Snow in the winter in Michigan is inevitable. We always get one or two good storms each season. Some years we get a big storm almost every week. So we know how to embrace winter and make the most of it. Here are a few things you might catch Michiganders doing when the snow flies:
1. Play a game of Euchre – Outside of Michigan and a few other Midwestern states, not many folks know how to play Euchre, a complicated card game in which the Jack is high. Michiganders have played Euchre since German immigrants introduced it in the early 1800s. Played in teams, it’s a game that encourages community, something that’s highly valued in Michigan’s small cities and villages. If you’re really good, you can even enter a Euchre tournament at the local church or lodge.
2. Make Snow Ice Cream – Snow ice cream is another tradition that’s been around since the pioneers. It made a comeback in recent years thanks to the internet. All you need is a gallon of fresh, clean snow, a cup of white sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla and 2 cups of milk. Stir it all together until you have something that’s the consistency of soft serve. Eat it quick before it melts!
3. Build a Snowman – If you have all that snow, you might as well get creative with it. Build snowmen, and turn it into a contest. Invite the neighbors to join in. Then in February after you’ve had lots of practice, you can take your skills to Cadillac, Michigan where they hold an official snowman building contest, complete with prizes, as part of the Annual North American Snow Festival.
4. Bake cookies – Nothing makes a house cozy quite like a warm oven and the scent of baking cookies. These Snickerdoodle Cake Mix Cookies are delicious and smell wonderful.
5. Visit the library – If you’d rather stay inside where it’s warm, head to your local library and look for a book by one of these Michigan authors. A snow day is always a good day to snuggle up with a book.
6. Watch Escanaba in Da Moonlight – Spend a classic Michigan winter day watching this movie about life in the Upper Peninsula. It stars Jeff Daniels, who is a Michigander himself. It celebrates Michigan culture and pokes fun at it with a little good-natured humor. Michiganders will pick up on the references to familiar things like the Mackinac Bridge and pasties.
7. Snowmobiling – The snow-covered roads may be too dangerous for driving, but you can still take the snow machine for a spin. There are more the 6,500 trails, and Michigan has one of the most interconnected snowmobile systems in the country. You’ll even find restaurants and hotels along the trails, as well as plenty of parking for towing vehicles and trailers.
8. Go Sledding and Ice Skating – Almost every town in Michigan has that one epic sledding hill where all the kids flock in the winter. Adults and can race downhill on a sled too. Ice skating is popular also, and many cities have their own outdoor ice rinks. You’ll find both at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park where you can also play hockey, go skiing and snowboarding and even play a game of curling.
9. Skiing – Speaking of skiing, Northern Michigan is home to world class ski hills at Nubs Nob and Boyne Mountain. You don’t have to go all the way to Colorado to hit some quality slopes.
10. Go to the beach – It might seem counter-intuitive, but the Lake Michigan beach can be an amazing place to visit in the winter. An ice shelf forms along the shore creating something that looks like a glacier. Frozen spray from waves turns lighthouses into giant ice sculptures. The combination of freezing temperatures and cold air create all kinds of crazy phenomenon you can only see in winter.