The bustling markets, peaceful parks, and vibrant festivals make our city a truly special place to live and visit.
I’m excited to share some of the best things to do in Mason, Michigan!
Secure Visits to Ingham County Courthouse
When you hear about a courthouse, you might think of a place filled with tension and stress.
But my regular visits to the Ingham County Courthouse are nothing like that.
The moment I step through those grand doors, I'm greeted by the friendly faces of Joe and Katlyn from the security team.
Their professionalism is top-notch, and they have an unparalleled ability to put anyone at ease.
The courthouse is like a second home to me, thanks to the security team.
I've always felt safe in their capable hands, which is an impressive feat considering the nature of the place.
It's evident that the Courts have done a great job in choosing their security staff.
Every time I leave the courthouse, I make sure to give a nod and a smile to Teachout Security. They deserve all the accolades they receive!
But it's not just the security team that leaves a lasting impression. The courthouse staff, especially Ananda, are incredibly helpful.
Her customer service skills are extraordinary. She always has a smile on her face and is ever ready to lend a hand. Working with her is a pleasure.
The Ingham County Courthouse is not just a courthouse, it's a part of the community.
Nestled in the heart of Mason, it stands tall and beautiful. Even though I haven't ventured inside yet, my pup has made friends with most of the courthouse visitors.
Our daily walks usually end up near the courthouse, with my pup eagerly wagging his tail at familiar faces as they walk in and out.
Enjoy Food and Music at the Sun-Dried Music Festival
You wouldn't believe the energy and fun that fills the air each year when the Sun-Dried Music Festival kicks off in our city.
It's the event of the year, the one we all eagerly look forward to.
The festival is free, radiating a sense of community that makes it even more special.
Walking through the heart of the festival, the infectious tunes from a myriad of local bands fill the streets.
From blues to country to rock and everything in between, there’s a rhythm that everybody can groove to.
Unplugging from the daily grind and losing yourself in the music is a joy like no other in these parts.
Food trucks line the streets, wafting delicious smells throughout the festival.
Each bite from these rolling restaurants seems to be a celebration of local flavors.
The fusion of the music and the food creates an atmosphere that is simply electric.
The festival is not just about the music and food, though.
The craft booths are another highlight, showcasing the creativity and skill of our local artisans.
It's a great place to pick up unique, hand-crafted gifts.
Go Horseback Riding at Crest View Farm
A visit to Crest View Farm, nestled in the heart of our city, is something that makes my weekend special.
The farm is owned by K&K, who are not only amazing individuals but also devoted animal lovers.
Their care and compassion for all their animals is something that warms my heart.
Seeing them look after each and every creature with such tenderness and attention to detail is a heartening sight to behold.
The facility is a marvel in itself.
It is clean, well-kept, and absolutely perfect for the animals.
I can confidently say that any horse would be lucky to call this place home.
K&K has left no stone unturned in ensuring their premises are top-notch and provide the utmost comfort to the creatures living there.
What adds to the charm of Crest View Farm is the horseback riding lessons they offer.
My granddaughter has been taking these private lessons for quite some time now, and it’s become the highlight of her week.
Watching her ride with confidence and grace, one can see the positive impact these lessons have had on her.
Bring Home Treasures at Maple Street Mall
There's a little-known secret of our city that I've discovered - the Maple Street Mall.
Nestled in the heart of our city, it's a veritable treasure trove for antique enthusiasts like me.
I decided to spend my Saturday there, and oh, what a day it turned out to be!
Right from the minute I walked in, I was greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who quickly made me feel at home.
Maple Street Mall was spotless, well-organized, and inviting.
There was this one collectible - a vintage pocket watch - that caught my eye.
The price was quite reasonable too, considering the area we're in.
As I moved from booth to booth, each one with its unique collection, I was totally engrossed.
Every artifact had a story, every item, a memory.
You wouldn't believe the treasures I uncovered - a classic vinyl record, a beautiful ceramic vase, and even a first-edition book!
And the best part?
There's always something new to discover when you visit.
Indulge a Slice of Heaven at Klavon's Pizzeria & Pub
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore...
Or in my case, that's Klavon's Pizzeria & Pub!
