Delaware is a special place for the holidays, full of community-focused celebrations and all the sparkle that makes them magical. Make it a festive weekend trip, brightened perhaps by a stop at one of Delaware’s top-notch restaurants and museums. Along the way, you’ll discover some delightful diversions, including some of these special, only-in-Delaware holiday events and celebrations:
Fire and Ice Festival - January 28-30
When the magic of winter settles in, the Delaware beaches come alive in celebration of what mid-winter does best – turning water into ice. At the annual Fire & Ice Festival, you’ll see the Bethany Beach boardwalk and surrounding small town sidewalks displaying beautiful ice sculptures of every shape and size during this free festival.
About the Ice Sculptures
Every year the Bethany Beach Fire and Ice Festival takes on a new theme and brings more than 20 ice sculptures to life. Sculptures that will seem out of this world in their size – weighing between 300 and 3,000 pounds, each perfectly sculpted by ice professionals, illuminated by LED lights from 5 to 9 p.m every night. If you’re wondering how they create such intricate sculptures, attend one of the live demonstrations to see the professionals work their magic with chainsaws, ice picks and more. This years theme is rock & roll!
Things to Do
It's no question that browsing the ice sculptures is made better with a big bucket of warm, freshly popped, caramel corn from Fishers Popcorn. After you pick up your tasty bucket be sure to warm up with your favorite family-friendly boardwalk activities like warming up by the fire and sipping on s'mores flavored hot cocoa at Turtle Beach Cafe. Or browsing downtown shops for unique finds like incredible artwork at Gallery One, kid approved everything at Candy Kitchen, and books galore at Bethany Beach Books.
A few miles from the beach you'll find things to do that your kids will think are "cool" at Millville Boardwalk. This kid-approved boardwalk includes mini golf, an arcade, ice sculptures galore, ice-cream cookie sandwiches, and the list goes on.
Enjoy a meal at local restaurants like Bethany Blues and 99 Sea Level where their cocktails and plates will follow the theme of the festival. Grownups will have the chance to enjoy a drink competition. Sample 10 signature cocktails from participating bars and restaurants around the area and vote for your favorite to be named the official drink of the Fire and Ice Festival for that year! Visit past cocktail winners like Good Earth Market for a sip on their porch with a cozy blanket.
Speaking of local libations, be on the lookout for Ice Luges around the area. At DE on Tap location, Salted Vines Vineyard & Winery you can get a taste of their specially made sangria that has journeyed down a wine glass shaped ice sculpture.
Finish off the Fire and Ice Festival at the Ceremonial Smash Party in Bethany Beach where you can see the “clean up” process of smashing the sculptures into thousands of pieces to melt away – so make sure to take plenty of photos during your visit because the sculptures are only around for festival weekend!
Where to Stay
The free festival spans through Bethany Beach, Ocean View and Millville, providing an excellent opportunity to experience all the beaches have to offer during the winter! Cozy up with a sweet festival stay at Bethany Beach Ocean Suites or the Bethany Beach Holiday Inn Express, both offering special deals for the weekend! For a unique stay consider the Farm Cottages at Good Earth Market, but be sure to book early! Prepare to be wowed and begin planning your visit today!