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.

Pure Michigan February 2015 Events Roundup

February may be the shortest month of the year, but there’s no shortage of winter fun happening around the state! From the Michigan International Auto Show in Grand Rapids to Free Fishing Weekend, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, pull out your calendars and pack your bags, a snow day getaway awaits you in Pure Michigan. For a full list of events, visit michigan.org/events.

February 1 – 8

Au Gres Polar Splash
January 31 – February 1, Au Gres
The Au Gres Area Chamber of Commerce is helping break up those “Winter Blues” by hosting a winter festival at the Au Gres City Park. Enjoy activities such as ice skating, soup cook off, music, polar dip, fishing contest, beer tent, & poker run! This will also coincide with an exciting snowmobile drag race event at the Au Gres DNR Breakwall site along the Au Gres River!

CrossCountrySkiersMeijer State Winter Games Cross Country Nordic Ski Race
February 1, Grayling
The Meijer State Games of Michigan added the inaugural Winter Games to continue fulfilling the mission of being a grassroots organization that welcomes athletes from all ages and abilities. The Winter Games consisted of 12 different sports, including the famous nordic ski race,  in which 1,645 athletes participated. Head to Grayling for an epic winter adventure!

Meridian Winter Blast
February 6-8, Detroit
Meridian Winter Blast, produced by Jonathan Witz & Associates, features hip and cool winter events centered around Campus Martius Park. Many signature winter activities are returning with Buick sponsoring the 200 Foot Snow Slide, free ice-skating in Campus Martius Park, professional skating demonstrations, unique sculptures in the Flagstar Bank Ice Garden, the Winter Blast Off presented by GM Foundation and more.

International 500 Snowmobile Race
February 7, Sault Saint Marie
Come join Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, for the 47th Annual International I-500 Snowmobile Race and experience all the thrills of NASCAR on a one-mile oval ice track. The I-500 is the biggest event in the Upper Peninsula and in the entire snowmobile-racing world. When drivers accelerate to speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour on the straightaways, your heart will race!

ManVsMountainMan vs. Mountain
February 7, Mt. Pleasant

A unique winter 5K obstacle course that challenges participants to brave Michigan’s brutal elements and go beyond the average obstacle course. Run, climb and jump your way through obstacles that are strategically placed along the course. The challenge begins in front of Nelson Park and will take you through Mt. Pleasant’s beautiful park system.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Guided Snowshoe Hike
February 7, Paradise
Discover how easy snowshoeing really is during this guided hike through the snow-covered woods of Tahquamenon. This fun, inexpensive winter sport can keep you healthy and happy through the cold winter months. A limited number of snowshoes are available to borrow at no charge.

February 9 – 15

Frostbite Winter Festival
February 12-15, Harrison
This four day event features the unique and popular golf tournament on the ice of Budd Lake, an ice fishing tournament with cash prizes, an arts & crafts fair, children’s carnival, Snowmobile Radar Run, Polar Dip, silent auction, bar tour, scavenger hunt and a whole lot more! Set in beautiful Harrison, this event has something for everyone – whether you love the Michigan outdoors or prefer to play indoors.

UP200UP200 Sled Dog Race 2015
February 12 -16, Marquette
The UP 200 is one of America’s premier 12-dog, mid-distance sled dog races and also a pre-qualifier for the Iditarod. Mushers say this is one of their favorite races, not only because of the challenging race, but because of the cheering crowds and warm welcome they receive here in the Upper Peninsula. The UP 200 trail covers 240 miles of challenging terrain through the areas of Marquette, Grand Marais, Wetmore, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and finishes at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette. Come join in the excitement for the start of the race located in downtown Marquette! If you’re looking for more Dogsled action, check out the Midnight Run!

Labatt Blue UP Pond Hockey Championship
February 13-15, Saint Ignace
The Labatt Blue UP Pond Hockey Championship drew a record 191 teams from 11 states to St. Ignace in 2014. Come and play in one of the few pond hockey tournaments where the ‘pond’ is actually one of the five Great Lakes – Lake Huron! This is a USA Hockey sanctioned tournament, and welcomes players over the age of 21 to participate.

Ice Fishing Tournament
February 14, Mayville
On February 14, 2015, The Fowler Center will be having its 20th annual Ice Fishing Tournament, hosted by Rob and Susie Trott of Great Lakes Outdoors. Come fish for the chance to catch the grand prize pike. Cost is $20 per session for ages 17 and over, $5 per session for those under 17.

Romancing the Riesling
February 14, Traverse City
We’ve long had a romance with the Riesling grape, and Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) will be pairing this beautiful wine with a complementary dish that will possibly even make you fall in love a little bit more. Head to Traverse City to keep up that love affair with your favorite wine!

February 16 – 22

Grand Rapids Boat Show
February 18-22, Grand Rapids
A West Michigan tradition! Exhibits include boats up to 50 feet, fishing boats, ski boats, pontoons, kayaks and motor yachts. Also, boating accessories and services like marina slips and ski gear abound. It is one of the finest water sports expos in the country featuring the Key West Crab Shack, an antique and classic boat display and the Tuber’s Truckload sale.

Meijer State Games of Michigan – Winter Games
February 20-22, Cannonsburg
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event that welcomes athletes regardless of age or ability. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living among residents of the state of Michigan. The philosophy of the Meijer State Games of Michigan is that everyone participates regardless of age or ability; everyone is welcome and everyone plays. Opening Ceremonies for all participants will be held Friday, February 20, 2015 at Cannonsburg Ski Area.

Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Animal Show
February 21, Kalamazoo
Head to Kalamazoo to meet your new slithering best friend! Buy sell or trade a variety of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and other exotic pets. Snakes, lizards and many more exotic animals will be on display and ready to warm your heart during the winter season.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – Guided Snowshoe Hike
February 21, Ontonagon
Snowshoers on this hike can ride the ski lift up the hill then snowshoe down the east side of the ski area. With a stop at East Vista for the view then bust through fresh snow on the way back down. Bring a camera on this picturesque hike. All experience levels welcome. Snowshoes can be borrowed from the park if needed, just arrive a few minutes early. The hikes is 2 hours and of moderate difficulty.

Michigan Historical Museum – Picture-Perfect Photography Hunt
February 21, Lansing
Bring your camera or smartphone and find your artistic voice in the museum galleries! Take a selfie and then post it to the Michigan Historical Museum page on Facebook. Usually, flash is not allowed in the exhibits, so look for the special “flash allowed” signs. This activity is included with museum admission.

February 23 – 28

Outdoorama
February 26-March 1
Whether it’s hunting, fishing, boating, canoeing, hiking, camping, mushroom hunting or bird watching – this is one of the year’s best shows. The Outfitter’s Expo area along with major feature attractions like Big Buck Night, Entertaining Dog Acts and the Trout Pond provide the best place to book the trip of a lifetime or entertain the family. In addition, there will be a huge display of boats, docks and lifts and marine accessories.

Tony-N-Tina’s Wedding
February 27, Warren
At Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, audience members play the roles of Tony n’ Tina’s family and friends. Allow yourself to be caught up in the activities! This incredible evening of entertainment will be something you and your friends will be talking about for many years. $63 advance tickets include: show ticket, champagne toast, Andiamo gourmet Italian dinner, a piece of wedding cake, and entertainment.

timthumbWinter Beer Festival
February 27-28, Grand Rapids
Winter Beer Festival is an outdoor celebration of Michigan beer, featuring over 600 beers from more than 70 breweries. Dress for winter weather and let the hearty winter brews warm your soul. Snow, rain, or shine.

Big M Moonlight Ski
February 28, Manistee
The Big M Moonlight ski and snowshoe is a tradition that will get you out of your house on a beautiful winter’s night and ski the freshly groomed trails of Big M! Portions of trails are lit up by candle light making this a memorable trek for any cross country ski enthusiast. During the event, event organizers open up the warming lodge and offer warm desserts and drinks to warm up after an evening of great skiing.

Polar Plunge
February 28, Chippewa Lake
Get in touch with your inner Michigander and take a dive into frozen Chippewa Lake! A polar plunge is an experience unlike any other! The Chippewa Lake – Mecosta/Osceola County Polar Plunge takes place February 28, 2015, at Chippewa Lake. The parade of costumes will start at 12:30pm. The After Splash Bash will take place immediately following the plunge at the Chippewa Township Community Building.

