Photo from Unsplash
Originally Posted On: https://orsmi.com/orsblog/winter-ann-arbor
Did you know that Ann Arbor has an average annual snowfall of 43 inches? But despite the falling temperatures, you will find plenty of ways to stay active throughout the winter months.
These 10 unique winter things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan are sure to keep you busy all winter long, helping to chase away any winter blues!
1. VISIT THE MATTHAEI BOTANICAL GARDENS
Winter isn’t usually the time of year to go to a garden, but the Matthaei Botanical Gardens are different. This indoor green space at the University of Michigan is a tropical haven of flowers, fruits, and plants all year long. It’s no wonder that it is a popular spot for visitors when the temperatures drop below freezing.
The conservatory is home to more than 900 plant species, including tropical and desert plants. If you need a warm place to go that makes the Michigan winter seem far away, Matthaei Botanical Gardens is the perfect destination this winter in Ann Arbor Michigan.
2. GO ICE SKATING IN ANN ARBOR
Most of us have been ice skating at an indoor rink. But it is another experience altogether to put on your skates and hit the ice under a cold winter sky.
At Buhr Outdoor Ice Arena, you can get the chance to skate outdoors in Ann Arbor all winter. The arena also offers skate rentals and regularly open skate sessions. There is periodic hockey throughout the winter season, weather permitting, as well as plenty of on-site facilities such as concessions, locker rooms, and skate sharpening. Once you visit Buhr Outdoor Ice Arena, you’ll never want to go back to skating indoors.
If you prefer to skate indoors in Ann Arbor, you can also find great facilities at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube! This indoor rink offers open skating as well as skating lessons, hockey equipment rentals, and community team sports. The rink is open year-round, so you can visit at any time. You can also make a visit to the on-site cafe, arcade, and fitness center, located in the same complex!
3. SING ALONG AT THE ANN ARBOR FOLK FESTIVAL
Every February, when the winter days might start feeling long and dreary, Ann Arbor fights the blues with the Ann Arbor Folk Festival. Hosted at the famous Ark music club, the folk festival has been an Ann Arbor tradition since 1976.
The intimate setting is perfect for performances from well-known artists and up-and-comers alike. In fact, you might even see some extremely famous faces. Recent performers have included Kiefer Sutherland, Ron Pope, and Jeff Daniels. This event is unmissable for Ann Arbor folk music lovers!
4. SNUGGLE UP AT A CAT CAFE
If there was ever an activity to scare away the winter blues, it might be cuddling with some cats while drinking a hot cup of coffee. Tiny Lions is a one-of-a-kind cat cafe in Ann Arbor. It is operated by the Humane Society of Huron Valley and doubles as an adoption center. You can come just to play with the cats or simply enjoy their company while you work or have a drink.
If you find yourself falling in love with a feline, all the cats at Tiny Lions are adoptable. There are also regular events, including “Mewvie” nights and cat yoga!
5. LEARN HOW TO BAKE
Ann Arbor is home to one of the most well-known and beloved bakeries and candy companies in Michigan, Zingerman’s. If Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor is an old favorite or you’re just looking to develop new skills, you can now take a baking class with professionals from the company. These offer the chance to learn how to bake everything from basic bread to elegant French pastries like palmiers.
There are also seasonal classes available as well as classes for kids who are learning the art of baking. This is the perfect way to spend a gloomy winter’s afternoon, especially since it ends with a fresh treat right out of the oven.
6. RENT SOME SNOWSHOES OR CROSS COUNTRY SKIS
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter activities throughout Michigan, and once you have experienced it, it’s not hard to see why! They are a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful natural sights of the best green spaces and parks in Washtenaw County. There are tons of places to buy or rent winter sports gear.
You will find great Ann Arbor cross country skiing trails and snowshoeing trails at parks throughout Ann Arbor and the surrounding area (like the Hudson Mills Metropark in nearby Dexter). Some of these wind alongside the Huron River, providing breathtaking wintry vistas that you won’t want to miss. Every outdoors enthusiast will want to experience this unique outdoor adventure during winter in Michigan.
7. ENJOY THE TASTES OF ANN ARBOR DURING ANN ARBOR RESTAURANT WEEK
Is there anything better than supporting local businesses while enjoying all the best food that a city has to offer? During Ann Arbor’s annual Restaurant Week, you get to do both. This event takes place in late February with more offerings than you can count.
You’ll find everything from live demonstrations on how to prepare an amazing meal to vegetarian and vegan food, to-go menus, and special courses designed just for the event. One thing is for certain: you had better come ready to eat because you won’t be leaving with an empty stomach!
8. GET A DRINK AT THE ANN ARBOR DISTILLING COMPANY
Ann Arbor Distilling Company is a one-of-a-kind distillery near downtown Ann Arbor where you can find unique liquors, brews, and cocktails. Their tasting room is open to visitors throughout the year, offering the chance to try seasonal drinks. Winter is a particularly great time to visit, when you will find special craft beers, holiday brews, liqueurs, and cocktails.
The company features a unique gin for each period of the year. When the holidays roll around, you can find seasonal favorites like peppermint schnapps, coffee liqueur, cranberry liqueur, and absinthe. There is nothing to battle the winter blues like sipping on a delicious, locally-made drink with friends.
9. SUPPORT LOCAL ART AT ARTINI
ARTINI is one of the most exciting and interesting local fundraisers in Ann Arbor. This unique event combines a martini crawl with funding for local artists and galleries. Participants get to enjoy one-of-a-kind drinks and put their money toward a great cause.
So how does it all work? Participating venues serve up a signature martini just for the night. Participants go from venue to venue sampling each drink and voting for their favorite. Many of the featured cocktails are inspired by famous artists or art pieces! Funds go to the Ann Arbor Art Center to support their endeavors in the local art community.
10. GO SLEDDING AT LESLIE HILL
It should come as no surprise that Ann Arbor is a great place to go sledding. The whole region gets a lot of snow every winter, so each year, the community hits the slopes to have some fun. One of the best places to go sledding in Ann Arbor is Leslie Hill in Leslie Park.
This overlooks a nearby golf course, offering some beautiful views while you descend. Leslie Science and Nature Center is also in the area, featuring even more hills for some fun variety. Other popular Ann Arbor sledding hills include Huron Hills Golf Course and Buhr Park.
STAY ACTIVE THIS WINTER IN ANN ARBOR
Michigan might be the land of ice and snow, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay holed up indoors. When the temperature drops, you can find all kinds of activities and events throughout Ann Arbor, from art displays to outdoor activities, family-friendly festivals, and more!
P.S. If pain or discomfort are keeping you from enjoying all that winter in Ann Arbor has to offer, call us. Our Ann Arbor physical therapy clinic is here to help you get back to working, playing, and living pain-free!