Unique gifts can be found in the Petoskey AreaAs Christmas time approaches, many are caught up in needing to find the “perfect present”.  While we happily and emphatically acknowledge that unique delights can be discovered in the shops and boutiques in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City, we have some other thoughts on gift giving as well.

How about the gift of time?  No, we don’t mean to run out and buy a Rolex or grandfather clock.  And unfortunately there’s nowhere to purchase gift cards good for “two additional hours in the week of your choice”.  But maybe the very act of spending time with those you care about would add to the spirit of Christmas?

Here’s some thoughts on where and how the Petoskey Area could be the venue for this year’s holiday gift exchange:

Big Bear Adventures offers winter rafting*Experience the peace found while winter rafting

*Play a board game together while enjoying a craft beer or bottled soda at Beard’s Brewery in Petoskey

*Grab a sled and head for the hills of Avalanche Mountain Preserve in Boyne City, the Petoskey Winter Sports Park or Kiwanis Park in Harbor Springs

Boyne-Highlands-300x200*Can you ski?  Why not learn with someone at Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain or Nub’s Nob

*Take in a concert at Red Sky Stage, the Crooked Tree Arts Center or Freshwater Gallery & Concert Venue

*Breakfast, lunch or dinner at a favorite restaurant makes a terrific gift – especially if you enjoy it with them

*Put yourself in this picture:  outdoor ice rink, smiling faces, a light snowfall and some graceful twirls at Boyne City’s Avalanche Mountain Preserve, the Petoskey Winter Sports Park, the Sk8 Park in Harbor Springs or the rink on Walloon Lake next to Barrel Back Restaurant

*It will soon be “lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you” – available at Stafford’s Bay View Inn and the Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant in Bay View, Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls and Boyne Highlands and Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs

*Visit Between the Covers in Harbor Springs, McLean and Eakin or Horizon Books in Petoskey, or Boyne City’s Local Flavor book stores to find just the right story to read to each other

*Change your shoes and bowl a game at BC Lanes or Northern Lights Recreation Center

*Participate in a cooking class with your favorite Julia Child at Fustini’s in Petoskey

*Get in some practice for next year’s golf season at Shot Maker’s Golf Center in Alanson

*For the wine lover on your list, a tour of the Bay View Wine Trail could be a wonderful day

Miles of trails to explore*Naturalist on your list?  Download the app and wonder as you wander the many Little Traverse Conservancy properties or other trails available throughout the region

Hot-chocolate-224x300*Maybe a long chat over a flavored coffee, tea or other yummy, warm drink (paired with a pastry?) at the wide variety of coffee shops or bakeries in the regionHot chocolate

*Spend the day splashing at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Petoskey or Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge in Alanson (both sell pool passes) or the Harbor Springs Community Pool

If you can’t get over the river and through the woods to the Petoskey Area just yet, spend some time together planning your next getaway here.  Visit PetoskeyArea.com and choose your lodging, select a restaurant or two and set up your itinerary for later in the year.  Remember, anticipation in itself is gift!