Kiss Those Winter Blahs Goodbye
Imgorthand/istockphoto
Kiss Those Winter Blahs Goodbye
Imgorthand/istockphoto

Kiss Those Winter Blahs Goodbye

Now that all the sparkly holiday dust has settled, boredom may be setting in — not to mention credit-card bills. But the rest of winter doesn't have to be dull, or expensive. We've scoured the nation for unique winter events and activities in every state that won't put too much of a dent in your wallet. Some will take you to lovely, wintry small towns, while others are big-city events or even chances to reconnect with nature in spite of the weather. Whatever you choose, there's something fun to do in your neck of the woods.

Alabama: Feel the Beat at the Dance Festival
CREATISTA/istockphoto

Alabama: Feel the Beat at the Dance Festival

Birmingham
One of the region's largest gathering of dancers, the Alabama Dance Festival will rock the capital Jan. 17-26. Dancers get the chance to attend classes with world-class instructors, and the public will be treated to a range of performances that culminate in the Alabama Dance Showcase, which features different schools, studios, colleges, and companies from across the Southeast.

Alaska: Have Fun at the Fur Rondy
Furrondy.net

Alaska: Have Fun at the Fur Rondy

Anchorage
Winter can be long indeed in Alaska, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel: The annual Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, known locally as the "Fur Rondy," slated this year for Feb. 28-March 8. A dizzying number of events includes sled-dog championships, snow sculpture contests, youth hockey tournaments, a carnival, and even outhouse races, which challenge teams to strap their homemade outhouses to skis and make it to the end of a two-lane course.

Arizona: Find Peace at the Grand Canyon
Spondylolithesis/istockphoto

Arizona: Find Peace at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park
Solitude can be hard to come by at one of the nation's most-visited national parks, but visiting during the winter can mean all the dazzling views without the crowds. The North Rim is closed, but the South Rim and its roads are open, subject to weather, as is the scenic Grand Canyon Railway. Also fully open for business: The dazzling night skies, so bundle up and grab your telescope.

Arkansas: Warm Up in the Hot Springs
Buckstaff-Bathhouse/facebook

Arkansas: Warm Up in the Hot Springs

Hot Springs National Park
What better way to beat the winter blahs than with a soak in some uncrowded thermal mineral waters? It's possible on the historic Bathhouse Row at Hot Springs National Park, where two bathhouses offer a full slate of spa services. Once you feel thoroughly rejuvenated, set out on a hike or scenic drive and explore the park's 5,000 acres of forested hills.

California: Go Seal Spotting on the Pacific Coast
franksvalli/istockphoto

California: Go Seal Spotting on the Pacific Coast

Various Locations
The rugged central California coastline is dazzling any time of year, but there's a big reason to brave the brisk winter winds blowing off the Pacific: the arrival of majestic Northern Elephant Seals. Head to either Año Nuevo State Park south of San Francisco or Hearst-San Simeon State Park north of San Luis Obispo for prime viewing of these bellowing creatures, some of which tip the scales at 5,000 pounds. The second half of January is prime time for seal births, and mating peaks in February.

Related: 14 Budget-Friendly Places for Whale Watching on the West Coast

Colorado: Marvel at Massive Snow Sculptures
Breckenridge Tourism Office

Colorado: Marvel at Massive Snow Sculptures

Breckenridge
There's no shortage of winter fun in this noted ski resort, and much of it comes with a steep price tag attached. But the International Snow Sculpture Competition, Jan. 20-29, is absolutely free to the public. Come marvel at the creations of 16 teams from around the world, all tasked with carving 20-ton blocks of snow with only hand tools. Go at dusk to see the artists' creations illuminated for nighttime viewing.

Connecticut: Trade the Skis for a Snowbike
Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort

Connecticut: Trade the Skis for a Snowbike

Middlefield
Sure, you can ski at Powder Ridge Park (and for much less than you would at pricier resorts out west), but for a more unique and family-friendly experience, try snowbiking. A one-hour lesson is required before you're turned loose, but with four skis on the ground, this is ideal for even the most timid beginners. The park also offers snowboarding and tubing.

Delaware: Experience 'Fire and Ice' at the Beach
Fire & Ice Festival

Delaware: Experience 'Fire and Ice' at the Beach

Bethany Beach
This popular beach town is more noted for summer surf and sand, but it's also the epicenter for the annual Fire & Ice Festival, Jan. 24-26. The highlight? Space-themed ice sculptures of all sizes, some of them interactive, with live carving demonstrations. Another unmissable event: Beach bonfires with s'mores on Friday and Saturday night.

