2022- 2023 Winter Break Activities for SWMI Families

Winter Break Activities

Have Snow Much Fun with Winter Break Activities

It doesn’t get better than having time off to relax, enjoy time with family, and bask in one of the most enchanting seasons of the year, no matter which holiday you celebrate.

However, as the school hiatus progresses, the kids develop a strong case of cabin fever, and you are fresh out of ideas. Where to take the kids sledding or tubing? Where can you find indoor activities when you need a snow break?

We have done the research so you don’t have to: this guide includes 25+ boredom-smashing winter break activities to entertain and engage families in Kalamazoo over winter break.

Most area schools start winter break officially on December 24 and return to school on Monday, January 9, 2023.

Ice Skating Tubing Sledding Skiing

Play Inside

Although we all love a good snowball fight, cold weather also inspires some warm and dry activities inside.

These shops, museums and other local favorites serve as some great indoor spaces to explore and play during break.

Winter Break Idea 1 – Visit the Air Zoo

6151 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49002

The Air Zoo and West Michigan Toyota Dealers are excited to present the return of the Winter Break Family Fun Days!

Get hands-on during the winter break with fun educational activities for the entire family!

This year’s Winter Break Family Fun Days will be running from 10AM – 2PM on December 28 & 29 and January 4 & 5.

These events are free of charge to Air Zoo guests and members.

Winter Break Activity Air Zoo 2022
featured partner the Air Zoo

More Indoor Play Ideas

2- Test your artistic skills by painting pottery at Art Bayou. You can paint in the studio or create at home and drop them off for the kiln.

Kalamazoo Pottery Painting

3 – Find out “What’s Going on With This Picture?” at the KIA. This exhibit will challenge your VTS, or Visual Thinking Strategies to analyze art at the museum. Challenge your kids to come up with a story for different pieces!

FYI: Admission is FREE for kids 12 and under.

4 – Climb the walls at Allegan Event. Allegan Event offers ziplines, climbing walls, and Michigan’s largest indoor ropes course.

Allegan Event 2022

5 – Go ice skating at Wings West. Be sure to check their schedule online for open ice times.

6 – Try a hot cocoa bomb from a local restaurant. Add warm milk and watch your chocolate drink come to life!

7 – Make your own Sand Candle with Kalamazoo Candle Company.

With shops in both Portage and Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Candle Company provides two convenient locations for this fun activity.

Sand = no drying time and you can add as many or as few colors as desired. Each color has a different scent.

For an additional fee, kids can also decorate the candle jar with stickers.

Kalamazoo Candle Company

8 – Try a new restaurant. Skinny Kenny’s BBQ was voted #1, but there are plenty of local options for all palettes.

9 – Work on your inner Jackson Pollock at Pinspiration. Schedule some time in their splatter room to create your masterpiece.


Outdoor Winter Break Activities

Let it snow! Embrace the beauty of a Southwest Michigan winter and get outside- or at least outside in your car to see some light shows before the holiday season ends.

10 – Go skiing or snowboarding at Bittersweet Ski Resort in Otsego.

11 – Go on a scavenger hunt for beautiful artwork downtown with a mural crawl. If the weather is calm, this free activity is a fun way to see the city AND beautiful artwork at the same time. Win. Win.

Kids at mural in Kalamazoo

12 – Try out a new favorite sledding spot in SWMI.

13 – Experience one mile of Christmas lights as you drive Marshall’s Merry Mile. The Merry Mile runs through December 30; the cost is $10/car.

Christmas Lights

14 – Bundle up and go for a hike on one of our favorite trails.

15 – Take a stroll downtown through the sparkling lights.  We recommend some shopping or grabbing dinner while you are on the mall too!

Downtown Kalamazoo Holiday Lights Kalamazoo Shopping

16 – Ride the Holly Jolly Trolley on NYE. For its last run of the season (maybe date night?), the trolley runs from 8PM – 12:30 AM on New Year’s Eve.

17 – Try snow tubing.

18 – Dine outside in an igloo. Bundle up and dine outside in a heated igloo at a local restaurant. Most restaurants recommend reservations.

Winter Outdoor Dining- NEDS

19 – Go cross-country skiing at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

20 -Take a drive down Christmas Card Lane to see over 40 oversized Christmas cards in the Westwood neighborhood.

21 – Try our Portage driving route to see lights, sights and bites! We recommend a walk through Celery Flats to see the KZOO Kids Tree and historic buildings.

Portage-Christmas-Lights Route 2022
Celery Flats 2022

Road Trip

Looking to explore beyond Kalamazoo? Try these day trips during break.

22 – Head west to St. Joe and stroll through over one million twinkling lights. Light Up the Bluff runs through February 15, 2023.

23 – Go on a gnome hunt in Frankenmuth. Pick up the map in the Visitor Center.

24 – Try some drive-through lights in other cities in the Mitten. The Christmas Lite show (pictured) runs through December 31, 2022, in Comstock Park.

LMCU ballpark Christmas Lights

Idea 25- Visit a Scheduled Winter Break Event

Local museums and organizations have planned some fun events over Winter Break.

Try this list for some family-friendly activities before returning to school:

More to Explore

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