Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Holly, MI

  • Published 2022/08/18

Located 55 miles from the largest city in Michigan, Detroit is the beautiful township of Holly.

It features a unique blend of restaurants and shops and a celebrated and historic Main Street, giving you the perfect opportunity to stroll, shop, and explore.

The great thing about Holly is that it isn’t all just about the bustle of city life, as it also features numerous offerings for outdoor adventure.

From mountain biking and skiing to canoeing and camping—name it, and Holly has it!

Despite being a small township, it is home to five parks: Waterworks Park, Ganshaw Park, Lakeside Park, Cyclone Park, and Crapo Park.

Holly also takes pride in its culture and heritage, featuring the Hadley House or the Holly Historical Museum.

You cannot underestimate the township’s sense of fun, as evidenced by its numerous festivals, including the world-famous Dickens Old Fashioned Christmas Festival and the Community Play Day.

Also, you can’t deny the pun in Holly-ween, a community Halloween celebration sponsored by the Main Street Holly DDA.

The city also boasts a lively nightlife, with tons of dining and entertainment options available for your perusal.

There’s also the Movies on Battle Alley, a must-try outdoor movie event for the family.

The list goes on and on.

If you want to experience this destination, here are the best things to do in Holly, Michigan:

Explore Holly’s Great Outdoors at Seven Lakes State Park

Duck family on the waters of Seven Lakes State Park

James W. Thompson /

One thing that makes Holly a truly majestic place is its great outdoors and abundant nature.

Come to Seven Lakes State Park, located on Fish Lake Road, and experience an endless variety of ecosystems and topography.

Seven Lakes is a combination of forests, rolling hills, and farmland, with a dam that formed one large lake from seven small lakes.

When you visit the place, you’ll be delighted by some 230 acres of water and miles of shoreline.

A bird perched on Seven Lakes State Park's plants

James W. Thompson /

Park goers can enjoy the amenities, which include picnic shelters for rent.

If you want to go kayaking, paddle boating, or canoeing, you can do so at the park, but you’ll need to secure a permit.

If you cannot secure one, you can be assured that sitting back and relaxing on the shore as you let time pass is already an enjoyable activity at Seven Lakes State Park.

Turtles at Seven Lakes State Park

James W. Thompson /

Go Skiing at Mt. Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort

You probably already know how much it snows in Michigan, so it may not surprise you that Holly is a great place to go skiing.

Mt. Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort is situated along Dixie Highway.

If you think this is your average ski resort, think again because it’s everything but ordinary.

Featuring 19 trails, five rope tows, seven chairlifts that include the only high-speed detachable quad in the state, and two Sunkid Wonder Carpets, it offers so much enjoyment and adventure for the entire family.

Mt. Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort offers alpine and snowboard equipment rentals, professional snowboard instructions, world-class skis, and groomed trails.

What more can you ask for in a ski resort with a spacious Bavarian lodge, with a fireplace room, two cafeterias, and a lounge?

Enjoy the Contrast of Glacial Lake Views and Open Meadows at Rose Oaks County Park

In the middle of Oakland County, where whitewashed fences, foals, horses, and rolling pastures dominate, is Rose Oaks County Park.

Located on Buckhorn Lake Road, the park was purchased in 1995, becoming the 11th park in the county.

You’ll love the combination of wetlands, with a series of glacial lakes and rolling open meadows, complemented by cattail swamps and marshes.

Because of this, the park is more famous for equestrian activities rather than hiking and trailing, causing the park to sometimes be muddy; but then again, this means there’s always fun and adventure waiting.

Rose Oaks County Park is home to diverse wildlife, including whitetail deer, beavers, woodland birds, and waterfowl.

You can also enjoy walking, especially on the Richardson Loop, which lets you walk through maple and oak forests and even around the lake.

Feel an Adrenaline Rush at WhoaZone

Situated on Heron Beach within the Holly Recreation Area, WhoaZone offers families tons of fun and adrenaline-rushing adventure.

It’s not just the water that makes this place a must-visit but also its floating obstacle course and the KidsZone obstacle course designed for kids four to seven years old.

WhoaZone offers award-winning inflatable water obstacle courses guaranteed to get you excited.

Are you thinking about high-energy acrobatic skills and over-the-top adventure?

Aside from WhoaZone’s Wibit Water Park and KidsZone, there are other activities like SUP boards and kayaks, game rentals, pedal boats and canoes, and shaded areas for relaxation and pleasure.

Get Goosebumps at Rotten Manor

For a different kind of fun, why not test your courage and enter Rotten Manor?

Situated on Dixie Highway, this attraction is highly-immersive and detailed, featuring The Manor and the Rotten Asylum/Forest.

Since its opening in 2015, Rotten Manor has consistently been the best and most popular haunted attraction in Southeast Michigan.

They recently added another attraction to the place called the Rotten Hayride, which features a chilling ride through the manor’s haunted woods.

Of course, the attraction also has carnival-themed games and exciting activities for the entire family.

Let the Family Relax at the Holly Township Beach

Going to the beach is a must for every holiday.

Located on Thomas Street on Bush Lake, the Holly Township Beach is a great place to bring the whole family for a day of relaxation and fun.

You can let the kids enjoy the sand and the water while you sit back and enjoy the scenery.

The place operates from around the year’s second half to September, making it a great destination during the kids’ school break.

Trained staff go around the premises for your safety.

After the kids get tired of swimming, they can go and play in the playground or on the shuffleboards.

You can also quench your thirst and give in to your cravings at the food and drinks stand, open during the Holly Township Beach’s operating hours.

