“In February, there is everything to hope for and nothing to regret.” — Patience Strong, The Glory of the Garden
February combines the magic of winter with the hopefulness of spring, which believe it or not, is just on the horizon. Not to mention, Valentine’s Day brings a certain warmth and love to this otherwise frigid month — bringing with it plenty of chocolate, candlelit dinners, and bright red roses.
To help you maximize the month, we’ve gathered some of the best can’t-miss events happening in the Ann Arbor area this February, from an ice carving festival to a yeti hunt, and a Valentine’s Day folk concert to a Roaring ‘20s fundraiser gala. Happy February!
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at The Ark’s My Folky Valentine, an annual celebration of romance. The show is happening on Valentine’s Day itself, so it’s the perfect way to celebrate the holiday, featuring live music from married or partnered couples who make music together. Your hosts, Annie and Rod Capps, will introduce some of their most talented friends from around the region to share the stage for an evening of anything but love songs — with a few love songs sprinkled in. Tickets are $20 for general admission or $28 for reserved seats.
TEDxUofM is a university-wide initiative to gather the community for an event filled with inspiration, discovery and excitement, following the model of the world-renowned TED conference. The 2023 conference “Glitch” will focus on the idea that life often tries to derail us off a steady path with setbacks — or glitches — but we have the opportunity to learn from it and propel forward in a meaningful way. Click here for more information about the conference (including the lineup of speakers) and to purchase tickets.
Candlelight concerts are a series of live, multi-sensory musical experiences taking place in cities all over the country — including right here in Ann Arbor this February. Get your tickets for Candlelight Ann Arbor to discover the music of Vivaldi and other renowned musicians, like Jules Massenet and Astor Piazzolla, at First Presbyterian Church, under the gentle glow of candlelights.
Based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy, “Once on This Island” is a love story following Ti Moune, a peasant girl, who rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. And little do they know, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with each other over which is stronger — love or death! This show runs from February 23 through March 12 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so there are plenty of opportunities to see it. Get your tickets here!
For more than three decades, The Ark’s annual Storytelling Festival has been a local favorite, bringing spoken word storytellers to Ann Arbor from all over the world. And this year, the event is expanding to three days, with a new Liars’ Contest on Friday night. The main event is on Saturday evening, featuring storytellers Bill Harley, Sheila Arnold, and Steve Daut, and Sunday is a matinee show designed for families. Click here to get your tickets — for Friday, Saturday or Sunday’s show.
The 11th Annual Ice Carving Festival is happening this February at County Farm Park! Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate as you watch professionals carve incredible works of art with various demonstrations showcasing their ice carving techniques. The event will also feature a fun scavenger hunt, door prizes, fire pit warming stations, a special photo with Eddie the Yeti, a winter skills presentation by REI, and much more. Plus, Black Diesel Coffee will have a truck onsite with coffee for purchase!
Hunt for the elusive Yeti at Rolling Hills County Park in Ypsi, following clues and riddles along the way. Hot cocoa and a snack will be provided, and prizes will be awarded for the best photo and trivia. You will be hiking short distances around the Lodge Great Room, so be sure to dress accordingly for the weather, because Hunt for the Yeti will take place rain or shine! There are three sessions available (12–1, 12:30–1:30 and 1–2 p.m.) and pre-registration is required.
This challenging, free fun run is designed to celebrate Ann Arbor Running Company’s love for running. Runners will meet at Panera Bread at 6:55 a.m., just before the run starts. You’ll then run the 2-mile loop that begins at the top of Broadway at the Courtyards Student Apartments, and run the loop as many times as you wish. Keep in mind, this is a challenging course not for the faint of heart! Register here for this free race.
Winter Trail Fest (often called by its relevant acronym) includes a half marathon or 5-mile race on winter trails at Island Lake Recreation Area. The more ridiculous the weather conditions, the better — and you will truly be earning your medal, hoodie and other swag! But the best part is: the race begins in the afternoon so you have all morning to relax and stretch before the madness begins. Register for this unforgettable race to secure your spot at the starting line.
Calling all foodies! Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is back in 2023 with a variety of fine dining lunch and dinner course menus, family meals served to-go, virtual demonstrations, and chef highlights. Plus, there will be several vegan and vegetarian options available. This is an excellent time to experience the finest fare from award-winning restaurants in the city, whether you’re dining in or taking it home! Head to the Ann Arbor Restaurant Week website to see the full list of participating restaurants for 2023.
Opened in June 1990, Trail’s Edge Camp is a week-long summer camp for children who are ventilator-dependent at Fowler Center for Outdoor Learning, a beautiful barrier-free camp on 200 acres in Mayville, Michigan. The camp is staffed by volunteers and funded through donations, and there is no cost to the campers’ families. To keep this incredible program running, they depend on fundraisers, like their Inspiration Gala, which is happening February 23 at the Michigan League Ballroom. This year, they are going all out with a Roaring ‘20s theme, with appetizers and drinks, casino games, a silent auction, and entertainment by the Gatsby Gang Jazz Band. Individual tickets are $150, with other sponsorship opportunities available.
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