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9 Reasons to Visit Toledo this Winter

Feeling the winter blues? Toledo's got the cure for your cabin fever!

Toledo offers plenty of fun for weekend warriors ready to embark on a winter adventure. With a great mix of big city attractions, plenty of parks to explore, a great dining scene, live entertainment, plus scores of craft breweries, distilleries and wineries, there’s cool activities to appeal to the entire family.

1. Winter Fun at Metroparks Toledo

The Ribbon at Glass City Metropark

You’ll find plenty of outdoor fun at all 19 beautiful Metroparks, with a park located within 5 miles of every resident of Lucas County. From snowshoeing to ice-skating, there is a winter adventure awaiting any skill level.

Lace up your boots and immerse yourself in the beauty of the season! Join ‘Wintering the Metroparks’ for a unique monthly hike at Providence, Oak Openings Preserve, and Glass City Metroparks. Sign up for one or all three and make lasting memories on the frosted trails- it’s an adventure for all ages.

The first 200 participants who sign up for all three hikes will receive a limited edition commemorative winter hat. S’mores and other fun activities at each event will help shake off the cold-weather blahs. 

Take a step toward your fitness goals by signing up for Metroparks Trail Challenge and earn a special ‘Wintering the Metroparks’ sticker. Join the Trail Challenge community to set goals, hike, and experience the best Metroparks Toledo has to offer.

Ice Skating - All Metroparks ice is “enter at your own risk.” Ice on Pearson Lake and Mallard Lake at Oak Openings Preserve are open for skating when ice is at least 6 inches thick. Plus this is the first year for skating at "The Ribbon" which is already a local favorite.

Sledding - Metroparks offers lighted sledding hills at Blue Creek, Glass City, Side Cut, and Pearson for great family fun. Bring your sled or disc and enjoy the snow!

Cross-Country Skiing - Glide quietly through the winter landscape and read the stories animals have written in the snow. Metroparks offers introductory programs, groomed and ungroomed trails and miles of natural area to explore on skis. All unpaved trails and open playfields in the Metroparks are suitable for cross-country skiing during daylight hours.


2. A Thriving Local Craft Beverage Scene

Photo by: Quenched & Tempered

The region’s local craft beverage scene is flourishing with a number of new, innovative breweries making northwest Ohio a true craft beer destination. Newer makers on the craft beverage scene is Oncore Brewing in Swanton, Ohio creating unique beer and ciders. Quenched & Tempered has been brewing and distributing out of Grand Rapids, Ohio since 2019, recently opened its first public taproom in downtown Toledo in 2022. GBS Brewing Co., Toledo’s second oldest brewery, also opened a new taproom in south Toledo in 2022 and several area breweries are growing and expanding, including HEAVY Beer Co. that opened a second location in Oak Opening Metropark in 2022 called HEAVY Wheelhouse, and Earnest Brew Works has recently opened their newest location at 3134 W. Central Avenue in the Westgate area of Toledo.

After sampling great Toledo area breweries, plan a road trip to nearby gems like Twin Oast Brewing and Catawba Island Brewing Co. to the east and 4KD Crick Brewery and Two Bandits Brewing to the west. Saucy Brew Works, based out of Cleveland, Ohio with five locations in Ohio and now Michigan, opened its Sandusky, Ohio location in 2022.

The growth of distilleries is adding to the variety of boozy beverage options. Toledo Spirits offers their unique selection of whiskies, gins and vodkas handcrafted using regional ingredients. Six Fifths Distilling in Perrysburg features premium all-natural craft spirits with local ingredients. Find a complete list of craft beverage makers here.

Sign up for the 419 Ale Trail mobile passport, plan your road trip and start checking in at participating breweries and craft beverage makers and receive discounts and prizes along the way! 


3. Toledo Region's Local Dining Scene

Registry Bistro

Looking for a dining adventure? Winter is the perfect time to experience our hip and trendy dining and drinking establishments! Here are some great recommendations:

  • Souk Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar offers diners a fusion of traditional and elegant Mediterranean dishes reimagined for American palates. Enjoy craft cocktails, spirits and wine in a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Chef-owned and operated, Benchmark Restaurant is a contemporary American steakhouse located in Perrysburg focusing on quality food and amazing service. While steaks are the signature dish, other items including the rotating Butcher Board, fresh seafood dishes, hand-crafted cocktails and a great wine list round out this stand-out restaurant.
  • The Real Seafood Company in Toledo is a contemporary seafood restaurant that offers premium fresh fish and seafood from the waters of New England to the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Delight in the freshest top-catch fish and premium seafood as well as pasta, chicken, and steak dishes including gluten-free options.
  • Chef Rapp presents the best of her worldly food knowledge and culinary art prowess as co-owner and executive chef of Registry Bistro, inside the historic Secor Building in Downtown Toledo.
  • Set in an industrial-chic motif that achieves a warm inviting atmosphere, Barr’s Public House is a unique gastro-pub that features high quality pub fare, an exquisite wine list, eclectic craft beer selection, in addition to creative hand-crafted cocktails.
  • In the mood for a really good sandwich? Then head over to Whiskey and the Wolf and taste the best roast beef sandwich in Toledo! Other great items include single, double or triple cheeseburgers, soups and salads for lighter appetites and – you guessed it – a great selection of whiskeys.
  • Enjoy Japanese-inspired dishes on your gastronomic adventure at Rayoka Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi. Dive into crispy tempura or an assortment of sushi, sashimi, and nigari from the popular sushi bar. Or cozy up to a hibachi table for fresh cuts grilled to perfection accompanied by exceptional drinks from a full cocktail bar.


