Instead of spending your winter huddled in your house with the heat on full blast, perhaps it’s time you plan a trip. These cities embrace their cold climates and celebrate the joys, beauty and fun of winter.
1. St. Paul Winter Carnival, Minnesota
Taking place between January 28th and February 17th, the St. Paul Winter Carnival is complete with ice sculptors, vendor booths and live entertainment. The first carnival was held in 1886 in response to a reporter who bashed the livability of Saint Paul in winter. Every year since, travelers prove him wrong by showing the world their ability to not only live, but also enjoy themselves in a winter wonderland.
2. Fur Rendezvous Winter Festival (Fur Rondy), Alaska
This festival held in Anchorage is worth the travel. One of the most popular festivals with the locals and in the world, “Rondy” features The Official Rondy Fur Auction as a continuation of Alaska’s earlier fur trade, a “Blanket Toss” which reflects an ancient Alaskan Native Tradition, the World Championship Sled Dog Race with the famous Iditarod, the Rondy Carnival, various parades, outhouse races, the death-defying Running of the Reindeer and much more.
3. Carnaval de Quebec, Canada
One of the largest winter carnivals in the world and running for over 60 years, the Quebec Winter Carnival has its own masquerade ball with over 400 participants. They also have sport events, public banquets, actions, races, ice castles and tournaments. Try the traditional hot alcoholic beverage, Caribou, to keep warm.
4. Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival, Colorado
Home of an internationally known ski resort, the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival started as a way to ward off cabin fever. The events feature a, entertaining Rodeo Clown, a “Donkey Jump” which sends kids off 40 foot jumps, and skiers being pulled by horses down the main streets. If you go, don’t miss the Lighted Man who skies down the slopes with fireworks shooting from his back pack.
5. WinterFest, Oregon
For those travelers with a love of fire, the Oregon WinterFest holds fire pit competitions where visitors can vote on the best made fire pit. Other events include a bike show, live stage music all weekend, 5k and 10k runs through a beautiful area. If these don’t perk your interest, you can go on a long wine tasting tour through the Old Mill District.
6. Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, New York
The first Saranac Lake Winter Carnival was held of 100 years ago and still they hold annual winter celebrations. One of their most memorable features is an ice palace, made completely of ice and dependant on Mother Nature. It’s no surprise that the festival was named second best by the National Geographic Traveler magazine with its performances, parades, sports and fireworks.
7. Frozen Dead Guy Days, Colorado
Since its start in 2001, this festival in Nederland has been known as one of the most unique festivals in the country with its combination of winter and Halloween-like festivities. There are coffin races, ice turkey bowling, costume polar plunging, brain freeze contests, frozen salmon tosses, even a frozen dead poet slam. With these strange events and other live performances, there is certainly something for everyone.