How would it be to experience an actual version of Elsa’s castle from the movie ‘Frozen’! Situated in North Woodstock NH, the magical Ice Castles are an awe-inspiring tourist attraction.
As icy as it gets, the Ice Castles in New Hampshire are handcrafted with hard work and passion. Filled with handmade ice structures and breathtaking led-lit sculptures, they are a must-see winter phenomenon for kids and adults alike.
You can walk along the perimeter of the castle, climb ice stairs in the castles or make your way through the ice-carved tunnels. The best feature of this magical creation is that it keeps changing every season.
Every winter visitors can spot a new and unique design crafted by professional ice artists. The winter wonderland makes its spot in 5 cities – Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah, Wisconsin, and New York. Here’s a guide to the fascinating Ice Castles in New Hampshire.
1. Making of The Ice Castles
The idea started back when Brent Christensen planned to make an ice cave for his children who were bored spending their entire time in the house. He made the ice cave right in his front yard.
The kids named it the Ice Castle which soon became a famous spot for the children all around their neighborhood. The idea which started with a small cave is now an acre-long outdoor attraction with ice artisans creating the best attractions for people all around the world.
Summer goes by into planning and designing this marvelous structure. The entire construction is weather dependent and requires a lot of planning and effort. It can be constructed when there is no precipitation in the atmosphere and of course cold weather.
The icicles are harvested just like one would harvest a garden! Water is sprayed on a metal structure to grow the icicles.
The icicles are used in creating and molding structures with extreme care. It starts with a small piece of ice which is misted with water to keep it growing just like a flower grows in a garden.
Each castle weighs about 20 million pounds! The ice-carved structures are filled with LED lights to illuminate the wonderland during the night.
Around 10,000 icicles are grown in a day and carved into various sculptures like ice tunnels, ice thrones, and ice walls as high as 25 feet.
The main goal at Ice Castles is to create a magical experience that brings smiles to one and all visiting the wonderland.
2. Attractions At Ice Castles
Ice Castles in New Hampshire has numerous attractions to explore like the slides, ice caves, sleigh rides, and frozen thrones. There are ice tunnels throughout the castles.
The views before and after sunset are entirely different and a must-see. The noon and evening times bring out the detail and beauty of the deep blues due to the natural light. The scene after sunset is lit up with LED lights with different intensities.
2.1. Ice Slides
Different sizes of slides are constructed for everyone. The small slides can be enjoyed by kids and adults of all heights while the big slides are mainly for adults.
Snow pants and sliding mats are provided for the slides. The walking path throughout the ice castles in New Hampshire is not slippery but has crushed ice.
2.2. Sleigh Rides
There is a 10-12 min sleigh ride through the illuminated snow trail along the frost river. It is a fascinating experience as you make your way through the woods with the sleigh rides.
However, these are to be purchased in addition to the tickets. This is a fun-filled activity at the Ice Castles in New Hampshire and a must-try!
2.3. Mystic Forest Light Walk
The mystic forest light walk is approximately 25 miles up the hills and leads back into the back of the castle. With beautiful lights laid below and hanging lights on the trees, it is no less than a fairyland.
The view at night is entirely different with sparking lights and deep woods. Taking a stroll on the trail is like walking into a different world filled with serenity.
2.4. Delicious Savoring
At the end of the forest trail, you can visit the Moon Bakery which serves hot cocoa, cinnamon buns, and some other delicious snacks.
2.5. Arctic Alcove
The Arctic Alcove is a VIP area meant for special occasions like proposals, birthdays, or any other celebrations. The private alcove can be booked prior and permission to decorate the area is granted 20 minutes prior.
The VIP host would contact you once you get there and you will be guided to the private alcove. Due to certain restrictions, there are no setups done by the ice castles however, you can decorate the area with flowers and another decor.
It is best for private and intimate occasions where no other guests would be allowed. The VIP moment at Ice Castles in New Hampshire is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Apart from these, there are other attractions like fountains, tubing slides, and crawl tunnels throughout the ice castles. There is a reindeer on display made of ice. At night the lights buried deep inside the ice light up the atmosphere and create a magical glow.
3. How to Get to The Ice Castles?
Located in North Woodstock New Hampshire, here’s a guide to getting to the Ice Castles in New Hampshire.
The Exit 33 (I-93) would take you to the Ice Castles in New Hampshire if you are driving from the South side. While Exit 32 would take you to your destination if you are driving from the North side.
The Lost River Road leads straight to Clark Farm Road. A right turn from Clark Farm Road would take you to the Ice Castles in New Hampshire. The route is quite easy but make sure to set your maps to avoid any confusion.
The general admission tickets are $20 on weekdays and $27 on weekends while the child admission for ages 4-11 is $15 and $22 respectively. It is best to purchase online tickets as on-site tickets are not always available at the Ice Castles in New Hampshire.
5. Best Time to Visit
The best month to visit the Ice Castles would be in mid-January or early March when the winter is at its peak. The yearly dates of opening vary with the weather.
The best time to visit it is around sunset when you can see both the scenes before and after the sunset. Families with kids can visit at noon to avoid the crowd.
You can get hotels near ice castles in Woodstock NH, which makes your trip to ice castle easier. Some of the best ones are holiday inn express, Woodward white mountain resort, holiday inn, and many more with free parking facilities.
6. Tips While Visiting the Ice Castles
- Make sure to wear proper clothing and a face mask is mandatory for all. It is an outdoor attraction and hence gets extremely cold so make sure to wear warm clothing such as jackets, sweaters, boots, and foot covering.
- Any kind of recreational device like tripods, drones, and lighting equipment are not allowed into the Ice Castles in New Hampshire. Photographing spots are available in the castles.
- Once you get into the ice castles you are not allowed to head back out again. If you want to use the restrooms the crew members will guide you out.
- Families with babies and toddlers are not allowed to get strollers or prams of any kind.
- Outside food and beverages are not allowed. There is a bakery inside which offers delicious savoring.
- The ice castles are handmade with hours of dedication. There are signs all over warning people and kids to not climb over the caves and restricted areas. A sign placed says ‘don’t climb on the cave, Yeti is sleeping inside’.
- Purchase the ice castle tickets beforehand to reserve the perfect time at the Ice Castles in New Hampshire.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Are the Ice Castles Open?
Weather permitting, the Ice Castles are normally open from late December to early March. The precise start and end dates could change from year to year.
2. How Do Ice Castles Become Made?
Thousands of icicles are harvested, shaped, and sprayed with water as part of the procedure used to build the Ice Castles. The icicles are joined together to form a solid structure as the water freezes.
3. Does It Cost Money to Enter the Ice Castles?
Children under a specific age may be admitted free of charge, and rates may vary based on the day of the week and the time of day. It is advised to buy tickets in advance because they frequently sell out very quickly.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit the stunning ice castles every year to witness the huge castle handcrafted with passion. It is a perfect winter getaway for many and a fascinating experience.
More than that it is a magical experience where one gets to explore a fairyland filled with fun slides and thousands of icicles hand-placed. Visiting Ice Castles is definitely among the best things to do in New Hampshire.
Wrap yourself in warm clothes and spend your day at the ice castles with breathtaking views and fun-filled activities. There are slides and attractions for kids and adults alike.
The New Hampshire Ice Castles are gaining popularity every year and every winter brings a new and unique design to the Ice Castle.
Every icicle placed is a symbol of dedication and hard work in inclement weather. Get ready and explore the stunning Ice Castles in New Hampshire which are bound to bring a smile to your face
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