Florida: Go All in on Art Deco
artdecoweekend/facebook

Florida: Go All in on Art Deco

Miami Beach
Skip the pricey theme parks and head to Miami Beach Jan. 17-19 for the long-running Art Deco Weekend, which packs in more than 80 events over three days. Highlights include guided architecture walking tours; free dance and drawing classes; yoga and other fitness classes; a classic car show; a lecture series; and even an "Arf Deco Dog Walk" that encourages pooches to dress up in their Roaring '20s finest.

Georgia
stonemountainpark/facebook

Georgia: Go Snow Tubing at Night

Stone Mountain
The Peach State may not spring to mind as the snowiest destination, but Stone Mountain Park northeast of Atlanta transforms into Snow Mountain most weekends through February. The marquee attraction is a 400-foot snow-tubing hill that lights up after dark with laser beams and LEDs blinking in time to the music. A SnowZone offers families the chance to make a snow fort or snowman together, too.

Hawaii: Hunt for Majestic Humpbacks
KenCanning/istockphoto

Hawaii: Hunt for Majestic Humpbacks

Various locations
Winter in Hawaii is not exactly a teeth-chattering affair, with average daytime temperatures just under 80 degrees. But the winter months set themselves apart in another way: From January through March, it's peak season for humpback whale sightings. While there are plenty of organized whale-watching tours, a high perch along the sea in whale hotspots like the northern coast of Oahu or eastern coast of Maui will let you spot the massive creatures for free.

Idaho: Cheer on State-Champion Sled Dogs
IdahoSledDogChallenge/facebook

Idaho: Cheer on State-Champion Sled Dogs

McCall
The McCall Winter Carnival, one of the region's most notable cold-weather events, will run Jan. 24-Feb. 2. One of its claims to fame: hosting the Idaho Dog Sled Challenge, a three-race event that includes a 300-mile Iditarod qualifier. The public can meet the mushers, and there's even a contest that challenges normal pet pooches to pull weighted sleds along a short course. Other events include snow sculpting, parades, snowshoe golf, fireworks, and a best-beard contest.

Illinois: Sample Theatre on the Cheap
bluemangroup/facebook

Illinois: Sample Theatre on the Cheap

Chicago
Big-city shows are thrilling but pricey — but not during Chicago Theatre Week, to be held Feb. 13-23. A staggeringly long list of venues will offer tickets for $30 or less, and that's not a typo. From the ballet to the Blue Man Group, musicals to sketch comedy at Second City, there's something for every taste.

Indiana: Experience Winter at the Sand Dunes
IndianaDunesNPS/facebook

Indiana: Experience Winter at the Sand Dunes

Indiana Dunes National Park
It might not be the most obvious time of year to check out one of the nation's newest national parks, but the Indiana Dunes National Park offers miles of trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Another gorgeous winter sight: shelf ice formations on Lake Michigan (don't attempt to walk on them, however). For sledding, head to Devil's Slide at nearby Indiana Dunes State Park for winter fun with a great lake view.

Iowa: Watch Bald Eagles Take Flight
jcrader/istockphoto

Iowa: Watch Bald Eagles Take Flight

Various locations
Bird lovers will want to bundle up and brave the cold for a chance to see bald eagles as they hunt for prey along the Mississippi River. Several Iowa communities host special events throughout January devoted to bald-eagle viewing, many of which include educational programs, live bird shows, exhibits, and other activities.

Våffeldagen (International Waffle Day)

Kansas: Kiss Winter Goodbye With Waffles

Lindsborg
This little slice of Sweden smack in the middle of Kansas has a quirky way of marking winter's end: Vaffeldagen, or International Waffle Day. Slated this year for March 21, it's a chance to "eat waffles, sing about waffles, and take selfies with waffle people" — that is, townsfolk dressed as waffles with a variety of toppings. Years past have featured tons of waffle-inspired dishes at local restaurants and a giant waffle puzzle.

Kentucky: Visit Mammoth Cave Without Crowds
ColorPlayer/istockphoto

Kentucky: Visit Mammoth Cave Without Crowds

Mammoth Cave National Park
While above-ground activities like camping are curtailed in winter, it's an ideal time to visit Mammoth Cave's marquee below-ground attraction for a couple of reasons. The biggie: No crowds, with weekday tour numbers often in the single digits. Another reason? It will be a balmy 54 degrees inside, even if it's frigid outside. Pay homage to the season with the Frozen Niagara Tour, doable for most visitors with limited mobility.

