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Every winter carnival you should go to in New York

Celebrate the cold-weather season by attending an awesome winter carnival or festival in the city and New York state

Syracuse Winterfest

One of the best things to do in winter is attend an amazing winter carnival, where you can sip hot cocoa, munch on savory dishes, go ice-skating and ogle beautiful snowscapes. NYC and other places in the state are hosting multiple festivals and events during the colder months, so mark your calendars and starting planning all your weekend getaways now. We’ve ranked out favorite winter carnivals and festivals below. Take a look!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to winter getaways from NYC

Find a winter carnival in New York State


Winter Carnival at Bryant Park

At the always-festive Winter Carnival at Bryant Park, you can take free curling lessons, taste soothing hot chocolate and enjoy some of the best seasonal ales at the Outdoor Winter Brew House. There will be special skate performances including a strong lineup of entertainment—folks can don their fanciest formal wear (and skates) for the waltz-soundtracked “Ice Ball.” Peruse fine fare from local vendors and play some board games once the post-skate exhaustion truly sets in. Jan 27–Feb 4, (wintervillage.org/visit/wintercarnival); Free.

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Midtown West

Winter Jam in Central Park

The Parks Department reminds us why we should love the colder months with Winter Jam, its annual winter sports festival in Central Park. Attendees can learn or take part in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding on the manufactured white stuff. (Or they can just sip hot chocolate and enjoy the outdoors.) Jan 28. 

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By: Leah Faye Cooper
Hudson Woods Winter Festival

Hudson Woods Winter Festival

If you’re planning a winter getaway, consider renting a cabin in Kerhonkson, New York so you can attend this awesome winter spectacular. Hudson Woods is hosting a day chock-full of cozy, cold-weather fun, including crafts and wooden board games, eats from Applestone Meats, Good Harvest and Tree Juice Maple Syrup, plus sled races, snowman-making, a bonfire (with s’mores!) and more. R.S.V.P. here. 101 Ridgewood Rd, Kerhonkson, NY. Sat, February 25 1–5pm; free.

Lake George Winter Carnival

Lake George Winter Carnival

If toasting marshmallows on the beach, warming-up with a steamy bowl of chili, flying a massive kite on ice, riding on a dogsled ($20) and learning how to dive in frozen water piques your interest, Lake George is calling. There are new events every weekend in February that are perfect for folks seeking adventure or a life of leisure. Saturdays & Sundays in February (lakegeorgewintercarnival.com); various prices.

Syracuse Winterfest

Syracuse Winterfest

For ten days, this fete attracts more than 100,000 people to dozens of displays, parties and competitive events. Join in on a treasure hunt (there’s a plastic medallion hidden somewhere in Onondaga County, and you could win $1,000 if you find it), a chowder cook-off, and team trivia. February 16–26 (syracusewinterfest.com); various prices.

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

Itching to plan a getaway next month? We recommend taking a trip to Saranac Lake for a weekend of cold-weather fun. Some events are free (like the Gala Parade, winter carnival parade, bands’ sound-off and a fireworks display), while others require a small fee, like Snowshoe Softball and the Lion’s Club Chili Sale. Make sure to bring your camera and explore the Ice Palace (a massive walk-through igloo-type castle), so you can act out Disney’s hit movie Frozen IRL. February 3–12 (saranaclakewintercarnival.com); Free.


Looking for more reasons to go upstate?


Jim F
Jim F

Winterfest - Live on the Vine is actually a music, wine and performing arts fest featuring rock, jazz, blues, folk, country world and more, by emerging artists like those listed, as well as world class headliners like Judy Collins, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jefferson Starship, Randy Brecker, Amy Helm and more.

Performances are in winery tasting rooms, boutique hotels and historic theaters.

Go to liwinterfest.com.