Lorain County Metro Parks: Winter Days Festival

January 15, 11am-4pm
Vermilion River Reservation

Chase away the winter blues at Lorain County Metro Parks’ Winter Days Festival on January 15th from 11am to 4pm. Both high school culinary students and professional ice carvers will demonstrate their skills by transforming blocks of ice in masterpieces. Enjoy free sleigh rides, a sled dog team demonstration, an ice harvesting exhibit and video, Bacon House Museum tours, refreshments, and of course places to relax in our Carriage Barn by a roaring fire! Weather permitting, the sledding hill will also be open and snow sculptures are encouraged. You can also try out snowshoes at 2pm and 3pm. Preregistration is required for the snowshoe hikes. Call (440) 458-5121 to register. Bring the family to take advantage of this unique opportunity, get some exercise, and enjoy a winter weekend!

This Sunday’s PhotoPhun Challenge is “Ice”. Lisa, Ree and I have plans to be here this Saturday, taking pictures, everyone with the same photo ops. Sunday, we’ll post the pics, untagged (no names), and we’d like you to vote for which photo looks best. Better yet, come on out and join us! It’s a good time – there’s cookies and coffee and hot cocoa and fun things for the kids to do inside, with the fire blazing.


Winter Days Festival 2010

Avoid the indoor blues and come out to enjoy a day at the park! Ice carving, sleigh rides, dogsled demonstrations (and dogs!), Benjamin Bacon Museum tours, kids crafts, hikes, food and fun! Sledding hill open and ice harvesting demonstrations (weather permitting). Snowshoe hikes on the hour from 1-3 (weather permitting). Join us for the outdoor activities then warm up in front of a roaring fire in the Carriage Barn.

Saturday, January 16 from 11am – 4pm
Sunday, January 17 from 12pm – 4pm


Metroparks Winter Days Festival – Day Two

What a difference a day makes!

Sunday dawned with a few more inches of snow, and the mercury a little higher on the thermometer. And that made it more comfortable for folks to attend the 2nd day of the Lorain County MetroParks Winter Days Festival at Mill Hollow. A good-sized line for horse-drawn sleigh rides, people watching the ice carving, folks petting the huskies before a sled demonstration, and getting warm by the fire inside with hot chocolate, coffee and cookies.

“Timber”, the husky, was looking for some lovin’ from this little lady, whose cheeks are pinker than her coat.

This lady and her grandkids were second in line for sleigh rides today.

And everyone wanted a chance to pet the horses in between rides.

Fortunately, there were 2 ice carvers today, and this swan was the result of the first demonstration.

The carver is just getting underway with the next sculpture.

Here, some detail is added to the fish,

and the finishing touch applied here.

A run with the huskies,

and then a breather for the dogs after a job well done.

Across the bridge at Bacon Woods,

there was lots of fun goin’ on!!

Miles of smiles,

a little nervousness,

and more than a few blood-curdling screams!!

After all was said and done, it was a great day at Mill Hollow. With everyone really involved with the many activities, I didn’t hear a soul complain about the cold. 

So, if you missed it this year, make it a point to attend next year. You’ll be glad you did!

Here’s some video of the carving of the Ice Swan:


Metroparks Winter Days Festival – Day One

I got to Mill Hollow early enough because I wanted some video of the ice carvers doing their thing, right from the start. So, when I walked up, the first things I saw were the blocks of ice. Perfect!


While the crew was setting up stands, and stoking the fire inside, I looked around.

The huskies seemed pretty comfortable considering the single-digit temperature.

I went inside the building, to check out the activities inside while things were being set up outside. I overheard from the park staff that the 11 ice carvers from the high school called and canceled this morning! Lindsay Miller, Program Naturalist for the Vermilion Reservation said she’d left a message for the professional carver, to see if he could come today, as well as tomorrow (Sunday), but she wasn’t sure.

So, since I was all dressed up with nowhere else to go, I roamed around Mill Hollow and the Bacon Woods area for the next 90 minutes.

One of the things that fascinates me about Mill Hollow in the winter is that the water that trickles down the cliff walls in the summer, freezes in the winter, making for a gorgeous sight.

Just incredible.

On a smaller scale, if you look close, Mother Nature does some fine detail work, too.

I’ll be back there tomorrow to catch the pro at the ice carving. Here’s a video I shot of the easternmost cliff and the ice that’s formed on it. Pretty peaceful.



Lorain County Metroparks Winter Days Festival

Looking for an activity to chase away the Winter Blues? This January 17th and 18th let the Lorain County Metro Parks help your family experience the beauty of winter at Winter Days at Vermilion River Reservation. You will be able to enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities that are all about winter!

On Saturday January 17th from 10am-4pm we will be hosting local High School culinary students as they compete in an ice carving competition. Carving will begin at 10am sharp with prizes awarded at 2pm. On Sunday January 18th from 11am-4pm professional ice carvers will demonstrate their skills. Both days will also include free sleigh rides, an ice harvesting exhibit and video, Bacon House Museum tours, refreshments (fee), kid’s crafts, and of course a chance to relax in our heated Carriage Barn with a roaring fire! Weather permitting, the sledding hill will also be open and snow sculptures will be encouraged.

Do come bundled up this weekend, as the forecast is for bitterly cold temperatures (just like last year!). Hope to see you there!!