6 Awesome Winter Wine and Arts Festivals

Gather the family and friends and enjoy these beautiful activities

(Image: Shutterstock)

Let’s face it, as much as we try to avoid the ice-cold chilly weather, there’s really no way around it. So rather than sit around, dreaming about your next summer vacation, throw on a layered outfit and enjoy the best that winter has to offer. Thankfully for festival-goers the fun continues—from winter fireworks and masquerade balls to artic spas and slay rides, there’s plenty of activities to enjoy.

Winter Festival of Lights
Ontario, Canada
November 15, 2014 – January 12, 2015

If you really want to experience Canada in the winter embrace the cold weather. The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights takes place at Queen Victoria Park. During the festival Niagara Falls and the surrounding area is illuminated with more than three million lights for the holiday season. Visitors can walk or drive the five-kilometer route along the Niagara Parkway, better known at this time of year as the Niagara Parks

Winter Wonderland.
Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia
Williamsburg, Va.
Nov. 27 – Nov. 29, 2014

If you’ve ever wondered how people preserved and prepared food before microwaves, electric stoves and refrigerators, the Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia Festival is for you. During “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” a three-day event beginning on Thanksgiving Day, visitors to the re-created Continental Army encampment can learn how soldiers turned meager rations of dried beans, salted meat and hard bread into nourishing soups and stews.
Additionally, visitors can discover how food was gathered, preserved and prepared on land and at sea by Virginia’s English colonists and Powhatan Indians.

Although food preparation in the museums’ interpretive areas is for demonstration purposes only, The Jamestown Settlement Café offers a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27. For more information, contact the Jamestown Settlement Cafe at (757) 253-2571.

Denver International Wine Festival
Nov. 19 -21, 2014

Listed as one of Fodors top 10 festivals, Denver International Wine Festival is noted as the premier International wine and food festival in the Rocky Mountains. The four day event includes a food-and-wine pairing competition (contestants are Colorado chefs); a tasting of 400 wines, beers, spirits; educational seminars about wine; and a daylong tour of three local wineries, plus one distillery.

Naples Winter Wine Festivals
Naples, Fla.
Jan. 23-25, 2015

Wine lovers unite! Ranked among the top 10 arts and entertainment events for wealthy Americans, the Naples Winter Wine Festival is noted as one of the most successful charity wine auction in the nation according to Wine Spectator. Many of the worlds finest vintners, chefs, wine collectors and philanthropist come together for a three day event in together in scenic Naples Florida.

Since 2001, the festival has raised over 123 million to improving the lives of underprivileged and at risk children. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation, whose vision is to make a profound and sustaining difference in the quality of children’s lives.

Venice’s Carnevale
Venice, Italy
Jan. 31- Feb. 17 2015

Carnevale, in Venice, Italy, is a huge winter festival with public and private masquerade balls, parades, music and entertainment. During the last week of the celebration, a jury of international costume and fashion designers vote for the best mask.
The annual festival starts 40 days before Easter and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. Decorative Venetian masks are an important part of carnevale.

Quebec Winter Festival
Québec, Canada
Jan. 30- Feb. 15 2015

The Quebec Winter Festival is known as the largest festival in the world, and is third on the List of Top Carnivals after the famous carnivals in Rio and New Orleans. People from around the world venture out into the cold to experience adventurous winter sports, rafting, ice canoe racing, sleigh rides and dogsled races. Also known as the Mardi Gras of the North, the Quebec Winter Festival activities continues long into the night with arctic spas, ice bars,parades and dance parties featuring world-renowned DJs.

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