It’s time to ring in the New Year in Northern Michigan! And Up North, the celebration possibilities are endless. We’re talking live music, downtown ball drops, family-friendly parties and more New Year’s Eve events.

Cheers to 2018!

New Year’s Eve Ball Drops

NYE Party in Ludington
Ludington Avenue, 9 p.m.

Head downtown for a free family-friendly evening of music, dancing, and entertainment while waiting for the countdown to midnight. There will also be a beer tent with commemorative light-up glasses. The ball will drop at the stroke of midnight followed by an amazing fireworks display over downtown.

CherryT Ball Drop in Traverse City
Intersection of Front and Park Streets, 10 p.m.

What better way to ring in the New Year than dancing in the streets? Thousands gather for this celebration packed full of live entertainment and music. DJ Scot Gardner will keep you moving until the iconic lit cherry is dropped 115 feet at midnight! Don’t miss special performances by Traverse City’s Trey Wilcox (aka Duble U) and a special fireworks show. Admission is $3 and it all benefits The Salvation Army Traverse City.

6th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Northport
Intersection of Waukazoo and Nagonaba

The Northport Inn and The Gathering Place, in conjunction with Northport-Omena Chamber of Commerce, present the Sixth Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in downtown Northport. Come early to enjoy dinner, drinks, and music at local restaurants with live bands playing at Tucker’s and Mitten Brewing!

Bridge Drop in Charlevoix
Bridge Street, festivities begin at noon with fireworks at 9 p.m. and midnight

Celebrate all afternoon with horse-drawn wagon rides, a snowman contest, s’mores and cocoa, arts and crafts, and a free showing of Beauty and the Beast at Charlevoix Cinema III (4:30 p.m.). The evening fun begins with a spectacular fireworks show at 9 p.m.—this year, the best place to view them will be from East Park. At 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., Tommy Tropic One Man Circus Show will serenade revelers prior to the fireworks displays from the East Park location.

Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Break out the kid-friendly bubbly and prepare to party munchkin-style at these family-friendly New Year’s Eve bashes from Ludington to Petoskey.

Sandcastles Children’s Museum
129 E. Ludington Ave. | Ludington | 231.233.9326

Ring in the new year at Sandcastles! There will be a balloon drop, conga music, party food and favors, ice cream sundaes, crafts, funny family photos, and more! Admission is $10 per person or $35 per family (2 adults and children). The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Limited space is available, email to make reservations.

Great Lakes Children’s Museum
13240 S. West Bay Shore Dr. | Traverse City | 231.932.4526

Who says you have to stay up until midnight to celebrate? For the kids (and young-at-heart) who are too excited to wait, start the countdown at 11:59 a.m. and watch the ball drop at noon. Festivities and activities available from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Get there at 10 to help decorate the ball and make noisemaker and party hats! There will also be a time capsule craft to do before or after the drop. While you’re at the museum, be sure to check out the Festival of Trains!

Crooked Tree Arts Center – Petoskey
461 East Mitchell St. | Petoskey | 231.347.4337

Celebrate the start of 2017 with music, theater, art, and dance. New Year’s Eve at the Arts Center is an all-age, family-friendly, alcohol-free artistic celebration. Participate in a hands-on workshop or just sit back and enjoy the entertainment! Participants can wander freely throughout the arts center, Petoskey District Library’s Carnegie Building, and the Petoskey District Library, and choose among the many offerings for the evening such as a glow-in-the-dark room, a green screen for great photo ops, hilarious group board games, and more. Performances and workshops are presented by CTAC’s instructors, Blissfest Music Organization, and Petoskey District Library, among others. Tickets to the event are available on

Adults-Only New Year’s Eve Events

New Year’s at The Rowe
6303 East Jordan Road | Ellsworth | 231.588.7351

Greet the New Year with a fabulous four-course dinner at The Rowe. Entrees include a mushroom and leek strudel, filet mignon with mushroom wine sauce, and baked lobster tail. View the full menu. Reservations required.

Tapawingo New Year Celebration with Benjaman James Band
9502 Lake St. | Ellsworth | 231.588.1000

Searching for a better New Year’s celebration? We got you! First, celebrate on Saturday, December 30 to avoid the crowds. Second, add a four-course gourmet dinner prepared by A Matter of Taste. Third, enjoy a complimentary toast of the bubbly. Last, get down and funky with The Benjaman James Band! $45 per person. Limited seating.

Black Star Farms Wine Dinner
10844 E. Revold Rd. | Suttons Bay | 231.944.1251

Chef Lance Griffus and his culinary team will present a five-course, wine-pairing dinner experience. Formal attire suggested (black tie optional). The price is all-inclusive ($150) but seating is limited, so find the perfect LBD, shake out your tux, and get your tickets early. (View the dinner menu.)

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Sips & Giggles Comedy Show
Old Town Playhouse | 148 E. Eighth St. | Traverse City | 231.947.2210

Sips n’ Giggles Comedy Show returns to help end the year with a laugh with their New Year’s Eve show at the Old Town Playhouse. This event pairs local wine with nationally and internationally touring stand-up comedians. A full cash bar is also available. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a cocktail hour. The show begins at 8 p.m. and will run until approximately 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Steve Lott is an embattled veteran comic who has seen it all and has plenty to say about it. A master of improvisation, Steve takes the audience along as he spins his tales of ridiculous life experiences. In addition to being a professional comedian, he writes an award-winning column posted on the Internet. He also frequently lies about receiving awards for his writing. No stranger to either television nor the concert stage, Steve has appeared on A&E, NBC, Comedy Central, Bob n’ Tom, and has opened shows for Steven Wright, Chicago, and Bill Maher to name a few.

Romantic Dinner at Aerie Restaurant
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa | 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd. | Acme

Enjoy dinner on the 16th floor of the tower. Aerie will have a special one-night-only New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu with wine pairings from their award-winning wine list. Local musician John Pomeroy will perform live acoustic music throughout the night. Seating is limited so book early, either online via OpenTable or by calling 231.534.6800. View the menu here.

Turbo Pup & Soul Patch at Rare Bird Brewpub
229 Lake Ave. | Traverse City

Music starts at 10 p.m. and the party doesn’t stop until 1:30 a.m.

NYE Celebration at North Channel Brewing
86 Washington St. | Manistee | 231.299.1020

DJ Cole Back will be working the turntables and Clear Heels is also playing. There will be a champagne toast at midnight and other fun surprises. The brewery will be staying open until 1 a.m. No cover charge or tickets—first come first served. Adults 21 and over only after 9 p.m.

Tribute to Frank Sinatra with Jeff Grainger and The Saginaw Elite Big Band
1129 Charlevoix Ave. | Petoskey

A New Year’s party to remember! Critics are calling Jeff Grainger the “Closest to Sinatra” they’ve ever heard. The event is at the Emmet County Fairgrounds. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the dancing doesn’t end until 12:30 a.m. Elegant hors d’oeuvres will be provided along with party favors.

Want to add your event to the list? Email us at, and add your event to the MyNorth calendar!

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