Louisiana: Let Loose at Mardi Gras
Sean Gardner / Stringer / Getty Images News / Getty Images North America / Getty Images CC

Louisiana: Let Loose at Mardi Gras

New Orleans
Undoubtedly one of the nation's most well-known winter events, Mardi Gras continues to attract over a million revelers every year. This year, Fat Tuesday is Feb. 25, but the traditional parades (and the partying) fill the French Quarter for days in advance. If you're searching for a slightly more family-friendly experience, check out Family Gras Feb. 14-16. There's plenty of food, games, face painting, and art, plus views of some of the tamer Mardi Gras parades.

Related: 26 Best Cheap Or Free Things To Do In New Orleans

DSC_0094
DSC_0094 by Erik Hansen (CC BY)

Maine: Ski Near the Sea

Camden
The community-run Camden Snow Bowl is a must for penny-pinchers who love to ski. You can hit the slopes for a full day for just over $30 (try matching that at Vail). Better yet, it's also the only ski area where you can see the Atlantic as you carve up some powder. For a different kind of thrill, there's also a toboggan chute that dumps you out onto a frozen pond (ice conditions permitting, of course).

Maryland: Take the Plunge at Plungefest
plungemaryland/facebook

Maryland: Take the Plunge at Plungefest

Annapolis
Sandy Point State Park hosts the nation's largest polar bear plunge, this year scheduled for Jan. 23-25. Even if you're not quite ready to don your swimsuit and jump into the frigid Chesapeake Bay, you can enjoy watching the more than 10,000 participants shriek and shiver. There's also Plungefest, which features food, live music, activities, local vendors, and a heated Ice Lodge with a live feed of the action.

Massachusetts: Explore Sculptures on Snowshoes
decordovaSPandM/facebook

Massachusetts: Explore Sculptures on Snowshoes

Lincoln
Head to this bucolic Boston suburb's DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum on wintry weekends for a unique opportunity to see the lovely grounds and plenty of outdoor sculptures in a magical way. The museum offers snowshoe tours every Saturday from Jan. 11-March 7. Museum admission and a snowshoe lesson are included with your $25 ticket, and snowshoe rentals are also available.

Michigan: Bump, Set, and Spike in the Snow
Winterfest MI

Michigan: Bump, Set, and Spike in the Snow

Grand Haven
One of the headlining events at Grand Haven's zany Winterfest, Jan. 23-26, is the "Freeze 4 All" volleyball tournament, a four-on-four coed contest that takes place atop loads of trucked-in snow. You can also try your hand at a cardboard sled build and race, a poker crawl, and even a hamster race (yes, really — bring their ball). And be sure to roast some hot dogs and marshmallows for free at the Bonfire Bash.

Minnesota: Explore a Bucket List-Worthy Winter Carnival
Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Minnesota: Explore a Bucket List-Worthy Winter Carnival

St. Paul
Join more than 250,000 revelers and head to the Twin Cities for the St. Paul Winter Carnival, one of the nation's most legendary winter festivals, Jan. 23-Feb. 2. It features dozens of free or low-cost events, including two parades; a snow park with a giant snow slide, maze, and play area; live music; three races, including a half marathon; an ice sculpture garden; and even a jigsaw-puzzle competition. Adults can always warm up at several ice bars serving up libations like mulled wine, craft beer, spiked hot chocolate, coffee and cider.

Mississippi: Catch a Flick and Enjoy the Blues
DeltaBluesMuseum/facebook

Mississippi: Catch a Flick and Enjoy the Blues

Clarksdale
Local filmmakers and musicians get a chance to show off at the annual Clarksdale Film and Music Festival, slated this year for Jan. 24-26. Films range from student documentaries to feature-length works, and festival goers can also enjoy live blues, bus tours, workshops and more. Be sure to check out the Delta Blues Museum while you're in town.

Missouri: Fill Up During Restaurant Week
VisitKC/facebook

Missouri: Fill Up During Restaurant Week

Kansas City
Savvy foodies know that a good restaurant week is the best time to snag a decadent meal for less, and Kansas City Restaurant Week is the place to bring your appetite Jan. 10-19. More than 200 restaurants around the city will offer special $15 and $35 multi-course lunch and dinner menus to showcase their specialties and attract value-conscious diners. Options will run the gamut — whether you want sushi, barbecue, Italian, seafood, or a juicy burger, you'll be spoiled for choice.

