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15 Best Things To Do in Winter in Michigan

 

Are you looking for fun things to do in the winter in Michigan? If yes, then you have come to the right place!

Michigan in winter can be quite magical with lots of amazing snow landscapes and winter activities to enjoy.

Michigan, is a popular place to visit in Midwest and is an amazing winter destination for tourists.

The snow in Michigan turns the state into a fairyland with glittering ice caves, snow-covered lighthouses, and snowy trails.

Yes, it can be a little cold in Michigan in the winter but the twinkling lights turn the entire atmosphere into something magical.

Skiing, ice climbing, and ice skating are a few amazing things to do in winter in Michigan to make the most of the season.

For those who don’t like the cold, there are enough museums, indoor water parks, cafes, and attractions to keep them warm and cozy as they marvel at the winter landscape in Michigan.

Are you curious about what to do in winter in Michigan? Well, then check out our list of the 15 best things to do in winter in Michigan!

15 Best Things To Do in Winter in Michigan

Celebrate Christmas on Mackinac Island

If you are looking for a romantic winter getaway in Michigan with your partner, then Mackinac Island, an island in the Great Lakes, is a good choice.

Located in the middle of Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a beautiful 4-square-mile island where cars are banned and tourists can visit two historic forts or admire Victorian architecture.

There is a lot to do in Mackinac Island so it is a fantastic idea to plan a short winter vacation to this wonderful island.

One of the top things to do in Michigan in winter is visiting this secluded island which can be reached using a small plane after the lake freezes and ferries stop operating the route.

If you wish to play with snow in Michigan, then Mackinac Island’s winter season is the best way to experience that.

That’s not all, it is also one of the top places to celebrate Christmas in the Midwest.

Mackinac Island Christmas Bazaar is quite famous as it is held every year to fundraise money for the island’s medical center and church.

From handmade quilts to soaps, you will find all kinds of amazing gifts to buy here. Moreover, the tree lighting and the Carol singing give it all a festive vibe.

So, if you are looking for an amazing place to celebrate Christmas in Michigan, then Mackinac Island is the perfect destination for you.

Bridge surrounded by snow and ice

Explore the Eben Ice Caves

Are you looking for a unique place for sightseeing in Michigan? If yes, then one of the top winter attractions in Michigan that you must not miss is the Eben Ice Caves.

This Michigan winter attraction is formed due to the water seeping through the cliffs that freezes in the winters, resulting in amazing stalactites and ice curtains.

If you wear cleats, you can even walk behind these ice caves and enact the Frozen movie scenes.

Moreover, to reach these ice caves, you have to go through a winter hike near Marquette which makes this attraction even more fun for adventure seekers.

So, if you want fun things to do in winter in Michigan, then plan a day at the Eben Ice Caves where you can hike around and enjoy ice climbing.

People entering ice caves formed by frozen waterfall winter in michigan

Enjoy Winter Sports in Traverse City

Located at the foot of Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City is famous for its beautiful lakes, wineries, and several fun snow activities to enjoy in Michigan in winter.

Traverse City winter is peaceful as there are fewer tourists in the city and you will find locals hanging out at the bars and hiking trails to make the most of the season.

If you are looking for a fun place to explore snow in Michigan, then Traverse City is a good place to visit. You will find several winter trails to explore here along with delicious food and drinks to enjoy.

Most importantly, there is no shortage of things to do in the snow in Traverse City.

You can go snowshoeing at a winery, explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, go skiing, tubing, sledding, and more.

Buildings with little snow and a huge Christmas tree

Plan a Michigan Winter Vacation to Ann Arbor

Another great Michigan winter vacation spot, Ann Arbor is perfect for those who wish to enjoy a warm and cozy winter vacation in Midwest.

There are lots of things to do in Ann Arbor but one of the top Ann Arbor winter activities to indulge in is the Polar Plunge in which tourists and locals take a plunge into ice cold water for fundraising for charities.

This winter destination also features an Art Center where you can marvel at both local and national artists.

Apart from that, there is Ann Arbor Farmers Market where you can get baked goods, home decor, toys, homemade apparel, and more.

There are several cafes and restaurants here as well where you can enjoy a warm and cozy date night with your partner.

Trust me, Ann Arbor is one of the top romantic winter getaways in Michigan to take your spouse or partner.

Trees covered with snow beside a small lake winter in michigan

Explore Nordic Ski Trails in Marquette

Are you looking for amazing things to do during Michigan winters with friends? If yes, then you should check out the Nordic Ski Trails in Marquette.

