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25 Ways to Entertain Out-of-Town Guests in Traverse City this Winter

It’s easy to plan activities in the summer, but what are the best things to do in Traverse City in the winter? When out-of-town guests come to visit it can be challenging to think of new ways to entertain them, especially in the winter. Let Traverse Traveler be your guide. We put together 25 winter activities in Traverse City for guests of all ages. With these ideas, you’re sure to get the kids outdoors, send the in-laws out of your kitchen, and keep the peace this holiday season.

Winter activities graphic
  1. Take a History Tour at The Village
    Book a tour at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons and spend 2 hours learning about the history of the buildings that once housed an asylum for the mentally insane. Explore the underground steam tunnel, go inside untouched buildings and discover how an abandoned asylum was transformed into a modern community. Try the Taste the Village tour which includes wine tasting at Left Foot Charley and beer flight at Earthen Ales. Reservations required. Online booking available here.


  2. Hit the Ice for a Twilight Skate
    Turn the music up, the lights down, and ice skate under the disco lights at a Twilight Skate at Howe Arena. Traverse City brings back the rockin’ rink to create memories for the next generation. This family-friendly winter activity is only $5/person with $3 skate rental available on-site. Evening skates on Fridays/Saturdays and extra hours during holiday vacations. Check Twilight Skate schedule here.


  3. Experience a Theater Performance
    Traverse City is home to several theaters with fabulous performances throughout the year. Check out the calendars for the City Opera House, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Old Town Playhouse to see if there’s a concert, play or music performance while your guests are in town. Pair that with a dinner out and that’s a full evening of great entertainment.


  4. Drink Beer in an Igloo
    We can’t hide the fact that it is winter, so why not embrace it? Hoplot in Suttons Bay was the first to employ igloo seating in the winter and the idea took off. It’s so popular in fact that you’ll want to book your igloo in advance! If you prefer to take your chances you’ll also find the geodesic domes at St Ambrose Cellars in Benzonia.


  5. Go Sledding on the Dune Climb
    You’ve probably taken your guests to see the Sleeping Bear Dunes in the summer. But if you want a real adventure grab some sleds and head to the Dune Climb this winter. There’s plenty of parking and one giant hill that won’t disappoint. A word of advice: if it’s windy, don’t let go of the sled. You won’t be able to run fast enough to catch it. And don’t park too close to the bottom of the hill. It’s not uncommon for sledders to end up in the parking lot! National Park Pass required.


  6. Snowshoe at a Winery
    Turn wine tasting into an active adventure. The 45 North Vineyard Trail is a 3-mile groomed recreational trail for biking, skiing or walking located at Forty-Five North Vineyard and Winery on the Leelanau Peninsula. Take your guests for a hike followed by wine and cider tasting at the winery. Check their Facebook page for trail conditions.


  7. Hike in an Art Park
    At Crystal Mountain Resort you can explore an outdoor sculpture garden known as Michigan Legacy Art Park. More than forty larger-than-life sculptures are nestled along the trail which loops through a 30-acre forest. The park is open every day year-round. Donations accepted for park access. Snowshoe rentals available through Crystal Mountain.


  8. Catch a Movie at The State or Bijou
    When the wind chill drives the kids indoors, head to the movies. Downtown Traverse City is home to two beautifully restored theaters. The State Theatre and Bijou are non-profits operated by volunteers. Which means you can buy a ticket, popcorn, and a drink for less than $20! They host a kids 25 cent matinee every Saturday at 10am, and a calendar of special events that take movie fun to a whole new level. Visit their website for showtimes.


  9. Instagram an Art Walk Downtown
    Within the Downtown district, you’ll discover outdoor art throughout the city. Why not make it an Instgrammable adventure. Pose with the statue of Perry Hannah, Traverse City’s founding father on Union Street. Make heart hands in front of the heart wall on Park Street. Witness our native heritage as you walk through the Cass street tunnel. Find your wings on East Front Street and a mosaic mural on West Front. It’s a fun way to enjoy a winter activity in downtown Traverse City.


  10. Shop for a New Winter Hat
    When you live in Michigan we need hats for skiing, headbands for hiking, hats we wear outdoors to cover our ears, and hats we wear indoors just to be stylish. So naturally, a trip to Traverse City in the winter should include hat shopping at Diversions. Check out the Michigan-made Stormy Kromer for a fashionable yet functional hat, or the Yooper Chook to cover everything but your eyeballs in polar fleece!


  11. Get Some Homework or Detention
    There’s a one-room schoolhouse on Old Mission Peninsula that made homework and detention tasteful. In fact, these wines by Peninsula Cellars are downright delicious. Stop by the century-old schoolhouse on M-37 for wine and cider tasting. You’ll find playful blends like Pop Quiz and Exchange Student, as well as estate varietals like Riesling and Pinot Noir. Take your guests to school and bring home a little class.


  12. Take the Toddlers for a Bounce
    When your guests have kids it’s nice to know there’s a place to go where it’s safe to run around and burn off some energy. The Busy Bodies Bounce Town in the Cherryland Center will pull the kids away from the screen time for some physical fun. Wristband entry means you can come and go all day, and parents play for free. Just remember to bring your socks.


