17 Ways To Use The Year’s First Vacation Days On A Pure Michigan Snow Day

New year, new you, right? Except it still feels the same. More Mondays, more meetings, more gazing out the window thinking, “I wish I was out there skiing right now. Have we even taken the kids sledding this season? Maybe they’ll cancel work tomorrow, like a snow day …”  Ha! Work is never cancelled (ever). 

But, psst! You’ve got vacation time, and you’ve worked hard to earn it! Don’t waste it waiting around.  Get out there and make those memories before the fluffy stuff is gone! Now’s the time to make your own #PureMichiganSnowDay happen when you Go Great Lakes Bay!

You + Yours

Photo Courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay

“Honey, let’s get away together, just you and me.”

Say these magical words to your significant other, and watch how fast this #PureMichiganSnowDay can snowball! Live it up and cozy up, too – opportunities for snow day smiles and snuggles are just around the corner:

Let Nature Soothe You: The soft crunch of snow underfoot will put you and yours in sync on a free, guided snowshoe hike at Midland’s Chippewa Nature Center.

Feel Exhilarated: Ski or snowboard down the The Ski Slopes At Apple Mountain Resort together in Freeland, and yell it out together: “B’bye work meetings, hello snow day!”  Afterward, cozy up for a cup of hot cocoa and a bite to eat at Kathleen’s Apple Mountain, while you watch other skiiers hit the slopes!

Enjoy the Warmth: Stare into each other’s eyes while wine tasting at Frankenmuth’s St. Julian Winery, share good times during a free tour at Frankenmuth Brewery, or lounge in overstuffed leather chairs and play footsie by the roaring fire at Whine in Midland. You and yours will be rested and ready … for another #PureMichiganSnowDay!

Family Q Time 

Photo Courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay

“School, work, dinner, baths, bed, repeat. There’s got to be more to family life than this!”

Oh, there’s more-so much more! Break the routine, and declare a #PureMichiganSnowDay! Then grab your phone to forever capture the look on the kids’ faces when you say: We’re going to …

Splash Village! Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark is 50,000 square-feet of “we needed this”! With a six-story, family raft ride and super loop, lazy river, indoor arcade, two spacious hot tubs (and, ahem, memorable Bloody Marys for the oh-so-deserving parents), and much more, the whole family is sure to have the BEST SNOW DAY EVER!

Toboggan together! Sled until little hearts are content at City Forest in Midland, rent a toboggan ($6/hour) for a whole new experience, or maybe even cross-country ski the .6 mile groomed trail. Pack a thermos of hot cocoa, and simply enjoy!

Aftershock! When you go to Midland’s new indoor trampoline extravaganza, please let us know one thing: Who had more fun, the kids or the adults?! (Psst! Aftershock runs daily specials, including Dollar Jump Night on the first Tuesday of each month.)

Go mini-golfing! The Family Fun Center at Bavarian Inn Lodge has an indoor, 18-hole miniature golf course, four indoor pools, two waterslides, and a 15-foot waterfall to play in! Family fun center, indeed!

See the stars! Winter stargazing sounds cool … like burr! But you can beat the winter chill at Delta College Planetarium and still discover astronomical fun on your snow day! Check out “Led Zeppelin”, January 23 – April 30, for rock sounds and laser lights.

Adventure Bound

Photo Courtesy of Go Great Lakes Bay

“The walls are closing in! Must. Get. Outside.”

Feeling suffocated, adventure enthusiasts? Outdoor-induced adrenaline and blood-pumping experiences await – just take a #PureMichiganSnowDay, and they’re all yours!

Hit The Trails: The rail trails, that is! Plans are in action to eventually connect the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail, Midland County Pere Marquette Rail Trail and Bay County Riverwalk and Rail Trail into The Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail, but each are currently multi-use meccas for walking, running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and even fat tire biking! (Want to know more about fat tire winter biking? Go to the gurus at Jack’s Bicycle Shop in Bay City, and ask about their guided bike tours!)

Drop a Line: In the Saginaw Bay, of course! Local ice fisherman know that our freshwaters are full of hot spots for good eats of the walleye, perch, bass and catfish-kind! (Need gear? Little Forks Outfitters in Midland; staff might even have hints about lucky spots …) Before you get here, brush up on our recent Saginaw Bay Icefishing post from local guest blogger Tom Bennett for even more insider tips on uncovering those high-yield icefishing honeyholes.

Shred it Up: Strap on a set of skis or a snowboard, and hit The Ski Slopes at Apple Mountain! Check for their Cool Deals before you go!

Now that you’re well-versed in all the ways to sled, ski, snowshoe (and, yes, even swim!) your way past the winter blues with the perfect Pure Michigan Snow Day, be sure to share your adventures out into the fluffy white beyond using #PureMichiganSnowDay and #GoGreatLakesBay on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!  You can even enter Pure Michigan’s Show Us Your Snow Day Dance contest on Instagram using #MISnowDayDance!

Guest Blogger - Wainwright O'Deay

Guest Blogger: Jen Wainwright O’Deay

Jen is a freelance writer in Bridgeport, Mich. She specializes in creating effective connection through marketing communications copy, feature articles and content/blog posts. You can find her camping with her family or reading Thoreau.

Fall in Love with Ann Arbor this Valentine’s Day

We love Valentine’s Day here in the Ann Arbor area. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married or anywhere in-between, there’s a surplus of unique and fun things to do in mid-February.

