If you’re looking for a fun reason to get out of your house for a weekend in February, consider attending one of these nine festivals happening in Virginia this month.
No matter where your interests lie, there will surely be a festival that will appeal to you, your kids and even your dog.
The Essence of Heart & Soul Festival
Date: Feb. 4
Celebrate the Black history and culture of Norfolk by attending The Essence of Heart & Soul Festival at the Slover Library.
The family-friendly festival will include performances, storytimes, workshops and visuals, including photography, videography, and exhibitions.
A Black vendor fair will also be at the library.
Williamsburg Book Festival
Date: Feb. 4
Bibliophiles will be in heaven at the Williamsburg Book Festival, which is returning this year after taking 2022 off due to Hurricane Ian.
The event is free and open to the public.
If you’re a writer, be sure to attend one of the workshops on the craft of writing and the publishing field. Those in search of a good new book to read are in luck because local and nationally recognized authors will be on hand for the author showcase.
Authors Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Sarah Glenn Marsh will be this year’s festival headliners. You can meet them at 3 p.m. at the Stryker Center and have them sign your books.
Richmond Chocolate, Wine & Whiskey Festival
Date: Feb. 11
Chocolate is good. Wine is great. Whiskey is magnificent. When you combine all three, it’s almost too much to handle!
A ticket to the Richmond Chocolate, Wine & Whiskey Festival will get those 21 years of age and older chocolate and unlimited pours of wine and whiskey into their very own tasting glass.
“Enjoy chocolate in a multitude of decadent presentations—from sweet hand-rolled truffles to oooey goooey marshmallowey crunch S’mores and an amazing selection of bean-to-bar artisan chocolates—Quench your thirst with champagne, prosecco and premium wines and a sip of fine whiskies,” organizers said.
Some of the local producers that will be at the festival include Three Crosses Distilling Company, Funktastic Meads and The Chocolate Sauce from McCann Foods.
FXBG Kid Fest
Date: Feb. 11
If you have rambunctious children, the FXBG Kid Fest is the perfect festival for you. There will be activities for children to both climb and bounce on. Miniature golf and laser tag will be available for older children.
“Play the day away at this awesome event celebrating kids,” organizers at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center said.
Date: Feb. 11
If you’re a cartoon junkie, you’ll likely have a blast at the Animation Festival. The festival will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Disney Studios.
Films that will be screened include “Flowers and Trees,” “Mickey Mouse in The Band Concert” and four others.
Arrive early to have your photo taken with classic characters. There will also be themed concessions and merchandise available for purchase.
The event is being offered free of charge to the first 200 patrons by the Academy Center of the Arts.
Coastal Virginia Magazine Winefest
Location: Virginia Beach
Dates: Feb. 11-12
The Coastal Virginia Magazine Winefest offers the opportunity to sample some of the “best wineries in the state” over the course of the weekend long event.
“Enjoy tastings from our featured wineries and cideries, try samples in the distillery den and shop from a variety of specialty vendors,” organizers said.
The event at the Virginia Beach Convention Center will also include live entertainment, a cash beer garden and a local celebrity grape stomp.
Barks and Brews – Puppy Love Festival
Date: Feb. 18
It can be difficult to find a festival that your dog will enjoy as much as you. Luckily, Barks and Brews – Puppy Love Festival is designed to be fun for both man and man’s best friend.
“Try deluxe homemade treats from our doggie vendors, play in our dog park, or give your pup something from our special dog menu,” organizer Shipgarten said.
While your dog is having a doggie treat, treat yourself to a beer from one of the more than 40 breweries that will have samplings available.
There will also be festival activities and a photo booth.
Dark Knight of Winter Beer Festival
Date: Feb. 19
Those who love a good dark beer should plan on attending the Dark Knight of Winter Beer Festival hosted by St. George Brewing Company. Beers from more than 20 Virginia craft breweries, including Back Bay Brewing and Gloucester Brewing Company, will be available for sampling.
A ticket will get you unlimited samplings and festival glassware.
There will also be live music and food trucks, including Chicken Stop 757 and NOSH Modern Mobile Bistro.
Winter Wine Weekend
Dates: Feb. 23-26
The Winter Wine Weekend is perfect for either a romantic getaway or girls trip.
The event can be enjoyed by both novices and connoisseurs alike. Winemakers and certified specialists will be on hand to teach you about growing, aging and blending.
According to organizers, “This event will feature a grand tasting, wine pairing dinners and culinary experiences, educational classes and hands-on workshops, musical entertainment, self-directed vineyard excursions, and more.”
Even if you can’t stay for the whole weekend, you can still stop by the Hotel Madison and enjoy some wine in the Shenandoah Grand Ballroom for one or two nights.
A can’t miss part of the weekend will be the “Coast to Coast with Tassie Pippert” wine pairing dinner, which will highlight Mid-Atlantic cuisine and West Coast wines. Pippert is a lecturer and culinary arts expert at James Madison University.