For those of us who choose to live in Michigan, embracing each season is part of the joy. The state is a winter wonderland come this time of year, with plenty of January events and opportunities. Here are a dozen to consider.
Jan 5 Treetops Skiable Feast – Gaylord
Often the only downside to enjoying a gourmet feast, is needing to work off all of those calories. What if you could enjoy one, while accomplishing the other, and in a pristine setting? This culinary adventure takes you on a 6 km (3.8 miles) cross country ski excursion that features food and beverage stations along the way. The event runs from 9AM-3PM and is $89 per person. If you miss it on 1/5, you can schedule for 1/12, 1/19/ 1/26, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23 or 3/2. Beginner level skiers or snowshoers are welcome.
Jan 12-14 International Ice Sculpture Festival – Plymouth
Plymouth’s Kellogg Park might well be the coldest selfie hotspot in the state each January. Each of the hand-carved sculptures on display is a stunning, albeit temporary, work of art. You never know what you’ll see. Previous masterpieces have included castles, monsters, and even Mount Rushmore. Check them out, pose for pics, and pop into a local downtown eatery or shop to warm up. You can even munch on a delectable taste of Michigan from our friends at U.P. Pasties Co. on Forest while in town.
Jan 19-20 Winterfest & Snowmobile Races– Caro
Michigan is a magical place to snowmobile, but it can be equally incredible to watch others take part in the sport, especially when they are the best of the best. Head to the Thumb for a truly fun winter extravaganza. Watch professional snowmobile racing, enjoy meet-n-greets with the drivers, check out the chainsaw carving competition, partake in a local pub crawl, listen to live tunes, bid in a silent auction sled, dine, drink, and be merry.
Jan 23-27 Thunder Bay International Film Festival – Alpena
We Michiganders love our water, but when it’s too cold to be on it or in it, we have also been known to curl up with popcorn and a good movie to await the spring thaw. Thankfully, each year the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary combine the two. For five days in January, northeast Michigan hosts some of the most impressive ocean and Great Lakes films from around the world, complemented by social events, educational activities, and opportunities to meet filmmakers.
Jan 23-28 Zehnder’s Snowfest – Frankenmuth
What Plymouth likes to do with ice, Frankenmuth likes to tackle and also add snow to the mix. If you want to inspire your family to create frozen art that extends beyond a man with a carrot nose, then this is the place to be. Pros gather at Zehnder’s Snowfest each season for one of top snow-sculpting events in North America. These larger-than-life snow and ice sculptures are beautifully detailed. Marvel as they’re being made, or simply walk amongst the completed pieces. When you’ve seen enough, or seen them all, grab some of that famous fried chicken or get a local-centric meal from the fine folks at Michigan on Main.
Jan 26 Ice Wine Harvest Festival – Old Mission Peninsula
What better time than January to explore the wonders of ice wine? For those unfamiliar, the category derives its name not from how it is served, but from the way it is made. Ice wine is a delectable sweet treat that can only be made from grapes that are frozen on the vine. During this unique celebration, guests are invited on one of 3 tours to follow the path of the frozen grape in the Chateau Chantal cellar where ice wine is made. There will also be plenty of opportunities to taste and purchase the sweet nectar.
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