NH’s Winter Carnivals and Winter Festivals

Where to find outdoor fun and winter celebrations in the Granite State
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Winter carnivals and festivals are a New Hampshire staple. In the heat of the cold season, when fireplaces roar and Granite Staters become hermits, it’s nice to have an excuse to leave the house, get together and celebrate. Shovel out that driveway and hit the road to experience the best cold-weather carnivals our state offers.

Winter Fest Ice Carving Competition in Concord, NH

When: Friday, January 27 and Saturday, January 28, 2023
More information: hotelconcordnh.com
Enjoy ice-carving demonstrations and meet some of New England’s most talented ice carvers on Friday, followed by an ice carving competition and Winter Fest on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

22nd NH Sanctioned & Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting Competition

When: Friday, January 27 through Sunday, January 29, 2023
More information: jacksonnh.com
A dozen sculptors from around the Northeast gather each January in Jackson to transform 8-foot cylinders of snow into works of art. Visitors are invited to come and watch throughout the weekend as the artisans work on their sculptures. While in Jackson, attendees are encouraged to enjoy cross country skiing, snow coach rides and tubing at Great Glen Trails.

Hooksett Winter Carnival

When: Saturday, January 29, 2023 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More information: facebook.com/Hooksettwintercarnival
Head to the Donati Field and Playground for a full day of outdoor family fun. Enjoy outdoor games, sledding, snowshoeing, corn hole, martial arts demos, ice sculptures and more.

Annual Nansen-Milan Winter Festival in Milan, NH

When: Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, 29, 2023
More information: skinansen.com
Enjoy the best of winter fun and sports including bon fires, ice skating, hot cocoa, sled races, ski jumping, cross country ski races, snow sculptures, kids races and much more.

20th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival

When: Saturday, February 4, 2023 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More information: facebook.com
The Keene Ice and Snow Festival is held at Central Square in downtown Keene and is free and open to the public. This family-friendly winter carnival includes snowball fights, ice sculpture competitions and plenty of hot cocoa sipping.

107th Annual Newport Winter Carnival

When: Wednesday, February 8 through Sunday, February 12, 2023
More information: facebook.com
This year marks the 107th annual winter carnival in Newport. Activities include a fishing derby, ice hockey games, skijoring, murder mystery dinner, fireworks and more. This event is free to attend. This year’s theme is “Aloha Newport.”

113th Dartmouth College Winter Carnival

When: Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12, 2023
More information: dartmouth.edu
This annual winter carnival is free and open to Dartmouth College residents as well as locals and visitors. Annual festivities include a snow sculpture contest, snow golf, discounts and special races at Dartmouth Skiway, a polar bear plunge and dogsled racing. This year’s theme is “Winter CAAARRRnival: Shiver Me Timbers.”

Squam Lakes Winterfest at Squam Lakes Association in Holderness

When: Saturday, February 18, 2023 | 12 to 3 p.m.
More information: squamlakes.org
From skating, pond hockey, cross-country skiing, sledding and mini golf to a chili contest, bonfire and live animal programs with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, this Holderness winter festival is sure to liven up your winter.

24th Annual Derry Frost Festival

When: Saturday, February 18, 2023 | 12 to 3 p.m.
More information: facebook.com
Ice sculptures, sledding, ice skating, a chili contest, a puppet show, a live DJ and a snowmobile exhibit round out the Derry Frost Festival line-up. All activities are free and open to the public.

Wolfeboro Bay Winter Carnival: Winter Wonderland

When: Sunday, February 19, 2023
More information: lakewinnipesaukee.net
Events are held throughout Wolfeboro and include a big air competition, free ice skating, snowshoeing workshop, sleigh rides, animal tracking, primitive fire building, inflatable obstacle course competition, a pancake breakfast and ski and snowboard races.

Alton Bay Winter Carnival

When: Sunday, February 19, 2023 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
More information: altonbusinessassociation.com
Check out the Chowder-Fest, horse sleigh rides, ice skating rink, crazy hat contest, beer and chili bar and more.

31st Annual Winter Carnival at Wasserman Park in Merrimack

When: Saturday, February 25, 2023 | 12 to 3 p.m.
More information: www.merrimackparksandrec.org
This fun-filled free day will be filled with snowman building, snow art, an ice fishing derby and various arts and crafts, featuring a combination of indoor and outdoor fun, all taking place at Wasserman Park.

Categories: Family-friendly things to do, Winter Events