Calling All Parents! Combat Cabin Fever With These Family Fun Activities

Has your family come down with a case of cabin fever? When you can’t brave the elements for a Pure Michigan snow day, there are plenty of other exciting ways to beat the winter blahs. Get the kids out of the house with these fun indoor activities that are sure to put a spring back in their step.  For more indoor family fun, visit michigan.org

Swim, Bounce, Play and Create

Michigan Waterparks

With a number of indoor water parks right here in our state, there’s no need to travel far far to make a splash! Make it a day trip or a full weekend getaway. Indoor waterparks in Michigan include the Fairview Beachfront Inn & Waterpark in Mackinaw City, The Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark in Frankenmuth, Soaring Eagle Water Park and Hotel in Mount Pleasant and others.

See what kids have to say about their Pure Michigan waterpark adventures in the video below.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park – Multiple Locations

This is a reason to jump for joy; Sky Zone Trampoline Park is high energy family fun! Their goal is to promote fun fitness while flying through the air. The parks offer open jump, a SkySlam court to test your basketball skills, SkyRobics fitness classes, ultimate dodge ball and a foam zone. Sky Zone is a safe and fun way to use up all of that stored energy. Jumps times start every 30 minutes.

Glow Golf – Multiple Locations

Practice for summertime putt-putt with a glow-in-the-dark twist! Enjoy 18 holes of miniature golf that will truly test your putting ability. Aim for a hole-in-one with just the glow lighting leading you through the course. Some courses also offer laser tag for an even bigger interactive challenge.

Paint a Pot – Holland

Cater to your creative side and pick out a piece of pottery to make all your own. This is a fun activity to do with kids when you only have a short amount of time. Once you have your piece, pick out the paint colors and get creative. The process is very simple and the atmosphere is inviting. It’s art therapy for every age! Paint a Pot is located in Holland, with other similar attractions located throughout the state.

Animal Lovers

Bat Zone – Bloomfield Hills                              

Take a personal, behind the scenes tour with a bat expert at the Bat Zone. You will experience bats in flight, flying squirrels, owls, a two toed sloth and the largest species of bat in the world. The tour themes change each season so you are able to learn more throughout the year. Also, don’t miss your chance to get a glimpse of a T- Rex and spend some time learning at the Cranbrook Institute of Science Museum.

Photo courtesy of SEA LIFE

Photo courtesy of SEA LIFE

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium – Auburn Hills

The Sea Life Aquarium located at Great Lakes Crossing Mall will transport your family to an underwater experience they won’t forget. Come nose to nose with sharks, walk under the underwater ocean tunnel and encounter more than 5,000 creatures. You can even hold a crab or touch a sea star in their Touchpool Experience. Enjoy fun talks and feed shows throughout the day. Make a day of it by eating at the Rainforest Café or stopping at Jeepers! for arcade games and mini rollercoasters.

Great Lakes Zoological Society – Ann Arbor

This is a conservation-oriented zoo and rescue center. The center houses a 5,000 square foot indoor exhibit area focusing on reptiles and amphibians, as well as birds and invertebrates. There are over 90 animals and over 60 species from around the world.

Learning and Discovery

Michigan Museums

Keep your family’s curiosity alive. A visit to Michigan’s art, science and history museums can bring a richer appreciation for the world around us.  With over 400 museums in Michigan, one may be closer than you think. Children’s museums like the Grand Rapids’ Childrens Museum or Ann Arbor Hands On Museum are educational but also hands-on, which can be fun for both children and their parents.

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Detroit is home to a number of world class museums like the Detroit Institute of Arts, which features over 100 galleries with art from ancient to modern times, as well as The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn. The Henry Ford boasts four one-of-a-kind attractions, 200 acres including Greenfield Village (closed during the winter season) and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, that will bring you through the ages. Notable treasures such as John F. Kennedy’s Limousine, Rosa Parks bus, and Abraham Lincoln’s chair, plus experiences such as Model T Rides and an assembly plant walking tour make your visit to The Henry Ford truly unique. The Henry Ford offers a glimpse inside centuries of American life with hand-on activities for the kids throughout!

