Online classes, to-go crafts and virtual events are just a few of the ways Northern Michigan businesses and organizations are continuing to offer services (some free!). Have you and your family tried these fun activities yet?

Many organizations have had to cancel performances, movies, concerts, festivals and more. Consider not requesting a refund of your ticket. While each ticket doesn’t represent an enormous amount of money, collectively, it will make a big difference for that organization. Have an organization you really love? Check to see if they offer gift certificates.

Virtual Events

TEDx Traverse City // June 17th
TEDxTraverse City goes virtual! Because of these unprecedented times, TEDxTraverseCity will be offered in an online platform this year. A Livestream event will ensure our community stays safe while we celebrate ten years of bringing ideas worth spreading to Traverse City. Our tenth TEDxTraverseCity will provide another excellent opportunity for our community to be inspired and challenged. TEDxTraverseCity’s 2020 event will examine the timely concept of RETHINKING OUR HEALTH.

Art of the Garden Exhibit and Sale // June 25–July 15
The Little Garden Club of Leland is pleased to announce a virtual presentation of the biannual Art of the Garden Exhibit and Sale in collaboration with the Leelanau Community Cultural Center. This exhibit will feature local artists with paintings virtually presented online at with an opportunity to purchase artwork. There is no charge to view the exhibit. Sales benefit the artists, the LCCC and the Little Garden Club.

Despite Garden Tour 2020 being postponed until next year, all garden hosts for this year have agreed to present their gardens next year. The 2021 tour will feature seven inspiring gardens for the public to visit. Proceeds from the Garden Tour and Art of the Garden Exhibit are the Little Garden Club’s primary source of funding for grants. The grant program supports local garden beautification and plant education projects in Leelanau County.

Crooked Tree Arts Center
Join the Crooked Tree Arts Center online for free events like Virtual Coffee Talks, the Virtual Dart for Art 2020 event and submit work to the Young Writers Exposition or online Juried Photography Exhibition!

State Theatre and Bijou By the Bay
Thank you for all your support for our new “Virtual Screening Room” adventure! We will continue to curate and bring you a wonderful selection of films that you can enjoy while you’re at home flattening the curve and our distributor partners are continuing to make improvements to their streaming systems. Here’s how to stream the movies at home.

Blue Goat Provisions
We are kicking off a fun new series of online tastings with local enthusiasts and experts. Every Friday we will be offering a 45- to 60-minute free tasting via Zoom featuring 2–3 wines. The wines won’t be necessary to join but if you want to have them on hand, we will be offering them at 10% off if you purchase them together before the tasting. Check our Facebook page for upcoming dates.

Bonobo Winery
We are doing Zoom/Facebook live happy hours every Friday at 6 p.m. EST with Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart (at their house in California). Our winemaking team of Cornel Oliver and Dawie Conradie are at the winery also participating. They’ve done wine tastings, cheese pairings (with TCs The Cheese Lady, Tina), and not just food and wine pairings, but they actually cook the recipe. Carter and Amy cook in Cali, Cornel and Dawie cook in the Bonobo Kitchen and we pair it with a few of our wines. We get the recipe out ahead of time too and have had guests cook alongside us. We also have special guests stop by. We’ve had Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict, Ty Pennington from Trading Spaces, Constance Zimmer from Entourage and House of Cards, and this week we’ll have Property Brother’s Drew Scott and his wife Linda Phan. Join us here!

Grow Benzie
Grow Benzie is going to be doing some fun virtual events over the next few weeks, like this sushi-making class with Chef Loghan Call. Follow Grow Benzie on Facebook for updates.

Third Coast Creative Alliance
The Third Coast Creative Alliance has compiled a list of Livestream events happening in your area. Browse and enjoy daily, weekly and monthly events from the comfort of your home!

Classes + Family Activities


Boomers Bootcamp
Members will be receiving daily HIIT workout videos with warm-ups, demos, modifications and motivation from our coaches to crush at home! Check our Facebook for more information.

Grand Traverse Bay YMCA
MOSSA has released a free 60-day program so folks can stay active at home during the shutdown. The link below will give you full access to an array of at-home workouts for up to 60 days, for free. Click here to gain access.

M. Wellness Fitness and Nutrition – Stay Twisted
Watch the M Wellness Facebook page for daily workouts you can do at home, no fitness equipment required! They will feature exercises that benefit all ages and abilities.

Movement in Action
Mia Munroe is now offering some free introductory classes via Zoom to the community at two given times: Saturdays from 10:30–11:30 a.m. and Sundays from 9:30–10:30 a.m. Click here for more information.

Northstar Fitness/Ludington Spin & Yoga
Northstar Fitness will be livestreaming classes on Facebook to help keep you moving.


Dennos Museum Center
is a collaborative event that brings together arts organizations from all over Northern Michigan. During this time of staying home and being together only virtually, DRAW NoMI’s partners are all working hard to connect you and your family with the arts on social media and the web. We recently began publishing twice-weekly videos with fantastic how-to-draw demos that are fun for the whole family. Narrated and drawn by Jason Dake, Curator of Education, these videos offer brief demonstrations and tips on a variety of drawing topics. They are posted to the Dennos Museum Center’s YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts on Mondays and Thursdays for the time being. Everyone is encouraged to share their creations on the Dennos Facebook page,

Grand Traverse Conservation District
Grand Traverse Conservation District’s 30+ miles of trails offer the perfect opportunity to get outside and experience the restorative qualities of nature while complying with COVID-19 social distancing recommendations. Throughout the coming weeks, GTCD’s staff will be posting “Mother Nature’s Lesson Plans” on Facebook, which include fun activities, apps and adventures to help families explore and engage their young naturalists while spending time at home.

