Whoa it’s Monday and it is snowy here. We had ourselves a blizzard and Rock and I got to experience it rather firsthand.
This past weekend we drove up to Muskegon, Michigan and met up with some family and friends for a winter wonderland adventure. You might think Muskegon sounds like an odd place for a weekend getaway but I am here to tell you that everything about it was pretty perfect.
Muskegon is home to a winter sports complex like nothing I have ever seen. We arrived to a snow covered land tucked away in the woods. There was a really nice warming house complete with ski, skate and snowshoe rentals, a fireplace and of course a concession stand. We bypassed all of that though to head out into the woods for the main event.
The boys all signed up for a 2 hour luge session. Yes luge! The session started out with a lesson (after they signed some serious waivers and were covered up in pads). After the lesson everyone climbed the stairs up to the top of the luge and went at it. A great time was definitely had by all. There were a few falls (nothing serious) and a lot of laughs. The directors kept time and at the end there were awards for the fastest kids, men and women. I manned the camera and hung out around one of the fire pits. It was great!
After the luge session we headed back and grabbed our skates. We started out by playing around on the huge outdoor rink, nearly the size of a football field. Then we skated around the ice paths that wound through the woods. There were several smaller rinks tucked away in the woods and the boys chose one of these to start a pickup hockey game. I took the chance to find another little rink and got to practice some spins and jumps for the first time in 15 years. Let me tell you, I am rusty! But I didn’t fall and I had a blast….and a great workout.
The boys continued on with their adventures and did a cross country ski adventure on the trails. The park boasts miles of ski trails for all levels as well as both cross country skis and skate skis to rent. At this point I was hungry from my skating and my husband and I opted to head out for lunch.
We headed back to our hotel where I of course went for a nice long run on the treadmill. I do have to say that our hotel stay was one of the highlights of our weekend. We stayed at the Shoreline Inn right in downtown Muskegon. For just under $100 a night we ended up with a lakefront suite complete with a separate bedroom and a kitchen. The room was huge and comfy and I could have stayed there for a week to sleep in the giant four poster bed! The hotel has a gym, indoor pool and Jacuzzi with a fireplace, and a restaurant/bar. Breakfast was also included in our stay. I have to think this would be a perfect spot for a family weekend.
After my treadmill adventure we all convened at the bar for some drinks and delicious bar food (I have a serious thing nachos). That is where the true highlight of my weekend began….
Muskegon is home to a great Junior hockey team, The Lumberjacks. We all had pre-purchased tickets and lucked out with seats right behind the away team’s bench. If you have never gone to a Junior hockey game, I highly recommend this. These players are the top prospects to play on Division I college teams and many have already been drafted to the NHL.
The level of hockey is high but the air about it is very chill. Smaller arena, seats closer to the ice, and a lot of fun games to attract families in between the periods are what you will find inside. Some of us came home with pucks and shirts that were caught during these silly moments.
And….one of the fun parts about Junior hockey is there is some real grit to the team. You are likely to see a fight or two. In fact we saw one during the second period that involved the entire line. For the first time ever, I saw a standing room only penalty box. The game was a blast!
And we found our favorite player!
After the game we headed into town and grabbed a drink and food at a few different local spots. Right next to the rink was a great little microbrewery.
There truly was a lot of options for us on our adventure. We had a great stay, some fun in the snow and some entertaining hockey. If it wasn’t for having to drive back right in the middle of the blizzard, our adventure was pretty picture perfect.
Muskegon is approximately a 3-3 1/2 hour drive from Chicago and a quick trip for anyone in the Michigan area. I recommend this for families as well as younger couples or singles for a fun winter getaway!