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Best Free Winter Activities For Families In Metro Detroit

Let's face it, kids need exercise, especially in the midst of winter. There are plenty of seasonal activities that can keep the whole family busy, even as the snow falls outside. From sledding to cross-country skiing, and everything in between, check out this fun list for all ages to enjoy during the winter. And the best part - everything listed is free!

When the chill of winter hits hardcore, the time is right for sledding! Head over to a local park with your flying saucer or wooden flexible flyer and whoosh down the slopes to your heart's content. Check out the hills at Detroit's Balduck Park, the Civic Center Sledding Hill in Clinton Township or Cass Benton Park in Northville. As the snowflakes fall, try Middlebelt Hill in Westland or Rolling Hills Park in Ypsilanti. Pack a thermos of hot cocoa, and don't forget the marshmallows and a sack of oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies.

Related: Tips For Keeping Your Kids Active In Winter

Ice Skating
Hutton Ice Rink at Patterson Park
16006 Essex Ave.
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230
(313) 822-2812

Ice skating is synonymous with winter fun, so grab your blades and hit the rink. Most places charge a nominal fee for ice skate rental, but through some detective work, we found a spot that allows visitors to skate for free. The town of Grosse Pointe Park offers complimentary access to the rink at Patterson Park for those interested in sliding around the Hutton Ice Rink. Just attend one of the park's open skate sessions and remember to bring your skates. Schedule a class with an instructor if you need a refresher. But please note: there is a charge for lessons.

Related: Best Ice Skating In Metro Detroit

Cross Country Skiing
Belle Isle Park
6925 East Jefferson Ave.
Detroit, MI 48218
(313) 628-2081

Oh to glide over the snow, under the trees and through the woods, is like a winter's dream come true! There are many spots where you can set up your skis, but make the trek out to Belle Isle for the ultimate snowy adventure. Pass by architectural wonders such as the conservatory, Carillon Tower and casino, or enjoy the scene and let nature be your guide. Glide alongside the powerful Detroit River, over the many bridges or through the paths that will guide you along your wintry journey.

Ice Hockey
Clark Park
1130 Clark St.
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 841-8534

Have a group of kids with energy to burn? Ice hockey is an excellent team sport to reign them in. Grab the gear and head over to Clark Park, it has the only regulation-size ice hockey rink in the entire area. The park recently received upgrades and supplies donated by the NHL, so be sure to check out the new digs. The Learn-to-Skate program is ice hockey instruction for kids to learn more about the sport. For $35, kids ages four to 17 can enroll in sessions that span the winter season and include equipment, learning and practice.

After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at and

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