No matter the time of year, Michigan has loads of cool stuff to do. But there’s something special about when the state turns into a winter wonderland. Just because it gets cold and snowy during winter doesn’t mean you have to hibernate at home. There are plenty of winter activities to enjoy all season long, even after the holiday rush.

Cities all across Michigan have outdoor fun, like skiing, ice skating, and even dining in igloos. Michiganders know how to prep for winter too. Many of us fire up fireplaces, stock up on hot cocoa, and dig out our snow gear in preparation for those winter months.

Winter Blues

The first day of winter marks the beginning of a season filled with holiday celebrations, quality time with friends and family, and cozy comforts. However, the extended cold days and nights can sometimes lead to cabin fever.

As the days get shorter, some folks start feeling a bit down. You might get the winter blues around the holidays or feel a bit of a slump after all the fun and festivities. The National Institutes of Health says that finding fun and engaging activities can help beat those winter blues.

Winter Fun Throughout Michigan

To prevent feelings of boredom and isolation during the winter months, many people find it essential to stay active. You can add a variety of indoor winter activities to your list, including cookie decorating, reading winter-themed books, making gingerbread houses, and working on puzzles, among other options.

Embrace the snowy months by enjoying your favorite comfort foods or hosting a winter-themed movie marathon. For some outdoor enjoyment and exposure to sunlight, consider activities like ice fishing, building snowmen, and creating snow angels.

In an effort to make your winter in Michigan more enjoyable, we’ve curated a list of unique winter activities for you to try. Take a peek at the list below.

  • Frozen Waterfalls

    Michigan’s winter takes waterfalls to a whole new level. They turn into these giant icy art installations that look like something straight out of a fairy tale. In the wintertime, the waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula freeze into giant icicles. At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you can turn this frozen wonderland into an ice-climbing adventure. Every February, it’s the place to be for the Michigan Ice Fest, according to the National Park Service. In Munising, the Ice Fest has climbing fun for both the experts and the newbies.

    The upper peninsula of Michigan is a location with many interesting natural wonders including the Ice Caves of Eben Michigan.

    ImagesbyK/ Getty Images

  • Sledding/ Tobogganing

    Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, sledding in Michigan is an absolute blast. Grab your trusty sled, find a good hill, and prepare for some speedy, downhill fun. Michigan offers a variety of sledding and tobogganing spots to choose from. You can have a blast at Kensington Metropark in Milford, take on Toboggan Hill in Lapeer, experience the thrills at Echo Valley in Kalamazoo, or slide down the slopes at Midland City Forest in Midland.

    Young Boy Sledging Down Hill With Family Watching And Cheering

    omgimages/ Getty Images

  • Igloo Dining

    Cozy bubbles of joy, great food, and a unique winter vibe. It’s like dining in a personal snow globe, perfect for a special date night or a fun hangout with friends. Igloo dining is available all over Michigan, and each spot offers its unique experience. Several places, including Bobcat Bonnie’s (multiple locations), Blake’s Farm in Armada and Almont, Lumen Detroit, and more, may require reservations and charge per-person fees when booking. It’s a good idea to give a call to these establishments offering igloo dining in advance to get information on their specific policies.

    Indoor Dining, people in outdoor indoor igloo eating dinner

    Cindy Ord / Staff/ Getty Images

  • Ice Skating

    Time to channel your inner figure skater or hockey pro. Glide and twirl on frozen ponds and rinks, surrounded by the crisp winter air. Lace up and show off your moves, or just enjoy the occasional wobbles. You can find ice skating spots all over the state, whether you prefer to skate indoors or out. But if you’re looking for a unique Detroit experience, head on over to The Rink at Campus Martius Park. They kick off the skating season with the Christmas tree lighting in November and keep the ice open for fun until mid-March.

    the girl on the figured skates on a skating rink

    zsv3207/ Getty Images

  • Mushing

    Hop on a sled and let some lively doggos take you on a thrilling ride through the snow-covered woods. It’s like being in your very own adventure movie. If you don’t have a pack of pups for some mushing fun, no worries. There are companies out in the state that can make your dog mushing dreams come true. Head up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for an epic winter adventure alongside champion mushers. Check out Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures where you have a bunch of options, from 10-mile and 20-mile day trips to overnight journeys. You can also learn how to handle your own dog team and cozy up in a cabin or yurt. And if you’re in Gaylord, Treetops Resort has you covered. They’ll give you a ride, whether you’re flying solo or have the family. There are loads of other spots waiting for you to explore.

