Sure, Michigan may not be the most comfortable winter destination in the world, especially if you tend to have colder blood, but for many, the prospect of a quiet morning strolling through picturesque, snow-covered woods beats the heck out of a sunny day at the beach. The greatest feature of Michigan and Detroit in particular is our capacity to have beautiful seasons all year-round. Sure, it may be harder to travel and stay outdoors for long periods of time during the winter, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great things to do – here are some great options for adventures this winter!
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
PO Box 1970
Dearborn, MI 48124
Date: Weekends in December, 2014
Every weekend in December throughout 2014, Greenfield Village, which lies just outside of the Detroit city limits in neighboring Dearborn, transforms into an amazing winter wonderland spectacle. Greenfield Village is already known by so many for helping to recreate authentic scenes from the past and for transforming itself into a bit of living history for visitors. On the Holiday Nights, guests can travel through lantern-lit streets into a magical journey back to another time, complete with ice skating, fireworks and even a walk through an actual living snow globe.
The Farm by Lantern Light
Wellington Farm Park
6944 S. Military Road
Grayling, MI 49738
Date: Dec. 12-13 and 19-20, 2014
On December 12, 13, 19 and 20, Wellington Farm Park in Grayling will open its land for what it’s billing as “The Most Unique Christmas Experience in Michigan.” This experience will include a winter wagon ride, complete tour of the farm and farmland and a special play, as well. “The Farm By Lantern Light” is a two-hour show that will explore the meaning of the holidays and the treasures of the season. This play is based on an event that took place at Wellington nearly a century ago. Reservations are required, so please call to setup and organize your outdoor adventure on a real Michigan farm.
Visit With Santa On The Historic Lowell Showboat
Lowell, MI 49331
Date: Dec. 10-20, 2014
Each Christmas, Santa takes over an entire section of the historic Lowell Showboat along the river that runs through the city. Locals and tourists come from all over the area to enjoy free snacks, including hot chocolate and cookies, and to meet with Santa and enjoy a winter stroll along the docks that line the Lowell Showboat. The Showboat itself is decorated beautifully and adorned with all types of winter and holiday cheer. The festivities will take place from December 10-20 and all are welcome!
Mt. Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort
13536 Dixie Highway
Holly, MI 48442
Perhaps it’s more of the action-oriented outdoor winter sports that you crave, from snowboarding to downhill or cross-country skiing. If so, then Mt. Holly is Metro Detroit’s quickest and most beautiful getaway for you. Mt. Holly may not be the Rocky Mountains, but it is certainly no joke when it comes to winter sports. Many of the hills vary in skill level, from the easiest for beginners just looking to get out into the brisk winter air, to the most experienced courses only for those who wish to push it to the limit. Purchase a season pass and make as many trips out onto the slopes as you’d like all winter long. A spacious Bavarian lodge with two cafeterias and three different areas, all complete with fireplace, will offer you a warm respite from the fun while you recharge your batteries.
Motown Winter Blast at Campus Martius
800 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
Date: Feb. 7-9, 2015
If you’d rather not travel very far, but would still like to get out and enjoy the outdoors in winter, perhaps a trip downtown to the beloved area of Campus Martius park is in order. Downtown Detroit’s favorite park is always abuzz during the cold season with tourists and office workers walking about and taking in the magnificent Motor City skyline and ice-skating available every day, but each February for the last 10 years, Campus Martius park transforms into the Motown Winter Blast, complete with a massive 200-foot-long snow slide, live entertainment, interactive activities and so much more. It’s a family-friendly event for all to enjoy, with great food too! This is the perfect way to get outside in downtown Detroit this winter.
Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.