Our Family’s Vacation in Jackson

I have to be honest - when my wife suggested we spend a week visiting her sister and family in Jackson, MI my first thoughts weren’t filled with excitement. We had visited Jackson two years ago - for less than 24-hours as we were driving through the area on our way home to Central Pennsylvania from a visit to Chicago. I wasn’t sure there would be enough to do to keep our family of four occupied for a week’s vacation. I’m happy to admit that I was wrong.

Time with family was our number one priority, but as the in-law I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied with the continually growing list of what I deemed “vacation-worthy experiences” as our week away progressed. I am happy to share some of our experiences as we spent the week in Jackson.

The first “vacation-worthy experience” happened on our first full day in Jackson - my brother-in-law offered to take me on a tour of the mysterious and intriguing Cell Block 7. The history I learned and the experience of walking through that cell block is not one I will ever forget. I was most impacted by the size of the place and realization that this is merely 1 of 16 cell blocks in that building!


While in Jackson, our family learned of a local bakery - Hinkley’s - and their famous donuts. I made the decision one morning to take our daughter to Hinkley’s while the rest of the house was still waking up. We did not regret that decision and have added Hinkley’s as a must-visit each time we’re in Jackson!

During our week we thoroughly enjoyed opportunities for coffee and fellowship at both Biggby’s and Jackson Coffee Co. We also enjoyed some sweet treats from the Jackson Candy and Fudge Factory one afternoon. Some memorable family meals were had at Klavons, Grand River Brewery, and Chilango’s!



On one of our final days in Jackson we discovered some hot air balloon pilots would be in the area and were invited to come experience a launch as a family. We were amazed at the experience and learned we were just a few weeks early to experience Jackson’s Hot Air Jubilee - an event we’re sure our family would love!

While spending time with our family in Jackson, our week was one filled with great sights, tastes, smells, people, and experiences that we believe have written some lasting memories on each member of our family. We are looking forward to our next opportunity to experience some more of what Jackson has to offer!

Author: Stevan Sheets and his family live in Clearfield, Pennsylvania where he serves as a local pastor. Stevan enjoys woodworking, the outdoors, and spending time with his wife Jessica and their children, Ella and Ezra.

eNews Sign Up