Carmel, Indiana, almost always has something going on. From CarmelFest and the Art of Wine in July to PorchFest in September and Late Night on Main in October, the city hosts events throughout the year that invite visitors to come together with city residents to celebrate their shared passions.

Until recently, however, Carmel did not host many winter activities. This changed last year with the creation of The Ice at Center Green, a large ice rink situated on the Center for Performing Arts’ center green that is open November through March 10.

“As you ice skate you are looking at the beautiful Palladium concert hall to the north, the Tarkington and Studio Theatre building to the south, the shops, restaurants and residences of Carmel City Center to the east and the Veterans Memorial Plaza to the west, all of which makes the experience of skating in the evening quite magical,” says Dan McFeely, city spokesman with the Carmel Community Relations and Economic Development office.

While the rink has returned for another year it brings with it something new—the Carmel Winter Games.

“They involve some creatively fun and vigorous challenges on the ice—events such as human curling, an ice trike relay and a human-size version of the Hungry Hungry Hippo on Ice! We will be featuring competitions involving local companies, our police and fire departments,” says McFeely. Held Feb. 21-23, participants will also be able to skate with the Indy Fuel minor league hockey and Indiana Nitro baseball teams, meet team mascots, party with a live DJ and more.

Outside of the Winter Games, there is still plenty of fun to be had on the ice. The rink is open Wednesday through Sunday and can accommodate up to 200 people at a time.

“Our rink is authentic, thick ice that is frozen from the ground up thanks to the installation of underground pipes and infrastructure that keep the rink frozen, even if the temperatures are abnormally high,” says McFeely.

McFeely adds that there are plenty of things to do in the city, even if you’re not a fan of skating. “One of our biggest attractions is our Center for the Performing Arts, which features three performance venues that host some of the world’s biggest acts. The 1,600-seat Palladium concert hall, for example, has featured performances by Harry Connick Jr., Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, B.B. King, philharmonic orchestras from Russia, Poland and other parts of the globe, and many other top performers. The Studio Theater is a black-box theater with about 200 seats and is home the professional Actors Theatre of Indiana, and the 500-seat Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is home to Indiana’s oldest Civic Theater of Indiana,” he says.

In addition, visitors can find art galleries, design studios, unique shops, restaurants and more in the Carmel Arts & Design District; Indian, Greek, Thai, Korean, Italian, Jamaican and other restaurants throughout the city; and even a Caffeine Trail of gourmet coffee shops.

“Carmel has become a destination for many visitors who love the arts and entertainment and various cultural events offered each year,” says McFeely. “All of these are wonderful events (that) give Carmel residents and visitors from across the Midwest a chance to celebrate the arts, culture and music.”

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