Top 30 Michigan Winter Festivals 2024, Events and Family FUN Things To Do December, January, February, March 

Article: Top 30 Michigan Winter Festivals 2024, Events and Family FUN Things To Do January, February, March + Map | World of Winter, Winter Carnival, Nordic Fire Festival, Plymouth Ice Festival, Tip Up Town and More!

Happy winter, my friends!  Let's get outside to enjoy lots of Michigan winter festivals including ice festivals, World of Winter, snow festivals, ice fishing festivals, polar plunges, Nordic Fire festivals with ship burning (what?) and all things winter! I'm so freakin' excited to attend these festivals this year, especially the Nordic Fire Fest

Chris and I are born and raised Michiganders and we attend as many events in person as we can because it brings a more authentic review and recommendation to you!  

Find FUN Michigan Winter Festivals Near You on Our Map!

Table of Contents (Michigan Winter Festivals By Date)

Best December Michigan Winter Festivals

WinterFUN Festival | Downtown Pontiac Michigan

WinterFUN Festival – Santa & Mrs. Claus Meet & Greet

When: Sat, December 2, 2023 12:00pm – 3:00 pm. Parade is at 11:00 am.

Where: Downtown Pontiac, 30 N Saginaw St Suite 406, Pontiac, MI

The WinterFUN Festival is a great opportunity for families to enjoy a Gallery of Ice with live ice carving competition, a petting farm, live Santa reindeer, s’mores and much, much more.

Run Elf Run: December 2, 2023 at 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Annual Parade: December 2, 2023 at 11:00 am - 1:00 pm in Downtown Pontiac Pontiac, MI. Enjoy about 100 fun costume characters, colorful floats from The Parade Company, professional balloons, marching bands, fire trucks and more. The parade route will begin on Cesar E. Chavez Ave at the Oakland Livingston Human and continue down Saginaw Street until the end at Pontiac City Square.

The City of Houghton Winter Wonderland (Michigan's Upper Peninsula)

When: December 2, 2023, 4:00 pm.

Where: Near the Michigan Tech Lakeshore Center (600 E Lakeshore Dr, Houghton, MI 49931) and Dee Stadium (700 E Lakeshore Dr, Houghton, MI 49931)

Come on out to the city of Houghton for their annual Winter Wonderland! Attractions include free horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate, a bonfire, and an appearance from Santa! Plus meet Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf!  Open skating at the Dee Stadium from 5-6 PM.

Midwest Winter Festival 2023-2024 | Kalamazoo | Cosplay, Concerts and FUN!

When: December 29, 2023 – January 1, 2024

Where: Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center, 100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI.

Dokidokon is excited and honored to host a brand-new winter convention! Enjoy a weekend of cosplay, concerts, vendors, panels, workshops, special guests, and more!

Best January Michigan Winter Festivals

Winter at Valade’s Fire and Ice Festival | Medieval Fun! | | Detroit

When: January 5, 2024 - January 7, 2024

Where: Robert C. Valade Park, 2670 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207

Enjoy oversized fires, sleds, s'mores, games, drinks, food, and more. Lots of events in January and February including signature themed weekends, winter wellness activities, and more!

Medieval fun with a chilly winter flair! Enjoy oversized fires, turkey legs and an ice carving competition. Try archery, ax throwing, take your picture on the famous Iron Throne made of ice! Frozen's Elsa and Renaissance Fair performers will be wandering the park for additional photo opportunities. The signature moment of the weekend is Fire and Ice Tower - a 7 foot ice structure that will become a giant bonfire once lit at 6pm on Saturday. So much fun for the whole family!

2024 World of Winter Festival (Grand Rapids) | The Largest Winter Festival in The US! | Southwest Michigan

When: January 12-March 10, 2024
Where: Throughout Downtown Grand Rapids! You can start at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

World of Winter is a super popular Grand Rapids winter festival held throughout downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan January 12-March 10, 2024.  Chris and I love walking the downtown area "finding" each of the incredible art installations as it feels like a wintery wonderland! 

And World of Winter is FREE to the public! There are several events and fun activities to keep us busy this winter in west Michigan. It's one of our favorite Michigan winter festivals!

Grand Rapids is a top vacation spot to visit and makes for an excellent winter activity road trip to experience Michigan's outdoors! 

--->See our World of Winter Guide! Walking map, schedule, events and more!

