Spending time with other people is one of life’s greatest pleasures. These social connections make our lives richer and our communities stronger.
With technology making it easier to hang out remotely with people across the globe, we got to thinking: Where do people in Livingston County like to hang out?
Here in Livingston County, we are blessed with five distinct communities — Brighton, Fowlerville, Hartland, Howell and Pinckney — each with its boundaries defined by one of our five public school districts, and each with its own personality and assets. We assembled a team of experts — each of whom lives in one of the five communities — and we asked them to tell us where people in their community liked to hang out.
Maybe you’ll agree with their picks; maybe you won’t. If you have places you think we’ve left off the list, we’d love for you to tell us about them by leaving a comment below.
Today, we are checking in on the hangouts in Howell. Tomorrow, we head to Pinckney.
Best hangout for older kids and tweens: Grand River Avenue, between the Howell Carnegie District Library and the historic Livingston County Courthouse
This stretch of Grand River Avenue is where Howell’s younger residents gather, especially those who don’t yet drive.
The Howell Carnegie District Library — a warm, welcoming place for all — is a wonderful place for kids to hang out, both inside and out. The library offers a wide variety of programming for kids of all ages, and there is computer use — including games — and internet inside. Outside, the library’s grounds provide a spacious area for kids to gather. The new statue in honor of Howell legend Duane Zemper is surrounded by seating that is attracting people of all ages.
Add in breadsticks from Gus’s Carryout, a treat at Daily Queen, and another spacious outdoor gathering area at the courthouse, and this stretch of Howell’s downtown provides plenty of opportunity for kids to socializing while enjoying all the area has to offer.
Formerly known as Howell City Park, 404 Thompson St.
In the warmer months, Scofield City Park at the corner of Thompson and Barnard streets, located alongside Thompson Lake just north of Howell’s downtown, is the place for fun. Visitors can take walks, play on the swings, relax under trees, picnic with family and friends, and enjoy the beach along Thompson Lake, which is perfect for swimming and sunning. There are also treats available from the concession stand, which features hot dogs and other snacks and refreshments.
During peak season — from Memorial Day to Labor Day — you’ll need a pass (available to Howell residents at the Bennett Recreation Center) to get in. You can purchase a daily pass at the entrance to the park.
For more information, click here.
This popular gathering spot is literally and figuratively the heart of downtown Howell. Located at the intersection of Howell’s Main Four (Grand River and Michigan avenues), Uptown is the area’s version of “Cheers”-with-caffeine.
If you’re feeling lonely and in want of some social-ness, just head to Uptown and wait a bit: anybody who is anybody in Howell — from your friends and neighbors to politicians and business people to moms and kids — filters through the joint.
If you prefer some solitude to get some work done, be sure to bring along headphones, the Uptown Coffeehouse sign for “genius at work” (that’s probably wishful thinking on my part). Whether you stop in for a coffee on the run or you’re parked for the morning to get some writing done, it’s a warm and welcoming place, my very own office-away-from-home.
Uptown Coffeehouse is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Call (517) 546-1124 for more information or follow on Twitter @UptownCoffeeHse, and on Facebook.
— Maria Stuart