10 Cool Winter Carnivals & Festivals in Central & Upstate NY to Enjoy
Who says fairs, festivals, and carnivals are only in the summer? Grab the coat, boots, scarf, hat, and mittens, and get ready for a weekend or even a week of winter fun around Central and Upstate New York.
Enjoy everything from Ice Castles and outhouse races to fireworks and frying pan tosses at 10 of the best Winter Carnivals and Festivals across the state.
#1. Saranca Lake Winter Carnival
Gladiators, grab your togas. The theme for the 2023 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is 'Roman around Carnival.'
The 10-day event features parades, fireworks, arctic golf, snowshoe and skiing races, curling, an icicle contest, and the fry pan toss, a yearly favorite. The highlight is the Ice Palace of the carnival that will be held February 3-12, 2023.
Learn more at Saranaclakewintercarnival.com.
#2. Lake George Winter Carnival
The 61st annual Lake George Winter Carnival is being held every Saturday and Sunday in the month of February. There are fireworks, cook-offs, races, tournaments, games, and plenty of other activities on the ice and around the village, for entertainment, the whole family can enjoy.
Get a complete schedule of events and learn more at VisitLakeGeorge.com.
#3. Lake George Ice Castles
Lake George is also home to the famous Ice Castles, a cool winter experience that takes several weeks and 5 million pounds of ice to build. Walk through hundreds of thousands of icicles that turn Festival Commons from an open field into a winter wonderland of LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, caverns, slides, fountains, and a new ice bar this year.
Learn more and get your tickets at Icecastles.com/new-york.
#4. Syracuse Winterfest
Syracuse Winterfest is set for February 16-26. There's a Bloody Mary mix-off, human-dog sled races, ice skating, a wing walk, cookoffs, cornhole tournaments, a treasure hunt, and fireworks.
Learn more at Syracusewinterfest.com.
#5. New York State Winter Fair
Syracuse is also home to the New York State Winter Fair which is being held February 3-5 at New York State Fairgrounds.
The three-day event features all the things people enjoy at the fair during the summer, just in the winter. There are food, rides, games, music, and fireworks.
Learn more and get tickets at Nyswinterfair.com.
#6. Long Lake Winter Carnival
The 21st Long Lake Winter Carnival is a day filled with family fun. From cardboard sled races to a fry pan toss, there's something for everyone.
The Carnival kicks off with a King and Queen coronation on Saturday, January 14, and ends with a fireworks display over the lake. And it's all free.
Learn more and get the full schedule of events at Mylonglake.com/winter-carnival.
#7. Inlet Winter Carnival Frozen Fire & Lights
The Outhouse races are back for the 21st annual Frozen Fire & Lights Winter Carnival in Inlet will be Saturday, February 25.
There's also free sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, cardboard sled races, and cross-country skiing at Fern Park all day. The carnival ends with a fireworks display
Learn more at Inletny.com.
#8. Raquette Lake Winter Carnival
Raquette Lake is the place to be on Presidents Day weekend. The Winter Carnival is filled with ice golf, ladies' frying pan toss, snowshoe races, chainsaw competitions, and fireworks.
The Raquette Lake Winter Carnival is February 18-19. Learn more at MyLongLake.com.
#9. Adirondack White Out Weekend
The annual Adirondack White Out Weekend is held President's Day weekend in Clifton-Fine.
The winter festival in the Western Adirondacks features outdoor recreation, music, arts, and food.
Learn more at Adkwow.com.
#10. Finger Lakes Winter Carnival
The Finger Lakes Winter Carnival offers lots of shopping, shipping, and tasting. There are ice bars, themed ice sculptures, live music, lakefront fire pits, and Saturday night fireworks over Canandaigua Lake.
The three-day event will be held from January 20-22, 2023. Learn more at Fingerlakeswintercarnival.com.