Related: The Best Cities in America for People Who Love Food

Montana: Experience the 'Roaring 2020s'
whitefishwintercarnival/facebook

Montana: Experience the 'Roaring 2020s'

Whitefish
The wacky and weird Whitefish Winter Carnival, Feb. 7-9, this year embraces the "Roaring 2020s" as its theme. The main event, a quirky parade, features costumed revelers and floats of all kinds. There's also a penguin plunge, kiddie carnival, pie social, pancake breakfast, and more.

Ready to Go
Ready to Go by Kiley (CC BY-ND)

Nebraska: Sled at Pioneers Park

Lincoln
It may come as a surprise, but this mostly flat state offers one of the nation's best sledding hills. At Lincoln's Pioneers Park, dual wooden sled runs offer the equivalent of a big ol' boost from your burliest brother, allowing daredevils to fly down the hill for 300 feet or more, as long as Mother Nature cooperates. Watch a video of the action here.

Nevada: Listen to Some Cowboy Poetry
westernfolklifecenter/facebook

Nevada: Listen to Some Cowboy Poetry

Elko
Nevada may have the nation's most unique annual winter event: The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which has been going strong for more than three decades. This year's gathering, Jan. 27-Feb. 1, will celebrate the soul of the West through music, dancing, exhibits, workshops, and poetry, of course. Learn to square dance, take a banjo lesson, or enjoy some cowboy standup.

New Hampshire: Explore a Village on Ice
Lakewinnipesaukee.net

New Hampshire: Explore a Village on Ice

Wolfeboro
February means a slew of late-winter frozen fun in the Lake Winnipesaukee region of New Hampshire, where Winter Carnival Week runs Feb. 21-29. One of the most unique events? A chance to experience the Wolfeboro "Village on the Ice," complete with shops, food, and even a post office. In nearby Alton Bay, there will be ice fishing, ice skating, ice boating and snowmobile races.

New Jersey: Take to the Ice at WinterFest
camdencountynj/facebook

New Jersey: Take to the Ice at WinterFest

Cherry Hill
What would winter be without ice skating? Cooper River Park hosts WinterFest through Feb. 17, allowing adults to glide until their heart's content on the cheap. Time for a break? There's also a heated tent with arcade games and family-friendly outdoor games. Skating lessons for newbies are held every Sunday, and inexpensive curling lessons will be offered, too.

New Mexico: Ski for Your Sweets
enchantedxc/facebook

New Mexico: Ski for Your Sweets

Red River
A crisp winter day at the gorgeous Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area will always be a treat, but head there on Feb. 22 and "treat" takes on a whole new meaning. That's when you can take part in "Just Desserts" Eat & Ski, a 30-year tradition that plunks locally made desserts all over a 5-kilometer cross-country and snowshoe course. Past years' sugary feasts have included cinnamon rolls, tiramisu, fudge, chocolate tortes, and much more. (Better do another loop of the course.)

New York: Conquer Mini Golf in the Snow
saranaclakewintercarnival/facebook

New York: Conquer Mini Golf in the Snow

Saranac Lake
Going strong since 1897, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival draws visitors for more than a week of zany fun in the Adirondacks. Slated this year for Jan. 31-Feb. 9, one of the highlights is Arctic Golf, which challenges participants with a course completely made of snow and ice. There are also curling competitions, snowshoe races, a kids' winter carnival, fry pan tosses, fireworks, and even a jaw-dropping ice palace.

North Carolina: Have Some Winter Fun With Fido
Photo courtesy of Blowing Rock WinterFest

North Carolina: Have Some Winter Fun With Fido

Blowing Rock
The Blue Ridge Parkway town of Blowing Rock will host Winterfest Jan. 23-26, and this is one you won't want to let your dog sit out. Events include a K9 Keg Pull, which challenges dogs to pull their weight in beer over a snowy course, and a WinterPaws Dog Show that includes a category for best canine winter fashion. Other events include live jazz, hayrides, bonfires, ice carving, and a polar bear plunge.

