10 Lakes with Annual Ice Sculpture Festivals | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Lake festivals offer mesmerizing ice sculptures annually.
  • Lake Geneva Winterfest and Lake Superior Ice Festival are highlights.
  • Trusted insights pave your path to the best ice celebrations.

Imagine a world turned into a frosty gallery, where icy artistry takes center stage on the still surface of a lake.

That's what you'll find at lakes across the country hosting annual ice sculpture festivals.

Each event is a unique spectacle where the chill in the air is matched only by the cool beauty of carved ice.

Ever wondered where to witness ice sculptors battle with chisels and chainsaws against blocks of ice?

Lake towns from coast to coast transform into winter wonderlands, spotlighting this frigid art form at their annual festivals.

But why trust us?

We've sifted through festive calendars and chilly celebrations to bring you a glimpse of the most remarkable winter fests around.

Our list is backed by careful research into events that have been carving joy into the hearts of visitors for years, like the renowned Lake Geneva Winterfest or the vibrant scenes at the Lake Superior Ice Festival.

Read on, and we'll be your guide to the best icy escapades winter has to offer.

Table of contents


Lake Geneva, Wisconsin - Lake Geneva Winterfest

Have you ever wondered how a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of cold weather can turn a lakeshore into a winter wonderland?

Enter Lake Geneva Winterfest, the home of the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship!

Imagine a place where the nation's most skilled sculptors play with snow like it's clay, right by the beautiful Lake Geneva.

So, what's on the chilly agenda?

From February 1-4, 2024, Winterfest gives the spotlight to artists bringing ephemeral ice and snow masterpieces to life.

It's no small affair either, with the event welcoming teams from all over the country, competing to carve out their spot as ice-sculpting legends.

  1. When to visit?
  1. February 1-4, 2024
  1. What to expect?
  1. Mind-blowing snow sculptures
  2. Events throughout the day

Here's the scoop on what you can do apart from gawking at the incredible sculptures:

  • Cast your vote for the People's Choice Award (feel like a judge!)
  • Tap your feet to live bands and performances
  • Nibble on treats from local concessions (yum!)

Did someone say, "More details, please?" Your wish is my command!

Here's a taste of the festivities:

  • Voting: 10am-5pm
  • Dance Performances: Get your groove on between 10:30am-10:55am
  • Live Music: Sets running from 10:45am-1:45pm and another from 2pm-5pm
  • Snack on goodies from Magpie's Snack Shack or Lake Geneva Pie Co. from 11am-5pm

What's the big finale?

The sculpting teams wrap up their work and an Awards Ceremony crowns the champs of chisel!

Whether you're a winter enthusiast, an art aficionado, or just looking for a unique day out, Lake Geneva Winterfest is where it's at.

It's not just a competition; it's a celebration of artistry, community, and, let's be honest, the pure joy of wearing your favorite scarf.

See you there, bundled up and ready for fun!

Lake Superior, Wisconsin - Lake Superior Ice Festival

Ever felt the chill of winter and thought, "Hey, let's celebrate it"?

Well, at the Lake Superior Ice Festival in Superior, Wisconsin, that's exactly what they do!

Imagine strolling around with a steaming cup of hot cocoa, admiring some of the coolest ice sculptures you've ever laid eyes on.

Sounds like a winter wonderland, doesn't it?

You're in for a treat!

This festival isn't just about marvelling at the ice—it's a whole world of winter fun with activities suited for all ages.

What can you expect?

Well, let's see:

  • Dazzling Ice Sculptures: These aren't your ordinary ice cubes; we’re talking intricate, crafted art!
  • Ice Carving Competitions: Watch the masters at work and see who can chisel their way to victory.
  • Bountiful Winter Activities: From fireworks that light up the night sky to taking selfies with the festival's mascot, Blizzy – it’s non-stop enjoyment!

And let’s not forget, all of this happens with the stunning backdrop of Lake Superior itself.

The festival typically welcomes visitors in late January.

For example, in 2024, it ran on January 26th and 27th.

