Welcome to the Ice castles
Winter is here! We will soon be ready to present four Ice Castle’s with exciting new and unique designs.
Opening dates will vary by location, so please make sure that we are open at the location you desire to visit!
* All dates are weather dependent and they may change. Please check this website for updates and more information.
It all started in Brent’s backyard.
In order to understand the ice castle, there are a couple things you need to know about Brent, the creator of the Ice Castle. You need to know that Brent is an artistic genius and an amazing, dedicated dad. The combination of these delightful traits mixed with moving his family from California to Utah combined with a dash of stir-crazy cabin fever were the ingredients that made up the the beginnings of the ice castles. When Brent moved his young family from California to Utah they wanted to do something exciting in the new found cold weather. So of course, like any dedicated father, Brent went to work on an ice rink in the back yard….but not just any old ice rink. This first-time ice rink came complete with a 20′ slide, an ice cave, and a castle like tower reaching 20° into Utah’s rocky mountain sky. His children affectionately called it the “Ice Castle.” Each completed Ice Castle gives you 20,000,000 pounds of ice to explore – walk, squeeze, slide, and crawl (the squeeze, slide, and crawl are optional!)
See some of the videos that have been filmed at Ice Castles.
See if these frequently asked questions can help or contact us directly.
What are this years locations?
This year there are 4 locations for Ice Castles: UT, MN, VT, and NH. Click the icons at the top of this page to see more information about each location.
When do Ice Castles open?
The date that each Ice Castle location will open is dependent on the weather. Colder locations will open before warmer locations.
Please understand that we are not any better at predicting the weather than the weatherman is! We will do the best we can to open each location as soon as they are fully built and ready for guests. This is our best estimate of when each location will open is on the location page:
And since you asked, here is our best estimate of when the locations will close. We will accept valid tickets during these dates. If the weather remains cold enough, we may extend these dates and remain open longer.
- Midway, UT: February 14, 2015
- Eden Prairie, MN: March 7, 2015
- Stratton Mountain, VT: March 7, 2015
- Lincoln, NH: March 7, 2015
Is there an Ice Castle in Colorado this year?
Unfortunately, we were unable to secure a location in Colorado for this winter. We are working on a couple sites for next winter, and we expect to build an Ice Castle in Colorado next winter. If you have any ideas for a great colorado location, we’d love to hear about it! Click on the contact form at the bottom of the page to send us your ideas. Thanks!
Are you open on holidays?
Yes, unless specifically posted otherwise. See our full schedule (weather permitting)
Is the Ice Castle handicap accessible, and do you allow wheelchairs?
- Ice Castles are not created to meet handicap accessibility standards. The grounds within the Ice Castle are crushed ice mixed with snow and are very bumpy. We do allow people in wheelchairs to come through the Ice Castle if they feel that the bumpy, uneven terrain will be acceptable to them.
- Keep in mind is that the entire Ice Castle is made up of ice – from the walking paths to the towers. We run a high speed tiller and hand-pick the walking paths to create walking areas with a walkable surface. The walking surface changes daily depending on recent weather conditions, recent snowfall, current and recent temperatures, etc.
- The walking path surface generally ranges from something similar to that of packed gravel to a uneven surface composed of chopped up chunks of ice. The surface is generally not slick, but there are some places that can be slippery. It is much more bumpy than a sidewalk or parking lot. In fact, early in the 2011 season we had the Australian paralympic ski team of 10 athletes come through in wheelchairs. Each athlete balanced on two wheels and pushed themselves through the ice castle.
- If the person in the wheelchair is sensitive to bumps, or if a bumpy ride would be painful for the person in the wheelchair, then we would not recommend a visit to the Ice Castle. If uneven terrain and bumps would not be a problem, then you may bring a wheelchair into the Ice Castle.
- We have seen parents bring a sled and pull their children with disabilities or young children through the Ice Castle. We allow this as long as the parents don’t run with the sled.
What kind of footwear or clothing should I wear to visit the Ice Castles?
- Dress for winter! Warm clothes and winter boots are best. Shoes and boots with flat soles (like dress shoes or cowboy boots) are slippery and not recommended.
- Everything inside the Ice Castle is made of ice and snow, including the walking paths. On sunny, warm days, the ice and snow will melt and the surface can become slippery.
- Most people don’t have any difficulty walking through the Ice Castle with or without ski poles. However, if you are concerned about your safety inside the Ice Castles, please make your concern known to one of our staff before entering the Ice Castle. When you enter the Ice Castle, you agree to obey the Ice Castle rules and you accept our Waiver of Liability.
Do you allow pets at the Ice Castles?
There are no pets allowed in the Ice Castle. Service animals are the only exception. (Please understand that we are not animal whisperer’s and after experience in the past, we’ve learned that we need to prevent as much yellow snow as possible!)
