Sure, we've had our fair share of frigid temperatures in the Northeast, but this winter has had its share of warmer-than-normal days, too. Take advantage of the next time the thermometer climbs past 50—or even when it dips below 30—with these fun mid-winter activities.
Full Moon Hike: February 27
Every year, hikers grab their snow gear and head to Mount Abram’s peak for the Full Moon Hike. While attendees take the hour-long climb, illuminated by the moonlight, their boards and skis get transported to the top for a ride down the mountain later. Enjoy the warming hut and lively music at the peak before skiing, boarding, or even sliding back down the mountain.
Snow Sculpting Competition: February 26-27
Head to White Mountain National Forest the last weekend of February and see frozen art made from scratch. Beginning on Friday, teams of sculptors get busy with building their masterpiece over the course of the next two days. Spectators can watch the process from start to finish, or go back and forth between roasting marshmallows, the torch light parade, and scavenger hunts.
Vermont Chili Festival: March 12
End the wintry season with a hot cup (or several cups) of homemade chili at this seasonal event, featuring some of the best restaurants and caterers from around the state. A panel of judges determine the winners in six different categories—from chili that incorporates veggies to meatier varieties—but all attendees vote for the “People’s Choice” and “Best Booth”.
North Adams Winterfest: February 20-21
Trek to this historic city for WinterFest—a weekend-long event filled with free activities for all ages. Browse the farmers' market, watch (or participate in) the chowder competition, and take a horse-drawn carriage ride during the first day. And on Sunday, head to Windsor Lake for snowshoeing, snowball fights and sledding down the slopes.
Annual Rhode Island Spring Flower & Garden Show: February 18-21
Spring arrives a month early at this “Spring Fling” themed show, where local gardeners come together to deck out the RI Convention Center in colorful flowers. Walk through the large space to see, smell, and touch the blooms on display, then browse the many marketplace vendors and learn all about organic farming. And this year, the flower show introduces “Garden to Table”—a culinary series led by chefs, mixologists, and cookbook authors—promoting the use of garden vegetables in everyday meals.
Winter Wonderland Eagle Cruise: Until March 18
Join RiverQuest on a day cruise down the lower Connecticut River, where passengers get up close and personal with the seasonal wildlife. An onboard naturalist identifies animals throughout the two-and-a-half hour tour—from ruddy ducks to red tail hawks—and educates passengers on the visiting and resident bald eagle. The fully enclosed cabin stays heated throughout the journey, but layering up is encouraged in order to see the natural environment best.