14 Best Things to Do in Jackson, MI

14 Best Things to Do in Jackson, MI

The famous city of Jackson, Michigan was founded in 1829 and is named after former US President Andrew Jackson.

The birthplace of the Republican Party, the city is heavily influenced by various types of politics and history.

Jackson has since grown into a beautiful tourist attraction with various tourist places like parks and places of worship.

Interested in finding out what else there is to see and enjoy in this city?

These are the best things to do in Jackson, Michigan:

Visit the Ella Sharp Museum

Ella Sharp house and Museum
kennethaw88, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The historical building of the Ella Sharp Museum was constructed in 1856.

The spectacular beauty is a vast 19th-century farmhouse-turned-museum set among sprawling lawns.

In 1972, it was granted a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is a magnificent two-story structure with an Italianate tower and a wooden cupola.

The windows are very large and set over a wide six-over-six unit.

The architecture is quite classy and pleasant to look at.

Look at the Beautiful Cascade Falls

A major tourist attraction in Jackson, the Cascade Falls is a man-made waterfall so beautifully constructed that it appears to be natural.

The waterfall is especially lovely to look at on days like Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, when it gets lit up and serves as the venue for various concerts and special events.

There is also a fireworks display which makes for a beautiful background for pictures and more.

With a total of 16 falls, out of which as many as 11 are illuminated, the falls are really spectacular.

They are basically made of six fountains and three reflecting pools, which are vast and wide.

The lighting music show is a visual and audio delight.

So, try visiting during one of the special days when the waterfall is on display in its full grandeur and beauty.

Admire the Stunning Works Displayed in Art 634

Art 634 is a beautiful place in Jackson that celebrates art and artists.

It hosts various local and international artists and has many paintings on display.

You can book a photography session with any of the photographers at the studio and snap some excellent and Instagrammable pictures.

Small workshops like art lessons and sewing lessons are conducted here as well.

There is also a dance studio where you can watch an excellent performance.

Go Golfing at Ella Sharp Park

The golfing course at Ella Sharp Park is beautiful and large, with over 18 holes.

It is affordable and a great place to hang out with family and friends.

It is also very beautifully designed and has a lush green lawn where you can run across and enjoy some action outdoors.

Locals also rent it out for small occasions like birthday parties.

The trees are lush green and huge, and picnic tables are constructed in the park.

So, pack a picnic with some sandwiches and refreshing beverages, and you are set for a wonderful family outing.

Ella Sharp Park is situated in the hills.

That said, the scenery from the top is breathtaking.

Breathe in some fresh air as you go golfing at this park.

Play with Animals at Imagine Planet

If you are planning a family vacation with kids, Imagine Planet is the perfect spot that you must visit.

With a variety of cute little species on display, it is a great place to take your kids.

It's considered one of Jackson's hidden gems, and the best part is that entry is free.

The volunteers themselves run the place.

Most of the animals are rescued from the wild.

They are well-cared for, and you can enjoy playing with them.

Imagine Planet will impart important lessons like empathy and sympathy to your kids.

They also give various tidbits of information about the various species on display.

Learn about Life at the Jackson Historic Prison Tours at Cell Block 7

Jackson Historic Prison Tours offers a fascinating and informative tour and provides a glimpse into the life of prisons and their inmates.

It is very informative, and the staff is warm and gives you great information as you go about.

You can actually visit some of the old prisons and a few of the new ones to get an idea of what life in prison was like before and how it is today.

A pro tip: you should try the Jacktown Double tour, where you get to visit both the original prison and the cellblock of the recent prison.

Splurge on the guided tour since it is well worth the money.

Enjoy a  Day of Outdoor Fun at Bucky Harris Park

Take a walk among lush green trees in the beautiful and quiet Bucky Harris Park.

It is situated right in the heart of downtown Jackson, so it is one of the quieter places in the bustling city.

Visit this park for some much-needed quiet and to find some peace with yourself.

There is a tiered fountain and a beautiful wall mural here.

The fountain is incredibly relaxing, and you can even let your kids play in it if they would like to.

You can also pack a picnic lunch when you visit.

Explore the Historical Side of Jackson at Under the Oaks

A famous historical site in Jackson, Under the Oaks honors the birthplace of the Republican Party.

The legend goes that since the convention was very large, it was impossible to be held inside a building.

Therefore, it was moved to an oak grove on "Morgan's 40," which is where the park is built today.

There is a plaque constructed into a boulder that honors this momentous event.

Under the Oaks Park is well-maintained and peaceful.

Discover Facts about Automobiles at the Lost Railway Museum

Locomotives and automobiles have always fascinated many people due to their unique and different ways of working.

The Lost Railway Museum houses many automobile cars and railway engines from the bygone eras, especially from the 20th century.

There are different kinds of transport on display, which have come before and after the advent of the railways.