So, make a note in your calendars and don’t miss out on what could be the highlight of your winter!

Are you thinking, "But what about the details"?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered:

  • Location: Barkers Island, Superior, Wisconsin
  • Open Hours for Lake Superior Estuarium: Friday 5 pm - 8 pm, and Saturday 10 am - 5 pm

Could this be your next winter getaway?

Bundle up, brace for the brisk air, and experience the magical Lake Superior Ice Festival – where winter is not just endured but celebrated in style!

Lake Champlain, Vermont/New York - Vermont Ice Carving Festival

Have you heard about the Vermont Ice Carving Festival?

Each winter, the shores of Lake Champlain transform into a wonderland of glistening sculptures.

Whether you're an ice carving aficionado or just looking for a cool way to enjoy the season, this festival's got you covered, literally, in snowflakes!

What to Expect:

  • Carving Demonstrations: Watch as skilled artists turn blocks of ice into stunning masterpieces.
  • Competitions: See ice carvers battle it out for the most creative and intricate designs.
  • Winter Activities: Enjoy sleigh rides, hot cocoa stands, and a picturesque snowy backdrop.

Why Lake Champlain?

  • Gorgeous Setting: The serene beauty of Lake Champlain provides a mesmerizing backdrop for the ice sculptures.
  • Artistry & Talent: The festival attracts both local and national ice artists keen on showcasing their abilities.

Quick Tips for Visitors:

  • Dress Warmly: Keep cozy in layers to fully enjoy the day.
  • Camera Ready: Don't forget your camera to capture the ice art and scenic views.

Wondering about the weather?

Well, Lake Champlain has faced some warmer winters recently, but that doesn't dampen the spirits—or the sculptures!

The community comes together to ensure the show goes on, celebrating the chill of the season and the creativity it inspires.

So, grab your mittens and make your way to one of winter's most enchanting events.

Who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to carve out a little winter magic of your own!

Lake Morey, Vermont - Lake Morey Winterfest

Hey there, winter enthusiast!

Have you ever experienced the magic of ice carved into art?

Well, Lake Morey in Vermont is the place to be for that frosty fun!

Every year, this picturesque spot hosts a Winterfest that is a true highlight for locals and visitors alike.

Picture it: sculptors from near and far transforming blocks of ice into stunning displays.

And while you marvel at their chilly craftsmanship, guess what?

You can also lace up your skates and glide along a 4.5 mile ice skating trail that circles the lake!

It’s the longest in the United States - talk about a serious leg workout with scenic views.

But Winterfest isn't just about sitting back or skating around.

You get to dive into a variety of winter activities, so bundle up and get ready for some action!

Whether it’s a casual day out or if you’re itching for an adrenaline fix, there’s a cool mix just for you.

Oh, and did I mention the hockey and figure skates are on the house for overnight guests?

If that's not icing on the cake, I don't know what is.

Rentals are available to all, so don't fret if you don’t have gear.

Here's a quick peek at what you can expect:

  • Eye-catching Ice Sculptures: Artists at work in the cold medium.
  • Skating Galore: Complimentary skates for resort guests, and a well-maintained ice trail open to everyone.
  • More Winter Fun: Take your pick from snowshoeing to Nordic skating!

You don't have to be a pro to enjoy Winterfest at Lake Morey – just bring your love for winter and a sense of adventure.

So, are you in?

Because Lake Morey is ready to show you a chilly but heartwarming good time!

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota - Wayzata Chilly Open

Have you ever imagined golfing on a vast, frozen lake?

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, turns this cool fantasy into a reality with the Wayzata Chilly Open.

Think of it not just as a sporting event, but as a winter carnival that puts a whimsical spin on golf and celebrates ice in artistic forms.

  1. When? Annually in February
  2. What to Expect:
  1. A series of nine holes of winter golf
  2. Stunning ice sculptures
  3. Winter festivities with a local twist

Are those golf balls about to roll into the water?

Not a chance!

