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Newcomers Club of Grand Traverse

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Activity Groups

This is a list of interest categories and the interests within each category. Click on an interest to learn more about that item. If you are logged in, you will also see the members who have declared that interest, with a link to their member directory entry. Click the info link icon   to view additional information about the interest group.

Out-of-Doors & Sports

Many of these activities are anxiously awaiting to resume when weather and COVID restrictions are agreeable, while others like Snowshoeing and Bonfire for 8, allow for safe gatherings outdoors, now. Become a member of any or all of these activity groups to receive emailings for future gatherings.

The biking group meets on a monthly basis to ride trails in and around Traverse City. The group seeks out manageable bike trails for all skill levels and frequently meets after the ride for refreshments once the ride is done. Riders need to have appropriate safety equipment and bikes in good working order.

A new group has been formed so that members can get together in person while socializing in a safe way this winter. We’ll be gathering once a month around bonfires mid to late afternoon in groups of 6-8 members. A different member will host each time, scrambling composition of the hosts and groups. If more than 8 members have signed up for an event then there will be additional hosts for that event. At the hosts’ discretion, an event may also include a hike, snowshoe, corn hole or other outdoor activity, or simply sitting around the fire for friendly conversation. The host will provide the bonfire. Each member will provide their own food and drink. Please register for this event on the website (under event calendar) in order to attend. Please click the blue information button for directions on how to register. A couple of days before each event, specifics about your assigned group will be provided, including the host location.

Bowling meets every week during the winter months at various locations throughout the Traverse City area. Participants bowl with new people each week. In addition to cost for games and shoes, participants contribute $1 for prizes. Pay when you play, play when you can. All skill levels are accepted.

The Fishing Group includes Newcomers who are interested in fishing activities of any kind. The group is evolving according to the interests of its participants. Charter fishing trips for salmon usually occur in late August or in September.

Two to three times per month from June through September a group kayaks area rivers and lakes. A variety of trips are scheduled to address different skill levels. The lakes are normally appropriate for beginners but most rivers are only safe for the more experienced kayaker. Trips start at 10:00 a.m. and last up to 2 hours with lunch afterwards. Participants are required to wear personal flotation devices and must provide their own kayak, paddle, and PFD. The number of participants is limited each trip based on safety concerns and parking capacity. Before each paddle the leader sends an email message out to those signed up for the group sharing details about the trip, skill set required, information on lunch plans, and directions. Last minute communication is also often required if weather is questionable. Those interested are asked to sign up before the season begins to allow for orientation and planning.

Why do we meet? But of course, to chase a multicolored 1.5 inch diameter ball through the woods and sometimes water hazards only to have it ricochet off a tree and nearly knock you down in the process of teeing off from a hole like number 15 tee at the Crown golf course, as an example. Where do we meet? North to Charlevoix, east as far as Cadillac, south to Mesick, west as far as Thompsonville, and the TC area with the Crown being our home course. Every Monday that is not a holiday we meet starting in May and play through October. Tee times in May, June, September and October start at 10 a.m., while tee times for July and August are at 9:30 a.m. MIKE HUFFMAN HAS DECIDED TO RETIRE. LOOKING FOR A REPLACEMENT. IF INTERESTED CONTACT JEANIE HOHOLIK..

Men’s softball senior league is sponsored by the YMCA and is made up of men age 55+ (we are allowed 3 under 55). All games are played at the Civic Center fields. Games are played once a week from May through August. Players do not have to be a member of the YMCA to play. Anyone can play but players will have to supply a glove as the league does not supply any equipment. Everyone who shows up will get a chance to bat.

Snowshoeing is a fun winter activity - especially when we add in food and drinks afterwards! Due to the need for snow we will not have a set schedule for outings but will plan to give at least 1 week notice of an event. Planning to have a pre-season gathering in late November and then start events in December if we have good early season snow.

The Walk in the Woods Group meets the third Thursday of each month May through October. We hike various trails all over the Grand Traverse region. Hikes are easy to moderate and vary between 3 and 5 miles. Our pace is such that you can expect moderate exercise that allows breathing room for good conversation and appreciation of scenic views. Following the hike, the group meets for lunch at a local restaurant. For more information regarding specific hikes click on the hike in the event calendar and refer to the member resource tab/club documents. Join us as we explore this beautiful part of God's Country!

If you're looking for an opportunity to golf without the competitive edge, this may be the group for you! The group focuses on having fun and socializing while playing nine holes, regardless of your skill level and recent golf experience. Play will begin at 9:30 am. We will golf once a week at Bay Meadows Family Golf Center in Traverse City.

Culinary and Spirits

Newcomers love to eat and mingle. One of the many perks of living in a resort area is the abundance of options that are available to us. Many of our Culinary and Spirit groups are currently not meeting due to the pandemic, but please know that our plans are to resume as soon as we are able.