A famous attraction is the 1890s-style bicycle, which is on display here.

The Lost Railway Museum also showcases a restored Model T.

The museum is a quite recent addition to Jackson's tourist index.

It was opened only in 2017, but has since come a long way and is already one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jackson.

Honor War Heroes by Visiting the Michigan Military Heritage Museum

The most surprising and unique feature of this museum is the authentic uniform collection, which is displayed at exactly the entrance of the museum as if welcoming you into the war world.

The Michigan Military Heritage Museum was founded in 2016 as a reminder of the sacrifices of the brave hearts who lost their lives during the various wars to bring peace.

There are artifacts on display from all over the world, with a special focus on the soldiers who are from Michigan.

One of the museum's most interesting features is the life-size model of a World War I trench, which visitors can actually enter and explore.

Get a Taste of an Authentic Coney Dog

Coney Dog
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock.com

The coney dog is a specialty in this city.

Jackson is actually where it was invented.

There are various places that serve this dish, such as the Jackson Coney Island, which is the birthplace of the coney dog.

Virginia Coney is said to serve one of the top five best coney dogs in the state, so you can also check it out if you're looking for somewhere to get your fix.

Make sure that you visit any of these places and have a bite of this delectable dish, which is very famous among the people of Jackson.

Splash about at the Sparks Foundation County Park

Essentially a garden, the Sparks Foundation County Park houses a mini waterpark, which is extremely enjoyable, especially if you're visiting with kids.

The splash pad is the mini water park located inside this county park.

It has a lot of features like waterfalls and mini fountains, along with the typical swimming pools.

The water rides are very much fun and crazy.

A special attraction is the park's giant dump, which will wet your entire body with water.

The Sparks Foundation County Park itself is also very beautiful.

You'll see a lot of people walking their dogs, so you can make some furry friends as well.

There is also a lake inside the park, where you may even spot beautiful ducks swimming about.

Go for a Run on the Falling Waters Trail

Jackson is a beautiful city enriched with nature, and the Falling Waters Trail is one of the many trails where you can go walking or running.

It's often visited by both locals and tourists, especially those with an affection for the outdoors.

The best part about the trail is that it also allows animals, including dogs and horses, so you can even enjoy some horseback riding.

Another fun sport you can enjoy here is rollerblading.

Taste Some Wine at Sandhill Crane Vineyards

A family-owned business located in Jackson, visiting Sandhill Crane Vineyards is one of the top things to do if you are a lover of wine and spirits.

The wines here are award-winning and are among the freshest and best-tasting wines in Jackson.

Sandhill Crane Vineyards' wines are all brewed using organic produce like grapes and other fruits.

The tasting room is always open on business days.

There is also a small event organized every Friday night, where live music is played on the patio and you can enjoy a drink while enjoying the performances.

Watch a Movie at GQT Jackson 10

As is apparent from its name, GQT Jackson 10 is a movie theater with as many as 10 screens.

It displays various feature films using digital projection, which makes for a great viewing experience.

Watch a movie on a relaxing Friday night at this beautiful theater.

The venue has high-back chairs for viewers' utmost comfort.

There is also a snack bar where you can buy food and drinks to enjoy along with your movie.

Go Ice Skating at the Optimist Ice Arena


A quaint little indoor ice skating rink, the Optimist Ice Arena is an awesome place to go for a thrilling experience.

It is open to the public at various times, and you can book tickets to have some fun ice skating.

For those who are not very familiar with the craft of ice skating, there are basic skating lessons that you can sign up for.

Going ice skating at the Optimist Ice Arena is also a great date idea if you want to do something fun with your significant other.

Explore Nature at the Dahlem Environmental Education Center

Also known as the Dahlem Conservancy, the Dahlem Environmental Education Center is the place where all those with a keen eye for observing nature go.

It is one of the best places to spend some quality time among stunning wildlife and plants.

Spread over a huge area of 280 acres, it has about five miles' worth of hiking trails, where you can trek and discover new species along the way.

The ecosystems are all well-conserved, and you can observe a variety of species like butterflies, insects, and even large animals.

The terrain is beautiful and consists of various geographical features like forests, grasslands, streams, marshes, and more.

There is also a pond, so you can also have a look at some aquatic life.

The Dahlem Environmental Education Center also offers guided tours, which you can opt to join.

There are also free events, depending on the season that you visit.

Take Your Kids to The Bounce Castle

The Bounce Castle is a hot favorite among the kids of Jackson.

It's the kind of place where your children will want to spend the whole day.

True to its name, it is basically a place filled with inflatable bounce houses and other inflatable attractions.

The slides are beautiful, and for an affordable rate, your kids can jump, climb and slide as much as they want.

Reminisce your childhood as you watch your kids jump about happily.

It is also a great place if you want to celebrate your kids' birthday.