With the post-holiday dust having just settled, now what are we supposed to do with ourselves?

I don't know about you, but this time of the year sure bums me out. The eventful holiday season has passed by and it's taken all the fun parties and gatherings with it. Now it's simply just January in Michigan. It's going to be a long winter!

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There are two ways to survive the harsh, depressing winter season here in West Michigan: you can either spend the season indoors and go stir-crazy from bingeing everything on Netflix or you can embrace it. I will choose the latter!

There are plenty of small-town festivals happening this winter in Michigan which supply a great reason for you and the kiddos to get out of the house and into the fresh, crisp air.

Many of these events are free to attend, are family-friendly, and, despite being outdoors, many supply warming stations with everything from heaters to hot cocoa so you don't have to freeze your buns off!

Add the following events to your 2023 calendar and plan to have lots of fun with the fam this winter season:

World of Winter - Grand Rapids

Photo by Matt Forster on Unsplash
Photo by Matt Forster on Unsplash
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Happening now through March 5, World of Winter is "the largest winter festival in the Midwest" with over 100 free events, activities, and outdoor art installations. I liken it to a winter version of ArtPrize. Enjoy walking art tours across downtown Grand Rapids, an outdoor silent disco, food truck rally, drag show, and more! Check out photos from this year's event here.


2023 Ice Fest - St. Joseph

Photo by Matt Forster on Unsplash
Photo by Matt Forster on Unsplash
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The annual event takes place the weekend of February 3-5 and includes frosty fun for the whole family! You'll see ice sculpture carving, scavenger hunts, ice bowling, a frozen fish toss, and magic tours featuring Magician John Dudley. Click here to find a schedule of events.


Ice Breaker Festival - South Haven

MLive via YouTube
MLive via YouTube
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The 29th annual Ice Breaker Festival will happen February 3-5 throughout downtown South Haven. Highlights include a cardboard sled race, outdoor disc golf, a s'mores station, ice skating, a chili cook-off, and, of course, plenty of dazzling ice sculptures! You can even try your hand at curling with free beginner lessons. More details on this event here.


Ice Time Festival - Dowagiac

Photo by weston m on Unsplash
Photo by weston m on Unsplash
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Happening downtown from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. you and the whole family can watch as ice, timber and wood carvers create magical displays right before your eyes! Local shops will offer "Out of Hibernation" sale discounts throughout the day. Grab a bowl of chili for lunch at the annual chili cook-off and satisfy your sweet tooth at one of several s'mores stations! Click here for more information.


IceBURG Festival - Vicksburg

Photo by Ava Tyler on Unsplash
Photo by Ava Tyler on Unsplash
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The inaugural event happens Saturday, February 11 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. Local restaurants will compete in a grilled cheese cook-off with the voting public deciding the winner. Enjoy a hot cocoa bomb, s'mores, or social district beverage while you roam the streets lined with ice sculptures. Festivities include a snowsuit fashion show and live DJ. More details on iceBURG can be found here.

World of Winter 2022

I had so much fun with my wife Lindsey checking out some of the amazing displays for World of Winter 2022 which has tons of great events in Grand Rapids now through Sunday, March 6th. Here are some of my favorite pictures I took.

It Turns Out Living in the Mitten During Winter Isn't All That Bad!

Believe it or not, there are actually some benefits to experiencing West Michigan winters!