As a self-proclaimed pizza aficionado, I'm always on the hunt for the perfect slice.
And let me tell you, I've found it at Klavon's.
From the moment I walked in, I felt right at home.
The sports-themed decor is a feast for the eyes, filled with memorabilia that could ignite the passion of even the most casual sports fan.
What's even cooler is that each booth has its own private TV - a nice touch, especially if you’re a fan wanting to catch the big game.
Now, let's talk about the star of the show - the pizza.
I opted for a classic - the "Detroiter".
I was met with a crispy, salty crust, that when bitten into, revealed pillows of ricotta and Klavon's delicious red sauce.
It was a heavenly fusion of flavors that danced in my taste buds.
But Klavon's Pizzeria & Pub is more than just pizza.
I've also devoured their juicy burgers and scrumptious calzones, and they've never failed to impress.
Each dish is a testament to their commitment to quality and flavor.
Go Paddling at McNamara Canoe Landing
Sometimes, I feel the need to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and what better place to do that than McNamara Canoe Landing?
This park, nestled in the heart of Lansing, has become my sanctuary over the years.
Rather than being cooped up indoors, I find myself exploring the different paths, each offering a unique sighting of nature's beauty.
Walking or cycling through the trails of McNamara Canoe Landing is a treat.
The paths are well maintained and often separated for pedestrians and mountain bikers, ensuring everyone's safety.
The park is a tapestry of meadows, woodlands, and wetlands, teeming with wildlife that always surprises me.
It's not unusual to spot a deer or two during my evening strolls, a sight that never gets old.
One of my favorite things to do in the park is kayak down the Grand River.
My friends and I often start our journey from the canoe/kayak launch at McNamara and then travel down 7 miles to the Eaton Rapids Outdoor Center.
The trip usually lasts around 4 hours, and the center conveniently offers a return service for a small fee.
There's something incredibly serene about drifting along the river, surrounded by nothing but the sounds of nature.
However, as much as I cherish this park, it's disappointing to see trash lying around, especially when there are plenty of trash cans scattered through the lot.
After all, taking care of this gem of a place is our shared responsibility.
If you ever find yourself visiting, I urge you to help keep the park clean, because it's everyone's duty to preserve its beauty.
Have a Retail Therapy at Kean's Store
When I first walked into Kean's Store in Mason many decades back, I barely knew the difference between cotton and flannel.
Now, after becoming an avid quilter, I've come to appreciate their vast selection of fabrics.
With the charm of a bygone era, Kean's is not merely a store; it's a treasure trove of delightful items, each waiting to be discovered.
My friend and I decided to indulge in a little retail therapy last week, and of course, Kean's Store was our first stop.
As we made our way through the different sections, we were greeted by a harmonious mix of furniture, toys, home decor, greeting cards, a candy counter, and of course, fabrics for quilting.
There's a certain charm to the place that sends you on a trip down memory lane.
We spent a good part of our day rummaging through the quilting fabric, finally settling on a few that caught our fancy.
The city of Mason itself is quite charming, with convenient municipal parking available right behind Kean's.
We took a quick break for lunch at Los Tres Amigos, a great Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood.
The day passed by in a blur of shopping and good food, and before we knew it, we were back at Kean's for another round.
What I love about Kean's is not just its selection but the excellent service.
The staff is always delightful, and on my last visit, they even called to let me know that a Hallmark ornament I had ordered was ready for pick-up.
It's this attention to detail that sets Kean's apart from the rest.
From Hallmark cards to fine clothing, furniture, and a quality children's section, the store truly does have it all.
Grab a Good Read at CADL - Mason Library
Just in the heart of our city, ensconced in a quaint house, there's a charming find: CADL - The Mason Library.
It's a spot that's been a staple in my life – a sanctuary of sorts in our city that might be small in size but is bursting with warmth.
Some might say it's a tad cramped, but to me, it's cozy and intimate, a place that welcomes you like an old friend.
CADL - The Mason Library may not have extensive rows of adult books, but what it does have is curated with care.
With a handful of well-chosen titles, it forces you to slow down, peruse the shelves, and perhaps stumble upon a gem you wouldn't normally pick.
