavement and provides the perfect path for walking, biking, hiking, and running. If you’re in Genesee County, check out For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum, for some awesome snowshoeing trails.
Sledding & Tobogganing
If you’re looking for great sledding hills and toboggan runs, mid-Michigan has you covered.
The toboggan runs at Midland’s City Forest run a tenth of a mile in length and are some of the few that remain in Michigan.
If you’re looking for “sledding hills near me” in mid-Michigan, there are several in Midland with a variety of hills for people of all ages. Some, like Revere Neighborhood Park, offer smaller hills for younger children, and others, like Stratford Woods Park, have bigger hills for more advanced sledders.
Don’t forget to check out Toboggan Hill in Lapeer for a real sledding challenge.
No matter where you go, there’s no shortage of fun to be had if you’re spending the day sledding. You may get wet, you may get cold, but it will be hard to wipe the smile from your face or your family’s faces.
If you’re looking for a truly unique family activity, hit up Hawk Island Park in Lansing for some snowtubing.
If you love tubing to keep cool in the summer months, imagine doing the same thing, bundled up in your coats, boots, gloves, on these incredible tube runs. Once you’re done hitting the slopes, head to the snack bar and warm up with hot chocolate and smores.
If you’re the outdoorsy type when winter comes, there’s no better way to spend the day than by ice fishing. Tucked inside a shanty with a heater going, you and your friends or your family can huddle around your hole in the ice and try your hand at catching everything from walleye to bass to perch to bluegill to pike.
A visit to the Michigan DNR website can show you all of the public parks in your area where you can ice fish in mid-Michigan. Armed with a valid fishing license, the right equipment, and practicing proper safety on the ice, you’ll no doubt have a great time, no matter how cold it is.
Skiing, Snowboarding, & Snowshoeing
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, then you can’t go wrong with skiing, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing during the winter in mid-Michigan!
In Isabella County alone, around Mount Pleasant, you can hit up any number of local parks for sledding, cross country skiing, hiking, or downhill skiing. If you feel daring, you can explore Bundy Hill Preserve, the tallest point in Isabella County.
If you’re planning a family getaway or trying to plan a fun girls’ or guys’ winter weekend, you can’t go wrong with hitting the slopes.
There are great Michigan ski resorts all over the state, but Freeland’s Apple Mountain, Grayling’s Skyline Ski Area, Harrison’s Snow Snake Ski and Golf, and Farwell’s Silver Ridge Resort are a few of the places you need to check out if you’re in Mid-Michigan.
If you don’t own a pair of cross country skis, don’t sweat it. Many places offer a rental and there is no shortage of trails to check out. You can hit Midland City Forest Park in Midland, Wilson State Park in Harrison, and Roscommon’s Cross Country Ski Headquarters, just to name a few.
Celebrating the Holidays in Mid-Michigan
With cities like Christmas in the Upper Peninsula and attractions like Bronners Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, there is no shortage of Christmas attractions or activities in the Mitten State.
Holiday Lights & Displays
If Christmas is your thing during wintertime, head over to the Michigan Capitol building in Lansing. There you’ll see one of the state’s biggest trees and gorgeous holiday decorations and ornaments.
For more mid-Michigan holiday light displays, check out our giant list of the best Christmas lights in Michigan!
If you’re looking for the perfect gifts for friends and family during the holidays, the REO Town Marketplace Holiday Bazaar, which brings together local businesses and allows shoppers to get their hands on Michigan-made, homemade goods such as baked goods, clothing, and homemade crafts.
Downtown Mount Pleasant offers a variety of shopping options as well. There, you can find small boutiques, specialty shops, and other establishments to attract your attention. You’re sure to find something everyone will love.
Indoor Winter Attractions in Mid-Michigan
If you’re looking for great family activities in winter, but have younger kids and don’t want to be outside too long, you can’t go wrong with an indoor water park and/or family fun center.
In mid-Michigan, you should check out Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel in Mount Pleasant. Soaring Eagle is known around the state for its casino, but the indoor waterpark is 45,000 square feet of fun, with a play area for the kids, a rock-climbing wall, a wave rider, and a lazy river. If you and your significant other are looking to spend some time away from the kids, Soaring Eagle also has a private pool for adults, a sauna, and a hot tub.
Get Out and Explore Mid-Michigan This Winter
With a little bit of planning, a little bit of travel, and a big yearning for adventure, you can have an unforgettable winter in Mid-Michigan. Whether you’re ice skating, cross country skiing, taking in holiday decorations, or doing some holiday shopping, there is no shortage of wondrous winter activities in Mid-Michigan.