Don’t Miss These Five Winter Festivals around New England

From Newport's Winter Festival to Camden's Winterfest, here are some of our favorite New England winter festivals.

newport winterfest

Photo of Newport Winterfest provided

The temperatures may be dropping, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Throughout New England, folks are bundling up and heading to the area’s many winter festivals, where you can sip hot toddies, catch major air on a sled, or just cozy up by a crackling fire. Here are five of our favorites:

Newport Winter Festival

Newport, RI

Everyone associates Newport with the summer, but the Rhode Island city goes full-blown Winter Wonderland come February. The Newport Winter Festival is a lively extravaganza of food, drink, and festival celebrations. Curl up with a hot cider at the fire pits at Gurney’s, or watch the masters as they craft ice sculptures. If you’ve got little ones with you, they’ll find plenty of things to do as well; the children’s fair has events ranging from a magic show and live music to a reptile exhibit.

February 15-24, 2019,

Brattleboro Winter Carnival

Brattleboro, VT

One of the most family-friendly options on the list, the Brattleboro Winter Carnival is a delightful slice of small town New England. Think sleigh and hay rides, pancake breakfasts, downhill ski races, and an ice fishing derby in the bucolic Vermont locale. Grab a bowl and put your taste buds to the test at the annual chili cookoff on Wednesday evening.

February 16-24, 2019,

North Adams Winterfest

North Adams, MA

The Berkshires go all in on the whole “magical winter forest” theme, and the North Adams Winterfest doesn’t disappoint. You’ll find artisan markets, crackling fires perfect for roasting marshmallows, horse-drawn carriage rides, and even a chowder competition. Don’t miss the Winter Homebrew Competition hosted by Bright Ideas Brewery, a popular North Adams craft beer spot.

February 16-17, 2019,


Camden, ME

Straight out of an L.L.Bean catalog, Camden is one of the most charming destinations in mid-coast Maine. And while the small town’s population triples during the summertime, it’s no slouch during the colder months, too. Camden’s Winterfest is a weeklong, town-wide celebration that’s capped off at the Camden Snow Bowl, the only ski area with ocean views on the East Coast. That’s where you’ll find the US Toboggan Championships, an awe-inspiring race where competitors don costumes as they speed down the mountain like lighting.

February 2-10, 2019,

Dartmouth Winter Carnival

Hanover, NH

This year’s Dartmouth Winter Carnival is going to be a doozy: In honor of the university’s anniversary, the theme is “Ice Age: 250 Years of Winter.” And while it’s affiliated with the school, the entire community is welcome. Grab a few friends and enter the Ice Sculpture Contest, where each team will have a professional sculptor to do the heavy cutting. Or if you’re really brave, put on a swimsuit and participate in one of the Polar Bear Swims.

February 7-10, 2019,