They might not get a flurry of new books every year, but the ones that do make their way to the shelves are worth a read.
The true star of the library, however, is the kid's section.
Nestled off to the side, it's a vibrant corner teeming with children's books, CDs, DVDs, and a delightful array of toys that stimulate imagination.
It's a much-loved haunt of young bookworms, a place where they can lose themselves in fantastical tales and exciting adventures.
And then there's the teen section, a quiet refuge at the back, designed exclusively for young adults to curl up with a book and enjoy some peace and quiet.
The library also has a half-stocked manga shelf, a testament to the diversity of reading preferences it caters to.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane at Old Mill Antiques
Every so often, I find myself drawn to a charming little place tucked away in the heart of my hometown - Old Mill Antiques.
It's almost like stepping into a time capsule, a delightful treasure trove full of unique and distinctive pieces that speak volumes about the past.
The moment I step into Old Mill Antiques, it's like embarking on an exciting voyage of discovery.
It's always meticulously organized, making each visit a pleasure.
Truly, it's akin to stepping into a museum, but one where you can take a piece of history home with you.
Grab a Bottle of Beer at BAD Brewing Company
There's nothing "bad" about BAD Brewing Company, I assure you!
Nestled in our local community, it's one of those places that just feels like home.
If you're not familiar with it.
Having been a regular since 2015, I've seen this little gem evolve over the years.
Now, you might be wondering, "How often does he go there?"
The truth is, it's not as often as I'd like.
Living in the city it's not a far drive for me, but life gets in the way sometimes.
Yet, every visit feels like a mini-vacation, a break from the norm.
The beauty of BAD Brewing Company is not just in their fantastic beers but in the people who run the place.
They're gracious and engaging, and they sure know how to brew a mean pint.
You won't be disappointed, I promise!
Is it a sunny day?
Then count yourself lucky!
Sitting outside at BAD Brewing, sipping a cold one, is a pleasure that's hard to put into words.
I have fond memories of sitting there with a fire crackling on the table, the chill of fall in the air, surrounded by good company and even better beer.
Don't be fooled by their small menu.
Everything they offer is carefully crafted and simply delicious.
Plus, their prices are quite reasonable.
And the tater tots - oh, the tater tots!
They are a must-try.
Feel Your Heart Race at Corrigan Oil Speedway
Let me tell you about a thrilling experience I had recently.
Have you ever been to Corrigan Oil Speedway?
Well, if you haven't, you're missing out.
This place is a hidden gem right in our city, offering high-speed excitement that's perfect for a family outing.
The moment you pull into the vast parking lot of the stadium, you're greeted by traffic directors who make it easy to navigate and find a spot.
And the best part?
You can carry your coolers and chairs!
Isn't that just perfect for a day out with the family?
While they don't have a dedicated kids' play area, the expansive grass section becomes an impromptu playground where kids can burn off their energy.
For families, there's a designated section near Turn 1 and ample bleachers along the front stretch and Turn 4.
What I love is the option to buy food and drinks at reasonable prices.
But, here's a tip – the lines can get long, so I'd suggest planning your snack breaks to avoid the rush.
And don't worry about restrooms – they've got you covered with portapotties and a regular bathroom.
Now let's talk about the main attraction – the races.
Corrigan Oil Speedway puts on an impressive show that's sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Just remember, bring a cushion for the grandstands, as those races can go on for hours.
And if you're bringing the little ones, don't forget their snacks, as the excitement can wear them out faster than you'd think.
Discover The City's History at the Mason Area Historical Museum
Every once in a while, I like to take a walk down memory lane, and what better place to do that than at the Mason Area Historical Museum?
Mason’s history is beautifully encapsulated in this gem of a place, with a surprisingly detailed collection of artifacts that weave stories of yesteryears.
I remember peeping in through the back door one night, exactly at 11:47 pm.
I was a tad disappointed to find it closed, but that didn’t dim the allure of this place.
The museum not only showcases historical mementos but also has a lending library and a presentation area that often hosts insightful talks and presentations.
One of my favorite exhibits has to be the neat new multimedia presentation on prominent people.
It’s a testament to the museum's efforts to blend technology and history, making for an immersive and educational experience.
