If you’re looking for a fun winter festival in the Midwest, you’ll want to check out the Meltown Winter Ice Festival in Richmond, Indiana.
During the ice festival guests will observe blocks of ice being transformed into incredible sculptures by professional artists.
I’m sharing more about what to expect at the annual Meltdown Winter Ice Festival along with tips before you go for the whole family.
Thanks again to Visit Richmond for our visit. This article contains affiliate links.
What is the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival?
The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival is a free festival for all ages featuring professional ice carvers and artists who transform over 20,000 pounds of ice into amazing ice sculptures throughout Richmond’s city center.
When is the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival?
The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival is January 26-27, 2024.
Where is the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival?
Most of the events take place in and around Jack Elstro Plaza at 47 N 6th Street in downtown Richmond, Indiana. Richmond is in Wayne County in east central Indiana.
Is the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival Free?
The majority of events at the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival are FREE! This is a great event for family fun or a kid-free adventure as a day trip or weekend getaway.
Where Should You Park for the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival?
There are public parking lots throughout the downtown area and the Richmond Depot District and most streets in the area are available for free street parking.
FYI – There are no parking meters in Richmond!
The city has developed an online map detailing the available places to park in the area. Since most of the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival events take place in and around Jack Elstro Plaza, the closest parking lots are the North 6th Street Lot (The Legion Lot), the Downtown Parking Garage, and the South 6th Street Lot (The Elder-Beerman Lot).
Admire the Frozen Art Gallery at the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival
You’ll want to have your camera ready because there are so many photo ops throughout the festival.
The amazing ice sculptures are so creative and many of them are also interactive for guests to take pictures. In fact the Family Fun Zone at the festival is designed for guests to interact with sculptures.
Guest can admire the ice carvings upclose in between the lively winter activities during the free event.
I really enjoyed watching the ice sculpting in action by the ice carvers. At night the colorful lights enhance the features of the sculptures in a different vantage point than the daylight.
Previous years of the Meltdown Ice Festival have featured a giant throne, ice slide, frosty mug pub crawl, scavenger hunt, live music and more!
What Should You Wear to the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival?
Indiana weather can be pretty unpredictable during the winter months. Richmond, Indiana averages around 35 degrees during the month of January.
There are lots of outdoor activities going on throughout downtown Richmond which aren’t a problem if you are dressed in layers.
It’s perfectly acceptable and not odd to walk around wearing your snow pants on really cold days or evenings. Dressing warm helps you enjoy the festival for longer especially if you’re traveling with younger kids.
There are plenty of wonderful local businessness downtown where you can warm up dine and shop in between enjoying the ice sculptures.
I’d recommend bringing a backpack so that you have a place to store extra winter apparel and snacks as you need them.
What is the Meltdown Throwdown?
The Meltdown Throwdown is a competition between two teams of skilled ice carvers competing on stage while they transform solid blocks of ice into a work of art.
The main event takes place at Jack Elstro Plaza on Saturday night at 7:30 PM.
The ice fights competition uses both skill and speed as the best ice sculptors create custom ice carvings to be judged by the public.
Special Events at the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival
There are plenty of exciting events and activities to enjoy the whole weekend during the Meltdown Ice Festival. There are daily special events during the duration of the festival.
Wednesday, January 24, 2024
- 3:30-4:30 PM Meet an Ice Carver – 80 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
- 5:30 PM Chili for Charity – 80 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
Thursday, January 25, 2024
- 5:30 PM Frozen Costume Contest with Ullery’s Ice Cream – 411 N 8th St, Richmond, IN
Friday, January 26, 2024
- 2 PM LIVE Ice Carving – 47 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
- 5:30-8 PM Meltdown Pizza Party – 820 E Main St, Richmond, IN
- 5:30- 10 PM Family Fun Zone – 47 N Sixth St., Richmond, IN
- 6 PM LIVE Ice Carving – 47 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
- 6 – 10 PM – Food Trucks – 47 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
Saturday, January 27, 2024
- 9 AM – 12 PM Richmond Farmers Market – 101 S 1st Street, Richmond, IN
- 9 AM – 10PM – Family Fun Zone – 47 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
- 10 AM – 2PM – Hot Chocolate at Hayes Arboretum – 801 Elks Road, Richmond, IN
- 12 PM – 10PM Food Trucks – 47 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
- 1 PM – 4 PM Ice Age Activity Stations – Joseph Moore Museum, Richmond, IN
- 1 PM – 4 PM Meltdown Pop-In Market – 724 E Main Street, Richmond, IN
- 4 PM Ice Cream Eating Contest – 47 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
- 7 PM Meltdown Throwdown & Fireworks – 47 N 6th Street, Richmond, IN
Book Your Hotel or Vacation Rental in Richmond, Indiana
If you’re looking for a vacation rental in Richmond, Indiana, I highly recommend The Starr Loft. It’s a beautiful loft that sleeps 6 inside a building in downtown Richmond.
There is one bedroom, one large bathroom and an open common space with an additonal bed.
If you prefer hotels here are a few recommendations in Richmond, Indiana.
Looking for More Fun Things to Do in Richmond, Indiana?
While you’re in Richmond you’ll definitely want to check out their local attractions, restaurants and The Chocolate Trail.