8 Exciting Winter Festivals
Even after the winter holidays have passed, many cities offer family-friendly festivals with ice-skating rinks, carnival rides, workshops, fireworks, food and more. Plan to attend one of these exciting winter festival activities in late 2017 and early 2018.
Written by Lissa Poirot
Winter Carnival - Quebec City, Canada
Jan. 26 to Feb. 11, 2018
Looking for winter festival activity ideas? 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
Winterlude - Ottawa, Canada
Feb. 2 to 19, 2018
Three weekends are devoted to this winter festival in Ottawa
that celebrates its 47th year in 2017. 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!
: Rideau Heights Inn
Winter Carnival - Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Feb. 7 to 11, 2018
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!
: Sheraton Steamboat Resort
SnowFest - Lake Tahoe, Calif.
March 1 to 11, 2018
North Lake Tahoe
will celebrate great spring weather and skiing with 10 days and nights of fun for its 37th 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.
: Resort at Squaw Creek
Cedarburg Winter Festival - Wisconsin
Feb. 17 to 18, 2018
Just north of Milwaukee
, Cedarburg welcomes winter for the 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.
: The Brewhouse Inn & Suites
Stowe Winter Carnival - Vermont
Jan. 13 to 27, 2018
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.
: Stowe Mountain Lodge
St. Paul Winter Carnival - Minnesota
Jan. 25 to Feb. 10, 2018
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.
: Embassy Suites Hotel St. Paul - Downtown
Winter WonderFest - Chicago
Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018
Leading the winter festival activities is Chicago's Navy Pier
, which hosts Winter WonderFest to coincide with the holiday season. The 16th 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
1 of 10
8 Exciting Winter Festivals