Marquette, a popular place to visit in Michigan, turns white in the winter months and attracts Nordic skiers from all over the country.

This is why one of the top things to do in Marquette in the winter months is exploring the Nordic ski trails.

Blueberry Ridge Pathway and Noquemanon Trail are two of the best Nordic skiing trail networks that make Marquette such a popular Michigan winter vacation place.

Noquemanon Trail Network features around 78 Nordic ski trails that cater to both beginner and advanced skiers.

On the other hand, Blueberry Ridge Pathway is ideal for experienced skiers who are looking for a slightly challenging Nordic ski trail.

If you wish to make the most of the Marquette MI winter months, then do try Nordic skiing in this area.

Sunrise over frozen lake winter in michigan

Go on Winter Hikes Along The Great Lakes

If you are still wondering about what to do in winter in Michigan, then we have an epic suggestion for you.

Why not hike and backpack along the Great Lakes and take in the beauty of the winter landscape of the Great Lakes?

Michigan in winter looks absolutely gorgeous with frozen beaches, ice-covered lighthouses, and festive lighting.

Explore the frozen beaches and find unique stones, rocks, and pieces of sunken ships that have been washed ashore for years now.

As mentioned earlier, hiking is a top Michigan winter activity that can be enjoyed with both friends and family.

A few of the best winter attractions in Michigan for hiking are Isle Royale National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Warren Dunes State Park, Port Crescent State Park, and more.

For some winter fun, get your hiking shoes and go on some epic winter hiking trails in Michigan.

Winter trail in a forest

Explore Outdoor and Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in Detroit

For music lovers, one of the best places to visit in Michigan in winter is Detroit.

With lots of museums, a rich art scene, and beautiful architecture, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Detroit in winter. Detroit’s winter season is a great time to not just explore the museums but to marvel at the winter landscapes as well.

However, one of the best things to do in Detroit is skiing as there are so many indoor and outdoor skiing options available here.

Campus Martius Park Rink is one of the most popular outdoor ice skating rinks here and requires reservation as well.

Other good places for ice skating in Detroit are Patterson Park’s Hutton Ice Rink, Viking Ice Arena, Riley Park Ice Rink, and so on.

Trust me, if ice skating is on your mind, then one of the top places to visit in winter in Michigan is Detroit.

People ice skating outdoors in front of the tree winter in michigan
Editorial credit: Rachel Goad / Shutterstock.com

Attend Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth

Are you planning to spend the winter in Frankenmuth? If yes, then one of the top things to do in this Michigan city is attending Zehnder’s Snowfest.

This is a popular Michigan winter event that hosts snow and ice sculpting events where visitors can enjoy watching huge snow sculptures and ice carvings.

In fact, if you have the skill, you can even participate in these snow sculpting and ice carvings competitions and showcase your talent here.

Apart from the competitions, this winter event in Michigan also features warming tents where the guests can relax and enjoy the entertainment.

Children can play in the children’s arena and the entire family can enjoy the fireworks display later on.

Overall, Zehnder’s Snowfest in Frankenmuth is the best way to make the most of the winter in Michigan.

Ice sculpture competition
Editorial credit: Barbara Kalbfleisch / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy a Winter Getaway to Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in Michigan that is popular for its rich art and a wide range of food and drink options.

If you are planning a Grand Rapids winter vacation, then you can take a tour of the breweries in the Beer City and stay warm and comfortable during the winter heat.

One of the best things to do in Michigan in winter is celebrating Christmas in Grand Rapids and experiencing the World of Winter festival.

Christmas at Meijer Gardens is absolutely wonderful as hundreds of bulbs illuminate the outdoor gardens.

The indoor gardens feature miniature trains that are moving past the replicas of famous city landmarks.

World of Winter festival is another important reason to visit Grand Rapids in winter as this 2-month winter festival features beautiful and interactive artwork, winter Beerfest, and more.

Due to all these amazing winter attractions and activities to do in Grand Rapids, it is a great choice as a winter getaway in Michigan.

Park with orange benches covered in snow

Learn Curling at Kalamazoo

Although ice hockey, ice skating, etc. are the most popular winter activities in Michigan, there are other fun and unique winter activities to try as well.

One such winter sport is curling. It is quite popular in Kalamazoo and is the best way to experience the winter in Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo is one of the top Michigan winter attractions for those who wish to learn to curl.

You can take curling lessons at Kalamazoo Curling Club and make the most of your winter vacation here.

One of the best things about this winter activity in Michigan is that it can be joined by anyone between the age of 12 and 60 as long as they can push a heavy piece of granite 150 feet down the ice.

