26 years later, Zehnder's Snowfest is still making us shiver with excitement. But, larger-than-life snow sculptures, detailed ice carvings, and world-class competitions aren't the only thing to look forward to when the 26th Annual Zehnder's Snowfest returns to Frankenmuth this January, whether you're traveling for a fun-filled family weekend or a cozy couples getaway! Don't hole up and come down with a case of cabin fever - Go Great Lakes Bay, where you can experience a true Pure Michigan winter adventure for you and yours, with these insider tips:
1) Bring out the snow pants and fur-lined boots!
Layers, anyone? Even though you'll be constantly moving to get a glimpse of all the ice carving glory, it's always better to have too many layers than not enough. We're in #PureMichigan, so we can never truly predict the weather... dress accordingly, and layer up!
2) No worries, there's a warming tent.
If you do get chilly, head to the Zehnder's warming tent. The warming tent is free, except when 6 p.m. hits on Friday and Saturday; then, a small fee ($5 for adults, children 12 & under free) gets you access to food, refreshments, entertainment (and, of course, warmth!)
3) But seriously. Get to the warming tent.
While you're toasting your toes, you can win prizes, so be sure to check out this Snowfest hotspot!
4) If you're free on the weekdays...
Snowfest isn't just for weekend escapes - Wednesday and Thursday bring tons of winter fun, long before the main events begin! The main snow sculptures and ice carvings won't be complete, but that doesn't mean a mid-week trip to Frankenmuth isn't worth it! Double & Single block competitions will be starting in Zehnder's Parking Lot on Wednesday and public voting will take place on Thursday! Cast your vote when you arrive.
5) Vote! Vote! Vote!
You will find a favorite - we guarantee! Once you do, cast your vote. Voting takes place in the Zehnder's parking lot.
6) Attend the Dueling Piano Luncheon at Zehnder's
If you've never had Zehnder's chicken, this is your shot to enjoy the world-famous deliciousness, alongside live entertainment. The luncheons start Thursday, January 26th at 11:30 am and 1 p.m., but reserve your seating now by calling 800-863-7999 before it's too late. Tickets are $35.
7) Not a fan of crowds? Join the fun on Friday, Jan 27th, or Sunday, Jan 29th.
To avoid the busiest crowds, planning your trip for either of these days will give you more space to stroll through Frankenmuth and get lost in the art of the sculptures.
8) Watch the snow sculptures come to life
On Friday, January 27th, the carvings will still be underway with huge snow piles turning into magnificent sculptures!
9) Ride on the Snowfest Musical Carousel
While children two and under ride for free, we highly recommend this celebratory carousel ride for kids of all ages (ages 2 and up ride for just $2!)
10) See the sculptures in their full glory!
Saturday, January 28th, beautifully detailed snow and ice sculptures will be complete for your viewing pleasure. Wear your warmest and most comfortable boots as you stroll through the icescapes!
11) Parking is free!
Great news, right? However, it is limited. The earlier in the day you arrive, the easier you'll snag a spot!
12) Make it to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland
Not only can you get a head start on your 2017 Christmas decorations at the World's Largest CHRISTmas Store, but you'll be able to park and take a free shuttle service to all the Downtown Frankenmuth action on Main Street.
13) Follow Zehnder's Snowfest on Facebook
Stay in the know. Learn more about the sculptors and get in on the Snowfest craze long before you Go Great Lakes Bay!
14) Children's Snow Sculpting?
Snowfest has that, too! This contest starts on Wednesday, January 25th and will be located at the Frankenmuth RiverPlace, so get your little artists in on the action!
15) Attend the Classics Day Snow Carving Awards
See the faces behind the snow that made the carvings larger-than-life! Presentation begins Saturday, January 28th at 2 pm in Zehnder's Warming Tent.
16) Photo ops are everywhere
Cameras and smartphones should top your things-to-remember list. And, since smartphones tend to die quicker in the cold weather, be sure to charge fully before you leave your hotel!
17) Sing your heart out with WKCQ
Friday night at 6 pm in the Warming Tent, stop by for the WKCQ Karaoke Contest Finals. Remember your $5 to enter the tent!
18) Feed a llama
Take advantage of the Free Petting Zoo located next to the Frankenmuth Toy Company; for a small fee, your littles can feed the animals!
19) Cuddle up for the annual fireworks display
On the evening of Saturday, January 28th at 6:45 pm, watch the fireworks light up Frankenmuth.
20) Be amazed by an award-winning Certified Master Ice Sculptor
Greg Butauski will be entertaining while he and his team finish a 100-block creation in Zehnder's Parking Lot behind Rau's Country Store on Friday, January 27th - don't miss out on the insider action!
21) Tune in with Joe FM
On Thursday, January 26th, you can tune in and warm up with Joe FM from 1-3pm in the Warming Tent (for FREE!)
22) Stay updated with Snowfest event times!
Download the list of events here so you can make the most of Snowfest's 26th year!
23) Plan to stay for the weekend
Book your hotel as soon as possible - many hotels sell out well in advance of Snowfest's start date! To find your perfect hotel for a cozy, romantic weekend or a fun-filled family getaway, head to book.gogreat.com!
24) Cheers to the weekend at Prost! Wine Bar & Charcuterie
Downtown Frankenmuth has many quaint shops and restaurants. Stop by Prost! to cheers to the weekend and enjoy a good time.
25) Get a taste of the 25th Annual Chef's Hot Food Competition
What better way to end the weekend full of festivities than with some delicious food? Get in on this annual tradition at Zehnder's Restaurant from 6-8:30 pm ($30 per person).