This year, spend your holidays in a pretty great place. A magical little snow globe on the shores of Lake Michigan, consider Traverse City the North Pole of the freshwater coast. From Santa’s arrival to the final seconds of 2018, this is the breakdown of Traverse City celebrations that’ll set your holiday spirit aglow. Can’t quite make it north this year? Don’t miss the Cyber Monday steals at the end of the article—they’re perfect for a mental TC escape whenever you need it most.
FOR: THE WINE SNOB
With over 40 wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Traverse Wine Coast, a toast is always in order. Raise a glass with wintry events like Snowshoes, Vines & Wines at Black Star Farms (Saturdays Dec. 22 – spring plus additional Christmas week dates), Quaff and Nosh lunch pairings at Chateau Chantal (ongoing Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), or Hang Workshop at Rove Estate (Dec. 6) for winter home décor creation while you sip.
FOR: THE SOCIALITE, DISGUISED AS A SHOPPER
So you’ve prioritized the parties before the shopping…no shame. In fact, there’s glory. Now’s your chance to combine the two in Ladies’ Shopping Night (Thursday, Dec. 6) and Men’s Shopping Night (Thursday, Dec. 13). Both evenings are brimming with refreshments and specials to check off the entire list, and the people watching — well it ain’t too shabby, either.
FOR: THE HOLIDAY HEALTH NUT
Jingle Run, Jingle Run, Jingle all the way straight to the next happy hour and pot luck. If that’s your reality this holiday season, get outside and shed a few cookies in the annual Jingle Bell Run in Traverse City. The 5K fun run/walk starts and finishes in the Warehouse District with a route that tours Traverse City’s most decked out sights. Come in your holiday getup at 5 pm on Sunday, Dec. 16.
FOR: THE WINDOW SHOPPERS WITH A HOT DRINK IN HAND
This Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, be the judge of the best window display in downtown Traverse City. Find all of the woodland creatures hidden in the store windows and you could win a $250 Downtown Gift Certificate! Then on Dec. 2, spend the day sipping complimentary hot cocoa from multiple downtown locations and cast your vote for who nailed it best.
FOR: THE NEW YEAR BALL(ER)
Welcome to the Cherry Capital of the World, where we ring in every New Year with giant glowing fruit hanging from a crane. It’s awesome. The CherryT Ball Drop (read: charity ball drop) takes place on Dec. 31 and invites the whole town to come party with a purpose. With a suggested donation of $3 or three non-perishable food items, your celebration helps local food pantries thrive through winter. Book an overnight package with a participating lodging partner and you’ll receive LED bracelets to integrate with the live DJ at the Ball Drop.
CYBER MONDAY CRAFTED WITH NORTHERN LOVE
This Cyber Monday, don’t forget to shop for small town charm with these Traverse City favorites!
- Traverse City Candle Co.: free shipping on Cyber Monday
- Cherry Republic: online $5 flat rate shipping (only excludes pies, cakes, and cheese, which require 2-day shipping), free gift boxing
- Traverse City Whiskey Co.: 25% off with code CYBERWHISKEY