February is nearly here and we couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming events across Pure Michigan. This year, we even have an extra day in February to enjoy! What better way to spend it than exploring and having fun in the Great Lakes State. From winter festivals to snowmobiling, the second month of the year is filled with events that everyone can enjoy. For a full list of events in Michigan, visit michigan.org/events.
And remember, it’s winter in Pure Michigan and time to take your kids on a snow day! All 4th and 5th grade students ski free in Michigan…and you don’t need to be a Michigander to take part. All you need is a Cold is Cool Ski & Ride Passport and your child skis free at 30 participating ski areas across the state. More information can be found at Michigan Snowsports Industries Association.
This event, brought to you by the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources, will be an enchanted evening of fun in the snow. You will be able to experience the beautiful 1.25 mile lantern lit snowshoe trail at Van Riper State Park. The trail begins about a mile west of the main campground entrance at the rustic Peshekee Cabin. The lantern lit trail will take place from 7 – 9 p.m. and there will be a cozy fire to warm up by inside the cabin along with some snacks, coffee, and hot cocoa.
On this weekend, downtown St. Joseph is hosting its 12th Annual Ice Carving Festival! They’ve got frosty fun planned all weekend long, including certified ice competitions, a Snow Biz Scavenger Hunt, Fire & Ice Tower display, the 3rd Annual Ice Fest 5k Chocolate Walk/Run, and much more. Be sure to check it out!
Ice Breaker is West Michigan’s predominant and growing winter festival which showcases dazzling ice sculptures, a chili cook-off, a pub slide, horse-drawn wagon rides, kid crafts and many more exciting events. A major highlight of the event is the sculpting of more than 50 blocks of ice, weighing 300 pounds each, into incredible works of frozen art.
Go to the 48th Annual International I-500 Snowmobile Race and experience all the thrills of NASCAR on a one-mile oval ice track. The I-500 is one of the biggest events in the Upper Peninsula and in the entire snowmobile-racing world. No Hans devices. No padding. Just 100% raw courage! When drivers accelerate to speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour on the straightaways, your heart will race. Come join this fantastic event.
As part of the Alpenfrost Festival, the Michigan Beer & Wine Festival 2016 will have 20 Michigan breweries and 10 Michigan vineyards on site. It is in a new location – The Lodge at Treetops Resort so be sure not to miss it! This festive event kicks off with the annual Cardboard Sled Race.
The Michigan Senior Olympics is hosting their Winter Games this month. Events offered include badminton, billiards, bocce ball, cross-country skiing, dancesport, pickleball, powerlifting, racquetball, men’s & women’s ice hockey, snowshoeing and table tennis.
2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Detroit Camper & RV Show! The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds will celebrate with special exhibits and events throughout the show including an original 1937 Hayes luxury travel trailer RV, manufactured in Grand Rapids. Come see all the different brands and units displayed, including folding campers, motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers and fifth wheel travel trailers.
The UP200 is one of America’s premier 12-dog, mid-distance sled dog races and draws mushers from around the United States and Canada. It is an Iditarod qualifying race that starts in downtown Marquette. The UP200 trail covers 240 miles of challenging terrain from Marquette to Grand Marais, Michigan, and back again through forested land and near-wilderness. Mushers face hills, creek crossings, deep snow, and isolated trail. This is a true test of skill and stamina! The first leg of the trail is from Marquette to Wetmore, a distance of approximately 64 miles. The return to Marquette is over the same trail. The race starts in Marquette on Friday evening, February 12th, 2016, and ends in Marquette Sunday afternoon, February 14th.
For over 25 years, West Michigan has started their golf season off with the West Michigan Golf Show. There will be information on local courses and resorts, skill challenges, Michael Breed from Golf Chanel’s “The Golf Fix,” and more! With the area’s top equipment dealers, courses and resorts, you can plan your entire summer of golf, and even tee off for the first time of the season, all inside DeVos Place!
The Fowler Center, along with Rob and Susie Trott of Great Lakes Outdoors, will be hosting two fishing sessions for this event. Fishing license fees will be waived due to Michigan’s free fishing weekend. Also available on the day of the event are concessions, a chicken lunch, raffle prizes, door prizes, 50/50, and the chance to win $7,000 if you catch the Grand Prize Pike!
Check out the Winter Wine Festival! All your favorite wineries from around Michigan and across the country will be in one place. It will feature wine tasting and sampling, food pairings, meet and greet with the winemakers, and live music from the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Sip, stroll, and relax in the warm indoors with friends and great wines!
Fatbiking at its finest is more than just five inch wide tires and a load of fun. This growing segment of two-wheeled transportation is on the rise, but where and how? Like any sport in its infancy, fat bikers often run into access dilemmas from land users already playing another way.
The goal for the Summit is to combine multiple perspectives and experiences to educate people on multi-use trail solutions while riding some of the best snow around. This is a great opportunity to check out a new sport!
The sorely missed homebrew club festival is back for 2016 with a lineup you don’t want to miss! The tickets include entrance to the event, a taste of the 32 beers brewed by participating homebrew clubs, and light snacks from the acclaimed ABC Microbrewery kitchen.
Experience winter fun at the Rifle River Recreation Area! Join for free (cook your own) hotdogs, coffee and hot chocolate. There will be hayrides and winter activities such as sledding, cross country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing (bring your own equipment for activities). The event will be held in snow, rain or shine.
No school on February 26 means late night fun and excitement at the ice rink on February 25! Bring your friends and skate under the stars as prizes are pumped out and lights are dimmed down. Colorful lighting and upbeat music will compliment this electrifying skating event! Be sure to check it out.
2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships
February 25-27, Kalamazoo
This three day event is one of four U.S. Figure Skating championships in the country. Athletes from across the United States will participate in this event. Top teams will be competing for a spot at the World Championships & other international competitions. GKSA, Wings Event Center, and Discover Kalamazoo combined forces to bid on this event, and were awarded the competition because of the strength of GKSA as a growing club, the outstanding ice facilities and the vibrant community that is Kalamazoo.
Join the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant for their special 2016 Autorama Show opening! Tours are three times a day at 10 AM, Noon, and 2 PM. Visit the factory where the Model T was born and be sure to dress warmly, as the building is not heated.
Experience the 4th Annual Winter Wine Down, hosted by the Newberry Kiwanis Club at the Newberry Elks Lodge #1705. There will be great wines, cheese, bread and silent auction. The Elks will also have a few dinner specials available after the Wine Down.
The Fourth Annual Winter Blast Half Marathon, 10k and 5k, is presented in partnership by Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) and the City of Portage Join in this extraordinary community celebration of health and wellness. The half marathon, 10k and 5k courses highlight the Portage Trail system and include a mix of mostly flat paved bike trail and roads.