25 Best & Fun Things to Do in Jackson (MI)

Jackson is the only city in Jackson County, Michigan, United States of America. It is also the county’s seat.

In the 2021 census, the city’s population was 31,347. Jackson is 40 miles west of Anne Arbor and 35 miles south of Lansing.

The city was founded in 1829, with its name coming from an American president called Andrew Jackson.

At the start of the 1900s, the city became a center for producing automotive vehicles, which increased the town’s population since people came to work in the many factories in the city.

The first prison in the state was established in Jackson in 1838. The city is also known as where the Republican Party was born. Jackson is the main area for people who love golf because the city has many stunning courses.

The city also has other interesting attractions like the Optimist Arena, Jackson Speedway, the Spark Foundation County Park, the Lost Railway Museum, etc. There are also the gorgeously famous Cascade Falls which are illuminated.

Do you want to explore Jackson? Here are the best and fun things to do in Jackson, MI.

Things to Do In Jackson, MI

1. Dahlem Environmental Education Center

Dahlem Environmental Education Center
Credits: Don Henise / Flickr
Dahlem Environmental Education Center

If you like nature and everything related, you would be happy to hear about this tourist attraction.

Dahlem Environmental Education Center, also called Dahlem Conservancy, is where people interested in nature visit.

You will be surrounded by beautiful wildlife and plants at Dahlem Environmental Education Center.

Dahlem Environment Education Center covers 280 acres of land and features about five miles of a hiking trail.

As you trek the path, you will come across new species of plants. It has different geographical characteristics, such as streams, forests, streams, and grasslands, and the terrain is also gorgeous.

It has a well-protected ecosystem; you can look at animals, insects, and butterflies.

Dahlem Environmental Education Center also has a pond in case you are interested in looking at animals in the water.

This tourist destination also holds a guided tour which you can join if you like.

Address: 7117 S Jackson Rd, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

2. The Cascade

The Cascade
Credits: joannapoe / Flickr
The Cascade

One of the best places to visit in Jackson, MI, is The Cascade. The Cascade is a beautiful artificial waterfall that looks like a real one.

On days when the attraction is used as a venue for concerts and events lit up, like on Memorial Day and Independence day celebrations, the sight is something to marvel at.

The fireworks display at this place makes it a perfect backdrop for photographs.

The Cascade has 16 falls, and out of the 16, eleven are lit by colorful lights and consist of six fountains and three large reflecting pools.

So while vacating in Jackso, MI, take a trip to The Cascade and experience its beauty.

Address: 1401 S Brown St, Jackson, MI 49203, United States

3. ART 634

ART 634
Credits: Michigan Municipal League / Flickr
ART 634

ART 634 is a stunning place in the city that appreciates arts and artists. So, if you’re an art lover add a visit to this destination to your list of top things to do in Jackson, MI.

Different Local and International artists visit ART 634. It also has plenty of paintings on display.

Influencers and models visiting Jackson, MI, can schedule a photo shoot session at ART 634 and take gorgeous images with any photographer.

Sewing and art classes are also held in this location so check it out if you want.

If you are interested in watching a dance performance, you can also do that at ART 634 Dance Studio.

Address: 634 N Mechanic St, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

4. Falling Waters Trail

Falling Waters Trail
Credits: Antstang / Shutterstock

Among the best places to visit in Jackson, MI, is the Falling Water Trails, suited for running or walking.

A visit to this gorgeous attraction is a must-do, especially if you love outdoor locations.

Another excellent feature of the Falling Water Trail is that it permits animals, such as dogs and horses; therefore, you can go horseback riding if it pleases you.

Rollerblading is another exciting sport that you can do here. So make sure you remember to visit this incredible site.

Address: Jackson, MI, United States

5. Imagine Planet

Imagine Planet
Credits: Imagine Planet / Facebook
Imagine Planet

Are you wondering what to do in Jackson, MI? Take a trip to Imagine Planet with your family for an adventure, or you can go alone.

Imagine planets feature different intriguing small species on display, and your kids will marvel at them.

Imagine Plant is said to be one of the hidden gems in the city, and excitingly you don’t have to pay an entry fee.

Imagine Planet is run by a group of volunteers. Most of the animals at this destination are rescued animals and are given the utmost care; you will enjoy playing with them.

Aside from giving information about the featured animals, Imagine Planet will teach children the importance of sympathy and empathy.

Address: 730 Tomlinson St, Jackson, MI 49203, United States

6. Lost Railway Museum

Lost Railway Museum
Credits: Lost Railway Museum / Facebook
Lost Railway Museum

Suppose you are a fan of locomotives and automobiles. Why don’t you visit Lost Railway Museum and learn everything about it?

