We’re counting down the final days of 2022! Whether you’re searching for an upscale dinner or a family-friendly holiday party, you’ll want to check out these Northern Michigan events taking place from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day. Hosting a local event? Let us know! info@mynorth.com.

Christmas Eve + Christmas Day Celebrations

December 24 | Ski with Santa | Thompsonville 

Give Santa a friendly wave before his big trip around the world. Santa will hit the slopes at Crystal Mountain from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. 

December 24 | Holiday Movies at The Bay | Suttons Bay

Celebrate Christmas Eve with a movie night at The Bay Theatre, featuring the film “Meet Me in St. Louis.” The show starts at 7 p.m. 

December 24 | Festival of Trains | Traverse City 

This beloved holiday tradition features amazing model train layouts that are truly the best around. You can see the displays at Creekside Community Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve (and through New Year’s Eve). The event is hosted by the Northern Michigan Railroad Club. 

festival of trains

Photo by Northern Michigan Railroad Club

December 24 | Holiday Laser Light Show | Marquette

This light show is one you’ll want to see for yourself! Marquette is lighting up the Ore Dock every Thursday through Saturday evening through December 31. Head downtown on Christmas Eve from 6–9 p.m. as they merge local history with modern technology for a laser light display.

December 24, 25, 31, January 1 | Holiday Dinners | Traverse City

If you’re looking for a holiday dining experience, check out these upcoming dinners at Artisan Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern–the restaurant of Delamar Traverse City. Artisan will be offering holiday menus for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Reservations are required. 

December 24-25 | Holiday Dinners | Bellaire

Skip the homemade dinner and join these holiday buffets at The Lakeview Restaurant from 5–9 p.m. at Shanty Creek Resort.

December 25 | Christmas Day Buffet at Aerie Restaurant & Lounge | Acme

Let someone else take care of your Christmas cooking! This holiday buffet, hosted at Aerie Restaurant & Lounge at Grand Traverse Resort, includes all of your favorites like glazed ham, traditional holiday desserts, and more. Reservations are required. 

New Year’s Eve Dinners + Celebrations

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Dinner + Comedy with Dwayne Kennedy | Traverse City

Head to Traverse City Comedy Club for a New Year’s Eve dinner, drinks, and a comedy show featuring Dwayne Kennedy. Buy tickets now!

December 31 | The Fabulous Horndogs | Empire

Come celebrate where it all started 28 years ago. The Fabulous Horndogs will play a New Year’s Eve show in Empire, where they will also be debuting new music. Buy tickets now!

December 31 | New Year’s Eve CherryT Ball Drop | Traverse City 

This year, celebrate Traverse City’s New Year’s Eve ball drop on a different street. This 600-pound cherry will be dropping from the skies for the 13th year, and now on the corner of Cass and Front streets. Gates open at 10:30 p.m. with entertainment starting soon after.

New Year's Eve Ball Drops

Photo by CherryT Ball Drop

December 31 | Birch & Maple New Year’s Eve Dinner | Frankfort

Dining out on New Year’s Eve? Birch & Maple Restaurant is hosting a special holiday menu you’ll want to try, including a cast iron bruschetta, wild mushroom consomme, two main course options and dessert. Reservations are required. 

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner | Suttons Bay 

Ring in the New Year with Black Star Farms! The Black Star Farms culinary team will present a special multi-course, wine-paired dining experience at their Inn. Formal attire is suggested. Buy tickets now!

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Ball Drop | Marquette 

Wave goodbye to 2022 with Marquette’s New Year’s Eve ball drop, which starts at 11 p.m. in the downtown area on the intersection of Washington Street and Front Street. On the 12th strike, an illuminated ball is lowered from the historic Savings Bank building.

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Ball Drop | Ludington

This New Year’s Eve celebration is West Michigan’s largest ball drop–and it’s certainly not-to-be-missed with music, fireworks and a beer garden. The intersection of James Street and Ludington Avenue is open only to pedestrians after 9 p.m., and many of the downtown eateries will be open for business. 

Downtown Ludington New Year's Eve

Photo by Downtown Ludington

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Anchor Drop | Sault Ste. Marie

Spend New Year’s Eve in Downtown Sault Ste. Marie with an “anchor drop” at midnight. This celebration will be held on the corner of Ashmun Street and Portage Avenue. Stick around after 12:01 a.m. for more fun at downtown bars.

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Great Turtle Drop | Mackinac Island

This New Year’s Eve celebration has a unique feature: a giant turtle! Join in the countdown as this festive turtle is lowered from the top of the Lilac Tree Hotel. 

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Celebration | Thompsonville 

Grab your party hats and noise-makers, and get ready to celebrate 2023 at this celebration hosted by Crystal Mountain. Start with dinner at Thistle or The Wild Tomato, and be sure to join the family-friendly party which features music, dancing and everything you need for a special night.  

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Party + Fireworks | Gaylord

Whether you’re searching for an adults-only party or a family-friendly event, Treetops Resort will host both opportunities. The family-friendly party includes a bounce house, painting, photo booth and balloon drop, and it ends at midnight with fireworks. The adults-only party runs until 2 a.m., and features live music, a champagne toast and fireworks.