Bundle up for chills and thrills at this free Ice Carnival featuring a hayride, 50-plus ice sculptures, live music, snowflake ballerinas, fire performers, and ice-carving demonstrations. See 160 drones lighting up the night sky at this festival.

By Danita Allen Wood

The 17th Annual Ice Carnival—free to attend— in the Delmar Loop at St. Louis begins this weekend, January 20th. It runs from 11 AM and through the evening.

New this year is a Drone Show, which will feature 160 drones lighting up the night sky, beginning at 7 PM. In addition, you can take a hayride, see snowflake ballerinas, fire performers, ice-carving demonstrations, and more than 50 ice sculptures. Live music and games and other events are also part of the festival.

Also new this year is a St. Louis Blues inflatable slap shot arena for kids. The team’s street team and mascot, Louie, will also be there. 

While the drone light show will be visible from a mile away, you can buy a ticket to access a VIP viewing area on the rooftop of Moonrise Hotel. Tickets are $75 for adults, $45 for kids 12 and under, and tickets include heavy hors d’oeuvres and two bar drinks. Blankets are available too, and here, you will be able to hear music synced to the drone show.

“The 1 PM ice carving with a chainsaw is always popular,” says Jessica Bueler, a marketing specialist with the carnival. “People watch from the start when they use a chainsaw on this big block of ice and watch it turn into a beautiful piece of art,” she says. Jessica, who will be there from 6 AM until the event closes, loves watching the fire performers. “They perform fire eating, breathing, and it’s just remarkable,” she says.

 Haryrides will take you from one end of the festival to the other, and businesses along Delmar Boulevard will host games and events from 11 AM until 7 PM. Each business has a custom ice sculpture, and there’s a $1250 ice cube give away as well as a tattoo scavenger hunt. Finally, a petting zoo allows at the Moonrise Hotel allows children to get up close to many animals.

Go to this page to visit a map with festival locations marked along the loop.

For an entirely different cold outdoor adventure in the Ozarks, try this.

For hundreds more events, visit Missouri Life’s Event Calendar.