  13. Eat Giant S’mores Indoors
    The Filling Station Microbrewery has something for everyone in the family, including the kids. Try the s’mores pizza for a sweet and gooey unexpected treat. Chocolate, marshmallow and a crispy crust are baked in their wood-fired oven. You’ll also find savory flatbreads, tasty salads and of course, the Filling Station’s own craft beers brewed on-site. Enjoy a meal, a drink or dessert on their new enclosed outdoor patio for a fun winter activity in Traverse City.


  14. Play Old School Arcade Games
    Who’s ready to take on the pinball king? The Coin Slot in downtown Traverse City is home to dozens of ‘80s and ‘90s classic arcade games just waiting for a new high score. From Donkey Kong and Galaga to Frogger and Centipede, there’s a blast from the past on every wall. Think arcades are just for kids? Well there’s beer in here, so don’t count on it. Pinball still takes quarters, or you can buy a package by the hour.


  15. Try to Escape at Incredible Mo’s
    Looking for things to do with teens? How about an activity that challenges their minds. At Escapology, you have one hour to try and solve the puzzles and free your team from one of three escape rooms. Book the room for two to eight players, ages 12 and up. When you’re done grab a meal at Sauce or break out the bowling shoes. Incredible Mo’s has you covered for a whole day of fun.


  16. Experience Inuit Art at The Dennos
    The Dennos Museum on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College has one of the largest collections of Inuit Art in the Nation. Exhibitions change throughout the year in the other gallery spaces in this beautiful museum. Kids of all ages will enjoy the hands-on exhibits in the Discovery Gallery where they can play a musical sound wall and laser harp, and interact with the light wall. Admission is just $6/Adults $4/children.


  17. Tour a Distillery and Warm  Up from the Inside Out
    Sip a custom cocktail from one of a dozen spirits made on-site at the Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville near Crystal Mountain. Sign up for a tour to learn how they make small-batch craft spirits like vodka, bourbon, and gin from the grains grown on this century-old farm. Then grab a seat at the bar for a Salted Maple Old Fashioned or a Manistee Mule. Tours $12/person, includes tasting for 21+.


  18. Take a Snowy Sleigh Ride
    For an up north experience your out-of-town guests will remember, take a sleigh ride through the snowy hillside. At Black Horse Farm in Empire, you’ll hear those sleigh bells jingling as a team of Percheron horses pulls the 12-person sleigh through the Leelanau woods. Visit a warming station overlooking Glen Lake for some hot cocoa and an unforgettable Michigan memory.


  19. Shop an Indoor Farmers Market
    What do Michigan farmers do when the cold wind blows the farm stand closed? They bring the harvest indoors. Every Saturday throughout the winter you can shop the indoor farmers market in the halls of The Village Mercado. Merchants set up booths with winter greens, eggs, honey, mushrooms, homemade treats, fish, milk, meats and more. Open 10am–2pm on Saturdays November–April.


  20. Test Your Golf Skills
    The greens may be under a blanket of snow, but you can still hit the virtual links at X-Golf Traverse City. Rent a simulator by the hour for up to 6 people per bay. Practice and get feedback on your skills or play a simulated round. Plan on one hour per person to play 18-holes. Simulators can be reserved for up to four hours. So when your competitive relatives come for a visit, why not challenge them to a round of golf. Plan on $35-$55/hour.


  21. Learn to Curl
    There’s a restaurant in Maple City where you can eat, drink and learn to curl. That’s right, Broomstack Kitchen & Taphouse is also home to the Leelanau Curling Club. They have a designated curling rink on-site. Bring your out-of-town guests and learn to toss the rock and sweep your way to victory. It’s a fun winter activity for kids and adults of all ages. Learn to curl classes include 45 minutes of instruction and one hour playtime. $25/person


  22. Go Snow Tubing
    With Mt Holiday on the east and Timberlee Hills to the west, we have your snow tubing winter activities covered in Traverse City. Both resorts offer warming stations, tube rental and towing to get you up the hill, so you can enjoy the ride down. Timberlee Hills is open Fri–Sun, tickets $14/hr. Mt Holiday is open Tues–Sun, tickets $11-$13/hr.


  23. Make a Kid-Friendly Tasting Tour
    Plan a day trip around town and introduce your guests to the flavors of Traverse City with your very own tasting tour. Many shops encourage you to try before you buy. Sample cherries at Cherry Republic, taste olive oils and flavored vinegars at Fustinis, try gelato flavors at Espresso Bay, and you can even sip the seven soups made fresh daily at The Soup Cup.


  24. Take a Musical Walk Through Time
    Located just north of Traverse City in Acme, the Music House Museum is filled with treasures of another era. Docent-led tours will guide you through the museum. From simple music boxes and early radios to the grand 1922 Mortier dance hall organ, you’ll see and hear our musical past come to life. The Music House is open weekends November and December, and by reservation for groups of 10+ in January–March. Tickets $15/adults, $5/kids. Special pricing available for families, veterans, AAA. Active military are FREE.


