As we near the winter solstice, the temperature drops and our activities shift from running, biking and days at the pool to skating, sledding and skiing. So far this year there hasn’t been any snow, but even without it there are places to get your winter sports fix in.
At Suburban Ice on Hannah Boulevard, winter sports are in full swing, including open Mid-Day Skates for all ages ($4/person), Adult Public Skate ($5/person), Drop-In Hockey, and Sticks and Pucks. Group or private skating lessons are available, and there are hockey leagues for Youth, Girls, High School and Adults. Skates may be rented for $2, and it’s even possible to rent the whole rink for a party. Event schedules and other details may be found here.
Another popular destination for ice-skating is Munn Arena located on the campus of Michigan State University. Their rates for public skating are $6 general public, $5 MSU students/faculty, $4 group discount (prior arrangements) or $4 with Spartan VIP card or Military ID, with a $2 skate rental charge. They also have open hockey for $7 a person, and freestyle time slots for figure skaters ($8). Their schedule can be found here.
If you prefer to face the cold and play outside on snow shoes, cross country skis or just a pile of snowballs, many of the parks in East Lansing are open year-round. Specifically, there are cross-country ski trails at the Abbot Road Park, Henry Fine Park. Until there’s snow, these and the entire Northern Tier Trail offer great walks. Find a list of all public parks in East Lansing and information on which of them feature cross country ski trails here.
The classic East Lansing venue for sledding and saucering is “Mickey Mouse Hill” located behind MacDonald Middle School at 1601 Burcham Drive. There is also a (larger) hill located in Ranney Park, behind the Frandor Shopping Center. Ranney Park has a Lansing address (3201 E. Michigan Avenue) but is so close to East Lansing that it’s a viable option. Both venues are free and open to the public; Mickey Mouse Hill is open 24/7 and Ranney Park closes at dusk.
As for downhill skiing and snowboarding, you probably have to venture out of the East Lansing area. Popular destinations include Mt. Holly (in Holly, MI) and Pine Knob (in Clarkston, MI), both located about an hour from East Lansing. If you want to make more than a day trip out of skiing, you might consider the trek up to Boyne Mountain (Boyne) where there are world-class slopes, lots of lodging and accommodation, and even an indoor water park, all located in the resort.
Whether you prefer playing in the snow or skating on the rink (and even when there isn’t any snow) there is always something active to do in the wintertime in East Lansing!