This tourist attraction is located in a neighboring town named Grass Lake and is 20 minutes from Jackson, MI.

Lost Railway Museum was established in 2017. It is one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions.

The Museum houses many railway engines and automobile vehicles from the past years and the 20th century specifically.

Lost Railway Museum displays various kinds of transport that existed before and after the coming of railways.

One of the popular attractions on display at this Museum is the 1890s type of bicycle. You will also see a Model T that has been restored when you visit.

Address: 142 W Michigan Ave, Grass Lake, MI 49240, United States

7. Sparks Foundation County Park

Sparks Foundation County Park
Credits: Rock and Wasp / Shutterstock

Spark Foundation is a beautiful garden that is home to a small waterpark. It is an incredibly attractive and fun place to visit with your children.

The Park also has a splash pad. Spark Foundation County Park consists of lakes, a small fountain, waterfalls, and swimming pools.

The Park features water rides that make a fun and crazy adventure. Sparks Foundation County Park has a unique attraction: the giant’s dump. This attraction will make you soak wet.

You will also find other people at Spark Foundation County Park walking their pets. It also has a lake where you can see ducks waddling about it.

Address: 1528 Kibby Rd, Jackson, MI 49203, United States

8. Bucky Harris Park

Bucky Harris Park is a beautiful and peaceful attraction in Jackson, MI.

It is located in the center of downtown Jackson and is one of the quietest places you will find in the noisy town.

You can visit the Park if you are looking for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the town or if you want to admire nature at its finest.

Furthermore, there is a stunning mural and a tiered fountain that you can admire at the Park.

Since the fountain is soothing, don’t be surprised if you fall asleep here. Finally, you can have a picnic lunch at Bucky Harris Park.

Address: 536 N Jackson St, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

Michigan makes one of the top places to visit in the United States, check our the list of things to do in Monroe and things to do in Charlevoix for a fun time.

9. Jackson Prison Historical Tours

Jackson Prison Historical Tours
Credits: Michigan Municipal League / Flickr
Jackson Prison Historical Tours

Jackson Prison was built in 1823, serving as the state’s first Prison. However, the prison building is now Jackson’s Armory Arts Village.

Despite the transformation that has made the prison into an art village, the Historic prison Tour offers people the chance to marvel at the prison’s architecture, stories behind the prison, and solitary confinement.

While on tour, you will be told stories about the famous escapes, life behind bars, colorful characters, corruption, painful punishments, and a plate-throwing riot resulting from brutal living conditions and overcrowding.

Aside from a step-to-step guided tour of the prison, you will also get to view the famous restaurants in the city’s downtown area, historic churches, bright murals, railroad museums, and other fascinating places in the city.

You should not miss the Jackson Prison Historical Tour when you visit Jackson, MI. It will be a memorable experience.

Address: 100 Armory Ct, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

10. Around the World Shop by Marketplace Manna

Around the World Shop by Marketplace Manna
Credits: michaeljung / Shutterstock

Go shopping if you don’t know what to do in Jackson, MI. What reason do you have for not going shopping when you are on vacation at a new place?: absolutely no excuses.

Therefore, you should go to Around the World Shop by Marketplace Manna. This great shop in Jackson Crossing Mall features many rare items from over 30 countries.

People who have been left homeless and are suffering are the beneficiaries of Around the World Shop by Marketplace Manna.

Each product and item at this store has a history, and it assists people in need.

Remember that whatever item you buy at the shop helps these people support their families and loved ones.

Address: 151 E Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

11. Optimist Ice Arena

Optimist Ice Arena
Credits: Daniel Chetroni / Shutterstock

Ice skaters will find this small indoor ice skating rink an exciting place to visit if they are looking for somewhere thrilling.

The Arena is accessible at different times, so buy tickets early for a fantastic adventure.

Suppose you have yet to gain experience with ice- Skating. In that case, Optimist Ice Arena holds skating lessons that you can register for.

Additionally, this is an excellent destination if you are looking for somewhere to have a date with your partner. Skating in this Arena is one of the fun things to do in Jackson, MI.

Address: 1300 W North St, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

12. Under the Oak Park

Under the Oak Park
Credits: Jamie Brockwell / Facebook
Under the Oak Park

Under the Oak Park is a historical site where the Republican Party was formed in the town in the 1900s in revolt against slavery.

The story behind it is that the convention was too large to be held in a building; therefore, it was moved to Under the Oak Park.

This historic site features various monuments that honor this time that led to the transformation of America’s politics.

Under the Oak Park is located on Morgan’s 40. The Park is immaculate, peaceful, and relaxing.

Address: 418 2nd St, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

13. Coney Dog

Coney Dog
Credits: Maia C / Flickr
Coney Dog

The Coney Dog is a treat in Jackson, MI. The city is the birthplace of Coney Dog.

