Metro Detroit is a Winter Wonderland! Here’s How to Enjoy it

Story By: Max White


Detroit and the surrounding areas are known for having tough winters. From frigid temperatures to sometimes wild snowstorms, it might seem miserable in the area, but it doesn’t have to be.


In Detroit and the counties surrounding the city, there are a variety of things that people of all ages can do to have an incredible time in the winter. Fun events and things don’t have to take a break during the winter, and we’ll show you how to have fun.

Wayne County and City of Detroit


Ice Skating at Campus Martius

The Rink at Campus Martius Park is open all throughout winter in the heart of Downtown Detroit with ice skating for everyone.

For those looking to be a little competitive, there is a broomball league every Tuesday night from 6:30 p.m. to 10 pm. With all equipment provided.

Winter at Valade

Located right along the Detroit River, one of the newest parks in Detroit is hosting its second annual Winter at Valade every weekend through the end of February.

Every weekend features sledding, hot drinks for kids and adults, winter games like curling, fires, roasted marshmallows and much more. Best part, entry is free!

On top of the event every weekend, there are several special event weekends. Check out some of the ones to look forward to:

Jan. 14-16: Fire and Ice – Ice carving, an ice throne, techno dance party and more

Jan. 28-30: Winter around the World – International food trucks, curling demos, parade of nations

Feb. 11-13: Motown Love – Live music, carriage rides, date night in the park

Feb. 25-27: Mardi Gras at Valade: Second line Band, mask make, Creole-inspired cuisine and more


Plymouth Ice Festival

One of the biggest winter festivals of the year is in Downtown Plymouth. The Plymouth Ice Festival runs Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb. 14 with ice carving, ice festival bingo, different vendors and a ton of places to eat and drink. The sculptures will be available to view 24 hours a day and will also remain up after the event.



Redford Theatre

If you’re looking for a break from the cold, the historic Redford Theatre in Detroit has a variety of shows throughout the winter.

The theatre opened in 1928 and still has its original theatre organ, now taken care of by the Motor City Theatre Organ Society.


Drive-In Movies

You can see a movie right in the heart of Downtown Detroit at Bedrock’s Monroe St. Drive-In. Next to Campus Martius, the theatre will hold movies every weekend through the spring with space for dozens of vehicles. There are also seating pods available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and concessions are available on site. Tickets are $20 per car, and walk-ins are available for free.

The Ford-Wyoming Drive-In in Dearborn is also open every weekend offering new movies and double-feature movies.


Grab some popcorn, hot cocoa, and cozy up for a holiday movie at Detroit’s downtown drive-in ️ swipe to see from above! Upcoming shows include titles like The Polar Express, Elf, and Abominable. Prefer a more theatre-esque experience? This year the Monroe Street Drive-In also has nine outdoor seating pods that can seat 2-4 people! Open through spring every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. Visit the link in our bio for more info! @bedrockdetroit @emaginetheatres @jakevorkapich & @colindetroit #Detroit #DetroitLove #DetroitCity #DetroitMichigan #DowntownDetroit #Winter #TisTheSeason #Christmas #Holidays #HolidayVibes #PureMichigan #Travel #TravelVibes #TravelLife #TravelGram #Traveling #USA #Midwest #Michigan #TravelUSA #Trip #WinterTravel #TravelTheWorld #TravelLikeALocal #HolidayLights #ChristmasLights #FamilyFriendly #WeekendVibes #WinterDestination #WinterWonderland

A photo posted by Visit Detroit (@visitdetroit) on

Photos courtesy of: Bedrock Detroit and Downtown Detroit Partnerships

Downtown Detroit and Wayne County are filled with a variety of winter themed options for all ages to enjoy.
Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Oakland County


Bowers Farm Winter Park

In January and February, Bowers School Farm, part of the Bloomfield Hills School District, hosts a winter park with food, fire and much more.

One of the most popular things to do is snow tubing, which you can do during the day and under the lights. Tickets have to be purchased ahead of time, and cost $14 for a 50-minute tube rental each hour.

For those who just want to hang out with less action, there’s the Bowers Farm Kitchen. You can get hot coca, popcorn and specialty pizzas. You can also warm up next to the fire and roast s’mores, which you can also purchase from the farm kitchen.



Winter Blast

Winter Blast is moving from Downtown Detroit to Royal Oak in 2022 but still keeping many of the same traditions. This year, it will take place from Feb. 4-6, 2022 near the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market and Centennial Park.

Organizers said while the location is new, the activities have not changed, and you can expect to see an outdoor ice rink, ice sculptures, live music, family activities, the winter slide and much more. Admission is free!


Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is open 362 days a year. In the winter, they are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it will provide you a unique experience seeing some of the animals in the winter. In all, the zoo has more than 2,000 animals representing 237 species of amphibians, mammals, birds and reptiles. This time of year, the annual Wild Lights covers the park in holiday lights, making it the perfect experience for all ages and some really great Instagram photos.



Macomb County


Blake’s Winter Wonderland

Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill, located in Armada, is one of the best places to celebrate winter in the northern parts of metro Detroit for people of all ages. The Winter Wonderland features a synthetic ice-skating rink that is more than 2,000 square feet, a 25,000 square-foot outdoor gathering space with an open-air tap room with hard cider and beer, igloo dining, donuts, delicious food and more.

