A socially distanced art opening, virtual home tour and famously tough golf tournament are just a few of the Northern Michigan events happening this October.
Please note, as these dates approach, some events may be postponed or canceled to protect the safety of both event organizers and attendees. Throughout the year, visit MyNorth.com/Events for current community happenings.
SHOPtober | Thru October
SHOPtober, a new event designed by the Glen Lake Chamber, will be held in Glen Arbor this October. The townwide promotion encourages locals and visitors to “shop small and eat local.” For every cumulative $350 spent on retail and restaurant purchases in Glen Arbor during the month of October, participants will have the chance to enter in a drawing to win $100 in Glen Arbor bucks. Participants collect receipts in a special event envelope, available for pick up at any participating merchant. Event envelopes are to be mailed to the Glen Lake Chamber or presented in person at the Cottage Book Shop by November 5. Winners will be announced on November 10. Max of three entries per person.
Historic Empire Walking Tour // Select dates thru October
Step back in time on this walking tour through historic Empire. The history of this Up North town goes back to the lumber days of 1884 and there are still remnants to see from that time. Hear about early settlers, how Empire got its name and more. The tour takes about 1.5 hours and is a leisurely walk on flat terrain that’s suitable for wheelchair users. Group size is limited to six people and social distancing measures will be implemented.
Fall Mountain Bike Tour // Every Saturday in October
Ride sections of Crystal Mountain’s iconic Peak2Peak racecourse and Betsie River Pathway at a leisurely tour pace—all the beauty with less sweat! This is an easy-paced mountain bike ride. Enjoy the route along Crystal Mountain’s on-property trails in Thompsonville and the Betsie River Pathway. Available every Saturday in October at 10 a.m. Some mountain bike experience recommended.
Hunt for the Reds of October // Weekdays thru October
The Leelanau Peninsula has become well-known for its riesling and other cool-climate white varietals and blends. What is often overlooked, however, are the high-quality red wines being grown in the region. To help get beneath the surface, the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail hosts a fun event to explore and discover great red wines being produced on the peninsula. Tickets include a souvenir wine glass and, for the entire month of October, your ticket gets you a complimentary pour at more than 20 participating wineries offering diverse red wines.
Orchards at Sunset Virtual 5K // October 1–30
Welcome to the 6th Annual Orchards at Sunset 5K and Fun Run. This year’s race is virtual and can be run starting October 1 through October 31. All money raised goes to the students of Leelanau Montessori Public School Academy and race registration includes a T-shirt. You can turn in race times and prizes will be awarded to top racers.
Tapawingo Thursday Dinner + Live Acoustic Guitar // October 1
A Matter of Taste @ Tapawingo in Ellsworth continues its Thursday night dinner series. This evening’s theme is a traditional Polish dinner, in memory of mom, featuring Kujawski family recipes. Guests can expect to indulge in farmers’ cheese and potato pierogis, kielbasa, sauerkraut, Providence Farm squash and homemade Kolache cookies. A full bar is available and Kadin McCallum will be performing.
Food Truck Wars // October 1–15
Brian Welburn, the owner of King Wubbz food truck, is hosting Food Truck Wars on Thursday nights thru October 15 at Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City. Each week, King Wubbz will face off against a local food truck using the same ingredient to create a dish. The public will vote on which dish they like best. The lineup currently includes these ingredients: bison (October 1; King Wubbz vs. Burger Eatin’ Bastard), wings (October 8; King Wubbz vs. R&B BBQ) and potatoes (October 15; King Wubbz vs. Archie’s Food Truck).
Frankfort Beer Week // October 5–10
Celebrate all that is great about Michigan Craft Beer in Frankfort and neighboring Elberta. Group events for this year’s Beer Week have been canceled due to COVID-19, but beer, food, and merchandise specials are still happening at participating locations. (Beer bagels, beer cheese nachos and a Lake Ann Brewing Company tap takeover are just a few things to look forward to.)
Citizens Coping Exhibit at Higher Art Gallery // October 9 & 10
Join Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City for a socially distanced art opening and community fundraiser. The group exhibit “Citizens Coping – artists respond to 4 years of an administration ” features 32 artists, many of who are lifelong social justice activists. Each artist has been asked to communicate how they have been affected by the policies and behavior of the current administration. An array of mediums will be on exhibit including paintings, photography, sculpture, collage and protest art. There will be no images of President Trump. Artists were asked to dig deeper and not use “memes” or caricatures. All ticket fees will go toward one of three local non-profit organizations of your choosing, including Women’s Resource Center, Father Fred Food Pantry and FLOW (For Love of Water).
Par 3 Shootout // October 11
This two-person, 18-hole event is a condensed version of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s famous Tuff Enuff Tournament. The Bear golf course is transformed into 18 of the most grueling par 3 holes it can possibly be, but in scramble format.
Canadian Brass // October 18
Canadian Brass has earned the distinction of “the world’s most famous brass group.” See them live at Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor.
12th Annual Tuff Enuff Golf Tournament // October 18
Play one of Michigan’s toughest golf courses, The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, at its absolute hardest. For one day only, the staff turns The Bear into 7,000+ yards of long-range tee boxes, aggressive greens and challenging hole locations. Come take the challenge!
Leelanau Peninsula Chamber Annual Dinner & Meeting // October 22
Join the Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce for its annual meeting and dinner. The evening event will be held at the Inn at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay and includes a cocktail reception in the Arcturos Room and dinner in the spacious Aquarius Room, followed by the meeting and auction.
Murder Mystery Dinner // October 24
Come to the quintessential thriller at the estate of Sir Warren Peace and get thrown into a night of mystery, intrigue and murder you will never forget. With a killer crowd of people just waiting for murder to arrive on the scene, this night will keep everyone looking over their shoulders and guessing who the next victim will be. Dress your best in evening wear and suits—this is a refined party, after all. Hosted at Otsego Resort in Gaylord.
The Progressive Harvest Tour // October 24
Your adventure begins with registration and a cocktail hour at Otsego Resort in Gaylord. Then hop on the Northern Michigan Trolley and continue your journey to Michaywe Inn the Woods for fall-inspired appetizers. Next, you’re off to the main course at The Iron Pig Smokehouse and finishing up back at Otsego Resort for dessert, drinks and music.
The Northern Home & Cottage Tour that you love is going virtual for 2020! Explore eight of Up North’s most stunning residences from the comfort of your own home through virtual video documentaries by MyNorth’s partner, Eagle Eye Video Production. This donation-only event benefits Child and Family Services of Northwest Michigan. Special thanks to our presenting partner, Golden-Fowler Home Furnishings. (Here’s a sneak peek of the eight homes!)