North Dakota: Let the Kids Bounce
FightTheFrost/facebook

North Dakota: Let the Kids Bounce

Various locations
Kids might go a little stir crazy during bitter North Dakota winters, and who can blame them? Enter Fight the Frost, a carnival of indoor inflatables, which gives them a chance to burn off energy on obstacle courses, giant slides and other bouncy attractions. Smaller children 5 and under get their own special area. Events rotate between major North Dakota cities from mid-December through March.

MG_3339 Toboggan
MG_3339 Toboggan by dchrisoh (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ohio: Try Out a Toboggan

Strongsville
Mill Stream Run Reservation, part of the Cleveland Metroparks, offers far more than your typical sledding hill. Here you'll find two 700-foot toboggan chutes, each with a 70-foot vertical drop. Hit speeds up to 50 mph during the roughly 6.5-second journey. The best part? No snow is required because the chutes are refrigerated. When you're done, grab a snack, warm up by the fire and watch the action from inside the nearby chalet. The chutes are open through mid-March, weather permitting.

Lake Eufaula State Park Sign
Lake Eufaula State Park Sign by Granger Meador (CC BY-NC)

Oklahoma: Fish Without Frostbite

Checotah
Frigid winter temperatures can make a day on the lake a little less appealing for most anglers, but the marina at Lake Eufaula State Park has you covered — literally. It boasts the region's largest heated fishing dock, where you can enjoy four indoor ponds baited for crappie and catfish, all in climate-controlled comfort. A bait shop sells gear and fishing licenses, and a café will keep you from going hungry.

Oregon: Enjoy Winter Birding
vitpho/istockphoto

Oregon: Enjoy Winter Birding

Various locations
While spring and fall migrations tend to bring the best birding in many parts of the country, winter is a great time to don your best warm rain jacket, grab some binoculars, and head to the Oregon Coast Birding Trail, one of the Audubon's picks for best winter birding in the country. Highlights can include bald eagles, peregrine falcons, colorful harlequin ducks, and coastal loons.

Pennsylvania: Marvel at Fire Performers
Reading Fire and Ice Fest

Pennsylvania: Marvel at Fire Performers

Reading
Among Pennsylvania's several winter festivals is the Reading Fire and Ice Festival, Jan. 17-18. As the name suggests, highlights include ice-carving competitions and professional fire performers (don't worry — they won't stray too close to the ice sculptures). Also on the schedule: a chili cook-off, family-friendly Snowball Bash, outdoor concerts, vendor fair, and craft beer festival.

Rhode Island: Gorge on Chili and Mac and Cheese
Newport Winter Festival

Rhode Island: Gorge on Chili and Mac and Cheese

Newport
There are plenty of reasons not to miss the massive Newport Winter Festival, scheduled this year for Feb. 14-23. But for our money, the Chili Cook-Off and Mac & Cheese Smackdown are the most delicious draws. If you left your appetite at home, other events will include ice carving, beach polo, and diverse live shows including music, magic, and even a reptile exhibition.

South Carolina: Savor Some Seafood
Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival

South Carolina: Savor Some Seafood

Various locations
Winter is a great time to slurp some of the freshest seafood in South Carolina. It's peak shellfish season, and notable food festivals let you sample some of the best. They include the Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Jan. 26, near Charleston, and the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival, Feb. 24-March 1. The former includes plenty of music, oyster shucking and eating contests, a kids' area and more. The main event in Hilton Head is a Saturday Seafood Fest featuring food, cooking demonstrations, kids' activities, a silent auction, and a beer garden.

South Dakota: Kick Back at the Stock Show
blackhillsstockshow/facebook

South Dakota: Kick Back at the Stock Show

Rapid City
You don't have to sell horses or livestock to enjoy the Black Hills Stock Show, a South Dakota tradition slated this year for Jan. 31-Feb. 9. Events include a rodeo, concert, sheep-shearing and sheep-dog contests, a biscuits-and-gravy breakfast, and more. Adults can also have some fun at the Boots and Beer Festival, which features live music and plenty of samples from the state's local brewers.

Tennessee: See a Different Kind of Lights
nashvillezoo/facebook

Tennessee: See a Different Kind of Lights

Nashville
If you didn't quite get your fix of lights during the holiday season, head to Nashville Zoo through Feb. 2 for Zoolumination: Chinese Festival of Lights. It's the nation's largest Chinese lantern festival, featuring more than 500 animal-inspired lanterns. Highlights include a dazzling peacock, a pagoda, and a 200-foot dragon. Some animal exhibits will be open late, and Chinese acrobats and entertainers will put on shows nightly.

