Winter months provide the opportunity to enjoy festivals and gatherings that celebrate all things icy and cold. Here are five places where you can chill out with carvers, climbers and history makers.
1. OURAY, COLORADO
This southwestern Colorado mountain town, known for its picturesque jagged peaks, is home to one of the country’s premiere ice festivals that takes place Jan. 18-21. Competitors of all levels, climbing companies and spectators gather for the event and the opportunity to demo the latest ice tools, apparel and gear. Family members can access dozens of interactive and educational climbing clinics.
2. WHITEFISH, MONTANA
The Annual Whitefish Winter Carnival from Feb. 2-4 kicks off with the coronation of a king and queen, followed by a Penguin Plunge for charity. Visitors are welcomed by mountain men, penguins and Viking divas, otherwise known as the costume-clad volunteers who share stories and point the curious toward the old-fashioned Main Street parade, an ice sculpting contest, a kid’s carnival, a pie social and a pancake breakfast.
3. WASHINGTON CROSSING REENACTMENT, BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River and defeat of the opposing troops in Trenton is reenacted on Dec. 10 and 25 along the river’s banks. Witness participants, clad in Continental military dress, listen to Washington’s inspiring speech, before he leads them across the icy river in replica Durham boats. Dec. 10 and 25, 2017.
4. STOWE, VERMONT
The Annual Stowe Winter Carnival from Jan. 13-27 offers a seasonal wonderland of family fun. Expect kooky sporting events, ice-carving competitions, ski movies, Kids Carnival Kaos and Snowgolf and Snowvolleyball tournaments. Tour the Northern Vermont town, while watching professional ice carvers manifest clever Ice creations throughout the village.
5. ASPEN, COLORADO
With a nod to the town’s Nordic heritage, local Aspenites began celebrating the popular winter festival, Winterskol in 1951. Surrounded by the peaks of the Elk Mountains, visitors celebrate the “toast to snow” with four days (Jan. 11-14) of festivities including a quirky canine fashion show, torchlight ski parades, a soup cook-off as well as broomball and fat biking competitions.