If you ever catch yourself looking up at the stars, searching for the big dipper or just gazing into space, Longway Planetarium  and Sloan Museum in Flint offers the largest indoor star gazing facility in Michigan!  The shows last for about an hour where you will be transported to a sky full of stars, while an expert gives you an astronomy lesson.  You can also explore the Sloan Museum which features exhibits for all ages. This winter, check out Videotopia, an exhibit on the art, science and history of video games!

Candy Tours 

ohmylilliIs your sweet tooth calling? Indulge in some comfort food while experiencing how some of Michigan’s sweet sugar confections are made.  Oh My Lolli in Brighton lets you  behind-the-scenes.  Get a personalized tour through the production experience – from the molten candy to the folding and rolling, and finally to the finished product! Don’t forget to grab a lollipop of your own for the car ride home.

Morley Candy Makers in Clinton Township is the place where Sanders chocolate and desserts are created. Morley Candy Makers free factory tour is perfect the family and available Monday through Friday. The journey begins with the story of chocolate, how chocolate is made and how Sanders and Morley Candy Makers got their start in Detroit. Observe Michigan’s largest candy maker create delicious treats in the 100 foot observation walkway, enjoy a chocolate sample and visit the unique candy shop to put the finishing touch on your visit.

What indoor activities do you and your family like to do during the winter months? 

Cure Your Cabin Fever! Five Reasons to Take a Vacation Day and Head Outside

According to the U.S. Travel Association, U.S. workers only use 77 percent of their paid time off, resulting in nearly 169 million forfeited vacation days and $52.4 billion in lost benefits! Luckily, PTO days can be used any time during the year, and a quick winter trip is sure to cure any cold-weather blues. Here are six reasons to use those vacation days and explore what a winter day in Pure Michigan has to offer.

snowsports_main

1. There’s plenty of fresh powder! 

With more than 51 ski areas, 260 chairlifts, 1,000 runs, 50 terrain parks and an annual snowfall of more than 100 inches, Michigan offers some of the best ski and snowboarding slopes you can find in the Midwest. In-state resorts like Boyne Mountain Resort and Crystal Mountain are perfect for weekend away to shred some fresh powder or even take your very first lesson. Many resorts offer tubing and sledding fun, too!

2. Wineries are less crowded in the winter.

Take a winter winery tour! Many think that all Michigan wineries hibernate during the winter season, but some stay open all year long  for you to enjoy! One popular winter activity among foodies is to warm up with a glass of wine/small bites from a trio of wineries along a 7.5-mile ski and snowshoe path on the Leelanau Peninsula. The only question is, do you prefer red or white?

3. Trying something new can be thrilling!

Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is a wild winter adventure. The hot breath of the huskie pack fogs the crisp winter air as they pull you with focused determination across the glistening landscape. Imagine you’re racing against another team, over the same frozen terrain that explorers did long ago! Dog sledding is a fun activity for the whole family and can create memories that last a lifetime.

Iceclimbing

Ice Climbing
One of winter’s newest silent sports, Ice climbing, combines challenge and adventure. With ropes and harnesses, ascend stunning icefalls, cliffs and rock slabs, all waiting to be conquered. Swing your axe into the ice, hold on tight and inch your way up the frozen ladder. Be one of the first people to know to say you climbed a frozen waterfall!

Ice Luge
Did you know that one of lonely three luge tracks in the United States can be found right here in Michigan? Located near the shores of Lake Michigan in the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, you’ll be able to fly down the track just like the winter Olympians do.

4. There’s always time for quality time.

Photo courtesy of Zehnder's

Photo courtesy of Zehnder’s

Romantic Getaways
Sweep your sweetie away on a romantic getaway. You don’t have to go far to find a perfect weekend getaway with that special someone in your life. Some romantic packages include champagne dinners, in-room Jacuzzi’s and wine tastings while others let you relax with spa treatments or special in-room amenities. There’s no wrong choice when surprising a loved one with a romantic getaway in Michigan.

Family Fun
If you’re experiencing some cabin fever, we bet the kids are too! Family-friendly waterparks can be found all over the state, just waiting to wash away the norm. Whether you splash in the shallows with the little ones, or race each other for bragging rights down the twisting water slides, nothing brings families closer together than a Pure Michigan water park adventure. 