Walk through Holly’s Gem, Mitchell Farm & Greenhouse

It’s easy to find farms everywhere, but what sets Mitchell Farm & Greenhouse apart from the rest is that it has been around for 182 years.

Situated on Mitchell Road, the farm started in 1837 when George Mitchell and his wife bought the land.

David Mitchell inherited it and has continued the operations, which include cattle farming, sheep herding, and crop and milk production.

Mitchell Farm & Greenhouse is currently being run by Glen and his wife, who are involved in the Farm Bureau of Oakland County.

Set up Camp at Holly Recreation Area

People camped at Holly Recreation Area's heron lake

Ilze_Lucero /

Holly brims with abundant nature and outdoors.

Holly Recreation Area, an 80,000-acre park with lakes, open fields, and rolling woodlands, invites you to set up camp close to nature.

Choose from their cabin sites and campgrounds and let your family engage in various exciting activities such as swimming, kayaking, canoeing, disc golf, biking, hiking, fishing, and row boating.

Playground at Holly Recreation Area

Ilze_Lucero /

Aside from its campgrounds, you can also explore its three lakes and use its boat launch for convenience.

Holly Recreation Area is located on Grange Hall Road and is a perfect weekend destination for groups and families.

Forest trail at Holly Recreation Area

James W. Thompson /

Treat the Kids to Some Delicious Treats at Diehl’s Orchard & Cider Mill

Delicious homemade donuts, jams, honey, apple butter, apple cider, pies, jellies, candy, and apple cider vinegar—you can get these and more at Diehl’s Orchard & Cider Mill.

Head out to Ranch Road and treat the kids to some delicious snacks.

Visually speaking, Diehl’s Orchard & Cider Mill is not the most captivating, especially since it doesn’t dress up as a big time tourist destination.

However, you cannot underestimate it because it has excellent donuts and cider, with the cider being the perfect blend of tart and sweet.

They also have Ciderfest, one of the orchard’s strongest draws!

Join the Oldest, Longest-Running Dickens Festival in the Country

When you visit Holly around Christmas time, you shouldn’t miss joining the Dickens Festival—the country’s oldest and longest-running festival of its kind.

Take the family and casually stroll the streets, dine in the eateries, and shop in the unique stores, all while smelling the comforting aromas of chestnuts and hot chocolate.

There’ll be lots of colorful Christmas decorations hanging from the shops and music filling the cool air.

Running for three weekends, the Dickens Festival’s first day ends with a lighted parade followed by Santa’s arrival and the lighting ceremony.

Witness the many street performers along the streets and even have the chance to meet Ebenezer Scrooge!

Experience How Hollygrove Celebrates Halloween at the Michigan Renaissance Festival

Do you want to know how Hollygrove celebrates Halloween?

Go to Dixie Highway during the Michigan Renaissance Festival and walk through a quarter-mile pathway through the village.

Get ready to be spooked with haunted scenes, chilling sounds, and fantastic light shows.

Indulge in Delicious BBQ at Mason Jar Holly’s BBQ

Are you craving delicious yet affordable food?

Try Mason Jar Holly’s BBQ and discover what great food is about!

The creators, TJ and Letisha, take pride in using local vendors and obtaining only the freshest and best-quality ingredients and hand cuts from the Fairwaymeats in Detroit.

This place is not your typical restaurant because the creators have 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry and a passion for delicious food.

Located on Grange Hall Road, Mason Jar Holly’s BBQ serves a wide array of dishes, from tacos and pulled porks to ribs, steaks, and signature items.

Even the kids will love the flavors, guaranteeing a fun dining experience for the entire family.

Cool Down with a Drink at River Rock Bar & Grill

Going up north is one of the most common things visitors and locals want to do, but if you wish to that northern experience without the drive, you must visit River Rock Bar & Grill.

Taste their fine northern Michigan wines, bourbons, and Michigan craft beers—all crafted in the state.

While you hold a drink in your hand, you can also relax while listening to River Rock Bar & Grill’s live music entertainment.

Don’t forget to pair your drinks with their delicious food, cooked to perfection every time.

Find River Rock Bar & Grill along Dixie Highway.

Cap Your Holiday with a Relaxing Massage at the Elements Day Spa

After days of exploring Holly, give yourself a break and relax your muscles.

Go to Elements Day Spa on South Saginaw Street and treat yourself to some good pampering.

Relax, lean back, close your eyes, and doze off as you hand yourself over to your masseuse.

You can also enjoy their body wrap treatment and get their mani-pedi services.

They also offer facial treatments and guarantee to restore that glow on your face.

Getting pampered at Elements Day Spa is a great way to cap off your holiday.

Join the Unique Celebration of the Michigan Renaissance Festival

Jousters at Michigan Renaissance Festival

Mal_Media /

Are you up for creating a unique 16th-century experience?

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is here for you.

The villagers of Hollygrove invite you to experience a magical 16th-century European village, complete with 17 stages of entertainment.

Expect to see lots of jugglers, musicians, magicians, and jousting!

Get ready to interact with memorable characters and enjoy delicious food and full-armored jousting.

Costume shop at Michigan Renaissance Festival

Susan B Sheldon /

Plus, there are more than 100 artisans who will fill the marketplace with their handcrafted goods, offering you a great shopping experience.

Are you coming with children?

No problem—they’ll surely have tons of fun at the Michigan Renaissance Festival!

Final Thoughts

Holly offers a different kind of experience.

It practically has everything you can think of for your holiday.

With unique offerings and a good balance of history and heritage, this place is a must-visit place.

Come to this destination and make sure to add the best things to do in Holly, Michigan to your itinerary.

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