Bundle up for the best outdoor winter events

The 10th Annual Winter Festival and Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament in Concord is on January 23-26, 2020. Photo by Karen Bachelder.

Yes, it’s cold outside, but it’s also wintertime and we’re hardy New Englanders, so let’s get outdoors and have some fun.

Here are 10 of our favorite outdoor winter events happening in 2020 that you won’t want to miss.

Winter Free Ice Fishing Day
When: Saturday, January 18
Where: Statewide
What’s it all about: If you’ve wanted to try your hand at ice fishing, then this is your chance. For one day only, Granite Staters can fish without a license on local ponds and lakes. This annual event takes place on the third Saturday in January (there’s also a free fishing day on the first Saturday in June). For more ice fishing resources and ideas on where to go, click here.
More info: wildlife.state.nh.us

10th Annual Winter Festival and Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament
When: January 23-26
Where: White Park in Concord
What’s it all about: The Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament draws hundreds of hockey enthusiasts of all ages to partake in games of pond hockey, a classic winter tradition. In addition to the hockey games, there is also a festival-like atmosphere in the city of Concord and attendees can look forward to live music, food trucks, public skating, ice sculptures and bon fires. There is a fee to participate in the hockey tournament but general admission to attend is free.
More info: blackicepondhockey.com

20th Annual Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting Competition
When: January 24-26
Where: Black Mountain and Jackson Village in Jackson
What’s it all about: Sculptors from across the Northeast will transform 8-by-4-food cylinders of snow into works of art at this annual winter contest. Visitors are invited to watch the artists at work, roast marshmallows by the fire and even partake in a scavenger hunt.
More info: jacksonnh.com

Ice Day
When: Sunday, January 26 | 9 a.m.
Where: Muster Field Farm Museum in North Sutton
What’s it all about: Ice carving has deep roots in the state’s history, so head to the Muster Field Farm Museum to find out what it’s all about. Once the ice has been harvested, it will be loaded by the farm’s ice block fulcrum onto wagons and vehicles and then hauled to the farm. The Ice House, c.1890, will be fully stacked with block ice for use throughout the summer months. Admission is free to attend.
More info: musterfieldfarm.com

18th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival
When: Saturday, February 1 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Downtown area in Keene
What’s it all about: This family-friendly winter carnival includes snowball fights, ice sculpture competitions and plenty of hot cocoa and s’mores. This event is free to attend.
More information: facebook.com

110th Dartmouth Winter Carnival
When: February 6-9
Where: Dartmouth College in Hanover
What’s it all about: From humble beginnings as a weekend of winter sporting, the Dartmouth Winter Carnival has evolved into a three-day, community-wide festival of events across the college campus. Families will love checking out the ice sculptures and get a kick out of the quirky human dogsled races.
More information: students.dartmouth.edu

Full Moon Hike
When: Saturday, February 9 | 6-8 p.m.
Where: Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn
What’s it all about: Traditionally, the moon we see in February is called the Snow Moon due to the heavy snowfall of February. Come celebrate the full moon with a nighttime hike to Battery Point followed by s’mores, a campfire, hot cocoa and star gazing. Bring your own snowshoes or rent a pair from the Audubon Center.
More information: audubon.org

Merrimack River Eagle Festival
When: Saturday, February 15
Where: Newburyport and Amesbury, MA
What’s it all about: Head across state lines for a day of indoor and outdoor activities celebrating the return of the Bald Eagles to the Merrimack River. Attendees will learn about these magnificent birds—as well as other amazing raptors such as Snowy Owls—and why this area’s local habitat is so important to them.
More info: massaudubon.org

22nd Annual Squam Lakes Winterfest
When: Saturday, February 15 | 12 – 3 p.m.
Where: Squam Lakes Association Resource Center in Holderness
What’s it all about: From skating, pond hockey, cross country skiing, sledding, mini golf in Piper Cove, a bonfire, winter sports demos, delicious chili contest, amazing raffle prizes and loads of fun—this free-to-attend event has something for everyone.
More information: squamlakes.org

17th Annual Ice Harvest and Winter Carnival
When: Saturday, February 22 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth
What’s it all about: Visitors can take part in traditional ice block cutting, piking and hoisting of ice blocks. The blocks will then be transported to the ice house to be used in warmer months. In addition to ice harvesting, there will be plenty of indoor and outdoor festivities, including: meet and greet with farm animals, family-friendly games, scavenger hunt, music, snowmobile rides, snowman building, ice sculptures and crafts. Cost is $10 per person for ages 11 and older and $5 for children ages 5-10. Kids 4 and younger are free.
More information: remickmuseum.org


Categories: Winter Guide