The creation of Utah designer Brent Christensen, his ice teams start forming the castles weeks before the doors open for the season in late December-early January. Every day thousands of new icicles are formed and added, and the sculpting and coaxing of the ice and snow results in new tunnels and caves, so that the whole castle keeps building and building—until the end of winter. By March, when the icicles start to melt and all the pipes are packed up, the Ice Castles have grown by hundreds of thousands of sparkly, spiky icicles.

ice-castles-winter-wonderland
Photo: Ice Castles

The Ice Castles project originated in Utah in 2011, and each year the creators go to wintry locations to set up a series of drip pipes to start the process of trickling out their icicles—the “seeds” of the castles. These icicles then form the basis of the structures, which are made entirely of ice and snow. These are full-scale, manmade stalactites and stalagmites, lit up at night to an icy glow.

This year, 2017, Ice Castles will be present in Midway-UT, Lincoln-NH, Stillwater-MN, Wisconsin Dells-WI, Edmonton-AB (Canada).

The breathtaking works of art have become a must-see winter attraction and social media sensation drawing more than a million people over the last five years to the company’s five locations in North America.

Tips for a Great Experience

Wear Boots: The walking surface inside of the Ice Castles is made of crushed ice. Walking in boots is definitely best.
Save some trees: When you buy your tickets online they’ll send you an email with a unique QR code, so there’s no need to print your tickets. They can be scanned right from your phone.
Photos are encouraged, but leave photography equipment such as tripods and lights at home.
Bring a sled: The company recommends bringing a small sled to pull children instead of a stroller. It is extremely difficult to push the stroller through the castle (think of it like trying to push a stroller through a sandy beach).
Dress warm: Dress like you are going to experience the elements. They recommend layering clothing as well as hats, mittens, jacket and snow pants.

In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of the Ice Castles below! (embedded from their Instagram account)
You can visit the company’s website to find out more details (also check their FAQ too).

Well, @jrad_photo sure knows how to take an incredible photo! #icecastles #igdaily

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@coreyschestak caught a beautiful moment in the winter wonderland we call the #icecastles

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This picture deserves a standing ovation. Photo credit: @a.j.mellor #icecastles

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Looking good Minnesota!! Photo cred: @a.j.mellor #icecastles #edenprairieicecastles

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Repost from @provo_ut photo credit @billchurchphoto #icecastles

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