Tag Archives: Halloween

What's Happening in TC on New Year's Eve: Parties, Dinners, Hotel Packages, etc.

CherryT Ball Drop in downtown Traverse City

CherryT Ball Drop in downtown Traverse City

(This isn't a regular blog post, so don't look for any of our usual literary brilliance -- it's just a handy guide for your own information. There's a lot going on in TC on Monday night, and we didn't want you to miss any of it!)

CherryT Ball Drop

Times Square, move over! A bright dazzling cherry will drop from a crane in front of the Christmas tree at the corner of Cass & Front Streets. Bring your nonperishable items to help us  fill area food pantries. The band stage kicks off at 9:30pm with music until the clock strikes midnight. Get there early, you’ll be celebrating with as many as 15,000 people! The event is free-though seats can be reserved for $50. Open containers of alcohol are not permitted on the street.

Also featuring two dance parties brought to you by Porterhouse Productions & H. Cox & Son:

*ECCO Family Party-5:30-8pm. Front Row Center. Entertainment by Beatbox Champion Heatbox, DJ Dominate,Yo-Yo Master, LED Hula Hoppers, and FREE pizza, cherry pie & ice cream.

*The Ages 21 yrs. & older-10pm-2am. Dance party. Beatbox Champion Heatbox,  DJ Dominate, Yo-yo Master, LED Hula Hoopers. Champagne toast at midnight. Full bar featuring Michigan Craft Bee, Wine & Cider.

Tickets for the dance parties and complete details are available at cherryballdrop.com All proceeds from both events benefit the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center, Goodwill, & the CherryT Ball organization.

Grand Traverse Resort & Spas: Governors Hall “Fire & Ice”

Celebrate the New Year in style with an event filled with entertainment and dancing by the Hidden Agenda Band.


Schedule of Events:

6pm-7pm         Cocktail Hour (cash bar) with Hors d’oeuvres

7pm-9pm         Plated Dinner (3 Course) w/ dinner music.

9pm-1am         Entertainment & Dancing with the Hidden Agenda Band.


Cash Bar-Champagne toast at midnight-Proper attire is requested. Must be 18 or older to attend with a valid ID.


New Year’s Eve lodging package includes:

*1 night accommodations (Dec. 31, 2012)

*1 New Year’s Eve Dinner per person in Governors’ Hall


Prices start at only $135.50* per person, double occupancy, in the six story hotel. $155.50* per person, double occupancy, in the 17-story Tower.

For reservations, call 800-236-1577 or book online. *The above pricing does not include 11% tax and $14.95 nightly resort fee, and applicable gratuities.  Rates valid on 12/31/12. Rooms at this rate are limited. Not available to groups. May not be combined with other offers.  Certain other restrictions may apply.  For all accommodations, check-in begins at 4pm and check-put is by 11:00am.


A La Carte tickets (without lodging) to the Governors’ Hall New Year’s Eve party are $80 per person, plus 6% tax and applicable gratuities. Call 800-236-1577


Aerie New Years Eve:

From 5pm-11pm. Entertainment by John Pomeroy & Friends. Enjoy a selection of traditional and eclectic entrees, unique, salads and desserts. See our full menu online at grandtraverseresort.com. Reservations are highly recommended. Call 231-534-6800.


Children’s Activities on New Years Eve:

*For children 3 months-6yrs., please call the Cub House to register at 231-534-6780.

*For children 6-14 yrs. until 12:30am. Activities include a variety of games, art & crafts, pizza party, & balloon drop at midnight. Children must register in advance. Call the Health Club at 231-534-6788.


*New Year’s Eve at Leelanau Sands & Turtle Creek Casinos: 800-922-2WIN

Win $1,000,000 Grand Rewards Players Club Points.  Register 3pm until Midnight at Players Club. Drawings held just after Midnight.

Hot seat drawings at both table games and slots!


Dining: Bourbon 72-Open 5pm-11pm

Seasons Buffet-Open 4pm-11pm


Live Entertainment:

Turtle Creek Casino-Level 3 Lounge- Twelve Year Reunion, Free concert by Eddie Money!

Leelanau Sands Casino-Elements Lounge-Mac Daddy.


*Great Wolf Lodge:  Join us to celebrate New Year’s Eve from 9pm-midnight.

