The world is just full of wonders to behold and explore. Whether it is natural or it is man-made, people should take some time off to explore the best of what the world has to offer. In the state of New Hampshire in the US, there are a lot of natural wonders to visit but sometimes, it is the better option to check out what man is capable of doing. Behind all of the greeneries, forests, and other natural wonders in New Hampshire, lies a series of sculptures made entirely out of ice.
When we were still kids, we dreamt of living in castles as either kings or queens. When Disney Pixar’s Frozen was announced, we saw that castle walls were not limited to bricks and stone. So long as man works for it, the castle could be made from nearly anything and that includes icicles as well.
Ice Castles is an award-winning frozen attraction that spans through five (soon to be six) cities across North America. Aside from the one in New Hampshire, there are also Ice Castles branches in Dillon, Colorado; Edmonton, Alberta; Excelsior, Minnesota; and Midway, Utah. You can also get to explore new Ice Castles in Geneva, Wisconsin soon. Because of its several branches, the amazing ice lands are easy to explore. The overall experience of the attraction is able to draw in crowds of families, couples, children, groups of friends and basically just about everyone.
There are a ton of reasons why Ice Castles have accrued awards throughout the years. First and foremost, there is a lot of fun to be had in these places. Second is that the area itself is wonderfully made. In today’s world where photos and captured memories are a big deal, the Ice Castles offer unique and wonderful views.
The entire Ice Castles experience is built around the core principle of enjoying all the fun that could be had at extremely cool temperatures. The attractions are excellently built using hundreds of thousands of icicles that are hand-place by professional ice artists. This ensures people that they are getting their money’s worth with each visit.
There are also breathtaking LED-lit sculptures that accommodate the entire facilities and these vastly improve the overall experience. Of course, the Ice Castles are not just trips to a cool area as there are ice-carved tunnels to explore, frozen thrones to take photos in and most importantly, there are ice slides to try out. These are just the “tip of the iceberg” to say the least.
The Ice Castles branch in New Hampshire recently opened for this year’s rendition of the attraction. It opened at 24 Clark Farm Road in North Woodstock which is just a few miles away from the original location at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln. This year’s castle features huge turrets, archways, tunnels and ice slides. Aside from these, visitors can also try out a new horse-drawn sleigh ride.
- 1 What is the schedule in Ice Castles?
- 2 What are the ticket prices in Ice Castles?
- 3 Are these really ice?
- 4 How do they make it?
- 5 How to fully enjoy the Ice Castles?
What is the schedule in Ice Castles?
The schedules of the Ice Castles vary per branch but since we are talking about the one in New Hampshire, it will be our basis. The Ice Castles are opened from 4PM to 9PM from Tuesday to Thursday. During Fridays, the attraction closes at little later at 10:30PM. Since the operating hours are limited, it is best to expect a ton of people visiting the area. As such, it is also advised to visit during the weekdays as there are fewer visitors during those days.
The Ice Castles are closed during Monday and Sundays only. However, there are times when management decides to not accept visitors. To be on the safe side, it is advised to check out the attraction’s website beforehand. It would be quite the waste to go to the area and see it closed. Luckily, there are only very few instances during which the ice castles are close.
What are the ticket prices in Ice Castles?
Admission to Ice Castles is not free but of course, each dime is well spent once you get to the ice cold wonderland. The price of General Admission tickets for those aged 12 and up is $15.95 during the weekdays and $18.95 during the weekends. Children aged 4 to 11 can enjoy a discounted price of $10.95 during the weekdays and $14.95 during the weekends. Aside from these, people should also ready a few extra dollars for other activities such as the newly introduced horse sleigh. Upon exiting the Ice Castles, families can also visit the gift shop which includes an array of aptly themed souvenirs such as shirts, mugs and more.
The New Hampshire Ice Castles and its branches elsewhere are not up the whole year round. Obviously, the ice artists can only make due when the weather is cool. Once the Ice Castles open their doors, it would be wise to pay them a visit as it truly is a sight and experience to remember. Now that we’ve said the basics, let us glance at everything that makes the Ice Castles an amazing adventures. We will throw in a few tips as well.
Are these really ice?
There are several attractions around the world that features “ice” sculptures that are, apparently, only made of plastics and not pure ice. But take the Ice Castles in New Hampshire differently.
This is because everything that you see inside the Ice Castles in New Hampshire is actually made of ice and are made by the hands of a team of expert ice artisans. In fact, if you head to the hot chocolate station inside the attraction, you can take a peek at the outside wall and have a glimpse of how the “magic” happens and see these talented ice artisans spraying racks or even harvesting icicles.
How do they make it?
Again, the Ice Castles have its own team of ice artisans and they actually “grow” hundreds of thousands of icicles. As a matter of fact, they can grow more or less than 10,000 icicles a day. All through the season, these icicles are transplanted strategically to certain spots inside the Ice Castles where the designer thinks it would encourage ice growth. Then, they will use a slushy mixture to cement these icicles in place. After that, sprinklers are turned on and icy formations will begin to take shape. It might look a bit easy but creating these jaw-dropping sculptures is not as easy as it looks. In reality, the process of building these displays requires an approximate of 4,000 hours of labor to construct the Ice Castle in New Hampshire alone. And when it’s completed it still needs maintenance as its always fragile and dependent on the cold weather.
