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10 Can’t-Miss Northern Michigan Holiday Activities for You and Your Family in 2020

As you finalize your plans for the remainder of 2020, you may be looking at your calendar and missing some of the fun holiday activities you’ve had a chance to do in years past. COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we plan to celebrate this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share in the same holiday cheer. 

We’ve put together a list of the top 10 holiday activities in and around Northern Michigan that you can safely participate in, either virtually or in-person.



Light Up The Night (Bellaire, MI)

Date: Now – December 29th, 2020  |  Cost: FREE

The Bellaire Chamber of Commerce puts on a fantastic holiday series of events every year that includes a soup cook-off, parade, and lots of other great activities. 

In light of everything that’s happening in 2020, the face-to-face activities aren’t happening, but the festival of lights is still on! Downtown Bellaire businesses are encouraged to light up their business in the most festive decorations they have. Judges will pick a winner at the end of December. Surrounding neighborhoods are encouraged to participate too; come take a drive through beautiful Bellaire and be transported to a winter wonderland of lights! 

Light Up the Night is going on now through December 29th, 2020; it is free to attend. For more information, visit the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce website



HollyPOP Reimagined (Leland, MI)

Date: Now – January 1st, 2021  |   Cost: FREE

We absolutely love perusing the holiday art market at the Leland Old Art Building every holiday season. Unfortunately, there’s no market this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come out and get a solid dose of holiday cheer. 

In lieu of a market, the Old Art Building is going all-out on a strollable festival of lights on their grounds. Specially decorated trees, elaborate light displays, and a dynamite 12 Days of Christmas display make this something you don’t want to miss. 

This event is happening in Downtown Leland at the Old Art Building now until January 1st, 2021. For more information, check out the information page here



The Nutcracker Reimagined (Virtual Event)

Date: December 19th, 2020 – January 30th, 2021   |   Cost: $25

Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is one of the most iconic Christmas stories in the world. Many of us have loved seeing productions of this classic at Interlochen Arts Academy or maybe at The Traverse City Opera House downtown, but with live performances postponed until next year, how are you going to get your fix?

How about with a re-telling of this classic tale with a super-fun local twist? Presented by Crooked Tree Arts Center, this beloved story starts with Clara, not battling a Mouse King, but exploring downtown Petoskey with her family. 

Available on demand from December 19th until January 30th, this is a fun story that everyone in your family will enjoy. Get access by visiting the Crooked Tree Arts Center.



TC Central High School Choral-Aires Christmas Concert (Virtual Event)

Date: December 20th, 2020, 6:30pm – 8:30pm   |   Cost: FREE

Those of you who’ve had a chance to hear the TCC Choral-Aires in action know that this group has had a history of incredible music through the years. Whether you were sitting in the pews of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, attending a Madrigal Dinner, or listening to them on stage in the high school auditorium, this group is one you’ll never forget. 

Come along with the Traverse Area District Library as we relive some of this fine group’s greatest performances through the years with a one-time exclusive streaming event. Due to copyright laws, this event is only happening once and isn’t available afterward on demand, so make sure you tune in on December 20th, 2020 at 630p. 



History and Folklore of Santa (Virtual Event)

Date: December 22nd, 2020, 6:30pm – 8pm   |   Cost: FREE

Many people know that the modern-day Santa had his start as St. Nicholas, but what happened along the way that turned him into a pious Christian Bishop to a jolly old elf that squeezes down the chimney? This fun and informative virtual event aims to give you plenty of trivia to wow your co-workers with at your next holiday party. 

This is a free virtual event, but registration is required. Check out the event page to get signed up for this fun conversation, happening December 22nd, 2020 at 6:30pm.  



Countdown to Noon! (Virtual Event)

Date: December 31st, 2020, 10am – 12pm   |   Cost: FREE

Don’t get us wrong, we’re looking forward to celebrating the start of a new year as much as everyone else (let’s be honest, it is more about ENDING 2020 at this point), but if you’ve got little children in your house, staying up until midnight just isn’t an option. 

If you want a way to celebrate and still keep everyone on their sleep schedule, make sure to check out The Great Lakes Children’s Museum’s Countdown to Noon! event, happening on December 31st, 2020. This event is free, but if you’d like to get copies of the Celebration Kit, or the Big Craft kit (so you can do the activities along with the group during the event), those can be purchased separately. 

Visit the event website here to get more information, reserve your tickets, and purchase your celebration kits!




Family Torchlight Parade (Crystal Mountain)

Date: December 31st, 2020, 9:15pm – 9:40pm   |   Cost: FREE (for anyone with a valid lift ticket)

If you plan on hitting the slopes at all during your holiday break, definitely check out Crystal Mountain on New Year’s Eve. Not only do they have a ton of socially distanced options for fun that evening, but they are also doing a special Torchlight Parade down the ski mountain; certainly a sight to behold.

Anyone 18+ can carry a torch, skiers and snowboarders ages 6-17 will have the option to carry a glowlight down the run. The Buck chairlift will be accessible for parade participants during this time, but don’t be late! The last lift load will take off at 940p sharp. 

For more information about this event and the other fun things Crystal Mountain has planned (including some fireworks!), check out their events page here.




Cherry TBall Drop (Virtual Event)

Date: December 31st, 2020   |   Cost: FREE

Times Square has their ball, in TC we have cherries! Even though we won’t be packing Front Street to count down in person with one another this year, you can still enjoy this local tradition, this time from the comfort of your living room and with your pajamas on instead. 

But, just because you’ll be more comfortable doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, ahem, make yourself comfortable. Make sure to grab your special edition bottle of Mawby Ball Drop Bubbly to toast to the start of a new year.

For more info about the virtual event, check out the website here




Frozen Rabbit 5k Run / Walk (Traverse City)

Date: January 1st, 2021, 9am – 1pm   |   Cost: $5 – $10

If you’re like us, you’re ready to put 2020 behind you, which means a fresh start in 2021. What better way to get your new year’s resolutions off on the right foot than with a socially distanced 5k run to support a fantastic local non-profit? 

Norte, a local youth advocacy group specializing in biking, staying healthy, and supporting our kids is partnering with Running Fit to bring us the third annual Northern Michigan Frozen Rabbit 5k Run / Walk.  

This event will start and end at the Norte Wheelhouse at the Civic Center in Traverse City. There are lots of safety protocols in place to make sure this is a socially distanced, safe way to get your year off to a great start. 

For more information, check out the event website here



COVID-19 Wreath Collection (Elk Rapids)

Date: Now – January 30th 2021   |   Cost: FREE

Looking for a way to contribute to a community art project? Maybe you’re just ready for the holiday decorations to come down? Either way, the Art Rapids COVID-19 Wreath Collection project is perfect for you. Between now and the end of January 2021, bring a holiday wreath down to the Walk of Art Sculpture Park in Elk Rapids and hang it on the fence facing Bayshore Drive. 

Deck it out with any sort of bling you want; join the community art movement to create a piece to commemorate the tough times of 2020 and look forward to a brighter future!

For more information about the event, check out the Traverse City Ticker’s calendar event page here




Happy Holidays!


Brick & Corbett Lead Team, Real Estate, Traverse City

From everyone here at the Brick & Corbett team, we wish you the happiest of holidays. We hope that you are safe, warm, and comfortable at home for the remainder of 2020. If it’s time to start thinking about buying or selling a home, Brick & Corbett want to be your resource for all things real estate in Northern Michigan. 

2021 is going to be a great year. We can help!


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