Chippewa Nature Center
Winter Wonders

Feet on the ground in wintry gardens or high in the sky on a snowcapped canopy walk — these outings for families help keep cabin fever at bay!

Wander in Winter Gardens

Explore 110 acres of snowy gardens, where exploration's encouraged in every season. Watch the kids take in the winter-white scene from big, red architectural bridges, look out onto groves of snowcapped trees, and warm up while they enjoy a tropical conservatory.

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Step Inside a Frozen Forest

At 1,400 feet long and up to four stories high, imagine how epic the Canopy Walk at Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens must look to tiny eyes! Add massive wooden pods to play in, huge cargo nets in a grove of giant spruce trees, plus a glass-floored platform where they can peer down over it all — and plan on little ones who'll never want to leave!

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Venture Out

If the kids like to ski or snowshoe, Chippewa Nature Center in Midland has 19 miles of open-dawn-to-dark trails you'll all love exploring together. Make your way past the Homestead Farm, a one-room Log Schoolhouse, and Native American wigwam — and even catch a glimpse of the Sugarhouse, where sap gets turned into sweet maple syrup each spring!

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Bronner's | @katieincolors
Capture That
Christmas Spirit

In one of the world's most Christmassy towns — or at the world's largest Christmas store within it — find memorable traditions to share in this holiday season.

Feel the Magic

With more than 50,000 trims and gifts and 300 decorated trees on display, could there really be anyplace more magical than Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland? Let the kids pick out their own special ornaments to have hand-personalized right on-site, and pose for a family photo with one of the 17-foot Santas as you leave. After dark, make your way back for a drive down 25 Christmas Lane — lit up by 100,000+ holiday lights, every night of the year.

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Take A Sleigh Ride

For a cozy carriage ride through one of the "Most Magical Christmas Towns & Villages Across the World" (that feels like stepping right inside a snow globe), bring the kids to Michigan's Little Bavaria. Find Fantasy Carriage Company or Frankenmuth Carriage Company and cuddle up on your tour of this Christmas town, covered in holiday lights.

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See Santa's Reindeer

On special weekends November - December, Grandpa Tiny's Farm in Frankenmuth is transformed into Santa's Reindeer Farm — with pre-cut Christmas trees & wreaths, baby reindeer meet & greets, visits with Santa, and reindeer barn photo ops that'll hands-down make this year's holiday cards!

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Wenonah Park | @jeffcaverlyphoto
See These
Cities All Aglow

From illuminated ice skating rinks to dazzling holiday displays, we're cranking up the lights and the holiday cheer right with it.

Take a Few Frosty Laps

Nothing gets the kids ready faster than the promise of old-fashioned ice skating (and the hot cocoa that inevitably comes after). Rent skates on-site or bring your own for the lighted rink in Bay City's Wenonah Park — where a holiday tree topping 35 feet gives off a colorful glow. Or, take the ice at Hoyt Park in Saginaw, then stay to enjoy its sledding and snowboarding hills.

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Play at a Winter Sports Park

All it takes is a little snow to turn Midland City Forest into a Winter Sports Park with all the bells and whistles. From snow-packed and iced toboggan runs to a sledding hill that's lighted until 10 p.m., miles of trails for snowshoeing or skiing, and a huge ice skating rink — enjoy it all. Rent gear here or bring your own from home and warm up at a fire pit by the Chalet!

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Brighten Up the Season
Festive Holiday Lights Displays

From a 40-foot Spectacular Musical Tree Show in Frankenmuth to a colorfully lit, fresh-cut tree topping 35 feet in Downtown Bay City — you won't have to look far to find holiday lights for the kids! See a festive display in Saginaw, too, and don't head home without enjoying The Freeland Lights: an incredible holiday light show set to music of Christmas classics, and one you can catch from the warmth of your car.

Blair Cook

A Great Lakes Bay native, Blair is the Founder at Brandscape — a boutique creative company specializing in content. Her favorite part? Sharing stories about the Pure Michigan places she loves!