4. Great Year-Round Attractions

Toledo has several world-class attractions to explore all winter long. Shake off the winter chill and explore the world-renowned Toledo Museum of Art. Visitors will find one of the finest and most diverse collections of art work in the country with more than 30,000 treasures ranging from ancient to modern times. The Glass Pavilion, located across from the main museum, introduces visitors to TMA's world-renowned glass collection.

Start your visit to the National Museum of the Great Lakes with a seven-minute breathtaking video to set the tone for fascinating stories of the Great Lakes as you learn about the rich history of the world’s most important natural resource. Immerse yourself in unique media and hands-on experiences with more than 250 artifacts, hundreds of historical photographs, and 40+ hands-on exhibits that tell the incredible story of the Great Lakes.

Imagination Station, Toledo’s Science Center, is dedicated to making science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fun and accessible. There are hundreds of interactive, hands-on exhibits that are exciting and educational for the entire family. Imagination Station's KeyBank Discovery Theater is a premium, large-format venue that offers an immersive experience unlike any other. Check the website for upcoming shows at the theater!


5. Glass Making Experiences in the Glass City

Photo by: Gathered Glassblowing Studio

Tap into your creative side with a glassmaking experience in the city that created the Studio Glass Movement. At Firenation Glass Studio & Gallery, an experience allows you to work one-on-one with a glass blowing instructor to create a piece with your own personal touch – no prior experience necessary! Located in the heart of downtown Toledo, Gathered Glassblowing Studio creates custom and limited production glass art and installations and offers public and private group glassmaking events including a date night for two. Copper Moon Studio Gallery & Gifts features a spacious gallery of fused glass designs and techniques created by Stacy Owen and her creative team with two classrooms offering daily fused glass classes for adults and children in one of the largest fusing glass facilities in the state. Toledo Museum of Art offers a variety of projects in the hands-on glassblowing workshops for adults and children at least 14 years of age at the Glass Pavilion. Pro Tip: Book your class or workshop early so you don’t miss out as sessions book up very quickly.


6. Overnight Uniquely in Toledo – Treehouses and Cabins

Cannaley Treehouse Village, Photo by Metroparks Toledo

What better way to enjoy winter’s beauty than to overnight in nature? Enjoy a weekend at Maumee Bay Lodge & Conference Center in a two or four bedroom cabin with all the comforts of home set on Lake Erie.

Or bask in the unrivaled view from above at the Cannaley Treehouse Village, the largest public overnight treehouse site in the country located in Metroparks Toledo’s Oak Openings Preserve. Check out Metroparks Toledo other unique overnight options and book your one-of-a-kind winter weekend getaway today!


7. Local Coffee to Shake off the Cold

A classic cappuccino. A bold espresso. A soothing latte. Whatever choice of liquid energy you prefer, you’ll be savoring every last drop at these Toledo area locally owned coffee houses.

  • SIP COFFEE is a hip, upbeat west Toledo coffee house serving your favorite brew and both savory and sweet healthy food options.
  • Located in the historic Old West End, Black Kite Coffee brings a hip, bohemian vibe to Toledo’s coffee scene. Independent and locally owned, they specialize in delicious coffee from Flying Rhino Coffee, teas, savory desserts and breakfast items.
  • Locally-owned downtown Toledo coffee shop, Plate One serves espresso drinks and brewed to order coffees from Madcap coffee roasters, loose leaf teas, smoothies, breakfast bakery items, sandwiches and salads. 
  • With a casual atmosphere and central location near University of Toledo, BREW Coffee Bar is the perfect place for a relaxing break with Zingerman’s coffee and tasty desserts.
  • Offering fair trade coffee, delicious pastries, amazing sandwiches and a unique gift shop Georgette’s Grounds & Gifts, is a Maumee treasure!
  • What began in 2010 as a family of home roasters, Maddie & Bella has grown to two locations; their first shop in Perrysburg and a second location in downtown Toledo’s Warehouse District.

Click to find out more about What's Brewing in Toledo!


8. Winter Fun at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium

Grab your scarf and gloves, bundle up and head over to the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, home to more than 10,000 individual animals representing over 720 species. You might be surprised to find that a lot of animals that call our zoo home – especially the polar bears – are much more active in the winter. Of course, no visit to the Toledo Zoo is complete without a visit to the Aquarium filled with the wonder of 3000+ aquatic animals in tanks filled with 178,000 gallons of water. 

Plus, the zoo puts on some great programming in the winter including their annual Orchid Show in February where you can discover the vibrant colors, delightful scents and interesting backstories of rare and exotic orchid species from around the world. Check out event calendar to find even more fun events!


9. The Performing Arts – Live Theater and Music

Hadestown - Photo provided by The American Theatre Guild

The performing arts come alive during the winter in Toledo!

From national acts – like DisturbedBrit Floyd, and Jeff Dunham performing at the Huntington Center this season, to the Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s collab with award-winning hip hop artist, actor, film producer, and poet, Common! 

Known for their incredible Broadway series, the Stranahan Theater also offer a wide variety of great concerts and shows this season. Tony award winning musical, HADESTOWN will be at the Stranahan Theater February 20-25. It intertwines two tales, that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone. Be sure to check out the historic and beautiful Valentine Theatre and the shows they are hosting this winter as well as performances by local institutions like the Ballet Theatre of Toledo, Toledo Opera, Toledo Ballet, Toledo Jazz Orchestra and the Toledo Repertoire Theatre.

However you decide to spend your winter weekend in Toledo, be sure to share your photos and adventures with us @toledocvb use #ThisIsToledo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


For even more fun winter ideas in Toledo check out this related content:
Valentine's Day in Toledo | Game plan for Winter Fun: Walleye Hockey | What's Brewing in Toledo