Whether it’s sparkling ice and snow on your mind or a blissful island holiday, here’s why you should get on a plane this month.
The opening of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
A new hotel opens beside the East River in Brooklyn Heights this February and the views are stunning. Peer out at the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline from floor-to-ceiling sliding glass windows in your room or from the rooftop pool and bar. Wellness is the focus here, with a spa and fitness centre as well as a yoga and barre studio. Nature is incorporated into the hotel’s design with reclaimed wood and a live plant-covered wall in the lobby. The hotel also has four restaurants.
Quebec Winter Carnaval and Ottawa’s Winterlude are even better this year
The annual Quebec Winter Carnaval takes over the city from January 27 to February 12. This year, two new activity areas have been added: the place d’Youville ice rink and Les 3 Brasseurs, a local microbrewery and restaurant offering maple beer and live music. Also new this year is a lumberjack challenge, yoga in the snow (“Snowga”), the Snow Racer Grand Prix and illuminated Canada 150-themed ice sculptures.
Ottawa-Gatineau’s signature winter festival, Winterlude (February 3 to 20), has new events this year. On February 18, head to the Rideau Canal Skateway to watch North America’s first ice dragon boat race then cheer on minor league hockey players in games of shinny on 150 skating rinks. New additions to Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park include an extended zip-line (now nearly 600 feet long), a Canada 150-themed snow maze and a snow sculpture competition.
The Wirikuta Night Show in Los Cabos
Tear yourself away from the Cabo Wabo one night to check out The Wirikuta. The new theatre experience showcases the 10,000-year-old Mexican Huichol history and culture on Wednesday nights at Puerto Los Cabos resort in San José del Cabo. Watch dancers and acrobats dressed in vibrant costumes fire dance and drum. Ticket options include transportation, dinner and an all-inclusive bar.
Fun at The Forks in Manitoba
Visit The Red River Mutual Trail in The Forks, where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. It is one of the world’s longest naturally frozen ice skating trails and it starts to melt in March. This year, visitors can skate, sled or play at the new curling and crokinole rink. Get toasty in architecturally stunning warming huts designed by winners of this year’s Warming Huts: An Art + Architecture Competition on Ice. Check ice conditions before you go.
Bob Marley’s birthday in Jamaica
On February 6, Jamaica turns into a huge party to honour reggae legend Bob Marley’s 72nd birthday. In Kingston, get free admission on February 6 to the Bob Marley Museum to see his former home. The biggest event, the 25th annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash, happens in Negril February 3 to 6 with live musical performances, exhibitions and tons of Jamaican eats. The party keeps going in Kingston throughout February for Raggae Month. Expect free weekly outdoor concerts, lectures, lots of Rasta flags and a whole lot of music in Marley’s hometown.
Family Day in Canada’s parks
Pack up the family and head for an outdoor winter adventure in Canadian parks this Family Day weekend (February 13 in B.C. and February 20 in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario). At the Winter in the Wild Festival on February 18 in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park, families can enjoy guided bird walks, snowshoeing, winter camping demos and marshmallow roasting. Or, be sure to take advantage of free access to Canada’s national parks (thanks to the country turning 150). At Elk Island National Park near Edmonton, go snowshoeing around Astotin Lake and you may even spot some elk or bison in this massive refuge.