New Years Eve Buffet: Welcome the New Year in style with a Grand Buffet at Camp Critter Bar and Grill Serving from 4-10pm. Call for reservations (231) 941-3600


Snowball New Year’s Eve Celebration: Main Lobby, 9pm-midnight. We offer activities your pups can’t wait to get their paws on including; family karaoke, balloon artist, bingo, crafts & a champagne toast at midnight.

Glow DJ Party: Conference Center starting at 8pm.Featuring karaoke, interactive games, balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight. Wear white!


*Holiday Inn West Bay: 615 East Front Street, Traverse City

New Year’s Eve Party-Shimmers Night Club

Ring in the New Year with us-starting at 9pm.

Featuring live music-DDJ Shawny D & Lucas Paul Band from 9pm-2am. You must be 21 years old with a valid ID. Call 231-947-3700 for more information.


Basic Lodging Package: $209 + tax. Standard room, party favors for 2, bottle of non-alcoholic bubbly. Call 231-947-3700 to reserve.

Premium Lodging Package: $259 + tax. Dinner for 2 (gratuity included). Turndown Service with chocolate, party favors & a bottle of non-alcoholic bubbly. Call 231-947-3700 to reserve.

*2pm checkout upon request for the Premium Package.

*48 hour cancellation policy required for either package.


Shanty Creek Resorts: Free Skiing & Fireworks

Piano Wars Dinner Show- Lakeview Hotel Grand Ballroom. An evening including hilarious comedy bits, sing-a-longs, crazy props and costumes. Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 8pm: Adults $49, Seniors $47, Kids 5-12 yrs. $20, under 4yrs. free. DJ after the show until 1am. Seating is limited. Call 231-533-7084 for reservations.


Free night skiing at Summit Mountain from 6:30pm-11pm. Fireworks over the mountain after midnight.!


Rock in the 2013 New Year at Ivan’s Mountainside Grill in Schuss Village. Three’s a Crowd offers a unique blend of popular hits as well as classic rock selections. Adults only- doors open at 9pm. Dinner is available for an additional charge. No reservations are necessary.


Kid’s Night Out-Summit Village from 6-10pm, $10 per child.  Kids 6-12yrs. can enjoy a fun night of games, arts & crafts, dancing & snacks on New Year’s Eve all to themselves!. Call 231-533-8621 XT 7860 for more information.


ParkShore Resort: New Year’s Eve Package Menu

1401 US 31 North, Traverse City   1-877-349-8898

Dance the year away in the Parkshore Lounge.  Join our DJ spinning the hottest tunes from 9pm-2am.

Dining package: Steak & Lobster dinner for two-$35 a person

Lodging Package: One night’s accommodations $169.99-$199.99 (including taxes), In-room New Year’s party favors, champagne toast in the lounge at midnight.



 More options:


Festival of Trains

Delightful and imaginative working model train layouts fill several rooms at the History Center of Traverse City. Open on New Years Eve from 10am-7pm and on New Years Day from noon to 4pm. Cost is $5 per guest (free for ages 4yrs. & under). Family pass is $30. 231-995-0313, 322 Sixth St. Traverse City.


Inside-Out Gallery- Warehouse District of DT Traverse City. The evening will feature The Wilson Brothers Band, Billy Strings and Don Julin. The True Falsettos and the Springtails, Doors open at 8pm, tickets are $10 per person.  There is a cash bar and optional food buffet.

Lucky Jack’s- Space is limited. Call for reservations. 231-947-2610

Family Party-5:30-8:30pm, one lane unlimited bowling, shoes, pizza & pop!

Party for Adults-9pm-1am, one lane unlimited bowling, shoes, pizza, pop, party favors, Glow Bowl & champagne at midnight!

*Southside Hide Out: 8pm Loads of drink specials, delicious food & champagne toast. Cover charge-$10. *Don’t want to drive? Baymont Inn & Southside are offering a hotel room & shuttle package for only $75 per couple including tickets. Call 231-269-3738 for details. Register to win a FREE pair of tickets to the Alan Jackson Feb. 7 concert at Auburn Hills.

*Streeter’s: Doors open at 9pm. Tickets $10 per person (includes one beverage between 9-10pm) for both parties, plus party Favors, hors d’oeuvres & a champagne toast!

Ground Zero Nightclub: DJ Prince & DJ CDX.