    Dog-sledding with huskies

    8213erika/ Getty Images

  • Skiing/ Snowboarding

    Michigan’s slopes are your playground, and the powdery white snow is your canvas. Grab your snowboard or skis, hit the hills, and enjoy the rush as you carve your way through the snow. Of course, with some hot cocoa breaks in between. Michigan has over 40 ski areas, with locations in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, according to Michigan.org. Whether you’re an avid skier or snowboarder in search of excitement or a family of four seeking a relaxing resort weekend getaway, each region in Michigan has something unique to offer.

    Happy couple of snowboarders are having fun and jumps with snowboards in hands. Winter holidays at ski resort

    molchanovdmitry/ Getty Images

  • Ice Golfing

    Who says golf is just a summer sport? In Michigan, you can play golf on frozen lakes. In fact, the 10th Annual Ice Golf Cup Challenge is scheduled for February in Lake Orion, organized by the Lake Orion Sunrise Rotary. If you prefer, you can also assemble a group of friends and arrange your own game.

    Golf club and golf ball in winter on snow on golf course. Playing golf in winter

    Nadzeya Haroshka/ Getty Images

  • Ice Fishing

    Ice fishing, also known as snow fishing, is like fishing, but on a frozen lake. You drill a hole in the ice, drop your line, and hope for a bite. It’s a chilly yet exciting way to enjoy the great outdoors and maybe catch dinner. According to Michigan.org, ice fishing is accessible on over 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams in Michigan. It’s important to note that there’s no consistent “inch-thickness” standard to gauge ice safety. You can check the thickness and quality of the ice with tools like a spud, needle bar, or auger.

    Ice fishing on a lake in Norway at sunset.

    mariannehoy/ Getty Images

  • Snowmobiling

    Michigan’s snowmobile trails are like highways for thrill-seekers. Zip through the snow-covered landscapes and explore the winter wonderland in style. Michigan has over 200,000 registered snowmobiles in the state, according to data from the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association. Coupled with some of the nation’s most highly rated trails.

    A man in the outfit of a racer in a yellow-black overalls and a red-black helmet, driving a snowmobile at high speed riding through deep snow against the background of a snowy forest.

    IgorTsarev/ Getty Images

  • Fat Tire Biking

    Pedal through the snowy scenes of Michigan on fat tire bikes. These rugged wheels will help you conquer the winter terrain while you enjoy the great outdoors. Fat-tire bikes are permitted on all bike-friendly trails, including those designated for mountain bikes. Many volunteer organizations take care to groom trails exclusively for winter fat-tire biking. You’ll find numerous parks across the state with dedicated trails for fat-tire biking during the winter season.

    Group of friends riding their fat bike in the snow in Ontario, Canada

    GROGL/ Getty Images

  • Snowshoeing

    Snowshoeing is like taking a walk in a real-life snow globe. Strap on those snowshoes and venture into the snowy wilderness at your own pace. Snowshoes make it easier and quicker to move around snowy terrain. You can start snowshoeing in any area with at least six inches of snow. Michigan’s winter season provides plenty of opportunities for snowshoeing, and some state parks offer groomed snowshoe trails, which are suitable for beginners and children.

    Overhead view of four people standing on snow wearing modern, lightweight snowshoes

    Debbie Galbraith/ Getty Images

  • Curling

    Channel your inner Olympian and give curling a whirl. Sliding stones on the ice and shouting strategy with your teammates is the perfect blend of skill and camaraderie on a chilly winter day in Michigan. In Michigan, there are curling clubs that provide introductory lessons for newcomers. Some of these clubs include Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort, Traverse City Curling Club, Kalamazoo Curling Club, Detroit Curling Club, and more.

    Curling games. The player is brushing the ice by directing the stone to the house

    robertprzybysz/ Getty Images

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