Year-Round Fun Keeps Everyone Moving

Living in the Great Lakes Bay Area means 4-season recreation right in your own backyard.

In the summer months, several area beaches beckon swimmers, loungers and beach volleyball enthusiasts alike. For families with young children, manmade lakes like Sanford Beach offer calm waters to splash in, while those who prefer the thrill of larger waves enjoy the beaches along the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. Boat along the scenic Saginaw River and stop off at Bay City’s riverside Hooters for dinner or dock at Wenonah Park for a summer concert or to experience the magnificent 3-day Fourth of July Fireworks event. No boat of your own? No problem. Several river cruise packages are available throughout the Great Lakes Bay Area all summer long.

If you’re more of a landlubber than a seafarer, strap on your hiking boots or pack up your bike and head to the beautiful wooded trails of Bay City’s Tobico Marsh or Midland’s City Forest. Or, for a smoother ride, visit any of the numerous Rail Trails in the area. Tour one of the half-dozen lighthouses within a 75-mile radius for a step back in maritime history, and visit area spray parks, community pools, playscapes, summer camps, festivals and carnivals to keep the kids active and sociable. Camping is another favorite family activity during the warm months in Michigan, with private and state-owned parks offering spots for trailers, tents, RVs and even cabin rental.

When the weather turns cool, the fun doesn’t stop. Visit one of many Mid-Michigan apple orchards and pumpkin farms, weave through corn mazes and test your scare quotient during a haunted hayride. Once the snow starts falling, the Great Lakes Bay Area becomes a winter wonderland, ready for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, sledding and ice skating. Create Christmas memories by cutting down your own tree at one of several old-fashioned tree lots or treat the family to a horse and carriage ride through the snow-covered and superbly decorated streets of nearby Frankenmuth.

Throughout all four seasons, fishing and game sports are plentiful, with peak deer hunting season in mid-November.

When you’re ready for a little indoor time, area recreation centers offer weight training, cardio classes, indoor climbing walls, racquetball, tennis, squash, swimming, basketball, volleyball and more. Bowling venues are plentiful and indoor fun centers, like Kokomo’s Family Fun Center in Saginaw, offer a day’s worth of indoor activities for kids of all ages.