Michigan Up North skiing in Harbor Springs and Boyne Falls is something unrivaled, but what about all the other fun things to do? For your avid après skier, Petoskey Area has an endless number of fun things to do off the slopes too. Take your pick – there are so many fun things to do; whether you’re looking to get out in the snow or enjoy a nice warm fire. We have the best parts of winter right here in Michigan, especially in the North!
Skiing and Snowboarding – Harbor Springs & Boyne Falls
The most popular reason for visitors to flock to this area is for our skiing and riding in the winter months. I can’t lie, it lives up to the hype! Not just heading down ski runs but the whole experience of spending the day at an area ski lodge. From warming up in the lodge and sipping some cocoa to getting a keepsake from the store before you leave – it all adds to a wonderful memory each and every time you visit. For ski conditions at one of our area resorts use these links: Nubs Nob, The Highlands at Harbor Springs, Boyne Mountain, or for a live view of the resorts click here.
Winter Tubing – Harbor Springs & Boyne Falls
Available at both local Boyne Resort properties (The Highlands and Boyne Mountain), winter tubing is so much fun! It’s like sledding but without the effort of making the hike to the top of the hill or tubing course in this case. It is very necessary to dress weather appropriate: snow pants, hat, gloves, winter boots, all of it. With the right gear, you will have a lot more fun too!
There are many spots big and small in the Petoskey Area to do some ice skating. This is a great addition to a winter day – indoor and outdoor options are available. Outdoors you can ice skate at Harbor Springs Skate Park – rent skates for a small fee, Avalanche Mountain in Boyne City, and at the Winter Sports Park in Petoskey. Indoors Petoskey Ice Arena has open skate times if you check their Facebook – also a Santa Skate will take place on December 17th.
If you are a fan of hiking in spring, summer, and fall I am hopeful you can find joy in cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Doing one of these is a great way to get back out on the trails you love in the winter. Some of my favorite winter trails are those connected to the North Country Trail and Avalanche Mountain in Boyne City. Avalanche Mountain in Boyne City has spectacular views of Lake Charlevoix from its overlook at the top of the hill. It is worth the climb but would say it is a bit steeper. Another
great way to enjoy winter but without having to worry about finding equipment is to check out the Enchanted Trail at The Highlands at Harbor Springs.
Surprisingly there is more than one location to choose from to experience rafting in the winter in northern Michigan. Both Jordan Valley Outfitters in East Jordan and Big Bear Adventures in Indian River offer this unique experience! Just as I have stated before, wearing the proper winter gear will make or break your winter experience. Going out with an experienced professional is also key to having a memorable experience.
Winter Indoor Ideas
Visit Local Breweries and Wineries
Beer and wine enthusiasts – and casual appreciators – are lucky to be able to sip in the Petoskey region year-round. Check out our app for the “Tours” feature to see our Brew Tour, Spirits Trail, and Wine Tour highlights for the area! Try out Rudbeckia Winery and Burnt Marshmallow Brewstillery they both reside at the same location just outside of Petoskey and it is an intimate venue with “igloos” outdoors for more seating. Resort Pike Cidery and Winery is also a really fun one that I tried recently – they let you mix and match your flight of five tastes between their cider and wine. So many choices (not listed online)! One unique cider option that I tried was “Hot Girl Cider”. This is rightfully named as it has a spicy habanero after-taste. Looking to hitch a ride to visit multiple wineries? Check out Northern Michigan Wine & Beer Tours or Vine Ride.
There are a couple of places you can have one-of-a-kind dining experiences in the area. The first is the Aonach Mor Moonlight Dinners with The Highlands at Harbor Springs. During this experience, you can expect to take a sleigh ride from the Main Lobby to North Peak, a seasonal dining offering at The Highlands with views of the Mackinac Bridge. You are welcomed by a bonfire amid the cold temperatures and then at dinner, which is candle-lit, you will enjoy a delicious three-course meal. Check their dates that go through February.
Another great experience coming up in January is Pond Hill Farm’s Farm to Table Dinner experience. Limited availability on this one but is sure to be an unforgettable experience with the ingredients that are sourced right there on the farm.
Boyne Mountain hosts an Indoor Waterpark called Avalanche Bay. Yes, this is something for the kids more so – but I will say it is fun for young adults too! This is also an amazing way to warm up if you are feeling those winter blues, which we all do from time to time. They keep Avalanche Bay between 84- and 87-degrees Fahrenheit. They have many attractions within the park leaving something for everyone – even a lazy river and a ‘Glacier Hot Springs’ hot tub area.
So many other things you can do indoors in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Alanson, and Boyne City this winter! Check out our website for things like: “Know Way Out” Petoskey’s Escape Room, Northern Lights Recreation for bowling or laser tag, BC Lanes of Boyne City for bowling.
About the author
Ellen Auten is a native of the area and loves to promote the next fun thing to do in the Petoskey Area – but also loves giving out local favorites and learning opportunities for all. She hopes to help in your planning process for your next trip to the Petoskey Area of northern Lower Michigan.
**Please note an update on December 12th, 2022: Walloon Village announced they will not be having their village ice skating rink this year due to upcoming park renovations.