You can buy 50-minute skating passes for $15 skate rental is available for $5 as well, but you can bring your own skates.


blakefarms turns into a WINTER WONDERLAND this weekend at their Tree Lighting + Mistletoe Market! Starting this Saturday, November 20th, wintertime fun begins at Blake Farms – where you can come find the perfect Christmas tree, skate around their outdoor ice rink, gather together for a family dinner in an igloo, and of course, enjoy hot cider, donuts and other delicious treats! This weekend, join Blake’s as they celebrate their 75th anniversary with their inaugural Tree Lighting Ceremony + Mistletoe Market – admission is FREE! The market will be open from 10am – 5pm with a variety of area artisans, crafters and boutiques. The Tree Lighting will be at 5pm. ️SAVE THE DATE and get your tickets for their upcoming winter events – including a meet and greet with Anna & Elsa (December 12) and craft / ornament making with the Grinch (December 18 + 19)!

A photo posted by LittleGuide Detroit (@littleguidedetroit) on


Photos courtesy of Detroit Zoo and photo by Mark M. Gaskill, Winter Blast by Quicken Loans and photo by Bill Bowen

Oakland and Macomb counties have plenty of room for families and outdoor adventurers to explore fun activities like snowshoeing, snowboarding and cross country trails.

Other Things To Do


Snowboarding and Skiing


For those looking to have some thrills, metro Detroit and its surrounding areas have great hills for skiers and snowboarders, and even for those wanting to learn. Check out some of the best below.


Pine Knob

Located in Clarkston, Pine Knob is open throughout the winter and has lift tickets for those who have their own gear, and also rentals for those who want to try it.

There are more than a dozen routes for everyone from beginner to experts.


Alpine Valley

In White Lake, Alpine Valley has 25 different slopes – 11 of which are beginner, 6 intermediate and 8 advanced. They also have rental gear available, and freestyle terrain parks for people to try some more advanced tricks.


Mt. Holly

In northern Oakland County, Mt. Holly also has more than a dozen different hills for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.


Mt. Brighton

On the western edge of metro Detroit, Mt. Brighton has 24 different trails, 30% for beginner, 40% for intermediate and 30% for advanced and experts.

Huron Clinton Metroparks cross country skiing

Snowshoeing/Cross Country Skiing


If you’ve ever wanted to try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, there are a ton of parks around metro Detroit where you do so! Belle Isle Park right in Downtown Detroit has plenty of opportunities and places to snowshoe or cross-country ski. There’s the Maybury Hiking Trial at Maybury State Park in Northville or the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area in Oakland County.

Also, there are Huron-Clinton Metroparks around metro Detroit with more than a dozen, so there are many close to you. They have plenty of opportunities to snowshoe, cross country ski or other fun.


Visit a Museum


Metro Detroit is filled with some of the best museums in the state and the country. If you want to escape the cold, there are plenty of things to do. Learn about the history of Detroit at the Detroit Historical Museum. You can learn more about African American history and culture at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The Detroit Institute of Arts features world-class art collections and a historic Diego Rivera mural. Finally, see some of the oldest and craziest artifacts from America at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

Detroit Institute of Arts Rivera Court

Photo by Bill Bowen

Keep Your Golf Swing Fresh


While you might not be able to golf outdoors in metro Detroit during the winter, there are ways to keep your swing loose and fresh. Carl’s Golfland has two locations – one in Bloomfield Hills and one in Plymouth – where you can hit balls outside in heated bays. There are also a variety of indoor golf simulators like X-Golf with locations around metro Detroit. If the weather is warm enough, some courses might even be open!


Photos courtesy of Detroit Institute of Arts Rivera Court by Bill Bowen, Huron Clinton Metroparks cross country skiing photo courtesy of Huron Clinton Metroparks, photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Campus Martius Park
    800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    Robert C. Valade Park
    2670 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  3. 3
    Downtown Plymouth
    850 W. Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth, MI 48170
  4. 4
    Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
  5. 5
    Oakland County Parks
    2800 Watkins Lake Road, Waterford, MI 48328
  6. 6
    Huron-Clinton Metroparks
    13000 High Ridge Drive, Brighton, MI 48114
  7. 7
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
  8. 8
    Detroit Historical Museum
    5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  9. 9
    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
    315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  10. 10
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  11. 11
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
  12. 12
    Redford Theater
    17360 Lahser Road, Detroit, MI 48219, USA
    (313) 537-2560
  13. 13
    Monroe Street Drive-In
    32 Monroe St, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  14. 14
    Ford Wyoming Drive-In
    10400 Ford Rd, Dearborn, MI 48126, USA
    (313) 846-6910
  15. 15
    Bowers School Farm
    1219 E Square Lake Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304, USA
    (248) 341-6475
  16. 16
    Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill
    17985 Armada Center Road, Armada, MI 48005, USA
    (586) 784-5343
  17. 17
    Maybury State Park
    49601 Eight Mile Road, Northville, MI 48167, USA
  18. 18
    Pontiac Lake Recreation Area
    7800 Gale Road, Waterford, MI 48327, USA