5 Things to Do This Winter in Fenton

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

A suburb of Flint, the city of Fenton is a year-around destination for those who like the outdoors. There are 58 lakes within a 10-mile radius, with Lake Fenton being the largest. The Shiawassee River flows over a dam through Millpond Park in the center of town. The 4-acre park next to Fenton City Hall features an old-fashioned gazebo and a river walk. Fenton is one of two municipalities in the state to span three counties. The overwhelming majority of this Mid-Michigan city is located within Genesee County, and the remainder crosses into Livingston and Oakland counties.
The Fenton Fire Hall Taproom and Kitchen is a repurposed fire station built in 1923 that has found new life as a restaurant. It is known for some hot dishes along with barbecue classics, creative mac and cheese and more than 40 beer options. With indoor and heated outdoor seating, festive bar space and a retro lounge, it's a popular place to grab a bite and hang out on a wintry day.
Peabody Ice Climbing Club is an ice and mixed climbing venue with two towers, 45 feet and 72 feet tall, that are iced over in the winter to offer a place for experienced ice climbers to train as well as an introduction for those interested in learning the sport. With the only permanent mixed climbing/dry tooling training facility in the country, the climbing routes are ideal for both winter and off-season training, for climbing competitions, and for learning new ways to use axes and crampons. There's also a heated clubhouse to rent climbing gear, a 10-person sauna, and a heated bunkhouse that will accommodate up to 12 people. Visitors can also pitch a tent and camp on-site. The season runs from early December to mid March.
The A.J. Phillips Fenton Museum is a historic building donated by the heirs of Andrew Jackson Phillips to the city of Fenton in 1906. The building is maintained and owned by the city, while its contents are owned and managed by the Fenton Historical Society. The museum’s Victorian Room is an exact reproduction of A.J. Phillips' personal office, with some original pieces that belonged to the wealthy businessman. One of the largest permanent displays is devoted to military and war items tied to Fenton. The museum is staffed by Historical Society volunteers and is open to the public on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., but arrangements can be made for group tours as well.
Seven Lakes State Park has more than 1,400 acres, with rolling hills, forests and 230 acres of water with several miles of shoreline. Its six named lakes include 170-acre Big Seven Lake, Little Seven Lake, and 44-acre Dickinson Lake. Big Seven Lake was formed after a development group built a dam and formed one large lake from seven small lakes. The developers’ plans fell through, and they sold the land to the state in 1969.
The Barn is a Fenton restaurant described as a California surf barn where the menu offers 'local Michigan craft beers, unique cocktails and fresh gourmet meals." The inspiration for the surf vibe is that during the 1950s, surfboards were hand-carved in local barns. In another tie to local history, The Barn was built using wood salvaged from a barn that was part of the original Mundy Farm, the family for whom the township is named. The Mundy barn, then one of the oldest in the state, was destroyed in a windstorm in 2014.
There’s lots to see and do in Fenton this winter. Check out the highlights in this video.
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Photo credit: Getty Images

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