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Things to do in Brighton, Michigan

Discover entertainment and activities in Brighton, Michigan

The city of Brighton, Michigan is part of the Detroit metropolitan area and has many entertaining activities including gaming, arts, skiing, and rare car collections. Discover the beauty of Brighton for both residents and visitors alike.

Year-Round Recreation in Brighton

One of the nicest park systems in the Midwest happens to be right in Southeast Michigan, with one park only minutes from the center of Brighton. The Huron Meadows Metropark is a natural oasis for outdoor sports and recreation that attracts visitors from all over Brighton and Southeast Michigan. There’s a little bit of everything at this park, so you’re sure to find something to enjoy.

Huron Meadows

The Story of Huron Meadows Metropark

Huron Meadows is just one of 13 metroparks in the Huron-Clinton network, which spans Southeast Michigan. The Metroparks was first established in 1939, and has operated as a special regional park district in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties since then. All the parks are open 365 days year and are staffed by full-time employees. In addition to maintaining premier metropolitan parks for residents to enjoy, Metroparks also has an education initiative to help people learn more about nature, history, and farming.

Activities and Amenities at Huron Meadows

Huron Meadows Metropark covers 1,576 acres along the Huron River. The park is a top spot for recreation and outdoor sports of all kinds, including golf, cross-country skiing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, picnicking, hiking, and softball. There are also playground facilities for children. Huron Meadows is best known for its golf course, which opened in 1983. It’s become a premier course in the Brighton area and is a challenge for any skill level.

With its scenic location along the Huron River and the peaceful waters of Maltby Lake, there’s no shortage of water activities at Huron Meadows. The park even has ice fishing in winter. Hiking and walking are also big attractions at the park, with over 11 miles of well-maintained trails. You can also go cross-country skiing at Huron Meadows, and there’s a ski center with rentals available.

Plan Your Visit

Huron Meadows Metropark is located at 8765 Hammel Rd, Brighton, MI 48116. The park is open every day from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. The entry fee is $10 if you enter by car, or you can get an annual vehicle pass from Huron-Clinton Metroparks. If you enter the park on foot or by bicycle, there’s no entry fee. There are separate fees for the golf course and the cross-country skiing trails. When looking for entertainment in Brighton, MI, if you want to golf at Huron Meadows, it’s advised that you book a tee time in advance.

Say Hello to Adventure at Jump Island

At Jump Island, you and your family do more than just go swimming, you go on a water-filled adventure! Jump Island is a fun activity for kids and adults — it doesn’t matter how old you are as long as you’re a thrill seeker and fun chaser. In the few years that Jump Island has been open, it’s become a sensation in Brighton, Michigan and a must for any family with kids. On its open days, Jump Island regularly sells out, showing just how popular it’s become in Brighton.

Jump Island

Brighton State Recreation Area

Jump Island is an outdoor, inflatable water park situated on Bishop Lake in Brighton State Recreation Area. Anyone measuring 48 inches or taller can hop, jump, and splash around on the fun inflatables at Jump Island. For those who are between 42 and 48 inches tall, there’s Splash Island. Since Jump Island is on a beach, there are also other activities like open swimming, beach volleyball, horseshoes, and other amenities.

Although Jump Island is a big attraction, it’s not the only thing to do in Brighton Recreation Area. The nearly 5,000-acre park also has 39 miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and horse riding. You can also add Jump Island to a camping weekend at Brighton Recreation Area, as there are three campgrounds with over 200 campsites. There are, of course, plenty of other water activities too, like stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and row boating.

Activities and Parties at Jump Island

With an inflatable obstacle course to complete at Jump Island, it won’t take long for you or your kids to get worn out from all the fun! Jump Island also provides a full grill with hamburgers, hot dogs, and other beach grub. You can stop at Jump Island for a short visit while enjoying the rest of Brighton Recreation Area, or you can book it as the perfect party idea in Brighton, MI.

Plan Your Visit

Jump Island is located at 6140 Bishop Lake Rd, Brighton, MI 48116. It’s open every day from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, but only during the summer. One 45-minute pass costs $20, and you can buy passes in bulk for a discount. Safety is a priority at Jump Island, and all participants must have life jackets on at all times. There are also multiple lifeguards on duty. Keep in mind that to enter Brighton State Recreation Area, you need a recreation passport.

Get Outdoors at Island Lake State Recreation Area

Island Lake State Recreation Area is a sprawling park with biking, walking, and hiking trails, as well as swimming, boating, and fishing areas. It’s one of the best places in Brighton, Michigan for outdoor sports and fun and it’s only a short drive from Brighton. Discover why Island Lake is a top attraction for both residents and tourists alike.

Island Lake Recreation Area

One of the Biggest Parks in Michigan

Island Lake State Recreation Area is a 4,000-acre park maintained by the state of Michigan. It’s one of the largest and most visited parks in the state. The terrain at Island Lake Recreation Area combines open meadows with hardwood forests and open brush, allowing for a variety of activities. The trails at Island Lake also link up with Kensington Metro Park, making it easily accessible by bike or on foot.

