Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography
Ludington Night Life
What better way to enjoy a balmy summer night than with music? We are blessed to have a variety of wonderful musicians in this area. Venues for outdoor concerts include Ludington’s Waterfront Park, Rotary Band Shell at Rotary Park (formerly called Ludington City Park), and Legacy Plaza (formerly James Street Plaza).
World Class Sunsets
You may want to head to the beach in the evening hours to avoid the daytime crowds. Stop first and get an ice cream cone, then snuggle up on the sand and wait for the spectacular sunset that never disappoints. Make a game of it and predict the exact minute the golden orb seems to disappear into Lake Michigan. Ludington hosts a Sunset Bonfire Series each summer at Stearns Park Beach on the 4th Thursday of each month. Listen to live music while you gather around the large bonfire to watch the sun go down .
Evenings at Waterfront Park
Have a picnic supper at Waterfront Park. There are plenty of tables and, while you eat, you can watch the various boats as they enter the marinas. The S.S. Badger carferry arrives from Manitowoc at 7pm and leaves again at 8:30pm, and you’ll have the perfect view at Waterfront Park. Kids can frolic on the playground and, after your meal, you can take a stroll to see the sculptures that are found throughout the park. West Shore Bank sponsors its Rhythm & Dunes Concert Series two Saturday nights in late July featuring top-notch musicians. This event is free to the public.
Friday Night Live
In years past, Ludington has hosted weekly street parties on Friday evenings, called Friday Night Live. The event included live music, food vendors, booths by local organizations/businesses offering kid’s activities, bounce houses, live music, and more. The event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions and has not yet returned in it’s original format. We’re hopeful that it will return in some form eventually.
Indoor Performance Venues
West Shore Community College
West Shore Community College in nearby Scottville is known for providing a great education to thousands of students of all ages, but the arts are also alive and well at the college. The Performing Arts Series features musicians, theater productions, one-man shows as well as the WSCC symphony orchestra, jazz band, and concert choir.
Ludington Area Center for the Arts
The Ludington Area Center for the Arts has proven to be a valuable and cultural asset to the city of Ludington. The Center hosts various concerts, exhibits, and speakers, as well as being home for the Lakeside Civic Players, a community theater group. The gift shop is open.
For more indoor performance venues in West Michigan, click here.
Bars & Nightlife
Along Ludington Avenue and on South James Street, there are a variety of bars and pubs, many of which offer live entertainment on weekend nights. If karaoke is what you’re looking for, you’ll find that, too. Good friends and good times last long into the night, with taxis available for safe rides home.
Football & Other Fall Sports
Fall means football, and Friday nights light up at Oriole Field. Prior to the game and at halftime, the Ludington High School marching band takes the field and fills the air with great music. Attend other outdoor sports, like cross country, tennis, and golf. Or stay warm inside and watch a volleyball match or a swim meet. Meet friends at your favorite tavern on Saturday or Sunday afternoon for exciting college and NFL football.
What to Do on Snowy Nights
When the weather is less than ideal, there’s no need to sit home. Head out to a local bowling alley for a game of cosmic/laser bowling, or catch a movie at the local theater. Local coffeehouses are a great place to enjoy a beverage and perhaps catch some live entertainment. Many restaurants are open late ready to serve hungry patrons. Or, if you enjoy being outdoors on winter evenings, check out the guided, lantern-lit snowshoe hikes at the Ludington State Park!
New Year's Eve
There’s no better way to end the year than with a night in Downtown Ludington for the New Year’s Eve Lighted Ball Drop. Besides the ball coming down at midnight, there’s an entertainment tent with live music and fireworks following the drop.
Visitor or resident, young or old, everyone can truly enjoy the night life in Ludington!
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More Activities & Attractions in Ludington
Discover small town life in the late 1800s and early 1900s at Historic White Pine Village in Ludington, overlooking Lake Michigan.
The S.S. Badger Carferry is a fun and relaxing shortcut across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Enjoy a picnic by Upper Hamlin Lake. With grills, a pavilion and picnic tables available, this park provides the perfect family setting.
No matter your experience level, Ludington area charter captains will guide you in what to bring and what to expect on the big lake.
Just blocks from the beach is the heart of downtown Ludington, where you can shop, dine, and enjoy summertime events.
The bronzed sculptures in Ludington’s 5-acre Waterfront Park sets it apart from other parks. The park is situated on the Lake Michigan inlet.
Cast your line into Upper Hamlin Lake or enjoy a picnic, the playground, or watch Hamlin Lake’s Independence Fireworks at Wilson Hill Park.
Enjoy an afternoon drive around the Ludington area in October and fill your senses with the vibrant colors of fall.
Children can create, explore, and discover by playing with the numerous variety of exhibits of Sandcastles Children’s Museum.
Disc golf is a big deal here in the Ludington area, with up to 20,000 people per year visiting one of our six courses.