It’s time to stop fighting winter and embrace it – for just a weekend, at least. Quicken Loans is excited to be the presenting sponsor of the Meridian Winter Blast, taking place February 7–9 in Campus Martius and Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit.
Whether you want to play in the snow, grab a hot chocolate while listening to live bands, or roast some marshmallows, we’d love to see you there!
There’s something for everyone, whether you’re 8 or 80, so let’s get to it.
- Skating exhibitions: Quicken Loans presentslocal professional and amateur figure skaters from the Detroit Skating Club, Creative Edge Ice Theatre and more in exhibitions throughout the weekend.
- Sled dogs: Michigan native Amanda Vogel returns for the fifth time with the Snomad Racing Sled Dogs who are sure to wow all visitors. Check out their performance schedule.
- Ice sculptures: Artist-carved and lighted ice sculptures will be on display in the Flagstar Bank Ice Garden located in Cadillac Square. Sit on an ice throne and see Detroit icons come to frozen life. On Friday, you can see local carvers creating these masterpieces during festival hours.
- Snow slide: Buick is bringing back the snow slide, which is 30 feet high and features three lanes that are 200 feet long! Slide rides are $3.
- Snowshoeing: Meridian Health presents this classic wintertime activity, which is free for both children and adults.
- Ice skating: There’s only one weekend you can skate for free at the Campus Martius rink and it’s during Winter Blast, thanks to St. John Providence Health System. Rental skates are available for $3.
Comfort Zones Offer Comfort Food and Music
Every 150 feet, you’ll find comfort zones with music, food and more, thanks to Corrigan Propane.
- Greektown Casino-Hotel Taste of Detroit: The Taste of Detroit tent features local cuisine and bands on the Michigan Lottery Stage. Check out the performance schedule to hear great music. Enjoy food and drinks from Prime 29 Steakhouse, Bagger Dave’s, Oye Crepes, Bear Claw Coffee, and many more.
- The Atrium at Compuware World Headquarters: During the day, the Meijer Stage features kid’s entertainment. At night, relax with great local acoustic performances.
- North Woodward Comfort Zone: This tent hosts food, exhibits, Learning Center tours from the University of Phoenix, and eclectic music on the Budweiser Stage.
- Cadillac Square Comfort Zone: After skating or snowshoeing, step inside this nearby tent to warm up and enjoy the Detroit Red Wings Experience, featuring interactive hockey games and a chance to win prizes.
- Olga’s Kitchen: Located inside the Compuware building on Woodward Avenue near Gratiot, visitors can enjoy a free hot beverage with any purchase.
- Variety shows: Kids and parents alike will enjoy performances on the Meijer Kids Stage, featuring magicians, jugglers, comedians and more from Pure Imagination Magic Show and Cool Tricks & Funny Stuff.
- Radio Disney: On Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., Radio Disney AM 910 will provide interactive entertainment themed around the hit Disney Junior series “Doc McStuffins,” including a stuffed animal check-up station where kids can check their toys’ height, reflexes and heartbeat.
- Hockey Shot Competition: On Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m., Great Expressions Dental Centers is presenting a hockey shot competition where all participants will receive a t-shirt and smile bag and the grand prize winner will get a choice of a free set of braces or a $5,000 dental care package.
- Winter Kiddie Carnival: This year, four outdoor games and five rides, including a Merry-Go-Round and Crocodile Coaster, will be available for $2 each.
- Mad Science: Awesome science demonstrations such as foggy dry ice storms, bubbling potions and more, will run every 90 minutes starting at 1 p.m. on Friday and noon on the weekend. Hands-on stations include a color-changing lab and a slime station, where kids can take home free slime!
Beyond the Tents
- Marshmallow roasting: Purchase a marshmallow roasting or s’more kit and huddle around the burners located just outside the atrium at Compuware.
- Girl Scout cookies: Support the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan by stopping by their Cookie Van, where you can buy all of your favorites, plus have the chance to win Girl Scout cookies for a year!
- Bar hop: Check out more than 10 of the most popular bars in town on Saturday night while participating in the official Winter Blast Afterparty, Bar Blast. Purchase tickets for only $5 and you can ride the Opa Bus or Ouzo Cruiso to and from all the stops!
Hours, Admission and Parking
More than 100,000 guests are expected to attend the 2014 festival, so here are a few more details you should be aware of:
- Winter Blast hours are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday.
- There is an admission “fee” to enter the festival: Visitors are asked to donate three canned food items, one children’s book, or $2, with all donations benefitting Matrix Human Services, a nonprofit organization serving the Detroit community for more than 107 years.
- Parking is available for a fee in parking lots nearby. I recommend parking in the new Z Deck, where you can see fantastic graffiti murals from local and international artists.
- The Cadillac Center People Mover Station is the closest to the activities and runs 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. – midnight on Sunday.