Whether you're killing time on a lazy afternoon or seeking a dose of nostalgia, I'd recommend a drive to the Mason Area Historical Museum.
It's a testament to our city's rich and varied history.
It is certainly a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
Have a Picnic at Rayner Park
I'm always on the lookout for outdoor spots that give me the opportunity to unwind while my grandson plays.
On one such occasion, we landed on the webpage of Rayner Park and decided to give it a try.
I've found that it's a delightful place to spend a leisurely afternoon.
It's a well-maintained park, with ample parking and strategically placed trash bins near picnic spots, which makes it perfect for a family picnic.
My grandson absolutely adores this playground.
It has two generous sandy areas for him to unleash his creativity, building sandcastles and more.
I especially appreciate the thoughtful addition of dog bags.
It's a lifesaver for those occasional times when I forget to bring one for our pet pooch.
The playground equipment is quite impressive and extensive, but what stands out for my grandson is a structure that resembles a castle.
He's enamored by it, so much so that he now refers to Rayner Park as "the castle park."
However, there is a slight drawback, especially during hotter days.
The play area lacks enough shade and some of the equipment can
Tee Off at Eldorado Golf Course
"Holed in one!" That was my battle cry the first time I swung my club at Eldorado Golf Course.
The sprawling greenery and the serene ambiance - this is the perfect backdrop for keen golfers, and luckily for me, it's my local course.
The course boasts 27 holes across three nine-hole courses, each one as exciting and challenging as the last.
I remember my first round on the red course, my heart pounding with every swing, but I've since also tried my hand at the blue and yellow courses.
The versatility of choice means every visit to the course is a new experience.
One of the things I love about Eldorado is the immaculate condition of its greens and fairways.
You can tell the maintenance team takes pride in their work, keeping every inch of the course in tip-top shape.
The fairways are wide, encouraging bold, aggressive swings, but there's also a thrill in the challenge - miss the fairway, and you'll find yourself in the trees or even in the water!
The pro shop, though small, is impressively well-stocked - a treat for any golf enthusiast.
And if you're looking to brush up on your swing, there are two putting greens and a driving range to practice on.
For those days when hunger strikes halfway through a round, there's even a restaurant, though I confess I've yet to try it myself.
But what really sets Eldorado Golf Course apart is their friendly and accommodating staff.
I didn't have a tee time scheduled during one of my visits, but they were more than happy to let me play.
It's a testament to the warm, welcoming atmosphere that radiates from every corner of the course.
Go Fishing and Picnicking at Laylin Park
If you're in the mood for a calming day out with family and friends, Laylin Park is the destination you need.
This expansive, green oasis is located in our lovely neighborhood.
Laylin Park has a little bit of everything, from picnic areas to a fantastic playground.
I often find my kids spending their entire afternoon on the slides and swings.
They're particularly fond of the three-slide structure for bigger kids.
The toddlers in our family, on the other hand, enjoy the smaller two-slide structure.
The park has also made some excellent upgrades recently, including the addition of a handicap swing.
This swing has been a great addition, making the park more inclusive for children and adults of all abilities.
It's heartwarming to see everyone enjoy the park equally.
I've been living here for years, and I've seen the park evolve.
They've always kept the comfort and safety of visitors in mind.
The footpath and bridge near the parking lot have been redesigned for safer walks around the park.
I appreciate the effort put into making the park wheelchair-friendly, with paved paths and wooden bridges ensuring no one misses out on the beauty around.
For the fishing enthusiasts, the park has several nice decks.
The serenity of the pond, coupled with the thrill of the catch and release fishing, is an experience you wouldn't want to miss.
The updated fishing pond platforms and bridges give an up-close look into the ponds – it's almost therapeutic.
Bird watchers will also find a haven here, with geese using the park as their breeding area.
You can also occasionally spot a few snapping turtles from the viewing platforms around the ponds.
Lastly, the pavilion is a fantastic spot for gathering.
It's covered and used to have picnic tables, the perfect setting for a family lunch or a cozy evening snack.
Indulge in Comfort Food at Barnhill’s Westside Deli
Have you ever stumbled upon a culinary gem in your city and thought: "This is it; I've found my food paradise"?
That's me with Barnhill’s Westside Deli.
