WinterFest will be held in Palmer Park this weekend and families can ice-skate, sled and enjoy live performances. (City of Detroit photo)

There are two winter festivals coming to Detroit this weekend. BridgeDetroit breaks down the low-cost or free events for families that want to enjoy the winter weather and celebrate the Detroit love.  


Detroit Parks and Recreation is launching its inaugural WinterFest at Palmer Park this weekend, and the all-ages event is free and open to the public. 

Jeremy Thomas, the department’s communications and marketing manager, said activities include ice-skating, snowshoeing, a sledding hill, food trucks, arts and crafts, and a live performance from the Detroit Youth Choir. The Detroit Red Wings community relations team will also be there leading a 3-on-3 ice hockey demonstration.

According to the website, Detroiters can take free shuttles to Palmer Park from the Adams Butzel Complex, Patton Recreation Center, Kemeny Recreation Center and Heilmann Recreation Center. 

“We know transportation is sometimes a barrier in the city, so we wanted to provide that option, not only for people that use our centers, but for anyone that is interested in coming,” Thomas said. 

The shuttles run on a half-hour basis starting an hour before the event, and will run an hour after the event ends. 

The WinterFest at Palmer Park (910 Merrill Plaisance St., Detroit) runs 4-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m.Sunday. 

Motown Love

If you want to have fun on the riverfront this weekend, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is hosting Motown Love this weekend. All three days are to be  filled with activities ranging from Friday night’s “Love Letters to Detroit” writing workshop and open mic to Sunday’s “All Day Galentine’s Day” celebration. 

Chiara Clayton, a communications specialist with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, said this is the second year the Riverfront Conservancy is programming winter activities. Clayton said Detroiters are no strangers to winter and snow, but few get to enjoy it.  

“We have so many beautiful outdoor spaces within Detroit and within Michigan, we should definitely offer programming and events to get people to come out when it’s free so you can bring the family, and it could be for everybody,” Clayton said. 

Other activities include ice sculpting, live music, dance parties, wine-tasting and tarot card readings. The only activities that require pre-registration are the writing workshop and the horse carriage rides. Motown Love is a free event, but the carriage rides cost $40. 

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is hosting Motown Love. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride or learn to write a love letter this weekend. (Detroit Riverfront Conservancy photo)

Clayton said because of  the COVID-19 pandemic, having fun outdoor events is more important now than ever. 

“Coming out of the pandemic, we want to have something fun to do outside, and to be able to get out and be safe after two difficult years is something a lot of us need right now,” she said. 

Motown Love will be held at Valade Park (2670 Atwater St., Detroit) from 4-8 p.m. Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. 

Bryce Huffman is a reporter for BridgeDetroit. He was formerly a reporter for Michigan Radio, and host of the podcast, Same Same Different.

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