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Country fairs, music and food festivals in New England are fun for families

New England Fairs and Festivals

New England fairs and festivals offer affordable, family-friendly fun year round. Discover the newest art, crafts, music, and film. Enjoy live blues, folk, bluegrass, and jazz music. Shop for handmade art and crafts and find vendors selling celebrated New England food like maple syrup, blueberries, cheeses, ice cream, seafood, barbecue, craft beer and wine. Take a fun peek into world cultures at Scottish, Celtic, Italian, Portuguese, Asian, and French Canadian celebrations. Classic cars, books, and glowing hot air balloons are some of New England’s favorite festival treasures.

To find more events, visit our Events Calendar.

Various locations Newport, RI Phone: 401-847-7666

February 17-26, 2017

Highlighted events include the Children’s Fair, Chili Cook-Off, Princess Party and exciting, fun concerts by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitude and more! See the festival website for detailed event information. Winterfest bracelets are $10.

720 South Bridgton Road Bridgton, ME Phone: 207-647-3472

February 18, 2017

Sled dog rides, snowmobile rides, Freezin for a Reason polar dip, table tennis, kids fishing derby, Carnival Dance, magic show, pancake breakfast, chili lunch, bean supper, and more. See website for schedule of events.

61 Market Street, Unit 1C Lowell, MA, 01852 Phone: 978-459-6150

Festivals celebrate Merrimack’s legendary history and characters

Greater Merrimack Valley is a deeply historic part of New England with a delightful variety of ethnicities, all with unique stories. Probably its best-known celebration is Patriots’ Day in mid-April, when Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord hosts re-enactments of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. The city of Lowell turns out some marvelous annual events, like the annual Lowell Folk Fest, serving up outdoor music all around the city, and the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, honoring the city’s famous writer. The Southeast Asian Water Festival is among several fests that celebrate the city’s ethnic heritage. The Yankee Doodle Homecoming Festival honors patriot Thomas Ditson of Billerica, the inspiration of the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Harvest, Christmas, October fests take their places in the seasonal lineup.

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, 9 Atterbury Circle Winter Harbor,, ME Phone: 207-288-1310

February 10-12, 2017

Winter art exhibit, water birds in winter, backyard birding, cross country skiing, adventure movie, quinzhee building, search and rescue, kids art projects, food, gingerbread bird house, Maine ice age lecture, winter ecology hike, music, lumberjack show, Dutch oven cooking and more.

Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf Boston, MA Phone:

January 13-March 31, 2017

The Boston Wine Festival, hosted by Daniel Bruce, executive chef of the Boston Harbor Hotel, features a series of intimate winemaker-hosted dinners, seminars and receptions. After 28 seasons, the festival has evolved into a world renowned series. Major events of the 2-month festival include the Grand Opening Reception on January 13, and the Valentine’s Dinner Dance on February 11 and the Valentine’s Jazz Brunch on February 12. Schedule of events.

Pawtucket Armory Arts Exchange, 172 Exchange Street Pawtucket, RI Phone:

January 28, 2017

The Fest hosts 56 breweries with more than 175 beers to sample. The event will have two, three-hour sampling sessions. Each session will feature local vendors and a food court.
Time: Two sessions: 1-4 p.m. and 5:30 - 8:30 p.m..
Admission: General admission, $55 in advance and $65 at the door; designated drivers, $15 in advance and $25 at the door

Downtown Kennebunk Kennebunk, ME Phone: 207-985-2102

February 4, 2017

All-day skating at the Waterhouse Center Ice Rink; horse & wagon rides, face painting, fire juggling, figure skating performances, soup tasting contests, and the annual Cabin Fever Book Sale at the library.There will be music, entertainment, food and snacks. Details to follow soon!

Downtown and other locations North Adams, MA Phone:

February 18, 2017

Hot chocolate, a chowder competition, ice sculpting, horse-drawn wagon rides, and roasted marshmallows at a community campfire. time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Central Square and Downtown Keene Keene, NH Phone:

February 4, 2017

Professional and student ice carving, snow cculpting and snowboard rail jam. Family activities include crafts for children, snowman making at Snowman Central, Lil'Tot snow slide, bonfire & s'mores, train rides, fire truck display, musical performances, magic show, character pictures with snowman and polar bar, food vendors and more. Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: Free. 

Wentworth by the Sea Hotel, 588 Wentworth Road New Castle, NH Phone:

January 20-February 26, 2017

The Winter Wine Festival at Wentworth By the Sea is a six-week tour of the world’s best wines, most illustrious winemakers and deliciously paired menus. The festival offers dinners, tastings flight nights, Bubbles & Jazz Brunches. Schedule of events.

Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center, 783 Townshend Road, Grafton, VT Phone: 802-843-2400

February 25, 2017

It's all-out winter at Grafton Ponds. Your ticket includes a trail pass for Nordic skiing, tubing, snowshoeing and fat biking, as well as ice skating (weather-dependent), at Grafton Ponds, plus s'mores at a bonfire. Ice Bar event opens at 4 p.m.
Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Main Street, Chester Village Center Chester, CT Phone: 860-398-0690

February 19, 2017

The historic and picturesque village of Chester celebrates winter with its Winter Carnivale. Expect to enjoy street performers, ice carvers, chili cooks, tractor drivers, and more. The whole day is free (except for the Chester Hose Company's Chili Cook Off - which costs $5 for tasting many chilis). Watch VCarnivale Facebook page for more details. Time: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

various locations Auburn, ME Phone:

January 27-29, 2017

This is a 3-day celebration of fun in winter. Trail walks, bonfire and sledding for kids, Fire & Ice Café/Cabaret, ice bar, petting zoo, cheap tickets at Lost Valley ski area. Fireworks on Saturday at 9 p.m. See event website for details of events.

North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street Montpelier, VT Phone:

January 29, 2017

Ice on Fire, a celebration of the warmth of community in the depth of winter with song, theater, stories, winter games and great food. It begins at 2 p.m. with a puppet processional parade and opening ceremony calling in the four directions, and closes at 5 p.m. with a bonfire.
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Admission: Family, $5; adults, $3; children, $1

January 28, 2017

The day's events include the Paran Plunge at Lake Paran, an Ice Sculpture Contest at the North Bennington Train Depot, Norshaft Lion’s Chilifest at St. John the Baptist Church, an Indoor Winter Carnival at the Village School, bonfire, hay rides, children activities, and hot chocolate. See event website for detailed schedule.

Smugglers' Notch Resort Nordic Center, 4323 Vermont 108 Jeffersonville, VT Phone: 802-644-8851

January 28-29, 2017

Jefferson and the Smugglers’ Notch celebrate winter with many events. At Smugglers', there is a free family fun race from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Lower Madonna lift line. There will be a Moosehead Mountain Jam après ski party at Bootleggers' Lounge from 3 to 7 p.m. Moosehead presents Rhyme & Reason acoustic duo from the Boston area from 3 to 5 p.m. Boston's 104.1 DJ Karson will be spinning tunes from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy music, fun contests, giveaways and prizes. Join a 5K cross country ski ramble hosted Smugglers' Nordic Center, followed by light snacks. Cross country ski equipment can be rented at the Nordic Center.

Youth Center, 20 Sanderson Street, Beacon Field at Beacon & Gerrett Streets Greenfield, MA Phone: 413-772-1553

February 3-5, 2017

Ice sculpture contests, Fireworks, Fire Dancers, Breakfast with Frosty, Family Fun Day, Sleigh Bell Run, Cardboard Sled Race, K9 Keg Pull, Sledding, Ice Skating, and so much more! Events all over town, all weekend long; most events are free.

Stowe Mountain Resort, 5781 Mountain Road, and other locations in town Stowe, VT Phone: 802-253-3000

January 14-28, 2017

The 43rd Stowe Winter Carnival offers two dozen major activities, from wacky sports events, ice carving competitions, ski movies, Kids Carnival Kaos, a Broomball Tournament and Beer garden event and the infamous Snowgolf and Snowvolleyball tournaments. Ice carvers will be working on masterful sculptures throughout the village on Demonstration Day, January 20, leading to the nationally sanctioned competition on January 21 at Stowe Mountain Resort’s Spruce Peak Plaza. Theme for this year's Carnival is "StowOasis!” Schedule of events.

New England Youth Theater, 100 Flat Street, and McNeill’s Brewery Brattleboro, VT Phone:

January 28, 2017

The Northern Roots Festival begins with a full slate of daytime participation and performance activities, including workshops, panels, mini-concerts, pub sessions, and a dance band workshop that leads to playing for a family dance. The festival concludes with an evening performance featuring musicians representing the best of the northern musical traditions.
Time: Noon to 9 p.m.
Admission: Day, $25; evening, $20; both, $40; youth under age 12: $10, $10, $15. Family concert & dance at 3 p.m., $5 at door.

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd. Uncasville, CT Phone:

January 27-29, 2017

This festival showcases 21 celebrity chefs and winemakers as well as 1,000 wines, craft beers, select spirits and signature dishes from New England’s finest restaurants. Attend high-end events including the Celebrity Chef Dine Around featuring Roblé Ali and Rocco DiSpirito, and Elite Cru & Bourbon Tastings as well as the Grand Tasting on Saturday. See festival website for schedule of events.

