As we all know, Maine is glorious in every season. But, believe it or not, there are some people out there who only come here in the summer! Gasp! While we appreciate their summer visits, we thought it was time to remind everyone that our state is even better in the winter. Here are 10 things to do in Maine this season!
1. The Full Moon Hike at Mt. Abrams, January 30th.
Head to Mt. Abram for this year's first full moon hike. Set off by 5:30pm to make the hour-long trek, then enjoy the music of Chad Porter at the top from 8 to 11pm.
2. The Liberal Cup Biathlon at Hidden Valley Nature Center, January 31st.
Don't let your lack of shooting skills keep you from this awesome event. Racers can compete as individuals or in 4-person teams and are encouraged to compete in costume. Awards will be given out to High School and Youth racers as well as for the best team and individual costumes. All other category winners will be recognized in the standings online, in the press, and at the event.
3. Bradbury Mountain Snowshoe Series at Bradbury Mountain State Park, Jan. 24, Feb. 14 and March 6.
Compete in various races up the mountain over the course of the winter beginning with this weekend's 3-miler. You'll need to bring your own snowshoes and be ready for a challenge. It's not an easy feat!
4. The Ice Bar at the Portland Harbor Hotel, January 21st to 23rd.
Don't wait on this one! Tickets are dwindling for the 2016 event at the Portland Harbor Hotel. Tickets get you access to the awesome bars made of ice, ice luges, along with food, entertainment and drinks.
5. The Ice Bar at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern, February 4th to 6th.
If you missed the ice bar at the Portland Harbor Hotel, there's still an opportunity to enjoy some ice bar fun. Head to Brunswick for their annual event and enjoy bars made of ice, ice sculptures and an ice luge. There will be lots of live entertainment and good food for all! Again, get tickets early to avoid missing out.
6. The 26th annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships at Camden Snow Bowl, February 5th to 7th.
The original toboggan chute dates back to 1937, and in 1991 it was officially dedicated as the Jack R. Williams Toboggan Chute and the first U.S. National Toboggan Championships were held, an event created by then-Camden Parks and Recreation Director Ken Bailey. In 2015, the Toboggan Championships celebrated 25 years. This year's theme is Mardi Gras, so come prepared to celebrate in the snow with beads and costumes. You can register to participate or simply take in the zany fun as a spectator.
7. The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend throughout Maine, February 12th to 14th.
This incredible tradition throughout the state allows outdoor lovers the opportunity to take part in a variety of events - from cross-country skiing to winter backpacking to film screenings. Many of the events are free, but check the website for full details regarding cost and locations.
8. The Maine Lakes Winter Carnival in the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region, February 20th.
Enjoy the lakes region with a variety of winter events, including dog mushing. You'll also find ice-fishing, a polar dip and plenty of food and drinks.
9. The Old Orchard Beach Winter Carnival at Old Orchard Beach, February 18th to 20th.
If you thought OOB was only worth visiting in the summer, you haven't checked out the Winter Carnival yet. This awesome event allows people to take in the glory of the beach, while also taking part in awesome winter activities. If you attend, you'll find a manmade mini mountain on Old Orchard Street along with lots of food and fun.
10. America's Mattress Race at Shawnee Peak, March 12th.
The otherwise serene slopes of Shawnee Peak will get a bit crazy when people hop aboard mattresses to compete in races down the Main Slope. The fastest mattress will win a brand new king size mattress, but there will also be prizes awarded for the most elaborately decorated sled-tress. You'll need to pay $5 and purchase a lift ticket to participate.