Michigan winters can be a long slog of the cloudy and grey, and this year's Farmer's Almanac is predicting a winter even more frigid than usual. Before you barricade the doors, slip on a Snuggie and hibernate 'til spring, we're here to intervene with a map of Detroit wintertime fun. From the cheap to the posh, the sober to the sloshed, the active to the sedate—we've got you covered.Read More
Mapping Detroit's Best Ways To Bust Those Winter Blues
1. Rouge Park
Detroit, MI 48239
River Rouge Park is one of Detroit's biggest sledding venues. Actually, its 1,184 total acres make it one of Detroit's biggest anythings. You'll find the sledding action behind the stables, just off of Joy Road between Spinoza and Outer Drive.
2. Ford Drive-In Theatre
The "world's largest drive-in" won't let falling temperatures get between motorized moviegoers and cheap double features. Sweetening the deal with an optional "car heater" means a good winter weekend can be found in the right within confines of your car.
3. Clark Park
Clark Park's spacious rink means your ice-time isn't spent retracing a claustrophobic loop, while some tasty offerings on Vernor give you the option of a post-skate snack. Call ahead for open skate hours.
4. Cafe Con Leche
Detroit, MI 48209-2113
Nothing in the city satisfies your hot chocolate jones quite like a ridiculously thick, rich Chocolate a la Taza from Cafe Con Leche in Mexicantown.
5. Sugar House Craft & Cocktails
Everyone knows that blizzards are best enjoyed from the cozy confines of your local bar, but Sugar House's delicious selection of hot drinks means you're sure to spend the next Snowpocalypse toasty and toasted.
6. IMMERSE Spa at the MGM Grand
Any old chain motel can fill a concrete hole with chlorine, but we suggest drowning your winter blues at the MGM Grand's indoor infinity pool. Day passes cost a hefty $25 per person, but entry is free for guests of the hotel. What would Danny Ocean do?
7. Urban Snowmobiliing
Detroit, MI 48201
A few people caused quite a stir last year when they took footage of themselves snowmobiling around Detroit. Starting at the Riverwalk, they went east on Jefferson and eventually north on M-10. To be clear, we're not suggesting you do that. But it sure does look fun.
8. Boll Family YMCA
Although cheaper than the MGM's infinity pool, this YMCA is certainly no second-rate facility. Built in 2003, the Boll Family YMCA has been called one of the best in the country. For non-members, access to the pool for a day costs a reasonable $15.
9. Belle Isle
Detroit, MI 48207
Once you've finished gazing at the incomparable majesty of Belle Isle's Ice Tree, stick around to enjoy the gaggle of other winter activities the island has to offer. More active readers might be partial to cross-country skiing and canal-skating, but we're excited about the onslaught of Poinsettias at the Anna Scripps-Whitcomb conservatory. Not only was the building designed by Albert Kahn; it's also warm and full of palm trees. Admission is free.
10. Masonic Temple
The Detroit Derby Girls will be heating up the Masonic Temple all winter long, with inter-league monthly matchups that include a double header on January 5. Advance tickets start at $12.
11. Eastern Market Shed 2
Detroit, MI 48207
Though most of Eastern Market's trademark bustle is in the summer months, we're mitten-ing up and heading over to Russel Street for better parking spots, smaller crowds, and the delicious addition of a new vendor selling New Orleans-style beignets and chicory coffee in Shed 2.
12. Detroit Institute of Arts
Baby, it's cold outside, but the DIA will be here to warm you up as their Friday Night Live! Series continues all winter long. Provided the world doesn't end this Friday, you can catch the two performances of A Jazz Nutcracker, a jazzy reinterpretation of The Nutcracker Suite written by Detroit native Mike Jellick.
13. Balduck Park
Sledding at Balduck Park is just part of growing up in Detroit, at least on the city's east side. The western face of the hill offers a perfect slope, but only the bravest dare attempt a run down the ridge's rocky backside.