Take advantage of cold weather and snow with these kid-friendly winter festivals
Credit: Carnaval de Quebec

Why complain about the weather when you can revel in it? From the mountains of North Carolina to the streets of Quebec, winter festivals offer a feast of frozen delights: snow sculptures, ice palaces, winter—and winterized—sports (think: snow golf and snowshoe softball), along with light shows, fireworks, torchlight parades, and seasonal treats like maple taffy on snow. Sound cool? Check out the 12 festivals that follow to find your personal cure for cabin fever.

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

Saranac Lake, NY

Feb. 3 - 12, 2017

Try snowshoe racing or cross-country skiing; enjoy concerts, dances, and parades; and watch the fireworks over the awesome Ice Palace at this 117-year-old festival. saranaclakewintercarnival.com

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul, MN Jan. 26 - Feb. 5, 2017

Go geocaching and thrill to fireworks, parades, hot-air balloon races, sled dog competitions, and the bouncing team's aerial acrobatics. winter-carnival.com

Fur Rendezvous

Anchorage, AK Feb. 24 - March 5, 2017

Celebrate Alaska's heritage with the Rondy World Champion Sled Dog Race, the Running of the Reindeer, the blanket toss, outhouse races, and the native arts market. furrondy.net

Steamboat Springs
Credit: Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival

Steamboat Springs, COFeb. 8 - 12, 2017

Watch ski jumping, cross-country obstacle-racing, and the Dog Dash; compete in shovel and three-legged races; and cheer on the Lighted Man as he sets off fire-works down the slope. steamboat-chamber.com

Lake George Winter Carnival

Lake George, NYEvery Saturday & Sunday in February

This lakeside celebration features beach bonfires, ice-diving demos, hot-air balloon rides, a giant snow slide, kite flying, and chili and chowder cook-offs. lakegeorgewintercarnival.com

Stowe Winter Carnival

Stowe, VT Jan. 14 - 28, 2017

Vermont's best-known ski town goes all out with snow volleyball and golf, youth hockey and snowboard half-pipe competitions, ski racing, fireworks, and a kids' carnival. stowewintercarnival.com

Montreal en Lumiere

Montreal, Quebec Feb. 23 - March 11, 2017

This sprawling urban festival features light shows, guest gourmet chefs, life-size board games, a Ferris wheel, and a massive sled slide plus music, theater, dance, and circus performances. montrealenlumiere.com

Carnaval de Quebec

Quebec City, Quebec Jan. 27 - Feb. 12, 2017

The world's largest winter carnival boasts sleigh rides, snow slides, nighttime parades, an extreme canoe race, an ice palace, and more. carnaval.qc.ca/en


Ottawa, Ontario Feb. 3 - 20, 2017

Skate through downtown on a frozen canal, then check out the illuminated ice sculptures, annual bed race, the hockey classic, and the world's largest snow playground. ottawafestivals.ca/events/winterlude


Durango, CO Feb. 1 - 5, 2017

Activities all over town mark this annual winter blowout, including a parade, costume party, doggie Olympics, waiter/waitress race, and music. snowdown.org

Whitefish Winter Carnival

Whitefish, MT Feb. 3 - 5, 2017

A lake plunge, torchlit parade, horse-towed skiing (ski joring), battle of the bands, and pie social are all part of this kid-friendly fest. whitefishwintercarnival.com


Blowing Rock, NCJan. 26 - 29, 2017

Family-friendly activities abound, including ski and snowboarding lessons, ice carving demos, hayrides, bonfires, kids' games and crafts, and the Polar Plunge. blowingrockwinterfest.com

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and availabilities are subject to change. Please contact each hotel and attraction for up-to-date rates and information before taking your trip.

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