The chainsaws and blowtorches fire up on January 24, 2019, kicking off Richmond's 6th annual Meltdown Winter Ice Festival. This event turns downtown Richmond into an unforgettable destination where custom ice carvings, thrilling ice competitions (ice fights), lively winter activities, and fun collide . . . and it's all FREE
Photo: Picasa
Photo: Picasa

WORTH THE DRIVE: 5 frozen festivals and events happening this winter that have us stoked

Frigid temperatures don’t mean the fun is frozen until spring. Winter comes with its own kind of frosty frivolity.

When the snow is fresh on the ground, it’s easy to enjoy the season in your own neighborhood. See our list of favorite Dayton sledding spots here

>>And the Best of Dayton 2018 awards go to ...

However, if you and your crew are willing to drive a little, there are some stellar winter festivities happening a hop, skip and a jump away. Here are 4 events happening near Dayton that we’ve deemed as worth the drive, as well as a few local festivities we couldn’t forget:

❄️Hamilton IceFest

 >>Mario, Luigi, Pikachu among the frozen stars you’ll see at IceFest

Presented by Kettering Health Network, IceFest 2019 will return to downtown Hamilton on Fri., Jan. 18 and Sat., Jan. 19. This year s theme, Game Night will focus on board games, video games, classic arcades, sports and more. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

The City of Hamilton is bringing back IceFest on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19, with the theme of Game Night. 

“IceFest is Hamilton’s favorite winter, community event. It takes place around the Historic Butler County Courthouse and throughout downtown Hamilton every two years on the third weekend of January. While highlighting spectacular ice sculptures created by international and local carvers, IceFest provides a fun, free and family oriented winter weekend celebration attracting thousands of regional visitors and local residents,” according to the website

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Hamilton IceFest

WHEN: 4 p.m.- 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 and 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18
WHERE: Downtown Hamilton 

INFO: Website

❄️Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike

>>WORTH THE DRIVE: Walk through a winter wonderland at Hocking Hills annual winter hike

When winter weather hits the region, Hocking Hill's gorgeous rock formations, soaring cliffs, deep gorges and stunning waterfalls freeze to icy, crystal sculptures, making it one of the Buckeye State's most popular winter destinations. CONTRIBUTED

The 54th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike takes place Jan. 19, kicking off the day at 9 a.m. with a six-mile trek from Old Man's Cave to Ash Cave. Visitors from around the globe will flock to the region to celebrate its glittering views and experience its famed winter activities. In addition, many cabins and inns are offering lodging specials and discounts in January.

>>PHOTOS: Must-see natural waterfall ‘ice sculptures’ at Hocking Hills

The Winter Hike draws thousands of hikers each year to experience the Midwest's most magnificent winter scenes. The region's gorgeous rock formations, soaring cliffs, deep gorges and stunning waterfalls freeze to icy, crystal sculptures, making the Hocking Hills one of the Buckeye State's most popular winter destinations.

WANT TO GO? 

What: 54th Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike 

Where: Hocking Hills State Park 19852 State Route 664 S, Logan 

When: Jan. 19, with continuous starts from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Cost: Free 

More info: Complete traveler information is available at ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464

❄️Logan Frozen Festival

>>Why this charming Ohio town’s ‘Frozen’ fest is worth the drive

More than two dozen ice sculptures will be on display for the fourth year of the Logan Frozen Festival. CONTRIBUTED

This free event takes place immediately after the Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike. Needless to say, you’re going to experience the best winter has to offer, all in one Saturday.

Ice sculptors carving dazzling masterpieces, ice corn hole and skee-ball games, live music are just some of the festival’s highlights. This year, a giant ice photo frame and an ice throne will offer the perfect selfie spots.

>>4 places to go snow tubing near Dayton 

The Jan. 19 event also features local arts and crafts, food trucks, local dining and even $1 tastings from the Hocking Hills Winery, Brewery 33 and Hocking Hills Moonshine distillery.

WANT TO GO?  

What: Logan Frozen Festival  

When: Saturday, January 19, 2019  

Where: Main Street, Logan, OH 43138  

Cost: Free  

More info: WebsiteFacebook

❄️Meltdown Winter Ice Festival

>>WORTH THE DRIVE: Thousands flock to this Winter Ice Festival happening less than an hour from Dayton

Photo: Richmond Meltdown Ice Festival

The sixth annual Meltdown Winter Ice Festival in Richmond, Ind., is one we think is worth the 50-minute road trip across the state line. Every year, thousands of visitors travel to Richmond to watch world-renowned ice artists transform the town into a winter wonderland. And the best part is it’s entirely free.

>>Dayton Bucket List: 100 things to do in Dayton in 2019

The festival, happening Jan. 25 through Jan. 27, kicks off Friday when the chainsaws and blowtorches fire up. Ice fights, winter activities, competitions and more unique events are set to make it an unforgettable weekend.

WANT TO GO? 

WHAT: Meltdown Winter Ice Festival 

WHEN: Fri.- Sun., Jan. 25- 27 

WHERE: Downtown Richmond, Ind. 

INFO: Website

❄️Mad River Mountain Family Festival

>>Get ready for stilt walkers, epic snowball fights and s’mores at Mad River’s FREE family winter festival

No need for winter when Mad River Mountain provides the snow tubing. CONTRIBUTED

Mad River Mountain in Zanesfield has announced two dates for the Mad River Mountain Family Festival. The festival will include snow activities for all ages, games and giveaways from Mad River and Aspen Ski & Board.

The festival is free. However, skiing, tubing, snowboarding and other regular Mad River activities are still normal price.

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Mad River Mountain Family Festival

WHEN: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 & Monday, Feb. 18

WHERE: Mad River Mountain, 1000 Snow Valley Road, Zanesfield

INFO: Website

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