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Nothing’s more fun for the entire family than a small-town’s annual winter carnival. Oozing the country charm and warmth you’d expect from rural getaway spots, your family’s winter vacation to Ontario’s cottage country should include one of these highly entertaining events. If you’ve never been, grab the kids, bundle up, and head to a ‘winter country fair’ in the great Canadian wilderness north of Toronto. Here is just a partial list of what you’ll find starting in January 2018:
Bracebridge Fire & Ice Festival: January 27
The 3rd annual event in Bracebridge, Muskoka will once again featuring non-stop fun from 9am to 9pm, including skating at the Winter Village in the centre of town, beer garden, street hockey tournament, tubing down the main street and more.
Port Carling Winterfest: February 2-4
The 51st annual Winterfest in Port Carling, Muskoka will be jam-packed with activities and attractions from early Friday evening right through to early Sunday afternoon. Enjoy fireworks, figure-skating demos, cook-offs, a dinner and dance, quality entertainment and more.
Port Sydney Winter Carnival: February 2-4
The Port Sydney Winter Carnival is chock full of outdoor family fun over three days at the beginning of February. With a ‘bangers and mash’ dinner and a pancake breakfast, skating, snowshoeing, tubing, face painting and games for the kids, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss the complete line-up of events on their website.
Dwight Winter Carnival: February 9-10
During this festive weekend in picturesque Lake of Bays, you can enjoy some fun for all ages. There will be activities from Science North, a chili cook off, a variety of outdoor winter activities, pancake breakfast, Kids Kapers activities and more.
The above image is the property of the Dwight Winter Carnival – Limelight Muskoka
Gravenhurst Winter Carnival: February 15-19
This annual weekend event has become so popular that it has expanded to include an entire week of festivities! Come and see spectacles such as the demolition derby, monster truck car crushing, snowmobile radar runs at nearly 200 km/h, indoor rowing and fireworks. You can enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride, tour in a helicopter over the town and lakes, ride in a monster truck or view vintage snowmobiles. Contestants will vie in log-sawing, nail-hammering, arm-wrestling, wing-eating and puddle-jumping. You can also participate in traditional favourites such as snow sculpture, skating, a Saturday night dance, and the popular polar bear dip. For details on this impressive weekend, click here.
Dorset Snow Ball: February 16-17
Famous for its snow art, the Snow Ball in Dorset will once again feature spectacular sculptures by local residents as well as a workshop on snow-sculpting techniques for creative types who want to discover a unique medium. Other events to enjoy include the Snow Ball Parade, a pancake breakfast, family skating party to music, a chainsaw carving demo and all sorts of games and contests.
Parry Sound SnowFest: February 16-19
Four days of winter fun that has something for everyone! Spend some time outdoors and enjoy all that winter has to offer; cross-country skiing, ice fishing and skating – then come inside and warm up with a hearty meal and let loose on the dance floor. Don’t miss the breath-taking firework show while you’re huddled by the bonfire! For a complete schedule of SnowFest events, click here.
Algonquin Park Winter in the Wild: February 17
There’s nothing like feeding a chickadee out of your hand, and Algonquin Park is the place to do it. The Park’s nature-education-oriented winter carnival has guided birding walks, nature hikes on snowshoes, skating, skiing, hearty meals, a bonfire and a special evening event. Combine this with serene winter camping in the pristine snow at two of the Park’s beautiful campgrounds or in a yurt for a total winter nature experience.
Baysville Winterfest: February 19
Enjoy some winter fun at the annual Baysville Winterfest from 8:30am-5pm. All activities are free! Start the day with a pancake breakfast and follow-up with kids crafts, a bake sale, drumming circle, skating, live music and dancing, outdoor games and more!