Their pizza - let's talk about the pizza.
I swear, I'd climb mountains for a slice of their heavenly dough topped with the freshest ingredients you can imagine.
It's the best in the city, period. No contest.
You haven’t lived until you’ve gotten your hands greasy with one of their slices.
But it's not all about the pizza.
Barnhill’s also serves delicious salads and sandwiches that satisfy your taste buds to the fullest.
Their wings, oh, their wings!
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and just the right amount of spice - they’re to die for!
One time, my daughter and I stopped by for a ham and sausage pizza right before closing.
In our haste, we were worried it might be a disappointing rush job.
But no - each bite was like tasting a bit of heaven.
We ended up saying it out loud - "OMG, this is damn good!"
Yes, there have been some off days when the sandwiches were a bit sloppy, and the kids behind the counter seemed more interested in fooling around than making my beloved Italian sub.
But those instances are rare when compared to the countless visits filled with delightful food experiences.
Barnhill's isn't just a place with good food and reasonable prices; it's a local institution, a deli that makes you feel right at home.
The warm and friendly service only adds to the overall experience.
You gotta try out this local deli - it's well worth it.
Celebrate Community Spirit at Ingham County Fairgrounds
One of the highlights of living in Ingham County, is the yearly tradition of visiting the Ingham County Fairgrounds.
I vividly remember the first time I took my kids there 45 years ago.
They were budding 4H enthusiasts and looked forward to the first week of August when the fair would come to the city.
Now, decades later, that tradition continues with the next generation - my two grandsons, aged 6 and 4.
We recently visited the fairgrounds, and I'll tell you, the joy and excitement on their faces were genuinely priceless.
The fair seems to be getting better every year, thanks to the tireless efforts of the many people who work hard to make it possible.
During the fair week, the Ingham County Fairgrounds are abuzz with activity.
People from all walks of life come together to enjoy the festivities.
The livestock exhibitions are especially a crowd puller.
From cows and goats to rabbits and more, it's truly a sight to behold.
Immerse Yourself in Nature at Bunker Nature Preserve
Have you ever stumbled upon a hidden gem in your own backyard?
Bunker Nature Preserve, right here in our hometown, is exactly that.
A serene sanctuary where nature thrives in stillness and quiet.
I decided to venture there after hearing about it amongst the locals.
The preserve is a modest, untouched area with a hilly landscape that opens up to a serene pond and continues into a small woodland.
The trails are reminiscent of others found at conservation district properties - manicured patches of grass marked by the occasional signpost guiding your way.
On my first visit, I had to turn back because I brought my dog along, only to discover that they don’t allow dogs.
But that didn't discourage me from going back.
The second time around, I was the only one.
The solitude was utterly refreshing.
I found myself sharing the expanse with birds of all kinds and a lone muskrat.
My walk was dotted by the sight of deer and raccoon footprints along the trail.
A hint of the wildlife that calls this preserve home.
Walking the trails of Bunker Nature Preserve is almost like walking in a circle, they seem to lead you right back to the start.
The paths aren't overly marked but then again, they really don't need to be.
The landscape is in itself an inviting map.
I noticed an abundance of wildflowers, bringing a burst of color to the otherwise green terrain.
It's a picturesque setting, perfect for capturing some stunning photographs or just appreciating the beauty of nature.
Take Snaps with the Pumpkins of Shawhaven Farm
What’s better than a crisp autumn day, a sea of pumpkins, the laughter of children, and the company of adorable farm animals?
Not much, in my humble opinion.
That's why my family and I make it a point to visit Shawhaven Farm every year.
It's a tradition for us to head to this farm during the pumpkin season.
Our kids, ranging from teenagers to toddlers, always have a blast in the spacious fields.
We usually start with the maze, which is challenging and fun for all ages.
Then, we proceeded to the pumpkin patch.
The selection of pumpkins and gourds is vast, providing ample choice for everyone.
What makes our trip more memorable is the staff.
They're always friendly and welcoming, going the extra mile to ensure we have a good time.
Once, we even had the chance to chat with the owner while we were out by the goats.
He is such a down-to-earth, lovely person, it's clear he cares passionately about his farm and visitors.