  25. Eat and Drink a Massive Mary
    The Massive Mary is an attraction all its own. This giant Bloody Mary from Boone’s Prime Time Pub in Suttons Bay is a meal in a glass. And it’s definitely Instagram-worthy. With a Buffalo chicken slider, a burger slider, onion rings, pickle chips, green olives, celery, lemon, lime and a snit of beer… your friends won’t believe you ate and drank the entire thing.


winter skier graphic

25 things to do, and one app to find them all

There you have it: 25 ways to keep your out-of-town guests busy with winter activities in Traverse City. And just to make life a little easier we put them all in one place. You’ll find all of these locations on the Traverse Traveler app, your handy guide to the Traverse Area. Be sure to share that tip with your guests too! Now get out there and enjoy the winter.

Book Signing at Center Ice with NHL Hall of Famer Mark Howe

Traverse City in September is the place to be if you’re a hockey fan!

Mark Howe BookThe NHL Prospects Tournament begins this week at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City. Today organizers announce a special one-time event. NHL Hall of Famer Mark Howe, son of Mr. Hockey himself, will be at Centre Ice Arena this Saturday September 13, 2014 from 9 am – 11 am to for a book signing.

In a last minute addition Mark will return to Centre Ice for an additional signing Friday, September 19, 2014 from 8:30am – 9:30am.

Detroit Red Wings fans will have the opportunity to meet Hall of Fame legend Mark Howe. He will be signing copies of his new autobiography Gordie Howe’s Son: A Hall of Fame Life in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey.

Only 200 copies of the book will be available, with a limit of 2 signed copies per person. No other memorabilia will be signed at this event.

 

Detroit Red Wings Training Camp

Expect a big line as NHL and Detroit Red Wings fans are beginning to find their way to Traverse City for the upcoming NHL Prospects Tournament (September 12-16th) and Detroit Red Wings Training Camp (September 19-23rd), both hosted by Centre Ice Arena. Tickets are still available for these events.

For more information on these events visit CentreIce.org

Can’t make it up for all the action? Follow along on TheLeftWingLock.com as they report the play-by-play… so to speak.

By |2019-12-19T09:40:26-05:00September 9th, 2014|Attractions, Events|0 Comments

Pirate’s Cove Raises Money for Wounded Soldiers

“Putting for Patriots” Event at Pirates Cove Adventure Park in Traverse City

 

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, in Traverse City, Michigan will host the 7th Annual “Putting for Patriots” fundraiser over Memorial Day weekend. This national event will occur simultaneously at 33 Pirate’s Cove, Pirate’s Island and Jungle Golf miniature golf courses throughout the United States.

 

Fundraising efforts began earlier in May and will culminate on Memorial Day weekend to support three charities, which serve our wounded, their families and survivors of the fallen.  These organizations include: “Hope For The Warriors”, “Homes for Our Troops” and “TAPS—Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.”  Pirate’s Cove, Jungle Golf and Pirate’s Island will donate a percentage of their total sales on Saturday May 25th & Sunday, May 26th.  Since its inception, this event has raised over $128,000.

“Memorial Day was specifically founded to remember those who died serving our nation,”
notes Brad Graft, Pirate’s Cove Partner and Regional Director.  “The Pirate’s Cove / Pirate’s Island family thought it appropriate to establish an annual event to serve charities that assist our living veterans and the survivors of fallen military members. These are men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

Pirate’s Cove and Pirate’s Island operate 33 miniature golf courses throughout the United States.  For more information, visit their Web sites at www.piratescove.com, www.piratesislandgolf.com, and www.junglegolfminigolf.com. Additional information on the above charities can be found by accessing their Web sites:  www.hopeforthewarriors.org, www.homesforourtroops.org and www.taps.org.

Cherry Stop Re-Opens as Old Mission Traders

Old Mission Traders Traverse Traveler cardAfter a month long transition, and a move next-door, the owners of the Cherry Stop have re-opened their business as Old Mission Traders.

The Cherry Stop first moved downtown in 2002 and operated as the only cherry-centric store in Downtown Traverse City. Owners Nick & Jamie Roster purchased the business in 2005 and began updating, remodling and adding new features. They expanded their product lines to include a large selection of local Michigan wines, which prompted the addition of UnCorked, an all-Michigan wine bar.

Over the last few years the Rosters brought much of the production in-house and began to produce homemade fudge, bakery items and experiment with new lines for The Cherry Stop. They added barbeque sauce, mustards and developed natural low-sugar versions of their popular jam. But they were always limited to Cherries.

Traverse City has grown as a foodie town. The Rosters realized there were so many companies they already carried that offered wonderful products beyond cherries. From nut butters to viniagrettes they wanted to do more. And the concept for Old Mission Traders was born.

After the closure of the Uncorked wine bar they had more elbow room than they needed. The opportunity to swap spaces with Momentum arose and it seemed like a perfect fit. Despite the proximity of the move, there was a lot of work to be done to make the new space suit their needs. Floors were refinished, displays were built, and a kitchen had to go in downstairs for all their homemade products.

 

Old Mission Traders Opening

Today Old Mission Traders officially opens their doors to the public, just in time for the Winter Comedy Arts Festival in downtown Traverse City. Inside you’ll find the same friendly staff, and all the products you knew and loved from The Cherry Stop. Soon there will be new products under the Old Mission Traders name including a maple viniagrette and a pear vanilla bean dessert sauce.

Old Mission Traders interiorOld Mission Traders interior

So while you’re laughing it up at the Comedy Fest this weekend stop in and say hi to our friends at Old Mission Traders at 215 E. Front Street, downtown Traverse City. You can also continue to shop online at TheCherryStop.com until the Old Mission Traders website is up and running.

