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Winter festivals in other cities

Maybe we'd be quicker to embrace the cold if our city hosted more cool, outdoor events like these.


Le Meridien’s Ice Chamber, Minneapolis
Enter the country’s first outdoor ice bar at Eden, the courtyard bar of the Le Meridien Chambers hotel. Sidle up to the translucent bar constructed of 300-pound ice bricks, order a cocktail and take a seat next to the fire pit. Weather permitting through the spring thaw, lemeridienchambers.com.

Igloofest, Montreal, Canada
Chicago’s got SummerDance, but how about a huge outdoor mid-January fete with dozens of international electronic music acts? Montreal’s nine-day party draws about 45,000 people to the St. Lawrence riverfront for a lineup that, this year, includes Swedish pop singer Robyn and Chicago’s own Kid Sister. January 13–15, 20–22 and 27–29; igloofest.ca/en.

Winter Carnival, Quebec City, Canada
Maybe winter would go by faster if we had distractions like ice and snow slides, downtown dog-sled races, outdoor concerts and dance parties and hot tubs in the park. Quebec City has it all when a red-capped snowman mascot named Bonhomme marks the beginning of this fest. January 28–February 13, carnaval.qc.ca/en.

Saidai-ji Eyo Hadaka Matsuri at Saidai-ji Temple, Saidaiji-naka, Japan
Picture 10,000 men in loin cloths, fortified with sake, set loose in the streets on one of the coldest nights of the year. During this 500-year-old Shinto Buddhist body-and-mind purification ritual, monks add to the excruciating chill by dumping icy water on the scantily clad gents. February 19, www.jnto.go.jp/eng.