The Cocktails and Conversation group meets periodically throughout the year in members' homes or at commercial establishments to enjoy libations, food, and lively conversation with other C&C members. The purpose of the group is to provide opportunities for members to connect, meet new people, socialize with old friends, and get to know each other better in a relaxed but celebratory environment.

Four meals are scheduled from October thru May at the home of rotating hosts and guests. Six people join two hosts at their home and each “pair” of people will provide part of the meal. Hosts pick the theme and provides the entrée and a couple of sides, plus beverages with up to two glasses of wine per person. The hosts will assign the courses – appetizers, salad and bread, dessert. Courses can be simple to fancy – all good and homemade.

Calling all food aficionados! Do you enjoy good food and good company? The Dining Out crowd would love to have you join us once a month (October/November/January/February/March and April) usually on Sunday evenings at local restaurants. The TC area is fortunate in its many exceptional restaurants and we look forward to old and new friends joining

This fun group of guys meets at the Omelette Shoppe on Munson Avenue in Traverse City. We will resume our time together once the pandemic is over. Please check back for details.

Of course the Grand Traverse area is widely recognized for its wines, but is also satisfying beer drinkers with its exploding micro-brewery scene. It seems the number of breweries is growing monthly. Currently, there are 20 micro-breweries in the area. It is the mission of the Microbrew Tasting Group to visit each of these breweries. The Group attends one location each month. The sessions sometime include a tour of the facilities, but the focus is on trying the different beers made in the area. Also, there is priority placed on socializing with others who enjoy beer. Many times the group will find themselves having dinner together following the tasting. This activity is currently looking for a new leader. If interested, please contact Jeanie Hoholik,

A friendly and adventurous group that meets for lunch once a month at different restaurants in and around Traverse City. The Out to Lunch group is a great way to experience the fabulous food scene in Traverse and make new friends. Find the foodie in you. Come join us for food, lively conversation and camaraderie. Group meets the second Wednesday of the month – September through May.

Our Newcomers wine tasting group meets monthly, generally on the second Tuesday, September through June. We arrange a visit to the different wineries in the Grand Traverse region or we may have special event, all with the intent to expand upon our knowledge of wine with a group of friends with similar interest. We also arrange for dinner at various dining locations following our tastings or appetizers at the event site.

Card Games

Due to their popularity, we currently have several bridge and euchre groups that meet regularly, but we can always add more. We are always looking for ideas on fun things to do, so if you don’t see something of interest to you, maybe you would like to form another small group. For specific dates and detailed information, refer to our Event Calendar.

The group usually meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The date may be changed due to holiday schedules. Evenings begin at 6:30pm for social time and play begins at 7p.m. Newcomers social bridge is just that – social and not seriously competitive. We enjoy getting to know each other. If you haven’t played for a while, you can come for a brush up, watch over our shoulders, or take your place at the table and ask any questions you have. We will happily help you along.

Euchre groups meet once a month in each other’s homes. Each group is made up of three to four tables. Group members change tables and partners throughout the evening. Of course food and drink are also involved. Euchre, in Newcomers, is a social not a competitive event. Our goal is to accommodate as many fun loving Euchre players as possible. If you would like to join a group, please sign up below. If you need a sub (or would like to sub), please refer to the Euchre Substitutions activity. We will continue playing Euchre during the pandemic using Sign up is available through the event calendar.

Euchre groups are often looking for subs. If you enjoy playing euchre but don’t want the commitment of monthly play, the substitute group is a fun way to play with different groups. A euchre group will send an email to this sub activity group requesting a sub for a particular date and time. The first to reply will receive a confirmation from the requester that they are scheduled. If interested in subbing, please sign up below.

The poker group meets the 1st Tuesday of the month, with winter hours of 1:00 – 4:00PM and summer hours of 6:00 – 9:00 PM. The group meets on a rotating basis at each member’s home. The game is small stakes, (5c, 10c, 25c), to keep the game and conversation fun and friendly. The group plays dealer’s choice, which sometimes evokes a response, “Did you just make that up?”. But we all like a new games we haven’t played before. The host merely has to provide the home and setup, while members bring snacks and drinks.

Book Clubs

Our groups are currently meeting via Zoom and are available for sign up through our Event Calendar.

This group meets the 4th Monday of each month at Horizon Books (lower level) at 10:00 a.m. We read fiction, biographies and just about anything else that catches our fancy. We have a different a discussion leader for each book, but sometimes we just talk about it from each person’s view. Join us, surprising comments of personal experiences related to the books come up more often than not. You can come even if you have not read it! New members are welcome. Currently, we are meeting via Zoom until further notice.

We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at Horizon Books (lower level) between 10am - 11am and then have lunch afterwards at Amical. We read relatively recent books, both fiction and nonfiction, that have some social relevance. Initial books included Everybody's Son, Dark Money, and Evicted. Not a couples club, although couples are welcome. We welcome individuals of all genders. Currently, we are meeting via Zoom until further notice.

