The winter festival in downtown Lansing takes place on Saturday. Ice rink in the city center officially opened

LANSING, me. – You may not need hats and gloves for tomorrow’s Downtown Lansing Winter Festival, but be sure to bring your ice skates.

Mikayla temple

The new ice rink is across from the Michigan Capitol in front of City Hall.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the city center is transformed into a winter wonderland for the day.

“Having the Winterfest downtown … is an activity to get people out safely and socially,” said Andy Schor, Mayor of Lansing.

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

“When COVID hit, we talked about having to have activity,” said Schor.

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

“Our board of directors had a lot of visions a few years ago when they decided to make it their strategic direction to build a vibrant community,” said Laurie Baumer, executive vice president of the Community Foundation.

The surface of the ice rink is made of hard plastic instead of ice so it doesn’t melt on warmer days.

New ice rink will be officially opened during the Winter Festival

Mikayla temple

The new ice rink is made of slippery plastic instead of ice.

“This is really a new and exciting solution that allows it to be used in winter and even summer if that’s what you want. It’s a wonderful activity without worrying about the weather or being too warm,” said Schor .

People interested in skating need to bring their own skates. There will be no rental on site until next autumn.

New ice rink will be officially opened during the Winter Festival

Mikayla temple

Ice skates cannot be rented yet. But it’s something the city is looking for next winter.

Ice skating won’t be the only downtown activity. Downtown Lansing Inc. executive director Cathleen Edgerly said there will be plenty of choice.

“From the cold butt boat races at River Town Adventures to all of the activities at Impression 5, the REO Old’s Mobile Museum and the Cultural Corridor,” said Edgerly.

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 heat and drink station (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Cold Butt Boat Race (12.30pm to 1.30pm)
  • Pup House Station and Pet Photo Booth (1.30pm to 3pm)
  • Impression 5 Winterfest outdoor celebration (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Schor said this is something they look forward to continuing for many more winters. Snow or sunshine.

“The opening because it’s the first not the last,” said Schor.

Lansing Winter Festival

Chris Lewis, FOX 47 News, 2021


  • Cocoa and coffee hike along the River Trail, which connects the city center (from Impression 5) and continues into the 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 way for you to enjoy!
  • Block Market & Adult Warming Area with Ellison Brewery & Spirits and & Lansing Shuffleboard & Social Club (in the former City Market, 325 City Market Drive)
  • Snap a selfie of all 16 ice sculptures along the River Trail and Washington Sq. Then post on social media with the hashtag #LansingWinterfest and win a family membership in the Impression 5 Science Center!
  • The Pup House will be set up north of Shiawassee Bridge and Rotary Park along the River Trail with an agility class for pets, a play area, and more!
  • Visit the brand new ice rink in the city center in front of the town hall! Located at 124 W. Michigan Ave. The Lansing Police Department will be on hand with cocoa and donuts, Biggby will be having coffee and Clint the hot dog guy will be on hand!


  • 100 Block S. Washington Square at 11 a.m. with Scott Miller Ice Sculptures
  • Riverfront Plaza (in the pavilion next to the Lansing Center) at 12 noon with the Ice Gurus
  • Ribbon statue (behind Rotary Park Beach) at 1:30 p.m. with Ice Icon
  • The Brenke fish ladder in the old town at 2:30 p.m. with clear ice


  • Impression 5 Interactive Activities and Demos: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Includes interactive outdoor activities and demos, plus a special facility with the RE Olds Transportation Museum! The outdoor capacity is limited. Registration is required for visits to Impression 5 indoors and outdoors.
  • Cold Butt Boat Races – 12.30pm-1.30pm with River Town Adventures. Starts in Rotary Park.
  • Photos and Pet Play Area – 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm: Establish the Pup House play area on the Lansing River Trail with photos from Tinalooa Photography.
  • Live Music: Students from the School of Rock Music perform live on the Brenke Fish Ladder from 2pm to 2pm
  • Old Town Chocolate Walk & Shopping Sales: Chocolate Walk tickets may sell out, but many Old Town stores have sales or all new products to shop and enjoy!


  • MP Social: Don’t miss the pop-up times, which are open exclusively for the Winter Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (313 N. Cedar).
  • Sultan’s Express: Will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (305 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Midtown Brewing Co: Outdoor winter patio or indoor seating available (402 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Peanut Shop: Selling freshly roasted nuts and sweets. (117 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Social Sloth Café: Head to a free Turkish biscuit, a coloring page for the kids or buy one of their homemade desserts, lunch, tea or coffee! (301 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Summit Comics & Games: Buy a wide variety of games, funko pops, comics, and more! (216 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Soul Nutrition: Winter-themed Teas and Shakes (222 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Juice Nation: Freshen up with a healthy smoothie or squeezed juice (111 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Thai Village: Winter heated terrace open or order pick-up (400 S. Washington Sq.)
  • Lansing Brewing Co: Outdoor patio area and indoor dining available. Show your Winterfest voucher that you pick up at the Lansing Winterfest event to save money on your food and beers! (518 E. Shiawassee)
  • Courtyard Marriott: Tour the newest hotel downtown and enjoy a free Starbucks drink when you drop by! (600 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Capital market: come shopping and visit the market. Plus, they’ll be set up with takeaway treats along the Cocoa and Coffee Trail!

Visit for more information!

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