Some people can’t wait to join a crowd of strangers outside and count down to the New Year. Others prefer to drink and dance the night away indoors with friends, make memories with the family, or maybe just enjoy an elegant evening for two.
Which kind of New Year’s Eve reveler are you?
Whichever way you’d like to ring in 2023, there’s an event for you in the Traverse City area. See which one of the following special events suits your style, then make plans for a New Year’s Eve for the ages!
Kind of like the ball drop in Times Square but much sweeter, the CherryT Ball Drop is a Traverse City tradition. The party kicks off at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, on the corner of Cass Street and Front Street in downtown TC with music and dancing. Then at midnight, a giant 600-pound illuminated cherry drops from the sky, followed by fireworks.
As many as 12,000 people will crowd downtown for the countdown. That means a ton of fun and, at a suggested donation of $5 per person, a lot of money is raised for the chosen CherryT charity, Goodwill's Food Rescue, and the Northwest Food Coalition. Feel free to bring the kids, too, since this celebration is family-friendly.
A new addition for this year’s event: A Masquerade ‘23 party from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the heated rooftop lounge at North Bar TC, right above the corner of Front and Cass Street where everything happens. Get tickets at cherrytballdrop.org.
Looking to party in your pajamas? The CherryT Ball will be live-streamed by UpNorthLive look to the CherryT Ball Drop Facebook page for more information.
With the New Year’s Eve Fire and Ice Package at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, you get a two-night stay at one of Michigan’s premier resorts and admission to a one-of-a-kind NYE bash. It starts with a four-course dinner and live music, then continues for guests ages 21 and older at the Fire and Ice Party until 1 a.m. with dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and fireworks.
The resort is also hosting a New Year’s Eve shindig for kids ages 6 to 12. While the adults are having fun at the grown-up party, the kids can go swimming, play games, devour pizza, watch a movie and take part in an unforgettable balloon drop at midnight.
For a low-key yet upscale New Year’s Eve celebration, Artisan Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern at The Delamar in Traverse City is hosting two special dinner parties on Saturday, Dec. 31.
No need for early birds to stay up late with the à la carte dinner from 4:30-7 p.m. when you can order anything off the fine dining establishment’s delicious menu. But if you’d like to mingle into the night, then reserve a spot for Artisan’s five-course prix fixe dinner at 8 p.m. with live music and complimentary bubbles at midnight.
Reservations are required, with complimentary valet parking provided for all guests.
There will be celebrations all over Crystal Mountain Resort on New Year’s Eve, with things to do for as long as you want to party. Horse-drawn surrey rides and outdoor laser tag are on the activity list, along with special dinner menus throughout the evening at both The Thistle Pub & Grille and The Wild Tomato. You could also reserve a spot for the New Year’s Eve Family Party including a dinner buffet, party favors, a DJ, and dancing.
After dinner, guests ages 21 and up can enjoy live music with the TC Knuckleheads performing until after midnight. Meanwhile, skiers and snowboarders can take part in the resort’s traditional Family Glow Light and Torch Light Parade, which winds its way down from the top of the mountain starting at 10 p.m. with fireworks to follow.
If you’d prefer to celebrate on your own, you can pick up a Crystal Mountain Party Pack with four top hats, four tiaras, four noisemakers, four Happy New Year eyeglasses, and one Happy New Year banner.
Five amazing courses. Five delicious wines. For an extraordinary dining experience, check out the New Year’s Eve Wine Paired Dinner at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay. The extravagant black-tie optional meal in the winery’s luxurious inn is part celebration, part education as the winery staff explains the pairings for each course.
You can make it a weekend of NYE fun at Black Star Farms by arriving early and taking part in Snowshoes, Vines, and Wines any day the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s. You get to enjoy the beauty of the Leelanau Peninsula in winter by snowshoeing through the vineyards and then treating yourself to snacks and drinks indoors. Weather permitting, the winery also will offer horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Of course, those aren’t nearly all the ways to make a memorable New Year’s Eve getaway in the Traverse City area. We haven’t even mentioned taking the family to Great Wolf Lodge for some indoor waterpark fun or stealing some time for yourself at the spa. You could hit the casino, catch a flick at the historic State Theatre and visit some of the Traverse City area’s many fine wineries and brewpubs for a little taste testing. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is when you could check out the Festival of Trains and the Strolling Lights Festival, too.
Whether you prefer a big to-do or something a little quieter, why not make this New Year’s Eve special?