Mother Nature is apparently suffering some type of memory lapse and has her seasons confused. December in northern Michigan traditionally means snow on the slopes – February is typically the coldest month of the year for the Petoskey area too. That is not the case either… Even if nature didn’t stick it out for us with natural snow, it’s been cold enough to pump out the white stuff with the incredible snowmaking capabilities of The Highlands, Boyne Mountain, and Nub’s Nob. We’re not giving up on the chance of some great skiing and boarding, but just in case, keep in mind that there’s more to the Petoskey Area than just three awesome ski resorts. Check out these fun places:
- Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark: Located at Boyne Mountain Resort, Avalanche Bay is Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark with wet and wild slides and rides. Get drenched when the Splasherhorn lets loose, catch a wave on the Rip Zone, or take on extreme vertical drops on The Big Couloir. This is 88,000 square feet of pure family fun, all in a comfortable 84 degrees. Hit the arcade at Avalanche Bay, too, for a little dry time and lots of games for all ages.
- Zipline Adventures: For the 60-pound plus crowd, there’s nothing like playing Peter Pan and flying – wheeeeee! A quick Twin Zip Ride or a full 2 ½-hour adventure – either way it’s sheer thrills at Boyne Mountain and The Highlands. The Twin Zip takes you 25 feet up while the adventure tour is double the height and triple the fun!
- Castle Farms: Stone towers and massive walls will set young minds whirling as kids imagine they’re fairy princesses and knights in shining armor. And the Christmas train display will keep the whole family smiling. Take a self-guided tour Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.
- Hiking: Pull on your hiking boots and hit the trails – they’re all around. From the Little Traverse Wheelway stretching from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs, to Avalanche Preserve in Boyne City and a myriad of Little Traverse Conservancy properties dotted throughout our towns, you’ll find trails waiting to be trekked. Explore!
- Raven Hill Discovery Center: Don’t tell the kids they may learn something; just tell them they’ll have fun! 25 minutes south of Petoskey (or a hop, skip and a jump from Boyne City), Raven Hill in East Jordan is offering extended hours during the winter break. Hands-on fun in science, art, and history with special hours.
- Catch A Movie: Choices – you’ve got ‘em at the Petoskey Cinema where six screens give you multiple choices to find something the family can agree on. Save a couple of bucks for Gobstoppers, popcorn, or Milk Duds, and take in the matinees. Want something a little different and even more small-town? Check out Harbor Springs Lyric Theatre! This version of the Lyric completed construction in summer of 2016 and is a non-profit organization. The Lyric features three uniquely themed and decorated theaters. Such a fun experience to see a movie here and you can even enjoy a small Tom’s Mom’s Cookie from Concession along with the other classics.
- Bowling: A little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Get the whole family together and bowl a game at BC Lanes in Boyne City or Northern Lights Recreation Center in Harbor Springs. Both facilities have open bowling, bumpers to give the wee ones a chance at a strike, and laser tag to keep you all hustling before or after you shoot for that 300.
- Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen Tours: Find out how the really good stuff is made at Kilwins Chocolate Kitchen in Petoskey where tours are offered Monday through Friday and end with a delicious free sample. If you’re here on the weekend, stop by Kilwins of Petoskey (downtown).
- Big Bear Adventures: What a great family experience as you and your crew take a trip down the river with Big Bear Adventures! The guided trips beginning in Indian River just north of Petoskey are 1 ½ hours long and there’s no need to worry about getting wet – the rafts don’t tip over! Dress in layers and bring a camera (with precautions as the current is unforgiving if dropped)– you may catch sight of a turkey or deer – and you’ll definitely want to capture the smiles that go along with this ride.
We understand (and share) the anticipation of hitting the slopes. Don’t let your spirits go downhill – the snow is here and all resorts are still seeing a fantastic base! See for yourself: check out these live webcams! Find a hotel, condo, or inn and plan a getaway the whole family will love.