Dinner Sleigh Rides Now Part Of Northern Michigan Scene
While mountaintop and sleigh ride dining have long been popular activities at western ski resorts, three northern Michigan resorts are now embracing the tradition with their own signature style. Offering interesting cuisine and breathtaking views along the way, Ski Brule, Boyne Highlands and Treetops tender a truly unique experience.
Brule combines a sleigh ride under the stars to the resort’s mid-mountain Homestead Lodge where you feast on their Homestead BBQ dinner. Relax by the old fashioned pot belly stove, listen to acoustic guitar music and watch children tube on a nearby hill. It takes place every Thursday and Saturday night throughout the season. The free sleigh ride departs from the bottom of Homestead Trail and operates back and forth between 5-8 p.m. The dinner is $12 adults, juniors (10-17) $8, and children nine and under $5. A family, two adults and up to six children (17 and under), is $40.
Treetops sleigh ride dinners are held at Project Nature on Feb. 27, and March 7. You’re shuttled out to the remote location, where you board a horse drawn sleigh. Snuggle under comforters for a meandering ride through the woods to the river cabin where you enjoy snacks and hot drinks around a bonfire. Hop back aboard the sleigh to a wilderness cabin to enjoy a four-course gourmet meal with Michigan microbrew beer and wines.
The menu includes a smoked salmon salad, cream of morel mushroom soup, surf ‘n turf with jumbo crab meat stuffed lobster tails and a grilled fillet, followed by banana blitz French vanilla ice cream topped with a rich caramel sauce and powdered sugar. An overnight package for the event starts from $150 per person. Seating is limited to 20 people per event on a first come basis. If interested, don’t delay in making reservations. They’ve been very popular since debuting this season.
Boyne Highlands Aonach Mor Moonlight Dinner unfolds on North Peak. A 15-minute sleigh ride leaves the hotel lobby at 6:30 p.m. taking guests to the top of the peak where the mountaintop lodge is aglow with candlelight and an acoustic guitarist plays softly in the background. On clear nights, the lights of the Mackinac Bridge are visible nearly 30 miles away and deer can often be seen quietly climbing the moonlit slopes.
“It’s a beautiful, peaceful ride to the top of the ski hill in the sleigh…and occasionally, on the way back down, the northern lights have lit up the sky. That’s a real treat,” Boyne's Erin Ernst told SnoCountry.com. “There are blankets to bundle up in, to stay warm during the ride, and you can always cuddle.”
The charming day lodge features wall-to-wall windows and high pine ceilings with white linen-covered tables and a crackling fire rounding out the elegant, yet rustic, ambiance. The menu includes French onion soup, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, fresh local vegetables and roast tenderloin au poivre, followed by chocolate fondue with assorted fruits and cookies for dipping. The dinners, offered Saturday nights during February and early March are $72 per person, plus 20 percent gratuity. Reservations are required. Call 231-526-3021.
Photos: Top -- Boyne Highland's Aonach Mor dinners offer moonlight views (Boyne Highlands); Left -- Treetops sleigh rides to dinner mean a cuddly ride; Right -- Ski Brule takes guests to Homestead Lodge (Ski Brule); Bottom -- Boyne Highlands Aonach Mor is served atop the mountain (Boyne Highlands)