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Tips and Tricks to Navigating Zehnder’s Snowfest

As Christmas and New Year’s passes by and the weather turns colder and snowier, a light shining like a beacon at the end of January helps keep the excitement of the holidays going, of course we’re talking about Zehnder’s Snowfest! This year marks the 27th year for this amazing festival nestled right in the heart of winter. If you’ve never been, its the most amazing display of ice and snow served up in a weekend of brats, hot chocolate, kids activities, warming tent and so much more; for those of you who are Snowfest regulars, we don’t have to tell you twice why you need to be here. Whether this year marks your first or fifteenth, check out the tips and tricks below to know before you go.


1.) What’s new this year?

The 100-block ice exhibition piece under the tent this year will feature a Bavarian Village with Gnomes hidden in the village.

The Detroit Tiger Winter Caravan is back on Friday, January 26 in the Warming Tent from approximately 2 – 3pm. Last visit was in 2015.

The US 338th Army Band will be having five different bands perform:

  • Country Band
  • Brass Band
  • Woodwind Quintet
  • Ceremonial Band
  • Pop Band

New Country Night Band – Allen Turner and the Steel Horse Band

Added a second amusement ride (The Zoom)


2.) Dates and times?

January 24 – 29

Warming tent is open Wednesday and Thursday 10am – 4pm.

Friday and Saturday 10am – 12 midnight and Sunday 10am – 5pm.

A complete schedule of events is available here.


3.) When can I watch them carve the sculptures?

Carvers will be working beginning Monday, January 22 through Saturday, January 27 where you can come and watch anytime. Most Ice Carving competitions are January 26, 27, & 28.


4.) What costs are associated with the event?

Most events are free. There is a small fee for the pony rides, amusement rides and inflatables. Warming tent is free admission except after 6pm Friday and Saturday when there is a cover charge of $5.00 but children 12 and under are free.

Captured Detroit is rockin’ the #zsnowfest Warming Tent until midnight!

A post shared by zehnders (@zehnders) on


5.) Where is the best place to park?

Zehnder’s Restaurant, Bavarian Inn Restaurant and behind the Frankenmuth Chamber are the closest parking areas. Other areas are the Frankenmuth River Place Shops, Heritage Park, and various businesses in town. Parking is available at Bronner’s where we have shuttle service available on Saturday and Sunday. There is also a shuttle running from all the hotels in Birch Run to Frankenmuth on Saturday and Sunday.



6.) Are there any kid-friendly activities?

Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Carousel and Zoom Ride, Inflatables and Magic Show.


7.) Will the event take place no matter what the weather?

Yes, Snowfest will not be cancelled, although some of the scheduled activities may be cancelled or rescheduled due to poor weather conditions.


8.) What’s inside the Warming Tent? Is is free? When?

The warming tent is a great place to come in from the cold and visit the Vendor booths, purchase food and drinks, enjoy musical entertainment, the Apple Contest, or play Bingo.

Admission is free except Friday and Saturday after 6pm when cover charge is $5.00 and children 12 and under.


9.) How many sculptures will there be?

There will be over 50 snow sculptures and including the ice sculptures through town and all the competition pieces, there will be over 150 ice carvings.


10.) Is Zehnder’s open for chicken dinners during Snowfest?

Yes, everyday from 11am – 9:30pm.

Frankenmuth feels. #chicken #zehnders

A post shared by Katie Ashworth (@alwayspaghetti) on


A few other tips to remember when visiting Zehnder’s Snowfest, a majority of the events and all of the carvings are outside so be sure to dress for the elements and don’t forget to bring cash. Many places accept credit cards, but its much faster with cash. There are ATM’s within walking distance, one is located right in Zehnder’s Restaurant.

For a full event schedule click here.