Most Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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
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!
Yes, unless specifically posted otherwise. See our full schedule (weather permitting)
- 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.
- 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.
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!)
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.
By purchasing a ticket and entering the Ice Castles 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 Castles.
ICE CASTLES 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 Castles, nor is food or drink.
ICE CASTLE RISKS: Upon entering the Ice Castles 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 Castles 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 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.
Each Ice Castles weighs about 25,000,000 pounds! (The walls are about 10′ thick, so its pretty heavy and strong!)
Alpine, Utah in the front yard of Brent Christensen. He was building an ice cave for his daughter and that is how the Ice Castles concept got started.
10,000. We grow at least 10,000 icicles every day and place them throughout the ice castles to provide something for the water to freeze to. Over time the icicles just get absorbed into the ice structure.
Ice has the same color properties of water. Ice is blue for the same reason that the ocean is blue — because one and water will absorb all colors of the color spectrum and emit blue colors. A general rule is that the thicker the the ice, the deeper the shade of blue.
Come Visit Us
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% onany 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.