Northwest Winter Festival Guide

November 5, 2016

Celebrate winter with our NW Festival Guide

Compiled by OutdoorsNW Staff

Photo at right: Fireworks above the Clock Tower at Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia. Photo by Andrew Jay, courtesy of Big White Ski Resort


Seattle Center Winterfest

Nov. 25–Dec. 31

The five-week festival offers free and affordable, fun-filled family activities and live performances at the base of the Space Needle.

Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival

Jan. 13–22 — Sun Peaks, B.C.

The Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival combines two of British Columbia’s finest assets – winter recreation and wine – and is a delectable experience including skiing, food and riding.

Lake Chelan Winterfest Festival

Jan. 13–22 — Lake Chelan, Washington

A community favorite for nearly 30 years, the Winterfest Festival is two weekends of ice sculptures, fireworks, wine and ale tastings, a polar bear splash, beach bonfire and activities for kids of all ages.

Bavarian IceFest

Jan. 14–15 — Leavenworth, Washington

Come participate in the celebration with fun games like the Great Frisbee Sweep, the Ice Cube Scramble and Snowball Toss! Enjoy the snow-sculpture contest, live ice-carving demonstrations and fireworks. Great fun for kids!

Great Snow Fest

Jan. 18–22 — Teton Valley, Idaho

Enjoy skijoring competitions, snocross races and snow-sculpting demonstrations at the 6th Annual Great Snow Fest.

Bundle Up Fest

Jan. 23 — Wenatchee, Washington

Wenatchee’s downtown winter festival will feature the Bundle Up 5K Run and Walk, and 1K kids race, a warming fire, s’mores, crafts and more!

Rossland Winter Carnival

Jan. 26–29 — Rossland, B.C.

Dress in costume and join the parade, watch the fire spinner’s show and make sure to visit the Ice Palace and dance to live music. The fireman’s pancake breakfast and bobsled race are always family favorites.

McCall Winter Carnival

Jan. 27–Feb. 5 — McCall, Idaho

The Winter Carnival is famous for its snow sculptures, torchlight and Mardi Gras parades, live music and daily festivities spanning everything from comedy shows and snow bike races to the Monster Dog Pull.

Sun Valley Nordic Festival

Feb. 2–5 — Ketchum, Idaho

Come enjoy nine days of Nordic activities, races, clinics, discount trail passes and fun events, culminating in the world-famous 34K and 15K Boulder Mountain Tour through the valley.

Whitefish Winter Carnival

Feb. 3–5 — Whitefish, Montana

Come enjoy the Merry Maker event, Penguin Plunge, pie social and the grand parade complete with winter royalty!

Sandpoint Winter Carnival

Feb. 8–19 — Sandpoint, Idaho

The 43rd Sandpoint Winter Carnival includes such favorites as the thrilling Cirque de Sandpoint, Parade of Lights, K9 Keg Pull and plenty of snow-sport events at Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

Oregon Winterfest

Feb. 17–19 — Bend, Oregon

Enjoy the experiential fire-arts exhibit and fire-pit competition, fun runs, wine walk, motorbike stunts and plenty of live music.

World Ice Art Championships

Feb. 20–March 20 — Fairbanks, Alaska

This month-long event features ice-sculpting competitions, dog-sled rides and a children’s park. It attracts more than 100 ice artists and approximately 45,000 visitors each year from Alaska and all over the world.

Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Fest

Feb. 24–26 — Nelson, B.C.

The Coldsmoke Powder Fest is a popular celebration for skiers and snowboarders, including backcountry enthusiasts, telemarkers and those who just want to socialize and enjoy mountain culture.

Anchorage Fur Rondy

Feb. 24–March 5 — Anchorage, Alaska

The 82nd annual festival proudly features a Miners and Trappers Ball, the Great Alaskan Talent Competition, the royal court and the wackiest race in the state, the Running of the Reindeer!

Snow Blast

March 4 — North Powder, Oregon

Come to Anthony Lakes for the annual Snow Blast for events like the Dummy Downhill and the Big Air contest. Enjoy the beer garden and barbecue, live music and fireworks.

White Pass Winter Carnival

March 4–5 — White Pass, Washington

The 31st Annual Winter Carnival is a family-oriented event featuring the famed ice snow castle, live music, fireworks, Ski 4 Kids fundraiser, an 80s snowboarders reunion, and snow-sports competitions.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival

April 7–16 — Whistler, B.C.

Enjoy family-friendly activities including daily concerts, art galleries, the Kokanee Freeride, Whistler DogFest, Mascot Mayhem, and the Pro Photographer and 72-hour Filmmaker Showdowns.

Winter festival dates were confirmed by press time in mid-October, however some of the winter festivals had not yet updated their websites with 2017 dates by the time the SNOW Guide was published.

Did we miss your Festival?

Please let us know: Email us; or