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February in New York State

by Ohio Digital News

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Indoors or outdoors, there are plenty of great things to do in New York State in February. Celebrate Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, and Black History Month, enjoy a chocolate and wine festival, tap your feet to great jazz, savor delicious mac and cheese, treat your taste buds to some hearty chowder, experience the ultimate snow day in Manhattan, walk on a beach with seals, and much more. It’s all here waiting for you in New York State!


Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available. 







Honor and celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans and explore the state’s rich heritage of Black history and culture at events happening across New York State during Black History Month. On February 15 the Harlem Chamber Players will present their 16th Annual Black History Month Celebration with featured guest artist Nathalie Joachim. In the Finger Lakes, Re-Play: 50 Years of Hip-Hop at the Strong Museum explores the elements of play that are present in the different facets of hip-hop.


Celebrate the work of African American artists in Western New York, and enjoy an evening of smooth jazz at the 16th Annual CNY Jazz Black History Month Cabaret featuring bassist Endea Owens, one of Jazz’s most vibrant emerging artists. In New York City, the 4th Annual Queens Underground International Red Carpet Black History Film Festival examines African-American culture through the art of film. Various dates, locations, prices.




February 1-3





Bundle up and step into a winter wonderland of over 40,000 pounds of ice meticulously carved into breathtaking sculptures, martini luges – and even bars – at the annual Fire & Ice Celebration at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel. After enjoying the chilling experience on the hotel’s patio, head inside to warm up with light hors d’oeuvres, chili and chowder.  Roaring fire pits, live music, hors d’oeuvres, local wine and beer, and fireworks are also on tap to ensure a truly grand time. This festive event is organized to benefit the North Country Troopers Assisting Troops, which raises local and regional awareness, and provides local recreational activities and events, for Fort Drum service members and other Armed Forces members that were wounded, injured, or became ill while serving the nation. Clayton; $35; the hotel also offers overnight accommodation packages that include two tickets for the event.




February 1-4


A person competes in ski jumping at the Empire State Winter Games


Get ready to celebrate athletes, winter, and the Adirondacks! New York’s finest amateur athletes are gathering to take part in the Empire State Winter Games, a great community-driven event for the whole family full of fun, excitement, and terrific winter competition. Patterned after the Olympic program, the games feature three days of competitions, an opening ceremony, and a 700-mile torch relay! Now in its 44th year, this year’s games promise to be more fun than ever with 2,500 athletes from ages 8-80 from across New York State and beyond competing in more than 20 winter sports. You’ll thrill to cross-country and alpine skiing, biathlon, figure skating, ice hockey, ski jumping, bobsled, skeleton, luge, plus adaptive winter sports! Lake Placid, Wilmington, Tupper Lake, and Saranac Lake; some events free, various prices for others depending on venue.




February 2-4





Take a self-guided tour around the beautiful Seneca Lake Wine Trail while exploring delicious pairings of local wines with foods featuring chocolate as a key ingredient. Each ticket holder will receive a wine glass and souvenir wine glass charm at their starting winery. From there, enjoy a sample of food like chicken molé tostadas and cherry wine brownies along with a wine to complement the dish, plus an additional three wine samples. Not drinking? Don’t worry; ticket-purchasing designated drivers will get a souvenir insulated travel mug, plus the food samples and a non-alcoholic beverage at each participating winery along the way. This tasty event is expected to sell out well in advance, so it’s best to get your tickets early! Various wineries along Seneca Lake Wine Trail; $80 per person, $25 designated driver ticket. 




February 2-4


A photo of people gathered in a circle celebrating and having fun at the Winter Hoot in the Catskills


Celebrate live roots music, local food and crafts, and the joyful spirit of an amazing community where the Catskills meet the Hudson River Valley at Winter Hoot 2024, a three-day music festival at The Ashokan Center, just 20 minutes from Woodstock or Kingston. This down-home, multi-generational event features a dinner, concert and jam session on Friday; live music all day and night, plus fun activities for all ages on Saturday; and yoga and a farewell singalong on Sunday. Advance tickets are recommended and will guarantee parking and entry. Olivebridge; Weekend pass $50, Saturday only $40, Friday concert only $25, Friday dinner $30, Child Friday dinner $15, Sunday only $10, kids under 18 admitted free (does not include food or lodging).




