From full-on family sit-downs to intimate soirees, pre-shopping brunches to work parties, we're coming into the season of holiday gatherings! Oh, wait. Hosting - what will you serve? Attending - what will you bring? And what (oh, what) will you gift this year? Dust off your DIY toolbelts, because creative answers to your holiday needs are a Go Great Lakes Bay specialty, and we're going to show you how to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, all along the way to creating some unforgettable holiday get-togethers.

EAT 

"Eating is a need, enjoying is an art."
- Francois La Rochefoucauld


Artigiano Artisan Cheese Shoppe 

Craft The The Perfect Holiday Charcuterie Board

Sure, anyone can gather friends and family around a warm pot of melty fondue for a cozy holiday get-together. But can they explain that the fondue is Gruyère, aged in the natural Kaltbach caves from the canton of Lucerne in Switzerland, as they pour an expertly-paired Côte du Rhône from France while laying down the charcuterie platter?  YOU can, with these FREE events at Bay City's artisan cheese shoppe, Artigiano (ar-TEE-giano):

  • November 7: Raclette Grilling, great for entertaining 
  • November 21 & December 19: Farmstead Cheeses
  • December 5: Fondue and Wine Tasting
  • Times TBA via website/Facebook.

Learn Holiday How-To's From The Pros At Zehnder's

When you serve Quiche & Holiday Mimosas alongside a tray of sweet, flaky, German Butterhorns, guests will be dying to know where you learned how! The truth? In Frankenmuth, at Zehnder's Holiday How-To's!

  • Choose from 10 tasty classes, from Hosting A Holiday Party to Mini Desserts to Apple Raisin Bread & Bavarian Puffs (where you'll also learn "how-to" turn a loaf of Apple Raisin Bread into French Toast for a perfect day-after brunch item).  You can even learn how to whip up your own real Gingerbread House for the kiddos to decorate (and for you to shamelessly eat the toppings off of later!)
  • November 10-12, times and prices vary; Call to reserve your place, and don't delay. Some classes are SOLD OUT already!

DRINK 

"Drink is the feast of reason and the flow of soul."
- Alexander Pope


Whine Bar 

Find The Perfect Holiday Host/Hostess Gift

Looking to serve/bring/gift a perfectly-paired bottle of wine this holiday? (Good thinking.) But red wine or white, and what complements the menu? Or would your hosts rather hunker down with a toasty, malty craft brew? Pop into our Great Lakes Bay restaurantswineries, and breweries to try and taste (err ... research?) and learn how-to pair your favorite wines and brews with holiday flavors:

  • Whine: Walk in anytime for a flight, a sampling of three wines (price depends on selection), or on Wine Wednesdays to purchase select labels at $15 per bottle. 
  • Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie: Study over 60 wine selections with Prost's knowledgeable staff and Build Your Own Board to find your new favorite charcuterie and wine pairings for your holiday soirees.
  • Eastman Party Store: Stop into the Eastman Party Store anytime for expert pairing advice and a massive selection of fine wines, beers, spirits, cheeses, fresh breads, olive oils, vinegars ... and the chance to build a personalized gift basket from all of the above!
  • Brewery Tours: Sample in style at Frankenmuth Brewery (one of the oldest in the country!) and take a 20-minute brew tour of the 28,000 square foot historic brewery for free! And don't forget to nab some Frankie Root Bier, too, for the wee celebrators!  
  • Rather taste at multiple breweries? Tour your favorites by bus aboard a customized Frankenmuth Beer Tour!
  • Oppermann's Cork ‘N' Ale: Touting over 600 beers, 5,000 wines and 2,000 liquors to choose from (enough said, no?), staff recommends New Belgium Brewing Co.'s "Pumpkick" ale for the holidays, with hints of pumpkin spice and cranberry. 

BE MERRY 

"For it is in giving that we receive."
-Francis of Assisi


Want to know how to truly create unforgettable holiday gatherings? Decorate your home joyfully, and give gifts with heart. And, this season, at Chippewa Nature Center, you can discover how to decorate and gift (heartfelt and handmade, no less) with these sessions:

  • Out Of Your Gourd Workshop: Learn how to make a beautiful decoriatve container... from a gourd!  This crafty workshop is November 14, 9 a.m. - noon (must register by November 6).
  • Pine Cone Wreath Making Workshop: November 21, 9 a.m. - noon (must register by November 13). Using cones from native trees, design a wreath that won't wither by season's end!
  • Or learn "how-to" at Creative 360's Bead Nights, Mosaic Workshops, Arm Knitting (BYO hot toddy & yarn) or Candy Making for Christmas.

Looking for a last minute holiday gift that doesn't look like it came straight from the "impulse buy" rack in the checkout lane?  We can't get enough of Bay City's new Harless + Hugh Flea.  From vintage to mid-century modern, the eclectic blend of furnishings and curiosities will leave your family and friends thinking "Best. Gift. Ever." for years to come.  Plus, you can browse Bay City's shop-lined streets for loads of other specialty boutiques full of finds that scream "Gift me!" (and do it all alongside carolers and horse-drawn carriage rides during Sundays In The City).


Harless + Hugh Flea 


Cheers! To the holidays, and to hosting (and attending) some unforgettable holiday gatherings with our #GoGreat holiday how-to's!