It’s Time to get into the Up North holiday spirit! Whether you’re looking for holiday events, gift guides, or post-shopping drink spots, here are our favorite spots to celebrate the holidays in Gaylord, Grayling & Cheboygan.

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Gaylord’s Holiday Festivities Guide

The Swiss-themed downtown of Michigan’s “Alpine Village” fittingly lies in the state’s snowbelt, where 140-plus wonderfully fluffy inches of snow fall on average each year

Shop Local in Gaylord

Main Street is a can’t-miss shopping hub. 45th Parallel is your stop for outdoor apparel, Lilac and Lemon offers gorgeous hand-painted furniture and cozy goods, and Aub Marley’s antique store has eclectic treasures galore. Visit Alpine Chocolate Haus to give the gift of gourmet chocolate and Sugar Me Sweet Cake Shop for a custom cake to bring to your next holiday party.

Festive Eats and Drinks in Gaylord 

Stay on Main Street and head to the newly opened Karma Taproom, with more than 20 brews on draft, plus an array of spirits. Have dinner delivered from a neighboring restaurant, then sit, sip and socialize!

Gaylord Gift Guide

Surprise someone with beautiful, handcrafted metal artwork from the Gaylord-based business Michigan in Metal. Browse the online shop and you’ll see something for everyone—from wall hangings and solar light boxes to clocks, candle holders and coasters. 

Explore Gaylord’s Winter Wonderland

About 10 minutes north of Gaylord’s downtown lies Sturgeon River Preserve, where you can enjoy an easy, family-friendly hike or snowshoe along the scenic Sturgeon River.
Need snowshoes? Borrow some from HeadWaters Land Conservancy!

Gaylord Holiday Events 

Nov. 19 | Santa’s Workshop Craft & Vendor Expo at The Ellison Place
Dec. 4 | Breakfast and Pictures with Santa at Gaylord Eagles Hall Around Town

Snow in downtown gaylord

Photo by Gaylord Area Tourism Bureau

2022 Holiday Actives in Grayling

This city is a charmer. Our recommendation: Spend a day outdoors at Hanson Hills. Then head downtown to warm up, do a little holiday shopping and grab a bite.

Shop Local in Grayling

With more than 40 shops under one roof, The Old Lumberyard Shoppes is your go-to stop for gifting (be sure to hit Up North Apparel & Gifts while you’re there!). Tip’n theMitten is a must for all things made in Michigan. Art lovers, check out Main Branch Gallery and AuSable Artisan Village. Outdoors lovers, you’ll rejoice at Northbound Outfitters and Ron’s Fly Shop.

Holiday Bites in Grayling

Warm up at Paddle Hard Brewing—order an artisan flatbread pizza or panini, and don’t forget to toast winter with a barrel-aged stout or a handcrafted cocktail.

Festive Sips in Grayling

Next door to Paddle Hard, you’ll find Coffee by Steph, offering everything from seasonal drinks and freshly roasted coffee to smoothies and treats (like her homemade pop
tarts!). Grab a gift card to keep your loved ones cozy this winter.

Explore a Winter Wonderland in Grayling

Hanson Hills has it all: downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing and 35 km of groomed Nordic ski trails. Get out there!

Holiday Events in Grayling 

Nov. 19 | Christmas Walk
Dec. 1 | Holiday After Hours with Grayling Chamber, Paddle Hard Brewing
Dec. 1 | Holiday After Hours with Grayling Chamber, Paddle Hard Brewing Around Town


Celebrate the Holidays in Cheboygan

Winter in this buzzing city on the shore of Lake Huron brings promises of thick powder for snowy adventures and cozy moments in downtown’s shops and restaurants.

Shop Local in Cheboygan 

On Main Street, bop into Bittersweet for personalized gift baskets and holiday cookies. A few doors down, swing into a trio of shops—all connected together; it’s a fun experience—
Simply Marcella for pearl jewelry and women’s apparel, Stormy Kromer A Cap & Ale House for outdoor gear and a beer and The Pig ‘N’ Whistle for retro candy stocking stuffers.

Festive Eats and Drinks in Cheboygan 

The Queens Head Wine Pub—and its leather chairs, wood tables and large fireplace—is an inviting and relaxed spot for elevated pub fare and beverages. Order the smoked trout chowder to start while you browse the wine list.

Cheboygan Gift Guide 

The Creation Station DIY Studio & Right Brain Toys offer paint-your-own pottery and lots of crafts that make awesome gifts, plus they specialize in creative toys and science and

Explore Cheboygan’s Winter Wonderland 

Duncan Bay Nature Preserve is just outside of downtown (a three-minute drive). A flat 0.9-mile roundtrip trail leads to Lake Huron and is a favorite spot for locals to snowshoe. Check online for lantern-lit hike events with Little Traverse Conservancy.

Holiday Events in Cheboygan 

Dec. 1–31 | Light Up Local Tree Displays
Dec. 3 | Parade of Lights & Community Christmas Party
Dec. 17 | Family Friendly Cocoa Crawl

Night time view in Cheboygan with snow

Photo by Little Traverse Conservancy

Give the Gift of Traverse Magazine this Year!

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Photo(s) by Traci Cook