Stay tuned for a grand opening soon when some of the Old Mission Traders products are bottled and ready to be unveiled.

By |2019-12-19T13:52:11-05:00February 15th, 2013|Attractions, Check This Out, Foodie, Traverse City|0 Comments

From Unemployed to Entrepreneur — Mealtickets Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Mealtickets Celebrates 10 Years

10 Miles Down the Road Less Traveled

11-1-11 is the anniversary of the day I let go of the the 8-5, steady paycheck life and slapped on a new name tag:  Entrepreneur.
I had just lost my graphic design job, after 9/11 collapsed the travel industry, taking with it our ad agency’s biggest client. So there I stood in my Robert Frost moment, facing two roads diverged. I took the road less traveled by. It lead to the start of a little card company called Mealtickets & Unusual Ideas.
Now here we are, 10 years later. Still alive, still creating, and still working to promote the Traverse Area to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who travel to northern Michigan each year.
In honor of this milestone I decided to throw a party to thank my clients and friends in the hospitality industry, without whom my little business wouldn’t have grown.
On November 1, 2011 we’ll mark that moment in time when faced with two roads I took the one less traveled by…and that has made all the difference.

 

Mealtickets 10 Year Anniversary Celebration
Date:  11-1-11  from 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Food & Wine Pairings | Giveaways | Door-prizes | Drink Specials

We’re hosting a Happy Hour reception for our clients and guests to celebrate, with fabulous door prizes, Traverse Traveler swag and a throw-back to old fashioned social networking: face to face!
Want to join us?
Rate our app on iTunes and you’ll be entered to win a special Traverse Traveler prize pack including a guest invitation to our party!

Here’s how to enter:
1. Rate the app on iTunes
2. Email Brandy at info@mealtickets.com with a copy of your review!

 

We will draw names from the emails we receive and announce the winners on Friday, October 29th!

 

This event is by invitation only, so rate the app Today!

Welcome Back, Dennos Museum Center

Dennos Museum Mealtickets cardMealtickets is Proud to Welcome Back, the Dennos Museum Center

 

 

The Dennos Museum Center, located on the campus Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, is a great local destination for cultural events. Their permanent exhibits include a renowned Inuit Art Gallery, complete with one of the largest and most historically complete collections of its kind in the United States. But what I always find inspiring are the revolving exhibits in the Museums main galleries. The Dennos is small enough to explore in an hour or two, but large enough to present some of the most well known artist’s and exhibits of our time.

Also located on site is the 400-seat Milliken Auditorium. Utilized by the community for theatrical performances and concerts, the auditorium is also home to the Dennos Concert Series. Performances here are focused on World Music —performances you won’t find at any other destination in the area.

 

Looking for info about current Dennos Museum exhibitions? Check out the EVENTS tab on the Traverse Traveler iPhone app for all the details. Download the app for FREE for iPhone and iPod Touch.

 

So next time you’re in Traverse City, stop by the Dennos Museum for a tour. They’re open daily. Until then, you can find more information, and a map to their location, on our Attractions page.

By |2019-12-26T16:03:07-05:00March 1st, 2011|Attractions, Mealtickets News, Traverse City|0 Comments

Interlochen Performing Arts Series Begins 9/30

Interlochen Center for the Arts card imageThe fall-winter season at Interlochen is just warming up

Interlochen Center for the Arts has a fabulous line-up of performances, concerts and entertainment by International artists and Interlochen students. If the summer slipped past without a trip to Interlochen, don’t let this next season disappear without attending a performance or two. Grab your planner and make a date with Interlochen.

 

 

Here’s what’s in store:

 

2010-11 Performing Arts Series
  • Sept 30:     Jason Mraz
  • Oct 7-8:     “Interlochen Arts Academy “Collage”
  • Oct 21:     Project Trio
  • Nov 4:     Benny Green, solo piano
  • Nov 8:     Ballet Hispanico
  • Nov 19-20, Dec 3-5:     “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: The Musical”
    Arts Academy Musical Theatre Co.
  • Dec 10-12:     “Sleeping Beauty”
    Interlochen Dance Company and Orchestra
  • Jan 15:     Jaleel Shaw, saxophone
    with Arts Academy Jazz Ensemble
  • Jan 22:     Joshua Roman, cello
    with Arts Academy Orchestra
  • Feb 17:     Popovich Comedy Pet Theater
  • Feb 20:     Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Apr 8:     In the Mood
  • May 13-14:     Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”
    Arts Academy Musical Theatre Co.

Schedule subject to change.

Interlochen Website: tickets.interlochen.org

Phone: 800.681.5920

By |2019-12-26T16:48:33-05:00September 20th, 2010|Art Scene, Attractions, Traverse City|0 Comments

Take a Tour of 2 Lads Winery

2 Lads Winery tour photoGo Behind the Scenes at 2 Lads Winery on a Public Tour

One of the area’s most unique wineries is now opening their production area for tours. 2 Lads Winery on Old Mission Peninsula will conduct regular public tours every Monday, Thursday and Friday at noon and 3:00pm. Booking is on a first come, first served basis and accommodates up to 10 people.

Cost is $20 per person and includes a vineyard tour (weather permitting), cellar tour and a premium wine and food pairing led by one of the 2 Lads crew in the privacy of our gallery.
 

