Hot stuff to do in Idaho this winter

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Already dreading the cold outside and wondering how you’ll pass the time this winter?

Here are 5 of the best winter fests to keep you busy checking out all the fun Idaho has to offer once the temperatures plummet.

And the best part, they are all FREE to attend!

Idaho Potato Drop – Boise

Ever wish potatoes would rain down from heaven?

Sounds painful.

But Boise may have the next best thing.

Each New Years Eve in downtown Boise, a giant 18-foot spud, deemed the “Glow-tato” suspends over the city and is “dropped” at midnight amid a colorful fireworks show.

With live entertainment, family activities (inside a gloriously warmed tent), and an option to purchase a VIP ticket for a more grown-up time, there is something for everyone at this uniquely Idahoan celebration.

Teton Valley Great Snow Fest – Driggs

If you want to see the best sampling of what Idaho winter has to offer, the Great Snow Fest delivers.

Generally falling on the third week of January, come enjoy hockey, snow biking, skiing, winter wildlife, dog sledding, or for the more daring, skijoring – it’s kind of like water skiing, but on snow jumps behind a galloping horse.

One of the biggest draws is the giant snow and ice-sculptures featured on the lawn of the Teton Geotourism Center, and the snow-stomping party that preceeds it.

McCall Winter Carnival – McCall

Dating all the way back to the 1960s, the McCall Winter Carnival brings more than 60,000 people to McCall each year.

This time-tested event features 10 days full of fun with events like Mardi Gras parades, live music and entertainment, a Monster Dog Pull, Hairy Man contests, and so much more.

With such a big variety of events over several days, it’s easy to stay a day or two at this Carnival without getting bored.

The carnival begins in the last week of January and concludes the first week of February.

Fire & Ice Fest – Lava Hot Springs

In case the hot springs themselves aren’t a big enough pull, the first full weekend of February Lava Hot Springs hosts a weekend unlike most.

While many events cost to participate, watching zany events like the Polar Float Parade where participants dress up in costumes and float on tubes down the frigid Portneuf River, promise to be just as entertaining.

A torch light parade, Chinese lantern release, and Rubber Penguin Race will keep kids of all ages amused and delighted at this weekend of fun.

American Dog Derby – Ashton

The oldest still-happening sled dog race in America happens the third weekend in February on Main Street in Ashton.

Hundreds of spectators come to watch during the two-day event where dogs and their owners come to compete for the title of Champion.

Besides dog races and weight pulls, other festivities include a kids snowshoe race, soup cook-off and tasting, and a dance.

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