Thanks to these innovative Northern Michigan restaurants, distilleries, breweries, wineries and hotels, you can enjoy a drink outdoors this winter while staying toasty in an igloo, tent or ice shanty.
Editor’s Note: On Jan. 13, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extended the statewide ban on indoor dining through the end of the month. Igloos, huts and other small, enclosed spaces are allowed to operate during the “pause,” but groups must be from the same household and limited to six people. We always recommend calling or checking online before visiting to ask about a business’s current offerings.
Have you visited a spot in Northern Michigan that offers igloos, tents, etc.? Or do you own a business offering such amenities? Email us at [email protected].
Iron Fish Distillery // 14234 Dzuibanek Rd., Thompsonville
Fireside cocktails, live music and heated tents are what patrons can expect at Iron Fish Distillery’s new Base Camp this winter. The village of heated, waterproof, breathable canvas tents debuted in November, offering guests the chance to enjoy spirits, cocktails, wood-fired pizza and snacks. Tents are reservation only and accommodate parties of 4–6 people: tableagent.com/traverse-city/iron-fish-distillery. There’s a 90-minute time limit for tents, which are fully sanitized between uses. Live music will be scheduled throughout the winter; follow @IronFishDistillery on Facebook for event details.
Whiskers Bar and Grill at The Homestead // 1 Wood Ridge Rd., Glen Arbor
Order up drinks from the outside bar in the plaza at Whisker’s and then take a seat around one of the two fire pits, the outdoor fireplace or under one of the 14 outdoor tower heaters. The great outdoors makes a fresh-made pizza from Cavanaugh’s taste even better and when Chef John Piombo lights a fire in The Homestead’s new state-of-the-art Argentinian grill—make room for ribs!
Glen Arbor Wines // 5873 S. Lake St., Glen Arbor
Enjoy a flight or glass of wine by the outdoor fire pits under the covered porch or settle in next to a patio heater—blankets are available, too. You’re also welcome to bring in your own food or order pre-packaged Italian antipasto or charcuterie plates. Follow @GlenArbor Wines on Facebook for updates.
Little Traverse Inn // 149 E. Harbor Hwy., Maple City
This December, Little Traverse Inn will open its brand-new ice shanty village for outdoor dining. The village includes a fire pit with seating and five heated shanties (fully sanitized between uses) that are adorned with murals by local artists—enjoy a cubist landscape by Kaz McCue or a scene of northern lights by Michelle Schulte. For updates on the opening of the shanties, follow @LittleTraverseInn on Facebook.
Hop Lot Brewing Co. // 658 S. West-Bay Shore Dr., Suttons Bay
Hop Lot is known for its iconic village of intimate igloos, and this winter will surely be no exception. Igloo reservations—for 2–6 people—are recommended and can be scheduled via Hop Lot’s social media sites or at hoplotbrewing.com (click the “Make a Reservation” button). Igloos are sanitized before and after each seating, and occupants must be from the same household. Visitors to the beer garden can also take advantage of one of Hop Lot’s five fire pits. Follow @HopLotBrewing on Facebook for taproom updates.
French Valley Vineyard // 3655 S. French Rd., Cedar
French Valley Vineyard recently debuted an outdoor tasting room made of wine bins and apple crates, as well as fire pits positioned throughout their property for guests to enjoy. Sip on a glass of cider or wine while staying socially-distanced and protected from the (fierce!) north wind. The vineyard is open on weekends and by appointment during the week, and they ask that you call ahead to let them know you’re on your way: 231.228.2616.
Taproot Cider House // 300 East Front St., Traverse City
Sit down with some organic elderberry cider and watch the snowflakes fall around you in one of Taproot’s igloos nestled in downtown TC. Beyond sipping a wide array of ciders, you can also warm up with a wild mushroom pizza or their loaded mac and cheese. Weekly menu specials can be found on Taproot Cider House’s Facebook page.
West Bay Beach Resort // 615 E. Front St., Traverse City
West Bay Beach Resort is offering an outdoor winter experience featuring a heated pool and nearby heated igloos, where you can enjoy dinner and cocktails while listening to your own music on a Bluetooth speaker. Igloos, accommodating up to six people from the same household, are heated to approximately 35 degrees above outdoor temperature, but guests are still encouraged to dress warmly and bring a blanket. Seating times are noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Igloos are deep cleaned and fully sanitized after each use. Igloos can be reserved by hotel guests and the general public—make a reservation by calling 231.421.2130.
