Things to do in michigan during the winter

85 Things To Do In Michigan (Up North) During The Winter For $10 or Less…Many Are Free

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Winter can be a tough time in northern Michigan. We generally have limited daylight hours and when it is daytime the sun is only out on occasion. The cold and snow can be troublesome for some and complete enjoyment for others. At times it’s beautiful to look out and see freshly fallen snow on the trees and other times you think if you see one more flake of snow you’ll lose your mind. It’s best to combat the tough days by getting out and enjoying all the things to do in Michigan during the winter months.

To help you out we’ve come up with a list of 85 things to do in Michigan, Up North, for $10 or less and we have found many things that are free. I’m keeping it $10 or less because you might want to save those pennies to take the next flight to somewhere warm. No judgement here, I don’t blame you one bit and will probably be on the same flight. Until then….have fun and enjoy all that is Northern Michigan.

Note: In this segment of Things To Do In Michigan we are covering Northern Michigan and looked at towns north of US-10 and up to Mackinac Island.

I’d like to thank Dee Schwerin for her extensive contribution towards this article. Without her I’d probably be stuck at 35 things…lol.


1. Take in a movie at historic State Theater in downtown Traverse City. $6.50

2. Go for a hike at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore. Snow covered dunes and hills reflect beautifully off of Lake Michigan. FREE

3. Get out of the house with with kids and learn through play at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum $7

4. Absorb the art and culture at Dennos Museum. There is a permanent display of sculpture, prints and drawings by the Inuit artists of the Canadian arctic and is one of the largest and most historically complete collections anywhere. $6

5. The Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center continues to share the story and history of the Grand Traverse Band of Anishinaabek.  FREE

6. Visit one of the many wineries, breweries or distilleries for a local beverage. One of my faves is Northern Latitudes in Lake Leelanau.  Varies, up to $10

7. Try some cheese or attend a cheesy event at The Cheese Lady. Varies, FREE to $10

8. Throw a few strikes or play a round of billards at Lucky Jack’s. Varies, up to $10

9. Grab your snowshoes and take a hike through the vineyards at BlackStar Farms. Snowshoeing is FREE, mulled wine $5

10. Explore the meaning of the Danish word Hygge at Crooked Tree Arts Center “A Winter’s Glow Exhibition.” Through Feb 25, FREE

11. Get ready to yell BINGO while enjoying a beer at Hop Lots Brewery during Brewery Bingo, every Thursday. Suttons Bay. FREE to play bingo, pay for beer.

12. Winterlochen, February 18, is a full day of hands-on experiences like snow painting, treasure hunt, making s’mores and, of course, a fun frozen fish toss. Interlochen. FREE 

13. Pack a lunch and stop in for Michigan’s only live TV variety show at Picnic at the Opera. There are four unique shows every Wednesday in February from 12pm to 1pm. FREE

14. Lace up your ice skates at F&M Park and practice your axel jumps and spins. FREE


15. Take a self-guided tour of the Earl Young Homes (aka Hobbit Houses, Mushroom House). FREE

16. Celebrate Groundhog Day at Shadowfest. Enjoy a chili cook-off, games, free kids movies, beer tent and more. February 3-5. Varies from FREE to $10.

17. Enjoy a travel talk at the Charlevoix Public Library. Chats include Colombia, the Great Lakes and Boats. FREE

18. Enjoy a Folk Concert at the library. FREE

19. Take a sleigh ride (dates vary through March 4) at Boyne Highlands. $10

20. Connect science, history and art at Raven Hill Discovery Center in East Jordan. Second Saturdays are FREE.


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