a woman with a snowboard
How to Have Your Happiest Winter in the Brighton Howell Area

November 8, 2022

Please enjoy this guest blog from Livingston County resident, Em Piro.

If you were to google “Happiest Countries in the World”, you would find a list determined by various factors including GDP per capita, life expectancy, and perceived freedom/ generosity in one’s country. Additionally, one cannot help but notice the overwhelming majority of “happiest countries” seem to be areas with extended winters. Let’s take a look at concepts from other cultures and find out how to have your happiest winter in the Brighton Howell Area.

Get Out and Get Moving

The Norwegian word ​Friluftsliv ​(pronounced “free-loofts-liv”) translates to English as “free air life” but holds a deeper meaning than its translation. In Norway, it refers to an uplifting ambiance from getting outside and enjoying nature no matter the forecast (baring unsafe weather). This can be outdoor exercise, napping, bird watching, etc.

Get Moving Outdoors Here:

Mt. Brighton

These slopes can be an all-day or all-evening activity. This year is a little different as all lift tickets must be bought online. If you are looking for a discount try searching the website for weekday after 3 pm tickets. Plus you are less likely to run into lift lines!

Kensington Metropark​

There are miles of trails and beautiful views. Although the days are getting shorter, be sure to check the time of sunset so you can plan the hike back to your car accordingly. This location is dog-friendly! Many dogs enjoy this space so plan to walk on a leash​.

Winter Beers

Utepils ​(pronounced “OOH-ta-pilz”) is a Norwegian word that has a literal English translation. “Ute” – outside, “pils”- beer. It is assumed that this will be a fairly sunny day but not necessarily warm. Keep in mind the saying “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” when dressing for these outdoor brews.

Brewery Becker​ ​

This historic hotel turned local favorite brewery allows craft beer lovers to dine indoors but we still prefer the Bier Garten! The brewery has a few amazing gas fire pits, heated standing areas, and a heated igloo that is even nicer on a sunny day! This area is also pup-friendly. Four-legged friends enter the Bier Garten through the parking lot gate.

Champs Pub​

Always a fan favorite for beer specials, burgers, and popcorn! Champs has two igloos out front, on weekends you should call ahead to receive an igloo for your party. Or feel free to sit inside and enjoy the irreplicable Champs atmosphere.

Find Your Cozy Haven

The Danish word​ “Hygge”​(pronounced hue-gah” or “hoo-guh”) has become more commonly used in the United States.​ ​It means coziness that makes you feel a sense of contentment or well-being. This can be a result of things such as enjoying a warm drink, sitting by a fire, cuddling up with a blanket and a good book, or even spending time with people you are close to.

Get Cozy Here:

Brighton Coffehouse & Theatre

Warm up with a delicious cup of fresh roasted and ground coffee or craft tea on a cold winter day. The best part about this coffeehouse isn’t the homemade pastries but the fact that the location also doubles as a theatre. On those warmer days, grab your hot drink to go and adventure around downtown Brighton.

a girl and two dogs next to a blanket fort
Total Cluster Fudge

Total Cluster Fudge​

3 words. WARM COOKIE DELIVERY. Make a night in the house a special occasion with the delivery of warm cookies through DoorDash. These treats could go perfectly with a movie night, wine night, pajama night… pillow fort? Whatever you choose, the night is sure to be special.

Find Your Stamina

Winter is long, it can take a toll on physical and mental health.​ ​Our last word is ​Sisu (pronounced – see’-soo), a Finnish concept. Sisu is the strength of your perseverance, determination, will, and ability to act rationally when things get hard. It’s not whether or not you are brave or resilient but that you are ​consistently ​those things. This will allow you to overcome anything.

Build Stamina Here:

Photo by Nick Stumphauzer

The Space​

This fitness studio in Brighton combines hot yoga with strength-based fitness. My favorite class is called “The Release” which combines yoga with core strength, bodyweight exercises, and interval training. This class will quickly make you feel a part of the community as there are lots of opportunities to jump around and engage with fun voice “releases” (more plainly- yelling the class with each jumping jack). Other classes offered are The Fusion, The Strength, and The Calm (an awesome slower class focused on expanding your flexibility.)

Happiness doesn’t have to be reserved for 75 and sunshine. Although, we will welcome that weather when it comes! Now you have the fun new vocabulary, locations, and tips for enjoying the winter season.

Em is a local social studies educator with a passion for stories of people, places, and things. Born of her love for adventure, she began to curate her blog Captain & Em in 2020. She loves to explore Michigan with her dog Captain while writing about the places and products they love. Her photography was among My North Media’s Top 10 Most Popular Instagram Photos of 2020. Follow her adventures on Instagram!

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Mt. Brighton

Mt Brighton Ski Area, 4141 Bauer Road, Brighton, MI, 48116 USA

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Kensington Metropark

Kensington Metropark, 4570 Huron River Pkwy, Milford, MI, USA

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Howell Nature Center

Howell Nature Center, 1005 Triangle Lake Road, Howell, MI, USA

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Island Lake Recreation Area

Island Lake Recreation Area, 6301 Kensington Road, Brighton, MI, USA

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Brewery Becker

Brewery Becker, 500 West Main Street, Brighton, MI, USA

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Champ's Pub

140 E Grand River Ave, Brighton, MI 48116

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The Space

9695 Village Place Blvd

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