February 2-11


Fireworks burst above the enchanting ice castle at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

Credit: @kylevt on Instagram


Prepare yourself for 10 days of winter fun and adventure at the most cherished historical event in Saranac Lake! This year’s theme is “Creepy Carnival,” putting a Halloween twist on the wintry fun with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including winter sports, live music and performances, ice sculpture, great food and beverages, two parades, three sets of spectacular fireworks and even a Monster Mash dance party! The winter carnival, which began in 1897, is the longest running event of its kind in the eastern U.S. Make sure to take part in the longstanding tradition and collect your Winter Carnival buttons, designed by “Doonesbury” creator and Saranac Lake native Garry Trudeau. Saranac Lake; free with some events requiring paid admission.




February 3


Crispy, saucey Buffalo wings on a plate with celery, carrot sticks, and red cup of blue cheese dip


Get ready to sample all the best wings the Hudson Valley has to offer. This year’s festival promises to be the biggest and most delicious yet with more restaurants, food trucks and caterers offering even more amazing and unique flavors to savor than ever. Vote for your favorite wing spot as they battle it out to see who will be crowned the King of the Wings! You’ll enjoy great music from some amazing bands, along with games, prizes, and more. Poughkeepsie; $35 general admission (doors open at 5 p.m.), $65 VIP tickets (doors open at 3:30 p.m.), children under 12 free admission.




Saturdays and Sundays, February 3-25


A person on a snowmobile near the boats of the Lake George Steamboat Company during the Lake George Winter Carnival


Keep your cabin fever in check this season and get ready for a month-long celebration of winter at the fun-filled Lake George Winter Carnival, taking place every Saturday and Sunday in February. Held annually since 1961, the winter carnival kicks off with opening ceremonies and a parade along Canada Street, and features polar plunges, pony rides, cook-offs, helicopter rides, fireworks, plus, ATV, truck and snowmobile races, and more! All events and activities are weather and ice conditions permitting and are subject to change. Lake George; free admission.




February 9-11


Crowds gather at night to watch athletes compete at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup


Lake Placid has a long and storied history with ski jumping, having hosted the sport at the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. That history continues in February with the return of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup to the Olympic Jumping Complex. You’re invited to witness this prestigious event, as the world’s best men’s ski jumpers compete for podium finishes and points in the overall world cup standings. This event is one of three World Cup events being held in Lake Placid this winter season, with the final event, the World Cup Bobsled & Skeleton, taking place at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in March. Lake Placid; various prices; VIP packages available.




February 10






It’s time to chow down at one of the Capital-Saratoga region’s most highly anticipated events – Saratoga Chowderfest! This fun, family-friendly, and utterly delicious annual food happening draws thousands to downtown Saratoga Springs as more than 80 vendors dish out 4-ounce servings of creamy and hearty chowder to hungry crowds. While you’re there, delight in live music downtown, check out fun kids’ activities, and shop for collectible shirts and hats. Saratoga Springs; $2 per chowder sample.




February 10


Dinner tables set up next to a tank at ChocoVino at Long Island Aquarium


Photo Courtesy of Long Island Aquarium


If you’re looking for a fun and unique evening out, consider treating yourself and the special person in your life to a culinary experience that combines the flavors of chocolate and wine amid the beautiful setting of the Long Island Aquarium. At Chocovino, you’ll enjoy a five-course gourmet dinner that’s been carefully crafted by expert chefs, with each course incorporating a taste of chocolate paired with a Raphael Vineyards vintage to enhance the flavors of the dish. Have a Sweetheart Sleepover and spend the night at the Hyatt Place hotel, just next door! Riverhead; $175 per person (+tax), Hotel package $509 (+tax and includes the overnight stay and 2 tickets to the event). Hotel stay and ChocoVino tickets must be reserved separately.




February 10


Performers on stage at 360 ALLSTARS


Credit: Matt Loncar


Fun and excitement top the bill in Elmira in February as the 360 ALLSTARS come to the Clemens Center. This “supercharged urban circus” features a combination of BMX, basketball, breakdancing, acrobatics, drumming, and more. Be amazed by phenomenal physical performances that explore all forms of rotation and connect the street with the elite to deliver a spectacular fusion of the extraordinary artistry that emerges from street culture. The show has been seen by over 1 million people worldwide and has received rave reviews. Elmira; $14 adults, $7 youth; facility maintenance fees apply.




February 12, 20, 26, and 27


Looking to elevate your next date night or friends’ outing? The Marshal is serving up its 2024 Winter Wine Dinner Series, celebrating New York wines with a six course menu of gourmet wood-fired farm-to-table cuisine by Chef Charlie Marshall, exquisitely paired with wines from the illustrious and award-winning Macari Vineyards, Heron Hill Winery, Lakewood Vineyards, and Bridge Lane Winery on select dates throughout February. Manhattan; $99 per person.




