By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan at Travel-Mi.com
Houghton Lake's Tip Up Town is a famous Michigan festival known for its Polar Bear Plunge, Snowmobile Races and Ice Slide. It's so much fun for the whole family!
Who doesn't LOVE watching brave (crazy?) people jump into icy cold water?!
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Polar Bear Plunge just happened at Tip Up Town in Houghton Lake! Freezing temps yet over 50 people jumped in the 8 feet of freezing water! Would you do it?? . . . #tipuptown #polarbearplunge #winterinmichigan #michiganwinter #puremichiganders #itswhatwedo #crazypeople #houghtonlake #houghtonlakemichigan #michiganders #onlyinmichigan #winterfun❄️ #winterfun #michigan
When we go to the Tip Up Town in Houghton Lake, Michigan, we like to park at the High School located at 4433 W. Houghton Lake Drive, Houghton Lake, MI.
After you park, board the yellow school buses for a free ride to the festival. You will need to purchase your button (pass) for the festival upon boarding the bus. Attendants will greet you upon boarding and you can purchase the pass then.
For me, the Polar Bear Plunge is the highlight of the Tip Up Town festival. I think it's the highlight for lots of people as hundreds gather to watch the spectacle.
Grab a pastie and get there early so you can have a great view of half naked people huddled shivering near the ice cold water preparing to jump!
WHY, OH WHY?!
For some contestants, you can just feel their dread as they slowly plod up to the jumping platform. One victim, I mean participant, told us his family got together and pooled a bunch of money for whoever was going to jump in...he said it was too much to pass up, so there he was, stripping down to his swim trunks in 30 degree weather!
Now OTHERS, like THESE GUYS pictured above, were just giddy to jump into the icy depths! Bragging rights or just crazy?
The contest was judged, so the crazier the outfit (I saw Santa, a warrior, bride, a bunch of guys in onesies) the more points you received. Heck, I was just impressed they jumped!!
Tip Up Town has lots of fun events for kids and adults!
You can watch the snowmobilers zipping along the frozen lake right at the festival and even venture out on the lake if you are brave!
But if you want to watch the racing up close, you will need to leave the festival site and drive east to the East Bay near the Dairy Queen in Prudenville.
Quite a few food trucks await you at the festival! Plus, there's snacks like bags of popcorn that we love!
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When we were wandering around Belle Isle, I discovered this very cool round abandoned structure. I was reading that it used to be a zoo on Belle Isle in Detroit! You can still see the gates to get into the zoo, some cages and exhibits but it now stands abandoned. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In 1947, the Belle Isle Zoo was downsized to a children’s zoo and finally closed in 2002. Bummer, huh!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #deservetopreserve #abandoned #abandonedzoo #belleisle #belleislepark #detroit #abandoneddetroit #photooftheday #michigan #michigander #michiganphotographer #detroitmi #detroitmichigan #motorcity #detroitcity #detroitdecay #detroit_igers #detroitlove #forgottenplaces #beautyindecay #urbanexploration #urbanexplorers #explore #michiganaddict #detroitgraphiti #urbanexplore #abandonedplaces #beautyindecay #deserve2preserve