Small towns with deep roots and solid traditions populate Livingston County. Wholesome entertainment options range from a classic country fair to Christmas caroling and dinner theater, while local parks set the stage for year-round outdoor play and encounters with nature.
Best of Brighton
Family-friendly downtown Brighton inspires children with its Imagination Station, a 10,000-square-foot playscape characterized by turrets, towers and secret hiding places. Just across the Mill Pond from the play area, Brighton hosts free concerts every Sunday evening throughout the summer. Stroll downtown streets to see Brighton's artistic side showcased in its collection of 30 outdoor sculptures. Mt. Brighton is the local hub for winter downhill activities enjoyed by all ages. The ski area spans 130 acres and offers 25 trails, five lifts, a race arena, children's Ski and Ride School and five terrain parks. While open year-round, the 4,000-acre Island Lake Recreation Area is a summer hot spot offering beaching and swimming along Kent Lake, canoe rentals and 18 miles of hiking trails and biking paths.
Howell's Hot Spots
Arts are alive in Howell. Howell Opera House energizes night life with live music Friday nights at its Acoustic Café. There are drop-in studio dates for artists and a winter marketplace two Sundays each month for art and craft sales and for stocking up on farm-fresh products. The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest fills three days in June with a hot air balloon fly-in, art fair, carnival, stunt kite demonstrations and live entertainment. Open daily for self-guided tours, Wild Wonders Wildlife Park attracts nature lovers. The refuge provides for more than 30 species of orphaned and injured animals, offering an up-close experience with native animals and their habitats. A half-mile trail meanders through the habitats created for fox, porcupine, deer, coyotes and other creatures. Among the park's family-friendly special events are Groundhog Day celebrations, Breakfast With the Easter Bunny and Owl Night.
Playtime in Fowlerville
The small town of Fowlerville becomes a center of activity each July when the Fowlerville Family Fair opens. The six-day country fair includes a carnival, monster truck shows, 4-H exhibits, Homemaker of the Year and Fair Queen competitions, vendor displays and rodeo exhibitions. Located on fair grounds, Livingston Centre Historical Village opens for fair week. Its village of eight historic buildings range from an 1870s harness shop to a 1910 barbershop. Throughout the year, Fowlerville's 30-acre Centennial Park provides green space where visitors can take in fresh air and sunshine, while the smaller Centennial Park offers a walking track.
Celebrating in Pinckney
The Village of Pinckney celebrates seasonal milestones in a big way. Residents and visitors gather for the annual St. Patrick's Day event to enjoy a parade, the Cutest Leprechaun contest, the Paddy Wagon Bed Race and Irish dances. Spooktacular marks the Halloween season in downtown Pinckney with tricks, treats, costumes and contests, and the holidays kick in with Light Up the Park at Township Square. Santa, caroling and a live nativity highlight the December event. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a spectrum of activities at the 11,000-acre Pinckney State Recreation Area. Its chain of seven lakes offer fishing, swimming and boating while forty miles of multiuse trails provide for hiking and biking adventures. Stage arts take the spotlight at the Dio Theatre, Livingston County's professional dinner theater. Housed in the town's original vaudeville/opera house, the Dio presents up to six plays and musicals annually.