Traverse City Whiskey // 201 E. 14th St., Traverse City
Enjoy a cocktail in an igloo or seated next to a heater on TC Whiskey’s patio—they’re open daily to warm you up with their spirits! Follow @TCWhiskey on Facebook for hours and other updates.
Hopscotch Brick Oven and Taproom // 2032 US-31 N., Traverse City
Nestled in East Bay, Hopscotch is offering heated outdoor dining and carryout daily this winter. Call 231.252.4718 for a reservation, and follow Hopscotch Brick Oven and Taproom on Facebook for updates.
Robby’s Mexican & Spanish Cuisine // 1796 S. Garfield Ave., Traverse City
Robby’s patio is open and offering three heated igloos for patrons to reserve—choose a 45-minute or 90-minute dining experience. Space is limited, so reservations are highly recommended; call 231.252.3700. For updates on service, follow @mexicanandspanish on Facebook.
Left Foot Charley // 806 Red Dr. Suite 100, Traverse City
Enjoy some cider or a glass of wine at Left Foot Charley Winery this winter, thanks to a tent set up over their entire patio (with removable walls), heat lamps and several fire pits. Follow @LeftFootCharleyWinery on Facebook for updates.
The Workshop Brewing Company // 221 Garland St., Traverse City
The Workshop Brewing Company is currently open for service with a new 20×40 tent on their patio (open-sided with propane heaters and ample spacing). Once regulations allow, The Workshop will enclose the tent more fully and utilize a new 85,000btu heater to warm it up. (They have plans to reinstate their tent bocce league, too!) The Workshop has also expanded their to-go options, including a new menu built around empanadas and new meal kits, like their chicken dinner toolbox. Missing live music? The Workshop is streaming live entertainment from their stage on a weekly basis.
Chateau Chantal // 15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City
Chateau Chantal currently offers reservations for igloos on their east terrace. Enjoy a glass (or a flight!) with a party of up to six people (must be from the same household under current regulations). To make a reservation, visit: shop.chateauchantal.
Ethanology // 127 Ames St., Elk Rapids
The Yurt Village at Ethanology is not to be missed—try their outdoor cocktail service by making an online reservation. Yurt reservations are for 75 minutes and are currently available for up to six people from a single household.
WaterFire Vineyards // 12180 Sutter Rd., Kewadin
Relax outdoors in one of the private, heated bubbles and enjoy Michigan’s first sustainably produced wines or grab a cup of hot cider. Visitors are encouraged to bring boots, snowshoes or cross-country skis to explore the 20-acre property. Open Friday–Sunday, 12–6 p.m. Follow WaterFire on Facebook to stay up to date, or email [email protected]
Bier’s Inwood Brewery // 17959 Ferry Rd., Charlevoix
Call or text 231.675.7632 to reserve one of the brewery’s heated, outdoor “Bier Houses” for one or two hours, and choose from a selection of beer, wine and hard cider.
Boyne Valley Vineyards // 05325 US-131 S., Petoskey
Enjoy a glass of vino while staying warm in one of five igloos available to rent at Boyne Valley Vineyards. Igloos are rented on the hour with a six-person maximum and cost $25 per 55 minutes. At this time, due to social distancing restrictions, Boyne Valley is not offering tastings. Glass service and a light appetizer menu are available. To reserve an igloo, call 231.373.2090. Follow on Facebook: @BoyneValleyVineyards
Palette Bistro // 321 Bay St., Petoskey
Palette Bistro’s upstairs deck boasts overhead and floor heaters for a cozy happy hour cocktail or dinner from 4-8 p.m. The street-side patio is available for guests to enjoy a glass of wine or warm libation while waiting for curbside pick-up. Their regular menu and new family-style three-course meals are available daily.
Roast & Toast // 309 E. Lake St., Petoskey
Roast & Toast has a back deck that locals frequent to enjoy a house-roasted coffee, Ghirardelli cocoa or specialty drink. Outdoor heaters also take off the chill.
Blackrocks Brewery // 424 N. Third St., Marquette
The patio at Blackrocks Brewery features a large heated tent, housing tables set up 12 feet apart to maintain ample space between parties. For those who prefer to enjoy their craft beer by a roaring fire, seating next to fire pits is also available all winter long. To stay up to date on patio happenings, follow @BlackrocksBrewery on Facebook.