This January, we’re embracing the beauty of winter in Northern Michigan with lantern-lit hikes, snowshoeing, skiing and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Here are 15 Northern Michigan events to kick off your 2023!

January 1 | New Year’s Day Hike | Benzie County 

Join Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy for a guided New Year’s Day hike at Green Point Dunes in Benzie County. This snowy trek winds through forests and meadows to stunning Lake Michigan views.

January 6, 7  | Comedy With Heather Jay | Traverse City 

Get ready to laugh! 15-year comedian and Michigan native Heather Jay will come to Traverse City Comedy Club, all the way from Los Angeles. She’s performed at clubs all over the country, and her comedy style appeals to people from all walks of life. 

Trails at Otsego Resort

Photo by Otsego Resort

January 7 | Winter Wine Walk | Gaylord

Winter, wine and the great outdoors? Count us in! Join Otsego Resort for an unforgettable walk by cross-country ski or snowshoe through the cedar forest ending at a roaring bonfire at the Beaver Dam. Along the way, you’ll taste delicious wine and enjoy the beautiful sights! 

January 7 | Lantern-Lit Hike | Ludington 

Take a lantern-lit hike through woods, sand dunes, and over the Big Sable River ending at the Park Amphitheater at Ludington State Park. At the end of the hike, which runs from 6-8 p.m., a campfire will greet participants with a free cup of hot cocoa and marshmallows. Park staff and volunteers will be available to assist. Participants are encouraged to bring snowshoes or cross-country skis. No reservations are required.

January 7 | Moonlit Ski and Bike Night | Manistee County

Head to Big M Cross Country Ski Area in Manistee National Forest near Wellston for a fun moonlit bike and ski adventure. The event starts at 7 p.m. and participants can head out independently on the trails or hang out in the lodge or at a roaring bonfire.

January 7, 14, 21, 28 | Sleigh Rides | Gaylord 

Embrace the winter spirit and embark on a fairytale-like sleigh ride at Treetops Resort in Gaylord. A horse-drawn sleigh will take guests through the property’s secluded woods, before ending at Hunter’s Grille for a gourmet four-course meal.

People around bonfire at Otsego Resort

January 9-15 | Cookbook Dinner Series | Traverse City 

Amical’s Cookbook Dinner Series features spicy, sharp Thai party food this month. Los Angeles chef Kris Yenbamroong is known for stripping down traditional Thai recipes to bring out maximum flavor with the least amount of hassle.

January 13 | Steve Stargardt, Nancy Stagnitta and Jack Dryden | Williamsburg 

The Music House presents a concert featuring Steve Stargardt, Nancy Stagnitta and Jack Dryden, who will play selections by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and others from The American Songbook.

January 14 | The Friars Winterpalooza | Traverse City 

The Friars, an acapella subset of U of M’s Men’s Glee Club, have been entertaining audiences for years with questionable choreography, bad dad jokes and boy-band hits. Check out this talented group during The Friars Winterpalooza at Traverse City’s City Opera House.

January 14 | Comedy Night with Andy Beningo | Gaylord 

Comedy night at Otsego Resort is back! With over 3,000 career performances worldwide, Andy Beningo has established himself as one of the most in-demand comedians working today. Hailed for his clean and “every man” style, Andy has performed for Fortune 500 companies, on cruise lines, and in some of the top comedy clubs in the country. 

January 20 | Comedy with Keith Lenart | Traverse City 

Traverse City Comedy Club welcomes Keith Lenart, an internationally touring comedian who works with clubs across the country and does shows overseas for the troops. He has worked with comedy legends including Bobcat Goldthwait, Pauly Shore, Jim Gaffigan, Caroline Rhea, Judy Tenuta and more.

January 20 | Self-Guided Lantern-Lit Hike | Grand Traverse County 

Take a self-guided lantern-lit hike at the Brown Bridge Quiet Area. Grand Traverse Conservation District staff will greet you with hot cocoa before you explore the landscape, and a limited amount of snowshoe equipment is available to use.

January 20 | Ski Jumping Tournament | Marquette 

Watch U.S. and international ski jumpers defy gravity as they soar off the historic K90, Suicide Hill ski jump at the annual Ishpeming Ski Jumping Tournament—the longest consecutive tournament in the country. Enjoy tailgating, concessions and bonfires while watching athletes compete.

People around bonfire at Otsego Resort

Photo by Otsego Resort

January 21 | Winter Brew Walk | Gaylord 

During this snowshoe walk, you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and craft brews. Otsego Resort’s brew walk is back for winter 2023, featuring a brisk and snowy trek through the Sturgeon River Valley from the historical River Cabin to the Beaver Dam and back.

January 21 | Mark Stuart | Cadillac 

Spend an evening out at the Cadillac Elks Lodge for a cozy winter concert by Mark Stuart. Stuart spends his time as a full-time working artist and musician. Mostly performing his own unique shows and singer-songwriter concerts, he also plays as a guitarist in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee at various gigs and sessions. Stuart has toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and Europe.

Photo(s) by Grand Traverse Conservation District