At the Wayzata Chilly Open, golfers play on the frozen surface of Lake Minnetonka.

  • Tee Times: Offered at 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm
  • Theme: Each year features a new theme and 2025 is set to celebrate "Born in '84."
  • Pre-Ticket Event: Remember, one ticket equates to one player.

What's that about ice sculptures, you ask?

As part of the festivity, local artists turn ice into frosty masterpieces that are as fleeting as they are beautiful.

These sculptures add an enchanting backdrop to an already unique event.

Remember these details:

  • 2025 Ticket Sales: Kick off on December 1st
  • 2024 Update: The event had to be canceled due to safety concerns with the ice conditions.

So, bundle up and dust off those clubs for an unforgettable chilly challenge.

Lake Minnetonka is calling all adventurers at heart.

Whether you're there to swing a club or simply admire the icy art, the Wayzata Chilly Open surely offers a cool way to embrace the winter season!

Lake Michigan, Michigan - St. Joseph Ice Fest

Ever wondered what Lake Michigan looks like when it's decked out in its winter best?

Picture this: glistening ice sculptures lined up by the frosty shore.

That's the St.

Joseph Ice Fest for you, held annually in the charming town of St.

Joseph, Michigan.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Professional Ice Carving Competitions: Top-notch carvers chisel away to create epic masterpieces from blocks of ice. They've got the skills that could turn your freezer's ice cubes into art (well, almost).
  • Interactive Ice Displays: Imagine playing Tic-Tac-Toe with ice pieces or tossing a frozen fish for fun. Sounds cool, doesn't it?
  • Scavenger Hunts & More: Bundle up for a wintry quest around town or simply revel in the unique chill of frosty fun activities.

Did you know?

The ice fest is not just about standing around in the cold; it's a full-blown celebration spanning from February 2-4.

It's perfectly timed for an exciting winter getaway!

Check out this handy list for your Frosty Fun itinerary:

  • Ice Interactives: Get hands-on with some icy fun from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • Antique Shoppers Delight: After some chilly thrills, warm up with antiques shopping on March 9, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Don't miss out on this incredible mix of artistry and wintertime cheer by the shore of one of America's greatest lakes.

Grab your mittens, charge your camera, and dive into a winter wonderland like no other!

Lake Erie, Ohio - Sandusky Ice Festival

Hey there, friend!

Have you ever felt the crisp winter air while marveling at glistening ice sculptures?

If not, you’re in for a real treat at the Sandusky Ice Festival, right on the chilly but charming shores of Lake Erie.

Imagine this: you're bundled up with a warm cup of cocoa in hand, wandering amidst awe-inspiring ice art.

Sounds cool, right?

What’s in store for you?

Well, picture crystal-clear sculptures that sparkle like diamonds in the winter sun, creating a magical vibe that artists and spectators adore.

And guess what?

You might even get to witness the creation of these icy masterpieces firsthand with live carving demonstrations – talk about skill!

  • Ice carving demonstrations: Watch artists at work and see blocks of ice transform into stunning sculptures.
  • Stunning ice sculptures: Be amazed by the intricate details of each piece.

But wait, there’s more!

It's not just about gazing at sculptures; you get to join the fun too!

Interactive ice games and a slew of winter activities await you and your family.

It’s a perfect opportunity to make new memories while staying active in the winter season.

Remember, Lake Erie's wintry mix offers something for everyone, so whether you're an ice art aficionado or just looking for a unique day out with the family, the Sandusky Ice Festival is the place to be.

Just bundle up, enjoy every chilly moment, and let the wonder of winter do the rest!

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire - Ice Fest at Mill Falls

Hey there, ice fans!

Are you ready to chill out at the coolest event on Lake Winnipesaukee's frozen waters?

Every year, the Ice Fest at Mill Falls lights up this New Hampshire lake with some seriously cool ice sculptures.

What can you expect?

Imagine a winter wonderland sparkling with crafted ice, breathtaking carving demonstrations, and plenty of frosty fun.

