You might think your local parks go unused during our long Michigan winters. With the exception of those places that are home to some great sledding hills, your snow-covered favorite parks might just seem like a reminder of how long you have to wait until spring arrives.
Fortunately, that’s not always the case.
Several family-friendly activities are planned over the next two months at local parks that offer a great chance for your kids to get out of the house, enjoy the fresh air and release some pent-up energy.
Here’s a look at some of the top park events we found in January and February – and of course, you can always enjoy a winter walk on one of the area’s best hiking trails.
Just one important tip: Dress for the weather!
Do you have a favorite winter park event to add to our list? Tell us in the comments section and we’ll include it on our list!
The Rink at Campus Martius Park
- Where: Campus Martius Park, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- When: Times vary daily, through March 3, 2019
- Cost: $10/adults, $8/kids and seniors $5/skate rental
- Contact: 313-962-0101
Open daily, the ice skating rink at Campus Martius Park is a local favorite and fun for the whole family in the heart of Detroit.
Winter Wildlife Walk at Lake St. Clair Metropark
- Where: Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township
- When: 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2019
- Cost: $4/person, $10/vehicle entry
- Contact: 586-463-4581
Kids ages 7 and up are welcome to go on a winter woodland hike to learn how different animals adapt to the changing seasons. Pre-registration required.
Frosty Freestyle and Krazy Klassic at Huron Meadows Metropark
- Where: Huron Meadows Metropark Ski Center, 8765 Hammel Road, Brighton
- When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12- Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019
- Cost: $38-$45/person (plus a $3.50 race fee), $12/kids race (plus a $3 race fee), $10/vehicle entry
- Contact: 734-426-8211
Enjoy two days of cross-country ski races, including a kid’s race on Saturday and a freestyle competition. Registration required. All skill levels welcome.
Lake Erie Ice Daze at Lake Erie Metropark
- Where: Lake Erie Metropark, 32481 W. Jefferson, Brownstown
- When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19-Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019
- Cost: $2/person, $10/vehicle entry
- Contact: 734-379-5020
Celebrate the winter season with two days of snowsnake, atlatl throwing and other traditional outdoor fun. Plus, there’ll be indoor crafting, fly tying and musical performances.
Squirrel Appreciation Day at the Sterling Heights Nature Center
- Where: Sterling Heights Nature Center, 42700 Utica Road, Sterling Heights
- When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019
- Cost: Free
- Contact: 586-446-2710
Learn about the bushy-tailed critters and how they impact their environment. Crafts and other activities included.
Winterfest and Family Cookout at Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center
- Where: Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, 4101 River Bends Drive, Shelby Township
- When: noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019
- Cost: Free
- Phone: 586-323-2478
Find snow-themed games, chilly crafts and fun wintertime activities. Then, warm up by a roaring fire and enjoy some campfire treats.
Winter Survival Mini Camp at the Wint Nature Center
- Where: Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
- When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019
- Cost: $12/child
- Contact: 248-625-6473
With the help of the naturalists, kids ages 9 and up will learn how to make a shelter, build a fire and find their way around a snowy wilderness. Crafts, too. Pre-registration required.
Ice Harvest at Kensington Metropark
- Where: Kensington Metropark, 4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford
- When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019
- Cost: Free/admission, $10/vehicle entry
- Contact: 248-684-8632
Learn about ice harvesting and how it helped people survive before the invention of refrigeration through demonstrations and hands-on experiences.
This post was originally published in 2015 and is updated regularly.