Great Lakes Children’s Museum
Find links for educational, hands-on and fun activities to do with your children at the new “Resources for Families” page. You’ll find a list of great sites, both local and from around the world, to enjoy with your family as you practice social distancing.

Manistee County
The entire team at the Manistee County Visitors Bureau, along with our tourism community in the region, want you all to know we are thinking about you and can’t wait to see you all again.  However, until the time comes when we can travel, explore and gather, we urge you to stay home and enjoy these great activities we have created for the entire family!


Joshua Davis
Joshua Davis is offering online lessons on songwriting, guitar, old time banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Message him on Instagram for more information.

Ron Getz Guitar
Ron Getz is offering online guitar lessons (1/2 hour and hour options) for beginner, intermediate and advanced students through FaceTime or Skype. Call 231-392-4203 or email for more information.


Handz On Art
Handz On Art – Paint Your Own Pottery in the Warehouse MRKT in Traverse City is offering pottery to-go. Purchase pottery at the studio to take home with you. Basic supplies like brushes and paint will be provided as well. Paint at your leisure from the comfort of your home and return finished pottery and supplies for firing at a later date. Pieces start at $10 on up and the total price includes glazing and firing.

Higher Art Gallery
A new virtual show opens May 5. Join the email list to get updates about current shows, new artwork and more.

Crooked Tree Arts Center
Daily online classes, resources, inspiration and much more!

Oliver Art Center
Oliver Art Center is continuing to do its part for the community during the coronavirus shutdown. The order to close came down during the installation of a new exhibition, Make Mine Abstract! The exhibition features the work of three area artists, Carol Spaulding, Susan Thompson, and Skye Gentle, as well as the works of fifty additional artists for an astounding total of 168 works of art. Click here for the virtual tour. Oliver Art Center has also been creating online content for its community through activities such as coloring sheets, word games, and even artbook themed storytime videos.

National Writers Series
Terry McMillan’s It’s Not All Downhill From Here is the story of a successful small business owner who has to put her life back together after an unexpected event rattles her entire world. Sound familiar … Click here to rewatch past events for free. 

Tours + Museums

Dennos Museum Center // May 11-22
We’re looking to grow on the success of our first ever Virtual Pet Exhibit, and that means we need more photos! No fancy cameras needed–just a good smartphone camera and a photo that connects with one of two new themes. Please only submit one photo for one exhibition. This call is open to anyone; all ages, all geographies. The first 50 submissions will be accepted. We’ll host a virtual reception online, at a future date and time to be determined. Mackinac State Historic Park
The MSHP is proud to announce its “Explore at Home” collection of online resources. Included are online exhibits and demonstrations, movies detailing the histories of Fort Mackinac, Colonial Michilimackinac, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, activities for kids like coloring books, online puzzles and activities, and easy access to our extensive library of blog posts and timeline histories. The online collection can be found here.

Manistee Natural Wonders Tour
The self-guided walking and driving tour is rich in history and natural beauty.

Menominee Range Historical Museum
The Menominee Range Historical Museums in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula includes three museums, each of which offers its own virtual tour; the Menominee Range Historical Museum, the World War II Gilder & Military Museum and the Cornish Pumping Engine & Mining Museum.

Oliver Art Center
Tour Oliver Art Center’s newest exhibition virtually and enjoy 80 works from over 50 artists, including OAC’s featured artists Skye Gentle, Carol C Spaulding and Susan Thompson. See the tour here.

Voyager Island and Rotary Park
Take a “virtual paddle” out into the St. Mary’s River from Voyager Island and Rotary Park in Sault St. Marie on a 360 virtual guided tour.

Manistee Themed Tours
The Manistee Historic Sites Tours is the county’s most comprehensive tourism project in its history, indexing more than 100 sites.

  • Churches: 12 churches and one cemetery in Manistee County.
  • Downtown/Commercial District: 27 buildings and two bridges in Manistee’s central business district, including the Ramsdell Theatre, Manistee Iron Works and Manistee Fire Hall recently named the “Oldest Continuously Manned Operating Fire Station” by Guinness World Records.
  • Destination Sites: Seven sites featuring bridges, lighthouses and dams.
  • East Homes: 15 homes in the historic east district of downtown Manistee.
  • West Homes: 21 homes in Manistee’s west residential district.
  • Industrial Sites: Overview of the area’s industrial history—from sand and salt, to sawmills and boats.
  • Museums: Eight museums, from the Manistee County Historical Museum to the Kaleva Bottle House Museum.
  • Riverwalk Sites: 25 historical markers highlight the history of the region and the importance the Manistee River played in the foundation of the community.
  • Natural Wonders: Nine natural wonders plus man-made creations put in place to enjoy the beauty of Manistee’s natural landscape—from the artesian wells in Onekama, to the picturesque views atop Old Baldy.
  • Bridges and Dams: Seven bridges—including three vehicular, three railroad and one massive pedestrian bridge—plus two hydroelectric dams and one egg-take/salmon harvest weir.