What To Do In December

Theatrical productions, holiday festival/concerts and special end-of-year bargain shopping for Leelanau County wines—December brings with it a long list of things to do in and around the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Here’s a shortlist of a few local favorites you don’t want to miss.

Suttons Bay Holiday Festival

December 5th, 6th and 7th


[source: wikipedia.com]

The village of Sutton’s Bay knows how to do Christmas right. See for yourself the night of Friday, December 5th during the kickoff to their annual holiday festival. It starts as soon as the sun goes down and the wintry streets are lit up with over 50 twinkling trees. Throw in the singing of street carolers and sample refreshments, hors d’oeuvres and local wines, and you got yourself a party.

 Saturday, December 6th, is family day in the village. Help the Suttons Bay-Bingham District Library decorate for the holidays from 10 AM until noon; write a letter to Santa; share cookies; and make holiday crafts. At noon, there will be a family movie at The Bay Theatre. Santa will arrive by fire truck at 5 PM to light the village Christmas tree after which you can join in community caroling with the Suttons Bay High School Band. Little ones can visit with Santa at the VI Grill.

The 3rd Annual Cookie Extravaganza will be held from noon to 3 PM on Sunday, December 7th, at the Suttons Bay Bingham Friendship Center, located at 201 Broadway. Create a mix of favorites for $7 per pound. Proceeds will benefit the Friendship Center and its activities. For more information or to donate cookies, call Mary Bush at 231-271-4404.

Holiday Wine Sale

December 5th and 6th/12th and 13th

Stock up on wine and gift items for the holidays during the Leelanau Peninsula’s annual holiday sale. There’s no better time than this event to stock up on wine and wine-related gift items. For the first two weekends in December, you will find both Leelanau wine and merchandise at their best prices.

This is a great opportunity to take a self-guided wine tour to find wines that will pair perfectly with your holiday meals, whether you are doing the cooking yourself or you are a guest of friends or family. And, wine, of course, makes your holiday shopping simple and easy. Who doesn’t love getting a bottle of wine?

Click here for more information, including featured sales in tasting rooms participating in the event.

Glen Arbor Arts Association Readers Theatre Performance: Lost Horizon

December 10th, 11th and 13th


Lost Horizon, the James Hilton classic, begins in 1932 when Conway disappears along with three other passengers in an airplane that was evacuating them from the war in Baskul to Peshawar. The airplane mysteriously vanished, never to be found.

Conway, a British consul; his young deputy Mallinson; Miss Stone, a traveler; Lovett, a paleontologist; and an American financier calling himself Barnard are kidnapped in a small plane and marooned in the uncharted mountain heights of Tibet. In what seems an amazing stroke of good fortune, a passing procession finds them and brings them to the mysterious lamasery of Shangri-La. 

Visit the Glen Arbor Arts Association website (or simply click here) for more information.

 Northport Christmas Concert

 December 14th, 3 PM


[source: leelanau.com]

Sponsored by Northport Community Arts Center, the 2015 Northport Christmas concert features the Village Voices and the Northport Community Band. Take in the gentle magic of the season as you and enjoy traditional holiday carols, visit with your family, friends and neighbors at the “cookie afterglow” in the lobby.

Click here for tickets and more information.  Or contact the NCAC at 231-386-5001.

Guided Winter Hike With The Leelanau Conservancy

December 19th, 10 AM

[source: leelanauconservancy.org]

Take a break from holiday preparations and join Leelanau Conservancy docents Sharon Oriel, Joanne Gerben and Lou Ricord to explore the county’s winter wonder. The bubbling marl spring at the Hatlem Creek Preserve is magical in the winter. Glen Lake is fed year around by Hatlem Creek and its springs and seeps. During the hike, you’ll look for animal tracks and take the temperature of the spring. Dress for the weather. Stout boots are recommended. If we have snow, snowshoes could be fun. Saturday’s hike will not be following a set trail, so come prepared for adventure.

Click here for more information and to check out a video of what you can expect to see.