The thrill of counting down to a new year, and suddenly crossing that threshold, can be quite exhilarating, especially for the younger set. Staying up until midnight is unimaginably rousing, and if a party is thrown in, it only gets better. With that in mind, here are nine great family-friendly options to celebrate New Year's Eve in Michigan!
Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville is well-known for its skiing, but it's also got a New Year's Eve to make it worth staying up. Home to not only a family-friendly luau, there's also a New Year's Eve party with full buffet, and a torchlight parade just ahead of fireworks at midnight. You'll see some amazing things at Crystal Mountain on New Year's Eve—take them in with your whole family.
Ludington, every year, arranges its own version of the Times Square ball drop, featuring a ball with 6,000 LED lights that's lowered to start the year. Immediately afterward, a firework show begins that's on par with any Fourth of July event around. Leading up to that, there's music and dancing and a beer garden for those old enough to enjoy it, so it's hard to find a shortage of things to do in Ludington on New Year's Eve.
Yes, of course Traverse City has its own ball drop, and yes, of course it's in the shape of a cherry. Why wouldn't it be? Traverse City is known the world over for cherries, and its New Years' Eve celebration is no different. Preceding the CherryT Ball Drop event—called “CherryT” because it's done for “charity,” in part—will be a live DJ for dancing through the streets of Traverse City, making for an exciting, complete, yet family-friendly experience.
If dancing through Traverse City doesn't appeal, head over to Acme for a more laid-back experience at the Grand Traverse Resort. Featuring not only a kids-only New Year's Eve complete with crafts, games and a full-on pizza party with swimming, there's also a more adult New Year's Eve party complete with romantic dinner at the Aerie Restaurant.
Now this is a brilliant idea. Petoskey's Crooked Tree Arts Center is setting up a very family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration that's over at 9 p.m. Not only does it have a slate of arts-related events—music, dance, theater and so on—but it's also got workshops, performances, and refreshments on hand. The evening culminates with the “Midnight-at-9” event, a ball drop at the event's closing. That will let parents get to whatever event they'd like, having spent New Year's Eve with the family well ahead of schedule. Remember, it's midnight somewhere at the top of every hour.
There's no doubt that kids love go-karts, video games, pizza and similar items, and Grand Rapids' Craig's Cruisers is just the place to provide it. But for the last few years, it's also put on a serious New Year's Eve party that's tailor-made for your kids. Featuring unlimited go-karts, bumper cars, laser tag, and video games as well as an all-you-can-eat buffet, it's perfect for families.
Gaylord's Treetops Resort is going to go all-out when it comes to its New Year's Eve operations. Not only is there set to be a buffet dinner—featuring prime rib—that comes with a special buffet for the kids, but there's also a New Year's Eve party to follow that's specifically for the families. Featuring Disney characters, big-screen football games, a photo booth, cookie decorating, hors d'oeuvres—as though you weren't full enough from dinner already—and more, this one will make for a whole evening of excitement and fun.
Why not get some history with your New Year's Eve celebrations? Those who go to Belle Isle can get in on the New Year's Eve Family Fun Run/Walk, an event that's been taking place every year for the last 48 years. It's the longest continuously-held running event in Michigan, reports note, and there's something downright virtuous about starting the year with exercise. It starts at the Belle Isle Casino, goes to the Scott Fountain and back, so history—the Belle Isle Casino dates back to 1908—is the order of the day here.
It didn't go as planned. I can give you a million excuses, but it just didn't go as hoped. Finished with a time of 20:04. It was super windy so even the winner didn't break 18. Most heartbreaking was finishing one position off the podium in my age group. 19/806 overall, 4th in age category. Still a great 2016 and leaves unfinished business for 2017. Huge shoutout to @runstruck for finishing 2nd female overall!! Happy New Years everyone!
Frankenmuth's Bavarian Inn is best known for its impressive dinners, but on New Year's Eve, it becomes a target for families from all over. Not only does it boast a New Year's dinner buffet—and a breakfast buffet the next day for one price—but there's a range of activities going on from pools and waterslides to miniature golf, all indoors and prime for celebration.