Winter WonderFest, Chicago
December 5, 2015 to January 10, 2016
Leading the winter celebration festivities is Chicago's Navy Pier, which hosts Winter WonderFest to coincide with the holiday season. The 15th 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. Included this year are the Wintertube 15-foot-high tubing hill, Toboggan Tunnel roller sled ride, Winter Rules Mini Golf and Snowglobe Live, where you can take a photo inside a 15-foot-tall snow globe.
Recommended Hotel: Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
Winter Carnival, Quebec City, Canada
January 29 to February 14, 2016
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 Le Chateau Frontenac
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
Winterlude, Ottawa, Canada
January 29 to February 15, 2016
Three weekends are devoted to this winter festival that celebrates its 46th year in 2016. The festival 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
Rideau Heights Inn
Winter Carnival, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
February 3 to 7, 2016
For more than 100 years, families have visited Steamboat Springs for its annual 5-day Winter Carnival's 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. Don't miss the country's only skiing high school band perform in the parade!
Recommended Hotel: Sheraton Steamboat Resort
Sheraton Steamboat Resort
SnowFest, Lake Tahoe
March 4 to March 13, 2016
North Lake Tahoe will celebrate great spring weather and skiing with 10 days and nights of fun for its 33rd 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: Resort at Squaw Creek
Resort at Squaw Creek
Cedarburg Winter Festival
February 20 to 21, 2016
Just north of Milwaukee, Cedarburg welcomes winter for the 41st annual Winter Festival, which includes ice carvings, costumed bed racing, barrel races on ice, ice skating, snow golf, live music, arts and crafts, and food and an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast.
Recommended Hotel: The Brewhouse Inn & Suites
The Brewhouse Inn & Suites
Stowe Winter Carnival
January 15 to 24, 2016
The ski destination of Stowe, Vermont, hosts its 42nd annual winter carnival, featuring ice carving competitions, snow golf, snow volleyball, ski races, and kids' carnival. At night, Carnival "meltdown" parties take place for parents, and throughout the event, competitive sports keep visitors entertained when not enjoying the slopes themselves.
Recommended Hotel: Stowe Mountain Lodge
Stowe Mountain Lodge
St. Paul Winter Carnival
January 28 to February 7, 2016
The oldest and biggest winter festival began in St. Paul in 1886 as a way to prove a reporter wrong: St. Paul isn't too cold for people in the winter. The event draws more than 350,000 visitors each year and includes live entertainment and a parade with the crowning a snow queen.
Recommended Hotel: Embassy Suites Hotel St. Paul - Downtown
Embassy Suites Hotel St. Paul - Downtown
More from Family Vacation Critic:
10 Best Places to Escape the Snow
10 Best Places to Be Snowed In
Best Family Ski Resorts on the East Coast
Best Family Ski Resorts on the West Coast