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Embrace winter at Ice Castles

by Gabby

Unless you are Queen Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen,” you probably have not gotten the opportunity to visit an ice castle, in person. The good news is, if you’ve ever wanted to make this dream a reality, you don’t have to go to the fictional land of Arendelle or even leave the United States, for that matter.

On the East Coast, you can head to New Hampshire or New York to experience the annual event known as Ice Castles. (There are three other U.S. locations, too, in Utah, Minnesota and Wisconsin.) 

Founder Brett Christensen came up with the idea to build an ice castle in his yard as a way to entertain his children during the winter months. More than a decade later, thousands make their way to the events every year to see and experience slides, tunnels, caves, mazes, fountains and thrones, all made from ice.

While the structures are beautiful in the daytime, they are breathtaking at night as LED lights have been embedded inside to offer colorful illumination.

This winter extravaganza takes professional ice artists about eight weeks to construct. They start by drenching features with water and repeat until heights reach 15 to 30 feet.

Ice Castles will be held for the first time this year in Lake George, N.Y. North Woodstock, New Hampshire has hosted it for several years.

Both locations are open, depending on weather, through the end of February.

Make sure you’re dressed for winter weather, including winter boots, coats, hats and gloves. It’s recommended you bring snow pants if you plan to play on the slides or crawl through the tunnels.

Even though the features are made of solid ice, staff works hard to maintain a non-slippery surface to walk on. All walking surfaces are made of crushed ice and snow for safety.

Before heading out, get your tickets online to guarantee your spot at the popular event. Advance tickets are also discounted.

By Gina Gallucci-White

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