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Downtown Lansing Winterfest runs Saturday; downtown ice rink officially open

Lansing Winterfest
Posted at 8:04 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-27 16:37:19-05

LANSING, Mich. — You might not need hats and gloves for tomorrow's downtown Lansing Winterfest, but make sure to bring your ice skates.

New ice skating rink officially opening tomorrow during winterfest
The new ice skating rink is located across the street from the Michigan Capitol, in front of City Hall.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the day.

“Having Winterfest an activity to bring people out safe, socially distanced," said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.

The idea for the event came to city officials during the pandemic.

“When COVID hit, then we were talking about having to have activities," Schor said.

The city partnered with the Community Foundation to build something special for the city that will open just in time for the celebration: an ice skating rink that will open for the first time Saturday in front of City Hall.

“Our board of directors had a lot of vision a few years ago, when they decided to make it their strategic direction to build a vibrant community,” said Community Foundation Executive Vice President Laurie Baumer.

The rink's surface is made out of hard plastic instead of ice so it won't melt on warmer days.

New ice skating rink officially opening during winterfest
The new ice rink is made out of slippery plastic, instead of ice.

“This really is a new and exciting solution to allow for usage throughout the winter and even in the summer if you wanted too, as a wonderful activity without having to worry about the weather and it being too warm,” Schor said.

People who are interested in skating will need to bring their own skates. There will be no rentals on site until next fall.

New ice skating rink officially opening during winterfest
Ice skates will not be available for rent, yet. But it is something the city is looking into for next winter.

Ice skating won't be the only activity downtown. Executive Director of Downtown Lansing Inc. Cathleen Edgerly said there will be a lot to choose from.

"From the cold butt-boat races at River Town Adventures is taking care of, to all the activities down by Impression 5 and the REO Old’s Mobile Museum and the cultural corridor,” Edgerly said."

Other activities include:

  • Cocoa and coffee walk (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Live ice carving demos (12 p.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Block market pop-up and adult warming and drinks station (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Cold Butt-Boat race (12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
  • Pup House Station and Pet Photo Booth (1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
  • Impression 5 Winterfest Outdoor Celebration (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Schor said this is something they're looking forward to continuing for many more winters to come. Snow or shine.

"The inaugural because it’s the first not last,” Schor said.

Lansing Winterfest


  • Cocoa and Coffee walk along the River Trail connecting Downtown (starting at Impression 5) and continuing to Old Town. Coffee and Cocoa stations include products from Kiwanis, Ferris Coffee, and Blue Owl Coffee. Local business stations will also be set-up along the path for you to enjoy!
  • Block Market & adult warming area with Ellison Brewery & Spirits along with & Lansing Shuffleboard & Social Club (Inside the former City Market, 325 City Market Drive)
  • Take a selfie of all 16 ice sculptures along the River Trail and Washington Sq. then post on social media with the hashtag #LansingWinterfest for a chance to win an Impression 5 Science Center family membership!
  • Pup House will be set-up north of the Shiawassee Bridge and Rotary Park along the River Trail with a pet agility course, play area and more!
  • Visit the all new downtown ice skating rink in front of City Hall! Located at 124 W. Michigan Ave. The Lansing Police Department will be on site with cocoa and donuts, Biggby will have Coffee, and Clint the Hot Dog guy will be on site!

LIVE ICE SCULPTURE DEMOS - 11 a.m.-3:00 p.m.:

  • 100 block of S. Washington Square at 11 a.m. with Scott Miller Ice Sculptures
  • Riverfront Plaza (in gazebo next to the Lansing Center) at 12 p.m. with the Ice Gurus
  • Ribbon statue (behind Rotary Park beach) at 1:30 p.m. with Ice Icon
  • The Brenke Fish Ladder in Old Town at 2:30 p.m. with Clear Cut Ice


  • Impression 5 Interactive Activities and Demos: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Includes outdoor interactive activities and demos, plus a special set-up featuring the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum! Capacity is limited outdoors and sign-up is required for both indoor and outdoor Impression 5 visits.
  • Cold Butt Boat Races - 12:30-1:30 p.m. with River Town Adventures. Starts at Rotary Park.
  • Pet Photos and Play Area - 1:30-3:00 p.m.: Set-up by Pup House play area on the Lansing River Trail, with photos taken by Tinalooa Photography.
  • Live Music: School of Rock music students will be performing live from 2-4pm by the Brenke Fish Ladder
  • Old Town Chocolate Walk & Shopping Sales: Tickets may be sold out for the Chocolate Walk, but many Old Town shops are holding sales or have all new products for you to shop and enjoy!


  • MP Social : Don't miss their Pop-Up hours open exclusively for Winterfest 11am-5pm (313 N.Cedar)
  • Sultan’s Express: Will be open for lunch hours 11am-2pm (305 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Midtown Brewing Co: Outdoor winter patio or indoor seating available (402 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Peanut Shop: Selling fresh roasted nuts and candy. (117 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Social Sloth Café:Stop in for a free Turkish Cookie, coloring page for the kids or purchase one of their homemade desserts, lunch, tea or coffee! (301 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Summit Comics & Games: Shop their vast selection of games, Funko pops, comic books and more! (216 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Soul Nutrition: Winter themed teas and shakes (222 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Juice Nation: Refresh yourself with a healthy smoothie or pressed juice (111 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Thai Village: Winter heated patio open or place your pick-up order (400 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Lansing Brewing Co: Outdoor patio area and indoor dining available. Show your Winterfest coupon that you pick-up at the Lansing Winterfest event for savings on your food and brews! (518 E. Shiawassee)
  • Courtyard Marriott: Tour downtown’s newest hotel and enjoy a complimentary Starbucks beverage when you stop by! (600 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Capital City Market: Come shop and tour the market, and they'll also be set-up along the Cocoa and Coffee Walk with goodies to take home!

Visit for more information!

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Erica Murphy

Erica Murphy

1:21 PM, Mar 03, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Erica Murphy

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter