Outdoor Winter Activities

Winter offers a variety of fun activities to do outdoors. The key to enjoying the outdoors during winter is to make sure you are dressed appropriately for the cold (layers people!) and that you have the appropriate gear for the chosen activity. Embracing the snow and cold does not hurt either.

Fat Tire Winter Biking

Fat tire biking is all the rage. If you are curious and want to try it out before you make an investment, you can rent a bike from a number of places (usually located near a trail).

The Department of Natural Resources list of trails

17 Trails to Try

Hiking and Snowshoeing

Hiking can happen anytime of the year – and it is often free. If you are feeling more adventurous, consider snowshoeing. Snowshoes are relatively inexpensive and a great way to have fun in the snow. Some parks also offer other planned winter activities for a modest fee. Places to check out this winter season include:

Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Independence Oaks County Park 

Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor 

Lower River Rouge Recreation Trail

Red Oaks Nature Center 

Ice Skating

Whatever your ability, lacing up skates and taking to the ice is essential wintertime fun. You can find places for ice skating fun in Metro Parent’s complete list of indoor and outdoor rinks in southeast Michigan.

Skiing, Snowboarding and Sledding

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Alpine Valley in White Lake is a great place to learn the ropes- snow is guaranteed. 

Of course, if skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, you can always test your nerve on one of the many sledding hills in southeast Michigan.

Winter Festivals and Festivities

Plymouth Ice Festival, February 11-13, 2022

Quicken Loans Winter Blast in Detroit

Rochester Fire and Ice Festival, January 2022

Winter Snow Spree, December 2021 at the Canton Public Library

Visit the Zoo

You can visit the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak during the winter. In fact, many animals are more active during winter. Check their website for special winter events like Wild Lights.

CPL Resources to Enhance Your Experience

Basic Illustrated Snowshoeing by Eli Burakian 

Ice Skating Basics by Aaron Foeste/photographed by Bruce Curtis

The Kids' Winter Fun Book: Homespun Adventures for Family Fun by Claire Gillman & Sam Martin

Snow Play: How to Make Forts & Slides and Winter Campfires Plus the Coolest Loch Ness Monster and 23 Other Brilliant Projects in the Snow by Birgitta Ralston

Snowboarding Skills: the Back to Basics Essentials for All Ages by Cindy Kleh

Winter Hiking and Camping by Molly Absolon 


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