This Is Toledo Logo
This Is Toledo Logo

9 Reasons to Visit Toledo this Winter

Feeling the winter blues? Toledo's got the cure for your cabin fever! There's plenty of things to do in Toledo this winter, but here's our top 9 suggestions to get you started!

The winter season in Toledo offers tons of activities, attractions and events to appeal to all ages. From ice skating to craft beer festivals to a slew of tempting new restaurants, you’ll find your own definition of fun. And not to mention attractive off-season hotel rates. Make your plans to visit today and get out there and enjoy!

1. Hockey Galore and More!

The wide appeal of attending a Toledo Walleye game is that you don’t have to be a local, or even a die-hard Walleye fan to enjoy a night of hockey at the Huntington Center arena in downtown Toledo. And this year, the Toledo Walleye have a lot to celebrate. The organization is celebrating its 10th anniversary of East Coast Hockey League action. And there are plenty of special events planned to appeal to families, friends and fans of all ages.

Mark your calendars! We're getting ever so close to hosting the 2019 CCM / ECHL All-Star Weekend, presented by ProMedica! You'll want to be here for this once-in-a-generation event, taking place from Jan. 18-21, but you need to your get tickets now!  Other great family friendly events include Paws and Pucks nights Jan. 27, post-game open skates Feb. 10, 17 and March 3, Princess Palooza Feb. 17 and Nickelodeon Weekend March 2-3.  

2. Great Local Breweries & Craft Beer Festivals

The beer scene in the Toledo region is flourishing with several new breweries hitting the town this past year making northwest Ohio a true craft beer destination. Maumee Bay Brewing Company located downtown, is the anchor that kicked off the craft beer culture in Toledo. Opening in 2015, Black Cloister Brewing Company has quickly found its niche in downtown Toledo with it “Brew Good, Do Good” attitude and a great variety of styles.  New to the scene this past year are Inside the Five and Patron Saints Brewery. Other favorites include Earnest Brew Works, Black Frog Brewery, Great Black Swamp Brewing Company and many more. Find our entire list!

How about some sampling and seasonal tastings on a larger scale? Check out our annual big winter brew fests.

Winter Brewfest
Tap the kegs, pop the cans and get ready to experience one of the best winter events of the year - the 5th Annual Winter Brewfest. This premier outdoor event will take place Saturday, March 9 at Fifth Third Field. This year will be the best Brewfest yet, showcasing pours from 70 breweries from around the country offering more than 250 craft beers and ciders. Brewfest was rescheduled due to a winter storm on the original date. All tickets already purchased will be honored on the rescheduled date.

Glass City Beer Festival
Now in its 13th year, the Glass City Beer Festival will be held Friday, March 1 at its new location at the Stranahan Theater Great Hall. Beer lovers rejoice as you sample new brews and classics from some 40 craft breweries, showcasing more than 230 beers from all over the nation. Hit the dance floor as 56 DAZE kicks out your favorite jams from classic to current turning this into a true party.

3. Outdoor Adventures at Toledo Metroparks

You will find plenty of outdoor winter fun at all 17 of our beautiful Metroparks situated throughout Toledo and Lucas County. From snowshoeing to ice-skating, there is a winter adventure awaiting any skill level. Whether or not there’s a cover of snowfall, you will still enjoy the natural beauty at any one of our Metroparks.

Cross-Country Skiing - Glide quietly through the winter landscape on groomed or ungroomed trails with miles of natural area to explore on skis. 

Ice Skating - Looking for a place to lace up your skates and enjoy nature in her winter beauty? At Pearson, lights have been added near the lake so you can continue ice skating even after the sun sets.

Sledding - Metroparks has lighted sledding hills at Side Cut Park and Pearson Park that stay open after dark for great family fun. Bring your sled or disc and enjoy the snow!

Snowshoeing - Strap on a pair of Metroparks snowshoes and explore a winter wonderland by registering for one of our programs. Or bring your own and explore any of our Metroparks trails.

Visit metroparkstoledo.com for more info about these activities and our amazing area metroparks!

 

4. An Expanding Toledo Dining Scene

Looking for a new dining adventure? Winter is the perfect time to experience our newly opened dining and drinking establishments! Here are some of the hottest ones you need to try!

Known for creating healthy, local cuisine, with organic, vegan and gluten free options, Fowl & Fodder recently opened its second location in a 130 year old building in the heart of downtown Toledo. 

The Chop House is a destination restaurant perfect for special occasions and also a great place for guests to relax and enjoy the bar and lounge. Savor exceptional cuts of USDA Prime beef, enjoy the freshest seafood and delight in house-made from scratch desserts.

Located downtown in the heart of Hensville, Holy Toledo! Tavern combines Toledo’s rich history, local flavor and a fresh approach to casual dining. Among the favorites are the Loaded Tavern Tots topped with mouth-watering braised beef, cheese and more deliciousness.  

Started by two University of Toledo graduates, Balance Pan-Asian Grille serves up fresh Asian-Fusion meals, including snacks, build-a-bowls, tacos and seasonal specials where every ingredient is prepared from whole form, right in the restaurant.

Located at the new Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel, The Heights, is a one of a kind rooftop bar offering stunning 360 sweeping skyline views. It’s a perfect stop to unwind with a glass of wine or craft cocktail, small plates or wood-fired pizza.

At the Brim House, diners will enjoy classic American in a contemporary setting with an open kitchen concept and spectacular views of the Maumee River. Their lively bar and lounge serves up an array of craft cocktails, beer and a top-notch wine list.

For a true taste of Toledo dining, join us for Restaurant Week!

