Depending on where you live, our state may just be starting to look and feel like a winter wonderland, or it’s been that way for quite a few months. Either way, it’s time to get outdoors, especially in the Yoop, and enjoy these 12 things to do in Michigan in February.

February 1-4 Michigan International Auto Show – Grand Rapids

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, or just can’t get enough of seeing the latest and greatest, then this is the event for you. It’s West Michigan’s annual showcase of available cars, trucks, SUV’s, crossovers, hybrids, electrics, luxury and performance vehicles. The show is set at DeVos Place, where kids will jump at the chance to test drive a miniature Mustang, Jeep, or Mini Cooper around a tire-lined track. This year, the nearby Gilmore Car Museum will be showcasing a few recent donations, all of which have never been displayed before at the Museum or at the Auto Show.  If you love what you see, head to nearby Hickory Corners and take a stroll through their whole incredible collection. Tickets for the auto show are $12 each, or $5 for kids aged 6-14. Little ones 5 and under are admitted at no cost.

February 2-4 Ice Breaker Festival – South Haven

The not-to-be-missed highlight of this annual event is the sculpting of more than 40 blocks of ice, weighing 300-600 pounds each, into incredible works of frozen art. Take a stroll around downtown to see all of the cool designs and enjoy food, drink, and entertainment specials from participating bars and restaurants all weekend long. The fest also features a Chili Cook-off, Cardboard Sled Races, Pub Slide, the Frozen Fish Fling, outdoor ice skating, a disc golf tournament, s’mores-roasting, and many more exciting activities.

February 2-4 Winter Blast – Royal Oak

We haven’t had too many big winter blasts this year, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a giant party in Royal Oak as the season winds down. Admission is free, but the fun is priceless at this annual celebration. Work up an appetite on the ice skating rink, then satisfy that hunger with the food truck rally. Kids will love the mini-carnival, which includes a Swing Ride, Climbing Wall, Wizzer Ride and Pirate Ship. They can also slip back in time in The Medieval Village. Live music from some of the area’s finest entertainers can be found on three different stages. Stroll through the Ice Garden, roast some marshmallows, throw an axe, or try out the new Ninja Ropes Course. There’s winter fun for everyone, and you’re sure to have a blast.

February 7-10 Winter Carnival – Houghton

Some winter events are just getting their start, but not this annual tradition at Michigan Tech. The Huskies have been celebrating Winter Carnival for over a century! First of all, winter is a spectacular time to visit Houghton. You can ski, skate, snowshoe, and simply admire the winter wonderland. Then there’s the wacky fun associated with this carnival. Students create dozens of huge, intricate snow statues, some may be as high as forty feet. You can also check out broomball and curling competitions. Then there’s human dog sled races or ice bowling (hint: a student on a sled is the “ball”). Attend mass in a giant ice chapel, take in a comedy skits, and watch the queen coronation. Top it all off with a torchlight parade and fireworks at Mont Ripley ski area on Saturday the 10th.

February 7-11 Michigan Ice Fest – Munising

Munising is home to an incredible concentration of waterfalls. As stunning as they are the rest of the year, they may be even more magical in the winter. While in the Upper Peninsula, the same weekend as the MTU Winter Carnival, locals invite you to join them in one of their favorite winter pursuits. Test your skills at ice climbing. Visitors of any skill level are welcome to participate, with classes and gear available for beginners. Even if you’re not ready to try a climb yourself, it’s plenty of fun to watch others, and to simply explore the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore during this special season.

February 9-11 & 16-18 Winter State Games of Michigan – Marquette & Grand Rapids

It may only be a summer Olympic year on a global scale, but winter sports are enjoying an Olympic year here in Michigan, thanks to the Meijer State Games of Michigan. If you’re not familiar, this is a multi-sport, Olympic-style competition that welcomes all athletes regardless of age or ability. The Opening Ceremony even features a parade of athletes, lighting of the cauldron, and some great entertainment on Friday, February 9 at Marquette Mountain Resort. From February 9-11, Marquette will play host, and then Grand Rapids takes over February 16-18. Participate or cheer on athletes competing in archery, basketball, bowling, cross-country skiing, curling, darts, disc golf, fencing, figure skating, judo, karate, luge, ninja, pickleball, shooting sports, ski and snowboard, sled hockey, snow volleyball, snowshoe, sport stacking, swimming postal, and wrestling. Note that some of the events take place outside of these dates and locations. Visit the website for complete details.