The park is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and has employees on-site to help with anything you might need on your visit and maintain the high quality of the Island Lake Recreation Area for all to enjoy.

Activities and Amenities at Island Lake

Island Lake is the only state park in Michigan with a hot air balloon port, letting you get a bird’s eye view over Brighton and parts of Detroit. Balloons usually take off early in the morning or late evening.

Island Lake also has a swimming beach, paddle-in camping area, wildlife viewing, cross-country skiing, metal detecting, fishing, mountain biking trails, kayaking, and canoeing. Once you discover Island Lake, uou will always have something to do in Brighton! In addition to picnicking and campsites, the park also has rustic cabins for rent. The park is also a great place for families and pets — with so many trails your dog will love going on walks here!

Plan Your Visit

Island Lake Recreation Area is located at 6301 Kensington Rd, Brighton, MI 48116. The park is open year-round and every day from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. It’s usually the busiest on weekends, around the middle of the afternoon. It’s a large enough area, though, that you shouldn’t have trouble finding space to spread out even if you do go on a Saturday.

The park is only an 8-minute drive from downtown Brighton and a 42-minute drive from the center of Detroit. Situated right by the crossing of interstate 96 and highway 23, it’s not a difficult park to get to. Once you arrive, there’s also plenty of parking.

The Coolest Cars in Michigan

Unlike anything else in Brighton or Southeast Michigan, the Lingenfelter Collection is part museum and part auto company, and 100% inspiring. With many unique performance, vintage, muscle cars, and Corvettes from all over the globe, this collection is a must-see for any car lover. The history behind it, as well as the history of each vehicle, makes it a fascinating attraction even for people who aren’t into cars. If you have the chance to visit the Lingenfelter Collection, you’ll be blown away by the variety of vehicles to see!

Lingenfelter Collection

The History Behind the Lingenfelter Collection

The Lingenfelter Collection was started by Ken Lingenfelter, the son of a General Motors executive and lifelong car enthusiast. Ken has always loved stylish, high-performance automobiles and was able to buy his first Corvette in 1977. From there, he acquired more cars and the collection grew. He eventually sold his company so he could pursue the Lingenfelter Collection and his passion for cars full-time.

In 2008, Ken merged his collection with Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, an auto engineering company owned by Ken’s distant cousin. With the help of this new company, the Lingenfelter Collection continues to pursue high-performance vehicles and create excitement among hot-rodders, racers, and exotic car enthusiasts in both Brighton and further afield.

Highlights of the Collection

You can view some of the cars in the collection on the website, but nothing beats seeing them, or hearing Ken Lingenfelter talk about his passion for his vehicles, in person. Some impressive cars from the collection include:

  • 1954 Chevrolet Corvette EX-87 “Duntov Mule”
  • 1973 Opel GT
  • 1987 Zimmer Quicksilver
  • 2011 Chevrolet Camaro “Trans Am”
  • 2008 Lamborghini Reventon

Each car in the Lingenfelter Collection is lovingly maintained, keeping it in ideal condition for visitors to view. On the website, you can also find the full description of each vehicle if you wish to learn more about it.

Plan Your Visit

The Lingenfelter Collection is located at 7819 Lochlin Dr, Brighton, MI 48116. While the company side is open every weekday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, the collection itself is not available for the general public to view every day. The cars can typically only be viewed at special events and open houses. If you are lucky enough to attend one of these events, The Lingenfelter Collection isn’t difficult to find — it’s only a 15-minute drive from the center of Brighton.

Winter Fun at Mt. Brighton

Mt. Brighton Ski Resort is the perfect place for a winter getaway for people of all ages. With skiing, snowboarding, dining, and shopping all in one place, you can easily spend a few days or more enjoying all that Mt. Brighton has to offer. Hitting the slopes is the perfect way to enjoy winter in Southeast Michigan and the Mt. Brighton Ski Resort attracts skiers and snowboarders from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Northwest Ohio.

Mt Brighton Ski Resort

History of Mt. Brighton

Mt. Brighton Ski Resort was founded in 1960. Brighton does not have any hills naturally large enough for commercial skiing or snowboarding, so the slopes at Mt. Brighton are man-made. They reach a maximum height of 230 vertical feet. Over the years, the resort has gradually expanded, adding more chairlifts in the 1960s, opening a lounge and restaurant in the 1970s, and welcoming snowboarders for the first time in the 1980s.

The resort also uses energy-efficient snowmaking guns to create the snow that skiers and riders enjoy throughout the winter season. Mt. Brighton relies on snow-making techniques to maintain high-quality snow when Michigan’s finicky weather patterns don’t cooperate. It has quickly become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brighton, Michigan.