Restaurant Week Toledo 2019
This is your opportunity to enjoy special menus at the Glass City's best locally-owned restaurants from Feb. 25 through March 3 during Restaurant Week Toledo 2019. Each of the nearly 40 participating restaurants has developed special prix-fixe menus with cuisine sure to please any palette. We recommend you make reservations now as this annual event gains in popularity. These special menus are only available during the days of Restaurant Week and will feature breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee options.

 

5. Our World-Renowned Toledo Museum of Art

Shake off the winter chill and spend a day at the Toledo Museum of Art. Visitors will find one of the finest and most diverse collections of artwork in the country. Discover more than 30,000 treasures ranging from ancient Egyptian pieces to contemporary art, including glass, sculpture, European and American painting, African and Asian art, graphic arts and decorative arts.

The Glass Pavilion, located across from the main museum, introduces visitors to Toledo Museum of Art's world-renowned glass collection. You’ll discover 5,000 works of art from ancient to contemporary times. And, if you never visited the Glass Pavilion, you’ll be amazed that the museum is actually an all-glass building creating a transparent structure overlooking a beautiful park setting.

 

An awesome daily events schedule awaits you – excluding Mondays – with Glass Blowing Demonstrations happening each day at 2 p.m. with additional times scheduled daily. Docent led tours of spectacular exhibitions bring artwork to life, and the Family Center introduces children to the joy of creating their very own masterpiece!  Admission is always free and make sure to visit The Museum Café and the Museum Store featuring collector’s corner.

 

6. Local Coffee Shops

A classic cappuccino. A bold espresso. A soothing latte. Whatever choice of liquid energy you prefer, you’ll be savoring every last drop at these Toledo area locally owned coffee houses.

Check out Maddie & Bella Coffee Roasters at one of their two area locations in Perrysburg and Downtown Toledo. Taste-test drip brew versus manual brew and decide for yourself which method tickles your fancy. You can order the classic espresso, Americano, or macchiato, but you may find yourself compelled to order originals like the cappuccino with cereal milk, or mocha blended with ancho chili pepper. 

At Plate One the baristas take pride – and add their own artistic flair – to every coffee drink they serve up and use only the finest ingredients from Madcap Coffee, one of the top roasters in the country. You can also check our their other location, Plate 21, in South Toledo not far from the Toledo Zoo!

At The Flying Joe, select an expertly brewed classic cortado, cappuccino or the non-traditional favorite, honey and cinnamon latte. You’ll find surprising seasonal selections like Cardamom Rose Latte or a Honey and Lavender Latte. Cocktails anyone? The Flying Joe serves up a nice variety of seasonal beer, wine and hand-crafted cocktails at Levis Commons in Perrysburg.

 

7. Cabin Fever Weekends at Toledo Zoo

The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 individual animals representing over 720 species. And you might be surprised to find that a lot of animals that call our zoo home – including the polar bears – are much more active in the winter. Another reason to visit the zoo during the winter months is the great deal on ticket prices!

And you’ll find these great savings during Cabin Fever Weekends. Bundle up to beat the winter blahs with half price admission and unique Zoo experiences, crafts, games and much more each Saturday, along with a full schedule of animal encounters, feeds and demonstrations each Sunday. Cabin Fever Weekends are held every weekend in January and February.

 

8. Downtown Ice Skating

Lace up your skates and join the fun at One SeaSkate, an outdoor ice skating rink located in downtown Toledo next to the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel, now open through Feb. 28. Don’t own your own skates? Skate rental is only two bucks. Worried your skate date might be ruined by warm winter weather? No problem! The rink surface is synthetic ice, so in most cases, it will remain open for all posted hours.

 

9. Can't-Miss Events

Winter is the perfect time to take a road trip for a family getaway, a change of scenery and a new adventure. Here are some unique events to help you plan your journey:

2019 CCM / ECHL All-Star Weekend 
Coming to town Jan. 18-21, the All-Star Weekend activities include the All-Star Weekend Fanfest at Hensville Park, Winterfest Youth Hockey Tournament and Championship capped off by the highlight event of the All-Star Weekend, the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic and Skills Competition, taking place on Jan. 21. The All-Star Classic features a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. Get all the details here from our own Toledo Walleye.

Elevate the Stage
Elevate the Stage presented by ProMedica comes to Toledo Feb. 22-24 at the Huntington Center and SeaGate Convention Centre. This unique gymnastics competition welcomes gymnasts of all ages from all over the country to compete on an elevated stage known as a podium. Podiums are typically seen at NCAA Championships, World Championships or other high-level events like the Olympics. You’ll be dazzled by the skill and talent brought to life in front of your eyes!

Winterfest BG Chillabration
Hands-down one of the “coolest” events of the year, the Winterfest BG Chillabration takes place Feb. 8-9 in Bowling Green, Ohio. What started out as a fundraiser 11 years ago featuring ice sculptures and carriage rides, has turned into a full-fledged celebration of winter with tons of family fun activities including ice skating, ice carving demonstrations, scavenger hunts, a chocolate crawl (yum!) and cookie decorating.  Catch the Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team take on their arch rival, University of Toledo or the women’s match-up versus Miami of Ohio. And don’t miss the Frozen Swamp Tent featuring live entertainment, beer and wine.

Fire + Ice Winter Festival
Join a few thousand of your friends Feb. 21-23 for three days of outdoor winter festivities during Fire + Ice Winter Festival at Promenade Park. Grab your scarf and gloves and embrace winter while enjoying ice skating, video games on the big screen, fire throwers, face painting, zip lining, a mobile escape room and plenty more.  Grab some hot chocolate and take a break to warm your hands and toes in a heated tent before checking out the live music and entertainment. A spectacular firework display will light up the sky Saturday night to mark the end of the festival.

 

However you decide to spend your winter weekend in Toledo, be sure to share your photos and adventures with us by tagging @toledocvb using #ThisIsToledo!