The city has different locations that serve Coney Dog, like Jackson Coney Island, where the dish originated.

If you are looking for where to buy one of the five best Coney Dogs in Michigan, you should go to Virginia Coney for a delicious treat.

Don’t forget to pay a trip to the places above to taste the delicious Coney Dog of the Jackson people because, as a tourist, it is one of the top things to do in Jackson, MI.

Address: 649 E Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

14. Jackson Antique Mall

Jackson Antique Mall
Credits: Michigan Municipal League / Flickr
Jackson Antique Mall

If you are a fan of antiques, you will be pleased to know that Jackson, MI has an antique store called Jackson Antique Mall.

Jackson Antique Mall has existed in the town for years. The Antique Mall was established in 1988 in a building that has been around the city since the 1860s.

There is so much to see and buy at this fantastic place. Jackson Antique store has old clothes, hats, furniture, jewelry, and more.

Another wonderful thing about this shop is that it’s spotless and tidy; its stalls are not overcrowded with items.

Address: 201 N Jackson St, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

15. Michigan Military Heritage Museum

Michigan Military Heritage Museum
Credits: Michigan Military Heritage Museum / Facebook
Michigan Military Heritage Museum

If you are a history lover, one of the best things to do in Jackson, MI, is to visit Michigan Military Heritage Museum.

A rare and surprising characteristic of the Michigan Military Museum is the actual uniform collection shown at the Museum’s entry.

The Michigan Military Heritage Museum was established in 2016 as a hub of remembrance for the soldiers of Michigan that died during turbulent times in order to restore peace and stability.

The Museum has different artifacts from around the globe displayed. However, it centers primarily on soldiers from the state.

Another interesting feature of the Michigan Military Heritage Museum is the natural size model of a WW1 trench, which you can go in and see.

Address: 311 N Wisner St, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

For a fun road trip in Michigan, do not miss exploring our checklist of things to do in Houghton, and things to do in Saginaw.

16. Sandhill Crane Vineyards

Sandhill Crane Vineyards
Credits: Andrew Hagen / Shutterstock

Visit Sandhill Crane Vineyards if you are an enthusiast of wines and spirits,

Sandhill Crane Vineyards, located in the city, is a family-owned business. Most of the wines at this destination have won awards and are one of the tastiest and freshest in the city.

Sandhill Crane Vineyards uses only organic items such as grapes to brew the wines.

You can access the tasting rooms during business days.

Sandhill Crane often holds a small event on Fridays. During the event, people are entertained by live music as they nurse a glass of wine.

Address: 4724 Walz Rd, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

17. Axe Play

Axe Play
Credits: Sittirak Jadlit / Shutterstock

Axe Play, which lies in the central part of Downtown Jackson, MI, is undoubtedly the city’s best.

Axe-throwing at Axe Play is a lovely way to spend an evening alone or with friends.

You will have fun visiting with your friends or alone while you sip a drink from the large bar menu.

If you are interested in participating in the round-robin tournaments, there’s an axe master that can teach you.

However, if you don’t feel like participating in the competition, you can free throw.

Finally, the axe master will help you with your scoring, ensure you are safe, and guide you. In general, he will make sure you have a wonderful time axe-throwing at this facility.

Address: 133 W Michigan Ave suite d, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

18. Horace Blackman Park

Horace Blackman Park is another popular park in Jackson, MI. The Park hosts several city events that take place yearly.

Horace Blackman Park features a playground, seating benches and chairs, equipment, monuments, green space, and the TRUE Community Credit Union City Square.

The Park was named after Horace Blackman, an early settler in the city.

Horace Blackman Park is one of the oldest parks in Jackson. It is also part of the town’s original square.

After the old consumers’ Energy headquarter was removed, the Park increased, giving room for it to become defined.

Horace Blackman Park consists of a mural designed by a known artist called Glidden Parker. The mural has been showcased in the hallway of the Consumer Energy building.

When the mural is lit at night, its beauty shows more clearly.

Address: W Michigan Ave & S Jackson St, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

19. Jackson Speedway

Jackson Speedway
Credits: Kuznetsov Alexey / Shutterstock

Are you a fan of speed and fast cars? If yes, head over to Jackson Speedway.

Jackson Speedway is a top-notch facility built for people’s pleasure.

At this facility, you will find two kinds of tracks: a cement track for professional drivers and a dirt oval for beginners.

Jackson Square dirt tracks are lit to enable your safety. You are guaranteed an awesome time if you visit this facility, regardless of age.

From go-karts to mini-cup racing and racing leagues, there are so many fun activities at Jackson Speedway.

You will learn the primary aspects of racing and make use of safety gear at Jackson Speedway.

