February is a short and sweet month in New England. Couples cuddle up at romantic B&Bs and celebrate Valentine's Day at chocolate tastings and other events in the region, families take the kids to play in the snow, and the sap starts to flow inside New England's maple trees, signaling the start of maple sugaring season.
February is prime time for winter sports in New England, now that mountain resorts have a deep base of both machine-made and natural snow. If you don't ski, you can embrace outdoor winter activities like snow tubing, snowmobiling, or even ice harvesting. You can even let rescue dogs do the pulling and cross dog sledding off your bucket list at New Hampshire's Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel.
Blustery winds may blow and snowflakes may fly, but February only has 28 days (or 29 in leap years), so make the most of them!
New England Weather in February
New England has all kinds of winter charm, but that comes with frigid days and below-freezing temperatures. The entire region is very cold throughout February and typically blanketed in snow regardless of what state you're in. While the frigid weather is present everywhere, it's slightly less extreme for the coastal cities.
|Average High Temp.||Average Low Temp.||Average Snowfall|
|Hartford, CT||39 F (4 C)||21 F (minus 6 C)||11 inches|
|Providence, RI||40 F (4 C)||26 F (minus 3 C)||14 inches|
|Boston, MA||39 F (4 C)||24 F (minus 4 C)||10 inches|
|Cape Cod, MA||40 F (4 C)||23 F (minus 5 C)||5 inches|
|Killington, VT||31 F (minus 1 C)||10 F (minus 12 C)||34 inches|
|North Conway, NH||33 F (1 C)||11 F (minus 12 C)||18 inches|
|Portland, ME||34 F (1 C)||16 F (minus 9 C)||12 inches|
If you're visiting one of the mountain towns like Killington, Vermont, or North Conway, New Hampshire, you can safely assume that there will be snow in February. In cities closer to the coast, the weather in February can range from clear sunny days to a total blizzard, so it's important to check the upcoming forecast shortly before your trip. It's likely that at least one storm will take over New England at some point in February, and it could be more than one.
What to Pack
How you pack can mean the difference between an enjoyable trip and an unbearable one for February in New England. A heavy winter jacket is absolutely necessary, but that isn't enough. Pack plenty of layers to put on underneath including long-sleeve shirts and sweaters. You'll also want to include some skin-tight thermal wear to put on under everything else in case you hit a storm.
Protecting your extremities is crucial in the snow, so don't forget a warm hat, scarf, earmuffs, and water-proof gloves (a second pair of linen gloves to wear underneath can be helpful, too). Keep in mind that your clothes may take a while to dry if you've been playing outdoors in the snow, so err on the side of overpacking.
February Events in New England
February can feel like a dark month, but New Englanders don't let the snow or cold weather get them down. All kinds of unique events are scheduled throughout the region, and you can be sure to find some extra romantic activities popping up around February 14.
- Keene Ice & Snow Festival: During the Ice & Snow Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, the city is taken over by elaborately designed ice sculptures created by local artists. It takes place on the first Saturday in February each year, and the next one is scheduled for February 5, 2022.
- No Child Left Inside: Torrington, Connecticut, is cold in February, but the community organizes the No Child Left Inside Winter Festival to get families out of the house and make the most of the winter weather. Activities include outdoor family-friendly festivities and an ice fishing competition.
- Jumpfest: If you've ever been curious about jump skiing, Jumpfest in Salisbury, Connecticut, is the place to check it out. The sport looks like something for daredevils, but the organizers include lessons for even young kids to try it out. The competition takes place over President's Day weekend.
- U.S. National Toboggan Championships: Slide down a 400-foot chute in your toboggan during the ultimate sledding event in Camden, Maine. Racers come from across Maine to take part in this annual event which has been going on for over 30 years. The next one is scheduled for February 11–13, 2022.
- Newport Winter Festival: The Winter Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, is a full week of festivities, many of which revolve around food. The Chili Cook-Off is the star event, but there's also a Mac & Cheese Smackdown and a Burger Bender. You can also quench your thirst with competitions for the best tropical drink, best espresso martini, and best hot drink
- Ice Harvest: Every President's Day Weekend at the Thompson Ice House in Bristol, Maine, the local community comes out for the annual Ice Harvest. Families saw ice from the frozen pond and collect blocks, just as it was done in the 1800s. During the Summer Festival in Bristol, residents make ice cream using the same blocks from the previous Ice Harvest.
- Connecticut Flower & Garden Show: Get ready for spring in Hartford, Connecticut, at the Flower & Garden Show. Over 300 exhibitors bring out their best seeds, bulbs, and buds so you can get your garden ready as soon as the frost thaws. Even if you don't have a green thumb, there are all kinds of workshops and classes to learn more.
- Chocolate Festival: New England's sweetest February event takes place across the Mt. Washington Valley in New Hampshire, although you'll have to work for your treats. The Chocolate Festival is a network of chocolatiers across towns like North Conway, Intervale, and Kearsarge, and participants must cross-country ski or snowshoe from site to site. Start preparing now for the festival on February 27, 2022.
February Travel Tips
- February is a notorious month for East Coast snowstorms, so be prepared. Make sure to stow a snow scraper, shovel, rock salt or ice melt and blankets in your car, and fill up whenever your tank is less than half full. An SUV is the best choice if you're renting a car for your New England adventures.
- Don't have the time or money for an overnight getaway? February is the ideal month for a day trip to a winery, an indoor garden, or a year-round attraction like the Basketball Hall of Fame.
- When it comes to a romantic Valentine's Day dinner out in New England, be sure to call ahead and make reservations. The most popular restaurants often prepare a special holiday prix-fixe menu and may book up by mid-January.
- To up the Valentine's romance, book a room at a New England inn with a fireplace in the room.
- Love the ocean? Plan a winter beach weekend getaway! If you've only been to southern coastal Maine during the summer high season, consider visiting during this quiet time of the year, when you can take advantage of lower rates and still enjoy a walk along the Marginal Way, dinner at the incomparable White Barn Inn, sipping beer at Federal Jack's and outlet shopping.
- If you want to take your family skiing during Presidents' Week, fun activities on and off the slopes await at Killington, Cannon Mountain, and Sunday River.