What’s your favorite way to spend a snow day in Pure Michigan? Share your photos enjoying winter fun using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram or visit michigan.org/snowday.

Pure Michigan January 2015 Events Roundup

The New Year has almost arrived and we couldn’t be more excited about everything happening throughout Pure Michigan in 2015. From snowshoeing tours to the world famous North American International Auto Show, January is filled with events for everyone to enjoy. For a full list of events in Michigan, visit michigan.org/events.

Week of December 29 – January 5

Marquette New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
December 31 – January 1
Every New Year’s Eve at the intersection of Washington St. and Front St. becomes the location where locals and visitors come together in a large crowd to welcome in the New Year. On the 12th strike an illuminated ball is lowered from the historic Savings Bank Building. This year will mark the 26th anniversary!

Charlevoix Bridge Drop
December 31 – January 1
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a bang! Charlevoix’s second annual Bridge Drop will ring in 2015 with a downtown party full of festivities and fun. Daytime family friendly activities include a winter petting zoo, camel rides, snowman building, food trucks, s’mores and bonfires. The evening’s events of live music and activities throughout Charlevoix’s restaurants, bars and shops will culminate with the “bridge drop” and firework display at midnight. Fun for all, and all for fun!

Snowshoes

Family Snowshoe Hike
January 3, Midland
Whether you’re a beginner or have strapped snowshoes on many times before, the whole family is welcome to join a walk on the Chippewa Nature Center trails. You’ll be trained how to look for animal tracks, birds, and other points of interest and enjoy the snowy scenery.

Full Moon Night Skiing
January 3, Roscommon
Experience the magic of winter in a whole new light! Every full moon during the ski season, the Trapper’s Cabin trail will be lit with torches, creating a truly unique and memorable nighttime experience. There will also be a bonfire and hot chocolate served at Trapper’s Cabin!

Brides To-Be Show
January 4, Clinton Township
The holidays are over and you got engaged! How exciting! Now that you have all your family still here in town, why not have them join you at our biggest Eastside bridal show of the year at the Fern Hill Golf Club in Clinton Township. Find everything you need to plan the perfect wedding. Up to $20,000 in prizes including three different honeymoons, free tuxedos, and so much more! View over 80 local wedding professionals showcasing all the latest trends in weddings!

Week of January 5 -12

Ultimate Fishing Show
January 8-11, Novi
Follow the stream to Novi to experience Michigan’s largest pure-fishing show. This show is all about fishing tackle, fishing trips, fishing boats and will features Lake Ultimate, Trout Pond, Hawg Trough, Seminar Stages, Fish Fry, and more. The show appeals to anglers of all ages with all levels of experience.

Sleepy Hollow State Park Ice Art and S’mores
January 10, Laingsburg
Meet at the beach to create your own masterpiece of ice art and have a s’more when you’re done! Sleepy Hollow State Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with family while you create memories and beautiful works of icy art.

Dog SleddingMuskallonge Lake State Park 16th Annual Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race
January 10, Newberry
Have you been waiting to see a sled dog race? Here’s your chance! The Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race is a combination of pro and sport classes with professional 12-dog and 8-dog teams running 60 and 40 miles respectively, and with sports classes of 2- to 6-dog teams running from four to 30 miles. “Mush!” your way to Newberry to check it out!

Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam
January 10, Detroit
Monster Jam stars the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam Trucks! The twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and repping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over – OR smash through!

Winter Wetland Wildlife
January 10, Bay City
Discover Michigan’s winter survivors, the animals that are active throughout this long cold season of hardship. Learn how you can landscape your backyard to help them survive the harsh winter of Michigan through various plantings and artificial shelters. Take a look at the different feeder designs available and construct a feeder to take home.

Week of January 12 – 19

Wine About Winter
January 16, Grand Haven
Quit whining about winter and do something about it! What could be better than a multi-venue, multi-vineyard wine tasting focused solely on Michigan wines? Also featured will be appetizers and Michigan artists. Rick Sigsby, the noted Michigan author, will be present and signing copies of his book: Michigan’s Holy Water (The Great Lakes Wine Bible). Wander the snow-free warmth of heated sidewalks and a cozy downtown and discover your new favorite Michigan vintage. All you have to lose is your case of the winter blues!

