Winter Adventure to the Ice Castles in Minnesota
Frozen fans unite! Grab the whole family and head north for this fun winter adventure among giant ice formations. You will quickly feel you are a part of the classic Disney movie. This winter activity is a must and I am sharing all the details and tips before you head on your winter adventure to the Ice Castles in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Ice Castles are located 25 miles north of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, Minnesota. The actual Ice Castles are formed in Long Lake Regional Park at 1500 Old Highway 8. You are not too far from the Mall of America so you can plan an entire winter, a weekend getaway for the whole family!
There are several Ice Castles locations in the United States including New Hampshire, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Ice Castles Attractions
There are so many fun things to see and do at the Ice Castles including exhilarating ice slides, and ice-carved tunnels and if you look above it looks like a winter chandelier. You will also find ice caverns, ice sculptures with LED lights inside, crawl spaces, a frosty ice bar, a lantern passage, a frozen maze, and so much more. This is a great activity for people of all ages to enjoy the cold weather.
As you walk up to the Ice Castles Minnesota you will be in awe of the beautiful ice structures and cascades of ice. You will follow the snow path to the center of the Ice Castles where you will find all the attractions and begin your magical journey.
We also really enjoyed the sledding hill while we were there!
Iowa Castles Special Events + Performers
Each Ice Castles location offers something different. We were lucky to run into the Snow Queen and Winter Fairy while we were there. You can also see Fire Dancers who put on magnificent fire shows for attendees. Take a look at the details for entertainment on their website.
Mother nature can play a huge impact in whether the Ice Castles are open or not. Before you purchase tickets please be aware that ticket sales are final. They are non-refundable and non-transferable. When we made our visit we were very nervous that it would be closed due to warmer temperatures. Luckily we were able to go! The next day it closed. You can change the date and times of your tickets with at least 24 hours’ notice. If you are traveling from a distance keep your eyes open for the weather and plan accordingly.
Ticket prices are at their lowest price online and offer the best value. They may be available on-site but they are not guaranteed and have higher rates. When you purchase your tickets you will select a specific time for entry, but you are more than welcome to stay as long as you like.
Prices vary between weekdays and weekends (peak hours) starting from $11 to $22. Children ages 0-3 years old do not require a ticket.
When do tickets go on sale?
Tickets typically go on sale at the end of November. You will want to act fast as popular times and days will go fast. Specific dates of when the Ice Castles will open and close are weather dependent. Most commonly the castles will open to the public in early January and will stay open through early March or later if the weather permits. Keep an eye on their website and social media pages for the official opening date announcement. The Ice Castles may close due to inclement weather so if you have tickets be very aware of the weather conditions so you can make changes if needed.
Food and Drink
Outside food and drink are not permitted at the Ice Castles. They do offer local food trucks that sell snacks, sweet treats, hot chocolate, and more. If you are an adult, make a stop at the Polar Pub which sells a selection of alcoholic drinks. We played and explored for about an hour, then headed over to get some snacks and warmed up with some hot beverages.
Where to stay while visiting Ice Castles in Minnesota
If you are looking for a place to stay during your visit I highly recommend Homewood Suites by Hilton. This hotel is located just down the highway from the entrance to the Ice Castles. We really enjoyed the suite and how it offered a kitchen. We made sure to pack snacks and a few crockpot meals to save money. In addition, they have a good size pool, a hot tub (perfect for warming up after your outdoor adventure), and a hot, complimentary breakfast.
Ice Castles tips before you go!
As you plan your trip to experience the Ice Castles keep in mind these tips before you go.
- Purchase your tickets for late afternoon so you have a chance to experience the day and night. As the sun goes down, you will fall in love with the breathtaking LED-lit sculptures. They are two very different experiences and you will not want to miss them!
- Take advantage of the available Ice Castles parking lots. If you park in lot A and walk it is about a 1-mile trek. The complimentary shuttle is worth it!
- Plan 2-3 hours of playing and exploring. You can definitely spend a lot more time than that though! They will not kick you out, but there is no re-entry so make sure you experience everything before you leave.
- There are some fire pits available to warm up, but I would recommend bringing hand and foot warmers. You will not regret it!
- If you have younger children you are allowed to bring in a small sled to pull them in. This is a great alternative to strollers (which are not allowed). It is also like another ride for them!
- When you attend make sure you have your winter weather gear including winter boots, snow pants, gloves, and hats.
- If you are attending at night bring along glow sticks for some added fun on your Ice Castles adventure.