Winter Events

These events can only happen in the winter, so make sure to add them to your calendar!


January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month! The professional snowsports instructors at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville teach the essentials of skiing and snowboarding for beginners (ages 7 to 100) with incredible deals on lessons, rental and lift tickets during the month of January.

Any snow day is a good day in the Petoskey area. Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain set the standards for great downhill and cross-country skiing, but they don’t stop there. Swing by for their upcoming Snowshoe & Hike Dinner event on Friday, January 4th. More than 140 miles of trails are ready and waiting for snowmobile, cross-country ski, and snowshoe enthusiasts throughout the area.

Snow sports and activities are endless in Mecosta County. Join Cran-Hill Ranch on Saturday, January 12th for their annual Winterfest! This is a free community event will include everything from snowshoeing and ice skating to wagon rides and s’mores. You can also visit the area and enjoy its trails, sledding hills, and other outdoor recreation activities.

Looking for a competitive, fun way to explore one of northern Michigan’s premier natural areas? Strap on your snowshoes and run through the beautiful snow-covered Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire. The Grass River Shiver 5K/10K is Saturday, January 12th, and raises money for the natural area’s various programs.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings is hosting outdoor events in January. The Candlelight Trail event on Saturday, January 19th is named after the hungry wolf packs that howl at night. Come enjoy the sights and sounds of winter on candlelit trails and learn about Michigan’s total lunar eclipse, which will occur on January 20th and 21st. The annual Winterfest is Saturday, January 26th, with winter fun for all! The event includes cardboard sledding, snowshoeing, hot chocolate, and more. Pierce Cedar Creek’s website has a full schedule of activities.

Grand Traverse Bike Tours is a year-round activity-based tour company located in Suttons Bay. Their Snowshoe the Vineyards event is January 19th and 26th, February 2nd, 16th, and 23rd, and March 2nd. The tour includes a professionally guided tour on private vineyards and orchard trails between the wineries, snowshoe and pole rental, and catered warm lunch of chili and soups overlooking the bay.

Conveniently located in Bellaire, just 31 miles northeast of Traverse City, the 5,000-acre Shanty Creek Resort offers a variety of winter experiences for the entire family. The three distinct villages within the resort offer everything from downhill to cross-country skiing, multiple terrain parks, a multi-lane alpine tubing park, dog sledding, and more. Mark your calendar for the Shanty Creek Original, Sardine Special, on Monday, January 21st. Pack as many friends, family members, neighbors, and anyone else you can find into your car and head to Shanty Creek’s Schuss Mountain. Everyone in your vehicle skis or rides for just $69 for the entire carload. It’s the best value on the slopes!

With more than 100 lakes, including two chains of lakes, Coldwater Country offers countless opportunities for anglers. The frozen-over lakes offer an opportunity to get outside and breathe in the cold, clean air. Need an incentive to drop a line this winter? Try it as part of the Free Fishing Weekend, February 16th and 17th. This annual weekend provides two days where no fishing license is required for residents or non-residents, although all fishing regulations still apply.

Every Sunday through March 3rd, spend your Sunday afternoons on an Old Mission Snowshoe Wine & Brew outing. The shuttle will take you to three spots, including Brys Estate. Your ticket includes the shuttle, samples, and a souvenir wine glass. These tours will run every Sunday, snow or no snow! You can still enjoy the path without snowshoes if there isn’t enough snow.