First Toledo Walleye Winterfest Packed with Fun
By James Proffitt

First Toledo Walleye Winterfest Packed with Fun

The very first Toledo Walleye Winterfest is going on and there’s a little bit of something for everyone, including plenty of hockey and skating.


Fifth Third Field’s temporary outdoor rink will host dozens of hockey games during the very first Toledo Walleye Winterfest.

Over the course of the 10-day event, more than 75 hockey games will be played on the outside hockey rink at Fifth Third Field, including the first-ever ECHL game played outside on Jan. 3. From Jan. 1 to Jan. 4, a youth hockey tournament will be played at four Toledo-area venues, with the championship games played on the outdoor rink.

On Jan. 2, the Walleye Winter Brewfest will be held at Fifth Third Field, and will feature more than 250 beers crafted at American breweries as far away as Hawaii.


Former Toledo Goalddiggers goalie Ted Tucker is interviewed at Huntington Center along with Muddy from the Toledo Mud Hens

On Jan. 3, Bowling Green University will play Robert Morris on the outdoor rink.  The following day will see Toledo and Fort Wayne alumni game followed by the Toledo Walleye vs. the Fort Wayne Komets.


Young players get ice time on Friday, the first day of the very first Toledo Walleye Winterfest.

Community members are invited to skate on the outdoor rink on Dec. 29 and 31.  The one-hour sessions cost $7 and folks are encouraged to bring their own skates.  Rentals will be available for $3.

And no matter how chilly it might get at Fifth Third Field, there will be plenty of hot chocolate, cinnamon-roasted almonds and other cold-weather treats to make everything better.


While not as convincing at the dinosaur in the background, an Imagination Station educator gives it his all at Huntington Center.

While hockey is the centerpiece of Winterfest, it is surrounded by family-friendly events that are mostly within a five-minute walk of Fifth-Third Field.  The Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas will run through Jan. 4 and features more than 1 million lights.  Imagination Station’s Frostology and dinosaur experiences will also run through Jan. 4.

The nearby Toledo Museum of Art will host free art activities and artist performances for more than a week.  On Jan. 3, Shared Lives Studio will host the Positive Exposures Exhibit, featuring the (for sale) work of artists with developmental disabilities.

On Jan. 2, artists at Gathered Art Gallery will entertain visitors with hot glass demonstrations and on Jan. 3 and 4 the gallery will host guests for glass blowing workshops.


An indoor zipline was one of the most exciting activities at Huntington Center.

“If a family comes in for a game,” said Andi Roman, media relations manager for the Toledo Walleye and Mud Hens, “they should come early and check out some of the other venues. This event gives us a chance to showcase all of our treasures and shows that Toledo can be a great destination place in winter.”

Some events are ticketed, and some are free. For a complete list of events and details click here.


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