Weekend Roundup: Ice Caves Edition

IMPORTANT SAFETY UPDATE! The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department has declared the ice caves on Lake Michigan unsafe!! The winds have moved the ice and there is now open water within feet of the caves, and the strong winds expected today and tomorrow will continue to push water and ice inland. There are also large cracks in the arches and they are expected to start collapsing soon. 

Our weekend roundup has a ton of fun in Traverse City, and in homage to Ice Cave Mania, we’ve also prepared a mini-guide for enjoying your visit to this “pop-up wonder”!



Joshua Davis & Seth Bernard

Traverse City Green Drinks takes place tonight from 5:30 – 7:30 PM at 7 Monks Taproom. Their special for Green Drinkers will be $1 off all their Michigan pints!

Normally Joshua Davis plays with Joe Wilson live at The Workshop Brewing Company every Thursday from 7-10 PM, but this week Joe can’t make it setting up a special treat as Seth Bernard joins Josh at the Workshop for a free, fun & fantastic show! (check out a video of Seth & Josh below)

at 7 PM. Organic local cider and wine on tap or by the bottle along with good food and non-alcoholic alternative beverage choices (no cover).

This weekend is the final weekend of the Old Town Playhouse Studio at the Depot production of Venus in Fur. Tonight through Saturday join them at 7:30 for a funny and sexy play with loads of wit. This production contains mature language, content and situations

Northern Natural Cider House hosts Jimmy Olson at 7 for jazz, electronic exploration, funk & covers and InsideOut Gallery invites you to bring a dish of hot frequencies to pass and serve ‘em up live at their Audio Potluck.


Music events for Friday that you can check out on Facebook include Peter, Peter & Michael at Northern Natural (7 PM), Quintet Feat at InsideOut (8 PM) and Comedy Night at Studio Anatomy (8 PM).

Making a Day of It at the Leelanau Ice Caves

Ice Caves at Sunset by Ashlea Walter

Ice Caves at Sunset by Ashlea Walter

Thousands of people have made the journey to see the massive ice caves  that have formed off Gills Pier about six miles north of Leland (map). If you’re thinking of making the trip, here’s a few suggestions from our staff and Ashlea Walter who shared this ice photo from her ice cave trip report on her blog.

  • Dress warmly and wear YakTrax or snowshoes – the ice is definitely a rough and slippery surface.
  • Stock up with food! Our delis & markets page has some great places in town where you can pick up a sandwich. On the way out you can stop at Trish’s Dishes in Lake Leelanau.
  • Have a bite on the way out or back. Some of our favorite Leelanau spots on the flight path are 9 Bean Rows in Suttons Bay for breakfast, lunch or dinner, The Blue Bird in Leland and Fischer’s Happy Hour right at Gills Pier and open 7 days a week at 11 AM.
  • Speaking of Gills Pier (and Gills Pier Winery), picking up a little wine & cheese might be nice. Leelanau Cheese and their “Best Cheese in America” Raclette is right on M-22 just south of Black Star Farms winery. Some other wineries along the way are The Boathouse & Blustone in Lake Leelanau and of course Good Harbor Vineyards.
  • Lake Leelanau is also home to Northern Latitudes Distillery. They’re featuring their new Manitou Passage Rum!
  • While you may be thinking – are they really up to the hype, Ashlea assures: “They ARE amazing. Awesome. Once we slid over the ice, hoisted each other over the top of the caves, scrambled a bit and got down to them… I turned around, gasped a bit and teared up. I was stunned. Kids were playing around, sliding and yelling, “this is awesome!” The late afternoon light was incredible. The ice formations at this scale? I had never seen anything quite like it and I wondered if we would again.” Read more and see her photos right here!


Chocolate Energy Truffles by Mimi Wheeler

Chocolate Energy Truffles by Mimi Wheeler

Start your Saturday at the Indoor Farm Market at the Village from 10 AM – 2 PM. It’s one of the best places to add fresh & tasty to your life in Traverse City!