Taking a tour of one our area wineries is a great way to expand your knowledge of wine making, and discover what makes each winery, and the wines they produce, so unique. That’s why taking a Behind the Scenes tour is one of my 50 Ways to Love Your Summer.

 

 

 

By |2019-12-30T10:08:04-05:00July 21st, 2010|Attractions, Traverse City, Wineries|0 Comments

Colanta Walker Dairy Festival at The Village

Colantha Walker Dairy Festival logoA Day of Celebration for one Fabulous, Famous Cow

 

In the 1920s the star resident of the State Hospital in Traverse City was none other than a prize heifer named Colantha. At the time, the average milk production for a dairy cow was just under 4,000 lbs. And then along came a cow named Colantha whose record production in 1926 was 22,918 lbs in one year!

She was so revered by the residents and staff that upon her death a huge party was held in her honor and a special headstone carved in her memory. Now, with a new community developing at the Village, they want to bring that celebratory spirit back in her honor.

 

The first annual Colatha Walker Dairy Festival will take place on Sunday, June 13th in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Celebrate the famous cow with fun, food and special events in her honor.

Festival Schedule
10am-Noon Pancake Breakfast
10am-3pm Farmers Market
10am-7pm Food, Art & Merch Vendors
Noon-1pm Public Parade to Colantha’s Headstone @ Barns
1pm-7pm Live Music (Sister Wilene et al)
2pm-3:30pm Great Grilled Cheese Grill-off
5pm-7pm Street Dance

There will also be Food Demonstrations, Wagon Rides, Kid’s Activities, Wine & Cheese Pairings along with Milk & Cookie Pairings for the kids, thoughout the day!

For more details, check out www.thevillagetc.com.

By |2019-12-30T10:28:06-05:00June 11th, 2010|Attractions, Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Sleeping Bear Dunes Cruise opens for season

Sleeping Bear Dunes Cruise imageSummer season begins June 1st for Frankfort boat cruise company

For those of you who’ve been waiting since last fall for a trip along the Lake Michigan shore, the wait is over. Sleeping Bear Dunes Boat Cruises is open for the season. Daily tours along the shoreline from Frankfort to the National Lakeshore in Empire began today for the cruise company in it’s second season.

 

Over the winter a new boat, “Lady Michigan,” has been under construction in Alabama. With a delay in the arrival of the new boat, the Upper Peninsula company sent another beautiful ship, “Pictured Rocks” to start off the season.

 

For the early part of June the daily schedule includes one trip at 11am. The beautiful sunset cruises will be added to the schedule on June 18th.

 

If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy the Dunes this year I hope you’ll check out Sleeping Bear Dunes Boat Cruise. For a map to their location in Frankfort view their listing on our Attractions page. To reserve your spot on one of their daily sails call 888.469.4696. Visit their website at www.sleepingbeardunescruise.com for more schedule information and pricing details.

Photo by Jay Burt, Walk Softly Photos.

By |2019-12-30T10:35:13-05:00June 1st, 2010|Attractions, Benzie|0 Comments

Pirate’s Cove Raises Money for Wounded Soldiers

Putting For Patriots graphic“Putting for Patriots” Event at Pirates Cove

 

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, in Traverse City, Michigan will host the Fourth Annual “Putting for Patriots” fundraiser from Saturday, May 15 through Monday, May 31.  This national event will occur simultaneously at 36 Pirate’s Cove, Pirate’s Island and Jungle Golf miniature golf courses throughout the United States.

 

This May event will culminate on Memorial Day weekend and support three charities, which serve our wounded, their families and survivors of the fallen.  These organizations include: “Hope For The Warriors”, “Homes for Our Troops” and “TAPS—Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.”  Pirate’s Cove, Jungle Golf and Pirate’s Island will donate a percentage of their total sales on Sunday, May 30.  In addition, from May 14 through May 31, each golf course will accept donations to be turned over to the three charities.  Since its inception, this event has raised over $57,000.

“Memorial Day was specifically founded to remember those who died serving our nation,” notes Brad Graft, Pirate’s Cove Partner and Regional Director.  “The Pirate’s Cove / Pirate’s Island family thought it appropriate to establish an annual event to serve charities that assist our living veterans and the survivors of fallen military members.  These are men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.”

Pirate’s Cove and Pirate’s Island operate 36 miniature golf courses throughout the United States.  For more information, visit their Web sites at www.piratescove.com, www.piratesislandgolf.com, and www.junglegolfminigolf.com . Additional information on the above charities can be found by accessing their Web sites:  www.hopeforthewarriors.org, www.homesforourtroops.org and www.taps.org.

By |2019-12-30T10:43:54-05:00May 20th, 2010|Attractions, Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Wonderful World of Michigan Wine, Beer and Spirits

The beverage business is booming in Michigan. And everyone from visitors to lodging personnel to locals wants to keep up with what’s new in the world of wine, beer and spirits in Northern Michigan. So here are some highlights from our customers in the industry.

