For as long as I can remember, my family has always traveled to Jackson, Michigan for the holiday season. With family in town, beautiful snowfall on the ground and Christmas lights displayed on practically every street, Jackson has always felt like the perfect winter wonderland destination.
Traveling from South Carolina as a little girl, I can remember being completely awestruck when we arrived in Michigan and saw all the snow! We might have had to borrow our cousin’s winter coats and snow boots, but that was all we needed to enjoy those fun days of snowball fights and making snowmen and snow angels.
Sledding is also a big priority when it comes to holiday traditions in Jackson, Michigan. There are some prime spots that you can’t miss on a heavy, snowy day! Cascades Park in Jackson and Mount Beebe in Spring Arbor are both great places to sled during the winter.
When we’re tired from all the sledding and snowball fights but still want to enjoy the snow, my grandpa always offered to take us for rides on his snowmobile. With Lime Lake frozen solid, we would ride through the open fields surrounding it while noticing all the ice fisherman. Lime Lake is always a hot spot for ice fishing!
Now that I’m older, I sway more towards grabbing coffee and going shopping with grandma on those cold, snowy days! We love local shops like Jackson Coffee Company and Vito’s Espresso. Another great quality of Jackson is that we can get all our holiday shopping done right here in town! With such a variety of stores in the area, it’s easy to grab coffee and shop the day away! But of course, we always stop for a quick lunch. Anna’s Café is our favorite, and the best part is – it’s also a gift shop! I get a bowl of tomato soup and a muffin, then spend a little time browsing through the gifts and home décor. Great coffee, delicious food and unique, affordable gifts make for the perfect holiday shopping trip, right here in Jackson, Michigan.
While some traditions come and go, my family never misses our annual trip to the Nite Lites Christmas display! We load up and we head for Michigan International Speedway. With the radio blasting nonstop Christmas music, we wait with anticipation until we enter the sparkling tunnel of lights. We all have our favorite displays that we’ve seen over the years and love looking for the new additions thrown in! My favorite has always been the giant Jack Frost breathing snowflakes through the air.
After we’re done looking at the lights, our tummies are always growling for a treat. My grandpa’s solution to that has always been stopping for ice cream at the Parlour. We order whatever we want and make sure to eat all of it! I like to try something different each year, but my mom always gets the peanut butter chocolate ice cream. Only a few cousins have tried their “Dare to be Great” and I can’t say they all finished it. I don’t think I could finish 21 scoops of ice cream either, but hey, it’s worth a shot!
Every year my family always looks forward to this time of year when we all get to be together in a place that we love. Our holiday traditions in Jackson will stick with us for years to come and will only get better as we see more development and growth in the area. If you’re looking for ways to spend your holiday this winter, look no further than Jackson, Michigan!
--Written by Casey Hansen