The year is moving by fast and the fourth quarter is in full swing. Christmas and snow days are looming in the backdrop of cooler temperatures and earth-tone colors. When the cold sets in, check out a few of these winter festivals happening across the world that celebrate culture and change. 

Great Northern Festival – Minneapolis, MN

winter festivals
Photo credit: Elina Fairytale

From January 25 to February 5, the Great Northern Festival is full of winter wonder. This year’s theme is all about climate change, with the slogan “Let the climate change you” spearheading the fun. The festival represents the creativity that emerges during Minnesota’s coldest months of the year. A great source of inspiration and artistic culture, the Great Northern Festival is an excellent choice for travelers in Minnesota come January 2024.

Enchant – Las Vegas, NV

In 2008, two teen friends in Vancouver assisted their neighbors with hanging Christmas lights. Over a decade later, those friends’ helpfulness manifested as Enchant. This interactive maze of fantasy, Christmas, and lights has reached over 3 million visitors. This year, the event is gracing seven cities in the US, including Kansas City, San Jose, and Las Vegas. There is much to explore in this maze of lights and festivities including a shopping village, ice skating rink, photos with Santa, and more. 

International Snow Sculpture Championship – Breckenridge, CO

winter festivals
Photo credit: John Bakator

A multi-day festival, the International Snow Sculpture Championships showcases the best of the best in ice art mastery. Participants will have five days to sculpt their masterpieces from 25-ton snowblocks. Once they’ve finished, visitors will have six days to explore the festival grounds and marvel at the fantastic shapes and images the snow has been sculpted into. The festival runs from January 23 to February 1. 

Fire & Ice Winter Fest – Lava Hot Springs, ID

The Fire & Ice Winter Fest takes over Lava Hot Springs for two days at the beginning of February. The city is known for the natural hot springs that attract tourists throughout the year. However, this festival is a great getaway for family fun and winter creativity. From fire dancing and penguin races to polar bear beer gardens and fireworks, Idaho is the perfect destination for family winter festival fun. 

Maple Syrup Festival – Indiana

winter festivals
Photo credit: Kobby Mendez

A true Hoosier tradition, visitors and locals celebrate Indiana Maple Syrup Weekend across the state in March. There are sugar shacks to visit, maple syrup candy to pig out on, and tree tapping to make your own syrup. Indiana has some of the finest maple trees in America and people travel from all around to celebrate and buy maple syrup to take home. A real Midwest festival, Indiana Maple Syrup Weekend takes over the state on March 9 and 10.