Moreover, the Ice Castles, apparently, has five (soon to be six) branches all over North America and each branch has its own team of its ice architects who are allowed to build each display freely. In fact, according to reports, the founder of the attraction, Brent Christensen, gives his teams the “creative freedom” when creating their displays and he makes sure to visit each branch to check if the displays are not duplicated. In this way, all of its visitors will be able to get to see fresh new designs – a good reason to visit all of the Ice Castles’ branches, right?
How to fully enjoy the Ice Castles?
If you’re a big fan of Frozen, if you love the winter season, or if you’re just looking for a unique place to explore, the Ice Castles in New Hampshire is the best place to be. Here, you can get to see ice, ice, and more ice everywhere! But these ice aren’t as ordinary as many would think it is.
Apparently, this attraction in New Hampshire is filled with lots of magnificently sculpted ice that are made even more beautiful with LED lights. What’s even better is that you’ll not just get to see ice displays but you can also explore several ice-carved tunnels, sit on a frozen throne (which is so cool – no pun intended – and very Instagrammable), and marvel at its fountains. In addition to that, you (if you’re and avid Frozen fan) and your kids can get to meet, greet, and take a photo with the Ice Castles very own princes as you enter her home.
They also hold several performances like fire shows where you can get to see performers breathe fires, spin flaming hulas, and so much more stuff to see and do. What’s even better is that this attraction is not just for the kids to enjoy but even for the adults as well.
But visiting the Ice Castles in New Hampshire is not just an ordinary trip to the usual museums, water parks, and other attractions in the US. This is because there are some things that you need to remember and do first as you plan and visit the Ice Castles in order to make your trip much more memorable and, of course, picture-perfect. If you’re one of the travelers who want to try out this attraction, here are some few tips to enjoy Ice Castles in New Hmapshire that you might want to take note of.
1Do your research first
Whether it’s a trip to the Ice Castles or not, a traveler must always bear in mind that doing a research about the place that he is eyeing on is very important. This is because aside from getting to know the things that a place can offer, you can also plan how you can make every photo in the area count. Hence, before going to the Ice Castles, you can take a look at the images of the tourists in the Ice Castles, New Hampshire shared on Instagram. In this way, you can get some real-time photo inspirations and angle ideas so you’ll have amazing mementos of your trip.
2Plan your outfit
The Ice Castles is not just an ordinary tourist spot where you can just wear anything. This is because the place is filled with ice so expect that your background will often be composed of white colors even if they are lit with LED lights. To make sure that you’ll have better photos, one of the important tips to enjoy the Ice Castles is to wear bright colors. In this way, you won’t look like a mere head that’s floating around.
3Bring a selfie stick
If you’re traveling to this unique attraction by yourself, it can be quite hard to take a photo. Apparently, selfies don’t work well here as there are sculptures that are big and your selfie would likely look as if these sculptures are just some random ice. And while you can ask others to take a photo of you, it can be somewhat hard too as everybody is enjoying the place too.
To make sure that you can still capture the beauty of the place as you take a self-portrait, one of the tips to enjoy the Ice Castles in New Hampshire that we can share with you is to bring a selfie stick. These are allowed inside so you don’t have to worry too much.
4Plan your visit
Another one of the important tips to enjoy Ice Castles in New Hampshire is to plan your visit ahead. The attraction has different operation times and compared to other popular tourist spots like museum, amusement parks, water parks, etc., the Ice Castles in New Hampshire don’t start their operation time in the morning. Rather, they often open around noon until 9 or 10:30 PM and it is closed during Mondays and Sundays. So you better plot your schedule first.
As its name suggests, of course, this is an attraction that’s filled with ice sculptures and other structures that are also made of ice. Hence, one of the important tips to enjoy Ice Castles in
Another one of the important tips to enjoy Ice Castles in New Hampshire is that you should not forget to wear a pair of sturdy winter boots. While a dressy pair of heels adds confidence and does look good in photos, it is very much advisable to just leave them at home as the Ice Castles’ floors are icy and
6Bring some extra cash
The cold temperature inside the Ice Castles and it can definitely make you crave for some hot chocolates. Don’t worry, though, as they sell small cups of hot chocolates inside the Ice Castles. However, you must have some cash with you as they don’t accept cards. Also, note that these cups of hot chocolate can be a bit pricey for its size (as of 2017, apparently, it costs around $4). So be sure to bring some cash with you.
7Always arrive early
Popular tourist spots like the Ice Castles in New Hampshire draws hundreds of both locals and tourists as its visitors. For that reason, you always expect a big crowd and long lines. However, there is quite a hack to still have fun and make the most out of your visit. One of the most important tips to enjoy Ice Castles in New Hampshire is to arrive a bit earlier even before it opens. Like in any other well-known tourist spots, this will make you enjoy the place while the number of visitors is still smaller. In addition to that, you will have more time to tour the place as well.
The Ice Castles in New Hampshire is truly an amazing one-of-a-kind destination and it’s something you need to check out too if you happen to stop by New Hampshire. Have you been here already? Tell us more about your experience in the comments below too.