As the interest in skiing and snowboarding has grown, so has the interest for unique après happenings and events both on and off the slopes. Ski resorts across North America have answered the call with fun events, from music festivals to winter celebrations to unique skiing experiences to food and drink festivals and much more. As you plan your winter ski trips, look no further than our list for some of the best winter festivals and events at ski resorts across North America.
As you return from your ski trip, rate and review the ski areas you’ve visited here to help other skiers and riders as they plan their trips.
Subaru Winterfest, Killington, Vermont (and other ski resorts)
Every year Subaru puts on a music festival that tours some of the country’s top ski resorts. It provides an opportunity for Subaru to promote their latest and greatest products alongside great music. This year’s first tour stop is at Killington Resort, where the Yonder Mountain Strings Band will be playing February 2-4. Subaru Winterfest’s other stops this ski season include Eldora Mountain Resort, Copper Mountain, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Snowbird, and Mt. Bachelor. At each stop on the tour, Subaru is also offering complimentary coffee and hot chocolate stands, s’mores stations, and demo skis available from Nordica. Headlining acts include the Cold War Kids, The Ballroom Thieves, Kind Hearted Strangers, Simba Sax, and Boom Box.
XC Ski and Chocolate Festival, Intervale, New Hampshire
Many cross-country ski enthusiasts in New England know the XC Ski and Chocolate Festival all too well. It’s a combination of things that so many of us love—skiing and chocolate. Over one weekend in February, the area becomes swarmed with those trying to appreciate the sweeter things in life. Put on by the Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation, the XC Ski and Chocolate Festival features 11 different chocolate stations spread out over 45 km of trails to enjoy. Stations include shops, inns, restaurants, and more. Guests can cross-country ski or snowshoe from station to station, taking in the gorgeous white mountain scenery while picking up treats along the way. A shuttle bus also runs between sweet stops for those who don’t want to ski.
This event has been gaining popularity for the past 30 years and is known by many as the “sweetest day on the trails.” Tickets are $45 per person for this year’s event on Sunday, February 25.
Waterbury Winterfest, Waterbury, Vermont
For some skiers and riders, Waterbury is just a town they pass through on the way to a Vermont ski resort like Stowe. However, for one long weekend during the winter, Waterbury becomes the backdrop for one of Vermont’s best winter festivals, Waterbury Winterfest. Waterbury Winterfest celebrates winter outdoor recreation in its many forms this February, with events you wont just find anywhere, like snow soccer and broomball. Other events include fat tire bike demos, ski and snowshoe tours, and more. During the evening, the fun continues with live music, trivia nights, wine tastings, beer tastings, and more. While Waterbury isn’t a ski town in the traditional since, it’s conveniently located near a number of Vermont’s best ski resorts, including Stowe and Bolton Valley.
WinterWonderGrass, Palisades Tahoe, California and Steamboat, Colorado
WinterWonderGrass is a unique celebration that brings together bluegrass music, craft beer, and breathtaking alpine settings. Taking place at Palisades Tahoe and Steamboat, this festival is a winter haven for music enthusiasts and outdoor lovers alike. Typically held late in the season, WinterWonderGrass combines the thrill of winter sports with the soulful sounds of bluegrass, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and celebration. The festival features an outstanding lineup of bluegrass and acoustic roots artists and offers a diverse selection of craft beers from local and regional breweries.
Attendees can expect to enjoy the crisp mountain air while dancing to the lively tunes of both established and up-and-coming musicians. Beyond the music, WinterWonderGrass embraces the mountain culture, encouraging festival-goers to hit the slopes during the day and gather in the evening for the warmth of the festival’s communal spirit.
Jackson Hole Food & Wine Winter Fest, Jackson, Wyoming
Skiing, food, and drinks go hand in hand. After all, aprés-ski is just about as important as the skiing itself. Jackson brings all of it together for a special 3-day weekend featuring top local and guest chefs, renowned winemakers, and more for the Jackson Hole Food & Wine Winter Fest. Bring your appetite and a sense of adventure to enjoy multi-course dinners, whiskey tastings, cooking demos, tasting experiences, and more unique events. The 6th annual Jackson Hole Food & Wine Winter Fest takes place March 7-9. Make sure you save the date for the Summer Festival, happening June 20-22.
Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series, Aspen, Colorado
Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series doesn’t just take place one weekend, but over the course of several weekends in February and March, as free concerts rock Aspen Snowmass with both midweek and weekend shows. Big-name artists descend on Aspen, from Snowmass Base Village to Gondola Plaza to downtown Aspen, for live music and good times after the lifts stop spinning on select evenings. The Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series for 2024 is bringing in The Burroughs, Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, and other artists. The Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series levels up aprés-ski in Aspen.
Telluride Comedy Fest, Telluride, Colorado
You may not think comedy events when you think of ski towns, but then again, Telluride isn’t your typical ski town. The Telluride Comedy Festival is now in its 24th year, bringing together some of the nation’s funniest comedians for four nights of comedy over Presidents’ Day Weekend. Since 1999, the historic Sheridan Opera House has hosted what is one of the most unique events you’ll find in any ski town. Past performers have included Jason Mantzoukas (pictured below), Nick Kroll, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Jack McBrayer, and Natasha Leggero. The weekend includes free late-night aftershows, improv, and many other events. Find out more and purchase tickets on Sheridan Opera House’s website.
Mardi Gras Family Festival, Granite Peak, Wisconsin
Family festivals at Granite Peak Resort in Wisconsin center around major holidays. For Mardi Gras, the ski resort comes alive with tons of events, activities, and hidden surprises on the slopes. The Mardi Gras celebration takes place Feb 9-11, when guests can ski for free and celebrate Mardi Gras in all its glory. Skiing jesters from the Alpine Learning Center will be scattered across the mountain tossing out strands of beads, while the resort’s social media accounts will be putting out clues for the traditional festival trailside scavenger hunt.
Carnival Weekend, Boyne Mountain Resort, Michigan
Boyne Mountain will be celebrating its 75th year of operation during its annual Carnival Weekend from March 15 through 17. Formally known as “Crazy Daze,” this festival will see the resort transform into a full-on party with live music, a costume contest, and a slush cup race for the mountain’s birthday. Labeled as a “Party Through the Decades,” each day has a different decade-themed party occurring at lodges across the resort.
On Friday there will be a martini party in the Clock Tower Lodge Lobby and a 70s disco party at the Snowflake Lounge. Saturday kicks off with a costume contest for the best vintage ski sweater looks. In the afternoon, guests can step back into the 80s at the Mountain Express and The Back Forty, and party all night at the Snowflake Lounge. Costumes are encouraged for all themed events. To round it all out on Sunday, Stein Eriksen’s and The Alpen Hut will host a Last Man Standing brunch complete with a Bloody Mary bar and the coveted Slush Cup Race accompanied by a live on-mountain DJ at the base. This festival encourages Boyne guests to let loose, get silly, and enjoy a weekend of fun, friends, and some fantastic skiing.
Griz Days, Fernie
Fernie’s annual Griz Days Festival, celebrating the legend of Griz, is the town’s biggest event, taking place all across town, from Fernie Alpine Resort to Provincial Park to historic downtown Fernie. Happening at the end of February and early March, Griz Days is in its 47th year. Events include beer tastings, trivia nights, live music, lot of activities for kids, and more. On Saturday, ski with Griz at Fernie Alpine Resort. See the complete schedule of events on Tourism Fernie’s website. This is truly one of the most unique ski town events you’ll find.
Header image: ©Tobin Voggesser / WinterWonderGrass / Palisades Tahoe