February might be one of the coldest months of the year, but it’s a great time to travel throughout New York.
In addition to fewer crowds at many of the state’s top attractions, there are also some really great events happening throughout the state. In fact, whether you want to experience the outdoors, sample some of the state’s best beers, or learn more about the culture of New York, there’s a bit of something for everyone to do this month.
Check out our list of the best things to do in New York this February and start planning your wintertime travels.
(Article updated on January 13, 2024 for events in February 2024.)
Empire State Winter Games in the Adirondacks – February 1-4
The Lake Placid area is a hub for winter sports, so it makes sense that it’s also the home of the Empire State Winter Games.
Held this year in early February, this event brings together athletes of all skill levels from throughout New York and even further afield to compete in a variety of winter activities. Popular contests include skiing, bobsled, hockey, cross-country skiing, and many more.
Find out more information about being both an athlete and a spectator on the games’ website.
Lake George Winter Carnival in Lake George – February 3-25
Head to Lake George Village every Saturday and Sunday during the month of February for the annual Lake George Winter Carnival. A winter tradition in the Adirondacks since 1961, this winter carnival is packed with family-friendly fun.
Carnival goers can take part in the Polar Plunge, see a parade and fireworks shows, and even participate in one of the carnival’s one-of-a-kind outhouse races during the first Saturday of the month.
In addition to children’s activities and face painting, carnival attendees can also join in on a cornhole game, warm up with hot chocolate and s’mores with a bonfire on the beach, and enter their pups into a dog talent show during most weekends of the carnival.
For a complete list of scheduled lists for each weekend of the carnival, click here.
NYC Lunar New Year Parade in New York City- February 10
Celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year in the Big Apple by attending Chinatown’s annual parade. Winding its way through the main streets of Little Italy and Chinatown, the parade will feature impressive performances as well as amazing visuals. Food vendors will be on hand during the festivities.
To learn more about the parade as well as the corresponding street party, click here.
Living History Event at Fort Ticonderoga – February 17
If you’re a history buff, then this living history event at Fort Ticonderoga should be at the top of your list of things to do in New York in February.
This one-day event takes place on Saturday, February 18 at the historic Fort Ticonderoga and highlights what it was like at the fort in the winter of 1776 during the American Revolution It will offer the chance to learn about a little-known period of history in a unique winter setting.
Find out more on the event’s website.
Brewer’s Invitational Beer Festival in Lockport – February 18
Billing itself as “New York’s most rare, exclusive beer festival,” the Brewer’s Invitational Beer Festival returns to Lockport, a suburb of Buffalo, this February.
This one-day event will feature many fabulous breweries and cideries from western New York offering samples of some of the best and newest brews. If you want to experience some of the best breweries in Buffalo in one setting, you won’t want to miss this great event.
Saratoga Beer Summit in Saratoga Springs – February 24
This 21-year-old and older event held at the Saratoga Springs City Center is perfect for the craft beer and cider lovers out there.
The main event of the week is being held on Saturday, February 24 at Saratoga Spring City Center. This beer fest will feature brews from dozens of great breweries and cideries from both New York and further afield.
To purchase tickets online and to learn more about the event, click here.
Holiday Valley’s Penguin Paddle in Ellicottville – February 24
Benefiting the Holiday Valley’s Lounsbury Adaptive Program, the Penguin Paddle is a family-friendly fundraiser held each year at the ski resort. After taking part in the silent auction and enjoying lunch, attendees of the event can participate in (or just watch) the highlight of the fundraiser- the Penguin Paddle races!
Race participants can zoom down the Yodeler slope “penguin style”- either inside a garbage bag or on their bellies down the slope. Racers must be at least 4 years old to enter the race, and helmets are required.
For a full schedule of events, click here.
Do you have a favorite thing to do in New York in February that isn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below.