Our 12 things to do in Michigan in January 2022 are centered around the great outdoors. It’s time to embrace our winter wonderland.
January 11 Gallery Chat: Michigan Arts & Artists – Grand Rapids
No matter the season, Michigan is home to majestic landscapes, intriguing communities, and talented artists. During this Gallery Chat at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, you can take a journey into Michigan’s culture, and discuss artists from the past, and present, that call this state home. The event runs from 1 1pm-2pm. Docents will be stationed by specific works from native Michiganders. Stop by to chat with them about the art and artist.
January 15 Michigan Adventure Race – Muskegon
Take part in the largest winter adventure race in the U.S. You and your teammate(s) will run on and off trail, navigate with a map, and even snowshoe (short loop, snowshoes provided). Conquer Amazing Race-like challenges, collecting as many checkpoints as possible in three hours. Get fit and have big fun with this unique racing opportunity. Registration includes the race, a shirt, chili lunch and access to a cozy lodge for warming up after the race.
January 15-16 13th Annual Ice Sculpture Festival – Tecumseh
If you’ve never been to Tecumseh, it’s a charming small town worth exploring. Go during this special event and you’ll have over 35 ice sculptures to discover in addition to the shops and eateries. Life-size balloon sculptures will also adorn the sidewalks as a new attraction for this year’s event. You can even take part in a scavenger hunt involving participating merchants. While in town, pop into Pentamere’s tasting room to sample some local wine. Teetotalers may prefer to warm up with a spot of tea at the British Tea Garden.
January 17 Martin Luther King Day at The Henry Ford – Dearborn
Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other courageous civil rights leaders, by spending MLK Day at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. In honor of the holiday, admission is free. Tickets are limited due to the pandemic, so we highly recommend reserving your spot in advance. View the Rosa Parks Bus and listen to the story of her brave act. Take in the interactive program Minds on Freedom, highlighting the contributions of Dr. King, Mrs. Parks and civil rights champions like the Freedom Riders. Then explore the proud and often challenging evolution of American freedom in the exhibit With Liberty and Justice for All.
January 22 Ice Fest – Dexter
Another of Michigan’s quaint small towns worth a visit is Dexter, which celebrates winter this month with an annual ice fest in Monument Park. The event features over 35 ice carvings and live demonstrations. Several merchants will be offering specials as well for your dining and shopping pleasure. When you get thirsty, be sure to stop into the Beer Grotto for a fantastic selection of local libations.
January 22-23 & 29 Tip-Up Town USA – Houghton Lake
Known to many as the state’s longest running winter festival, this event is all about embracing cold weather activities, including a polar bear dip! Try your luck in a fishing competition or side by side race on the lake. Tackle the ice slide or take in some snowmobile drag racing. Kids will love the Grand Parade and carnival rides. Adults will love the beverage tent.
January 26-30 Zehnder’s Snowfest – Frankenmuth
For three decades, Zehnder’s Snowfest has entertained and delighted visitors to Michigan’s Little Bavaria. It’s the giant snow sculptures that keep us coming back for more. Many of these unique works of art will melt your heart. 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. Be sure to also stop into Amazin’ Mitten and buy yourself a little something special that was made in the Great Lakes State.
January 27 Made in Michigan Beer Dinner – Jackson
Join the friendly folks at Grand River Brewery for a three course dinner presented by Chef Megan Vilminot and Head Brewer Wyatt Andrews, featuring hearty Michigan favorites with ingredients sourced from local farms. Tickets are $55 each and include three courses and three beer pairings. While in town, bundle up and take a stroll as the walls have been bedecked with several stunning new murals over the past few years.
January 27-30 Winterfest – Grand Haven
It may be better known for its summer Coast Guard celebration, but Grand Haven is also tons of fun during Winterfest, which takes place annually during the last full weekend of January. Check out the ever-changing status of Lake Michigan as it freezes and thaws along the shore. Plus, there are a ton of activities. Join in on Glowbowl, the Sleepwalker Run, cardboard sled races, the Family Dog Pull, Freeze 4 All Snow Volleyball, or ski and snowboard competitions. Alternatively, Compete in Michigan’s favorite winter pastime—a Euchre tournament. Cap it all off with some beer and wine tasting and enjoy the Bonfire Bash.
January 28-29 – Heikki Lunta – Negaunee
If you’ve never heard of Heikki Lunta, you’re not alone. The fictional Finnish snow god was created when a Yooper invented him in a song asking for enough snow not to cancel a planned snowmobile race in 1970. The result was almost too much snow, and the legend was born. Nowadays its mostly cause for a fun U. P. weekend which kicks off with the lighting of the traditional bonfire at Tobin and Iron Streets. Scheduled festivities this year include the Irontown Rail Jam Competition for snowboarders and skiers, lantern snowshoe tours of Old Town, a stroll through the Tunnel of Lights, the Teal Lake Ice Fishing Tournament, and the infamous Freeze Yer Fanny Fatbike Race. Fireworks will close out the weekend fun.
January 29 Pure Ludington BRRRewfest – Ludington
Legacy Plaza is the place to be for one of the seasons best local tasting opportunities. This annual craft beer fest also features wines, ciders and meads. Over 25 Michigan makers will be pouring. Live music food, drinks, and new friends to be made. What more can one ask for from a late January fest? This open-air event runs from 1-6pm. You can gather around the outdoor fireplace or head into the warming tent to stay toasty throughout the day. Admission includes 6 tokens for 6 tastings. Additional tokens will be available at the festival: five for $5. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Ludington State Park, a non-profit volunteer group that cares for one of the state’s recreational gems. Do some good while having big fun.
January 28-29 Ann Arbor Folk Festival – Ann Arbor
The Ark is the state’s go-to destination for spectacular folk music. While this event takes place at Hill Auditorium on the campus of U of M, proceeds will help keep The Ark alive and thriving through these difficult times. Each night includes a blend of well-known and up-and-coming artists, providing you with an opportunity to hear some you know and love, while discovering great new talent. Participating musicians include Gina Chavez, Sweet Water Warblers, Glen Hansard, Punch Brothers, and Emmylou Harris.
Join us on social media for ongoing discussions about Michigan travel destinations. Tweet @BuyMichiganNow and let us know when you make it to one of our 12 things to do in Michigan in January 2022. For next month’s event highlights, or to get ideas for your local bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page.