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Family Guide to 2013 Motown Winter Blast

Motown Winter Blast
(credit: Motown Winter Blast/Facebook)

Detroit's Motown Winter Blast was originally intended to showcase the downtown area to travelers attending Super Bowl XL. The event was such a hit that it's still going strong seven years after the Detroit Super Bowl. Winter Blast gives Detroiters a chance to enjoy fun outdoor activities while adding to the economy, increasing a sense of community and promoting quality of life.

Winter Blast Basics

Campus Martius Park
800 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 963-8418

Dates: Feb. 8 through Feb. 10
Hours: Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission: Canned food item, children's book or $1 per person per day

Campus Martius serves as the focal point of Winter Blast, with events and attractions arranged throughout and around the park. The festival highlights fun winter activities along with the local music scene. Around 75,000 spectators are expected to attend the weekend-long event. Winter Blast has teamed up with Matrix Human Services to benefit the "Break the Ice" initiative, aimed at ending the generational cycle of poverty in Detroit. Parking is available at several garages in the area. Event organizers recommend the Compuware parking garage as the best option; the garage is charging a special daily rate of $5 for the weekend.

Activities at Winter Blast

The ever-popular free ice skating on the park's skating rink returns for 2013. Skate rental is $3. Other winter activities include an ice sculpture garden, show shoe trails, a dog sledding exhibition and professional ice skating demonstrations. Two stages feature musical performances, with more than 50 acts performing over the weekend. A kid zone, carnival rides and games, marshmallow roasts and hot chocolate will keep kids happy, and heated tents or buildings every 150 feet ensure visitors have ample opportunities to come in from the cold.

Related: Best Places For Cold Weather Activities With Your Kids In Detroit

Where to Eat
The "Taste of Detroit" exhibition features food and drinks from many Metro-area restaurants. If you're looking for a more formal or sit-down meal, however, Detroit offers a variety of quality establishments not far from Campus Martius.

Fountain Bistro
800 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 237-7778

The obvious choice for Winter Blast dining is Fountain Bistro, located in Campus Martius Park and one of Detroit's premier dining spots. The French-inspired cuisine has won the restaurant numerous accolades and awards.

Small Plates
1521 Broadway St.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 963-0702

Small Plates, located just a few blocks from Winter Blast, offers diners a one-of-a-kind experience. Communal seating provides the chance for stimulating conversation and a diverse selection of dishes brings together the best flavors from around the world.Related: Best Pet-Friendly Restaurants in the Detroit Area

Can't Miss Attractions

Greektown Casino Ice Garden

No winter festival is complete without ice sculptures, and the Winter Blast ice garden exceeds expectations. The intricate and beautiful sculptures are lighted to enhance the detailed work. Ice carving demonstrations run throughout the day on Friday. Consider bringing along a camera to set up a wintry scene for your 2013 holiday cards.

Bar Blast

The 21-and-up Winter Blast after party keeps the festivities going with a pub crawl among a variety of downtown establishments. On Saturday from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m., warm up with some delicious libations. A $5 wristband provides cover-free admission and continuous shuttle service between the bars. The Westin Book Cadillac is offering a reduced room rate for those partiers who want to imbibe without worrying about driving home.

Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor's degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at
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