Cleveland Metroparks Announces Winter Riverfest for the Holiday Season


Cleveland Metroparks today announced Winter RiverFest presented by MTD, a first-time event set to transform Rivergate Park and Merwin's Wharf for the holiday season beginning November 27. The new holiday event along the Cuyahoga River in The Flats will feature synthetic ice skating, festive light displays, a beer garden and firepits, retail shop and igloo village at Merwin’s Wharf.

“We are excited to offer our guests a new way to explore the park district and stay active this winter with Winter RiverFest,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. “Rivergate Park is a hidden gem that’s quickly transformed into a recreational hub and the nexus of our evolving urban trail network.”

The event will bring a synthetic ice-skating rink to Rivergate Park for the first time, providing guests with a new recreational opportunity along the Cuyahoga River. To allow for social distancing, reservations are recommended and capacity on the rink will be limited. The cost to skate is $7 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under). Ice skates will be available to rent for $3. Walk-ups will be accepted based on availability.

A festive beer garden will feature refreshments from local partners Fat Head’s Brewing, Beverage Distributors and Debonne Vineyards. Limited indoor dining will also be available at Merwin’s Wharf or guests can reserve a private outdoor igloo, featuring a special Winter RiverFest menu. Igloo rentals can be secured online on the Winter RiverFest website or by visiting merwinswharf.com. Igloos rentals start at a two-hour minimum for $50, plus a food and drink minimum.

Guests can get a jump on holiday shopping at the Cleveland Metroparks Winter RiverFest Shop during festival hours. Browse a selection of Cleveland Metroparks branded apparel, outdoor gear, personal care items, kids’ merchandise and more.

“At MTD, our purpose is to inspire people to care for and enjoy the outdoors. Winter RiverFest is a fantastic way to do that,” said Chairman, CEO and President of MTD Products, Robert T. Moll. “We are proud to partner with Cleveland Metroparks to bring forward this unique opportunity for families to enjoy one of our many beautiful outdoor spaces in Northeast Ohio.”

Winter RiverFest will run Wednesdays to Sundays from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. until January 18. Special holiday hours and full details can be found at clevelandmetroparks.com/WinterRiverFest.

Facial coverings are required for guests age 6 and older when ice skating, when inside the restaurant or retail shop, when ordering food and beverage, and when interacting with staff. 

Winter RiverFest is presented by MTD and supported by additional community partners, Fifth Third Bank, Giant Eagle and Cigna.

A winter tradition also returns Friday, November 27th when the twin toboggan chutes open at the Chalet in Mill Stream Run Reservation. Adventure-seekers can plunge down a 70-foot drop and travel along 700 feet of ice, reaching speeds up to 50 miles per hour. New this year, advanced reservations and facial coverings will be required. Reservations can be made online or by phone.

The toboggan chutes will be open November 27 through the first weekend in March during the following hours:

  • Fridays: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturdays: noon – 9 p.m.
  • Sundays: noon – 5 p.m.

For more information on holiday hours, admission and requirements to ride, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/tchutes.

Photo courtesy of Cleveland Metroparks

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