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Plan Your Next Winter Adventure With These Activities Near Our Communities

December 13, 2022

While the falling temperatures, shorter days and winter showers can tempt us all to stay indoors and cozy up inside our homes, there’s no better time than now to get out and embrace the wintertime and all the exciting activities it brings—and there’s no better place to do so than the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. From the snowy outdoor adventures to the holiday festivities and everything in between, Norfolk Homes is here to help you enjoy this winter to the fullest extent in the places we’ve been building our carefully-crafted homes for nearly 30 years. Read below to find winter activities you won’t want to miss near our communities in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Chelsea, Saline, Jackson and Marshall.

Glide along the snow

Whether you’re an avid skier, a beginner or a novice—you’ll certainly want to take advantage of the snow-covered terrain this winter in the Ann Arbor area. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter activities throughout Michigan, especially with the average snowfall sitting at 43 inches per year in Ann Arbor. To get some exercise and enjoy the stunning natural sights of the best green spaces in the state of Michigan, rent equipment at Rolling Hills in Washtenaw County and explore the 3+ miles of cross-country ski trails that are designed for both beginners and experienced skiers. 

Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter is another great place to go for the ultimate cross-country skiing experience with beautiful trails that wind alongside the Huron River—providing breathtaking wintry vistas that you won’t want to miss. Or, for those looking to elevate their skiing experience even further, take a short drive to Mt Brighton Ski Resort just a few miles north of Ann Arbor. This family winter destination attracts people from all over the state each year and features dozens of trails and slopes that turn first-timers into lifelong skiers. 

Skate under the winter sky

If there’s one winter tradition that the entire family should try this year, it’s certainly ice skating—but it doesn’t have to be indoors. While Ann Arbor and its surrounding areas are home to an array of indoor rinks, it’s another experience altogether to tighten up your skates and hit the ice under bright holiday lights and shining stars throughout the seasonal outdoor rinks. Bundle up tight and stop by Buhr Outdoor Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, which offers skate rentals, open skate sessions, themed events and periodic hockey—as well as plenty of on-site facilities such as concessions, locker rooms, skate sharpening and seating areas for parents who need to keep a close eye on the little ones. 

If the temperatures drop too low, the indoor skating rink options are just as wonderful throughout the Ann Arbor area, including Optimist Ice Arena in Jackson, Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea or the Ann Arbor Ice Cube

Celebrate at local events and festivals

From now until the end of the year, the Ann Arbor area offers up an array of local festivals, events and shows that the whole family can enjoy—especially seeing the sparkling Christmas lights. Drive through Nite Lites just outside of Jackson, which is the largest drive-through light show in the entire state of Michigan with unique animated displays and dazzling lights. The Ann Arbor area is also home to a number of fully-lit Christmas trees that are always exciting to see, and they truly provide the perfect backdrop for family photos. Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, KeyBank in Saline and Pierce Park in Chelsea all have soaring Christmas trees with sparkling lights that people of all ages will love to admire—so why not go on a Christmas tree tour to see all three? 

If your holiday season is too busy this year, mark your calendars for February 3rd and 4th, 2023 to attend the annual Ice, Wine, Beer and Blues Festival in Marshall. This local event attracts hundreds of people from all over the area and features prestigious art sculptures, wonderful live music, one-of-a-kind vendors and refreshments to enjoy. From wine and beer tasting to ice carving and blues music, no other town offers up a festival quite like this one, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. The city of Dexter also hosts its own Ice Fest, taking place this winter on January 21, 2023, with dozens of ice sculptures and live demonstrations that bring out the entire local community. 

Taste the season of winter

From distilleries to bakeries to restaurants, the Ann Arbor area is known for its wide variety of food and drink options—and it’s always exciting to stop by your favorite places throughout the seasons and taste their limited-time menu options. Gather with friends for happy hour at Ann Arbor Distilling Company and make your way to the tasting room, which is open to visitors throughout the year and offers up the chance to try seasonal drinks. Winter is a particularly great time to visit and explore the options for special craft beers, holiday brews, liqueurs and cocktails—including peppermint schnapps, coffee liqueur, cranberry liqueur and absinthe. 

For those who are looking to have a unique outdoor dining experience while warming up with decadent pasta and fresh bread, Bigalora in Ann Arbor offers outdoor igloos that seat up to 8 people and are decked out with heaters and lighting so you can enjoy them any time of day in any weather. Then, for dessert, Benny’s Bakery in Saline offers up delicious pastries, cakes, cookies and pies that pair perfectly with the holiday season and colder weather. Or, for those who’d rather learn how to do the cooking themselves, Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor is a local staple that offers baking classes with professionals from the company. From basic bread to elegant French pastries, your newfound skills will certainly impress everyone at holiday parties—and there are also classes available for kids if you want to make the art of baking a family affair. 

Enjoy this winter in a brand-new home

On top of the wonderful activities listed above, if you’re looking to enjoy this spectacular winter in the Ann Arbor area to the fullest extent, let all of your visions come to life in a remarkable home from Norfolk Homes. The Ann Arbor area offers an immense range of unbeatable year-round fun while maintaining a strong sense of community, and the serene, tight-knit communities from Norfolk Homes only enhance the livability of this area even more. Whether you’re interested in our gorgeous homes in the community of Arlington Woods, the peaceful environment in Fosdick Glen of Saline, or the functional new homes in Bristol Ridge Townhomes—our thoughtfully-designed homes in our impressive communities throughout Ann Arbor offer up a higher quality of living in an area that’s full of things to love.

To start your exciting journey to your new home in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Chelsea, Saline, Jackson or Marshall, be sure to browse through our quick move-in homes and see how much money you can use towards your choice of financing or customizations. For more information, give us a call at (734) 336-1912 or contact us online—and be sure to ask about our specials available on select quick move-in homes, and have a great winter season!

We moved back to the area and after touring several new home communities we purchased a quick move-in home from Norfolk Homes in Arlington Woods. We immediately felt at home here. Arlington Woods is very peaceful and serene, and we’ve loved getting to know our neighbors. We highly recommend this builder!

Tom and Melissa