Who says that summer is the only time for festivals? Michiganders know how to make the most of the cold temperatures that envelop the state every winter. Here are 11 awesome festivals and celebrations in the Great Lakes State that will keep your spirits bright throughout the chillier months.
1. Noel Night (Midtown Detroit, December 3rd)
Museums, stores, and other institutions throughout the city of Detroit come alive for Noel Night in a magical display of holiday spirit. Enjoy carriage rides, live music, shopping, and all sorts of family crafts as you bask in the beauty of city-wide Christmas decor.
2. Zehnder’s Snowfest (Frankenmuth, January 30-31st)
Head to Frankenmuth for this annual festival, where you’ll observe an array of truly mind-blowing snow and ice sculptures. Watch as artists compete to create intricate designs, then enjoy a variety of outdoor activities throughout town.
3. Village Of Ashley Country Christmas (Ashley, November 18th-December 18th)
This charming celebration in the village of Ashley brings the Christmas season to life with an endless list of activities to enjoy. Visit with Santa Claus, grab a cup of hot chocolate, or take a carriage ride through town to enjoy the holiday lights.
4. Mackinaw City Winter Fest (Mackinaw City, January 19th-22nd)
There’s something for everyone at this incredible winter gathering in Northern Michigan. Take a sleigh ride, grab a bowl of deliciousness from the annual chili cook-off event, or take part in an ice fishing competition.
5. Hamtramck Paczki Day (Hamtramck, February 28th)
Celebrate Polish heritage and indulge in as many delicious paczkis as you can eat with a visit to this beloved annual Hamtramck bestival. Local bakeries provide all sorts of tasty treats and there’s even live music to enjoy as you eat.
6. Winter Beer Festival (Comstock Park, February 24th-25th)
More than one hundred breweries gather each year to celebrate amazing beer at this unique event, and you won’t want to miss out. Your ticket buys you admission to Fifth Third Ballpark, where you’ll sip delicious brews, enjoy live music, and warm up by the fire pit with friends.
7. Holly Dickens Festival (Holly, Nov. 26th-27; Dec. 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th)
Are you a fan of Charles Dickens? Then the town of Holly is simply meant for you. Each year, this joyous festival celebrates the legacy of Dickens and his many works. Whether you’re taking part in activities at Tiny Tim’s Children’s Tent or posing for vintage-style photos, this is one festival you’ll never forget.
8. Plymouth Ice Festival (Plymouth, January 6th-8th)
This ice sculpture festival and competition is one of the most exciting gatherings of its type in the entire country, and you won’t want to miss out. Marvel at one-of-a-kind carvings created with chainsaws or visit the festival’s incredible interactive ice sculpture park.
9. Anti-Freeze Blues Festival (Ferndale, January 6th-7th)
Nothing warms the soul quite like a good blues concert, and The Magic Bag Theatre in Ferndale has you covered this year. Stop in to hear all sorts of tunes from top touring blues groups as well as local artists. You’ll leave this festival with a skip in your step.
10. Rochester Fire & Ice Festival (Rochester, January 20th-22nd)
Rochester is known for its amazing Christmas light displays, and the Fire & Ice Festival is an ideal time to observe the town’s unique decor. Go ice skating, enjoy a fireworks display, and spend time with friends and family as you appreciate some of winter’s most classic activities.
11. Winter Jam (Grand Rapids, January 8th)
This annual concert is a great way to beat the cold weather and appreciate an eclectic array of music. Artists like Crowder and Sarah Reeves will bring Van Andel Arena to life with their tunes. After the show, take a walk around beautiful downtown Grand Rapids or grab a beer at Founders Brewing.
Is there a winter festival near you that simply can’t be missed? Tell us all about it in the comment section, and get ready for some unforgettable winter fun.