April 17, 2024

A Spring-loaded Calendar

9 events and activities for Up North fun
By Cameron Thompson | March 23, 2024

There is little that makes a Michigander happier than the promise of spring. A warm breeze, lingering evening sun, and the scent of petrichor signals that life is finally awakening from its frosty suspension.

Another sure sign of the season: spring break. As schools close down, families get moving, whether that’s to warmer climes or to adventures here in northern Michigan. If you’re among the latter group, we’ve curated a list of budget-conscious events for all ages to keep the kiddos busy and the fun flowing for the next two weeks…plus some fun activities for the grown-ups, too.

1. Babies on the Farm Festival: Petoskey

March 21 - April 22
Kiwidinok Farm is turning up the cute factor with their month-long Babies on the Farm Festival. They invite you to visit and meet the newest members of the farm, from chicks and lambs to little alpacas and young yaks. Tours are held at 11am, 12:30pm, and 2pm during the farm’s regular hours on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with tickets at $10 (or $9 for groups of three or more). kiwidinok.com/page/10230/events

2. Great Lakes Children’s Museum: Traverse City

March 25-29
What better way to occupy the kids over the break than by learning something new? The Great Lakes Children’s Museum is offering a “Tour of the Solar System” experience the week of spring break, aka a vacation to the stars. Hands-on stations will walk kids through the ins and outs and fun facts of our solar system, from the sun to each and every planet. The program is free with admission ($9), and reservations are highly recommended as this week is a busy time for the museum. greatlakeskids.org/tickets

3. Spring Day Camp at Grass River Natural Area: Bellaire

March 26-28
Need somewhere to drop your offspring for a day or three so you can enjoy some peace and quiet? Don’t worry, they’ll have their fun too! This is a great option if your kids are feeling antsy during their spring break and need to burn off steam with their fellow youths. From March 26-28, Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire offers Spring Day Camp for children ages 7-12. They’ll hike the trails, learn how to build a bonfire, and even tap maple syrup trees! The program is offered for three days, but campers are able to take part for one or two days if preferred. Space is limited and pre-registration is required, so visit grassriver.org/spring-camp.html to sign up ASAP; $150 per camper.

4. Bowling Down Main Street: Harbor Springs

March 30
This annual bash has become an early spring staple for Harbor Springs with the help of Northern Lights Recreation, and as usual, they’ve pulled out all the stops for their libations and prizes. Between strikes, kids can get a sugar buzz out of free hot chocolate and donuts from Johan’s and ice cream from Harbor Ice Cream, Soup & Sandwiches. All attendees will receive a free bowling card for use at Northern Lights Recreation, and Rocking Horse Toy Co. will offer a free gift for littles. Join the fun from 12pm-2pm at the intersection of State and Main. harborspringschamber.com/events/details/bowling-down-main-street-2024-13764

5. Easter Egg-stravaganza at Lake Ann Farm: Interlochen

March 30
Easter is coming; it’s time to hatch a plan. Lake Ann Farm packs a lot into one outing, providing great value for the $5 per person entry fee (ages 2 and under are free). Their Saturday shindig features an Easter egg hunt, a petting zoo, and pony rides, which are offered for an additional $5. Be sure to arrive by 12pm to take part in the Easter egg hunt, which offers a golden egg with a special prize! More details are on Lake Ann Farm’s Facebook page; find the fun at 2526 Lake Ann Road in Interlochen.

6. Grupo Folklorico Xochiquetzal: Traverse City

April 4
The Dennos Museum Center welcomes Grupo Folklorico Xochiquetzal, a group of local dancers working to bring awareness of Latino culture and music to northern Michigan. The show runs from 4-5pm at Milliken Auditorium and will feature dance styles from Mexico and Panama. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-17; dennosmuseum.org/events/milliken. And P.S. Don’t miss the “Spring Break at the Museum” promotion at the Dennos March 23-30 (closed March 25), where kiddos get free admission with an accompanying adult.

7. First Fridays: Charlevoix

April 5
On Lake Michigan’s cerulean shoreline, Charlevoix welcomes visitors for the final “First Fridays” event of the season. April 5 from 4pm-8pm, enjoy a sweet treat with the celebration of National Caramel Day. That means a caramel-themed cocktail trail, plus a prize station and a magical tiny door scavenger hunt. Learn more at downtowncharlevoix.com/first-fridays.

8. The Future of Comedy Show: Gaylord

April 5
Fear not, grown-ups, we didn’t forget about you. For a night out on the town packed with stand-up comedy, check out The Future of Comedy Show at BJ’s Catering and Event Center in Gaylord. Featuring nationally touring headliner, Mike Ball, the show also includes Big Juicy, Kate Brindle, and Nick Kelley. For tickets ($30), head to universe.com/events/the-future-of-comedy-show-at-bjs-catering-and-event-center-gaylordmi-tickets-2L5DQV.

9. John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band: Cheboygan

April 5
Swing and sway with John Jorgenson, a mainstay in the world of bluegrass. The Cheboygan Opera House hosts the “supergroup” band made up of award-winning musicians who have toured with the likes of Dolly Parton, John Denver, Earl Scruggs, and Bonnie Raitt. Tickets are $25-40 for adults (with a $5 discount for veterans) and $10 for students. A cash bar with beer and wine will be offered at this event; the show starts at 7:30pm. theoperahouse.org

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