Six things to do in the midwest this winter

6 Things You Must Do in The Midwest This Winter

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The Midwest may seem like a region where time slows down a little bit.

For some, that’s a bad thing. For others, though, the Midwest offers a down-home, friendly atmosphere, and a change-of-pace from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

That’s not to say people in the Midwest don’t get things done though, and that’s certainly not implying that there’s nothing to do.

Not only does the Midwest offer plenty of natural beauty — especially for those wanting to experience winter in its purest form — but there’s also a little of something for just about everybody in the family to enjoy.

Just where the Midwest actually is can be up for debate (Missourians, for instance, probably identify more with the South), but for the purpose of this article we’re going to consider Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota all Midwest states.

If you’re traveling to one of those states this winter, or even residing in one of them, make sure you check out this list of things to do. Warning: They won’t all be out of the cold.

Walk Chicago’s Michigan Ave.

Chicago may not get the hype that New York does, but when it comes to the winter months, there are few things more Midwestern than walking downtown and checking out the stores on Michigan avenue.

Known as “Chicago’s Magnificent Mile,” those who love shopping will find just about everything they need on Michigan Ave. Whether it’s department stores (Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue), shopping centers, toy stores (The American Girl Place and Disney Store are very popular) or things to eat — there’s plenty to do and see.

For those who don’t enjoy the cold, though, beware. Even if it’s not snowing, Chicago isn’t known as the Windy City for nothing. It can get very cold walking downtown, so dress not just to impress, but to stay warm.

Drink A Beer In a Church

Get out of the cold and warm your heart (and your stomach) with a flight of beer at Church. Blasphemy you say? Not at St. Joseph’s Brewery in downtown Indianapolis, which is an actual brewery and public house built in an old church.

Saint Joseph’s was built as a Catholic church in 1873 and functioned as a church, and then a Catholic community center until 1954.  The pews were taken out and the brewery opened in 2015, but it still has all the vibes you would expect from a Catholic cathedral — pipe organ included.

The beer is good, and the food may be even better, so if you’re on Indianapolis this winter, make sure to check it out. Of course, the brewery is just as awesome to check out during the summer months, but the inside is dark and cozy — the candlelight plays a role — so especially if it’s snowing outside, St. Joseph’s is a great spot for dinner or a night out with friends. There’s something about snow falling outside while you’re tucked away in church…with a beer.

Go Skiing or Snowboarding at Pine Knob

Michiganders love to go “up north” at all times of the year, but especially during the winter, heading up even just a few hours up I-75 can provide that “winter-wonderland, logs on the fire in the cabin” experience that many seek out.

If you’re in the metro-Detroit area and don’t feel like making the hike, though, Pine Knob ski and snowboard resort is only about 45 minutes from downtown Detroit (depending on whether and traffic) and with a quick trip up the ski lift you and yours can be riding the slopes on skis or snowboards, or even spending some time in the terrain park — for those who seek adrenaline and adventure.

It may not be the Alps or the Rocky Mountains, but for a pretty reasonable price, Pine Knob is a great winter destination.

Explore the Black Hills and Badlands (South Dakota)

Mount Rushmore is obviously the main attraction in the Black Hills and Badlands, but for those looking for a more winter-esque experience, it’s another great Midwestern option.

Skiing and snowboarding is a must in the Black Hills — Terry Peak and Deer Mountain get 200 inches of snow annually, per the website — but there are also plenty of trails and beautiful snow-covered landscape to take in.

Taking a snowmobile trip through the trails is a popular activity during the winter, and if you don’t feel like staying at a hotel or resort, how about a cabin in the woods?

Enjoy the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame

Music is the universal equalizer, so fans all over the world will find something to do in the Midwest. All you have to do is take a trip over to Cleveland, Ohio and check out the famous Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

For the general admission price of $23.50, lovers of music will be treated to exhibits, music memorabilia, and even food and dining. There’s live music, if you show up and visit on the right day, and of course, a chance to take in the face-melting awesomeness of legendary Rock N Rollers such as AC/DC, B.B. King, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Chuck Berry, David Bowie, The Doors, The Eagles, Elvis, James Brown, John Lennon and many, many others.

It can get extremely cold in Ohio, and Midwest winters can be harsh. Especially on a very cold day in Cleveland, the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame would be the perfect location for a day-trip. There’s enough to do and see — including food — to take up a whole day indoors.

Go ice fishing in Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

The Midwest is known for many things, but not everybody outside of it thinks of ice fishing. Believe it or not, it’s actually a thing. It’s an extremely popular (and somewhat crazy) sport on the lakes and bigger rivers in the midwest, and few lakes are better for it than Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s largest inland lake, Winnebago is known for sturgeon, which is the largest freshwater fish recorded in North America. Sturgeon can grow more than six feet tall and check it at almost 200 pounds.  Landing a sturgeon from under the icy waters is obviously the goal of many brave ice fisherman, and that makes Lake Winnebago a must-visit destination.

If you can stomach cutting a hole in the ice and sitting and waiting (with all your gear and sometimes even a truck), ice fishing may be the sport for you.