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Published on February 2nd, 2017 | by Danielle Williams

6 Ontario Winter Carnivals to Visit in February.

In the spring and summer, there are so many festivals and fun things to do every weekend. Now just because the temperature has dropped and the snow has piled up, it doesn’t mean you have to stay inside and hibernate until next season to have fun. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, get outside and celebrate winter at these Ontario Winter Carnivals before the season ends.

Port Carling Winterfest in Muskoka

February 3 to February 5, 2017
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the festival so you know it’s going to be a big one. The Port Carling Winterfest started in 1967 and it has grown into an event filled with food and activities the entire family will enjoy. On Saturday, people can enjoy horse and wagon rides, chainsaw events, axe throwing, log sawing, a roast beef dinner and more. And it all wraps up on Sunday with a pancake and sausage breakfast, bean bag curling, a chili cook-off contest, a chef dessert challenge and the popular Polar Bear Dip. For a full list of events, check out the schedule.

2015 Log Sawing Contest- Port Carling

2015 Log Sawing Contest

Midland’s Outdoor Winterfest

February 3 to February 5, 2017
Making s’mores, outdoor skating, Lumberjack shows and cardboard toboggan races are just a few of the activities at Midland’s Annual Outdoor Winterfest. A resident favourite, this event is definitely one you don’t want to miss. All the activities on Saturday happen outdoors so make sure to wear your toque and mittens to stay warm. Click here to see the Winterfest schedule.

Winterlude in Ottawa

February 3 to February 20, 2017
Winterlude is the Capital’s winter celebration that transforms Ottawa into a winter wonderland. Going on its 39th year, the annual winter festival takes place the first three weeks in February and is located at three different sites around the city. It features ice-carving competitions and demonstrations at Crystal Garden, ice skating at the Rideau Canal and North America’s largest snow playground inside Jacques-Cartier Park. This year will be bigger than ever, with special activities and events to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.

Crystal Garden in Confederation Park- International Ice Craving Competition

Crystal Garden in Confederation Park- International Ice Craving Competition

Orillia Winter Carnival

February 11, 2017
Every year the Orillia Winter Carnival transforms downtown into a winter wonderland. There’s a midway with rides, massive ice castle and the giant Mount Mississauga ice slide, which you can toboggan right down Main Street. And you can also take the plunge into Lake Couchiching for the popular Polar Dip to support and fundraise for local charities. This year the organizers have added something cool called the Yukigassen Tournament. It means “snow battle” in Japanese and is a massive family-friendly snowball fight.

Orillia Winter Carnival Polar Bear Dip

2013 Polar Bear Dip

Snowball Winter Carnival in Dorset

February 17 to February 18, 2017
Also known as “Snowball” this festival is one of the longest running outdoor winter carnivals in Ontario. Going on its 27th year, the annual event was started by a volunteer committee for the local community centre as a fundraiser. The Snowball Winter Carnival hosts a bevy of activities like a family skating party with music, horse drawn carriage rides, wooden plank races, a pancake breakfast and a parade.

Dorset Winter Carnival

2016 Horse Drawn Carriage Ride

Gravenhurst Winter Carnival

February 20 to February 26, 2017
Who can party and have fun for eight days straight? People in Gravenhurst sure can and at Gravenhurst Winter Carnival it’s a regional tradition. It’s a week filled with fun events and is the best way to experience Gravenhurst like never before. With live entertainment, markets, interactive activities and delicious foods it’s hard to resist. Can you say no to an all-you-can-eat poutine bar or a donut eating off a string contest! Seriously? I’m packing an appetite and fork right now.

Gravenhurst Winter Carnival

Donut Eating Off a String Contest Participant

Do you know of any other winter carnivals in Ontario? Let us know. And if you and your family need some inspiration for other winter activities, click the button below.

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