Holiday Events and Winter Activities in Family Friendly Benzie County, Michigan

Posted on November 10th, 2017

Benzonia, Mich. (November 10, 2017) – It’s that time of the year to bring out the coats, boots, mittens, gloves and hats. But don’t forget the skis, snowboards, snowshoes, fishing rods, fat-tire bikes, ice skates and snowmobiles! Benzie County is ready to launch the holiday and winter season with all these things that make winter in Michigan an outdoor paradise for snow lovers. From Crystal Mountain’s debut of their $11 million expansion, to Thanksgiving and Christmas events and enticing activities for a winter 2018 getaway, Benzie County is ready for the season to begin! Whether you are a skier or snowboarder, or love snowmobiling and winter fishing, Benzie County has the experiences available to meet everyone’s interest. And if you just want to relax in an award-winning spa, there’s that too.

See the Benzie County Visitor’s Bureau website at for more information or call 800-882-5801 for specific information throughout the holiday and winter season.

Here’s a peek at what’s coming up in Benzie county for the holidays & beyond.

Crystal Mountain, of the “top 10 best Snow Resorts for Families in the U.S.” according to Conde Nast Magazine

There’s no better place in the Midwest than Crystal Mountain for downhill skiing and snowboarding. In winter 2017, Crystal Mountain was named among the “top ten best ski resorts for families in the U.S. and Canada” by Conde Nast Magazine in 2017.

This season (2017/2018) Crystal Mountain will debut their new $11 million expansion including The Inn at the Mountain (25 new suites), a new Mountain Market, Bru bar, rooftop terrace, a new terrain park and more. This completes the renovation which last season introduced a new downhill skiing and snowboarding complex called “The Backyard,” with eight new ski trails serviced by a triple chairlift. Adding to all of this, Crystal Mountain has upgraded their rental equipment, added a new Waffle Cabin serving delicious waffles and hot coffee next to the slopes, and increased their snowmaking equipment in order to be ready for any type of weather.

Conde Nast noted the: “Interesting terrain that’s easy to manage keeps everything fun… That goes for parents, too, who dig the luxury cottage homes at the base, the 18,500-square-foot spa at the resort, and nights out at Thistle Pub, known for its local farm-to-fork ingredients.”

In addition to Conde Nast’s latest endorsement of the resort’s family-friendly accommodations and award-winning spa, they have twice been named the “Ten Best Snow Resorts for Families” by Parents magazine. In December 2016, Liftopia announced Crystal Mountain as the #2 Resort in the U.S. and Canada overall in its inaugural “Best in Snow Awards”.

Crystal Mountain also features ice-skating, ice hockey, fat tire bike rentals/trails, as well as, children’s activities. Adults will enjoy the luxurious spa services at the Leed-Certified award-winning Crystal Spa and superb dining at the Thistle Pub & Grille and Wild Tomato Restaurant.

Snowmobiling on 135 miles of trails that span Benzie County and beyond

If it’s snowing in Northern Michigan, Benzie County is where to be for a snowmobiling dream tour. With 135 miles of snowmobile trails, Benzie County will be ready to go, once the snow flies, for adventurers who are looking for fun, beauty and interesting terrain. Trailheads are located in various spots and include quaint towns like Honor, Thompsonville, Benzonia and Beulah. The small towns along the trails have restaurants available as resting spots for snowmobilers who want to move from village to village to capture the landscape and experience the locale.

The Benzie Manistee Snowbirds and Benzie County Visitors Bureau communicate regularly on weather and trail conditions to provide riders with up-to-date information on snowmobiling. A trail system and trail conditions, with trail reports, and detailed maps for Benzie County are available online to help snowmobilers decide where to travel. Snowmobile trail maps can be picked up at stopping points along the trails and at the Benzie County Visitors Bureau located on US31 in the village of Benzonia.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own snowmobiles or can rent them by the day or by the weekend at Crystal Adventures, a recreational business that is conveniently located on M-115, approximately 10 ten minutes from the Benzie County Visitors Bureau.

Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing on groomed trails and along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Benzie County has 22 beautiful miles along the Betsie Valley Trail for cross country skiing, as well as 30 km of well-groomed cross-country and snowshoeing trails at Crystal Mountain. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore features 70,000 acres with various scenic cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, and weekend guided snowshoe tours beginning in January. See for more information.

