winter festivals in northern michigan mean fun, free, frozen–all good things

Kids will find a way to enjoy a big pile of snow. No instructions necessary. Just leave them alone and they’ll figure out how to make a carnival out of it. But if you’re going to close down the main retail thoroughfare, you’d better have a little something to attract and entertain the adults. So Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival gathered a bunch of sponsors to support a veritable frenzy of free fun stuff. 

I took a couple of experts in fun to check it out. Free ice skating was dubbed, “Fun for beginners, but you need real ice if you want to do a spin.”

The sledding hill was double fun, “… especially when you go down double, cause it’s faster.”

The most fun was the free ferris wheel, totally worth the 35 minute wait! (Note to adults: get there earlier than 2:00 for shorter waiting lines. My toes started to get cold and we headed to Espresso Bay for smoothies and sweet treats–and heat! I’ll need my own pair of Bogs boots next year.)

Our favorite ice sculpture was the wolf howling at the moon. And we didn’t have time to participate in some of the games. Not everyone was a kid, though most were acting like them, and we noticed a great deal of shopping, dining and hanging about laughing from folks of all ages. 

One of our gang had been at the Suttons Bay Yeti Festival that morning as well. It was fun, too, she reports. “You get to taste chili and vote for your favorite. And there are games and stuff.” 

There’s something magical about a winter festival. Maybe it was the sun shining while it was snowing … or perhaps that crispness in the air flavors the fest with more verve … maybe the folks that dress warmly enough to be at a winter fest are just a little more invested in having fun … maybe it’s just such a joy to have a cabin fever antidote … whatever it is, we love winter festivals and these were particularly festive!

Check out these festivals coming up in the MyNorth Events. 

Ice & Snow Sailing Festival at Sault

Suds & Snow at Timber Ridge

Petoskey Winter Blues Festival

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