 

Right Brain Brewery mealtickets cardRight Brain Brewery

90 lbs of asparagus were grilled and turned into what has become a springtime favorite at RBB: Empire Spear Beer. Don’t worry if you missed it at the Empire Asparagus Festival, it’s on tap at the brewery. And for all the gluten-free customers out there it’s time to send up a cheer for the first ever gluten-free beer at RBB. “Katy Bar the Door” is an ode to the Red Wings #1 gluten allergy advocate, Mickey Redman. It’s made with roasted chestnuts, local honey, and 100% local hops.

 

Black Star Farms Mealtickets cardBlack Star Farms

Just fresh from bottling is the ’09 Riesling at Black Star Farms. The winemakers notes will tell you, “This wine presents classic Riesling aromas of delicate white flowers and stone fruit. Ripe flavors of citrus, peach and apple follow on the palate. It is a lovely off-dry medium bodied white wine.” And if you’re looking for a great date night or fun place to meet up with friends, why not check out the Matterhorn Grill at Tastes of Black Star Farms inside the Mercado at The Village. Sit around a miniature grill dining on melted Raclette, meats and veggies will sipping something tasty. Yum.

 

Bel Lago Mealtickets cardBel Lago Vineyard & Winery

Bel Lago Winery’s 2007 Semi-Dry Riesling has been judged BEST WHITE WINE at the 2010 Pacific
Rim International Wine Competition, held in San Bernardino, CA.  Bel Lago 2007 Semi-Dry Riesling won a Gold Medal and the Best of Class award for Off-Dry Riesling, and then competed against all the other Best of Class White Wine varietal winners, and was judged Best White Wine overall. Stop by their tasting room across from beautiful Lake Leelanau and taste for yourself. Congratulations Bel Lago.

 

Left Foot Charley Mealtickets cardLeft Foot Charley

Despite a challenging ’09 growing season Bryan has pulled together an interesting vintage from their fruits of last year. The ’09 Pinot Blanc is from Island View Vineyard on Old Mission Peninsula. In his own words, “Island View came through again in the tough ’09 vintage. We made the crew sort the grapes into golden and green clusters then the two lots were pressed and fermented individually and carefully blended back together to form this complex bright dry wine. Great apple notes with a striking citrus finish. Very limited production – you snooze you lose.” Also check out their Sparking Hard Apple Cider and The Cobbler; a double fermented cider with a cinnamon flavor. Try it served ala mode with Moomers ice cream on the side.

2 Lads Winery Mealtickets card2 Lads Winery

Bring on the bubbly. Two Lads is ready to release their 2002 vintage bubbly. “The 2002 Dry Sparkling Wine has been in the cellar doing extended aging en tirage (on the lees). This June will be the last time you will be able to purchase and enjoy this rare and spectacular gem. A non-traditional blend exhibiting an exotic, vibrant bouquet and a seductive mouth feel. When released, this wine will have seen seven years en tirage and is exemplary of Northern Michigan’s potential to be the United States’ preeminent sparkling wine region.” With less than 500 bottles left in the cage there’s no time to waste in making a trip up to 2 Lads for a bottle.

 

Peninsula Cellars Mealtickets cardPeninsula Cellars

In case you missed it, Peninsula Cellars was among several local wineries who made the B-list according to a recent article in Food & Wine magazine. The article certainly reinforced the fact that you can’t judge a winery by it’s apparent size or location on a map. And it highlighted one of my family’s favorite easy-drinking reds; Detention. Speaking of easy-drinking, don’t leave this little schoolhouse without a bottle of Homework, their Pinot Noir Rose.

 

Grand Traverse Distillery Mealtickets cardGrand Traverse Distillery

If you haven’t been out to visit the George and Kent now’s the time. At their production facility they’ve expanded the tasting room area to accommodate all the new visitors we’re sending their way. You’ll also find some new spirits that will hopefully raise yours. Check out Ole George Whiskey, 100% Rye whiskey now available in the tasting room. I also discoverd a limited bottling of Chocolate Vodka. Sounds like cocktail hour is going to get crazy this summer at Grand Traverse Distillery.

Uncorked Wine Bar Mealtickets cardUncorked Wine Bar

If you’ve stepped inside the Cherry Stop lately you can’t miss what’s going on with Uncorked. In order to create two separate spaces for visitors to enjoy they are remodeling and moving the wine bar up front. When they’re finished with the upgrade customers there to visit Uncorked will come in a separate entrance that leads straight to the bar, located under a pergola inside the building. The seating and beautiful Grand Traverse Bay views are still in the back. And plans for another Meet the Winemaker event in June are in the works. So stop in for a sample or pick up a bottle of your favorite local wine while you’re shopping downtown Traverse City.

 

 

Upcoming Festival and Events

One of the best ways to enjoy summer in Michigan is spending an afternoon at a Wine Festival, or Beer Festival or a combination thereof. So here’s a list of some of the upcoming festivals in Northern Michigan and throughout the state.

May 21-22  |  World Expo of Beer, Frankenmuth, Michigan

May 29  |  Michigan Beer & Brat Festival, Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Michigan

 

June 12  |  Leland Wine & Food Festival, Leland, Michigan

June 26-27  |  Michigan Wine & Brew Festival, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan

 

July 23-24  |  Michigan Summer Beer Festival, Ypsilanti, Michigan

 

August 6  |  Old Mission Peninsula Wine & Food Celebration, Bowers Harbor Park on Old Mission, Traverse City, Michigan

August 14  |  Leelanau Peninsula Wine & Food Festival, Northport, Michigan

August 21  |  Traverse City Wine & Food Festival, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City, Michigan

August 27-28  |  Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City, Michigan

By |2019-12-30T10:47:16-05:00May 20th, 2010|Attractions, Leelanau, Traverse City, Wineries|1 Comment

Interlochen 2010 Summer Arts Festival Line-up

Interlochen Arts Festival Mealtickets cardDo You Have Your Ticket to Summer Entertainment Fun Yet?

