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Winter RiverFest returns to Merwin's Wharf with ice skating rink, igloo village and fire pits

Winter River Fest 2020
Winter River Fest 2020
Winter River Fest 2020
Posted at 10:13 AM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 10:13:37-04

CLEVELAND — Rivergate Park and Merwin’s Wharf, located along the Cuyahoga River, will transform into a festive area to celebrate the holiday and winter season. The Cleveland Metroparks announced Monday it’s bringing back Winter RiverFest to the area, with a refrigerated ice skating rink and appearances by the man of the season—Santa.

Winter RiverFest will run Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. 9:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m. from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2.

In addition to the ice skating rink, visitors will enjoy festive decor, a beer garden and fire pits, retail shop and an igloo dining experience along the Cuyahoga River in the Flats.

This year is the first time that the event will feature a seasonal ice skating rink with real ice that can be enjoyed in temperatures up to 80 degrees.

Winter River Fest 2021
Winter River Fest at Merwin's Wharf on January 9, 2021. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

Skating reservations are available in advanced in 90-minute slots. Skating reservations are $12 for ages 6 and up and $5 for ages 3 to 5. Walk-up visits will be accepted based on availability at the time. Private ice rink rentals are also available.

Winter River Fest 2021
Winter River Fest at Merwin's Wharf on January 9, 2021. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

The metroparks said visits with Santa will occur on select weekends during the event with additional appearances during holiday hours.

At Winter RiverFest, igloo village will give visitors the chance to enjoy a special winter menu focused on shareable items under the heated domes. The igloo rentals can accommodate up to eight guests and can be reserved online.

Rentals start at $50 with a two-hour minimum, plus a food and drink minimum.

Indoor dining at Merwin’s Wharf will also be available soon a first-come, first-served basis.

Visitors can also check off items from their Christmas shopping lists at the RiverFest shop, which will feature Cleveland Metroparks branded apparel, personal care items and kids’ merchandise.

Winter River Fest 2020
Winter River Fest at Merwin's Wharf on December 5, 2020. (Kyle Lanzer/Cleveland Metroparks)

“We want the time people spend outside or in their yards to be the best part of their day,” said Troy-Bilt’s Brand Manager, Barbara Roueche. “We are proud to partner with Cleveland Metroparks to bring forward a fun and interactive opportunity, like Winter RiverFest, for families to take the time to enjoy a beautiful space in Northeast Ohio.”

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