Frankenmuth Snowfest at Zehnder's: Incredible Ice Carving Festival and Competition in Michigan! +Eat Famous Frankenmuth Fried Chicken and Shop at the River Place Shops

Frankenmuth Snowfest at Zehnder's: Incredible Ice Carving Festival and Competition in Michigan! +Eat Famous Frankenmuth Fried Chicken and Shop at the River Place Shops | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

Do you love Michigan winter ice carving festivals?  

Every January, Zehnder's throws one heck of a Frankenmuth Snowfest festival.  It's a great excuse to bundle up in the middle of Michigan's winter and eat some famous Frankenmuth fried chicken, shop at the River Place Shops and of course, watch amazingly talented ice artists carve massive slabs of ice into submission! 

Snowfest is one of my favorite things to do in Michigan in winter!

Grab the date of Snowfest here!

Insider Frankenmuth Snowfest Tips

  • Arrive early.  See my notes in the next section about that. 
  • If you want to indulge in a famous chicken dinner, I would make reservations immediately upon arriving. 
  • Take note of the tiny clay sculptures on display in front of the ice sculptures.  It shows you the intent of what the finished ice sculpture will look like.
  • Weekday visits are much less busy so it's easier to park and navigate.
  • Bathrooms are located in the Bavarian Inn and Zehnder's restaurants.
  • If the weather is exceedingly cold, check out the warming tent located in Zehnder's parking lot.  They also have maps of the festival.  
  • If you are limited on time, the majority of the sculptures are located within Zehnder's and Bavarian Inn's parking lots. 
  • If you appreciate good beer, then you won’t want to miss Zehnder’s Snowfest Tap Takeover in Zehnder’s Tap Room. 
  • For a festival map and a complete schedule of events, visit Zehnder's Snowfest Schedule.

Best Time to Attend the Frankenmuth Snowfest 

If you are looking to enjoy this Frankenmuth ice festival without mass crowds, I would recommend going during the week and arrive before noon. The only thing to know is that the sculptures will not be finished yet. 

But that's also my favorite time to go! I relish in watching the talented snow artists perfect their sculptures.  It's like magic as they transform the massive blocks of ice or snow into realistic rabbits, spiders, dragons or anything the artist can fathom! 

I like going to Frankenmuth Snow Fest about two days after the festival starts because the artists are well into their sculptures but it's not the last day so they have time to talk and interact with you.  In other words, they are not panicked as the time frame creeps near.  

Watch an Artist Wield a Massive Saw to transform a Giant Ice Sculpture During the Frankenmuth Ice Festival!

Where to Park During Frankenmuth Snowfest

Like I mentioned above, I would arrive well before noon if you want to park near the sculptures. The best place to park, in my opinion, is right behind Zehnder's Restaurant.  They have a monster paved lot, but it will be packed after noon.  Parking is also available in the Bavarian Inn lot and River Place Shops. 

Share This Post With Friends Planning to Attend the Festival!

Keep Reading!

Subscribe To Receive Exciting Destinations, Day Trips and Fun Directly to Your Inbox!

Traveling Michigan NewsletterTraveling Michigan Newsletter

Sign Up to Our Newsletter to Get the 5 Free Must Have Apps to Travel in Michigan Like a Boss!

Follow Us On Instagram!

View this post on Instagram

Zehnder's Snowfest was a blast yet again this year! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I absolutely adore seeing people create their craft! And I certainly wasn't disappointed...these artists were hardcore! The weather was excruciatingly cold, around 11 degrees, yet there were out there carving, chopping and grinding these monster chunks of ice into submission.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So I spoke to one carver just before I left and he told me he created a huge swan in 2018 and FIVE MINUTES before judging his entire sculpture shattered due to higher temps. Can you imagine the disappointment???⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #frankenmuth #frankenmuthmichigan #seefrankenmuth #puremichigan #waterwheel #Michigan #greatlakesstate #travelingmichigan #michiganders #monday #mondaymood #mondayinspiration #zehnderssnowfest #getoutside #photooftheday #traveling #adventureislife #travel #travelphotography #icesculptures #winter #letswinter #thegreatlakesstate #onlyinmichigan #greatlakesloving ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #michiganunsalted #michiganaddict #onlyinmichigan #mittenlove #snowfestimpressions @zehnders

A post shared by Sherry+Chris❤️Travel Michigan (@travelingmichigan) on

Have A Great Tip to Share About Frankenmuth?

Do you have a great tip about visiting Frankenmuth? Share it!

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures related to your tip! (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

  1. Traveling Michigan Home Page
  2.  ›
  3. Frankenmuth-Snowfest

Love Adventures?
Join our network of Traveling Michigan Explorers! 

We'll send you the best local adventures, upcoming events, tips and inspiration right to your inbox! Sign Up Now

October Events
November Events