IceFishing

Bay City Recreation Area under the Ice
January 17, Bay City
Ever been ice fishing? Ever wonder what happens under the ice? Come discover who sleeps all winter and who is wide awake, actively seeking out food and shelter and avoiding predators under the ice. Includes live animal encounters!

Tecumseh Ice Sculpture Festival
January 17 – 18, Tecumseh
Enjoy watching ice carvers as they create glistening works of art before your eyes. There will be ice carving demonstrations, dueling sculpture carving competitions, interactive ice sculptures, the Winter Warm-up Beverage Walk, Chocolate Walk, Children’s Craft Activities, merchant sales and specials, Lost Arts demonstrations, live music & Bell Choir performances, ice skating at Adams Park and much more!

Kalkaska Winterfest
January 17 – 18, Kalkaska
Top sled dogs and their drivers from all over North America will attend this two-day race of heart-pounding excitement. Other activities include IWPA dog weight pull, outhouse races, Corvettesilent auction, craft show and more!

North American International Auto Show
January 17 – 25, Detroit
Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

 

January 19 – 26

Tip Up Town USA
January 23 – 25, Houghton Lake
2015 is the 65th year for Tip-Up Town USA, a family festival held on Houghton Lake. Activities for all ages that include parade, ice fishing contest, ice slide, family fun tent, carnival, outdoor games, snowmobile drag races and more.

Parrots of the Caribbean | Concert
January 24, Coldwater
To combat the winter weather, enjoy a trip to Margaritaville. Voted the number one Jimmy Buffet tribute act in the country, this group of five musicians brings excitement, energy and a night filled with warm-weather flair.

Michigan Historical Museum: A Statehood Day Celebration
Michigan-Historical-Museum1-300x200January 24, Lansing
This year, our annual Statehood Day celebration honors the 178th birthday of the Great Lakes State. In the museum, you’ll discover how Michigan joined the United States and what life was like for pioneers; plus, you’ll enjoy hands-on activities, costumed interpreters and unique artifacts.

Chili Winter Evening
January 24, Lansing
Warm up with a steaming hot bowl of chili on this cold winter evening. This family-friendly event includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride to see the beautiful trails of Woldumar Nature Center in the winter, campfire to warm up near, and live music.

Harlem Globetrotters
January 26, Saginaw
The world famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their unrivaled family show to The Dow Event Center on Monday, January 26, 2015, at 7pm. They will face a great challenge, the Washington Generals!

January 27 – 31

Festival of the Arts
January 29 – February 28
The Festival of the Arts is an annual series of entertainment, educational and cultural events offered daily throughout February in Big Rapids. The Festival features a variety of art, film, and music presentations, as well as interactive workshops and contests. All Events are held in Big Rapids.

Little Red Riding Hood
January 31, Grand Rapids
The timeless tale of a spunky young girl and a crafty wolf whose plans are foiled by a modern day twist. Featuring the Grand Rapids Symphony and the dancers of the Grand Rapids Ballet. Don’t miss the chance to experience this exciting and classic “tail”!

Muskegon Snowfest
January 31, Muskegon
Celebrating its 31st anniversary, the Muskegon Snowfest brings fun activities for the young at heart and all families and visitors of Muskegon County. This one day festival, centered on Western Avenue, brings the traditional soup/chili cook-off by area restaurants, kidsfest, snow cornhole tournament, snow volleyball, and an entertainment tent with live music, plus – it’s heated!

Ice Breakers 2015
January 31 – February 2
West Michigan’s predominant and growing winter festival is showcasing dazzling ice sculptures, Chili Cook-off, Pub Slide, horse drawn wagon rides, kid crafts, and many more exciting events. A major highlight of the event is the sculpting of more than 50 blocks of ice, weighing 300 pounds each, into incredible works of frozen art. While admiring all the amazing ice displays along the way

Do you have an annual January tradition to kick off the New Year? Share it by commenting below!