 

Hot off the presses, and in Mealtickets displays this week, are the new cards for the Interlochen Summer Arts Festival. You’ve probably already seen their large program, but you can’t beat the convenience of our little cards. They’re a perfect pocket-sized schedule of Interlochen’s concert lineup.

Pick up an Interlochen card today at area hotels other display locations. And order your tickets to one of the Traverse area’s oldest and most creative arts institutions. Order tickets online at www.tickets.interlochen.org

 

2010 Summer Arts Festival

  • June 14:    Sheryl Crow w/Colbie Caillat
  • June 26:    The Moody Blues
  • June 30:    Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer
  • July 1-4:    Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • July 3:    The Capitol Steps
  • July 4:    World Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • July 8-11:    Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
  • July 8:    Taj Mahal w/Shemekia Copeland
  • July 9:    Playhouse Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul
  • July 11:    WYSO w/David Shifrin
  • July 13:    Interlochen “Collage”
  • July 14:    POST Comedy Theater
  • July 17:    Punch Brothers w/Loudon Wainwright III
  • July 18:    JoAnn Falletta conducts WYSO
  • July 21:    Peter & Paul: A Tribute to Mary & 50 Years of Music & Friendship
  • July 22:    The Oak Ridge Boys
  • July 23:    Paul Taylor Dance Company
  • July 24:    Leanne Morgan, comedienne
  • July 25:    WYSO w/Philippe Quint
  • July 26:    Parker String Quartet
  • July 27:    Cloud Cult
  • Aug 1:    Erik Nielsen conducts WYSO
  • Aug 5- 8:    “Aida”
  • Aug 9:    Lyle Lovett
  • Aug 10:    Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home
  • Companion
  • Aug 13:    David Sanborn
  • Aug 16, 18 & 21:  Enso String Quartet
  • Aug 19:    Foreigner
  • Aug 20:    Josh Turner
  • Aug 24:     Brandi Carlile
  • Aug 26-28:      Interlochen Guitar Festival

Uncorked Wine Bar, Mealtickets Latest Addition

Uncorked Wine Bar Mealtickets cardLove Michigan Wines, Then You’ll Love Uncorked!

 

Did you know that Downtown Traverse City has a wine bar dedicated to promoting Michigan wine, beer and spirits? Uncorked, a Northern Michigan Wine Bar is located on Front Street and you may not have known it was there. That’s because it’s inside The Cherry Stop. And it’s home to an amazing opportunity for you to unwind, unplug and sip on some fabulous cocktails.

 

There is no where else in Traverse City you can step up to the bar and order a flight of riesling for a side-by-side taste test, and be able to walk out the door with a bottle of your favorite label. Whether you want to order a wine sample, sip on a Michigan microbrew draft, or savor a cocktail made from local spirits, the options are endless at Uncorked.

The Cherry Stop has been with Mealtickets from the day we opened for business. And we’re very excited to welcome another great idea from Nick and Jamie Roster into Mealtickets service. Stop in for a glass, sign up for one of their Meet the Winemaker events or enjoy happy hour. And tell them we said hello!

TC North Stars Compete for Hockey Title April 16-17

Traverse City North Stars graphicCheer on the North Stars and Help Father Fred Foundation

 

The Traverse City North Stars will compete this weekend for the NAHL North Division Finals at Centre Ice Arena in a two-game match-up against the Motor City Metal Jackets.

 

Game 1: Friday April 16th at 7pm

Bring a canned food item to help the Father Fred Foundation and get $2 off adult or $1 off a student ticket. OR pay full price and the team will pay $2/$1 to the Father Fred food pantry.

Game 2:  Saturday April 17th at 7pm

 

For more information or tickets call 231.941.9200 or visit their website at www.traversecitynorthstars.com

By |2019-12-30T11:07:44-05:00April 16th, 2010|Attractions, Check This Out, Traverse City|0 Comments

Welcome Gallery Fifty

Gallery Fifty Mealtickets cardMealtickets Introduces Gallery Fifty to Traverse City Visitors

 

They started in a hallway at Building 50 in the Grand Traverse Commons, and have expanded to two beautiful art galleries in the heart of Traverse City. And now Gallery Fifty is one of the latest additions to the Mealtickets family of advertisers.

 

The art scene in thriving in Northern Michigan. So it’s no surprise that we have hundreds of local artisits and galleries to showcase their work. Gallery Fifty has managed to create two different collections — in two very unique locations — that represent not only local art but art from all fifty states. The original Gallery 50, housed in a 125 year old insane asylum, is fun, funky and eclectic. The new downtown location, formerly Belstone Gallery, rests along the Boardman river and could be described as contemporary and refined.

Both galleries carry the well-known Fordite jewelry by artist James Blanchard. These are one-of-a-kind pieces created from layers of automotive paint recycled from an old Ford plant in southern Michigan.

