The Friday 5 — Feb. 12-14

Your local guide to the weekend

By: Jennifer Sigouin | Online Only | Published February 11, 2016

1. Embrace the cold with frozen fun
Feb. 12-14, downtown Utica

Dipping temperatures might not seem like good news — unless, of course, you’re hosting an ice festival.

Illuminated ice sculptures should have no problem staying intact along Auburn Road and Cass Avenue during the annual Utica Ice Festival, Feb. 12-14 in downtown Utica.

This year’s theme is “Love and Ice,” and along with ice sculptures, the festival has a packed schedule of activities and entertainment, including live music, a fireworks show over Memorial Park Saturday evening, carriage rides, an ice rink, a frozen fish toss, kids’ activities, warming stations and more.

2. Spice up your Saturday
Feb. 13, downtown Clawson

“The Little City with a Big Heart” will celebrate winter in a big way with its annual Fire & Ice with Spice festival. 

The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday in downtown Clawson, will offer a little something hot and a little something cold for all ages. Visitors can view ice sculptors at work, enjoy live entertainment — including jugglers and fire-eaters — and warm up with a chili cook-off.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the #DougStrong campaign, an effort to help Clawson High School teacher Doug McKnight, who suffered a sudden heart attack last month.

3. Have a ‘Blast’ in Detroit
Feb. 12-14, Campus Martius, Detroit

The annual Meridian Winter Blast will take over Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit all weekend long.

Highlights include the DTE Energy Ice Garden, complete with life-size sculptures of Batman and Superman; snowshoeing; professional dog sledding demonstrations; free ice skating; the 30-foot-high Meridian Snow Slide; and the 200-foot long, 34-foot-high Bedrock Zip Line Adventure. While much of the festival is outdoors, visitors can escape the cold — and enjoy food, beverages and entertainment — in the event’s heated tents.

This year, Winter Blast will feature a special “Sing, Skate and Slide for Flint” fundraising effort to benefit the Flint Child Health & Development Fund, a nonprofit organization that’s part of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and supports the health and future needs of children affected by the Flint water crisis.

4. Think spring
Feb. 12-13, Cranbrook House and Gardens, Bloomfield Hills

While outdoor gardens are covered in snow and ice, there are plenty of plants in bloom inside the Cranbrook House and Gardens greenhouse.

Cranbrook’s gardeners spend the winter caring for a variety of houseplants, and now some of those plants are ready for new homes. The annual greenhouse winter sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 12 and 13. Plants available for sale include cacti and other succulents, bromeliads, orchids, dish gardens and ferns.

Cranbrook House and Gardens is located at 380 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills. For more information, call (248) 645-3149 or email

5. Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Feb 14, metro Detroit

Sunday is Valentine’s Day, and if you don’t have plans yet, here are a few holiday events happening this weekend that are fun for everyone, no matter what your relationship status may be.

Love Gone Wild at the Detroit Zoo takes learning about the birds and the bees to a new level. Visitors will enjoy strolling hors d’oeuvres and drinks, followed by a presentation that takes an intimate and entertaining look at how the zoo’s animals “date” and mate.

Sessions are 4-5:30 p.m. or 6-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 14. Tickets cost $50, or $40 for zoo members. For tickets and more information, visit

Best-selling author Iyanla Vanzant, host of the OWN Network show “Fix My Life,” will talk about self love and healthy relationships during a special luncheon from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13 at The Reserve at Big Rock Chophouse, located at 245 S. Eaton St. in Birmingham.

According to a press release, Vanzant will “discuss why singles are unfulfilled because of who they don’t have, why others are unhappy with who they do have, and how our ability to love others is affected by how deeply we love ourselves.” She’ll also answer questions after her presentation.

Ticket prices start at $159, and space is limited to 250 guests. Tickets are available at 

Guardians For Animals will hold its annual “Open Your Heart for Homeless Animals” fundraiser at Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St. in Royal Oak, on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Doors open at 5:15 p.m., and the show, featuring comedian Mike Green, starts at 7:40 p.m. There will also be a 50/50 cash drawing, raffles and silent auctions. Tickets cost $25 for dinner and the show. Proceeds will go toward the organization's emergency fund, which helps local animal shelters pay for food, supplies and medical needs.

For tickets, visit or call Comedy Castle at (248) 542-9900.

C & G Staff Writers Sarah Wojcik, Tiffany Esshaki and Andy Kozlowski contributed to this report.