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Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

Perth, Australia
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Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

We're going to be in Michigan this coming December/January and would be grateful for some advise on what to do while we're there that'll be fun for our boys.

Thanks!

Manistique, Michigan
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for Manistique, Curtis
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1. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

Hello Harro5,

Welcome to the Michigan Forum.

I do not live in that area, so I won't be much help with your questions but you could give us the ages of the boys and what interest you have.

Another question is - have you played in the snow before. Do you Ski?

How far would you be willing to drive to see something of interest?

Edited: 04 August 2010, 06:36
Perth, Australia
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2. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

The boys are aged 8, 10 & 12. We're planning on skiing one week but need activities while staying in Kalamazoo for another week.

Thanks!

Ohio, USA
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3. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

I'm sorry but I have to ask. Is there a particular reason you have chosen Michigan in general and Kalamazoo in particular? Unless you have to be there for some extraneous reason it is not where I would choose to spend a week in the depths of winter. I live not far away in (with all due respect to Kalamazoo...) a much livelier city and aside from museums, theaters and concerts and the like there is not much to do that would interest kids with the exception perhaps of cross-country skiing. And it is bitterly cold here in January, usually below freezing for days on end with low temps down to -15°C or below.

But of course if for some reason this is a place you must be in January we will try to come up with things for you to do and see.

Venice, Florida
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4. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

I have to disagreee with Irish as far as the weather. Yes we can have very cold days in January, but February is usually colder. In fact you may hit very nice days in January. That's why we sometimes have what is called "the January thaw".

While I don't know much about Kalamazoo, I am sure someone will pop on here to help you. One thing I can remember is that they do have the Air Zoo, an air museum. Also, check the chamber of commerce website, they may have some special events planned for while you are there.

Ohio, USA
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5. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

Average high and low temps for Kalamazoo:

• January: 30°F/18°F

• February: 34°F/20°F

per wunderground.com

I don't think it will matter much to the OP in any case given that the corresponding average mid-winter temps in Perth are about 65*F and 45°F

Bay City, Michigan
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6. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

You will want to take your boys to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. A great place to see vintage airplanes, a rocket, other space memorabilia, and they have some rides you pay extra for-all inside! IT is a wonderful place to visit. I believe entrance fees have been waived for the near future.

Not sure if it is open in winter, but the Battle Creek Zoo is a nice small zoo to visit.

Michigan USA
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7. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

WOW Irish..........I didn't realize that Ohio was all that much warmer than MI in the middle of winter nor that we were so activity challenged! :-) I guess I must have missed the, "Michigan pulls in the rug and hibernates all winter" directive. :-)

At any rate, Harro5, there are plenty of things to do in and around Kalamazoo in January. (Disclaimer, I don't live in Kalamazoo) Here is the link to Kalamazoo's Chamber of Commerce for things to see and do.

www.discoverkalamazoo.com

If there's any particulars you'd like to know more about, post away, I'm sure someone will jump in.

Have fun planning your visit.

CIM

West Chester, Ohio
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8. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

Hi. I think you'll find a number of fun things to do with the boys in Kalamazoo or a short drive away. I agree the Air-Zoo should be a definite stop. There is also an interesting museum in downtown Kalamazoo that is great for kids. It has a planetarium inside of it and they have some interesting programming/ movies. You're also a short drive away from Lake Michigan which can get some interesting ice formations depending how cold it gets. At South Haven (about a 35-45 min drive) on the lake there is a Maritime Museum which might be good to visit after the Air Zoo. When our son was younger, we went to the Air Zoo and saw some planes that were found on the bottom of Lake Michigan and that were being restored. We then went to the Maritime Museum and saw other items that were found in Lake Michigan which made it all the more interesting for him.

If you're here over New Year's Eve, Kalamazoo has a big "block" party where you can go from performance to performance. I believe they have made it family friendly and provide appropriate activities and entertainment for kids. There are also concerts and performances with Western Michigan and Kalamazoo College in town. Kalamazoo also has a hockey team so that might be a place to take the kids for a game.

On the weather controversy, I live near Cincinnati, Ohio and have a lake house in Paw Paw which is about 20 minutes from Kalamzoo. We are usually up there between Christmas and New Year's and try to have a party for our neighbors one of the evenings. A fair portion of the times it has been in the 50's or 60's for our party so we end up hanging out on the deck. My husband has even golfed on a few occasions during that time period. Other times we have had the cold and the snow. Either way, it's a beautiful part of the US and I think you and your family will enjoy it.

Irish, are you in the Cleveland area? That might be a good road trip for them to come visit your area - as well as taking a train to Chicago for a day or a weekend. Thanks for your help on the Europe Forums on my Dublin to Marseille question.

Harro, hope this helps. BB

rod
Marshall, Michigan
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9. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

SNOW SPORTS

Bittersweet Ski Area - Otsego, 20 miles northwest of Kalamazoo

Swiss Valley Ski Area - Jones, 30 miles south of Kalamazoo

Timber Ridge Ski Area - Gobles, 15 miles northwest of Kalamazoo

Echo Valley - 5 miles east of Kalamazoo - Saturdays & Sundays only - toboggan runs, tubing slopes, and outdoor skating

SPECTATOR SPORTS

Kalamazoo Wings - minor league professional hockey team

Western Michigan University, a member of the Mid-America Athletic Conference, has both basketball and hockey during the winter

MUSEUMS

Air Zoo - an impressive collection of aircraft and equipment - includes experiencing actual flight simulators, a simulated space shuttle ride and a simulated ride on a mission during WW II, and other rides

Kalamazoo Valley Museum & Planetarium - history & science - at Kalamazoo Valley Community College

NOTES

Both the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners and the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek are closed during the winter.

Indianapolis
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10. Re: Michigan in the winter with 3 boys!

You might want to check out full Blast in Battle Creek. It has an indoor pool with waterslides and some other activities: http://www.fullblast.org/jsps/index.jsp

I would also highly recommend the Festival of Lights in Battle Creek. They have displays downtown, and Binder Park Zoo. My kids used to love the lights at the zoo. There was often a reindeer being led around that they could pet. (I'm not sure they still do that.)

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