Snow Play

ThompsonvilleSnow Sleuthin’Somewhere out there, in the deep white woods at Crystal Mountain Resort, lurks a hidden snowman. Get a compass and clues from the Mountain Adventure Center, then get on the trail to find Frosty whenever weather permits. Boogie on out for a Saturday night Wild Wonders Moonlit Hike to scout owls and other nocturnal wonders, then bed down in one of Crystal’s 250-plus hotel rooms, suites, condos or townhouses. 800-968-7686, ext. 7000,

Traverse CityNobody’s Working for the WeekendThere is only one place in the world where you can, in one weekend, dive into an icy pond while dressed as a mustachioed banana, watch brainy pageant beauties vie for the Miss Heart of Michigan title, then rock out at a live Loverboy concert: Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. The action happens February 15-18 as part of the Cherry Capital Winter WonderFest. Besides the rockin’ concert and any-costume-required Polar Plunge (which raises money for Special Olympics Michigan), the blizzard-y bash boasts snowmobile and sleigh rides, bonfires, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating, an adventure film festival, a broomball competition and more. Take part in the fun, then take in Sunday night’s giant fireworks show – masterminded by the folks who light up the sky at summer’s National Cherry Festival – whilst snuggling with your sweetie, high up in the sparkly sky, inside one of the resort’s luxurious tower rooms ($189+). 800-236-1577 or for reservations and festival info; for Polar Plunge registration.

Mackinac IslandPut on Your Poker LegsTake one little island. Set it to sublime winter chill mode. Then fuse cross-country skiing and a game of poker – you build your hand by ferreting out postcards stashed in sacks along the groomed trail. Whatdya got? Mackinac Island’s Scenic Postcard Run, the hottest competition since ice stone skipping to hit the island’s annual Winter Fun Weekend, February 15-17. Count on Great Lakes Air (906-643-7165, to fly you in for your royal flush; the Village Inn to keep you fed with its Friday night fish fry and Saturday chili cook-off (906-847-3542,; and Bogan Lane Inn ($85+, 906-847-3439, or Pontiac Lodge ($85+, 906-847-3364, for a warm winter bed.

Traverse City’s downtown is doing it up during Winter WonderFest, offering the “Taste of Downtown” family dinner at City Opera House, plus live entertainment, ice sculptures, horse and carriage rides, and more. 231-922-2050,

Lynda Twardowski is travel editor at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine[email protected]

Note: This article was originally published in February 2008.