Jackson is packed with exciting activities for everyone to enjoy. From cultural attractions to scenic parks and lakes, Jackson has something special for everyone in this vibrant town!
It’s known for its fascinating history, including the birthplace of the Republican Party and the first state prison. Plus, there are over 20 golf courses and miles of trails nearby!
1. Allskate Fun Center
Since 1985, Allskate Fun Center has been a beloved family destination. It boasts three roller skating rinks, laser tag arena and arcade games to enjoy.
The rink also provides lessons and open skating sessions throughout the week. What’s great about it is that you can bring your own quads, inline skates or even rent adult skates!
Allskate has hosted numerous ice-themed events over the years, such as the first wedding ever held at the rink, Easter egg hunts, patriotic Fourth of July skating and daddy-daughter skates. Plus there’s always Easter egg hunting, patriotic Fourth of July skating or just plain skating for fun – there’s something for everyone at Allskate!
2. GQT Jackson 10
Jackson, Michigan is a charming city with an intriguing history and stunning natural splendor. It also offers numerous attractions and activities to enjoy.
Jackson offers plenty of natural attractions like parks and lakes, as well as cultural attractions, entertainment options, and exciting activities to enjoy year-round. No matter your interests or the season of year, you’re sure to find something exciting in Jackson!
GQT Jackson 10 is one of the city’s most beloved attractions, boasting up to 10 screens with digital projection and high-back chairs for an enhanced experience.
3. Optimist Ice Arena
One of Jackson’s premier family fun centers, Optimist Ice Arena features two indoor ice rinks, a video game room and snack bar. Not only that but the facility also hosts two hockey teams as well as public skating sessions. Furthermore, it boasts the distinction of being Michigan’s largest lighted outdoor ice rink! Throughout wintertime, guests are invited to enjoy complimentary family skating or other special events at this Michigan landmark.
The Optimist Ice Arena boasts an impressive number of staff members. This charming facility also includes a gymnasium and small party room in addition to the two ice rinks. Despite its modesty, this is one of the best spots for an impromptu game of pool or billiards. Furthermore, this top-of-the-line ice hockey sno-ball machine and large indoor ice rink are both located here.
4. Ella Sharp Park
Ella Sharp Park offers families plenty of outdoor fun. It boasts an exciting golf course, miles of hiking and biking trails, a disc golf course, as well as mini golf. Families will surely have a blast at Ella Sharp Park!
There’s also a museum and planetarium on site. The latter features an advanced OmniStar projector for public star shows, virtual night sky tours, and other astronomy activities.
This beautiful park was made possible through the generous contributions of civic-minded citizens, particularly Ella Sharp who willed her farm to the City and created a trust fund from her estate for maintaining it as a park.
Over the past year, there has been an uptick in illegal activity at the park. People have been dumped trash and vandalizing property while drivers take large trucks onto lawns, damaging grass and creating large ruts.
5. Imagine Planet
Jackson is a delightful city that provides travelers with plenty of enjoyable activities and attractions. From scenic parks and lakes to cultural landmarks, food options, and shopping – Jackson truly has something for everyone!
For families in the city, there are a few popular attractions like Imagine Planet – offering fun activities and attractions suitable for all ages.
This family-friendly establishment features an arcade bar that’s great fun for kids of all ages. Plus, their menu offers classic ice cream desserts.
6. Bucky Harris Park
Bucky Harris Park in Downtown Jackson offers a tranquil oasis with green space, fountain and benches that create an ambiance of serenity.
This park also features a concert stage and restrooms. This makes it an ideal destination to visit with family and friends.
This park boasts a variety of amenities, such as playground equipment, basketball and tennis courts, a ball field, and picnic tables.
The park has also been recognized by the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom as a historical site, having served as the site of Michigan’s first anti-slavery newspaper.
Another popular attraction is the Falling Water Trail. Open year-round, this trail can be enjoyed for running or walking – you can even rent a bike to explore this breathtaking trail!
7. Falling Waters Trail
The Falling Waters Trail, situated in Jackson County, is a 12-foot wide and 10.5 mile long paved pathway connecting Jackson and Concord. Built on an abandoned section of the Michigan Central Railroad, this path travels through marshes, lakes, natural springs and parks along its path.
Along its course, the trail passes several historic sites. History buffs will enjoy exploring the many interpretive signs that provide insights into the area’s past.
Additionally, the trail’s landscape provides an idyllic setting for birding. It’s one of the best spots in Michigan for viewing Midwest spring warblers.
8. Under the Oaks
Under the Oaks, located between Franklin and Second streets in Jackson, has a special place in history as it was here that the Republican Party was organized to fight slavery on July 6, 1854.
Under the Oaks is a popular spot for picnics and gatherings to commemorate this moment in our nation’s history. Additionally, there are several markers and monuments commemorating it.
As one of its unique attractions, Sparks-Withington gavel made from an oak tree branch used to form the Republican Party here over 150 years ago is still a valuable relic.
9. Dahlem Environmental Education Center
The Dahlem Environmental Education Center at Fannie Beach Arboretum is a five-mile nature trail system featuring forests, fields, marshes and ponds. Additionally, it features an accessible half-mile path designed for individuals with special needs.
The Center offers year-round educational programs for students and families, as well as exciting events. One of its signature events is the Birds, Blooms & Butterflies Festival.
This celebration of nature is free and open to everyone! Enjoy hummingbird banding, nature walks, storytelling and a live presentation on raptors on the Dahlem website for more details. Plus they have the largest bluebird trail in Minnesota! Plus you can win prizes participating in their Birds, Bling and Butterflies gizmo – see you there!
10. Axe Play
Axe Play is the newest addition to downtown Jackson’s entertainment scene. Owned by the same people who opened an escape room, it boasts five axe throwing lanes and a bar featuring signature cocktails, beers, and ciders.
Each session is overseen by an axe master who will guide and protect you, ensure safety and assist with scoring. Groups can participate in round-robin style tournaments or free-throwing contests, or simply relax and hone their skills while enjoying a signature cocktail from the full bar!
Axe Play, situated in the heart of downtown at 133 W. Michigan Ave., Suite D, is set to open its doors this summer with a fenced-in outdoor lane.