Saturday night has a real ring to it this year – it will be New Year’s Eve and Leelanau County is ready to celebrate. Check out these events to ring in 2023:
For the youngsters
Take the kiddos to the Great Lakes Children’s Museum for their “New Year’s Countdown for Kids” – and still get to bed on time. The “countdowns” happen at 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Watch the ball drop, rattle the roof with some handmade noise makers and then settle them in with a babysitter and head out for adult fun next! Reservations are strongly recommended. Tickets are $8 for ages 1 and up and free to members.
For a sneak peek
Nittolo’s Private Speakeasy in Lake Leelanau will open to the public for a “New Year’s Eve Purly Sensational” event. Normally closed to the public, this is a chance to see what all the fun is about. The menu includes everything from bubbly and caviar to calamari, lobster bisque, rack of lamb and even the simplest of pleasures – pizza. Tickets are $25 per person and include a bottle of Rose Sparkling for each couple. Detroit band Laura Rain and the Caesars will be performing vintage R&B.
For the best odds on fun
Leelanau Sands Casino is celebrating with an “M-22 New Year’s Eve Party” from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Enjoy drink specials, complimentary beads, hats, and other party favors, and a photo backdrop to capture the memories. Enjoy a prime rib buffet that night and a breakfast buffet on Jan. 1. Dancing will be on tap with DJ Mark Wilson.
NYE in Northport
Garage Bar-B-Q in Northport is offering a prix-fixe-all-you-can-eat NYE dinner buffet and opens at 5 p.m. The Garage is known for its southern-style barbecue, craft cocktails, beers and wines from around the world, and "darn good whiskey selection".
For the romantics
What’s a more classic romantic movie than “Love Actually” – which is playing at The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay on New Year’s Eve, as the finale to their “Holiday Magic” film series? The Bay has just reopened with a complete remodel including refinished floors, new seating and improved aisle lighting. Go alone and dream, or take a love and share a popcorn.
Free for all
Enjoy the Strolling Lights Festival in Glen Arbor, held in the Crystal River Outfitters Recreational District. Proceeds from the trees – decorated by sponsors – benefit the Glen Lake Schools Assistance Fund. Spend a quiet New Year’s Eve along M-22 - among the 22 one-of-a-kind trees.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Glen Arbor Wines, starting at 7 p.m. The event will kick off with a Gourmet Mac N’ Cheese Bar and Sparkling Riesling Pana Cotta ($15 per person) prepared by Mel & Fell catering. At midnight, bundle up and watch the Goofiest Ball Drop In the Universe from around their firepit. And don’t miss their New Year’s Day Mimosas on Jan. 1t from 1-5 p.m.
Kandace Chapple is a freelance writer and owner of Michigan Girl, an events company for women in N. Michigan.