2024 Hunter Ice Festival (Niles Michigan) | See Incredible Ice Carvings | Southwest MI

Where: Downtown Niles, Southwest Michigan

When: January 12-14, 2024

The Hunter Ice Festival features the Niles Frigid 5k, beer tasting event, timed ice sculpting competition, ice cream, and Downtown merchants will offer free hot refreshments in their "warming stations" and much more! 

  • The festival showcases more than 150 ice sculptures throughout the downtown area.

Hunter Ice Festival History: Per the Hunter Ice Festival Blog, the festival pays tribute to the history of Niles Michigan's Hunter Brothers Ice and Ice Cream Company.  They created delicious ice cream at the turn of the century, but also cut ice blocks out of Barron Lake and shipped it pretty much everywhere!

Winterfest at Pier Park | Grosse Pointe Farms

When:  Saturday, January 13, 2024, 12:00-4:00pm

Where: Pier Park, 350 Lake Shore Rd, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

  • Winterfest will have a petting farm, ice carving demonstrations, ice skating, plenty of food trucks, putt putt golf and live entertainment! Such a fun Michigan winter festival, perfect for kids and adults alike! 

Rochester Frost Festival 2024

Where: Downtown Rochester, MI 48307

When: Friday, January 19, 2024 and Saturday, January 20, 2024

Ice carving competitions, Themed Ice Sculptures throughout Downtown Rochester. See Live Ice Carving Demos and the famous Big Bright Light Show

Motown Magic Festival | Detroit | FUN Michigan Winter Festivals

Where: Robert C. Valade Park, 2670 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207

When: January 19-21, 2024

Come celebrate Detroit at Motown Magic weekend at Valade Park! There will be a local vendor market, Detroit Pistons park takeover, and a classic Motown soundtrack courtesy of local DJs and dance groups. 


Mackinaw City Winter Festival | Northern Michigan This January! | Outhouse Races!

Where: Mackinaw Crossings front parking lot, 248 S Huron Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701

When: January 20-21, 2024. Races begin at 11:00 am. but get there early to register if you are participating.

Mackinaw City's 31st Annual Winter Fest is a blast!

It's so fun watching the Outhouse Races in the Shepler's Ferry Parking Lot across from the Dixie Saloon. There's also a Kids BIG Freeze obstacle course at the Mackinaw Crossings front parking lot (behind Igloo’s). Fill your belly with a chili cook-off!  Enjoy the festive atmosphere while taking in the scenic Mackinac Bridge and Mackinaw City's charming downtown. It's definitely worth a visit this winter! 

Grab our Mackinaw City guide to help plan your trip! We recommend spending the entire weekend in this lovely Northern Michigan vacation spot. It's the perfect location to experience St. Ignace too.  

  • There will be after and during party celebrations at the Dixie Saloon, too. Great Northern Michigan winter festival.

2024 Tecumseh's Annual Ice Sculpture Festival | South of Detroit

WhenJanuary 20 and 21, 2024

Where: Downtown Tecumseh, MI 49286. Tecumseh is located in southeast Michigan, just south of Detroit.

Come on out to downtown Tecumesh to see over 50 ice sculptures during the Tecumseh's Annual Ice Sculpture Festival! The Michigan Avian Experience will be there to show their majestic birds. Play the Scavenger Hunt through the participating merchants and enjoy The Chocolate/Beverage Walk through the downtown businesses. Yummy AND Fun! Win-win!

2024 Tip Up Town Winter Festival (Houghton Lake in Northern Michigan) | Kids Day, Polar Bear Plunge and Beer Tents!

Where: The southern DNR boat launch, off of M-55 near the Pines theater and Pineview Golf Course in Houghton Lake, Michigan. 1625 W. Houghton Lake Dr. Houghton Lake, MI

When: January 20, 21, 27, 2024

Learn More: Schedule at Tip Up Town!

So guys, if you love a good hometown winter festival and carnival, come to Houghton Lake for Tip Up Town USA! 

  • This fun family friendly winter carnival involves a polar plunge (my personal favorite), ice fishing contests, beer tent, snowmobile drag races, pony rides, kids games and activities, an ice slide and lots of fun!

The Houghton Lake Chamber has applications for the Queen contest, rules and more info. Great Northern Michigan winter festival.

2024 Zehnder's Snow Fest (Frankenmuth Michigan)

Be sure to attend this year's Zehnder's Snowfest, it's one of Chris and I's favorite Michigan winter festivals!

Where: Main Street, Frankenmuth

When: January 24, 2024 - January 28, 2024

Learn More: Guide to Zehnder's Snowfest

There are so many fun things to do at Zender's Snowfest! See world class ice carving, enjoy the warming tent, a fireworks display, petting zoo and children’s activities and more! What a fun Frankenmuth Michigan winter activity. Oh, and this is a free event!

