Top 13 EPIC Things To Do in Brooklyn, Michigan

Brooklyn is a charming small town in southern Michigan with historic attractions and outdoor recreation.

Here are my top picks for things to do from parks to museums. This guide covers all the best activities Brooklyn has to offer.

1. Michigan International Speedway

Michigan International Speedway / Source: mlive

The Michigan International Speedway is a beloved local institution hosting thrilling NASCAR races several times per year. I’ve attended a few races here and always have a fantastic time soaking up the electric atmosphere as the cars zoom around the track at top speeds.

The facility offers behind-the-scenes speedway tours on non-race days where you can see pit row and even drive your personal vehicle around the track. The interactive racing museum displays historic vehicles and racing memorabilia.

During races, be sure to come early to join in the festive pre-race tailgating parties in the parking lots. A visit to the speedway is a must for racing fans.

2. Waterloo Recreation Area

Waterloo Recreation Area / Source: Reinhart

Just outside Brooklyn you’ll find the Waterloo Recreation Area which boasts forests, wetlands, prairie areas and lakeside shores perfect for outdoor recreation. I like to go kayaking on the calm waters and watch for wildlife like herons, turtles and beavers.

There are also easy hiking trails for all ability levels including the paved 1.7 mile Heritage Trail that meanders through the park. Visitors can go swimming, fishing and boating on Mill Lake or camp at one of 300 sites.

With so much natural beauty and diverse activities, Waterloo makes an ideal setting for a day or weekend of nature immersion and adventure.

3. Brooklyn Fall Festival

Each September, Brooklyn celebrates the harvest season with the lively Brooklyn Fall Festival. This beloved community event features a parade marching down Main Street, carnival rides and games, contests and craft vendors on the village green, musical performances, and food booths dishing out classic fair fare.

I attended last year and had so much fun sampling apple pie, cinnamon roasted nuts, elephant ears and other tasty seasonal treats while listening to live bands and watching the colorful parade go by. The festival provides old-fashioned family fun and lets you mingle with friendly locals.

4. Clark Lake County Park

Clark Lake / Source: Wikipedia

Nestled just outside Brooklyn, Clark Lake County Park centers around the crystal clear waters of Clark Lake, a stunning spring-fed lake. I enjoy coming here to spend the day swimming from the gradual sandy beach, boating across the tranquil turquoise waters, fishing from the accessible pier, or picnicking lakeside.

Rental kayaks, canoes, rowboats and paddleboards are available on-site. There is also a playground, volleyball court, hiking trails through scenic marshlands, and an 18-hole disc golf course.

With its variety of amenities and a location under 30 minutes from Brooklyn, Clark Lake makes an excellent spot for fun outdoor adventures.

5. Sandhill Crane Vineyards

Sandhill Crane Vineyards / Source: mlive

Sample award-winning wines in a relaxing country setting at Sandhill Crane Vineyards just a short drive from Brooklyn. Their rustic tasting room sits amid rows of vines laden with grapes used in the on-site wine production.

I did a flight tasting of their crisp Chardonnays and oaked Cabernet Sauvignons served at a counter made from a reclaimed barn door. Make sure to try their fruit-infused specialty wines made with cranberries, blueberries and other local produce.

Pack a picnic basket to enjoy with your wine outdoors along the edges of the vineyard. It’s a peaceful locale for sipping and savoring southern Michigan wines.

6. Brooklyn Trails

Kiwanis Trail / Source: Wikipedia

Brooklyn has an excellent system of walking and biking trails that connect various parks and natural areas around town. I’ve walked sections winding through woodlands vibrant with fall color in autumn, marshy wetlands filled with birdsong, and alongside the River Raisin flowing through shady forests.

The 1.25 mile Kiwanis Trail goes through picturesque Highland Park pastgushing cascades. Other nice paths are at Violet Park and Riverside Park near downtown. Exploring Brooklyn’s trails is a great way to get exercise surrounded by nature’s beauty.