Reserved Ultra-Lounge: Live Music by Still Rain.

1669 S. Garfield Ave., Traverse City, 231-932-1300, www.GroundZeroOnline.com



Apache Trout Grill: Special menu selections.

13671 S. West Bay Shore Dr., Traverse City, 231-947-7079

Amical: Downtown Traverse City

Open 11am-11pm, Full! Not accepting reservations. Patio is open. (231) 941-8888.

Bluebird, The: Leland

Special menu, Open 5-9pm, reservations are recommended. Call 256-9081

Blue Tractor Cook House: Union Street, Downtown Traverse City

Dining specials from 11am-11pm.  Reservations are not required.231-922-9515

Boathouse, The: 14039 Peninsula Drive

New Year’s Eve Celebration. Open 4- 5pm for Early Bird seating (3 course meal for $30) Seating from 5pm or 5:30pm. Limited seating available. Regular dinner menu starts at 6pm-11pm. Reservations preferred call 223-4030.

Firefly: Cass Street, Downtown Traverse City

Open 11am-2am.Full menu served until close. Small plate/big plate/bubbly/wine & Drink specials. Reservations recommended (231) 932-1310

Harbor 22-Special menu. 12917 SW. Bayshore Drive, 231-922-2114

Jolly Pumpkin: Behind Mission Table

Open noon-10pm. Select from the regular menu. (231) 223-4333, jollypumpkin.com

KilKenny’s: Live music by Alter Ego from 9:30-1:30am. Party favors & champagne toast. Cover charge-$5. 400 W. Front St., 231-941-7527

Maddy’s Tavern: 9205 US 31 South

Open 11:30am-11pm. Full menu served until close.  Reservations are recommended (231) 276-6244.

The Manor: Empire

Five course meal served from 5-9pm. $25-$45 per person. Early Bird Special from 4-6pm-$15.95-$22.95. Reservations suggested. Call 231-334-0150.

Mission Table: 13512 Peninsula Drive, Old Mission Peninsula

Open 5-8:30pm.  Three course meal  options $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended. (231) 223-4222.Missiontable.net

North Peak Brewing Company: Downtown Traverse City

 Open until midnight. Reservations recommended (231) 941-7325

Old Mission Tavern: Serving a special four course dinner & regular menu selections. Open 5pm-9pm. Reservations are recommended. Call 231-223-7280. 17015 Center Road.

Phil’s on Front: Downtown Traverse City

Serving breakfast from Midnight-2am.Entertainment-Miriam Pico & a cast of many! (231) 929-1710.

Poppycock’s: Downtown Traverse City

Serving special menu selections. Call for reservations. 231-941-7632.

Red Ginger:  Downtown Traverse City

“Taste of Red Ginger”. Your pass includes; Three Premium Libations, Live Entertainment & a champagne toast, plus taxes and gratuities. $125 per person. Limited availability. Call 231-944-1733

*Reflect Restaurant- Cambria Suites.

New Year’s Eve-Breakfast- 6am-10am and serving dinner from 5pm-11pm.

New Year’s Day- Breakfast 6am-10am, dinner from 5-10pm.

The Towne Plaza-Four course prix fixe menu with a glass of bubbles & optional wine pairing. Reservations recommended. Call 231-929-0900. 202 E. State Street, Traverse City


Fall Thoughts, an Awesome Holiday Art Fair, and Toasting the Season in Leelanau

A Twilight Paddle past Neahtawanta Point at Bowers Harbor
A Twilight Paddle past Neahtawanta Point at Bowers Harbor


Autumn is the briefest season, and the season I'm most loathe to let go of. Now, as it gives up these last few days of beauty before inevitably slipping away, I find myself doing as much as I can to prolong the experience. Paddling out onto the bay, riding the bicycle a few more times, even raking up the leaves, all seem to be bittersweet rituals of farewell.

And so we come to Halloween. The time of goblins and witches for some of us, of saints and angels for others. And for everyone, I trust, lots of cold cider and warm donuts and the scent of fallen sun-crisped leaves. And if you're not interested in the annual spookfest that's Halloween in Traverse City, here's a different suggestion for the coming weekend: the Holiday Art Fair at the Dennos Museum Center.