Single and ready to mingle? Join the party at Necto’s second annual University of Michigan Top DJ Competition on Feb. 11, and vote for your favorite guest DJ, or head out for a show at The Ark. On Feb. 11 The Ark will host My Folky Valentine, a collaboration of sweethearts making lovely music together and on Feb. 12, Christine Lavin and Don White will be there to entertain you. On Valentine’s Day itself, Caravan of Thieves will play the Ark and perform their new release, “Kiss Kiss.” Perhaps you’re more interested in a pampering experience? Treat yourself to a relaxing treatment at Jessica’s Apothecary or Balance Massage Therapy. And, you can always celebrate your true love for Michigan sports by cheering on the Wolverine Men’s Basketball Team at the Crisler Center when they take on Purdue on Saturday, Feb. 13!

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Looking for a unique experience for you and your sweetie? Take him or her out for an evening of opera and spectacular food on Feb. 12 at Gratzi! The Bellini Opera Theatre will be there to perform selections from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and Gratzi’s Chef John Fischer will create a beautiful three-course dinner. The Kempf House Museum will host “Victorian Valentine Teas” on both Feb.13 and 14, featuring beautiful music played on Ann Arbor’s first concert grand piano and scrumptious sweets, savories and teas, all in an intimate and historic setting. If choral music is your thing, you should definitely mark your calendar for Feb. 14 to see the UMS Choral Union, as they present Love is Strong as Death at the iconic Hill Auditorium (and use promo code PUREMI to get $10 off on tickets!).

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

For a more traditional dinner-and-a-movie date night, consider Romeo+Juliet (yes, the 1996 Baz Lurhmann classic!) at the Michigan Theater following a delectable dinner at one of the Ann Arbor area’s fine dining establishments. You can’t beat Terry B’s in Dexter, the Common Grill in Chelsea, or Aventura in Ann Arbor (among many others)! Finish off the evening with a kiss under the Engineering Arch (legend has it that imminent nuptials will ensue!), a sweet baked treat at the Cupcake Station, and/or drinks and dessert in a romantic setting at La Dolce Vita. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can hire The Huron Valley Harmonizers to serenade your sweetie with love songs.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions in the Ann Arbor area? Are there romantic upcoming events in mid-February that get your heart racing? 

GuestBloggersMargaret Wyzlic is the Communications Manager at the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and enjoys telling the world about the Ann Arbor area and all of the exciting things happening in our beautiful city. Recently married, she and her husband enjoy all that Ann Arbor has to offer when it comes to romantic restaurants and attractions, and hopes that you’ll come to visit our area as well to ‘”feel the love.”

Show Your Michigan Pride: 9 Items to Keep You Warm

As we enter the coldest weather season of the year, we’re always looking for ways to stay warm, especially if we’re taking a Pure Michigan Snow day! Of course, if you’re a proud Michigander (or out-of-town Michigan enthusiast), you’ll want stuff that will keep you warm and allow you to sport your Michigan pride. With some help from Michigan-based companies, discover a few items that will show off your love for the Great Lakes state.

carhartt

Carhartt Sandstone Active Jac/Quilted Flannel Lined Jacket

With its headquarters located in Dearborn, Carhartt is a long standing clothing company that has been around since 1889 founded by Hamilton Carhartt. This jacket is one of the most popular items sold by Carhartt and for good reason -it will keep you warm even during the coldest days of winter and is incredibly durable.

shinolaShinola Sweatshirt
Shinola opened their watch factory in downtown Detroit after vetting locations around the world, because Detroit has a great manufacturing legacy and the company also saw Detroit’s potential. This sweatshirt will show your pride in a Michigan-made company while also keeping you cozy. They might not do anything to keep you warm, bt their watches are easy on the eyes, too!

pure mi baby hat

 

Pure Michigan Baby Beanie
Help your little ones share their Pure Michigan pride while simultaneously protecting them from the elements with this unisex baby beanie. With “Michigan Made” proudly stamped on the front, it will let everyone see which place you, and they, love most.

 

mittensIsle Royale Michigan Mittens
There isn’t a better way to show off your Michigan pride than with Michigan Mittens, which have a map of the Lower Peninsula on one hand and the Upper Peninsula on the other! With these mittens, showing where you’re from has never been easier. You can order them in a variety of colors from Grape Lakes to this stunning royal blue pair, properly named after Isle Royale.


Stormy Kromer
CapStormyKromerCap
Stormy Kromer is a proud Michigan company based out of Ironwood. The roots of the company date back to 1903. Each classic Stormy Kromer cap is hand-stitched with quality wool and is built to last for several years. These caps not only keep you warm, but there’s many, many  styles to choose from. On top of it all, Stormy Kromer offers a lifetime warranty.

moosejaw scarf
Moosejaw
Rock Me Amadeus Scarf
Moosejaw is another great Michigan-based company with headquarters in Madison Heights. The store first opened in Keego Harbor in 1992 and has been selling adventure and wilderness equipment as well as outwear to help keep customers warm when skiing, snowboarding or participating in other winter activities. Even if adventure sports aren’t your thing, this scarf is a great way to show your support of a Michigan company.

made in detroit

Made In Detroit Crew Sweatshirt
Show your Detroit pride with this Made In Detroit sweatshirt! Made In Detroit is a company started in 1991, eventually bought by Kid Rock, headquartered in Detroit. This sweatshirt will tell everyone that the Motor City is close to your heart.

mug of loveJust Good Chocolate Hot Chocolate
This fair trade organic hot chocolate will be sure to warm you up this winter! This product was created by Just Good Chocolate, a family company based in Leelanau County. If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly product to support a Michigan-based company, look no further!

detroit vs everybody

DETROIT VS EVERYBODY Hoodie
Here is another Detroit-pride product that will keep you comfy and warm, no matter if you’re staying inside or braving the outdoors. It demonstrates Detroit’s tough nature and you Michigan pride to those around you.

 

What other cool products are Michigan-based and will help keep you warm this winter? Comment below!