Snow Many Opportunities for Outdoor Fun this Winter

Sure, we know Michigan winters don’t have the best reputation. Between shoveling the snow to get to the mailbox and seeing the sun set 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.

Winter Fun - Kids in a sled pulled by Grandma - Kalamazoo

Winter Outdoor Fun Guide Menu

Sledding
Toboggan & Snow Tubing
Ice Skating
Downhill Ski & Snowboard
Cross Country Ski

Have a Screaming Good Time Sledding Down These Hills

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.

Make sure to check with property owners before sledding and follow all local laws and regulations

Take Sledding to the Next Level with Tobogganing & Snow Tubing

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.

Echo Valley  |  8495 East H Ave, Kalamazoo | 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.

Meyer Broadway County Park | 59475 County Park Dr, Three Rivers | 269-467-5519
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.

Timber Ridge | 07500 23 1/2 Street, Gobles | 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.

Practice your Triple Axel Indoors or Out at these Rinks

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 Rinks

Lawson Ice Arena | 2009 Howard St, Kalamazoo | 269-387-3046
Skate like a Bronco! Located on Western Michigan University’s campus, Lawson Ice Arena offers open skate time during the weekend. All children 12 & under must be accompanied by an adult. Tip: Bring change for parking meters. Broomball offered. 

Open Skate:  Saturday  & Sunday: 2:00 PM – 3:20 PM | Drop-In Hockey: Wednesday: 10:10 PM – 11:30 PM

The Rink – Battle Creek | 75 Houston St, Battle Creek | 269-963-7565
Family owned and operated, The Rink in Battle Creek offers open skate, hockey leagues, and Sticks & Pucks sessions.

Open Skate: Sunday & Tuesday: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Drop-In Hockey: Tuesday & Friday: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Wings West | 5076 Sports Dr, Kalamazoo | 269-743-4218
Wings West features two NHL-sized ice rinks that are perfect for open skating and hockey.

Open Skate/Drop-in Hockey: Ice times vary (check schedule).

girls ice skating - Kalamazoo

Outdoor Rinks

Millennium Park | 280 Romence Rd, Portage | 269-324-9200
Millennium Park’s outdoor refrigerated rink features skate rental, skate sharpening, snack concessions, restrooms, warming house, and lockers.

Season: Early December – Early March | HoursThursday – Friday: 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM, Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM with special weekday hours offered during winter break.

Otsego Main Street Ice Rink | Near M89 & Farmer Street, Ostego 
FREE skating in downtown Ostego (make sure to bring your own skates).

Season: January – February | Hours: Weather dependent, check Facebook for updates

South Haven Ice Rink  | 546 Phoenix St, South Haven | 269-639-1113
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

Family Skiing - on lift kalamazoo

It’s All Downhill from Here for Skiers and Snowboarders

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.

Bittersweet Ski Resort | 600 River Rd, Otsego | 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

Swiss Valley Ski Area | 13421 Mann St, Jones | 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

Timber Ridge | 07500 23 1/2 St, Gobles | 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

Get in your Winter Workout with Cross Country Skiing

If downhill skiing is not your thing, lace up some cross-country skis instead. Enjoy some of Michigan’s winter wonderland at a slower pace. Need some help? Check out the Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers or Michigan Trails for additional resources.

Winter