From the air, the pathways at Country Corn Maze come together to create detailed images of cows, stock cars, tractors, monuments, presidents, and various other American icons. From the ground, though, they seem to wind endlessly without any sense of reason, providing adventurers with acres of maze to lose themselves in.
Each year, the Martindale family collaborates with Maze Play Inc., which uses computer-aided design software and GPS-directed tractors to carve out intricate pieces of art. The Martindales’ life on the farm and the culture of the rural Corunna countryside inspire the shapes of their mazes, which can range from a pictures of a farmstead to an homage to the firefighters of 9/11. After construction is complete and the maze walls have grown to the proper height, they invite guests to explore the 5-foot-wide pathways during the day or at night by flashlight. To keep patrons energized while they wander the corn labyrinth, Country Corn Maze also provides seasonal produce and concessions in its 1900s-era barn, from warm donuts to cups of hot organic cider or cocoa.
A glittering, two-story marquee and Spanish-style terra-cotta façade extols the Michigan Theater of Jackson's 82-year history to anyone who passes. Established in 1930, the theater originally presented movies and vaudeville shows to the public, who viewed the spectacles from the lower level or balcony seated between gilded columns under an ornate, plaster ceiling. Though the entertainment industry continued to evolve, The Michigan Theatre retained much of its lavish, vintage charm—including rich, damask draperies, stained-glass light fixtures, and WWII-era Pacman machines—until it closed down in 1978. The historical theater was acquired in 1993 by a not-for-profit organization, which reopened the theater's doors and restored the building to its current state.
Today, the entertainment hub hosts classic and art-house films as well as live theater and concerts. In the first-floor lobby, an old-fashioned candy counter sells sweets and popcorn to make sure audiences have something to throw at the screen during midnight screenings of Chinatown.
A skydiver descends toward the earth, his red-and-white parachute contrasting against a picturesque scene of azure sky and the springtime grass. It’s just another day at Skydive Tecumseh, where instructors have been taking first-time jumpers and experienced skydivers on exhilarating freefalls for nearly 50 years. Manning aircrafts such a Cessna Super Caravan, Skydive Tecumseh’s flight team ushers parties 7,500 feet into the clouds for tandem and solo jumps that reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, much like a cheetah on roller skates. A drop zone with three separate landing areas awaits skydivers on the ground, and a picnic area allows visitors to watch their friends glide safely back to earth. In addition to organizing jumps, the instructors—all certified through the United States Parachuting Association—operate a ground school, where they help clients earn skydiving licenses.
Established in 1959, Chelsea Lanes combines old-school charms with the modern convenience of smooth, polished lanes and automatic scoring. The lanes, which remain open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, also play host to leagues, birthday parties, and glow-bowling sessions, during which music videos and light shows cause the alley to sparkle like a disco ball at a paparazzi dance party.
The youthful romanticism of Juliet. The raging jealousies of Othello. Richard III's outsized villainy. All are found in the pages of Shakespeare's works, and all are brought to vibrant new life at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the official Shakespeare festival of the state. With characters so rich, it's not surprising that the company exclusively staged the Bard's works for 19 years. But, recognizing that Shakespeare's reach extended far beyond the end of his own quill, the Festival now showcases one piece from an additional playwright each season. But whether the curtain opens on a comedy or a tragedy, a dramatic history or a tender romance, the organization aims to move audiences with timeless stories.
Geology guru Bill Rotay stocks The Golden Apple's shelves with sterling silver and semiprecious-gemstone jewelry, drawing from his University of Michigan degree and lifelong adoration of sparkling baubles. The shop's name alludes to the Greek myth that amber was harvested from the garden of Hesperides, where immortality-bestowing golden apples grew. Over the course of more than a decade, the store's original, predominantly amber, inventory blossomed to include a collection of Chinese freshwater pearls, sterling silver, and gemstones from Thailand, Mexico, Bali, and India. The Golden Apple also peddles a variety of mineral rocks and pottery, as well as fossils of ancient organisms and Betamax tapes.