2024 NCAA Central Regional Skiing Championships | Michigan Tech (Upper Peninsula)

WhenJanuary 24-25, 2024

Where: Michigan Tech's trail system is located right across the street from the Student Development Complex, or the south end of the Michigan Tech campus on MacInnes Drive.

The championship spans two days and will take place on Michigan Tech's world-class Tech Trails. 

Grand Haven Winterfest in West Michigan | See The Famous Cardboard Sled Race!

When: January 25-28, 2024
Where: Mulligan’s Hollow, 600 Y Dr, Grand Haven, MI

Grand Haven Winterfest is January 25-28, 2024 in Grand Haven! Come on out for some silly winter fun and good times! Join in on their World Famous cardboard sled race!

  • So many fun family activities such as snow volleyball, bon fires bash, ski and snowboard competition, kids day, family dog pull, glowbowl, euchre tournament and so much more! 

We recommend catching a ride on their FREE shuttle service from downtown parking (Franklin and 1st, 2nd or 3rd streets) out to Mulligan’s Hollow for the events on Saturday. Such a fun west Michigan winter event!

There are so many fun things to do in Grand Haven!  Make it a winter couples getaway as Grand Haven is one of Michigan’s most popular travel destinations.

Winter Fest | Coldwater, MI | Family Friendly Winter Activities | South Michigan

Where: Heritage Park, 1776 Heritage Dr Coldwater, MI 49036

When: Sat, January 27, 2024, 10 AM – 3 PM

Cardboard Sled Races, Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Sled Dogs, Live Wood Carvings, Inflatables, Kid’s Crafts, Hot Cocoa & More!

Best February Michigan Winter Festivals

Plymouth Ice Festival - See Incredible Ice Sculptures!

Where: Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth, Michigan. W Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, MI 48170
When: February 2-4, 2024

February 2-4, 2024 marks an incredible winter festival where you can watch over 50 ornate ice sculptures created by world renown ice carvers!

The Plymouth Ice Festival is one of the largest free ice festivals in Michigan, you won't want to miss it! Grab our guide!!

2024 Annual Ice Breaker Festival | South Haven Michigan (West Michigan) Top Michigan Winter Festival

When: February 2, 2024 - February 4, 2024
Where: Downtown South Haven

Chris and I love the annual Ice Breaker Festival in South Haven. It's held annually on the first weekend of February in West Michigan.  This fun winter festival showcases a chili cook-off, cardboard sled races, pub slide, frozen ice fling, Break the Ice 5k, Snowsuit Fashion Competition, Curling, and many more exciting activities throughout downtown South Haven.

  • Chris and I highly recommend turning this event into a couples weekend getaway. We HIGHLY recommend staying overnight at the South Haven Bed and Breakfast, Carriage House At the Harbor as we had an exquisite time.  The rooms are so cozy with fireplaces, comfy beds and incredible views of the marina. Plus the breakfast is out of this world good. It's walking distance from downtown South Haven, the South Haven Pier, Stanley Johnson Park and the Michigan Maritime Museum. 

On Saturday, February 5th is “Heat the Streets” get ready to GET TOASTY as three fire pits will be hot and ready for s’more roasting! YUMMY!  Also on Saturday, be sure to enjoy the Professional Chili Cook-Off!

  • Try beginner curling lessons!
  • Try your hand at the Ice Breaker Festival's Annual Frozen Fish Fling at the South Marina! 
  • And you can't miss the annual Cardboard Sled Race on Saturday afternoon at the Coast Guard hill!   
  • Glide across the ice at the covered outdoor ice skating rink in downtown South Haven! 

So many fun Michigan Winter Festivals and things to do in winter!

One of the highlights of this annual event is watching incredible ice sculpting! See more than 40 blocks of ice, weighing 300-600 pounds each, transform into works of frozen art! The Ice Breaker Festival in South Haven should be at the top of your list! 

Plus, South Haven is a top Michigan must-see destination as it has one of the pretties beaches in the country...even in the winter!

2024 Heikki Lunta Winter Festival (Negaunee, Michigan's Upper Peninsula)

When: February 2, 2024 - February 3, 2024
Where: Downtown Negaunee

Heikki Lunta Winter Festival is a celebration of all things winter in Michigan's Upper Peninsula! Featuring Irontown Rail Jam, snowshoe lantern tours, fish fry, fat tire races, fireworks, a parade and fun all weekend long. So come out and embrace the winter spirit of Michigan's Upper Peninsula!  

