Winter Festivals in Michigan in 2023 

Michigan’s cold, snowy (or sometimes both) climate can be unpleasant, but there’s no denying how beautiful our region is during the winter months. The many ice, snow, and winter festivals coming up perfectly encapsulate Michigan’s beauty, giving us must-see “winter wonderland” aesthetics every year.  

If you’re itching to get out of the house and do something “wintery,” give these upcoming festivals a look.  

World of Winter (Grand Rapids) 

Date and place: Jan 6. through March 5, 2023, in downtown Grand Rapids 

Info: With almost 100 free events, you’ll be hard pressed to find a livelier winter festival. And perhaps the best part about World of Winter is it takes over downtown Grand Rapids for two full months. Enjoy activities, breathtaking outdoor art installations, live music and much more. 

Fire and Ice Festival (Rochester) 

Date and place: Jan. 20-21, 2023, at East Third and Water streets 

Info: The Fire & Ice Festival in downtown Rochester is back for another year of family fun and festivities. Enjoy ice sculptures along Main Street, an ice skating rink, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, fireworks, food trucks and so much more. 

Tip Up Town USA (Houghton Lake)  

Date and place: Jan. 21-22 & 28, 2023, at 1625 W. Houghton Lake Drive.  

Information: Michigan’s largest and longest-running winter festival is revered statewide for its polar bear plunge, ice slide, snowmobile races, parade, and ice fishing contest. Learn more on the Houghton Lake Chamber’s website 

Zehnder’s Snowfest (Frankenmuth) 

Date and place: Jan. 25-29, 2023, at 730 S. Main St.  

Info: Zehnder’s celebrates 32 years of family-friendly winter fun with this larger-than-life snow sculptures and beautifully detailed ice carvings each year. There will be live entertainment in the warming tent, a fireworks display, petting zoo and children’s activities and multiple snow sculpting and ice carving competitions. 

Grand Haven Winterfest (Grand Haven) 

Date and place: Jan. 26-29, 2023, at Mulligan’s Hollow on Mulligan Drive 

Info: It’s winter fun for everyone at the Grand Haven Winterfest, anchored annually by its “world famous” cardboard sled race. There’s also a bonfire bash, ski and snowboard competitions, a family dog pull, “freeze 4 all” snow volleyball and much more. 

A person smiles at a small child during the Grand Rapids World of Winter festival.
A person smiles at a small child during the Grand Rapids World of Winter festival. Photo credit: Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

Pure Ludington Brrrewfest (Ludington) 

Date and place: Jan. 28, 2023, at Legacy Plaza on North James St. 

Info: A sure-fire way to beat cabin fever is Ludington’s premier winter event, where breweries from all over the Mitten set up shop and offer patrons a taste of the state’s best and most unique beer, wine, cider, and mead flavors. This year’s event runs from 1-6 p.m.  

Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase online only. They are $35/person, include six drink tokens, and can be purchased at this link.   

Ice Breaker Festival (South Haven) 

Date and place: Feb. 3-5, 2023, at 500 Phoenix St.  

Info: The 29th Ice Breaker Festival promises winter fun for the whole family, showcasing dazzling ice sculptures, a chili cook-off, cardboard sled race, pub slide, outdoor ice skating, a disc golf tournament, s’mores roasting, a snowsuit fashion competition and much more.  

Plymouth Ice Festival (Plymouth) 

Date and place: Feb. 3-5, 2023, at Kellogg Park. 

Info: The Plymouth Ice Festival is a multi-day, family-friendly extravaganza featuring ice carving displays, ice festival bingo and everything beautiful downtown Plymouth and its merchants have to offer. Learn more about events and parking at this link 

Michigan Tech Winter Carnival (Houghton) 

Date and place: Feb. 8-11, 2023, at 1400 Townsend Drive.  

Info: Michigan Technological University’s Winter Carnival annually takes Houghton by (ice) storm. Celebrate the gargantuan amounts of snowfall Michigan’s Upper Peninsula receives each winter by playing games, checking out the huge student-made snow statues and ice sculptures, and much more. 

Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival (Jackson) 

Date and place: March 11, 2023, at American 1 Credit Union Event Center 

Info: The 12th annual Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival brings food trucks, games, fire pits and patio activities to revitalized downtown Jackson. The event will showcase over 150 craft beers, ciders, meads, and wines along with at least four food trucks. General admission tickets cost $35 in advance and come with 10 tasting tokens. Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $40. Learn more or buy tickets at Etix.com or Jacksoncountyfair.net. 

Honorable Mentions: Mt. Clemens Ice Sculpting Festival and the Cold Rush in Warren  

These long running events typically occur in January and February each year. Specific information about their 2023 events were not announced at the time of this writing. If you are interested in attending these events, follow the Downtown Mount Clemens Facebook page and the Warren Parks and Recreation Facebook page, respectively, for new info as it is released.  

Photo credit: Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

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