February 10 Chocolate Extravaganza – Chelsea

Attention chocoholics, Chelsea is calling your name this month. Come experience chocolate maker demonstrations, baking and cooking with chocolates, and go on the Cocoa Crawl. Eat, drink, and buy chocolaty goodness all day long. Extend your experience by picking up tickets to Diva Royale, a play by Jeff Daniels at The Purple Rose. This charming town is also chock full of unique shops and wonderful eateries worth exploring, making this is an awesome way to celebrate Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day.

February 15-19 UP 200 Sled Dog Races – Marquette

Did you know that the UP200 is one of America’s premier 12-dog, mid-distance sled dog races, and a qualifier for the Iditarod? That’s why it draws mushers from around the continent to participate. The 220-mile roundtrip run starts and ends in Marquette. From there, the dogs teams cut through wilderness, cross creeks, and traverse hills and valleys to get to Grand Marais and back. There’s nothing quite like watching these canine athletes up close. Two other events take place the same weekend, so there’s plenty of action. They are the 82-mile Midnight Run and the 26-mile Jack Pine race. While in Marquette, be sure to enjoy some refreshment at Blackrocks Brewery, and pick up a souvenir or two from the curated collection at Michigan Made.

February 23-24 Michigan Nordic Fire Festival – Charlotte

If you’re looking for a truly unique weekend, then head to Charlotte for this Nordic experience. You’ll find battles, blacksmiths, archery, axe throwing, swinging swords, feats of strength, unique crafts, food, mead. Discover your inner Viking. Family-friendly during the day and lively in the evening, this event has plenty of demonstrations as well as experiential activities. You can try your hand at throwing an axe or spear, or challenge yourself with archery. If you’re feeling a tad more competitive, enter one or more of the many contests including stone throw, stone carry, hammer throw, horn blast, tug-o-war, or the less strenuous costume and beard competitions.

February 24 Trenary Outhouse Classic – Trenary

Nestled in the center of the U.P., the tiny hamlet of Trenary is known for two things: Finnish toast you have to try and this wacky event. Participants build makeshift outhouses, mount them on skis, and push them down a snowy course about the length of a football field . Each team hopes to earn a modest cash prize and serious bragging rights. Bring a fur hat, to keep warm, and also compete for the title of Best Fur Hat. While in town, be sure to stop by Trenary Home Bakery for some of that famous cinnamon toast.

February 24 Winter Beer Festival – Comstock Park

No, of course you can’t try them all, but there will be plenty of options from which to choose at this year’s brew salute at the ballpark. This popular event will feature hundreds of fresh, local beers from Michigan’s finest breweries, plus local music, ice sculptures and carving demonstrations. Don’t worry, the outdoor event also includes fire pits to chase away the cold. Each $60 guest ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens which can each be exchanged for a 3 oz. sample. Food will also be available onsite for purchase.  The party runs from 1pm-6pm at LMCU Ballpark, home to the West Michigan Whitecaps. Designated Driver tickets will be available at Will Call at the ballpark the day of the festival for $20.

February 25-March 2 T.C. Restaurant Week – Traverse City

Everyone loves the cherry blossoms of spring, cherries of summer, and orange and reds of fall, but have you seen how gorgeous Traverse City is in the winter? Restaurant Week is an ideal time to check it out. Soak in the gorgeous splendor of the outdoors, and then literally gorge at one of our state’s finest culinary destinations. This year Traverse City Restaurant Week will have a fresh format with a free digital Restaurant Week passport. This innovative passport will be your guide, containing all the essential details about participating restaurants, including menus, contact information, and directions. Checking in at participating eateries via the passport may also win you some sweet prizes. Visit the website to sign up online and receive a link to the passport.

Join us on social media for ongoing discussions about Michigan travel destinations. Tweet @BuyMichiganNow or tag us in a picture on Instagram when you make it to one of our 12 things to do in Michigan in February. For next month’s event highlights, or to get ideas for your local bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page regularly.

Author: BMN Staff