The arrival of February is hopefully bringing some relief from the polar vortex. Either way, there is time for more winter fun.
Feb 2,9,16,23 Snowshoes, Vines & Wines – Suttons Bay
As long as there is snow on the ground, Black Star Farms invites you to snowshoe on its splendid estate each Saturday through March 16. Hit the trails then warm up with a glass of mulled wine on the heated Terrace Patio. The Hearth & Vine Café will be offering house-made chili and other treats, and of course you can top off the excursion with a tasting of their wines, ciders and spirits. Bring your own shoes or rent a pair for just $15.
Feb 6-9 Michigan Tech Winter Carnival – Houghton
College towns always have a unique feel to them, especially when the students and community mix together. Houghton during Winter Carnival is one of those special opportunities. This tradition, which started back in 1922, has grown to be one of the largest annual winter festivals in the country. Known for huge, intricate snow statues around campus and the community, Carnival also brings Huskies together to compete in broomball, comedy skits, human ice bowling, and the coronation of a queen.
Feb 8-9 Ice Fest – Harbor Springs
The fun is heating up in Harbor Springs this year, with the first-ever Downtown Ice Fest. The event is designed to capture the spirit of Michigan winter with ice sculptures and carving demonstrations, a chili cook-off, broomball, fat-tire biking, snowshoeing, dog sleds, and ice boat demos among the activities planned to delight guests during this inaugural run.
Feb 8-10 Michigan Pond Hockey Classic – Whitmore Lake
See hockey in its purest form–on a frozen lake. Teams come from around the state, and beyond for this premiere tournament. Concessions are available in the warming tent along with Friday and Saturday night concerts from Cast Iron Cornbread. Best of all, proceeds from the event provide funding to youth athletic organizations and families in need of financial assistance to make sports accessible to children in the community, who otherwise couldn’t afford to participate.
Feb 9 7th Annual Art & Craft Beer Fest – Lansing
REO Town is a cool and artsy neighborhood in Lansing that is worth exploring, and there may be no better time than during this fest. It is an indoor art, comedy, movie and music festival that includes multiple venues located on the same block. Kids get in free from Noon to 3pm to enjoy hands on activities and complimentary donuts and cocoa. Tickets for adults begin at $15. The Cadillac Room features live music during the day, and comedy at night. Conversely, Robin Theatre has short films during the day and live music at night. REO Town Marketplace has art demos and vendors. At ATL Printing you can print your own coaster for free or make a Valentine’s card for a nominal fee. For a truly unique, spin, take a turn on a wheel from Noon-2pm at Wheel House Studio for just five bucks. Dark Horse Brewing and Blake’s Hard Cider will be on tap.
Feb 9 11th Annual Chocolate Extravaganza – Chelsea
Whether you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a loved one, or just a chance to shake off some cabin fever, this event has you covered. You’ll find chocolate and Valentine-themed treats and activities in more than 30 local shops, restaurants, galleries and cafes. It’s a spectacular way to get to know the shops and eateries of charming Chelsea.
Feb 9-16 National Curling Championships – Kalamazoo
First it was the skating competition hosted last month in Detroit, and now the second chance to see some future Olympians up close comes to Michigan. USA Curling’s National Championships are making a return to Kzoo, for the third time. The 2019 Nationals will take place at Wings Event Center. The competition features the top men’s and women’s teams in the country, and will help determine Team USA for the subsequent World Championships. Single, weekend, or weeklong tickets may be purchased.
Feb 14-17 Winter Carnival – Petoskey
This month, Petoskey’s Winter Carnival will celebrate its 91st year. Intricate ice sculptures will bedeck downtown sidewalks and Pennsylvania Park. The celebration kicks off with a Progressive Dinner highlighting local food and wine on Valentine’s Day. Tickets for the dinner run $50 each. Friday fun includes chocoholic giveaways around town, dueling street pianos, and a ghost tour. Sports take center state on Saturday with a cardboard sled challenge and bumpjump race, followed by an ice bar and DJ. Be sure to bring the little ones out on Sunday to search for Olaf the Snowman in local stores, along with other child-centric activities. www.petoskeydowntown.com
Feb 14-18 UP200 Sled Dog Races – Marquette
You may never make it to Alaska for the Iditarod, but this qualifying race is the next best thing. The UP200 trail covers 230 miles of challenging terrain from Marquette to Grand Marais, and back again through snow-covered wilderness. The send-off and finale in Marquette are lots of fun for spectators. Alternatively, the Grand Marais checkpoint, which is the midpoint of the race, also offers excellent viewing opportunities.
Feb 16-23 National Engineers Week Celebration – Dearborn
Future engineers will find inspiration and gain knowledge during this weeklong celebration of ingenuity at The Henry Ford. It’s an opportunity to discover historic inventors, as well as the chance to try hands on experiences with people currently working in the profession at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. You can take a trip to learn about vehicle design, engineering and manufacturing at the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, or take in the Giant Screen Experience to see the many ways engineers make an impact on the world today.
Feb 22-23 Winter Beer Festival – Comstock Park
Regardless of weather, this is outdoor celebration is always one of the hottest tickets in town. This year’s fest features products from more than 150 breweries and brewpubs. Each guest ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens which can be exchanged for 3 oz. samples, although some specialty beers will require 2 tokens per 3 oz. sample. Guests can purchase tickets for a shuttle running between downtown Grand Rapids and Fifth Third Ballpark for $10. www.mibeer.com/winter-festival
Feb 23 Trenary Outhouse Classic – Trenary
Whether you live in the U.P. or are just a Yooper at heart, this event will make you smile. Once again, the town of Trenary will play host to an outhouse competition. Participants build makeshift outhouses, mount them on skis, and push them down a snowy course about the length of a football field, hoping 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 their famous cinnamon toast.