Kids Will Transform Wings Stadium Ice Into Art this Saturday

Art and ice will collide this weekend at Kalamazoo’s Wings Stadium.

Building on the K-Wings hockey team’s longstanding tradition of hosting colored ice games – St. Patrick’s Day green, Valentine’s Day pink, Halloween orange, and even a special blue ice night to celebrate Bell’s Brewery’s Winter Ale – the team is partnering with the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA) for a unique Kids Paint the Ice Night.

Instead of just one color, the ice will turn into the largest canvas in southwest Michigan, with kids painting individual masterpieces inside marked circles.

The rink will be transformed this Saturday, January 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids from KIA’s youth programs and members of the K-Wings Kidz Club will take to the ice wielding brushes and creativity. The opportunity to paint the ice is only open to members, however, organizers said kids are welcome to join before the big day so they can take part in the fun.

The completed masterpiece will be underfoot when the K-Wings host the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, January 10.

The ice painted pink for Valentine's Day at Wings Stadium.
The ice painted pink for Valentine’s Day at Wings Stadium.

“As a vital member of this community, we feel it is our commitment to find new and exciting ways to bring residents of southwest Michigan together,” said Jim Burlew, General Manager. “Coming off of our 40thanniversary season and KIA celebrating their 90th birthday it now makes perfect sense to work together by letting the members of the KIA and K-Wings Kidz Club showcase their artistic side.”

“We are tickled to be a part of Kids Paint the Ice,” said Susan Eckhardt, Director of Museum Education for the KIA. “We’re so happy that Slappy (the team’s mascot) invited us, and we have big plans to transform the expanse of ice at the arena into a big, frosty work of art. We’ll need a lot of help, so we invite kids and families to come out and help create a giant painting to celebrate our 90th birthday.”

Kids are encouraged to register online here and are also encouraged to wear sneakers or rubber-soled shoes and to dress for mess and cool temperatures. All kids must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver, but supplies and art coaches will be on hand to provide encouragement and instruction.

On game day, hockey fans with KIA membership cards should show them when they purchase tickets at the box office. The KIA will receive a portion of members’ ticket sales.

Have an artistic kid who loves hockey? This could be the perfect opportunity to celebrate both in a big way, either by joining in the painting fun or checking out the game in person.

Photo credits: KIA and K-Wings

This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit

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