Another highlight for our kids is the opportunity to interact with the animals.
There's a particular joy in letting them feed and pet the farm animals.
My youngest is especially fond of mining for gems, a unique activity that Shawhaven offers.
Have a Family Bonding at Brimley's Pumpkin Farm
There's something about fall that just screams "pumpkin" to me, and that's why I make it a point every year to visit Brimley's Pumpkin Farm.
My latest visit was quite a quaint experience.
Lining the premises were pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, some with unique appearances that you wouldn't find elsewhere.
Yes, some of them did have blemishes, but nothing too glaring that would take away from their charm.
After all, these pumpkins were perfect for carving, and the odd mark here and there simply added to their rustic appeal.
The prices at Brimley's Pumpkin Farm were what surprised me the most.
Totally reasonable, especially for the satisfactory quality that you're getting.
But here's a tip - make sure you bring exact cash or a check book with you.
Brimley's is a cash or check ONLY business that doesn't make changes.
This might seem a bit old-fashioned in our digital age, but it is part of the charm of this traditional farm.
One other thing that stood out to me was the trust involved.
You pay based on the honor system, which is a refreshing change from the usual transactions we're accustomed to.
Have a Nature Retreat at Hogsback Acre
With every step I take on the rustic paths of Hogsback Acre, I am hugged by tranquility and wholesome nature.
Where else could you find a slice of paradise nestled among the majestic mountains, drizzled with the whispers of cascading waterfalls, and adorned with a canopy of emerald green?
When I wake up to the songbird’s morning serenade, it feels as if the world has slowed down, and all that matters is the rhythmic melody of life in the mountains.
I saunter down to our local farmers market, bustling with fresh produce, artisanal goodies, and delightful conversations.
There's no better place to enjoy a crisp apple, sweet pears, or crunchy carrots right out of the earth.
My evenings at Hogsback Acre are often spent beside a crackling fire, a book in one hand and a cup of locally brewed cider in the other.
As I watch the sun dip beneath the ridge, casting a warm glow across the landscape, I'm reminded of the raw beauty sprinkled around every nook and cranny of this city.
Exciting Weekend at City Limits Mason
Ever had one of those weekends when you just wanted to do something different?
That's exactly what sparked my visit to City Limits Mason.
To say my time there was just 'fun' would be an understatement.
The moment I walked into City Limits Mason, I was engulfed by the lively atmosphere.
The sound of bowling balls rolling down the lanes, the gleeful cheers from the arcade, and the clinking of dishes in the restaurant added a rhythmic beat to my heart.
I had to join the fun!
I didn't mind waiting for an hour for my turn to bowl.
It was a Sunday, the best day for bonding over some friendly competition.
The anticipation only added to the thrill of the game.
And the best part?
The servers were there to ensure we never ran out of refreshments while playing.
After a few rounds of bowling, I decided to hit the arcade.
It was surprisingly large and packed with all sorts of games.
It's always a joy to feel like a kid again, even if the games seemed a bit pricey.
Feeling hungry after all the action, I headed over to the restaurant.
Let me tell you, the food was delectable.
I tried something different from their expansive menu and wasn't disappointed.
The service was impeccable, and despite the restaurant being busy, I didn't have to wait long for my meal.
Go Antique Hunting in Mason Antiques District
No weekend is complete for me without sauntering through the aisles of this antique wonderland.
The charming, historic city is dotted with these antique shops, each one more enchanting than the last.
The friendly staff at Mason Antiques District are always on hand to assist, helping me uncover the history behind every piece that catches my eye.
Whether it's an Art Deco vase or a mid-century chair, there's always something unique that adds a delightful touch to my home decor.
And the fact that there's an upstairs and some outside buildings to explore too, just adds to the thrill of the hunt!
What I love the most is the variety of items that the vendors offer.
It's like embarking on a treasure hunt, except every single find has a history, a past, a story to tell.
What's more, the city is just so easy to navigate with ample parking, making it a stress-free day out.
Living in Mason, Michigan, is like having a treasure trove of experiences right at your doorstep.
Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a weekend adventure, Mason has it all.
So, don't miss the opportunity to visit this vibrant city and indulge in the best things it has to offer.