 

Each space is unique, as are the works of art you’ll find there. Stop in, say hi to Chrisitie and enjoy the beauty captured by artists from across the country. You can find more information, and a map to each of Gallery Fifty’s locations, on our Attractions page. Visit them online at www.galleryfifty.com.

Welcome Grand Traverse Distillery

Grand Traverse Distillery mealtickets cardLocal Distillery Opens their Doors to Visitors

 

You’ve probably heard of the award-winning True North Vodka, made right here in Traverse City. But did you know their production facility is open for tours? Mealtickets is proud to welcome Grand Traverse Distillery into our little card family. We’re here to let you know what they have in store for area visitors interested in learning about the vodka making process.

Tucked away in the Meadowlands Industrial Park on 3 mile road near Hammond is their production facility. Stop in for a tour and tasting on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Otherwise you’ll find them working hard to produce fantastic vodka, whiskey and custom blends for customers around the globe.

 

For a map to their location visit our Attractions page and look for Grand Traverse Distillery. And for more details on their products, visit their website at www.grandtraversedistillery.com.

By |2019-12-30T11:19:14-05:00March 19th, 2010|Attractions, Mealtickets News, Traverse City|0 Comments

Great Indoor Folk Festival in The Village 2/13

The 2nd Annual Great Indoor Folk Festival

Saturday, February 13th from 12pm – 5pm
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons

The all-folk, all-acoustic festival aims to be bigger and better this year, expanding down another hallway at the southern end of the Mercato and also establishing a new stage at Left Foot Charley. As with last year’s event, there will be a band stage, a duo stage, children’s stage and solo stage, as well as an open mic at Cuppa Joe. Family friendly and free admission…fun for all!

 

While you’re at the Commons, stop by Left Foot Charley for their H’arts and Arts for All fundraiser

NM3, RedHot Marketing and Left Foot Charley are sponsoring a special event for VSA (Very Special Arts of Grand Traverse County.) $50 Ticket includes a Silent Auction, Music, Wine & Food. Proceeds to benefit VSA.

For more information contact Left Foot Charley at 231.995.0500.

Winter Wonderfest Returns to Traverse City

winter wonderfest graphic

 

 

 

A Frosty Weekend of Family Fun comes to the Cherry Capital February 12-14th

The 2010 Cherry Capital Winter Wonderfest is upon us, bringing fun to our frozen city. And this year it’s bigger and better than ever. New events like the Traverse City Microbrew and Music Festival, the “snowball” softball tournament and the Winter Wine Wonderland, will all add the excitement of this growing festival.

This year, there’s something here for everyone; man, woman, child, even dogs! In fact, you can bring your furry friend downtown for the first annual Monster Dog Pull where pooches of all shapes and sizes can test their strength with a weighted sled.

If you’re looking to join the festivities you’ll need to know where to go. Events are schedules across Traverse City, but are primariliy located in three areas: Downtown Traverse City, The Grand Traverse Resort & Spa and Mt. Holiday ski resort.

 

For details on all the events, check out the Cherry Capital Winter Wonderfest website at www.winterwonderfest.org.

Downtown TC Chili Cook-Off 1/16

Chili Cook-Off to Heat Up Downtown Traverse City

 

Warm up your winter at the 16th Annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off on January 16. Participants can sample the mild to the wild as the area’s top restaurants vie for awards in various categories.  Northern Michigan’s ultimate chili challenge takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Park Place Dome in Downtown Traverse City.

Area restaurants will be cooking up their special recipes as they compete in eight different categories – 1, 2 and 3-alarm, white, vegetarian, no bean, seafood and ethnic as well as the coveted “people’s choice” award.  The event will also be feature two organic chilies!

Chili lovers can choose a sampler of eight chilies for $8 or single bowls of their favorites for $4.  Pepsi products will also be available.  All proceeds from the event help support such Downtown community activities as Friday Night Live, the Halloween walk, the Downtown Art Walk, holiday activities and many other free downtown events throughout the year.

In an effort to reduce waste at community events, in 2009 the DTCA made an investment into trays for the Downtown Chili Cook-Off, eliminating cardboard pizza boxes. Previously, over 1,100 pizza boxes were disposed of and recycled when possible at the event. The plastic trays make for very little waste to be created at such a large event. All plastic bottles and soda cans are also recycled.

 

Here’s a peek at who will be competing:

Blue Tractor Cook Shop                                Oryana
Catch Island Grill                                           Red Ginger
Cherry Republic                                             Scalawags
Freshwater Lodge                                         Schelde’s Grille & Spirits
Lil Bo Pub & Grille                                         Serenity Tea Bar & Cafe
Minervas                                                        Slabtown Burgers & Cafe
Mt. Holiday                                                    Travino Wine & Grille
Omelette Shoppe

Morsels Bite Sized Bakery & Gourmet Coffee will be serving cornbread morsels to compliment the competing chilies.

The Annual Chili Cook-off is hosted by the over 200 merchants, restaurants and businesses who are members of the Downtown Traverse City Association.  For more information or to volunteer, call the DTCA office at (231) 922-2050 or email colleen@downtowntc.com.

By |2019-12-30T11:44:22-05:00January 12th, 2010|Attractions, Events, Restaurants, Traverse City|0 Comments