Celebrate the Chill at these Michigan Winter Festivals

You can spend all season complaining about the cold or you can embrace it.

Communities around the state host festivals nearly every weekend celebrating the beauty and fun inherent in a Michigan winter. Plan a trip and explore these hearty cities and towns while you’re at it!

  • Jan. 12-14: Enjoy intricate ice sculptures at the Plymouth Ice Festival. Blue Care Network is a sponsor.
  • Jan. 18-21: Rev up your engine for the Caro Winter Fest and Snowmobile Races, which draws teams from all over the Midwest and Canada.
  • Jan. 19-20: Celebrate the traditional outdoor lifestyle of Negaunee residents at their annual Heikki Lunta Winterfest.
  • Jan. 19-21: Take a carriage ride and take in the Big Bright Light Show featuring over 1.5 million Christmas lights at the annual Fire and Ice Festival in Rochester.
  • Jan. 20-21: Take in Tecumseh’s 9th annual Ice Sculpture Festival where you can enjoy make-it, take-it crafts for the kids and winter warm-up beverage and chocolate walks provided by local merchants.
  • Jan. 24-29: Celebrating 27 years, Zehnder’s Snowfest features large-scale snow sculptures and great family entertainment including fireworks and a petting zoo, all in the fun town of Frankenmuth.
  • Jan. 25-28: Human sled races? Cardboard sled races? These are just two of the quirky events that make up Grand Haven’s Winterfest.
  • Jan. 26-27: Come to Sault Ste. Marie for the ice sculptures, stay for Ice Wars, with carvers competing against one another with their chainsaws and chisels at the city’s annual Downtown Winter Ice Festival.
  • Jan. 27: Head to Muskegon for Party In Your Parka, an all-day celebration of Michigan’s 181st birthday. The fun takes place at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, where you can enjoy winter sports such as ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and luge.
  • Feb. 2-3: Gaylord’s Alpenfrost is a celebration of winter and local businesses, with an open-air ice skating rink, downtown activities and merchant sales, plus a craft beer and wine festival at Treetops Resort.
  • Feb. 2-4: St. Joseph’s 14th annual Magical Ice Fest features a 5K Chocolate Walk/Run, SnowBiz Scavenger Hunt, magical fun with a touring magician and other festive events.
  • Feb. 8-11: Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival started in 1922 and is one of the biggest annual winter celebrations in the country.
  • Feb. 15-18: Petoskey’s Winter Carnival celebrates its 90th year in 2018. Enjoy ice sculptures displayed on downtown sidewalks and in Pennsylvania Park.
  • Feb. 16-18: A community snow sculpture contest, chili cook-off, beard contest, ice bowling and kayak luge are just some of the events that make Drummond Island’s Slush Fest a good time for the entire family.
  • Feb. 17: The Winter Festival at Bay City State Park focuses on getting families outdoors through a family ice fishing derby, a youth ice fishing clinic, and a snow snake clinic and tournament for families, along with other event.
  • Feb. 23-25: Experience Viking Camp, fire performers, sword fighting and more at the Michigan Nordic Fire Festival in Charlotte.

What other Michigan outdoor festivals and events are you planning on checking out this winter? Leave a comment on the post below.

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Photo credit: Ryan Hyde

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