The Hilton Garden Inn, School and Park streets Freeport, ME Phone:

February 17-19, 2017

Throughout the weekend you will find a variety of food events from chocolate factory tours and cocktail competitions, to a wine dinner and lobster brunch! Free tastings and demonstrations are hosted all over town. Flavors of Freeport also features two nights of premier events. Chef’s Signature Series and Flavors of Freeport Ice Bar at The Hilton Garden Inn. February 17. Enjoy delicious samples from some of Maine’s best chefs, sample local brews and beverages, and learn about what’s new in Freeport’s culinary world. The Flavors Ice Bar features frosty beverages, beautiful ice sculptures, fun photo opps, snow machines, roaring fires and a DJ. For guests age 21 and older. 5-9 p.m. Ice Bar with Motor Booty Affair at The Hilton Garden Inn. February 18. Frosty beverages, beautiful ice sculptures, twinkling lights, fun photo opps, snow machines and roaring fires to cozy up to with friends and loved ones! At 6 p.m. the adjacent ballroom opens to present the sounds of Motor Booty Affair, Maine’s ultimate disco party band. For guests age 21 and older. 5-9 p.m.

January 27-29, 2017

For three days, Harvard Square’s restaurants and cafes will feature chocolate appetizers, entrees, deserts, cocktails, cordials and nightcaps while retailers offer chocolate specials and deals. A tasty sampling of chocolate goodies from Harvard Square purveyors will be presented on Saturday.

Look Memorial Park 300 N Main Street Florence, MA Phone:

January 28, 2017

There will be over a dozen carnival games with winter themes including a reindeer ring toss, penguin bowling and the puck shot challenge. Additional entertainment will be provided with an ice sculpture carving demonstration and maybe a dog sledding demonstration with rides if the weather allows for it! There will also be a Christmas Tree Burn for people to warm up by as well as warming tents when you're looking to get out of the cold. Bring your sled and go for a ride on the Look Park sledding hill. Bring ice skates; a rink will be open. Hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, donuts, cookies, hot cider, chili, and cocoa will be available. Bad weather date is January 29. Follow us on Facebook for updates. Admission: Vehicle entry fee is $5; carnival games tickets are 50 cents each.

Wainwright Recreation Complex, 125 Gary Maietta Pkwy. South Portland, ME Phone: 207-767-7650

January 27-28, 2017

Join this full weekend of outdoor winter fun! Ice skating party, kids ice fishing derby, a pancake breakfast, horse and carriage rides, ice sculpture demos, a chili and chowder contest, sledding hill, ice skating, food trucks, fireworks! A complete schedule will be available the first week in January. Check for daily updates!

Dartmouth College Hanover, NH Phone: 603-646-3399

February 9-12, 2017

Known as the oldest collegiate winter festival, Winter Carnival is a celebration of winter, snow, and fun in the outdoors. Polar bear swims, races, competitions, ice and snow fun. A big part of the fest is the ice sculpting competition. See event website for schedule of events.

Mount Washington Chocolate Festival 2017

Selected Inns and Businesses in Mount Washington Valley Intervale, NH Phone: 603-356-9920

February 26, 2017

Nearly 30 miles of outdoor winter fun and cozy indoor chocolate tasting events. You can ski, snowshoe, or drive around Mount Washington and indulge yourself inside warm inns loaded with a huge selection of chocolate treats, many of them free! Many inns along the trails will offer chocolate delights like dipped fruit, fondue, ice cream bar, and baked goods. See event website for names of participating inns, a bakery, a ski center. Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission: advance purchase, $30; day of event, $35.

The Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm, 58 Cleveland Hill Road Tamworth, NH Phone:

February 4, 2017

Take part in a historic New England tradition—ice harvesting! Celebrate winter with fun outdoor activities and try your hand at harvesting ice on the farm pond. Learn from the past as you mark, cut, float, lift and stack harvested ice—see it stored in our ice house. Visit farm animals in their winter coats and surroundings, enjoy winter games and crafts and warm up with Farmhouse Kitchen favorites. Admission: Ages 11 and older, $10; ages 5 to 10, $5. Time: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

February 4-12, 2017

Camden Winterfest is Maine’s Mardi Gras, with outdoor and indoor activities, ice carving and snow sculpting. The week closes with the Toboggan Nationals. Enjoy ice carving, music, refreshments, and festivities; snowboarding demos and competition in Harbor Park; a Polar Plunge in Harbor Park, and snow sculpting on the Village Green.

Newport Vineyards, 909 East Main Road Middletown, RI Phone: 401-848-5161

February 18-19, 2017

This is two days full of grape stomping and ice wine tasting. Enjoy live music from Little Compton Band on Saturday and The Pourmen on Sunday, while sipping at the Ice Wine Bar. Marvel at the creations of a live ice sculpting performance on Saturday and a live wine statue on Sunday. Join the Grape Stomp Competitions. Time: Noon-5 p.m. Admission: $25 in advance; $28 at the door

Downtown Lowell Lowell, MA Phone: 978-459-6150

February 24-25, 2017

During the City’s Winterfest celebration, enjoy live entertainment and many children’s activities. There is something for everyone—from local cuisine, to the famous Soup Bowl Competition. Come on out and celebrate the season. For more info visit the www.lowellma.gov website as the dates get closer!