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.
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.
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.
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 anything. 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.
The beer is good, and the food maybe even better, so if you’re in 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. 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)
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 landscapes 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?
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.