Chestnut Hill on Ice is the coolest event of the year

Live sculpting, CH on Ice
Live sculpting at Chestnut Hill on Ice
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Embracing the best parts of the chilly season, Chestnut Hill’s annual winter festival kicks off next weekend in Philly.

Chestnut Hill on Ice features a slew of seasonal activities spanning from an iceless skating rink, live ice carvings, an ice bar and more — and there will be some new activities in it for 2022 as well. But, first, there are some old favorites returning for the ice-filled event.

World-renowned ice sculptor Peter Slavin and his team from Ice Sculpture Philly will be there showing off their masterfully crafted ice sculptures along Germantown Avenue on Friday, Jan. 28 (from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) and Saturday, Jan. 29 (from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.). Ice Sculpture Philly has reached recognition as the world’s first performance ice sculpting company, combining action, adventure, humor, drama and audience participation — and those at the festival will get to see it all first-hand.

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Another fan favorite is the iceless skating rink, which invites skaters of all ages every year to gear up and try out the 960 square-foot venue. Tickets are priced at $15 for this activity, and it’s recommended that you buy them in advance. The rink will be located at 150 E. Evergreen Ave. and will be open Saturday, Jan. 29, from noon to 5 p.m.

To stay warm, Philadelphians can sit around the ice bonfire, which will be the grand finale of the two-day event on that Saturday. From 5:30 p.m. through the night, those who attend can soak in the 8-foot fire enclosed in ice at 150 E. Evergreen Ave.

However, the Ice Bar at Market at the Fareway hosted by Chestnut Hill Brewing Company is another way to keep your spirits warm. Chestnut Hill will host an outdoor ice bar carved entirely out of ice blocks in its outdoor beer garden located at 8221 Germantown Ave. While there, visitors can enjoy ice-cold locally-brewed beers, wines and hot drinks at their outdoor ice bar.

To help with cold temperatures, warming stations will also be available in the form of  fire pits located along Germantown Avenue, offering attendees the chance to warm up while enjoying warm adult- and children-friendly beverages and snacks. Stateside Vodka will also offer bottle sales at their mobile bar at Laurel Hill Gardens (8125 Germantown Ave.) on Friday and Saturday.

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While you work up an appetite, Chestnut Hill on Ice’s popular chili specials competition will be back for its third year. Organizers invite Chestnut Hill’s restaurants to engage in a friendly competition to see who can cook up the most delicious chili, and visitors can taste one or taste them all while exploring the festival. A full list of participating contenders can be found online.

For live music, Dan Stepanukha will be performing covers on the 29th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chestnut Hill Brewing Company (8231 Germantown Ave). While there, audiences can sit outside, enjoy some tunes, and relax with an extensive list of beers and boozy cocktails that can be enjoyed in an ice mug. New for this season is a winter-themed cocktail— a salted caramel vodka hot chocolate.

Earlier in the day, a more family-friendly activity involving Snow Queens will be taking place from noon to 2 p.m. While there, families can catch a glimpse of the Snow Queen and her friend Ice Princess as they greet and take pictures with visitors at 150 East Evergreen Ave. (masks must be worn to interact with Snow Queen and Ice Princess).

And last but certainly not least is the newest attraction to Chestnut Hill on Ice: Axe Throwing. According to a news release, on Friday and Saturday, bring out your inner lumberjack with a fun game of axe throwing located at Laurel Hill Gardens (8125 Germantown Ave).

Each game provides 10 axe throws at the bullseye and includes training and instruction by expert staff for first-timers. Side-by-side throwing lanes make it easy for friends and family to compete next to each other, and participants must be 14 years or older to throw. Tickets are available for $15 by pre-sale online and will be available on-site on a first-come, first-served basis as well.

Other pop-ups from Bredenbeck’s Bakery and a winter-time sale will also be up and running for the festival, but a full list of what to expect can be found online.

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For more information on Chestnut Hill on Ice (Jan. 28 and 29), visit chestnuthillpa.com.

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