Cottage Country Winter Carnivals: January & February 2020

Nothing’s more fun for the entire family than a small-town’s annual winter carnival! Oozing the 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 during winter 2020:

Burk’s Falls Winterfest: January 18-19

The 25th Annual Burk’s Falls Winterfest is a long-standing community event that has both indoor and outdoor activities for all to enjoy. From bowling, horse drawn sleigh rides, a snowman contest to a puck toss, this multi-day festival has winter family fun mastered after 24 successful years! Be sure to click on the link to see everything happening at the 25th Annual Burk’s Falls Winterfest.

Bracebridge Fire & Ice Festival: January 25

Fly down the historic downtown core of Bracebridge on a snow tube at the Fire & Ice Festival. Running from 9am-6pm, this community event centers around its epic tube run, but features so much more! Enjoy the unique performances of a variety of buskers (with the Great Canadian Lumberjack Show as a new addition in 2020), peruse the vendor market, tempt your taste buds with some curbside treats and try out a slew of winter sports all in one place.

Port Sydney Winter Carnival: January 31 – February 2
The Port Sydney Winter Carnival is a three day event with fun activities the whole family can enjoy! Spend the weekend ice skating, dancing, in a broomball tournament, eating chili, hot dogs, pancakes and so much more.

Port Carling Winterfest: February 7-9

The 53rd annual Winterfest in Port Carling, Muskoka will be jam-packed with activities and attractions from  Friday evening right through to Sunday afternoon. Enjoy fireworks, figure-skating demos, log sawing contests, a polar bear dip, quality entertainment and more.

Photo Credit: Dwight Winter Carnival

Dorset Snowball Winter Carnival: February 14-15

The 30th Annual Dorset Snowball Winter Carnival includes all of the staple favorites a great winter carnival would have – from pancake breakfasts, skating and horse-drawn wagon rides to snow games, hockey shoot-outs and a kids vs adult hockey game. Make sure to stop by the Dorset Recreation Centre for some top tier entertainment too.

Winter in the Wild Festival: February 15

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, hearty meals, a campfire and so much more. 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.

Parry Sound Snowfest: February 14-17

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.

Gravenhurst Winter Carnival: February 14-17 

Also celebrating 50 years in 2020 is the Gravenhurst Winter Carnival! Come and see spectacles such as a demolition derby, ice sculptures, bed races,  firework displays and so much more. Contestants can vie in log-sawing, nail-hammering, doughnut eating and even take part in a polar bear dip too! For details on this impressive weekend, click here.

Baysville Winterfest: February 17

Enjoy some winter fun at the annual Baysville Winterfest from 8:30am-3pm. 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!

Huntsville Snowfest: February 21-22
Huntsville SnowFest is a free two-day festival that takes place on a snow-covered Main Street in Downtown Huntsville. SnowFest begins with a Downtown Pub Crawl on Friday night where guests are transported bar-to-bar via a horse drawn sleigh ride. Saturday is a day full of events including nordic & alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, fatbiking, skating, axe throwing, snoga (yoga on snow) and much more! New this year is the Muskoka Fat Bike races – an exciting 850m lap race on Main Street!

Dwight Winter Carnival: February 28-29 

The Dwight Winter Carnival is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year – and with this half century marker comes no shortage of fun to be had! From axe throwing, fat biking, skating and snowshoeing to archery, horse drawn sleigh rides, cookie decorating and carnival games – this is the perfect weekend for some awesome family fun.

Sledapalooza Winterfest: February 29

Calling all sledders! If your family is into snowmobiling or just into spectating and outdoor fun, you won’t want to miss the inaugural Sledapalooza Winterfest event happening in McKellar on February 29th from 8am-11pm. This event will feature live music all day, a 660′ drag race strip, a vendor market and hot food and drinks to help keep you warm. Braap!

There’s nothing like the charm of a rural winter carnival.  Bring the family to the great Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto and discover just how fun the season can be.

 To plan your stay this winter, visit

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