10 Healthy (and Fun!) Spring Activities in Northern Michigan

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Now that we have the extra hour of daylight we’ve all been craving (thanks, Spring Forward!), it’s time to make the most of it. Here are 10 free, fun and healthy spring activities in Northern Michigan to keep you moving.

Take a Walk

Whether or not snow is still on sidewalks, taking a steady walk in the sunshine adds a bonus of Vitamin D to the already healthy cardio activity. Need a suggestion of where to go? Check out these in-town trails.

Start Spring Yard Work

If you missed that last fall leaf drop before the snow flurries started, grab your rake and get to work. Or maybe it’s time to do the annual spring cleanup of your gutters. Take advantage of the extra hour of sunlight and clean them before the inevitable April rain showers begin.

Go Geocaching

Great for both kids and adults, geocaching is an excellent excuse to get outside and discover treasure (both in nature and in actual trinkets!). Create a free account to find Northern Michigan geocache locations, grab a GPS unit (or your phone) and get hunting. Learn more about geocaching.

Wheel Up

Time to get your wheeled toys out from their winter hibernation. Unbox your rollerblades, skateboard, bikes, strollers and wagons—then dust them off and get rolling.

Break out the Balls

Does your neighborhood have a pick-up basketball game you can join? (If not, wink, wink! Be the team captain and create one!) Or, while golf courses are still thawing, you can create your own putt putt course in the backyard and practice while you wait. (Don’t have clubs? PVC pipe makes a great DIY golf club and plastic cups are perfect for the course holes.) 

Start Training for a Summer 5K

Have you registered for a Northern Michigan 5K race (or thinking about trying one)? We bet you’re ready to lace up your shoes and get off the treadmill. With the extra hour of daylight, now’s your chance to run outside. Here are 10 training tips from the Traverse City Track Club

Neighborhood Cleanup

Take a stroll along your streets and bring a trash bag along. Your neighbors will thank you for cleaning up the debris that has settled over the winter. Or, join a local land conservancy’s group outing and help them clean up area preserves. Do good for your community and your health at the same time.

Backyard Games

Remember the days of red rover, croquet, dodgeball and kickball? Bring back old fashioned backyard games by hosting a neighborhood tournament. Invite your friends and their families to participate and celebrate spring. And if your group gets too large, head on over to a nearby park to play.

Spring Breeze Activities

Besides snow melting, temperatures rising and buds blooming, spring also brings extra breezes. So take advantage of it! Grab your kite and go fly it. Kite flying isn’t just for kids—but if you need to justify it, grab a kiddo you know and give them a lesson on flying. Take your kite along the shoreline for a little extra challenge.

Go on a Picnic

Pack some healthy snacks—suggestions here—and walk to the beach or to your favorite scenic overlook. Make sure it’s a bit off the beaten path to get the extra exercise, and truly enjoy the extra hour of sunshine while taking in a beautiful view with a loved one.

Written by Courtney Jerome


Shape Up North is a community collaboration dedicated to helping northern Michigan residents benefit from healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. Living a healthier lifestyle can and should be an enjoyable adventure. Small changes in habits at school, work, and home can have long-lasting, positive effects on your health. With an abundance of great local foods and a four-season playground right outside your door, you and your family can lead a healthy, fit, and fun life.