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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 hockey to craft beer tastings 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. There is an unspoken energy from the fans giving it a concert-like feel that sets the mood for a good time. 

And make sure to swing by The Swamp Shop to pick out your new Walleye gear, and after the game, there are plenty of downtown hot spots for food, drink and live music to keep the party going well into the night. Check the website for all the themed Walleye events happening throughout the season.

Photo by: Toledo Walleye

 

2. Metroparks Winter Outdoor Recreation

You will find plenty of outdoor winter fun at all 16 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 sunset.

Sledding - Metroparks has lighted sledding hills at Side Cut and Pearson 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.

Photo by: Metroparks Toledo

 

3. Craft Beer and Distilleries

The beer scene in the Toledo region is flourishing with several new breweries hitting the town 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. Earnest Brew Works, a brewer-owned and operated brewery and taproom that opened in 2016, has quickly gained a loyal following by offering a great variety of styles at their south Toledo taproom. Great Black Swamp Brewing Company, brewing in Toledo since 2009, opened their Perrysburg tasting room in 2015. Newer to the Toledo beer scene are Inside the Five, Patron Saints Brewery and other favorites include Black Frog Brewery, Upside Brewing and many more. Find our entire list of regional breweries here.

How about some sampling on a larger scale? The Glass City Beer Festival, now in its 14th year, will be held Friday, February 28 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.    

If distilleries are more to your liking, head over to Toledo Spirits to taste test their unique selection of whiskies, gins and vodkas handcrafted using regional ingredients. Settle in to their cozy, new Bellwether sensory-immersive cocktail bar while your bartender creates a handcrafted cocktail sure to warm you up on a winter’s day.

Photo: Toledo Spirits

 

4. An Expanding Toledo Dining Scene

Looking for a new dining adventure? Winter is the perfect time to experience our hip and trendy dining and drinking establishments! Here are some of the latest and greatest...

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.

Craving some classic pizza? Check out The Stubborn Brother Pizza Bar next to the University of Toledo for some Old world style New York pizza created with the freshest locally sourced ingredients. Even the water they use is special; it is filtered and molecularly replicates NYC water!

Set in an industrial-chic motif that achieves a warm inviting atmosphere, Barr’s Public House is a unique gastro-pub that features high quality pub fare, an exquisite wine list, eclectic craft beer selection, and a combo of authentic & creative hand-crafted cocktails.

Located at the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel, the Brim House, serves up 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. Head up to the top floor to The Heights, 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.

Photo by: The Stubborn Brother Pizza Bar

5. A Day at the Museum

Shake off the winter chill and spend a day at the world-renowned 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 glassblowing 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.

TMA also has two jaw-dropping light-based exhibitions this winter as well, head to their website to get your tickets for Anila Quayyum Agha: Between Light and Shadow (on view through Feb. 9, 2020) and Yayoi Kusama: Fireflies on the Water (on view through Apr. 26, 2020).

Photo of Yayoi Kusama: Fireflies on the Water | Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

 

6. The Performing Arts 

Toledo is a city that is proud of its Arts community, and with good reason. Did you know that jazz legend Art Tatum was born and raised right here in Toledo? That’s where our deep jazz roots originate and live on today through the Toledo Jazz Orchestra and the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Society. And word has gotten out about our world-class Toledo Symphony Orchestra, as they were honored with an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. Looking for Broadway shows off Broadway? We have that too! The Stranahan Theater and the Valentine Theatre offer a Broadway Series each season along with a variety of concerts and performances. Also check out the Ballet Theatre of Toledo, Toledo Repertoire Theatre, The Village Players Theatre, Toledo Ballet and The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo for a list of shows and events!

Photo: Toledo Symphony Orchestra

 

7. Local Coffee to Shake off the Cold

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.

Located in the historic Old West End, Black Kite Coffee & Pies brings a hip, bohemian vibe to Toledo’s coffee scene. Independent and locally owned, they specialize in delicious coffees, teas and savory pies, not to mention their completely made from scratch menu of tasty breakfast and brunch items.

With a relaxed atmosphere and central location, BREW Coffee Bar is the perfect place for a work break, business meeting, after dinner coffee/dessert, or just a fun hang out. Make sure to check out Open Mic Night’s the third Wednesday of each month.

Situated in historic Uptown Maumee, Georgette’s Grounds & Gifts offers fair-trade, fresh and unique coffees in a warm and welcoming setting. When you step into Georgette’s, you will find fresh coffee, soups and sandwiches and a gift shop. Georgette’s is part of Sunshine Communities, which supports people with developmental disabilities.

What began in 2010 as a family of home roasters with a passion for coffee, Maddie & Bella has grown to two locations; their first shop in Perrysburg, next to the family home where it all began, and the second location in the trendy St. Clair Village in downtown Toledo’s Warehouse District.

Photo by: Georgette's Grounds & Gifts

 

8. Cabin Fever Weekends at the 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! 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.

Photo by: Toledo Zoo & Aquarium

 

9. Unique Events You Don't Want to Miss

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:

Elevate the StageElevate the Stage presented by ProMedica comes to Toledo Feb. 21-22 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. 7-8 in Bowling Green, Ohio. What started out as a fundraiser 12 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 Northern Illinois.  And don’t miss the Frozen Swamp Tent featuring live entertainment, beer and wine.

Restaurant Week Toledo 2020 – This is your opportunity to enjoy special menus at the Glass City's best locally-owned restaurants from Feb. 24 through March 1 during Restaurant Week Toledo 2020. 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 10 days of Restaurant Week and will feature breakfast, lunch and dinner options (excluding beverages, tax and gratuities).

However you decide to spend your winter weekend in Toledo, be sure to share your photos and adventures with us @toledocvb use #ThisIsToledo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.