Play Outside This Winter in Oakland County!

four cross country skiers

There’s so much fun to be had this winter in Oakland County. From skiing and snowboarding, to skating and more, the opportunities for outdoor recreation are endless!

Bundle up, grab your gear, and head out to an Oakland County Park, trail, hill, or lake to stay active and enjoy the winter season. Check out our full list of outdoor winter activities below, or scroll down to use our interactive map.

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 A New Year for the Birds

cedar waxwing bird on branch

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”Nature historian David Attenborough

January 5th was more than the first Thursday of the month. It was National Bird Day, an annual event I was totally unaware of until a few days after the event. After that date passed by, I was politely chastised by a friend of mine who is an avid birder for missing that day as a blog topic. I decided late is better than never, especially after reading the words of David Attenborough’s.

I’ve already made a notation in my 2024 calendar to promote National Bird Day next year; before the fact, not afterwards, and am enthusiastically thinking about birds now with my feeders exploding with activity. Hearing the deep hooting of a Great Horned Owl last night sealed the deal, and so now with a cup of coffee in my hand I sit down and write as the morning sun casts its glow.

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Radon Test Kits Half Off During the Month of January

In honor of January being National Radon Action Month, Oakland County encourages residents to take action and test their homes for radon by offering radon test kits half-price ($5) all month.

What is radon you ask? Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that is usually harmless outdoors. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.

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2023 Fire & Ice Festival in Oakland County

The Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Rochester is back January 20th and 21st for another year of family fun and winter festivities that you can enjoy for FREE. The community celebration will be packed with events like axe throwing, cornhole, climbing wall, ice sculptures along Main Street, fireworks on both nights, The Big, Bright Light Show, live music, TasteFest, and so much more!

“The Fire & Ice Festival is a fun-filled opportunity to get out of the house, even in the depths of winter, to enjoy some fresh air and regain a sense of community. The event attracts thousands of people from across the region to get a taste of how joyful and active winter can really be.”

-Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter

The Fire & Ice Festival runs from 5 – 9 p.m. on Friday, January 20th and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 21st. The fireworks are at 8 p.m. both days.

Take a look at our video for a preview of the fun:

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2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observations in and around Oakland County

Washington: Martin Luther King, Jr memorial monument on September 2, 2015 in Washington, DC.

As we reflect of the life of Dr. King, we cannot do so without considering his legacy of service to mankind. Observed as a national day of service, Martin Luther King Jr. Day encourages people to volunteer to improve their communities. Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. this upcoming MLK Day on Monday, January 16, by attending an event or participating in a day of service.

Learn more about the MLK Day of Service on their website, where you can also search for volunteer opportunities or register a project. The United Way and Volunteer Match have additional resources and opportunities to make it a “day on, not a day off.”

This year also marks the inaugural Oakland County Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Organized by the Oakland County Equity Council, various service projects were made available to Oakland County employees at several locations throughout the county.

“It is our hope that our staff throughout the county, in whatever ways they are able to do so, will assist us in demonstrating Oakland County’s commitment to the mission of Justice and Equality that Dr. King fought for so vehemently.”

​Oakland County Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Harry Weaver III

While Oakland County, Michigan Government offices are closed on Monday, January 16, Oakland County Parks and Recreation is offering a Free Park Entry Day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. for the public to enjoy free daily park entry with access to natural areas, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, fishing spots and park amenities.

Browse the list of observations and commemorative events happening in and around Oakland County below:

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