As you may or may not know, the Dennos is one of the finest small art museums in the country; this annual Art Fair features the same attention to exquisite beauty and high quality, as well as its habit of featuring fine arts and crafts by Michigan artists. Artists are encouraged to bring original art in all price ranges, but especially items below $30, so customers have lots of choices for choosing original art as a holiday gift. These are handmade, unusual gifts -- the kind that make museum stores a special place to shop.

The fair will be held Friday  and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Fine arts and crafts from 50 area artists, Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, arts and crafts kits and more are just a few of the enticements for holiday shoppers. Looking for special gifts for children? They've got a selection of craft kits and a variety of books relating to all the arts, sciences and the Inuit peoples. There are many wonderful small "stocking stuffers" for kids and many small gift items children can chose as gifts for family and friends.

One event that's been added to the fair is a benefit "art raffle" to help schools offset the cost of museum visits. Over 2,000 students benefited from the money raised in last year's raffle. The holiday artists have donated a piece of art for the raffle. Tickets will be only sold on site for $2 each and 6/$5. Any questions? Call them at 231-995-1586

Fall Color in the Lake Leelanau Wine Country
Fall Color in the Lake Leelanau Wine Country

Next weekend? Man, it's November already! But be of good cheer - the folks in the wine country of the Leelanau Peninsula are ready to brighten that often-dismal month with some tasty wine and food pairings. It's the annual "Toast the Season" wine touring event organized by the

Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association. For the next two weekends (Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 12-13) you can take a self-guided tour of up to eight wineries each day -- in any order you choose - to sample some of those fine Leelanau wines paired with foods made by local chefs. I've seen the menu, and it made my mouth water. Not good when you're working with an electronic keyboard.
Here's how the tour works: one of the 19 Leelanau member wineries is designated as your "starting winery." When you arrive, they give you a commemorative glass, a holiday ornament, a souvenir wine key and a holiday gift bag featuring local food including fair trade coffee from Higher Grounds Trading Company of Traverse City, cocoa-coated chocolate covered almonds from Grocer's Daughter Chocolate in Empire, and (of course) Michigan cherries from Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor.

Tickets for Toast the Season are $50 per person or $75 per couple (couple ticket holders receive two glasses, pours and food at each winery, but only one gift bag and ornament). You can order them online at http://www.lpwines.com/toast/.

Zombie Pride: Halloween Happenings in Traverse City

Fall colors and golden grapevines at Chateau Grand Traverse


I do hope we've gotten the rain and gloom behind us so we can get on with the business of enjoying autumn. All I can say about the weather we had this weekend is that it helped freshen the color on the trees and kept me from having to do any raking. But there's still lots of excellent fall splendor out there, and I intend to enjoy some of it!

I couldn't help noticing this morning how many houses are sporting Halloween decorations. People in TC sure do love Halloween. Seems like there's a host of new hauntings, partyings and trick-or-treatings going on this year.

Speaking of which (or should it be speaking of witch?) have you ever heard of a Silent Disco?

Well, you wouldn't actually hear it, I guess, since it's silent.  But you could watch one on Oct. 29, when Traverse City adds yet another entry to its list of eldritch fall happenings: the first-ever Old Town Halloween Carnival and Monster's Ball. And it's a spooky sight to behold.

In a Silent Disco, dancers are issued wireless headphones through which music is broadcast via an FM transmitter. It's the perfect eerie effect for a Halloween street party, since everyone appears to be moving to no discernible music at all. (An added benefit is that non-dancers don't have to shout at each other over the music, and the neighbors don't call the cops to report you for making a public nuisance.)

Already known among Halloween cognoscenti for its ghoulish  5K Zombie Run footrace, where shambling "zombie" runners chase down normal-looking "survivors," and the unspeakable cuteness of its kid-friendly Downtown Halloween Walk, Traverse City seems determined to make itself the Halloween capital of the Midwest with yet another event.

Participants in the 2010 Traverse City Zombie Run
Participants in the 2010 Traverse City Zombie Run

Billed as "the largest Halloween event in Northern Michigan," the Oct. 29 Halloween Carnival and Monster's Ball is being assembled by Porterhouse Productions, which runs the successful Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival in August. As the name implies, it will be held in the city's historic Old Town district, on Union Street between 7th and 8th streets.