Do you want to indulge in a new winter activity? If yes, then try curling in Kalamazoo along with other fun activities here.

Granite stone and a few sliders on ice

Go Snow Tubing in Lansing

Do you love snow tubing in winter? If yes, then one of the best things to do in winter when it snows in Michigan is to spend a few days in the city of Lansing.

On your Lansing winter holiday, you can enjoy many fun Michigan winter events such as Polar Plunge, snow tubing, and more.

In the winter in Michigan, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at one of the many cafes here to stay warm and cozy.

For snow tubing, Hawk Island Park is one of the top places to visit in downtown Lansing.

This park features 16-foot-wide lanes that will drop you 50-60 feet and then a carpet will lift you back to the top for another ride.

Trust me, it is as much fun as it sounds and is one of the best things to do in Lansing.

So, for a fun and interesting winter vacation in Michigan, Lansing is a good choice too.

People snow tubing winter in michigan

Go Ice Climbing in Fenton During Winter In Michigan

One of the top places to visit in Michigan in winter is Fenton as it offers both classic and adventurous winter activities that visitors can enjoy.

Although there are many fun Michigan winter activities to enjoy here, one of the best things to do in winter with friends is ice climbing in Fenton.

Peabody Ice Climbing in Fenton is the perfect place for you to learn how to climb ice towers under the guidance of a certified instructor.

That’s not all, if you are preparing to climb a mountain in winter, then this is a great place to train your body as they feature an altitude gym that can simulate environments of up to 19,000 feet. How cool is that, right?

Trust me, there are lots of amazing winter activities in Michigan that you can try but if you are looking for a unique experience, then do try ice climbing in Fenton.

Ice curtain formed in winter from waterfall

Search For Blue Ice and Frozen Waterfalls

Of course, when we are talking about Michigan in the winter, we are talking about frozen lakes, waterfalls, and more.

This is why one of the best things to do outside in winter in Michigan is looking for blue cce and chasing frozen waterfalls.

Blue ice is one of the most magical things that you could ever see and thankfully, Great Lakes in Michigan features can help you with that.

The ice is not blue but looks that way due to the sunlight reflecting off the cracked ice. It’s a beautiful sight you cannot miss.

Another fun Michigan winter activity that you will love is visiting frozen waterfalls in the state. You can hug the waterfall and marvel at its unique shape in the winter when it’s frozen.

A few amazing frozen waterfalls to visit in Michigan are Munising Falls, Ocqueoc Falls, Bridalveil Falls, and more.

Broken pieces of blue ice winter in michigan

Enjoy A Warm Meal And Drinks In An Igloo During Winter In Michigan

Yes, Michigan in winter can be a little cold and unforgiving but there are lots of fun things to do in winter in this state to make up for the cold.

One of the most amazing things that you could do in Michigan in winter is planning a short visit to one of the nearest igloo restaurants where you can drink and eat and catch up with your friends.

There are many amazing igloo restaurants and cafes in Michigan that you can visit such as Bird’s Eye Outfitters in Sault Ste Marie, Lumen in Detroit, and Donkey Taqueria in Grand Rapids.

Each igloo restaurant has its own theme and serves different delicacies so you can easily find the one that suits you in terms of taste and distance.

If you want a unique winter experience, then dining in an igloo in Michigan is definitely at the top of the list.

Dining in an igloo in winters

Durng Winter in Michigan Attend Plymouth Ice Festival

Michigan in the winter is covered in ice since the state is mostly covered with water.

As a result, there are several fun Michigan winter events and festivals to check out, including Plymouth Ice Festival.

This Michigan winter event takes place every February in downtown Plymouth where they feature over 65 beautiful ice carvings.

That’s not all though, there are many other fun activities and musical performances also planned for this winter festival.

You can catch live shows of some amazing artists like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, and more here.

This is a world-class winter event in Michigan that you simply cannot miss out on.

People going for Plymouth Ice Festival winter in michigan
Editorial credit: Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

Packing List For Visiting Michigan In Winter

If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing when heading to winter in Michigan.

concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when attending winter festivities in Michigan..

It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.

This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.

You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.

If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.

If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery.

This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.

I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.

My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.

It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies during all the winter activities in Michigan you do.

I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!

You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.

I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.

Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.

You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. . No matter the time of day or evening.

This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors!

As you can see there are so many things to do in Michigan in winter.

And it is certainly one of the best places to visit in the Midwest in winter.

In this article, I have covered some of the best things to do in winter with your friends, but of course, there are many more.

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