Your family can shake that cabin fever and enjoy the art of snow and ice carving, family activities and warming tent entertainment. You’re probably thinking to yourself, do I really want to go to a festival in the middle of a Michigan winter and deal with crowds of people and cold weather.
Well, here is a list of 25 tips to help you survive Snowfest and make good memories that will last a lifetime!
1. Arrive prior to 11a.m. to find the best parking on the weekend.
2. Plan your route and desired parking before you leave. Parking areas and alternate routes for Northbound 1-75 travelers: take Exit 136, go east to the first light on Dixie Highway, then continue to Dehmel Road and turn left. Follow Dehmel to Curtis Road; turn right on Curtis. Follow Curtis to Flint St. then turn left and park at the Fortress Golf Course parking lot or the Boy Scout building lot. Southbound 1-75 travelers: take Exit 144A (Dixie Highway) to Junction or Curtis.
3. Shuttle transportation into town is available at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland on Saturday from 11am - 10pm and Sunday 12 – 6pm. In addition, shuttle service is also available from Birch Run Saturday all day and most of the day Sunday. The shuttle picks up from various hotels and businesses. Check the Birch Run Chamber’s website for a complete shuttle schedule.
4. The largest parking lots are available at the River Place Shops, Bronner’s, Zehnder’s, Boy Scout Building and Heritage Park.
5. Make your dining reservations now! Zehnder’s Restaurant does take dining reservations based on availability, you can make yours today by calling (800) 863-7999.
6. The best place to begin your tour of the snow sculptures (and possibly your Frankenmuth shopping spree) is at Frankenmuth River Place Shops.
7. There are sculptures all over town! Zehnder’s Restaurant features the World Class Double and Single Block Snow Carving Competition, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant hosts the State Snow Sculpting Competition and the High School Snow Sculpting Competition is located at Frankenmuth River Place Shops. Teams begin carving throughout the week with the double block teams beginning on Monday.
8. Before strolling through town, pick up your fresh popped popcorn from Mystic Kettle located behind Zehnder’s Restaurant.
9. If you love chocolate then come out on Wednesday at 10am for the “All Things Chocolate” Baking Contest featuring cookies, cakes and brownies. Forty-five contestants will be competing for the best recipe using chocolate as a main ingredient. There will be cooking/baking demonstrations, musical entertainment, door prizes, samples of all the entries and a complimentary recipe book of all the recipes to take home.
10. Take a stroll over to the large ice tent where you can watch a talented team of ice carvers work on creating a 100-block ice display featuring a Dinosaur theme to be completed by Friday.
11. Everyone is welcome on Thursday to the JOE FM and HAP Medical Solutions Complimentary Bingo in Zehnder’s Warming Tent from 1 – 3pm where you can play to win a large variety of prizes from HAP, Birch Run Premium Outlets and Zehnder's of Frankenmuth. Pop in to play for just a few minutes or play for the entire time. All ages are welcome.
12. If you are a beer lover, then you won’t want to miss Zehnder’s Snowfest Tap Takeover on Thursday starting at 6pm in Zehnder’s Tap Room. They will be featuring 10 special beers from Wolverine Brewing Company and 10 specialty beers from J.P. O’Sullivan Distributing and along with snacks and live music.
13. Many activities at Snowfest are absolutely free including the children’s Petting Zoo on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
14. Other activities are offered for a nominal fee including $2 carousel rides, $2 pony rides and a $5 entrance fee to the warming tent Friday and Saturday after 6:30pm.
15. Our warming tent is actually heated! Many first timers show up to the tent ready to brave drafty walls and cold spots. Feel free to shed your coat and dance the night away on Friday for Country Night featuring Alan Turner and the Steel Horse Band and Saturday featuring Cruzin’ Jupiter and The Rock Show.
16. Warm up your good arm for Chicken Bowling, we won’t explain it… you have to see it for yourself Friday - Sunday at the Frankenmuth Chamber/Visitor Center. (Not sure on this, need to check with Jaycees)
17. We end Saturday with a bang! Watch our choreographed fireworks display from Zehnder’s parking lot at 6:45 pm.
18. There will be over 100 ice block carvings throughout town on display from Bronner’s all the way to the north end of town by Huntington Bank. Make sure to take a walk or drive and check them out.
19. Bring your camera for a chance to win! Each year, Zehnder’s hosts a Snowfest Photo Impressions contest. Upload your favorite festival photo to their Facebook contest page for your chance to win great prizes!
20. “Like” Zehnder’s Snowfest Facebook page or follow on Twitter to get the latest updates and photos live from the festival!
21. Don’t forget to cheer on your favorite carvers and vote for your favorite Single, Double, State and High School snow blocks. Ballots boxes are placed in Zehnder’s warming tent, information tent, River Place Shops cafeteria, and Bavarian Inn warming tent. The “People’s Choice” award is the greatest award to receive as a carver!
22. Those who want a leisurely stroll through the festival without the crowds should visit Sunday evening or Monday, January 27, 2020.
23. If snow and cold weather isn’t your thing, remember you can always come and visit the shops, restaurants and Bronner’s while the rest of your party is walking around in the cold.
24. Don’t miss the annual ACF Hot Food Competition “A Salute to Caribbean Cuisine” on Monday! Tickets are only $30 and all proceeds go to the East Side Soup Kitchen.
25. For a festival map and a complete schedule of events, visit https://www.zehnders.com/zehnders-snowfest-frankenmuth-mi/
We appreciate the support we have received from our guests, carvers and sponsors over the past 28 years and are excited to welcome you to Zehnder’s Snowfest 2020.