Many communities sponsor winter festivals that feature ice sculpting competitions, live outdoor entertainment, good eats and more.
Not familiar with any winter festivals? Then consider the following.
Meltdown Winter Ice Festival
When: January 29-31
Where: Richmond, Indiana
Details: The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival features famous ice sculptors creating a wide array of ice sculptures. There are custom ice sculptures to view along with ice sculpting show-downs between dueling sculptors.
Learn more: richmondmeltdown.com
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
When: February 6-15
Where: Saranac Lake, New York
Details: This winter fest boasts a giant homemade ice palace along with winter athletics contests in sports like alpine skiing and curling. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the Gala Parade or the kids’ parade. There are also snow volleyball, snowshoeing and kids’ skating races.
Learn more: saranaclakewintercarnival.com
Polar Plunge Winter Festival
When: February 6-7 and 28 (depends on location)
Where: Virginia Beach, Northern Virginia, Richmond, Southwest Virginia
Details: This one is not for the faint of heart. (Or the easily chilled!) Participants have the option of taking an icy plunge in four different locations this year. Plungers are required to raise at least $50 or $100 (depending on the location). All proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. There is also an opportunity to win prizes like T-Shirts, towels, gift cards, hotel packages and more.
Learn more: polarplunge.com
Franklin on Ice
When: February 7
Where: Franklin, Pennsylvania
Details: Come out and watch as professional ice carvers create works of art out of ice blocks. There’s also live entertainment to enjoy while you’re there. And don’t forget to stay for the chili cook-off!
Learn more: festivalsinpa.com/franklin-on-ice
When: February 21
Where: Cleveland, Ohio
Details: Now entering its sixth year, Brite Winter will feature bigger and better entertainment than ever. Enjoy over 60 musical acts along with outdoor fires, games and activities, and of course, snow. If the three outdoor stages don’t hold much appeal, warm up at the five indoor stages. There will also be food trucks on sight as well as discounts at local businesses and shops.
Learn more: britewinter.com
Bayfield Winter Festival
When: March 6-8
Where: Bayfield, Wisconsin
Details: This fest is a true winter weekend extravaganza. Kick things off at the the “Freeze Your Glass Off Party” on Friday night. Then watch the snowmobile drag races (or participate in them) or take part in the Mt. Ashwabay Winter Dash, an atypical 5K that features a winter obstacle course. Another popular event is watching the costumed volunteers take the Polar Bear Plunge. There are also activities for children like the Youth Night at Mt. Ashwabay.
Learn more: bayfieldwinterfestival.com