Address: 3363 Page Ave, Jackson, MI 49203, United States

20. Ella Sharp Museum

Ella Sharp Museum
Credits: kennethaw88 [CC BY-SA 4.0], Wikimedia Commons
Ella Sharp Museum
Ella Sharp Museum was built in 1856. It is a two-story building that is designed with a wooden cupola and an Italianate tower.

The architecture of this Museum is pleasing to the eyes. It has huge windows.

This gorgeous museum used to be a farmhouse that existed in the 19th century before becoming what it is today.

Ella Sharp Museum was put on the National Register of Historic Places list in 1972.

Address: 3225 4th St, Jackson, MI 49203, United States

21. Jackson Travelodge Hotel

If you are looking for a nice but pocket-friendly place to stay during your trip to Jackson, MI, you should lodge at Jackson Travelodge Hotel.

In addition to being affordable, the Hotel is close to many attractions, including The Dahlem Environmental Educational Center.

Jackson Travelodge Hotel offers free WIFI, a heated outdoor pool, fax and copy services, and laundry.

The Hotel also has rooms for smokers and non-smokers to ensure complete comfort.

Additionally, the rooms are furnished with flat-screen HDTV, microwaves, mini-refrigerators, ironing amenities, a coffee and tea maker, a hairdryer, and a desk.

The Hotel provides free parking space for its customers.

You can bring your pets into the Hotel, but you will have to pay an extra fee.

Address: 901 Rosehill Rd, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

22. Ella Sharp Park

Ella Sharp Park
Credits: Don Henise / Flickr
Ella Sharp Park

Ella Sharp Park is a beautiful and large golf course in Jackson. It features more than 18 holes.

Ella Sharp Park is budget-friendly and cool to spend time with your loved ones or alone. The Park is located on a hill.

The Park’s design is very stunning. It has green grasses for running or engaging in other outdoor activities.

The Park also has lush green trees and picnic tables. Ella Sharp Park is often rented as a venue for birthday parties.

It’s also a perfect location for a picnic, so why don’t you prepare food and drinks and head to the Park with your family?

Address: 2800 4th St, Jackson, MI 49203, United States

23. Allskate Fun Center

Allskate Fun Center
Credits: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock

As its name states, Allskate Fun Center is a fun and thrilling skate center.

In addition to rollerskating, the facility also offers laser tags and arcade games that you can play with your friends and loved ones.

Not only will you have fun roller skating, but you will also be working out since roller skating can help balance and muscular strength.

Whether you are a child or not, you can come and have fun at Allskate Fun Center. So what are you waiting for?

Address: 1313 W North St, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

24. GQT Jackson 10

GQT Jackson 10
Credits: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

Among the fun things to do in Jackson, MI, is to watch a movie at GQT Jackson 10.

GQT Jackson 10 is a film venue that has up to 10 screens.

GQT Jackson 10 shows movies using digital projection, making your theater experience even more exciting.

You can spend an evening seeing a movie at this stunning movie theater.

The movie theater has high-back chairs that will keep you relaxed and comfortable as you watch your movie.

GQT Jackson 10 also has a snack bar where you can buy items in case you want a snack and a beverage to enjoy while you watch your movie.

Address: 1501 N Wisner St, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

25. The Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory

Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory
Credits: Katheryn Moran / Shutterstock

If you love sweets, you will enjoy your trip to Michigan since it has lots of spots that offer sugary treats, from fantastic ice creams to candy shops.

One famous candy shop in Jackson, MI, is The Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory.

As a child, you probably have pleasant memories of a favorite place where you purchased candy or chocolates, whether a nearby store or even your Granny’s candy stash.

The Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory was established to create a similar nostalgic feeling.

Although Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory offers delicious fudge, chocolates, frosted cinnamon nuts, old-school candies, and hand-licking caramel corn, the most crucial thing the shop offers are good and warm memories.

When people visit their shop, their goal is to make their customers or visitors remember the good days of their childhood.

At this building built in the 1800s, you will no doubt leave with a smile or your eyes brimming with joy.

Aside from buying sweets, you can also observe the train circle the shop, spin the prize wheel, and watch how the popcorn, fudge, and roasted cinnamon nuts are made.

The Jackson Candy & Fudge Factory is like a small world of its own. Guess what? You are free to visit this world.

Address: Address: 1522 E Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49202, United States

Check out other cities in Michigan, here is  a list of things to do in South Haventhings to do in Saugatuck, and fun things to do in Gaylord for a fun time

Plan Your Trip to Jackson

Jackson, MI, is a city with beautiful attractions. The city is fun and adventurous, and you will not regret checking out the attractions and events outlined in this article.

Make Jackson, MI, your next vacation destination! Have a fun trip!