Winter is a time of celebration! It’s jam-packed with holidays and opportunities to spend time with family and friends. Here in the Petoskey area, we love to wind down the busy holiday season with perhaps the most joyous occasion of all: New Year’s Eve.

What’s not to love about New Year’s? You get to outfit yourself with shiny top hats, fancy outfits, party horns, poppers, cowbells, clappers, and champagne, all to drive away bad luck and ring in a fresh new start. And whether you’re planning to party all night or be in bed with a bowl of black-eyed peas by 8:00 p.m., the Petoskey area has an abundance of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

How about some fun for the whole family? Crooked Tree Arts Center, along with the Petoskey District Library, is holding its annual New Year’s Eve bash from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday. Inside Crooked Tree, you’ll find magic shows, acrobats, dance and pottery workshops, live music, refreshments, and more. At the Petoskey Library, enjoy live music, an origami craft table, video games, and a fun photo booth. Outside, roast s’mores over a fire, play games, take part in a chili cook-off, and dance the night away with friends and family. Events at Crooked Tree are ticketed at $10 for adults and $5 for kids over two, while library events are free. It’s going to be a great evening of family fun, and we’re not just saying that because the Visitor’s Bureau is one of the event sponsors.

Live music at Pond Hill Farm’s Waterwheel Stage this winter is a real treat. Photo courtesy of Marci Spencer.

Or perhaps you’d like to spend an evening at Pond Hill Farm with Dr. Goodhart’s Home Remedy, one of the original Blissfest house bands? The quartet will play their unique style of roots and folk music between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the farm. Relax and enjoy the music while you nosh on pizza and refresh yourself with beverages ranging from hot cocoa (not just for kids) to a variety of beers, wines, and ciders. Arrive early so you can hike, bike or snowshoe on the idyllic farm trail system.

The annual New Year’s Torchlight Parade is a festival of lights at Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs. Photo courtesy of Nub’s Nob.

For New Year’s in Harbor Springs, a parade’s the thing. Visit Nub’s Nob with the whole family for the annual Torchlight Parade. Instructors will make torch-lit runs down a few ski hills at this free event, held at 5:30 p.m. for the kids who just can’t make it to midnight. The Highlands at Harbor Springs is ringing in the New Year with their own Torchlight Parade and fireworks around 9:30 p.m. You can stop by for a Moonlight Dinner or stay and ring in the New Year with a Family Party starting at 9:00 p.m.

What if you’re south of Harbor? Boyne Mountain has you covered, with afternoon cocoa and treats, a family movie night, a New Year’s Eve buffet, a Torchlight parade and fireworks around 9:30 p.m., and your choice of parties starting at 10:00 p.m. The Vienna Ballroom will be holding a night of dancing, games, and sparkling grape juice for some family New Year’s fun.

For more adult adventures, consider the New Year’s Eve party at Gypsy Distillery. Enjoy music by DJ Parker, a welcome cocktail, a photo booth to capture NYE memories, and a midnight balloon drop. They’re offering free shuttle rides between High Five Spirits and Gypsy Distillery for safe, worry-free travels. You’ll need a ticket for the event, so make sure to grab one before they’re sold out.

In Victories Sports & Entertainment at the Odawa Casino, you can join DJ Snozzberry for a New Year’s night of music and dancing. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., and the festivities start at 9:00 p.m. Check their promotions page or their New Year’s Eve event listing on the Petoskey Area website for a full schedule of events.

Some other great places to celebrate the New Year in the area?

Oh, and you’ll need some fuel for your New Year’s revelry. We’ve got an extensive list of Petoskey area restaurants for you to peruse. Or perhaps you’re into a Sunday brunch? No matter what, we’ve got victuals to keep you going well into the midnight hours.

We look forward to seeing you out and about as you say goodbye to the old year. Happy New Year from the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau!


About the Author: Jen DeMoss is a newcomer to the Petoskey area and loves northern Michigan. You can catch her paddling a canoe, hiking a trail, or swimming in Lake Michigan as often as the weather cooperates. She’d love to help you make the most of your time in this paradise she now calls home.