It's not just about the art; it's about the vibrant atmosphere and embracing the cold in the most fantastic way possible!

  • Ice Sculptures: Artists transform blocks of ice into masterpieces.
  • Carving Demos: Watch pros chisel and shape icy creations.
  • Winter Activities: Full range of fun from skating to snowshoeing!

In 2024, a special milestone was set with the earliest Ice-Out ever recorded on March 17.

That's when all the bay waters are free of ice, signaling the end of another wintry season.

But fear not, our beloved Ice Fest keeps the spirit alive!

Did someone say records?

Yup, and here's a toast to Dave B., who nailed the ice-out time within just 18 minutes—now, that's impressive!

The predictions were made from February 1 through February 29.

And let's not forget about the ice-in declared on February 9, 2024.

Remember, this is an outdoor event, so bundle up!

Oh, and ice cleats can be a game-changer; trust me.

So grab your warmest gear and step into a real-life snow globe at Lake Winnipesaukee—where the chisels and cheers never stop!

Lake Placid, New York - Lake Placid Winter Carnival

Ever been to a winter wonderland?

Lake Placid, New York might just be one of the closest things to it, especially during the Lake Placid Winter Carnival.

Picture this: you’re wrapped up in your coziest jacket, a hot chocolate in hand, and you're surrounded by some of the most stunning ice sculptures you’ve ever seen.

Cool, right?

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Ice Carving Competitions: Artists wield chisels and chainsaws to turn blocks of ice into breathtaking art.
  • Breathtaking Ice Sculptures: Each year, the festival showcases a new array of sculptures to awe both locals and visitors alike.
  • Activities that embrace the chill: Whether you fancy a brisk skate or want to participate in games, there's plenty to do.

Did someone say winter activities?


Alongside the sculptures, the carnival is packed full of festivities to keep you moving and grooving.

You can glide through a perfectly Zamboni’d rink or watch an ice hockey pickup game that will surely give you chills—in a good way!

  • Snowshoe Races
  • Tobogganing
  • Skiing

Hey, and guess what?

The fun isn’t just for the daytime.

As the sun sets, Lake Placid glows with twinkling lights and a lively community spirit.

Remember, you’re in the home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, so expect nothing less than a gold-medal experience.

Think about it.

Ice, art, and adventure all rolled into one?

The Lake Placid Winter Carnival is an annual spectacle you won't want to miss.

Make sure you bundle up, grab your camera, and get ready for some frosty fun!

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada - North Lake Tahoe SnowFest

Ever imagined a playground where snow is the star of the show?

Lake Tahoe turns this dream into reality with the North Lake Tahoe SnowFest!

Imagine a ten-day jubilee where breathtaking ice sculptures stand tall, shimmering under the sun's kiss across the snowy paradise of Lake Tahoe—an experience that combines creativity with the chill of winter.

What's on the agenda?

At SnowFest, you'll marvel at the artistry of ice sculptors who transform blocks of ice into magical frozen figures.

But wait—there's more!

Picture yourself laughing with locals, sliding down snowy slopes, and enjoying a myriad of winter activities that fill you with that cozy, toasty feeling despite the nippy air.

  • Family fun? Absolutely! With events tailored for all ages, the young and the young at heart can join in the excitement.
  • Community-driven? That’s right! Proceeds from SnowFest help support local nonprofits, schools, and public programs. Isn’t it wonderful when having fun also means doing good?

SnowFest isn’t just another festival—it’s a community festivity that brings together warmth, joy, and the unique charm of North Lake Tahoe.

Whether you're a fan of classical music that tickles your ears or the kind of person who enjoys meeting new faces over a hot chocolate, SnowFest has something to pique everyone's interest.

And hey, who can resist the allure of contributing to a great cause while having the time of your life?

Remember, it's a time to make memories that'll stick longer than the snow on a sunny day!

Get ready to bundle up, step into your snow boots, and dive into the heart-warming, snow-packed bliss that is the North Lake Tahoe SnowFest.

Catch you there?