It can be easy to catch a case of the winter blues after the holidays. Instead of hiding indoors from the cold this year, take advantage of the less crowded travel window and check out these frosty fun festivals.
1. Steamboat Winter Carnival- Steamboat Springs, CO (February 9-13, 2023)
Celebrating its 107th year, the Steamboat Winter Carnival is the oldest, continuously running winter festival west of the Mississippi. Originally introduced as a way to help locals kick cabin fever during the winter, the event continues to embrace its history of winter sports allowing guests to watch and partake in a variety of ski and sledding events. The carnival also includes after-dark events including bonfires, live music, a costume party, and the famed Night Extravaganza featuring fireworks and an illuminated exhibition of stunt skiing. Access to the carnival requires the purchase of a $10 button which grants visitors access to most the activities.Additional reservations and tickets may be required for some events. Proceeds from the button sales go to supporting the carnival and the athletes of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
2. Big Turn Music Festival- Red Wing, MN (February 17-18, 2023)
Can’t wait for summer festival season, music fans? If you need a weekend to get out and dance then head up to the Big Turn Music Festival in Red Wing, Minnesota. Located just an hour outside of Minneapolis-St. Paul this two night festival features 203 bands playing at 23 venues across the city, including bars, shops, and even churches. This event is a celebration of music, crossing genres and styles to highlight popular and up-and-coming artists from around Minnesota and the Midwest. Tickets are $75 for a two day pass or $40 for a single day ticket.
3. 2020 Legacy Winter Fest- Salt Lake City, UT (February 14-16, 2020)
Salt Lake City is hosting the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships and to celebrate the Utah Olympic Oval is hosting a weekend-long winter carnival. Check out the speed skating events then mosey outside to enjoy live music, food trucks, beer garden, axe throwing, and a mechanical bull. Kids can also enjoy a petting zoo, video game truck, and face painting. Admission is free for all visitors!
4. Portland Winter Lights Festival- Portland, OR (February 3-11, 2023)
The Willamette Light Brigade will host its fifth annual Winter Lights Festival this February celebrating arts throughout the city of Portland. This free family-friendly event is a collaboration of local artists, businesses, and community groups and includes nearly 200 illuminated art installations, pyrotechnics, live
performances, and educational programs spread across the city and Portland State University. Special stops include a unique pop-up “glow bar,” live music and dancing, an illuminated bike ride, and the annual lantern parade.
5. Bloor Yorkville Ice Fest- Toronto, ON, Canada (February 8-9, 2020)
You won’t need a DeLorean or a Hot Tub Time Machine to go back to the 80s this winter, just get to downtown Bloor-Yorkville in Toronto for the annual Ice Fest. This year’s theme is “The Awesome 80’s” and will feature over 70,000 pounds of ice carved into sculptures inspired by the film, music, and pop culture of this most excellent decade. Watch live ice-sculpting demonstrations and vote for which artist will be named the year’s ice sculpting championship, take photos with sculptures of Elton John, Madonna, and Eddie VanHalen, or take advantage of the local shopping district. Located in the premier cultural district of the city this annual event also features DJ performances, an ice fest scavenger hunt as well as access to the best bar and restaurant scene in the city.