2024 Chilly Fest in Beautiful Port Huron, Michigan | Top Michigan Winter Events!

Where: McMorran Place is located at 701 McMorran Blvd, Port Huron, Michigan

When: February 2-3, 2024

Celebrate winter in the Blue Water Area! Visitors of all ages will enjoy Visitors of all ages will enjoy outdoor activities, s’mores station, carriage rides, a chili crawl and much more!  PoHo Hot Cocoa Run, Carriage Rides, and the Fuzzy Penguin Hunt too! Super popular Michigan winter festivals!

  • Grab the Chilly Fest schedule. Located in southeast Michigan.
  • While you are there, check out our Port Huron Guide! Discover what to do in this lovely small town in Michigan's thumb. 

Winter Blast | Royal Oak Michigan | Fun Michigan Winter Festivals!

When: February 2-4, 2024

Where: Centennial Commons (221 E 3rd St, Royal Oak, MI 48067) and the Royal Oak City Center (219 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067)

This fun, FREE admission community event offers live music, free ice skating, ice sculptures, learn to ski/snowboard experience, zip line, food trucks, kids adventure zone, free family activities and several other things to do!


  • Friday, February 2: 4PM-11PM
  • Saturday, Febrary 3: 11AM-11PM
  • Sunday, February 4: 11AM-8PM

30th Annual 2024 Ice Breaker Festival | South Haven Michigan

When: February 2-4, 2024

Where: Downtown South Haven. Begin on Phoenix Street!

Downtown South Haven in West Michigan is the COOL spot for winter fun! This family friendly Michigan winter festival has breathtaking ice sculptures, Chili Cook-off, Cardboard Sled Race, Pub Slide, outdoor ice skating, Disc Golf Tournament, S’mores Roasting, Snowsuit Fashion Competition, Frozen Fish Fling, and several more events and activities throughout downtown South Haven. Perfect date night or family activity!

See sculpting of around 40 blocks of ice, weighing 300-600 pounds each! Be sure to enjoy the Pub Slide, with food, drink, and entertainment specials offered at participating bars and restaurants all weekend long.

2024 Michigan Ice Festival | Munising (Upper Peninsula)

When: February 7-11, 2024
Where: Munising, Michigan. Many events are at the Community Center, Mather Auditorium. Headquarters: Central Elementary School, 101 E Chocolay St, Munising, MI 49862

Michigan Ice Festival offers ice climbing gear demonstrations, climbing classes for ice climbing enthusiasts and tons of opportunities to learn about ice climbing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Check the Michigan Ice Festival schedule, it's jam packed. We recommend scheduling early. 

  • Make it a Michigan weekend getaway! Explore the nearby Upper Peninsula Frozen Waterfalls and see what to do in Munising!  If you are short on time, be sure to see Munising Falls as it's worth the visit, especially in winter! Chris and I have traveled, explored, dined and stayed in Munising several times and it's one of my favorite Upper Peninsula towns!

2024 Michigan Tech Winter Carnival in Marquette: See Breathtaking Ice Sculptures in the Upper Peninsula!

Where: Michigan Tech's Campus in Marquette
When: February 7-10, 2024

Learn More: Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival

Winter Carnival is one of the most WOW inducing Michigan Winter Festivals! Head to Michigan Tech's campus in Marquette (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) to see incredible snow sculptures created by Michigan Tech's students during Winter Carnival.  They will seriously blow your mind!  There are also tons of fun winter events such as:

  • Broomball
  • Curling 
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Cross Country Skiing 
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding 
  • Human Dog Sled Races 
  • Ice Bowling and more!

A trip to Marquette in Michigan's Upper Peninsula makes a perfect winter activity road trip! You can explore the cross country ski trails and nearby frozen waterfalls all while experiencing Michigan's outdoors! 

2024 Family Winter Fun Fest | Bay City Michigan 

When: Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Where: Center Court at Bay City Town Center, 4101 E Wilder Rd, Bay City, MI

Kids zone, entertainment, food, vendors and more!

2024 Michigan Nordic Fire Festival This February | Charlotte Michigan (Near Lansing)

Where: Eaton County Fairgrounds, located at 1025 Cochran Ave, Charlotte, MI.  
When: February 23-25, 2024

The super popular Nordic Fire Festival is February 23-25, 2024 and the Ship Burning (Knörr Blόt) is on Friday at 7:00 PM!  The Mid-Winter Feast (Þorrablót) - Sunday February 25, 2024 at 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm. 

