There’s an extra day for fun this month, as we celebrate a Leap Year. Why not take some extra time to enjoy what February has to offer? Here are 12 of our favorite opportunities for R&R this month.
February 1 Treetops Annual Wine & Beer Festival – Gaylord
Perhaps the only thing more relaxing than spending an evening in a serene setting like Treetops, is to do so while sipping selections of Michigan craft brews and wines and savoring scrumptious bites. Experts will be on hand to help you learn about beer and winemaking, tasting notes, and the operations of local producers. Food stations will be managed by the talented Treetops culinary team. The event runs from 6pm-10pm and is open only to those 21 and over. Tickets range from $25-$45.
February 2 Michigan Winter Try-Athlon – Muskegon
If it’s more activity you seek, then Muskegon is waiting for your arrival for an Olympic-like experience…or three. Head to the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex for your opportunity to try luge, ice speedskating and cross-country skiing. Don’t worry if you’re inexperienced, this event is specifically geared toward those who may have never done at least one of these sports. Of course, serious competitors are welcome as well. Continuous 20-minute training sessions will be available at each venue to teach rookies everything you need to know to give it a go.
Feb 7-9 Michigan Pond Hockey Classic – Whitmore Lake
If hockey is more your sport of choice then Whitmore Lake is the place to be. Teams come from around the state, and beyond for this premiere tournament. Whether you gather a team to play, or just want to take in the action, pond hockey action is a uniquely Michigan experience. Concessions are available in the warming tent along with Friday and Saturday night concerts. Keep in mind that it’s been a moderate winter downstate so check the website to make sure the lake is frozen enough to host the tourney. If not, maybe it’ll be time for a polar plunge instead.
February 7-9 Winter Blast – Detroit
Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekend in Campus Martius will be offering up a polar plunge. If you’re brave enough to take a leap, you can raise some funds for Special Olympics. The ice will definitely be frozen on their winter rink, so get your skate on for free. A team from Mt. Brighton will be on hand with skiing and snow boarding tips. You can also go down the giant slide, zip line, roast marshmallows, or just chill with ice sculptures and live music.
February 8-9 Taste the Passion – Leelanau Peninsula
Find yourself in the great white north instead, and soak up some wine and delectables at the annual Taste of Passion event on Leelanau. Explore snow-covered vineyards and try sweet and savory bites that have been paired with amazing local wines. How does Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Lemongrass over Jasmine Rice paired with a gold-winning 2017 Sweet Riesling sound? Perhaps Lemon Cake and Creamy Fudge Brownie Bites paired with a 2014 Cab Franc/Merlot will hit your sweet spot. Those are just a couple of examples of the unique culinary experience that awaits you in that winter wonderland.
February 14-16 UP 200 Sled Dog Races – Marquette
Many of us may not ever make it to Alaska to witness the Iditarod, but the good news is we don’t have to go nearly that far to take in world-class dog sled racing. The UP200 is one of America’s premier 12-dog, mid-distance sled dog races and draws mushers from around the United States and Canada. The 230-mile roundtrip run from Marquette to Grand Marais is a qualifying race for the Iditarod. The trail includes near-wilderness, creek crossings, hills and valleys, and heavily forested land. While in the area you can also cheer on teams in the 90-mile Midnight Run and/or the 26-mile Jack Pine race.
February 21-22 Michigan Snowmobile Festival – Gaylord
For those who love snowmobiling, there way be no better winter destination than Gaylord, and no better weekend to go than this. Maps with highlighted stops will be given out at registration, and sledders are invited to stop and start or hit hot spots in whatever time or order works for them. A guided ride will kick off from the Tourism Office on Saturday at 10:30am. This year’s stops include: Beaver Creek Resort, Treetops Resort, Paul’s Pub, Big Buck Brewery, Belle Iron Grille, Porter Haus, Mama Leone’s, Corwith Station, The Keg Bar and Elkhorn Grill. End the day with a party at the Eagles Hall. Beginning at 6:30pm there will be drawings for gift certificates provided by each stop. At 8:30pm,all names will go back in for cash drawings. The grand prize is $1,000!
February 15 Winter Ice Festival – Sault Ste Marie
Chainsaws, chisels and blowtorches will be the tools of choice for ice artists during this annual celebration at the site of Michigan’s first settlement, historic Sault Ste Marie. Take in a real life march of the penguins at 2pm. Costumes will be available for children, while supplies last at Cup of the Day starting at 1pm. Once the kiddos are suited up, a live ice carving will begin in front of the coffee shop, followed by a parade of the little waddlers.
February 22 15th Annual Winter Beer Festival – Grand Rapids
Nobody throws a beer fest like the Michigan Brewers Guild. This one feature roughly 150 Michigan breweries and brewpubs and over 1,100 beers. Each guest ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens which guests can exchange for 3 oz. samples to sip while enjoying fine music from local bands. You can also chill by an ice sculpture or hit a fire pit to warm those toes. Food will be available onsite for purchase.
February 23 Central Michigan Seed Swap – Midland
It’s definitely not too early to start thinking spring, and no better way to do it than by imagining delightful new life popping up from a formerly frozen tundra. You can make those dreams come true at Michigan’s largest seed swap event. Attend workshops and educational presentations, meet seed vendors, buy, sell, and trade your way to a new garden. Whether you are an experienced heirloom seed saver or just a novice looking to get your hands dirty, there’s something for everyone who loves to garden. This year’s featured keynote speaker will be Vivien Sansour, founder of the Seed Library of Palestine. Admission is free.
February 25 Pączki Day – Hamtramck
Sure, you can stop by just about any grocery store or bakery to pick up a dozen of these decadent treats, but if you want real quality, and a real experience, then get yourself to Hamtramck. The traditional reason for making pączki, sometimes referred to as jelly donuts, was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house. Consumption of those was once forbidden by Christian fasting practices during the season of Lent. While most faiths have eased some of their fasting restrictions these days, the tradition of eating paczki on Fat Tuesday continues, and Hamtramck is to paczki what New Orleans is to beignets. Get a taste of the action at least once.
February 29 Garage Sale Art Fair – Kalamazoo
Just like stores sometimes have leftover inventory, so do creators. This unique event in Kalamazoo is an incredible place to find exceptional deals on paintings, photography, jewelry, clothing, ceramics, glass and more. Come early for the best selection. Come back later for the best deals.