Winter Festivals in Massachusetts

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Festivals and carnivals aren’t just a summer or fall event. There are actually a number of winter festivals held in Massachusetts every year. These festivals are a great way to shake off those winter blues and celebrate this special time of year!

Have you been to any of these festivals? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of them!

Check out this list of winter festivals in Massachusetts:

JANUARY:

Gloucester’s So Salty Festival:

Website: www.gloucesterma400.org/event/gloucesters-so-salty/

The Gloucester’s So Salty festival is inspired by the Salem’s So Sweet festival in nearby Salem. Visitors to downtown Gloucester can enjoy ice sculptures, live music, salty treats, and free children’s art activities during this two-day festival.

North Hampton Ice Art Festival:

Website: northampton.live/events/12th-annual-northampton-ice-art-festival

The North Hampton Ice Art Festival is an annual festival in North Hampton that features ice sculptures and other ice-related works of art.

The main attraction is the ice sculptures themselves. Skilled artists use chainsaws, chisels, and other tools to transform large blocks of ice into detailed and often breathtaking creations.

WinterFest in Newton:

Website: newtoncommunitypride.org/winterfest

WinterFest is an annual winter festival in Newton that features live music, food vendors, guided winter walks, fun activities and hot chocolate and cookies.

Winterfest typically takes place in January or February each year. It is organized by the city of Newton to celebrate the winter season and bring the community together.

Winterfest typically includes a variety of outdoor activities that take advantage of the winter weather. This might include ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, or even snowman-building contests, depending on the location and weather conditions.

FEBRUARY:

Greenfield Winter Carnival:

Website: www.greenfieldrecreation.com/wintercarnival.html

The Greenfield Winter Carnival is an annual winter festival that began over 100 years ago in the town of Greenfield, Ma. The festival features ice sculptures, food, sledding, ice skating and more.

The Winter Carnival in Greenfield is a well-established tradition that typically takes place over a weekend and offers a wide range of winter-themed activities and entertainment for residents and visitors alike.

One of the highlights of the Winter Carnival is the creation of intricate ice sculptures by talented artists. These sculptures are often displayed throughout the town and are a major attraction.

The event typically kicks off with a festive parade featuring floats, marching bands, and community groups. Participants often wear colorful winter costumes.

Families and friends can participate in a snowman-making contest, where they create their own snow sculptures or snowmen.

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival:

Website: salemmainstreets.org/festivals/salem-so-sweet/

Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival is an annual winter festival and Valentine’s day event in Salem. The festival features ice sculptures, Valentine’s Day parties at the Hawthorne Hotel and the House of Seven Gables, a chocolate and beer pairing at a local brewery and a drag show.

One of the main attractions of the festival is the abundance of chocolate and sweet treats. Local businesses often participate by offering special chocolate-themed menus, desserts, and beverages. Visitors can indulge in a wide variety of chocolates, including truffles, hot chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberries, and more.

Visitors can enjoy chocolate tastings and samplings from local chocolatiers. This is a great opportunity to discover new flavors and artisanal chocolate creations.

The festival features a display of stunning ice sculptures created by talented artists. These sculptures are often scattered throughout Salem’s historic downtown area and are illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere.

WinterFest in Easthampton:

Website: www.nashawannuckpond.org/winterfest.html

WinterFest is a winter festival and fundraiser for the Nashawannuck Pond in Easthampton. The festival features a dance with food and live music, an adults-only ice bar and a craft fair.

Similar to other winter festivals, WinterFest in Easthampton often features beautifully crafted ice sculptures that can be found throughout the festival grounds. These sculptures are typically illuminated at night, creating a magical atmosphere.

WinterFest includes live music performances, dance shows, or other forms of entertainment suitable for all ages.

Merrimack River Eagle Festival:

Website: www.massaudubon.org/places-to-explore/wildlife-sanctuaries/joppa-flats/programs-activities

The Merrimack River Eagle Festival is an annual bird watching event in Newburyport, to celebrate and observe the majestic bald eagles and snowy owls that migrate to the area along the Merrimack River during the winter months.

This festival typically takes place in February and offers a unique opportunity for nature enthusiasts and families to witness these impressive birds of prey in their natural habitat.

The festival features wildlife lectures, naturalist-led outings to search for eagles and outdoor programs for children, families, & adults.

Lowell WinterFest:

Website: www.lowellwinterfest.com

Lowell WinterFest is an annual winter festival weekend in Lowell. This event typically occurs in February and is designed to embrace the winter season by offering a wide range of activities and entertainment for residents and visitors. The festival features live music, food vendors, competitions and more.

One of the highlights of Winterfest is often an outdoor ice skating rink where visitors can enjoy skating in a picturesque winter setting. Skate rentals are typically available for those who don’t have their own.

A popular feature of Winterfest is often a chowder or soup competition, where local chefs and restaurants compete for the title of best chowder or soup in various categories.

Families with children can enjoy kid-friendly activities such as face painting, games, storytelling, and interactive arts and crafts.

Attleboro’s Winter Night Festival:

Website: attleborowinterfestival.com

The Winter Night Festival is a winter festival in Attleboro that features a train, a food court, a bonfire, hayrides, art exhibits and more!

WinterFest in North Adams:

Website: berkshires.org/events/

WinterFest is an annual winter festival in North Adams that features an artisan market, ice sculpting, annual chowder cook-off, a bonfire, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice skating, s’mores and more.

Like many winter festivals, WinterFest often features beautifully carved ice sculptures that are placed throughout the event area. These sculptures are typically illuminated at night, creating a magical ambiance.

For more winter events, check out this article on winter attractions in Massachusetts.

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. In addition to his website, William has contributed travel stories and articles to various travel publications, and his work has been featured in several magazines and online platforms. He also collaborates with tourism boards and travel companies to promote sustainable and responsible travel practices. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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