Things to do in Northern Michigan

8 Winter Activities in Northern Michigan

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Are you looking for winter activities in Northern Michigan?

On a recent trip to Boyne Mountain in Michigan, as I was walking back to my room after getting coffee I ran into a mother and son in the hall. I asked him if he’d been skiing yet this week and he said he had, and as we were chatting about the slopes, his mom asked me what other fun things there are to do.

Skiing is a fun winter activity in Northern Michigan

I realized as I rattled off a bunch of fun winter activities, that although I’m not a local, we’ve been coming to Northern Michigan several times a year for over a dozen years! So, I DO know a thing or two about winter activities in Northern Michigan.

Ready for my list of favorite things to do in the winter at Boyne Mountain.

Outdoor Winter Activities

Even if you think you don’t like winter (and cold weather), bundle up and give at least one of these winter activities a try. You might surprise yourself!

1. Downhill Skiing

This is the main reason we started visiting Boyne Mountain every winter. It is by far our favorite winter activity! As a midwest resident, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to drive to Boyne than to head out west to ski each year. Especially with kids.

Skiing at Boyne Mountain is a fun winter activity in Northern Michigan

The skiing at Boyne Mountain (as well as their neighbor Boyne Highlands) is actually really nice. There are about 60 runs of varying difficulty and plenty of lifts to get you to the top of the mountain. The runs aren’t long, but the variety keeps it interesting. And, there is an excellent beginner lift and slope for those folks learning to ski.

2. Tubing

Another really fun (and EASY) winter activity is tubing. Boyne Mountain has its own tubing hill with four runs. You simply purchase an hour-long pass, head over to the hill, and hop on a tube.

Tubing is another fun winter activity in Michigan

You are pulled up the hill while sitting on your tube, so it’s super simple and no work at all!

For those who aren’t up to skiing, tubing is a really fun thing to do in the winter!

Insider tip: Dress warmly for tubing as you aren’t moving around as much as you do with some other winter activities. Here is my list of things to pack for a ski trip – which would also be perfect for tubing!

3. Skating

Ice skating is also one of my favorite fun things to do in the winter in Michigan. Boyne Mountain has its own (free) rink. They even supply skates although we often bring our own.

Nearby at Walloon Lake, if the conditions are right there is another free rink right outside Barrel Back Restaurant. So, head over there for an afternoon of skating and then warm up inside with a delicious meal and tasty beverage!

4. Other outdoor winter activities at Boyne Mountain

Boyne Mountain also has a host of other fun winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even riding fat-tire bikes. You can easily rent equipment at the lodge, but we always bring along our own snowshoes since they are a super affordable yet fun activity!

In the evening you’ll often find a bonfire and s’mores to roast. Even just grabbing a hot chocolate from one of the restaurants and walking around the village is a wonderful way to spend a winter evening at Boyne Mountain.

Indoor Winter Activities

Tired of bundling up and getting outside in the cold? There are also plenty of fun things to do in winter in Michigan without wearing a million layers. Here are a few favorites that we enjoy on most trips.

5. Learn about and EAT chocolate

As the headquarters of Kilwins, we typically take the short drive over to Petoskey, Michigan to tour the Kilwins factory and indulge in our favorite treats. At the main location you’ll find ice cream, freshly made fudge and chocolate galore.

Enjoy a free chocolate tour for something fun to do in Michigan

Related posts: Check out our experience enjoying the Kilwins Factory Tour

6. Hit the arcade

Boyne Mountain has an arcade attached to the indoor water park and we always end the trip with a game night. Everyone gets $20 to play whatever games they choose. I typically stick with skeeball and just have fun while the kids try to rack up as many tickets as they can on various games.

7. Indoor waterparks are one of the BEST winter activities in Northern Michigan

Also attached to the Mountain Lodge is the Avalanche Bay indoor water park. Although you can buy an all-day pass, we’ve always found an evening one to be sufficient – especially after a full day of skiing.

There are several hot tubs, a number of really fun waterslides, and a wave surfer. Lots of fun for everyone!

I do highly recommend a one-piece suit if you plan on trying the surfer – just speaking from experience here! I found this one and always throw it in my bag just in case … with a higher neck and being one piece, I have nothing to worry about!

8. Shopping and sightseeing can be a winter sport

All around Boyne Mountain are adorable little towns chock full of interesting boutiques and delicious restaurants. Pick a town, grab a coffee from the local coffee shop and explore!

Shopping in Petoskey is a fun winter activity

My favorite is Petoskey, but we also typically enjoy a few hours in Boyne City (which looks like it’s straight out of a Hallmark movie if there is a light snowfall), Harbour Springs and sometimes we even venture over to Charlevoix.

Related Posts: A Fun Family Day in Petoskey and The Best Boyne City Restaurants

What’s even better is that there is some sort of winter festival just about every weekend between January and March, so chances are you’ll get to enjoy one on your visit. If you are looking for a hotel, we typically stay either at the Mountain Grand Lodge or the Bluegreen timeshares (both slopeside).

👉 Ready to book your winter trip to Boyne City, Michigan? Check out availability and rates here at

We’ve had fun checking out ice sculptures in Harbor Springs, eating chocolate at the Chocolate Covered Boyne weekend in Boyne City, and having fun at the Kids Festival Weekend at Boyne Mountain through the years. Just to name a few!

There are so many wonderful things to do and winter activities in Northern Michigan that you could easily spend several weeks and not hit them all! This is just a small taste to help you plan your next winter vacation!

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Are you looking for winter activities in Northern Michigan? Fun things to do with your family this winter? Check out this post to discover all the fun you can have during a Michigan winter! #winteractivities #thingstodo #Michigantravel
Are you looking for winter activities in Northern Michigan? Fun things to do with your family this winter? Check out this post to discover all the fun you can have during a Michigan winter! #winteractivities #thingstodo #Michigantravel