Thumbcoast Blog

10 Ways to Find Joy in Michigan Winters

It’s winter time, now what?

If you find yourself counting down the days until summer, let us help you find the joy in winter again or maybe even find it for the first time ever! Here’s our top picks to help you have a more enjoyable time during the colder months in Michigan’s Thumbcoast or great suggestions for any winter destination.

1. Stay Fresh Air Active

Michigan is an outdoor winter wonderland and you won’t have to travel far to find a fun outdoor experience. Check out our Winter Activities List of communities offering outdoor ice skating rinks, sledding hills or where snowmobile trails are located for winter 2020/2021. If the list of winter activities isn’t something you’re able to do, take a walk outside for a few minutes every day to help re-energize you and curb any feelings of being cooped up.

2. Pamper Yourself

Pampering is the act of indulging or gratifying a desire and a great way to pamper yourself is booking a day at the spa. The indulgence of a spa isn’t just for women either; it can be for anyone to enjoy including families. Make plans for a cozy, relaxing day at one of the Spa Locations in the Thumbcoast.

Photo | Spa Blu, Port Huron

3. Dress in Excess

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” This old Scandinavian phrase is true and put simply; winter will be more enjoyable if you’re prepared with warm clothing. If you’re planning outdoor activities, get hand and foot warmers to help keep these sensitive areas warm for up to 10 hours for a more enjoyable experience. These wonderful warmers can be found at many local retailers or online. You can also make your own DIY Natural Warmers, see tip #5 for a place that can help you with this fun project idea for kids.

4. Wanderlust

Everyone loves looking forward to a vacation or summer plans, make plans to go somewhere. Use the Plan Your Trip tool and organize a “Bucket List” of exiting adventures and tour the coastal communities in Michigan’s Thumb. Exciting plans don’t necessarily mean traveling to a faraway destination. Arrange something to do every week through out the winter, even if it’s just getting a cup of coffee locally with a friend.

5. Mood Boost

Shorter days and increased darkness means our brains will naturally produce more melatonin; this is what makes you sleepier in the winter.  If you’re looking for a mood boost during this time, we have a few suggestions because the mind, body and spirit will need attention in different ways, here’s how:

Laughter and mystery will help boost your mood and keep your mind sharp. Try booking a private game show night or an escape room with Hallway Entertainment in Port Huron.

Exercise helps release tension, feels good and highly recommended if you follow tip #10. Try booking a personal experience or check out the virtual options from places like Port Huron Yoga or Afterburn Fitness locally.

Book a custom blending session with Anointed Essential Oil Blending Boutique in Marine City. They offer essential oils specific for immunity protection and a “Happy Place” blend to combat the winter blues. The customization will help you find the combination suited to boost your mood or a loved one’s mood, wink-wink.

Remember more sunlight is coming soon, use the Spring 2021 Countdown Clock to help boost your hope of warmer days ahead.

6. Make Something

Making something will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment so take advantage of the quieter season to find your inner artist. Some places that can help you with that are the Craft Loft in St. Clair and the newly opened, Foundry in Port Huron. Locations like these offer the tools to be creative, knowledgeable staff and work space in the toasty indoors.

Photo | Craft Loft, St. Clair

7. Toasting Winter

Raise your glasses or to-go cups and celebrate winter at one of the area’s new Social Districts. Many of our shoreline communities, like others in Michigan, have made a special allowance this year to allow alcoholic drinks in approved outdoor locations. The downtown area of historic Port Huron’s Military Street and Huron Avenue, St. Clair’s Riverview Plaza Park and Marine City’s Nautical Mile Park are all on the list of places with a Social District along the Thumbcoast.

8. Museum Exhibits

Support museums by planning a visit, it’s a great activity for the entire family with interactive experiences, historical relics and even trolley tours. Museums are all unique in their own way because each location will have displays unlike the other. This means you will need to make plans to see them all, click here to see our Thumbcoast Museums.

9. Learn Something New
Photo | local Photographer, James Siatczynski

Winter is often a slower, quieter season here and offers a great opportunity to learn something new. Did you know that our Thumbcoast is a popular destination for winter bird watching? Pick up a Birds of Michigan Field Guide as a reference and try out the Blue Water Birding Trails or the Tip of the Thumb Birding Trails. Another fun activity would be starting an indoor garden, growing vegetables or fruits isn’t just a hobby for the warmer months or for just the outdoors. Contact MIgardener in Downtown Port Huron or any local gardening shop to find out how to get started. Whatever your interest, find something you’ve always wanted to learn about and fill your winter with the joy of knowledge.

“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King

10. Eating for Winter Insulation

The desire to eat more in the winter goes back to primitive times when shorter days meant winter was here and the need to stock pile calories for insulation. This may not necessarily hold true nowadays; but the inner desire to eat comfort food is certainly there. Find Unique Eats in the Thumbcoast and try them all, you have all winter to do it! If you follow the tips to stay fresh air active or exercise, you’ll be able to have your cake and joyfully eat it too!


If you want to learn more about places to visit in Michigan’s Thumbcoast during any season contact the Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 810.987.8687 or visit BlueWater.org.

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