The afternoon group meets on the first Tuesday of the month from September until June in the lower level of Horizon Books at 1 pm. (TO SEE A LIST OF CURRENT YEAR'S BOOKS, HIT THE INFO BUTTON AND HIT THE BLUE TEXT 2020-2021 Book List-Update 101020. Currently, we are meeting via Zoom until further notice.

The morning group meets on the first Tuesday of the month in the lower level of Horizon Books at 10:30am. Lunch will follow. Currently, we are meeting via Zoom until further notice.

Arts and Culture

The Long Read and Needler activity groups are currently meeting via Zoom. The newly formed Bonfire for Eight activity group is meeting in person, others are taking a break and will be available to attend in person once the pandemic is over. Please check the Event Calendar for details.

The Film Group is a casual, fun group made up of people who love going to the movies. We attend movies at different theaters throughout the season and go out for discussion, food and libations afterwards. The group meets the second Thursday of every month from September through May. I may occasionally add an extra film date during any given month if a film looks interesting and may not be playing at the time of the regular scheduled meeting. Watch your email or check the website for specifics each month. Notification as to the film, time and place is emailed to group members a few days before the outing. PLEASE REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT ON THE WEBSITE IN ORDER TO ATTEND.....CLICK ON THE BLUE INFORMATION BUTTON FOR DIRECTIONS ON HOW TO REGISTER.

"Parlons Francais" is a French conversation group. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the conversation respectful of others' points of views, level of comfort and insights. This activity is currently looking for a new leader. If interested, please contact Jeanie Hoholik,

Do you enjoy meeting with other newcomers to discuss important issues, but do not have the time or inclination to read a book in order to meet? Are you looking for something a little different? Then join us for discussions of long reads articles on important contemporary issues. Click on the blue icon for additional information. We are currently meeting via Zoom until further notice.

The National Writers Series is a highly popular group of author events held at the City Opera House. Nationally acclaimed, best-selling authors visit Traverse City and are interviewed in a conversational setting on stage. Past authors have included Tom Brokaw, Rita Mae Brown, Kelly Corrigan and Harlan Coben. Join in the literary fun by attending the NWS event, then meet up with other Newcomers for drinks and/or dessert afterwards to discuss the presentation. Newcomers should purchase their own tickets.

The Newcomers Needlers meet twice a month for a couple of hours of uninterrupted knitting or stitching or rug hooking or needlepoint or whatever strikes your fancy. Show off your finished projects. Bring something to work on (or not!) and enjoy a relaxing afternoon. We also help beginners. We meet on the first and third Thursdays, 1-3pm, at the Aroma’s Coffee Shop at the intersection of M-22 and M-72, across from Tom’s West Bay. We will be meeting in the conference room. COVID 19 UPDATE: AROMA'S IN-PERSON MEETINGS HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED. GROUP MEMBERS WILL RECEIVE EMAILS DESIGNATING OUTDOOR MEETING LOCATIONS, ZOOM MEETING DETAILS, OR CANCELLATIONS AS APPROPRIATE.

Ever wonder how theater sets are designed and built? What happens at auditions? How do directors decide how they want actors to act? Would you like to see how characters develop at rehearsals? Come join our new Theater group and get a new appreciation for The Old Town Playhouse.


Looking to share some of your self with others? While both of our local theaters remain closed until COVID constraints allow re-opening, Caring Connections volunteers continue to offer help and assistance, especially now.

Volunteer to be a part of the Newcomers Club Caring Connections. As a member of this group, you may be asked to help out a fellow club member in need of assistance, meals, transportation, and/or as an encouraging visitor. If you're an empathetic person, this group is for you!

Volunteer at the State and Bijou theaters with Newcomers. We have two shifts per month. We volunteer on the first Wednesday and the third Thursday of each month, generally a three-hour shift between 2-6 p.m. (Time is subject to change slightly as the movie schedule dictates). Eight volunteers are needed per shift. Your reward is popcorn, soda and a voucher for another movie. Sign-up is on the Newcomers’ calendar. BOTH THEATRES ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED DURING COVID. MEMBERS TO THIS ACTIVITY WILL RECEIVE COMMUNICATIONS AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AS RESTRICTIONS ALLOW REOPENINGS.

All-Club and One Time Events

When there is an All-Club Event an email will be sent to all Newcomer members explaining the registration & payment fees, if any, for the event. Examples include the Fall Festival and Spring Fling events. The club encourages members to submit One Time Event proposals for member participation. One time events must include an educational or entertaining component. Additionally, events may not have political or religious content, nor have direct solicitions of products or services. All members of the club will receive notice of any approved One Time Event. Currently these events are held via Zoom. Please check the Event Calendar for further information.