Beat the winter blues on Saturday, February 22nd with Interlochen Arts Academy and the Interlochen Area Chamber of Commerce! Enjoy a family-friendly WINTERLOCHEN Festival filled with free indoor and outdoor activities, free student performances and more. Food vendors including Roaming Harvest, Moomers, TC Latino, and Bud’s. Top the day off with a 7:00 p.m. performance featuring the acclaimed Hot Club of San Francisco and the popular French vocalist Isabelle Fontaine as they present “Meet Me In Paris.” Most daytime activities are FREE !

There’s one slot left for the Grocer’s Daughter Cooking Class at Chateau Chantal with Grocer’s Daughter founder Mimi Wheeler. Learn to use chocolate in sweet and savory recipes from delicious chocolate truffles to chocolate rubs and infusing both meat and vegetable dishes with select fine chocolate. The class starts at 12:30 PM and the price is $95 per person with 12 maximum per class. Bring an apron and a favorite knife! Book online or call 1-800-969-4009 to reserve your spot. PS: If you’re going to the ice caves or anywhere that requires energy, how about making some of these Chocolate Energy Truffles from Mimi’s Chocolate Blog?

Join Jolly Pumpkin at 2 PM for their Indoor Pumpkin Peddle, an afternoon of fun to help raise money for youth cycling in Traverse City. Live music by Brad Winkler Project, $2 beers, and Kickr Trainers to test your cycling skills.

Saturday night from 6-8 PM, Bowers Harbor Vineyards hosts a Sushi Party. FireFly’s sushi chef will share tips and techniques while teaching you how to roll sushi! All courses with wine for only $58 per person. For reservations, please email Kristy at info@bowersharbor.com with your last name, number of guests, and your phone number. You can read all about it in this eatdrinkTC article AND learn how to enter for 2 free tickets!

Join Chef Jonathan Dayton at Black Star Farms at 6:30 pm for a 4 course pre fixe menu. $50 per person 4 courses w/wine pairings $70 per person Wine can also be ordered by the glass from the list of selections available. Call 231-944-1251 to make a reservation.

On Saturday, February 22nd at 7 pm at Milliken Auditorium there will be a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. The play introduces a wildly divergent gathering of female voices and will benefit both the local Women’s Resource Center and the National V-DAY Organization.

Also Saturday are Jazz North “Playboy After Dark” at InsideOut (9-12 PM), Karisa Wilson at Stormcloud in Frankfort (8 PM),


Parenting Communities of Leelanau County is hosting their 1st Annual Snowshoe Stompede on Sunday at Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery on Horn Road in Lake Leelanau. Events will begin at 1 PM and families not interested in competing are invited to come enjoy the trails at their own pace, trails will be open to non-competitive users at 1:45 pm. ARRIVE EARLY to check in and gear up! They have child and adult snowshoes available for the public on a first come first serve basis and post-race fun around a fire including hot chocolate and homemade goodies.

Join Sarah Brunner at Brew TC for an all ages show on Sunday from 8-10pm.

TC Restaurant Week starts on Sunday and continues through next Saturday! Click that link for our article with menus and more details on TC’s dining celebration!

Coming Soon!

NMC Tasters Guild Auction - White Pine Press Photo

NMC Tasters Guild Auction – White Pine Press Photo

Next week enjoy Billy Strings & Cider Stein Tuesday night at Northern Naturals, Seth Bernard with a FREE all-ages show on Tuesday night at Brew (1/2 off wine bottles, not for all ages of course).

The annual NMC Tasters Guild Auction is a strolling dinner of international cuisine prepared by Great Lakes Culinary Institute students that features local, regional and international wines and benefits Culinary Institute students. Friday night Get your tickets before they’re gone for a pop-up dinner at The Little Fleet with Chef Pete Peterson & Roaming Harvest.

Speaking of Chef Pete, he presents Feast from the East, his take on Chinese dishes that are simplified, healthy and vibrant. Recipes include “from scratch” noodles with pancetta and fresh tomato sauce, Shanghai Dumplings, Crepe-like “Street Wraps” with zesty fillings, and a quick fusion dessert of Mandarin Orange Napoleons on Thursday the 27th. There’s also a class in Crowd Pleasing Sauces on Tuesday at NMC with Cheryl Janz. More Cooking Classes in our calendar!

Here’s Joshua & Seth tearing it up! See them tonight at The Workshop!