5 ways to enjoy the indoors during winter

During the snowy winters in Michigan, it can be hard to find ways to stay active other than the gym. 

People are less likely to venture out of the house, especially in the Midwest, thanks to harsh outdoor conditions and the lethargy caused by less sunlight. This not only translates to physical health issues but also Seasonal Affective Disorder or “The Winter Blues”. 

To beat the cold, here are some places to enjoy indoor activities in Macomb County during some of the chilliest months of the year. 

I Make Great Shots 

There's no need to wait until the summer barbeque to play a game of cornhole. In Clinton Township on 36901 Garfield Road, an indoor cornhole spot opened on April Fool's Day in 2022. 

Jim Alves, co-owner of I Make Great Shots, met his best friend, Brian Tremblay in the military who is also his partner in the business. 

"Brian and I were backyard cornhole players just like everyone else," Alves says.

When looking for a place to play, they found a local bar in Madison Heights that was running a tournament and thought of the idea to open up a space specifically for cornhole. 

“We have created an indoor backyard where people can casually relax,” Alves says. Inside the building, there is a bar and food truck for people to enjoy drinks and food while playing. They also host leagues and tournaments for more serious players. 

Cornhole is a low-intensity sport enjoyable for all ages and abilities, Alves says. It’s a great entry point for people to become more active.  

"Mentally, this sport is great compared to the other sports I’ve played," Alves says.

Growing up as an athlete playing sports from basketball to football, he says this is one of the most inclusive sports he’s ever been a part of. Although there’s competition, there are a few times when it’s stressful. 

"Being in Michigan with long cold winters, it’s nice to be able to walk into a place with plants and flowers to make it feel like you’re outside in the summer," he says. 

"During the summer, our business is a ghost town," Alves says. To combat this, they are hosting a graduation party expo with a variety of vendors such as DJs and caterers on March 3rd, 2024 from 11 am to 2 pm. He hopes this will bring more people in during the warm months of the year. 

"When people come here, we want them to feel welcome, individually known, respected, and excited to come back," Alves says. "Every day we want someone to meet someone new and bring the community together." 

In the future, the business may be franchised to other states. “It’s all about making sure that our platform is repeatable with our core values,” Alves says. 

Stahls Automotive Foundation Museum 

Walking around the collection of classic cars, Stahls Automotive Foundation Museum can be a great way to get moving through the winter months. Even walking 30 minutes a day has proven to increase overall health. 

TED STAHL: Ted Stahl, owner of Stahls Automotive Foundation standing next to some classic cars in his museum. Credit: Courtesy of Stahls Automotive Foundation. 

With Stahl's collection of vintage cars, music machines, and gas pumps, there is a variety of things to see. From an 1860 stagecoach to a Wurlitzer theater pipe organ. Ted Stahl, owner of the museum opened up his business after wanting to educate the public and inspire people to appreciate the beauty and history of automotive design. 

The museum is free to enter and is located at 56516 North Bay Drive in Chesterfield. It is open to the public on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 4 pm and the first Saturday of the month from 11 am to 4 pm. 

Stahls also hosts a night at the museum events where people can come to the museum later in the evening. The next one will be March 21st from 5 pm to 8 pm. 

Free Play Pinball Arcade 

The warmth, and the nostalgia, of a pinball arcade is hard to pass up in winter. 

Joe Koliba opened Free Play Pinball Arcade, at 34840 Utica Road in Fraser, in 2019 to bring back playing at the arcade.

"It’s a place for families and friends to come and spend time together without looking at their phones," he says. “I felt it was needed."

JOE KOLIBA: Joe Koliba, owner of Free Play Pinball Arcade standing behind the jukebox bar. Credit: Genevieve Fox. 

With over 30 pinball machines and classic arcade games like Pacman and Dig Dug, there’s a variety of games to choose from. Koliba says his favorite pinball machine is the Attack from Mars. 

ATTACK ON MARS: The Attack from Mars pinball machine inside the arcade. Credit: Genevieve Fox. 

The arcade is also home to the world's largest pinball machine, the 1979 Atari’s Hercules. There are only 280 machines that were ever created, making it a rare find. They also have darts, foosball, and bubble hockey. 

Freeplay hosts private events Monday through Wednesday, with Thursday through Sunday open to the general public. All of the games are included in the cost of a wristband, so there's no need for coins. 

Koliba hopes when people come and play, they are able to put their troubles away and make fun memories like he has from his childhood being at the arcade. In the future, the arcade will be opening up another location.


Another option is to swing by 45599 Market Street in Shelby Township to play a virtual game of golf. 

X-Golf is a simulated golf experience for all players, from beginners to experts. The simulators are able to measure the ball's speed, angle and impact. It also goes off of real life accuracy so it feels as if you’re playing on grass. 

X-GOLF SHELBY: A player getting a lesson from one of their experts. Credit: Courtesy of X-Golf Shelby. 

They also provide lessons using this technology, along with a trained professional. This gives people the ability to practice in the winter while getting ready to get out on the warm, sunny golf course. Although golf is not a strenuous sport, it can provide many health benefits like improving your muscle tone

People can reserve their tee time on their website. They are open every day of the week. 

Anton Art Center 

The non-profit Anton Art Center displays art for the community, with pop-up exhibits like The Outdoors, which will be hosted until February 24. 

Looking at art has been shown to improve your brain's blood flow by as much as 10%. 

The center holds classes for all level artists from beginners to more experienced. Types of classes range from mediums like painting to loom weaving. 

ANTON ART CENTER: Shelley Vitale hosting a watercolor course for beginners at the art center. Credit: Courtesy of Anton Art Center. 

Creating art also shows to have some health benefits, like increases in brain functional connectivity or keeping the brain sharp as someone ages. It’s just as important to keep your brain healthy as your heart. 

Eventually, the center will also be hosting classes in beginner sewing, knitting, and jewelry making. 

Stay warm and get creative at the art center located at 125 Macomb Place in Mount Clemens. 

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