Activities at the Resort

At Mt. Brighton Ski Resort, you can hit the slopes, of course. There are two terrain parks with numerous trails to accommodate skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. If you’re new to either sport, you can also take lessons or rent the gear you need from the resort. Each season, the resort puts on training and racing programs for advanced skiers and riders as well.

When you’re not out in the snow, you can stop by the Ski Hill Grill, Bruhns Bar, or Ore Creek Mountain Grill for a bite to eat. There’s also a ski shop to pick up souvenirs or extra gear, and you can book the resort for weddings and group events.

Plan Your Trip

Mt. Brighton Ski Resort is located at 4141 Bauer Rd, Brighton, MI 48116. It’s only open during the winter season, usually from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. At a short drive from Brighton and less than an hour’s drive from metro Detroit, Mt. Brighton Ski Resort is accessible for locals. Once you get there, there’s plenty of parking and the friendly staff is willing to help you out with whatever you need. For information about lift tickets and season passes, visit the Mt. Brighton Ski Resort website.

Experience Local Art in Southeast Michigan

When you want to take a scenic walk, spend some quiet time in nature, or just enjoy art from Southeast Michigan artists, the Oaken Transformations Sculpture and Poetry Walk is for you. This beautiful nature walk is the perfect place to take photos, have an outdoor lunch, relax with friends, or just spend some time meditating. It’s no wonder this art walk is one of the highlights of Brighton, Michigan and even attracts visitors from Detroit and the rest of Southeast Michigan.

Oaken Transformations Sculpture Park

The Story of Oaken Transformations Sculpture & Poetry Walk

The Oaken Transformation Sculpture and Poetry Walk is a wholly local project. The outdoor art tour features artwork and poetry from sculptors and writers with ties to Southeast Michigan. In addition, the trail the art sits upon runs through a gently wooded area in Brighton and represents the varied and multifaceted terrain and environment of Michigan.

Oaken Transformations is as much for the enjoyment of art as it is for art education, getting closer to nature, and reflection. The site has ties to some of Michigan’s largest universities and two members of the full-time staff have Masters in Fine Arts, so there are educational visits and events arranged all the time.

Featured Sculptors and Poets

Most of the sculptures installed along the trail stay for one year and all of them are available for purchase as well. If you want to learn more about each one, you can find info about the work and the artist on the Oaken Transformations website or ask one of the staff members.

All of the poems featured on the walk are permanent installations. The website also has information about each poet. Oaken Transformations regularly hosts poetry contests, with the winners getting to be featured on the walk.

Plan Your Visit

Oaken Transformations Sculpture and Poetry Walk is located at 6893 Grand River Ave, Brighton, MI 48114. It’s open every day from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm and there is no charge for admission or required reservations. The staff does ask that you call ahead if you have a group of 10 or more, so they can better accommodate you. The trail is a half-mile loop that can be completed at your own pace. The trail has benches and open areas for picnicking, so you can spend as long as you like enjoying nature, the poetry, and the art. Oaken Transformations is open year-round except on holidays as a perfect way to spend a day in Brighton, Michigan.

Brighton’s Number-One Game Spot

Do you miss the days when you could spend hours at the arcade, losing all your money as you try your hardest to rack up a new high score on one of the games? Then you should head to The Arcade, one of the most popular places for game-lovers of all ages in Brighton, Michigan. Whether you want to play those classic games again yourself or take your kids to experience them for the first time, The Arcade is a must.

The Arcade in Brighton MI

The Arcade’s Story

What started as a repair shop for video arcade games and pinball machines has turned into one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Brighton. The Arcade opens its two floors of classic games and pinball machines three days a week, at $15 a day. Although it’s not open every day, it’s still one of the most popular places in Brighton for kids, adults, and anyone who appreciates classic video games. The charm of The Arcade is its throwback to the arcades of the 80s and 90s that adults will remember fondly and kids will love to discover.

Aisles of Games Old and New

The Arcade has two floors of games of all kinds, but the highlight is the pinball machines. Once you pay your one-time entry fee, there should be plenty of games open to keep you busy, with no need for tokens or quarters to insert each time you play. At this arcade, the fun is in the experience, not in how many tickets you win or which cheap prizes you can cash in for. When it comes to fun things to do in Brighton, Michigan, going to The Arcade is simply for the love of the game.

To see exactly which games The Arcade has you’ll have to stop by to try them out — if you frequented arcades in their heyday then you’ll recognize quite a few classics. You can also check The Arcade’s Facebook page for regular updates about new games and other happenings.

Plan Your Visit

The Arcade is located at 10816 Grand River Ave, Brighton, MI 48116. It’s only open three days a week, on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon. You pay a one-time entry fee of $15 and you can stay and play games until closing. You don’t need extra money to buy tokens for the games once you’ve paid your $15. Situated on a major road in Brighton, The Arcade is easy to find and there’s plenty of parking once you get there.

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