Ring in the New Year in Northern Door County

As the sun sets on this year, plan how you will celebrate the transition to the new one in Northern Door.

As the sun sets on this year, plan how you will celebrate the transition to the new one in Northern Door.

New Year’s Eve is a special time of transition, reflection and change. How you choose to spend the last few hours of one year and the first few of the next sets the tone for the next twelve months. Northern Door County is the perfect escape for a tranquil evening or an exuberant Midwestern party. 

For those who prefer a quiet evening, reserve a table for a deliciously unrushed meal at one of Northern Door’s dining rooms. The Wickman House in Ellison Bay is situated in a nearly hundred-year-old lodge. The staff strive to offer variety in delicious local and seasonal ingredients, and the wine and craft cocktails receive equal attention. On New Year’s Eve the Wickman House’s prix-fixe menu has a decadent five courses, each paired with wine or a cocktail. Amble through your meal, enjoying new flavors and textures. Reservations are highly suggested for any evening at the Wickman House, and especially for the NYE event. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 21 minutes (14.3 miles)

Pre-registration required: Yes

Cost: $150, gratuity included


Trixie’s in Ephraim is a petite dining room that packs major punch. Emphasis on sustainability extends to both her wine list and menu. Wine takes center stage at this little eatery, with the expected white and red sections and the delightfully surprising sparkling pink and orange varieties. The menu is concise but mouth-watering, developed to pair perfectly with the meal. Trixie’s, a sister restaurant to the Wickman House, will present her own prix-fixe menu on New Year’s Eve. Each course will be completed with a wine pairing. You’ll want to reserve a table for this epicurean event

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 12 minutes (8.4 miles)

Pre-registration required: Yes

Cost: $150, gratuity included


For a meal within walking distance of the Blacksmith Inn, stroll just south to Chives, a casual fine dining establishment. Chives’ unique dining room and bar are cozy yet refined, and the menu is polished and tasty, featuring local fare prepared in unexpected ways. Reservations are recommended.

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Walkable in 8 minutes (.4 miles)

Pre-registration required: Recommended


If it’s excitement and socializing you seek, head to Sister Bay for a Northern Door New Year’s. For several days before the year’s terminus, the ultimate Door County “cherry” will have been poised, gently suspended from a crane just above Husby’s Food and Spirits. Six feet wide and weighing in at roughly 300 pounds, the cherry waits, building anticipation for the party that will unfold beneath. On New Year’s Eve, shopping and dining specials can be found, and at 8 pm, fireworks grace the skyline from the Sports Complex. At 10:30 pm, the party really gets started at Husby’s The Garage. A local radio station plays tunes to keep the crowd, which often fills the street, dancing until the “cherry drop” at midnight. As the throng counts down the final seconds of the year, the cherry, complete with bright red lights, stem and leaf, drops dramatically to signal the new year. 

Distance from the Blacksmith Inn: Driveable in 12 minutes (8.8 miles)

Pre-Registration Required: No

Cost: Free to attend


On New Year’s Day, feel free to sleep late and sip coffee in a sunny window. But if you must go out, Northern Door has a lot to offer. A hike at the Ridges or at one of the land trusts is a quiet meditative approach to the new year. For a more celebratory feel, check out the New Year’s Day Parade in Egg Harbor. You can even participate if so moved. Another participatory event in Jacksonport is the annual Polar Plunge, a run into frigid Lake Michigan to ring in the new year. Show up for a brief swim, or just watch the spectacle. 

No matter how you choose to ring in the new year, the Blacksmith Inn is your ideal home base. Have a quiet night in before a fire and a favorite movie, or enjoy a leisurely morning after the conviviality of the previous evening. Check our availability here