How to View the Most Breathtaking Ice Castles in America

by Clayton Edwards

In many places across the country, winter brings sub-freezing temps and more ice and snow than most can stand. Some people take the low temps and ice and turn it into something magical. If you want to inject some winter magic into your life, consider checking out some of these amazing ice castles.

 A Company that Specializes in Ice Castles

One company, aptly named Ice Castles, builds these massive frozen installations in five states. Every year, they set up in Wisconsin, Utah, New York, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. Artists build each of these frozen palaces by hand with icicles, water, and plenty of elbow grease.

Don’t think that these are just glorified snow forts. The ice castles are fitted with colorful LED lights and surrounded by sculptures. The folks who put them together to everything they can to make their frozen palaces the centerpiece of a winter wonderland.

The New Hampshire Ice Castle installation offers a private alcove, ice slides, and tunnels. Additionally, you can opt for a carriage ride or a walk through their enchanted forest. Adults can get in for $15 on weekdays and $22 on weekends. For kids aged 4-11, it costs $11 or $16. That’s just for admission. Carriage rides and private alcoves cost extra. Tickets go on sale in January.

Other official Ice Castle locations offer similar attractions and pricing. Check out their website for details.

Winter Carnival Ice Palace – Saranac Lake, NY

If you’re going to be in New York in February, take a trip to Lake Saranac and check out their Winter Carnival Ice Palace. For Lake Saranac residents, this massive ice castle is a tradition that goes all the way back to the late 1800s. Crews come together and use heavy equipment and massive ice blocks to build the structure for the Winter Carnival every year. Today, the palace is the centerpiece of the festival.

Admission is free. Check their website for more details.

We’ll See You at the Glacier Ice Bar

Are fairy tale ice castles not your thing? That’s fine. You can still get in on some frozen fun. In Rockport, Maine you can visit the Samoset Glacier Ice Bar. Every year, artists transform 50,000 pounds of crystal-clear ice into the coolest bar you’ll ever visit. Everything from the bar itself to the stools you sit on is carved from ice. After you’ve put away a few drinks at the bar, you can head to the lounge and warm up.

The Glacier Ice Bar is connected to the Samoset Resort. If you’re a hotel guest, admission is free. Everyone else has to pay a $25 cover charge which seems more than worth it. The bar will be open on January 14th-15th and 21st-22nd. Their website has all the details.