Things To Do In Jackson

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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.

2111 Emmons Road
Jackson,
MI
US

The ale devotees at Bad Bear Brewery concoct small batches of unfiltered, handcrafted beers and locally made wines. The brewery's pumpkin beer infuses palates with hints of brown sugar, while the Michigan pale ale teems with more hops than a dunking competition featuring Peter Rabbit. Chefs also prepare hand-tossed artisan pizzas and 5-ounce beer-braised reubens. Membership in the Bad Bear Mug Club outfits beer advocates with a custom mug crafted by local potter Mary Humphrey as well as discounts on pub grub and suds.

2110 North Concord Road
Albion,
MI
US

DriveTech's pro drivers use unmatchable speed and NASCAR authenticity to guarantee a healthy flood of adrenaline in every driver and passenger they take around the track. Once DriveTech's expert instructors fill latent speed demons in on safety procedures, steering techniques, and rubber-burning incantations, they'll be free to indulge in a 12-lap blast around the Homestead super speedway. If they'd rather ride shotgun, the four-lap ride-along gives racecar fanatics and thrill-seeking maniacs the chance to feel the g-force of either a NASCAR Spring Cup style car or a race-proven ASA Late Model car as it bursts from the starting line and rounds corners at ridiculous speeds. Though the experience is as safe as a nose-diving into a ball pit full of Tickle Me Elmos, you'll feel like stakes are high as DriveTech's four-wheeled metal rockets hurtle you around the asphalt.

12626 U.S. 12
Brooklyn,
MI
US

Encompassing an Environmental Education Center and roughly 300 acres of lush gardens, forests, marshes, and other terrain, the Dahlem Conservancy is one of the largest classrooms around. The nonprofit organization welcomes visitors of all ages to explore this wild and vibrant landscape through year-round, hands-on programs that range from children's summer adventure day camps to gardening and beekeeping lessons. The protected area also features unusual outdoor learning areas and 5 miles of hiking trails, while the center contains live animal exhibits and a nature gift shop.

7117 South Jackson Road
Jackson,
MI
US

The experienced instructors at Formula Racing Experience help transform leisurely pedestrians into bona fide racecar drivers by buckling them into their choice of car and sending them off on blistering journeys around the track. The Intro to Road Racing experience begins with a fire suit and helmet fitting, followed by a 45-minute orientation that informs students of racing etiquette, the racetrack's nuances, and how to make "vroom" noises with their mouths to go faster. Participants then ride with their teachers in an SUV to experience the track's straight-aways and bends firsthand. The program's grand finale grants freshly learned drivers the keys to the car kingdom, propelling them on a scorching 15-minute orbit around the course in a Formula One Car or Porsche Boxster that can reach speeds faster than a cheetah on roller skates.

12626 U.S. Hwy. 12
Brooklyn,
MI
US

Arbor Hills Golf Club's greens are tricky. They may look unimposing, but upon closer inspection—or after a winding lag putt that behaves bizarrely—they reveal their true nature. This is to be expected from Mr. Arthur Hamm, a disciple of the famed Donald Ross, who pioneered the "turtleback" green, named for the infuriating way golf balls seem to roll off in every direction. While golfers won't find any true turtlebacks on the course, the greens are no cake walk. They demand a sound strategy—and occasionally creative problem solving—to get the ball to stop at the right spot.

This is all, of course, assuming that golfers able to drive their golf balls through the fairway alleys delineated by lindens, birch, oaks, walnuts, and tall scotch and white pines. On approaches, the ability to keep the golf ball below the hole proves important, as mishits have the tendency to skip over the back fringe, much like a very disobedient little boy who will get a timeout later. These omnipresent challenges, coupled with the leafy scenery, have kept novices and skilled golfers coming back since the course's opening in 1925.

Course at a Glance:

  • 18-hole, par 72 course
  • Total length of 6,513 yards from the back tees
  • Course rating of 70.9 from the back tees
  • Course slope of 129 from the back tees
  • Three sets of tees per hole
  • Scorecard

1426 Arbor Hills Rd
Jackson,
MI
US