What’s there to do in Downtown Alpena over the winter?

One of the questions I often hear is: what is there to do around here in the winter? Or, in the non-question form: this place dies around here in the winter.

Don’t believe it!

Here are some of the special and ongoing events that happen downtown over the winter months.

1. Thunder Bay International Film Festival, January 24- 28. This annual film festival brings the best of ocean and Great Lakes films from around the world to Alpena. In addition to film screenings, the festival also includes receptions, educational activities, a student film competition, and the chance to meet filmmakers. More information found here. Hosted by the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

2. Art and culinary classes at Art in the Loft. Art in the Loft has classes all year round, including culinary classes, corkscrew & canvas events, and Saturday morning art classes for kids. Some upcoming events include:

  • Homemade Tortillas with Ric Jasso (Jan 17 at 1 pm) ($30/ person)
  • Craft Beer 101 (Jan 18 at 5:30 pm) ($50/ person)

Follow Art in the Loft on Facebook for notifications about upcoming events.

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A photo from a previous Corkscrews & Canvas event. Photo by Art in the Loft.

3. Workshops at Soaps and SuchPamper yourself in these cold months with handmade, all natural soaps and beauty products. Upcoming workshops include: Mineral Make-up Musts & Know Hows (Jan 18 at 5:30 pm),  Let’s Face It! (Jan 25 at 5:30 pm), and Let’s Make It! Spa Style Rose Petal Sugar Scrub (Feb 1 at 5:30 pm & Feb 3 at 9 am).  Full information found here. Classes are $15-18 and include consultation, samples, and a glass of wine/ beverage.

4. Live music at the Fresh Palate and Thunder Bay Winery. Every Tuesday night, the Fresh Palate has live music in their back seating area, including live jazz twice a month. Thunder Bay Winery frequently has live music in the tasting room on Friday’s, such as Easy Street on Jan 12.

5. Events at the Black Sheep Pub. This British-style pub has numerous events throughout the winter months, including:

  • Black Sheep Wine Club (meets the third Tuesday of each month)
  • Murder Mystery Wine Dinner (Feb 14, 6 pm)
  • Open mic nights
  • Live music

Follow the Black Sheep on Facebook for updates on upcoming events.

6. Classes at Bella Rose Yoga and Fitness Studio. Shake off  hibernation mode the winter chill by taking a class at Bella Rose, who offer power yoga, gentle yoga, vinyasa, buti yoga, zumba, and barre classes. Through January, they’re also holding basic ballroom dancing lessons AND open ballroom dance.

Make sure to check out classes at Bay Urban Fitness as well.

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7. Concerts and programming with Thunder Bay Arts Council & Gallery. Committed to promoting, supporting, and preserving the arts, TBAC hosts arts programming year-round. Winter events include:

Ticket information can be found here.

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Birch Road Band, one of the bands playing at Guitar Summit.

8. Programming at Alpena Public Library. Recurring programming includes preschool playdates and Tinker Tuesdays for kids, and other education programming for adults, such as 3D Printing classes. Follow them on Facebook here.

9. Ski and snowshoe rentals at Harborside Cycle & Sport. Stop downtown and pick up some snow gear for the day.  Rentals $25 per day. Visit the CVB’s winter guide here for trail information.

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Photo by Harborside Cycle & Sport.

10. Coffeehouse Friday’s at Thunder Bay Theatre. Every Friday in February, Thunder Bay Theatre will host an acoustic concert by a local musician. Local musicians that have been booked include Conor Larkin, Chris Crown & Lee Kitzman, and Charles Madison. Tickets $15, coffee $2. Performances begin at 7 pm.

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11. And of course… grab something warm downtown. Visit one of our coffee shops (As You Wish, Cabin Creek, or the updated Marketplace Coffee Shop). Or grab some soup, pho, or ramen. 

Stay warm out there– and see you downtown!

Blog Downtown Alpena is written by Anne Gentry. Share this post with a friend who is always asking what there is to do.

2 thoughts on “What’s there to do in Downtown Alpena over the winter?

  1. What about the theatre’s?- Civic, TBT and the movie theatres. Curling? Not the type on ice, but that which is done on a couch with a glass the Thunder Bay red and a comfy blanket. Ice watching – along the pier or river’s mouth. Ice fishing as well – boat harbor or behind the Holiday Inn Express. All done in the confines of the “downtown”. Better yet – attend an Alpena City governmental meeting – City Council, DDA, or whatever. These will heat you up on a cold winter’s night. Rent a P.O. Box – makes you get out of the house daily. Write letters of support for the NE Michigan Bike path from Standish to Cheboygan along the lakeshore. Watch the new Bigby coffee house construction. Wander through the shops at the downtown shopping center admiring Riley Garant’s paintings. Help cook or serve at Sunday Supper at Trinity or the Friendship Room – St. Bernards. Check out a book from the library and actually read it in 2 weeks! There’s lots to do in Downtown Alpena.

    El Gwappo

    Like

  2. THIS IS SURE GOOD TO KNOW…. BUT MAYBE ADVERTISE MORE…. THIS IS THE FIRST I HAVE SEEN THIS… PUT ON ‘ LIFE STYLES ‘ IN THE ALPENA NEWS… AND OTHER FREE
    NEWS PLACES… I AM SURE PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW… ALL IS INTERESTING
    NEWS… PEOPLE LIKE SOMETHING TO DO… AND MEET NEW FRIENDS…

    THANKS AGAIN ….

    Like

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