November 30, 2012 to January 6, 2013
Leading the winter celebration festivities is Chicago's Navy Pier, which hosts Winter WonderFest to coincide with the holiday season. The 12th annual event features a 170,000-square-foot winter playground, complete with indoor ice skating and fair-style slides, rides and fun for kids of all ages and sizes. The Create-A-Cookie Cottage lets kids get creative by decorating their own sugar cookies with sprinkles and frosting (and you don't have to clean up the mess!).
Recommended Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Winter Carnival, Quebec City, Canada
February 1 to 17, 2013
Quebec City knows how to celebrate winter in style. Quebec's world-famous Winter Carnival features First Night and Second Night Parades, ice skating, an ice palace and a number of unique activities for families, including a Snow Bath, sleigh race and dog sled rides. The festival also features snow sculptures and workshops, crafts, arctic spas, fireworks and plenty of food, including delectable fare found at the Sugar Shack.
Recommended Hotel: Fairmont Chateau Frontenac
Winterlude, Ottawa, Canada
February 1 to 18, 2013
Three weekends are devoted to this winter festival that includes culinary events, ice carvings and snow sculptures, as well as Snowflake Kingdom, a snow playground filled with snow slides, obstacle courses and more fun the kids won't be able to get enough of! Be sure to lace on some skates for Rideau Canal, the world's largest naturally frozen skating rink!
Recommended Hotel: Rideau Heights Inn
Winter Carnival, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
February 6 to 10, 2013
Celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival will bring families to the already family-friendly ski resort for even more snow-covered fun. As the oldest continuing winter carnival west of the Mississippi, families flock to the town's skijoring events down Lincoln Avenue. Ski jumping, racing, parades and the Lighted Man and fireworks night show are annual highlights.
Recommended Hotel: Sheraton Steamboat Resort
SnowFest, Lake Tahoe
March 1 to 10, 2013
North Lake Tahoe will celebrate great spring weather and skiing with 10 days and nights of fun for its 32nd consecutive year. Snow events are held at popular ski resorts like Squaw Valley, Diamond Peak, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Alpine Meadows and Homewood, and include parades, races, concerts and special events for all ages.
Recommended Hotel: Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort