Snow Many Opportunities for Outdoor Fun this Winter
We know Michigan winters don’t have the best reputation.
Between shoveling the snow to get to the mailbox and seeing the sunset well before dinner time, it’s easy to see why winter isn’t everyone’s favorite season.
Make the most of the winter wonderland in Southwest Michigan with endless opportunities for the kids to enjoy the outdoors. Trade in your rakes for shovels and upgrade your fleece for the puffiest coat you can find: winter is coming!
As you stock up on hot cocoa to warm those cold noses and rosy cheeks, we’ve rounded up the best activities for the family to enjoy the open air.
Whether it’s sledding down a hill, tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, or competitive downhill skiing, we’ve found the favorite spots in the Kalamazoo area for winter fun.
Verify hours of operation before heading out. Inclement weather can shut down outdoor locations and indoor locations can cancel ice time due to tournaments or special events.
Academy of Dance Arts
At Academy of Dance Arts dancers experience a nurturing environment where everyone shines.
Dancers will build friendships, confidence, and learn what it means to be part of a team. The memories that dancers create at ADA will last forever.
Sledding is an annual winter activity for all ages that does not require much more than a bundled kid and a favorite sled. We’ve tracked down a handful of awesome sledding hills where you can go to enjoy the thrill of slipping and sliding your way down a snow-packed hill. This list below includes the favorites from our readers.
SAFETY NOTE: Check with property owners before sledding and follow all local laws and regulations.
Hillside Middle School
1941 Alamo Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Spring Valley Elementary
3530 Mt. Olivet Rd, Parchment, MI 49004
Woods Lake Park
2900 Oakland Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Snow Tubing & Tobogganing
If you want to up your sledding game, tubing is another fun option. Make sure to verify age and height requirements, bring cash, and call the snow lines to make sure they are open.
S8495 East H Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
269-349-3017 (Main) 269-349-3291 (Snow)
Echo Valley offers tubing and tobogganing at their premier winter sports park.
Tubes and toboggans are provided; there are no age or height/weight restrictions for their activities. Cash Only.
Hours: Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM with special weekday hours offered during the holiday season & winter break.
59475 County Park Dr, Three Rivers, MI 49048
This 160 acre park is home to a dog park, sand volleyball courts and a 36-hole disc golf course. Once the snow falls, enjoy tubing on two hills and cross country skiing.
Tubes are provided; park entrance fee is $4 (day pass) or $20 (annual). St Joseph County residents are free.
07500 23 1/2 Street, Gobles, MI 49055
269-694-9449 (Main) 269-694-9158 (Snow)
Timber Ridge is located on 60 beautiful, wooded acres northwest of Kalamazoo. They offer skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.
Tube riders must be at least 5 years old and 42 inches tall.
Kick off winter on the right foot and stave off cabin fever when you lace up skates and hit the ice rink. Ice skating, hockey, broomball, and curling are all fun activities on ice to try.
Don’t worry about getting too cold – as we’ve listed options for indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks.
Indoor Ice Skating Rinks
75 Houston St, Battle Creek, MI 49017
Family owned and operated, The Rink in Battle Creek offers open skate, hockey leagues, and Sticks & Pucks sessions.
Open Skate: Sunday: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Drop-In Hockey: Tuesday & Friday: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
280 Romence Rd, Portage, MI 49024
Millennium Park’s outdoor refrigerated rink features skate rental, skate sharpening, snack concessions, restrooms, warming house, and lockers.
Season: Early December – Early March
Hours: Thursday – Friday: 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM with special weekday hours offered during winter break.
2022 Update from the City of Portage:
The Ice Rink at Millennium Park was scheduled to open for its 22nd season on Thursday, December 2, 2021. However, mechanical issues are causing a delayed opening and the rink is temporarily closed as we work to resolve the issue. The city is optimistic that the Ice Rink at Millennium Park will be open for skating in mid-January.
Once the maintenance issue is resolved, the Ice Rink at Millennium Park will remain open through Sunday, March 6, 2022, weather permitting. This large outdoor refrigerated rink features skate rentals, skate sharpening, snack concessions, restrooms, lockers and an excellent skating surface! Call 324-9200 for more information and current ice rink conditions.
546 Phoenix St, South Haven, MI 49090
South Haven is home to a pavilion- covered outdoor ice rink. Due to its cooling system and covered roof, this outdoor rink is open during warm weather (as high as 50 degrees).
Skate rental and skate sharpening are available on-site, curling available.
Season: Late November – Early March
Hours: The rink is open daily, hours vary
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding
Ready to hit the slopes? We’ve found three fun spots for skiing and snowboarding locally.
Each resort offers equipment rental and lessons to help all skill levels. All locations also offer online snow reports and/or webcams to view conditions before you head out.
600 River Rd, Otsego, MI 49078
269-694-2820 (Main) 269-694-2032, ext. 23 (Snow)
Bittersweet Ski Resort offers 20 runs of skiing fun and a 350 foot vertical. For beginners, they can ride the “Wondercarpet” (think moving sidewalk) to the tops of the hill, rather than a chairlift.
Lessons: Ski school, race camps, private and group lessons
13421 Mann St, Jones, MI 49061
269-244-5635 (Main) | 269-244-8016 (Snow)
Swiss Valley has 11 runs of varied difficulties and a 225 foot vertical.
Lessons: Ski school, Valley Kid Program, ladies only lessons, progressive lessons
07500 23 1/2 St, Gobles, MI 49055
269-694-9449 (Main) 269-694-9158 (Snow)
Timber Ridge offers 15 runs of varying difficulties and a 240 foot vertical.
Lessons: Kids program, private and group lessons
Cross Country Skiing
If downhill skiing is not your thing, lace up some cross-country skis instead.
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