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Plymouth Ice Festival 2023: Best Ice Fest, Kid-Friendly Events

plymouth ice festival

What is the 2023 Plymouth Ice Festival?

The Plymouth Ice Festival is one of the top Michigan ice sculpture festivals.

Offering an amazing chance to see spectacular ice carving and other works of icy art, this fun festival in southeast Michigan is more than an ice sculpture festival. Best of all? It’s Free!

For a full weekend, charming downtown Plymouth, MI with fun activities ranging from a petting zoo and playground to a BINGO scavenger hunt and watching a movie at the historic Penn Theater.

You’ll also want to duck into the cute shops, restaurants and bars as you walk through town: it’s so much fun!

The Ice Festival in Plymouth is a great opportunity to bundle up and embrace Michigan’s winter weather while you wander Plymouth taking in the icy works of arts from world-class ice sculptors. I’ve spent a lifetime in Plymouth and can tell you that the Plymouth Ice Festival is truly a highlight of the winter season.

I’ve put together a complete guide to the 41st annual Plymouth Ice Festival, including the best places to park, what to see and where to eat during your visit!

PRO-TIP: The ice sculptures stay on display throughout the city of Plymouth until they melt, so if the weather permits, you have additional opportunities to see these icy works of art!

ice sculpture at the plymouth ice festival

About the 2023 Plymouth Ice Festival

One of the top Michigan winter events, the Plymouth Ice Festival just might be one of the largest free ice festivals in the country.

Watch as world class sculptors create breathtaking works of art from 350-pound blocks of ice, using chainsaws and chisels as their main tools.

With the storefronts and sidewalks of charming downtown Plymouth lined with ice carvings, there is room enough for everyone to to see the 50 ice sculptures.

Historic Kellogg Park, in the center of town, is the also filled with scultures as well as a warming tent and other attractions like the petting zoo. Be sure to grab a picture sitting stop the “Mega Ice Throne,” a perfect insta pic!

The merchants and restaurants in the downtown area are ready for visitors, too, with specials and sales all weekend long.

Plymouth Ice Festival

What to See and Do at the Plymouth Ice Festival

In addition to wandering through the park and streets to see the sparkling ice sculptures, here are some more activities worth checking out.

  • Mega Ice Throne – Sit atop a towering throne carved completely from ice and feel like royalty. Don’t miss this insta opportunity!
  • BINGO Scavenger Hunt – Collect stickers from local businesses and enter to win a prize from the Plymouth DDA. Bingo cards are available here and at participating businesses.
  • Family Petting Zoo – Perfect for kids of all ages, the Petting Zoo from Carousel Acres offers hands-on experience with horses, donkeys, goats. sheep, alpaca and even a baby calf! This year’s petting zoo will also feature pony rides. Open from 11 a.m. -5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • Ice Playground – Located next to the Family Petting Zoo.
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  • Watch “Frozen” at the Penn Theater – Grab some popcorn and head to the historic Penn Theater to watch a showing of Disney’s “Frozen.” Showtimes at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Warm Up in the Hot Spot – The Plymouth Gathering, located next to the Penn Theater and across from Kellogg Park, features local vendors, businesses, product demonstrations, a sitting area to take a load off your feet and (most importantly) lots of heat!
  • Live Entertainment at the Party Lot and Ice Bar – Located at E.G. Nicks, 500 Forest Ave, Plymouth, MI 48170, the Ice Bar is open all three days of the Ice Festival. Party Lot Hours: Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight. Atomic Radio performs on Friday, and Power Play Detroit performs on Saturday.
ice sculpture at plymouth ice festival

More to See at the Plymouth Ice Festival: Explore Downtown Plymouth

Kellogg Park

The focal point of downtown Plymouth is Kellogg Park, and the beautiful historic fountain in the middle of the park. Walking through downtown Plymouth with sidewalks lined with boutiques and eateries is one of the highlights of the ice festival.