February 14


This Valentine’s Day, how about a good laugh? Join Ladies of Laughter® (LOL) as they host a special comedy event at The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage featuring Dena Blizzard, creator of “One Funny Mother,” and Missy Hall, also known as the Queen of Happy Things. Johnson City, $22 (note: this show may not be appropriate for anyone under 18).




February 15-18


Reel in a good time at the Greater Niagara Fishing Expo, the largest fishing show in New York State. Designed by anglers for anglers, this event features over 170 exhibitors and hundreds of hours of high-quality fishing seminars. Learn how to fish for walleye, bass, trout, salmon, and perch, or get a lesson on fly fishing, kayak fishing, open water trolling and marine electronics. On Sunday, a Super Kids Fishing Clinic will be led by expert instructors who will teach children and their parents the skills needed to make the most out of their fishing experiences. Niagara Falls; $12, children age 12 and under who attend will receive free admission (limit two children per paying adult).




February 16-18


Ice castles illuminated at night at the President's Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville


Add some fun to your President’s Day Weekend at the annual Mayville Winter Festival! This family-friendly event features an ice castle constructed from ice blocks harvested from Chautauqua Lake (weather permitting), lots of activities for kids and families, a beer and wine tent, food trucks, photo booth, local craft vendors, DJ, horse-drawn carriage rides, hockey and skating (weather permitting), chainsaw carving demonstration, warming fires, and much more. Mayville; Free.




February 17


Ithaca Beer Company


Need a winter pick-me-up? You’re invited to The Hotel Ithaca for a delicious celebration of craft beer, cider, mead, and spirits featuring more than 25 craft breweries, cideries, meaderies, and distilleries with entertainment and fun throughout! Enjoy unlimited 3-ounce samples, a commemorative tasting glass, and live music with general admission and a special one-hour tasting with exclusive pours not featured anywhere else with the VIP session. Ithaca; $45 VIP Session (pre-sale only), $35 General Session ($45 day of, if available), $10 designated driver (includes bottle of water).




February 17 – April 21


Orchids in bloom at the  Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx


Credit: @nybg on Instagram


Get ready to strike a pose! Each year, thousands of brilliant blooms fill the Victorian-style Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The Orchid Show: Florals in Fashion brings the catwalk to the conservatory in a fashion-inspired celebration of all things orchids – and you’re invited to be at the center of this sartorial experience. The show will feature the unique designs of Collina Strada by Hillary Taymour, Dauphinette by Olivia Cheng, and FLWR PSTL by Kristen Alpaugh. Get up close to a variety of diverse orchid species amidst dramatic, picture-perfect installations created by the three designers and inspired by the captivating nature of these flowering plants. You’ll even be able to “walk the runway” and show off your own personal flare, your love for orchids, and your fashion-forward connections to the natural world! New York City; $35 per adult, $31 seniors and students, $20 children (2-12), kids under 2 free, and free admission for NYBG members.




February 17-18





Cherish a day out with family and friends while taking in the beauty of the Camellia Greenhouse at Planting Fields Arboretum’s Camellia Festival. You’ll get to learn from experts about the unique botanical history, ecological significance, and enduring charm of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is harvested to produce several teas. The festival offers a variety of fun activities for all ages, including floral arrangement demos, watercolor crafting, face painting, tea tastings, and Open House tours. Oyster Bay; $15, $10 seniors and arboretum members.




February 23-25


A group of people strolls along the snowladen sidewalk in Ellicottville

Credit: @visitellicottville on Instagram


Skiers and music lovers are tuning up for a high-energy weekend featuring three days of great live music in all the hotspots of the amazing ski town of Ellicottville at Winter Music Jam ‘24. After a day of skiing at nearby Holiday Valley, head to downtown Ellicottville to catch more than 15 performers covering a variety of genres at different venues and grab a bite to eat. All performances are within a four-block radius. Various locations in downtown Ellicottville; prices vary.




February 25


Dragon puppets at a Lunar New Year parade at the Queens Botanical Garden

Credit: @queensbotanicalgarden on Instagram


Head to the heart of Chinatown to celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the 26th Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade & Festival. You’ll enjoy a parade featuring dragon dancing, stunning outfits, martial art performers, and more. You may also want to check out the 26th Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival on Saturday, February 10 at Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Grand Street. This event will feature traditional ceremonies, music shows, and face painting. New York City; free admission to both events. (Check out our blog 10 Ways To Celebrate the Lunar New Year in New York State for more events.)



Share New York State adventures with us on TikTokInstagram and Twitter with #ILoveNY and #iSpyNY, and tag us on Facebook!




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