Bundle up and celebrate all things winter at Lowell's annual Winterfest.The two days of fun kicks off on Friday at 3 p.m. with free skating at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, followed by a number of kids' activities, including face painting, balloon animals, a special Lowla Bear temporary tattoo station, a live magic and juggling show by "Lucky Bob," and DIY snowman building. There's also a 21+ party at Club Celsius ($5). Both the official opening ceremonies and the Human Dogsled preliminary heat and costume contest will be held at 6 p.m. The 3rd annual Microbrew Showcase & Competition (21+, $20) will begin at 7 p.m., and includes samples of some of the area's finest craft brews, microbrews, and gluten-free hard ciders from across the nation with over two dozen brewers represented. Enjoy live musical performances in conjunction with the New England Music Awards (NEMA). Cost of admission includes fifteen sample tickets redeemable for 3-ounce samples. Saturday is equally filled with activities and events including wildlife tracking, an all-you-can-eat chocolate festival, a trivia contest, indoor playspace (with crafts, music, games and more), maple sugaring, outdoor ice games, carriage rides, the national soup competition, live dog mushing demonstrations, the Human Dogsled finals, pyrotechnic displays, spoken word performances, and more. Winterfest ends with a laser light show inside Club Celsius. This winter's been a long one -- but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the season! Fri., Feb. 21 & Sun., Feb. 22. Most events are free but some have a small admission fee. Pricing details and times of each event/activity is listed on the event website. Winterfest is held at various locations in downtown Lowell. www.lowell.org/pages/winterfest
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.