Ice Fishing5. The fish still bite during the winter. 

During the winter, Michigan’s four Great Lakes, more than 11,000 inland lakes and hundreds of rivers and streams provide anglers with the perfect location to ice fish for bluegill, perch, pike and walleye. Whether you’re a master angler or don’t quite know your way around a reel yet, fishing in Michigan is fun for everyone. Make sure to mark Free Fishing Weekend (Feb.14-15) on your calendar and check out our Winter Angler’s Ultimate Packing List before hitting the ice!

How would you spend a winter day off in Pure Michigan? Share your photos enjoying the snow using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram or visit michigan.org/snowday.

Six Mini Michigan Getaways You Didn’t Know Could Be Romantic

February is the month of love and there are plenty of ways to put a romantic spin on night out with your sweetie in Pure Michigan. Whether you’re taking a quick romantic weekend getaway or planning a day trip or staycation, these fun and simple outings can easily be made extra special for Valentine’s Day. 

Photo via Instagram user @sandruhh

Photo via Instagram user @sandruhh

Head Outside
There’s something so magical about soft falling snow. Winter in Michigan makes a beautiful background to any night. Bundle up, grab a hot drink and explore. Recreation Areas around the state are hosting winter festivals, which will include various winter sports, exhibits, crafts and food. Each festival highlights everything Michigan’s winter wonderland has to offer. For the more adventurous Valentine’s Day date, check out the Winter Sports Complex in Muskegon. There, you and your honey can have a blast channeling your inner-Olympian while trying out a multitude of new sports.

Dinner and Drinks
Trying something new together is a great way to strengthen your bond. Michigan has a large selection of unique restaurants, award-winning craft breweries and wineries that are sure to wow you. Whether it’s the tried and true Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, the ever-pleasing Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire or these new buzzworthy restaurants in Detroit, you won’t have a hard time choosing a spot to spend a few hours or an entire day with your sweetheart. 

Photo via Campus Martius Park on Facebook

Photo via Campus Martius Park on Facebook

Go Ice Skating
What could be more romantic than ice skating? Many cities have skating ponds in the winter time, but Detroit and Grand Rapids are home to two of the most notable. In Grand Rapids, Rosa Parks Circle turns into a skating rink. In Detroit, Campus Martius Park is home to a skating rink January through March. Grab some hot chocolate, hold hands and take a spin around the rink like you’re Meryl and Charlie. 

Head to a Sporting Event
Get close while cheering on your favorite Michigan sports teams! After all, Detroit was named Best City for Sports by USA Today Travel 10 Best. So, wrap up in your Red Wings gear to watch the team work hard to get to the playoffs, or support the Detroit Pistons with games throughout the entire month of February. You can also head to either Ann Arbor or East Lansing and catch a great hockey or basketball game from the Spartans and Wolverines.

Up North Weekend Getaway
It doesn’t matter what season it is, Northern Michigan never disappoints. Fall in love all over again amidst the small town charm of a bed and breakfast. Explore Pictured Rocks or Tahquamenon Falls with snow shoes and you’ll be sure to catch a view or two that will take your breath away. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, make your weekend exciting with skiing at Northern Michigan ski resorts. Whether it’s heading out or staying in, an Up North weekend getaway is a Pure Michigan Valentine’s Day classic.

Attend a Show
Dim the lights and prepare to be entertained! Whether it’s a movie at an iconic Michigan theater or a live performance, catching a show with your sweetheart can create lasting memories. The Dow Event Center in Saginaw is hosting the ‘All About Love’ Valentine’s show featuring Freddie Jackson with a special guest star Angela Winbush in concert. If you are in the laughing mood or want to sing along with your favorite artists, see what’s playing in Michigan this month here. 

Snuggle up at Home and Plan Your Next Vacation
Rather stay inside with your love? Enjoy some quality time while planning your next Pure Michigan summer getaway. There are a variety of selections you can make based on your personality and interests to plan the perfect trip. Take advantage of a romantic vacation package with February’s featured deals or create your own adventure on michigan.org.

How do you plan to spend Valentine’s Day? For more ideas, visit michigan.org.