Stay Active and Engaged Locally This Holiday Season and Beyond 

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Despite noble attempts to stay fit earlier this year, a fifth of adults have already put exercising on the back burner during the winter season, Yahoo News reports.  

For some that reason is because of Seasonal Affective Disorder – described as a form of depression – or potentially a lack of motivation to work out during colder months that can be an uphill battle for many.  

“For many, winter can play havoc with our intentions, causing us to exercise less or change our eating habits,” Andreas Michaelides, of the weight loss app Noom, said in the article.  

“Whether it’s the dark, the cold, stress or tiredness, many external factors can impact our decision-making at this time of year,” Michaelides adds. “Recognizing how these internal and external factors impact you and your choices is just the first step to making truly informed decisions, enabling you to maintain a motivated mindset all year round.”  

The American Heart Association makes that motivation easy by encouraging people to consider how working out in the winter can boost one’s immunity during the cold and flu season.   

“There [are] actually some advantages to working out in cold weather – with no heat and humidity to deal with you may be able to work out longer in cold weather which means you can burn even more calories. It’s also a great way to get much-needed vitamin D from the sunlight, which can help elevate your mood,” said John A. Osborne, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, FNLA, founder and director of State of the Heart Cardiology, Metroplex Cardiology.  

Luckily, in Wayne County and throughout metro Detroit, there are many more ways to stay fit, engaged, entertained and connected during this season.  

Though Christmas just recently passed, there is still a lot to celebrate as the holidays continue just in time to ring in the new year.  

The Wayne County Parks System has a full slate of winter sports activities to help residents safely stay active during these cold weather months and the pandemic.  

“Mother Nature has hit Michigan with cold temps, which gives many Wayne County residents a bad case of cabin fever,” said Beverly Watts, director of the Wayne County Department of Public Services. “A sure cure is fresh air and exercise. With a full season of winter in the forecast, we have something for everyone to enjoy this season.”  


Weather permitting, ice skating is now available on Newburgh Lake in Livonia during daylight hours. For information regarding skating conditions, call (734) 261-1990.  


Hines Park-Cass Benton hill and Hines Park-Middlebelt hill are both available for sledding. Hines Park-Cass Benton is located on Hines Drive between Six- and Seven-Mile Roads in Northville. Middlebelt hill is located on Hines Drive between Inkster and Merriman Roads in Westland. It features a warming shelter and handrails to assist younger children. There are also small sledding hills perfect for younger children across from the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center in Westland and at Lola Valley Park in Redford.  


Mountain biking trails off Hines Drive remain open during the winter for fat tire biking. The two-mile Lakeview Trail follows the south shoreline of Newburgh Lake. A one-mile Riverview Trail continues east of Newburgh to the Rouge River. Also, the trails are best used when dry or snow-covered to avoid damaging the trails. Trailhead parking lots are at the southeast corner of Newburgh and Ann Arbor Roads and off Hines Drive at the I-275 overpass.  


Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails are open at Crosswinds Marsh in Sumpter Township (in southwest Wayne County).  

Wayne County Parks is a division of the Wayne County Department of Public Services to enhance the quality of life for families and citizens of the 43 communities of Wayne County. It maintains 5,600 acres of parkland and operates 41 locations, which include 37 parks, one golf course, a marina, and the Wayne County Family Aquatic Center.  

Wayne County Parks hold hundreds of educational and recreational events such as the Marshmallow Drop at Nankin Mills and Elizabeth Park, Motown on the River and Jazz on the River. For more information about Wayne County Parks, please call (734) 261-1990 or visit  

Specifically in Detroit, there is a lot to see and do to keep spirits high this winter.  

Winter at Valade  

Located right along the Detroit River, one of the newest parks in Detroit is hosting its second annual Winter at Valade every weekend through the end of February.  

Every weekend features sledding, hot drinks for kids and adults, winter games like curling, fires, roasted marshmallows and much more for the free event.  

There are several special event weekends including:   

Jan. 14-16: Fire and Ice – Ice carving, an ice throne, a techno dance party and more.  

Jan. 28-30: Winter around the World – International food trucks, curling demos, parade of nations.  

Feb. 11-13: Motown Love – Live music, carriage rides, date night in the park.  

Feb. 25-27: Mardi Gras at Valade: Second Line Band, mask make, Creole-inspired cuisine and more.  

Plymouth Ice Festival  

One of the biggest winter festivals of the year is in Downtown Plymouth. The Plymouth Ice Festival runs Friday, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb. 14, with ice carving, ice festival bingo, different vendors and a ton of places to eat and drink. The sculptures will be available to view 24 hours a day and will also remain up after the event.  

For more information go to  



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