Who should I contact with a Media Inquiry?
Ryan is the contact for media requests. You can email him at ryan at icecastles.com or you can fill out our contact form with your request.
Do you schedule private photography sessions, weddings, and other private events?
We schedule many private photo sessions at the Ice Castle for families and also for bridal photography. We do not do weddings, and generally do not do private events at the Ice Castle.
For more information or to schedule a photography event, please email photos at icecastles.com or you can fill out the contact form on our website.
What is the Ice Castle Waiver of Liability?
By purchasing a ticket and entering the Ice Castle every visitor agrees to observe the following rules and accepts the following risks and waiver of liability. Further, visitors consent that a photograph or video of them may be taken and used by the Ice Castle.
ICE CASTLE RULES:
- All visitors must stay on the groomed walking pathways.
- No running or climbing the ice.
- Do not touch hanging icicles in any manner.
- Children and minors MUST be accompanied by an adult who accepts responsibility to ensure that they comply with these rules.
- Pets are not allowed inside the Ice Castle, nor is food or drink.
ICE CASTLE RISKS: Upon entering the Ice Castle you will be walking upon snow and ice. Although we groom the walking paths daily, some areas will be slippery and therefore dangerous. You could slip and fall causing injury. You must be careful and watch your step. We simply cannot eliminate these risks without jeopardizing the quality of the experience. Your entrance into the Ice Castle means you accept these risks are covered by your own insurance and hereby release Ice Castles, LLC and all its affiliates from any liability that may arise from an injury to you.
Will Icicles Fall
Will Icicles Fall on me?
Icicles attached to roofs almost always will fall. There are several reasons that Icicles attached to man made structures will fall. Here are some of them:
- The connection point of the icicles to the roof is inherently weak and it is usually not proportional to the icicle.
- The connection point of the icicle (dark shingles) absorbs heat from the sun and causes that point to melt first.
- The icicles usually fall when the weather warms up. The way it happens is that snow on the roof melts causing water to run past the small connection points of icicles causing melting at the base of icicles attached to roofs. The base of the icicle (which is usually smaller in mass, diameter, and width) melts faster than the large hanging portions of the icicles and the icicles fall.
There are several reasons why Icicles at the Ice Castle do not have these problems, and do not fall like icicles attached to a roof:
- Icicles at the Ice Castle are attached to ice. This means there is no weak point (i.e. a roof) limiting the strength of the structure.
- Connection points of icicles at the Ice Castle are proportional to the icicle. This means that the base of the icicle at the Ice Castle is the strongest, because it is the largest in mass and diameter.
- There is no dark material at the base of all the icicles at the Ice Castle that will heat up and cause melting.
When Icicles at the Ice Castle melt, they melt according to the laws of nature. This means that the smallest parts of the icicle melt first and it will take more time for the ice in the center of the icicle to melt. On a warm day, the icicles will melt from the bottom up. The smallest parts of the icicles will drip and turn to slush. The slush at the end may fall in small pieces. Guests visiting on days where the temperature is sunny and above freezing will get dripped on, and occasionally small masses of slush will fall.
Things We Love
Charities and companies we fully support…and think you should too!
The folks at Wintercraft like to have fun with ice just like we do. Super cool looking sculptures and specialists in ice lanterns (you may even discover some in our Ice Castles!)
In fact, they’ve created a simple do-it-yourself kit to make stunning globe ice lanterns to add sparkle to your own ice palace. Ice Castles is excited to offer a great deal by saving 20% on any order on their site with code icecastles20 Enjoy!
We give to EMI for a lot of reasons. Two of them are because 100% of donations go to help the poor and because we believe that there is dignity and satisfaction that comes with working hard to make life better. EMI provides that opportunity to the poorest among us.
We put everyone in Kahtoola’s microspikes. They are an affordable and awesome product.
Our Ice Castle builders wear them for stability when walking across slippery areas to harvest ice. You might find great uses and peace of mind in wearing their microspikes on icy mornings while walking the dog or in slippery parking lots.
At the Ice Castle, we use a lot of water. Fortunately in the USA we have resources to use water to build things like Ice Castles. We give to charity: water because there are many people in the world who don’t have access to clean water. Charity: water gets clean and safe drinking water to people who need it.
DO YOU WANT TO BUILD…AN ICE CASTLE?
…OR MAYBE WORK AT ONE?
One of the most unique and amazing facts about the Ice Castle is that it is literally built by hand. We grow more than 5,000 icicles each day that we harvest and sculpt together. This means that we need a lot of hard working and talented people to help with the endeavor. If you’re up for an adventure and would like to build something amazing this winter, send us your information through our contact form and we’ll send you more info.