There are people who love winter sports and those who are counting down the days until beach weather. But one of the best survival methods for our long, gray Midwestern winters is to embrace the cold, the fluffy snow and the myriad opportunities for family fun.
We've gathered some of the best options around Southwest Michigan. Did you know there's a luge track nearby?!
Read on to find out more about that and other winter-y sports for the whole fam.
Ski @ Swiss Valley | Jones
This small resort has everything you need to spend a memorable day on the slopes. It features 3 run, 2 terrain parks, 7 lifts and a chalet, as well as lessons and special programs. The Valley Kids lessons run every weekend and start at $70.
Sled @ Van Raalte Farm | Holland
Head down the giant sledding hill at this historic farmstead, delighting in one of the simplest but most enjoyable winter pastimes. There are slopes of varying lengths, steepness and bumpiness to choose from, and lampposts to provide enough light for night skiing. Public restrooms are available.
Snow Tube & Toboggan @ Echo Valley | Kalamazoo
The toboggan run sends adventurous riders hurtling downhill at speeds of up to 60 mph, an exhilarating experience for all ages, while the adjacent tubing run provides plenty of its own thrills. Admission is $20 per person for all day play; cash only. No age, height or weight restrictions.
Snowshoe @ Degraaf Nature Center | Holland
Take a quiet walk through the woods with special snowshoe rentals at the nature center. It's a fun way to explore the winter landscape. Child sizes are available. There must be at least 4 inches of snow to use the snowshoes.
Luge @ Muskegon State Park
One of only four luge tracks in the entire country, the track was designed by three-time Olympian Frank Masley and features six curves and top speeds of around 30 mph. Lessons are available and include at least 3 runs. Participants must be 8 years or older.
Ice Skate @ South Haven Ice Rink
Under a large pavilion, the open air ice rink beckons skaters of all of ages with hours of cold weather fun. Bundle up and don't forget the snow pants. Trainers are available for a small deposit. A day pass is $4; skate rentals are $4. The rink also features curling.
Cross Country Skiing & Fat Tire Biking @ Love Creek | Berrien Springs
A rolling, 200-acre natural area featuring miles of groomed trails for classic and skate-style skiing. Rental equipment for classic-style skiing is available in youth and adult sizes. A winter trail is groomed for fat tire biking and fat bike rentals are available at the park.
Did we leave out any of your favorite winter sports? Be sure to let us know in the comments.