Everything Your Family Needs to Know About Social Ice


Social Ice is a fun winter tradition that has been held downtown Rochester MN for many years.  If you’re new to #rochmn, you might be wondering, “What on Earth is Social Ice?”


Social Ice is held downtown Rochester MN in the Peace Plaza. Reference the map below for the exact location!

Ice Bars

Every year, over the first weekend full weekend of February (this year, February 6-8, 2020), Rochester residents gather in the Peace Plaza to enjoy cocktails at outdoor bars that have been carved out of ice.  This year will feature hand crafted cocktails from Cameo at the Castle, The Loop, Kathy’s Pub, Dooley’s Pub and Restaurant, and Chester’s Kitchen & Bar.  Each bar has an intricate theme and you can expect them to be decked out in that theme…the servers get into it, oftentimes even down to how your drink is delivered!  (Ice cocktail luge anyone?)

In addition to cocktails, there is a non-alcoholic option this year too with Café Steam providing a delicious spiced cider.

Family Time

Families are absolutely welcome at this event (but it might be fun to get a sitter for later in the evening too!).  There will be so much to see and do at the Social Ice Fam Jam on Saturday, February 8th from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

According to the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s blog on the Social Ice Fam Jam, activities will kick-off at at 1:00 PM on Saturday with Snow Yoga thanks to Yoga Tribe.  Then warm yourself up with Zumba lead by Zoom to the Music from 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM. Journie Stomp Group will perform at 2:00 PM.  If none of this is enough to keep the kids busy, have fun with the LED hula-hoops and curling demonstrations from the Rochester Curling Club.  There will be other fun games and activities like the basketball snow toss!


In addition to the Ice Bars providing their signature cocktails, and Café Steam with spiced cider, Jerk King will have their delicious baked treat which taste like a pot roast wrapped in a pastry.  Don’t forget also about the food that’s off the Peace Plaza too!  Moka Coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, Victoria’s, Tea Time, Starbucks and other restaurants further down 1st Avenue are also available for dining options (Hefé Rojo, The Loop, Potbelly’s, etc).


With all the activities to participate in, you’ll probably be able to stay warm if you’re dressed right! (Make sure you’re dressed in layers!  Bring gloves, hats, and mittens too.) However, if the weather proves to be just too cold, warm up around the several fire-pits.  Of course there is the amazing Igloo tent presented by our friends at Majestic Tents and Events.  You can even build a s’more to warm up your insides!

Photo Ops!

Take advantage of the fun photo ops at Social Ice!  There is life-sized ice sculptures, the Wall of Ice, and the big Social Ice letters!  Check out this post for how you can win a $25 gift card to a downtown Rochester MN business!


Something we hear frequently from parents in #rochmn is that parking (and knowing where to park!) prevents them from going downtown. There is plenty of parking if you know just where to go!  Many of the parking options are connected by skyway and lead you straight to the Peace Plaza where Social Ice is held (simply follow the signs for Peace Plaza or Shops at University Square).  Refer to this map and the red boxes to know exactly where to park…and BONUS!  Parking is FREE on the weekends and any weekday night after 5 PM.  That goes for on-street parking too!

For the Adults!

If you choose to come without your kids there is so much to see and do outside of Social Ice Fam Jam!  There will be a DJ on the plaza each night of the festival: (5 PM – 9 PM on Thursday February 6th, 5 PM – 10 PM on Friday, February 7th, 5 PM – 10 PM on Saturday, February 8th).

And don’t forget about the beard contest and the plaid contest!



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