The "daylight" portion of the carnival starts with a Saturday morning "Monster Pancake Throwdown" - a contest among local chefs in this bastion of culinary competitiveness for the title of Best Pancake in Traverse City. Pancakes will be served out with a host of other locally-produced sausages, eggs, jams, syrups and ciders. Family-style fun continues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a kids' costume contest, a haunted bouncy castle, old-school carnival games, Halloween creatures, a pneumatic "virtual hearse ride," a pumpkin pie-eating contest, performances by local bands and dancers and other fun.

But things really begin to happen after dark, when the streets are taken over by the Monster's Ball, with local food, wines and microbrews, and music from live bands and DJs. Entertainment will include the last live performance of Michigan dance-rock group Ella Riot (this will be the band's farewell show), a costume contest featuring premium prizes, and an all-night Silent Disco dance party featuring DJ Body Rock and Wally Sparks (of Ella Riot), DJ Dominate and others.

Tickets for Porterhouse Productions' Old Town Halloween Carnival & Monsters' Ball can be purchased online at www.porterhouseproductions.com . Admission for the Monster Pancake Throwdown and Halloween Carnival is $8 for attendees 13 and up and $5 for children ages 3-12. Children ages 2 and under are free. Admission for the Monsters' Ball is $20 in advance or $25 at the door (if not sold out in advance). The Monsters' Ball is open to attendees ages 21 and over only - no exceptions.

For more information, you can visit www.porterhouseproductions.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/porterhouse.mi.

Another eerie fall shot at the Grand Traverse Commons....
Another eerie fall shot at the Grand Traverse Commons....

Halloween's Coming -- And There's a Lot Going On!

Copy of FallC2010 005
               A Luminous Beech-Hemlock Forest by the Lighthouse


Well, the weather’s still unseasonably warm here along the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, and even though much of the fall color has peaked in the higher elevations south of town, there’s still a lot of great color to be found along the water - especially on the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas. We went out for a walk on Sunday (it was 68 degrees out) and some of those beech trees were only just beginning to turn.

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is already upon us, and it seems as though everybody’s been getting into the Halloween act lately. Although I’m a big fan of scaring myself silly, I’m not crazy about events that are supposed to be aimed at younger kids and end up being really gory and frightening. That’s why my favorite local Halloween tradition is the annual Downtown Halloween Walk, where Traverse City’s downtown stores open up to costumed little ones and their parents for several hours of safe, cute trick-or-treating. (It’s this Friday from 3:30 to 5 p.m.) For more information call (231) 922-2050 or visit www.downtowntc.com.

In case you miss the downtown event, there’s a similar opportunity on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. at the Grand Traverse Mall Halloween Fall Festival. They’ll have trick-or-treating, crafts, face painting, a prize wheel and a costume parade. Call (231) 922-0077 for more information.

Copy of TrickorTreatingDowntownTC
                Fun at the Annual Downtown Halloween Walk

For those who prefer their shivers , Friday and Saturday will provide the last opportunities to join one of the ghost walks at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum - unique after-dark turs of the reputedly haunted lighthouse near Northport. Call (231) 386-7195 for tickets and details. And on Saturday night, you can have a chance to dine with the area’s most famous spook - Genevive Stickney - when the Mission Table Restaurant (formerly Bowers Harbor Inn) holds a special “Dinner with Genevive.” The themed dinner lasts from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and will feature a fantastic selection of food and wine parings from chef Paul Olson, 2Lads Winery, and local “ghost whisperer” Tammy Schuster. Cost is $60 per person (plus tax/gratuity) and is limited to the first 60 individuals. To make reservations, call (231) 223-4222
Saturday is also the day of the second annual Zombie 5K Run in Traverse City’s Warehouse District. Technically, there are walkers and shamblers as well as runners in this fun event, where participants (over 500 came last year) dress up as zombies to walk the city streets. It’s a fundraiser for the local trail systems, and there are prizes for winners and for best costume. For more event info, contact TART at 941-4300 or tczombierun.com.

There’s late-night fun on Saturday, too. Fans of the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be glad to know that the City Opera House will be showing the cult classic musical at 8 p.m. and midnight. As always, participants are encouraged to come appropriately costumed, with props, and ready to be raucous. General Admission is $11, and prop bags can be purchased for another $5. Call (231) 941-8082 for details. And starting at 9 p.m., the Mt. Holiday Ski Area is holding its annual Halloween Party - an adults-only event with live entertainment, food, fun, and more. To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.mt-holiday.com.