During the cold and snowy New England winter months, it can be tough to adventure outside. Unless you’re a skier or snowboarder, you might think winter is best spent reading a book next to the fireplace until the mercury starts to rise again in the spring. But, the famous Ice Castles in New Hampshire will make you put on all the layers and head to the mountains.
Ice Castles became famous in 2011 when founder, Brent Christensen, crafted his first icy masterpiece in his front yard at his home in Utah. Not only was the ice castle a hit with Christensen’s six kids, but also the whole neighborhood who came to play in the ice. Since 2011, Ice Castles has grown to five locations across North America where kids and adults of all ages can enjoy the pure joy and happiness of the Ice Castles experience.
Did you know that New Hampshire’s Ice Castles is one of the first ice castles in the country? In recent years, the Ice Castles New Hampshire moved to it’s permanent location in North Woodstock on Clark Farm Road. This location has allowed the crew to create larger, more interactive experience for all its guests, as well as the opportunity to add fun, new winter elements each year.
Every year, Ice Castles look a little different, and that’s all due to its lead designer – Mother Nature. Each ice castle weighs about 25 million pounds and takes a team of 20 to 40 artisans to create over the course of many weeks. Every night, the artisans harvest 5,000 to 12,000 icicles, which are then individually sculpted into existing ice formations. The newly placed icicles are then drenched in water to solidify. Each ice castle is about one acre in size and is lit with colorful LED lights for a magical experience.
Along with experiencing the wonders of Ice Castles, the New Hampshire location also offers caverns and caves, ice slides and snow tubing, sleigh rides and a mystic forest light walk through an enchanted forest lined with elaborate ice sculptures. Sleigh rides are available for an additional charge and may be purchased when you reserve your tickets online. New this year is the Polar Pub. Belly up to a frosty ice bar for a winter themed hot or cold beverage.
While it’s always hard to predict the opening date of Ice Castles due to Mother Nature, construction of Ice Castles will start as soon as the daytime temperatures begin to drop below freezing, and it takes about two months to build.
Parking is free at the new location, but on the weekends and holidays, parking may be limited due to the number of people trying to visit. Only a limited number of tickets are sold daily, so it’s best to purchase tickets ahead of time online. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit icecastles.com/new-hampshire.
The White Mountains are home to a wide array of lodging options, dining options and fun winter activities like snowtubing, ice skating, skiing, snowshoeing and more. Make a trip out of it! Just make sure to plan ahead. The best time to visit is mid-week when there are less crowds and better lodging rates.