7. Cascade Falls Park

Cascade Falls / Source: Go Waterfalling

See stunning cascading waterfalls at Cascade Falls Park just a short drive north of Brooklyn. The scenic hiking loop here winds past multiple waterfalls tumbling down steps of limestone bedrock.

I love walking right next to the rushing cascades and feeling the pleasant water spray on my face. In spring, wildflowers like trillium blanket the forest floor along the trail.

It’s most spectacular after heavy rains when the falls are their full crashing force. Bring your camera to capture photos of these gorgeous falling waters set amid peaceful woods.

8. Winery Farms

Winery Farm in Michigan / Source: Food & Wine

Pick juicy berries and apples straight from the vines at Winery Farms located less than 15 minutes from Brooklyn. This family-owned pick-your-own farm offers seasonal fruit harvesting of strawberries, peaches, pears, apples and pumpkins.

I had a delightful time roaming the orchard last fall searching for the perfect pumpkins to take home. Kids will love playing in the corn pit and barnyard petting zoo.

Their bakery sells fresh fruit pies, turnovers, cookies and other treats. It’s a wonderful place to stock up on just-picked produce and experience wholesome farm fun.

9. Brooklyn District Library

Brooklyn library / Source: mlive

In addition to its collections of books, movies and wifi services, the Brooklyn District Library also provides enrichment through free programming and events.

I’ve attended gardening lectures, craft workshops and computer skills classes here. Kids can go to storytimes, Lego club meetings and video gaming events.

Local history programs and author talks round out the lineup. Browse their event calendar to find activities suited to your interests when visiting Brooklyn. The library makes an ideal rainy day destination.

10. Vineyard Bed & Breakfast

For a peaceful night’s stay, book a room at the Vineyard Bed & Breakfast located in a converted 1884 church now offering uniquely charming accommodations.

The antique-filled suites maintain the original soaring spires and stunning stained glass windows that infuse the space with serenity. I woke up to an incredible breakfast spread with fresh fruit, baked goods, waffles and frittata.

The outdoor garden patio is heavenly for sipping morning coffee. With first-rate hospitality and cozy historic charm, the Vineyard B&B is ideal for a weekend getaway.

11. Brooklyn Cruise Nights

Village of Brooklyn / Source: Village of Brooklyn

Classic car enthusiasts should check the schedule for Brooklyn Cruise Nights held select Saturdays from May through October. Downtown streets fill with hundreds of vintage hot rods, muscle cars and antiques on display.

Owners are often happy to pop the hoods and chat about their painstaking restorations. I enjoy walking around and admiring all the chrome details, custom paint jobs and interiors. There are also raffles, giveaways and concessions.

With lively music and automotive eye candy galore, cruise nights provide free summertime fun.

12. Devils and Round Lakes

These two connected lakes near Brooklyn offer fantastic fishing, boating and swimming opportunities. I often see anglers reel in good-sized walleye, pike and bass from shore at Devils Lake access points.

At Round Lake there is a public beach with picnic tables perfect for taking a dip on hot days before enjoying a lakeside barbecue.

The connected chain of small lakes has shallow areas good for launching kayaks, canoes or paddleboards. Their calm waters make them ideal recreation spots for families.

13. Dog Central Bark Park

Let your pooch play off-leash at Dog Central Bark Park which provides a fenced 5-acre space for dogs to exercise and socialize. My energetic Lab mix loves running free and splashing in the pond here while I read a book sitting at one of the shade shelters.

In addition to the pond, the park also has obstacles courses, tunnels, and toys to keep pets engaged. Day passes and annual memberships are available. It’s a godsend for city dogs visiting Brooklyn needing room to roam.

With its unique museums, expansive parks, charming downtown district, and big thrills at the raceway, Brooklyn offers surprising amount of activities for a small town.

Every season provides something new through holiday light displays, harvest festivals and popular summertime events. By using this robust guide, you’re sure to have an amazing time experiencing all that Brooklyn has to offer visitors of all ages and interests.

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