Fishing in Benzie County includes over 50 inland lakes and rivers

Fishing on ice (weather dependent) or on shore takes place all year long in Benzie County which has over 50 inland lakes, including one of the biggest top ten lakes in Michigan – Crystal Lake. Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Small Mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Whitefish, Rock Bass and Sturgeon and more are fished throughout the seasons. Fishing enthusiasts can bring their own equipment, or can rent them through bait and tackle businesses in Benzie County. Rentals include shanties, rods, bait and more. Winter fishing guide services are available through Sports Fish Michigan.

For a list of lodging properties for winter getaways to Benzie County and to learn more about seasonal activities, events, and nearby award-winning wineries, distilleries, breweries, and unique restaurants in the area, contact Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-882-5801 or see



November 23, 2017
Thompsonville, Crystal Mountain
Turkey Vulture Trot

Begin Thanksgiving Day by boosting your metabolism for the feast to come! Crystal’s 13th Annual Turkey Vulture Trot 5K run/walk is held on a paved, looped-course thru the scenic rolling terrain of Crystal Mountain. Race time starts at 9 am (10 am for the 1 mile Fun Run). 5K medals will be awarded to the top 3 males & females in each age division. Top male and female finishers overall in the 5k will receive a Crystal Premier Season Pass at Crystal Mountain. For more information and to register see or contact Crystal Mountain at 888.968.7686 ext. 7000. To book a stay at Crystal Mountain see or call 855.995.5146.

November 23-26, 2017
Thompsonville, Crystal Mountain
Thanksgiving Reconnect Weekend

Leave the cooking alone and visit Crystal Mountain over Thanksgiving Weekend. Enjoy activities all weekend long beginning on Thanksgiving Day with the Annual Turkey Vulture Trot 5K and a Thanksgiving Day Buffet. On Friday, enjoy a festive tour through Crystal Mountain’s quaint resort village, featuring unique activities, entertainment, food and beverages, and retail shopping. Saturday, participate in the First Light Celebration and watch the mountain light up for the holiday season. For more information see To book a stay at Crystal Mountain see or call 855.995.5146.

November 25, 2017
Annual Holly Berry Arts and Crafts Fair & Santa at the Hotel Frankfort
10 am – 4 pm

Experience Frankfort’s holiday art fair with over 100 artists. The Fair will take place at Frankfort-Elberta High School located at 534 11th Street in Frankfort. From 12:00-pm – 2:00pm kids can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Hotel Frankfort along Main Street. Families can enjoy free horse-drawn carriages rides during their visit. For more information see To book a stay in or near Frankfort see or call 800-882-5801.


December 9, 2017
Christmas Magic
9 am – 6 pm

Always the 2nd Saturday in December in downtown Beulah, experience “Christmas Magic!” Enjoy festive decorations by the downtown businesses in Beulah. Stores stay open late for holiday shopping. Fun activities include a Parade (5:15 p.m.), visits with Santa, and kids activities. For more information see To book a stay in or near Beulah see or call 800-882-5801.

December 16 – January 7, 2017
Thompsonville, Crystal Mountain
Holiday Weeks at Crystal Mountain

Experience a festive Holiday getaway at Crystal Mountain. Begin the holiday season at the Legacy ArtPark. “Winter Sounds in the Art Park” on December 16. The event will include a 1/4-mile walk along the gentle slope of the Art Park’s trail to the amphitheater where members of the Benzie Central Chamber Choir will perform holiday songs and lead carols.

The week leading up to and the week following Christmas enjoy daily snowshoe and fat tire bike tours, archery, or horse drawn surrey rides.* Get last minute shopping done at the unique stores at Crystal. On Christmas Eve, Santa will be making an appearance on the ski slope. For more information see *Some activities are reserved for those who book a stay at Crystal Mountain over the holidays. To book a stay at Crystal Mountain see or call 855.995.5146.

New Year’s Eve – Sunday, December 31

Kick off 2018 at Crystal Mountain. Watch or participate in the enchanting Torchlight Parade on one of the main downhill slopes. Experience midnight fireworks following the parade. Various family and children’s events include a Family Luau and Teen DJ Dance Party. See To book a stay at Crystal Mountain call 855.995.5146.

Add to Calendars:
2018 Winter Events in Benzie County