Texas: Indulge Your Inner Cowboy
fwssr/Facebook

Texas: Indulge Your Inner Cowboy

Fort Worth
You won't find mounds of snow in Texas, but winter offers a distinctly Lone Star experience you won't want to miss: the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, which runs this year from Jan. 17-Feb. 8. Highlights include daily rodeos, plenty of livestock and horse shows, nightly concerts, a parade, a carnival, and a series of events for wine and craft-beer lovers.

Related: 18 Towns Where You Can Still Experience the Wild West

Utah: Embrace the Season at Bryce Canyon
RubysInnWinterAdventure/facebook

Utah: Embrace the Season at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon City
The annual Bryce Canyon Winter Festival, scheduled this year for Feb. 16-18, offers families a chance to let loose amid some of Utah's most dramatic scenery. A full slate of activities includes photography workshops, snowshoe and cross-country skiing tours, archery, a balloon glow, crafts, fat biking, dancing, and much more.

Vermont: Have a Blast With Broomball
WaterburyWinterfest/facebook

Vermont: Have a Blast With Broomball

Waterbury
Winter means Waterbury is full of frozen fun that has nothing to do with its most famous landmark, the Ben & Jerry's Factory. Visit Jan. 24-Feb. 2 for the family-friendly Winterfest, which includes off-beat fun like broomball (like hockey without skates), ice jug curling, drone races, and snow soccer and football. Other events include winter stargazing, caroling, beer and wine tastings, poker night, and cookie decorating.

Virginia: Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival/facebook

Virginia: Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

Fairfax
Chocoholics can find their bliss in the D.C. suburbs Jan. 31-Feb. 2, when Fairfax hosts its annual Chocolate Lovers Festival. Gorge at the Taste of Chocolate, which brings together local vendors as they provide tastes of their most indulgent chocolate cakes, candy, fudge, ice cream, and other treats. There are also baking competitions, cake walks, cupcake-making sessions, silent auctions, and live entertainment.

Washington: Celebrate Winter, Bavarian Style
LeavenworthWA/facebook

Washington: Celebrate Winter, Bavarian Style

Leavenworth
The postcard-perfect town of Leavenworth is worth a visit any time of year, but winter is especially magical. Go during Bavarian IceFest, Jan. 18-19, and you'll still get to see all the town's sparkling holiday lights and enjoy events like live ice carving, snow sculpting, ice fishing, a snowball toss, and even a fireworks show to cap off the weekend. Of course, the town's shops and breweries will also be open for business, and there are plenty of options for skiing, tubing, and other winter sports.

West Virginia: Slay the East Coast's Longest Sled Run
West Virginia State Parks

West Virginia: Slay the East Coast's Longest Sled Run

Davis
A snowy weekend is the perfect time to head to West Virginia's Blackwater Falls State Park. There are miles of trails for cross-country skiing, and the namesake falls are especially breathtaking when frozen. But the highlight is the park's sled run, the East Coast's longest, which hurtles thrill-seekers down a quarter-mile hill. The best part? There's a Magic Carpet people mover that will save you the exhausting climb back up to the top.

Wisconsin: Pay Homage to 'Really Big Fish'
visitFondduLac/facebook

Wisconsin: Pay Homage to 'Really Big Fish'

Fond du Lac
February in Fond du Lac means one thing: The Sturgeon Spectacular, a "celebration of really big fish," taking place this year Feb. 6-9. Whether you want to scour Lake Winnebago for the festival's namesake fish, try your hand at snow sculpting, enter a winter cornhole tournament, or bring the kids to play in the downtown Snow Land, there's something for everyone willing to brave the Wisconsin winter. Be sure to catch a performance of "Guys on Ice," a funny tribute to ice fishermen all over the Great Lakes region.

Wyoming: Try Your Hand at Ski-Joring
sundancewinfest/facebook

Wyoming: Try Your Hand at Ski-Joring

Sundance
This tiny town near Devil's Tower in northeastern Wyoming comes alive each winter with its quirky Annual Winter Festival, scheduled this year for Feb. 15. The marquee event is ski-joring, which challenges riders on horseback to pull a skier through an obstacle course. If that's not odd enough for you, stick around to watch the downhill barstool races, complete with costumed participants, and tube races that challenge participants to keep a cup of their favorite drink as full as possible while being dragged by a horse through the snow.