15 Best Things to Do in Jackson, MI

15 Best Things to Do in Jackson, MI

The famous city of Jackson was founded in 1829 and is named after the President Andrew Jackson. The birthplace of the Republican Party, the city is heavily influenced by various types of politics and history. It has since grown into a beautiful tourist attraction with various tourist places like parks and places of worship.

Visit the Ella Sharp House and Museum

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

The historical building of Ella Sharp Museum was constructed in 1856. A huge 19th century farmhouse set among sprawling lawns is what makes it a spectacular beauty. And hence it has become a museum today, which has found a place on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. It is a very beautiful two story structure and has 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

The cascade falls are a man-made waterfall and a major tourist attraction located in Jackson, but they are so beautifully constructed that it appears to be naturally made. It is especially memorable to look at on days like the Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day when it becomes the venue for various concerts and special events and the falls are lighted up. 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 huge and wide. The lighting music show is especially a visual and audio delight. So try visiting during one of the special days when the falls are on display in its full grandeur and beauty.

Art connoisseurs rush to Art 634

A beautiful place that celebrates art and artists is this art museum called Art 634. It hosts various local artists and international artists and has on display many paintings. You can also book a photography session with any of the photographers at the studio and click some great instagrammable pictures. Small workshops like art lessons and sewing lessons are also conducted here. There is also a dance studio where you can watch a great performance.

Golfing at the 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 birthdays.

The trees are lush green and huge and there are picnic tables constructed. So pack a picnic with some sandwiches and cola and you are set for a wonderful family outing. Moreover, it is situated in the hills. So the scenery from the top is very beautiful. Breathe in some fresh air as you go golfing at this park.

Play with animals at the Imagine Planet

If you are planning a family vacation with kids, then this 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 along with and it is one of the hidden gems of Jackson. And the best part is it's free. The volunteers themselves run the place.

Most of the animals are rescued from the wild and well cared for and you can enjoy playing with them. This will also 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 the prisons with the Jackson historic prison tours at Cell Block 8

This is a fun and informative tour and provides a glimpse into the life of prisons and its 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 too and have a look at how life was. 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.

Outdoor fun at the Bucky Harris Park

Take a walk among lush green trees in this beautiful and quiet little park. It is situated right in the heart of downtown Jackson, so it is one of the quieter places in the bustling city. Visit it for some much needed quiet and to find some peace with yourself. There is a tiered fountain and also a beautiful wall mural made here. The fountain is especially relaxing and you can even let your kids play in it if you want to. You can also pack a picnic lunch when you visit.

Explore the historical side of Jackson at Under the Oaks

It honors the birthplace of the Republican Party and is a very famous bar of Jackson. The legend goes that since the convention was very large, it was impossible to be held inside a building and therefore it was moved to an oak grove on “Morgan's 40” which is where the park is built today. There is also a plaque constructed into a boulder that honors this momentous event. The park is well maintained and peaceful.

Discover facts about automobiles at the Lost Railway Museum

Locomotives and automobiles have always fascinated us due to their unique and different ways of working. This Lost Railway Museum houses many automobile cars and railway engines from the bygone eras, especially from the 20th century.
There are various 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. There is also a restored Model T, which is showcased. The museum is a quite recent addition to the tourist index. It was opened only in 2017, but has since come a long way and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jackson.

Honor war heroes by visiting the Michigan Military Heritage Museum

The most surprising and most 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 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. An absolute delighting but terrific feature is the life sized World War One trench in which you can actually go and explore.

Taste a Coney dog

Coney Dog
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock.com


Coney dog is a specialty of Jackson and was made first at this county. There are various places that serve corny dogs like the Jackson Coney Island and Virginia Coney. 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. Virginia Coney is said to give the fifth best Coney dog in the state so maybe that’s where you can get your fix.

Splash about at the Sparks Foundation County Park

Essentially a garden, it houses a mini waterpark, which is very fun and 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 giant dump, which will wet your entire body with water. The park itself is also very beautiful. You'll see a lot of people walking their dogs, so make some furry friends as well. There is also a lake situated where beautiful ducks swim about.

Running on the Falling Waters trail

Jackson is a beautiful city enriched with nature, and this is one of the many trails where you can go walking or running and is visited by various locals and tourists alike, especially those with and an affection for the outdoors. The best part about the trails is it allows animals as well including dogs and horses so you can even enjoy some horseback riding. Another fun sport you can enjoy here is the rollerblading.

Taste some wine at the Sandhill Crane Vineyards

A family owned business located in Jackson, this is one of the top things to do if you are a lover of wine and spirits. The wines here have been awarded and are one of the most freshly brewed and have a beautiful taste. The wines are all brewed using organic produce like grapes and other fruits. The tasting room remains open throughout the business days. There is also a small event organized every Friday night, where live music is played at the patio and you can enjoy a drink listening to it.

Dine at Libby’s Jazz Club

Jazz clubs are one of the best spots to have dinner at to relax and refresh your soul. Listen to some jazz music as you order a delicious dish from the delectable menu.
The musicians here are sourced from local as well as national borders. The food is also great, and there are a variety of options available. Have a great fun date at this club.

Watch a movie at Jackson 10

As is apparent from the name 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 so you can get comfortable. There is also a snack bar where you can buy food and drinks to go along with your movie.

Try some fun ice skating at the optimist Ice Arena


This quaint little indoor ice skating rink is awesome for a thrilling experience. It is open to the public at various times and you can book tickets to have some fun doing ice skating. There are also figure skating sessions which take place here where you can watch some beautiful ladies and gentlemen twirling around and the ice. For those who are not very known to the craft of ice skating, there are basic skating lessons also given. It is also a great date idea if you want to do something fun with your spouse or Valentine.

Get exploring nature at Dahlem

Dahlem is the place where all those with a keen eye for observing nature go to. It is one of the best places to spend some quality time among wildlife and plants.
Spread over a huge area of 280 acres, it has about five miles of hiking trails, where you can hike as you discover new species. 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. There are guided tours available which you can opt for. There are also free events, according to the season that you visit.

Take your kid to The Bounce Castle

The bounce castle is a hot favorite among the kids of Jackson. It's all fun and frolic that they can enjoy here. The slides are beautiful and at a cheap rate where your kid can jump, climb and slide as much as they want.
It is basically a place with inflatable bounce houses. Reminisce your childhood flourish as you watch your kids jump about happily. It is also a great place if you want to celebrate your kids’ birthday.