Depending on where you live, our state may just be looking and feeling like a winter wonderland, or is 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 2023.
February 2-5 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. The nearby Gilmore Car Museum will also feature a portion of its historic collection on site. That includes muscle cars, a Ford Model T, a supercharged Duesenberg, Ferrari, Ford GT prototype, and more. 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 3-5 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, outdoor ice skating, Disc Golf Tournament, S’mores Roasting, Snowsuit Fashion Competition, Frozen Fish Fling, and many more exciting activities.
February 5-10 Ann Arbor Restaurant Week – Ann Arbor
There is no doubt that the home of the Wolverines is also one of Michigan’s best culinary destinations. Whether you’re a foodie, or just love a great deal, then this is the time to hot an eatery or two in Ann Arbor. This year’s event features family meals to-go from places like Blue Tractor and Zingerman’s Deli. Several places have special menus for two including Avalon Café & Kitchen, Jolly Pumpkin, and Real Seafood Company. Lunch offers can be found at Gandy Dancer, Weber’s, and many more. Course menus and chef highlights are on tap at The Black Pearl, Miss Kim, and The Earle, just to name a few.
February 8-11 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 11th.
February 9-12 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 10-12 & 17-19 Winter State Games of Michigan – Marquette & Grand Rapids
It may not be an Olympic year on a global scale, but every year is like 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 10 at Marquette Mountain Resort. From February 10-12, Marquette will play host, and then Grand Rapids takes over February 17-19. Participate or cheer on athletes competing in archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, cross-country skiing, curling, darts, disc golf, fencing, figure skating, ice hockey, karate, luge, ninja, shooting sports, ski and snowboard, sled hockey, snowshoe, sport stacking, and wrestling. Note that some of the events take place outside of these dates and locations. Visit the website for complete details.
February 11 Chocolate Extravaganza – Chelsea
Attention chocoholics, Chelsea is calling your name this month. Come experience chocolate maker demonstrations, baking and cooking with chocolates, or take the kids on a penguin egg hunt. They may even see Wily Wonka, who is apparently a juggling phenom. Eat, drink, and buy chocolaty goodness all day long. The charming town is already 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 16-20 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 17-19 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. Feeling adventurous? Try the zipline and soar 34 feet above the crowd. Curious kids will love shows from the Michigan Science Center and the chance to have some hands-on fun with Arts & Scraps. 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 tube down a snow slide. There’s winter fun for everyone, and you’re sure to have a blast. Plus, the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority will give away a FREE $25 Downtown Dollars$ eGift to the first 1,000 attendees to sign up each day throughout the weekend. Scan their QR code at the entrance to enter.
February 24-25 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 25 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 25 16th Annual 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. An astounding 124 breweries, from all around the state, are slated to offer 723 unique beers, in 89 different styles. Did you even know there were that many styles? If you did, then you may already have your ticket. If not, then what are you waiting for? Each $60 guest ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens which can each be exchanged for a 3 oz. sample to sip while enjoying live music, ice sculptures, carving demonstrations and nice, warm fire pits. Food will be available onsite for purchase. The event runs from 1pm-6pm at LMCU Ballpark, home to the West Michigan Whitecaps.
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 2023. For next month’s event highlights, or to get ideas for your local bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page regularly.