It's a fun affordable Michigan event this winter! Fun for couples, friends and family!

Learn More: Schedule of Events, Photos and Things to See at Nordic Fire Festival! 

Fun events include:

  • Demonstrations
  • Reenactments
  • Viking Camp
  • Musical performances
  • Fire Performers

Festival Hours:
Friday 5pm-11pm
Saturday 10am -11pm
Sunday 11am- 4pm

Last year, Chris and I turned this into a quick winter getaway by spending the night nearby and then we drove north to explore Lansing! We had so much fun exploring their museums and you can tour the Lansing State Capitol! Grab our guides:

While visiting Michigan Winter Festivals in the Upper Peninsula, be sure to check out the Best Places to See Frozen Waterfalls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula!

The Big Freeze Winter Festival in Escanaba (Michigan's Upper Peninsula)

Fire and Ice night, carriage rides, ice fishing derby and winter fun during the Big Freeze Winter Festival in Escanaba. It's a top-rated Upper Peninsula event that is definitely worth attending. 


  • February 17, 2023, 5-8 pm at U.P. State Fairgrounds, Ruth Butler Building, 2401 12th Ave N, Escanaba, MI. FIRE & ICE NIGHT. Enjoy a Chili Challenge & live Ice Carving performance by Food Network's Randy Finch, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, LIVE music and more!
  • February 18, 2023, 4:00 AM - 2:00 PM. at Little Bay De Noc for the ICE FISING DERBY! Register early! Lots of prizes. PLUS 12 pm -6 pm at the U.P. State Fairgrounds, Ruth Butler Building, 2401 12th Ave N, Escanaba for kids crafts, carriage ridges, bonfires with smores and more!

So much fun in Michigan's Upper Peninsula!

So many questions in my head!

  • So I asked Jason from Visit Escanaba, "How are the ice tents and shanties brought out on the ice? Please tell me more about this!"  He says, "The ice tents are easy to set up and provide protection from the cold, but once the ice gets really thick and people can bring vehicles out onto the ice we will start to see bigger and heavier shanties (like the green one) set up."

He continued saying, "The fisherman will drag the shanties out onto the ice, usually with a side-by-side. People usually have their own but, there are businesses set up to accommodate those who do not have the necessary equipment"   

So during their festival, you can still ice fish even if you don't have a shanty. 

2024 Indian River Winterfest

WhenFebruary 2024 tbd
Where: Cooperation Park 5454 S. Straits Hwy, Indian River, MI. 

Winterfest is easily accessible by both snowmobile from the rails to trails and by vehicle.

Indian River Winterfest offers family fun! Enjoy Pond Hockey Tournament, Free Ice Skating, Sledding Hill, Entertainment, Refreshment tent with music.

March Michigan Winter Festivals

2024 Annual Suds & Snow Festival at Timber Ridge Resort (Traverse City in Northern Michigan)

When: March 2, 2024 from 1-6pm
Where: Timber Ridge Resort, 4050 E Hammond Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686

Annual Suds & Snow is an afternoon with beer, wine & cider plus great eats from local restaurants & food trucks.  Event is for guests 21+. 

  • The annual themed Suds & Snow event includes a 1/2 mile hike through the woods of Timber Ridge Resort to enjoy two live-music stages with local musicians, several breweries serving craft beers, wine, & cider, and local food trucks.

This Traverse City winter microbrew event is sure to be Northern Michigan’s ultimate “Party in the Woods” with the fun theme of Mardi Gras!

Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival | Jackson Michigan | Annual Beer Event in Southwest Michigan

Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival, 21+ only.

Where: American 1 Credit Union Event Center, 128 W Ganson St, Jackson, MI 49201

When: March 9, 2024. Doors Open: 12:00 PM

Come on out for the 13th annual Southern Michigan Winter Beer Festival with fire pits, live ice sculpture demonstrations, corn hole,  food trucks, music, retail vendors & so much more in the downtown Jackson Michigan area. This fun beer event will have over 150 craft beers, ciders, meads, and wines and of course, lots of tasty food choices like pizza, burgers, brats and BBQ!

General admission tickets are $40 in advance and you will receive 10 tasting tokens. Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $45.

Lots More Fun Michigan Winter Events and THINGS TO DO...

By: Sherry Trautman

Sherry Trautman Bio PictureAuthor: Sherry Trautman

 Author | Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong more about Sherry Trautman 

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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