When the air gets cold, PA events heat up! Check out these epic ice festivals to see hand-chiseled sculptures of all shapes and sizes, with sled dog races and chili cook-offs adding to the frozen fun throughout the winter.
Pull out your favorite scarf and mittens, bundle the kids up, and chase away those winter blues at the largest ice festival in PA, Chambersburg’s IceFest! The famed DiMartino’s master ice carvers will magicially transform 40 tons of ice into more than 80 amazing ice sculptures before your eyes, including a giant ice throne where you can imagine yourself as king or queen of the ice! A 40-foot, double-track ice slide aglow with LED lights, scavenger hunt for two age groups of kids, the “Run Your Ice Off” 5k, an outdoor beer garden, and the annual Chili and BBQ Cook-Off Event – Chili Q are among the many fun things happening at this four-day winter festival.
When: Jan. 26-29
2. Clarks Summit Festival of Ice
Slip into a winter wonderland at the 19th Annual Clarks Summit Festival of Ice. The event will feature live music, games, horse-drawn carriage rides, an extravagant parade, and of course, epic ice sculptures with live demonstrations. This year’s theme is going global with “Around The World” activities and sculptures to explore.
Where: Clarks Summit
When: Jan. 27-29
3. Ice ‘N Spice Festival
Bundle up and attend the 6th annual West Reading Ice ‘N Spice Festival. Make your way through downtown as you watch featured ice sculptor and nationally-renowned pumpkin carver Danny Kissel, as he leads a team of sculptors to transform pieces of ice into magnificent works of art. Receive special discounts and exclusive offerings at local businesses along the way. If you attend the event on Jan. 29, take part in the Cocktail Stroll and sip your way through the festival.
Where: West Reading
When: Jan. 27-29
4. Fire & Ice in the Park
Appreciate a cool winter’s night at Fox Chapel Parks Conservancy’s Fire & Ice in the Park event. Let the lanterns guide you through the park as you discover animal ice sculptures featuring local species. If the cold isn’t for you, sit back and relax in the Illumination Station Warming Hut where you can gather by the fire at the Eichenlaub’s CHILL Lounge, fill your very own complementary Fire & Ice mug with hot cocoa, and enjoy tasty treats from local vendors.
When: Jan. 28
5. Carlisle's 7th Annual Ice Art Fest
Spend a magical winter weekend in historic downtown Carlisle at the 2023 Ice Art Fest. There, you'll find plenty of photo opportunities among the nearly 90 ice sculptures of animals, musical instruments, and company logos lining the streets. Downtown businesses will be offering discounts and food!
When: Feb. 3-5
6. Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival
Come see the downtown sparkle and shine with magnificent ice sculptures at the Heart of Lewisburg Ice Festival. Watch as masterful ice sculptors bring to life their transient works of art, then Friday evening buy a ticket to Sip and Stroll while admiring the sculptures throughout the downtown. Enjoy the chili stand and children’s activities, while hardier visitors join in the Frosty 5K. All can enjoy the Polar Bear Plunge Pregame Party and then follow the parade as the hardiest among us lunge into the icy waters of the Susquehanna River for the notorious Polar Bear Plunge!
When: Feb. 3-5
7. Franklin on Ice Festival
Watch as DeMartino Ice creates dazzling ice displays at the annual Franklin on Ice Festival. When not carving out time to watch the construction of the ice sculptures, keep warm and shop local at the indoor sidewalk sale or watch people compete in the chili cook-off. Once the sun sets, admire the winter magic of Fountain Park as it lights up with vibrant holiday lights.
When: Feb. 4
8. Carved In Ice
Spend a winter-ful weekend attending the Carved in Ice Festival! Pack snow pants for your little ones so they can experience the ice slide as you watch ice sculptures come to life before your eyes. Come hungry to enjoy the annual chili cook-off, hot dog eating contest, and food trucks. Other activities include live music and entertainment, auctions and 50-50 drawings, face painting, balloon artists, and miniature horse and donkey pettings.
When: Feb. 10-11
9. Wellsboro Winter Celebration
Shake off those winter blues with a weekend of activities at the Wellsboro Winter Celebration. There will be ice carving, winter games, and winter sales. If you want to take this event to the next level, stay for the annual Mt. Tom Challenge on Feb. 12 to see if you have what it takes to climb (or scramble) up 1,100 vertical feet of trail from the Ansonia Valley to the summit vista of Mt. Tom and back all within two hours.
When: Feb. 10-11
10. Jim Thorpe Winterfest
Jim Thorpe’s 30th annual Winterfest celebration is the ultimate winter extravaganza. The festival will feature ice carvings, live entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, and two ice sculpture bars! With more than 35 unique stores for shopping and a dozen great restaurants and eateries, Winterfest will be a joy for the whole family. Make sure to take part in the annual Mug Walk, where participants pick up their mugs, a map, and a list of participating businesses to collect goodies along way.
Where: Jim Thorpe
When: Feb. 17-19
11. Fire & Ice Festival
Lititz’s annual, spectacular Fire & Ice Festival is a 10-day celebration of winter’s beauty with wow-worthy ice sculptures and loads of fun events, including Winter FUNderland, a scavenger hunt, and a carnival for the kids. The chili cook-off and Fire & Ice pub crawl where fire- or ice-themed drinks are on the menu are among the events making this one of PA’s coolest winter festivals. Get an early start to the winter revelry with a ticket to the second annual Winter’s Coolest Night Out, the Fire & Ice preview party featuring live music and a live carving, hors d’oeuvres, and one free drink.
When: Feb. 17-26
Layer up and stroll through downtown Stroudsburg as it turns into an icy winter wonderland during WinterFest. Meet more than 50 of your favorite vintage and modern cartoon characters crafted out of ice with this year’s fun theme of “Cartoons in Frozen Time.” Downtown businesses will be joining in the fun with Winterfest specials and promotions. Before saying goodbye, be sure to catch a glimpse of the “Snowmen of Stroudsburg,” a display of life-size snowmen painted by local artists before they disappear until next year.
When: Feb. 18
13. Ice & Fire Festival
Celebrate the final days of winter at the Ice & Fire Festival in Harrisburg. Held annually on the first Saturday in March, the festival includes more than 50 ice sculptures scattered throughout the city, a downtown street festival with an ice slide, fire dancers, vendors, performances by school and community groups, and fire pits. This day-long event is jam packed with frosty and fiery fun.
When: Mar. 4
To learn about more winter activities in Pennsylvania, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.