Plymouth Historical Museum

One of my favorite places in the Plymouth is the gem of museum, which allows you an opportunity to travel back in time through the Plymouth community’s example of the American Experience. Learn how the growth of American industry, the advent of the railroad and the invention of the automobile changed America’s small towns, especially Plymouth, Michigan! Open 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday Adults $7 / Students $3 (6-17)

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Penniman Avenue

This block may be short but it’s long on entertainment. You’ll find a mix of shops. restaurants and bars, all worth checking out, so plan your time accordingly. Some of my favorites include:

  • Westborn Market, a gourmet market that features a bakery featuring homemade treats and specialty items from the famous Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. You’ll also find a fantastic wine and cheese section and a great selection of prepared foods.
  • Muriel’s Dollhouse is a pink-fronted specialty toy store filled with toys, dolls, stuffed aniamals and more. This is where you’ll find unique and well-made toys like Playmobil and high-end dolls.
  • Haven of Plymouth is filled with uniqie homegoods and specialty decor items with a full-service interior design studio.
  • Plymouth Coffee Bean is a favorite coffeehouse offering crepes, sandwiches & pastries, with a patio & live music nights.
  • Sean O’Callaghans Public House is an old-world Irish Pub where you’ll find live Celtic tunes and house-made Irish dishes, such as Shepherd’s Pie, Lamb Shank Irish Stew, Corned Beef & Cabbage & Fish n’ Chips and more.
  • Pizza E Vino certified Neapolitan thin-crust pizza served with wood-fired oven & wall of wine.

Be sure and the stroll downtown streets including Penniman Avenue, Main Street, Ann Arbor Trail and Forest Avenue, where you’ll find fun cafes, bars and shops.

downtown Plymouth MI- plymouth ice festival
Photo from The City of Plymouth

Main Street

Around the corner from Penniman Avenue in downtown Plymouth is home to some amazing restaurants and shops, too.

  • Kilwin’s – You can stand outside and watch through the window as the warm fudge is carefully twisted and smoothed on a slab of marble. Go in and treat yourself to slab of fudge, some salt-water taffy or one of the many other sweet confections here.
  • Greek Islands Eatery is the place for a quick and tasty hamburger or sandwich. Loacted inside an historic old bank, this local favorite has a wide menu.
  • Bakehouse 46 offers and freshmade pastries, sandwiches and some of the best cupcakes around.
  • Compari’s On the Park is one of my favorite spots for Southern Italian food. Their Pasta Compari with crumbled Italian sausage is amazing.
  • Sun and Snow Sports is a great place to your outdoor gear, offering bootfitting and more to make sure you start off right.
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Ann Arbor Trail

Kemnitz Fine Candies is the a true gem: a candy and chocolate shop offering handipped chocolates and other sweet treats. Don’t miss the chocolate suckers: they are delicious!

Gigi’s Mode is tucked away next to a medical budiling, but you’ll want to duck in here for some fun costume jewelry, apparel and other unique accessories, including stunning cashmere beanies.

Ironwood Grill is a fun and reliable restaurant and bar serving American fare. Try the amazing flatbread pizza.

Forest Place

Be sure to wander both sides of Forest Place where you’ll find even more amazing shops and restaurants.

map of plymouth ice festival

Where is the Plymouth Ice Festival?

Plymouth MI is located in southeast Michigan, about half-way between Detroit and Ann Arbor, loved by many for it’s quaint, small-town vibe and fun mix of shops and restaurants.

Plymouth is 25 minutes by car from Detroit MI and Ann Arbor MI. You can use our interactive Map of Plymouth to help plan your trip.

Plymouth Ice Festival Parking Map

Plymouth Ice Festival Parking

Parking is FREE on all public streets and lots.

2 hour parking locations are available at all striped spaces on streets

3 hour parking lots include:
Ground level of the Central Parking Deck
Penniman parking lot

8 hour parking lots include:
Upper level of the Central Parking Deck
Parking lot at the corner of Wing St. & Harvey St.

Gathering Pavilion (also has public restrooms)
East Central (Library) Parking Lot

More to Explore Near Plymouth

Here are some more fun places in Detroit worth checking out:

Belle Isle Park

The Detroit Riverwalk

Henry Ford Museum
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