The Ice Castles – What Fairytales Are Made Of:
About a year ago, Adam and I went to see these amazing man-made structures called The Ice Castles. Walking around these incredible walls of thick, blue, ice, felt like I was stepping inside of a fairytale. I’d seen castles across the world and nothing had caught my breath like The Ice Castles had. Last Winter was incredibly frigid in Northern New England so although the sun was shining, it was difficult for me to take too many photos because my entire body had gone numb at one point. They were so beautiful to look at that I didn’t want to leave, but once my hands were shaking and the photo quality started to decrease, I decided it wasn’t worth losing my fingers.
If you live in or around New Hampshire, Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Alberta then you can also visit these amazing castles! Make sure you check the website for updates on when the Ice Castle closes for the season.
Tips Before You Go:
- Decide if you want to go during the day or night. Both have their pros and cons and either time period will allow for some amazing photos and an out of this world experience
- Dress for the weather. For real. Dress like you’re never going to be warm again. See my outfit above? Don’t dress like that, I was freezing. Wear a lot of layers and your warmest possible shoes and socks.
- Once you enter The Ice Castles, you cannot re-enter. So double check to make sure you have everything you need before you enter.
Buying Tickets to The Ice Castles:
- To get into The Ice Castles, you need tickets. That sounds simple, but for some reason, it’s not. I remember getting so stressed out by the process and from the looks of their Facebook comments, it hasn’t changed much. You’ll need to reserve your tickets, but you can’t just choose a day that will work with your schedule, you’ll need to see what is available first. My recommendation is to go to their Facebook page (This is for the NH location) and look at their calendar and see what days are open. Your ticket will give you a window of time that you need to arrive in. They are actually quite strict about this. Tickets cost $18 on weekdays and $20 on weekends. Tickets sell out very quickly in the season so act fast if you know you want to visit!
- Sometimes life doesn’t work like this and there is only one day that you are able to go. Because I didn’t plan, this is what happened to me. Thankfully, I had the time to obsessively refresh their page the day before to see if tickets became available. People will often cancel and luckily I was able to grab one ticket. But that left Adam without a ticket.
- If this happens to you, there is something called a “standby ticket.” I read their website and spoke to someone who worked at The Ice Castles via Facebook chat, and it seemed like a pretty hopeless cause to show up and expect that Adam could get a standby ticket. While we were driving there, I was already setting myself up for disappointment. But, as luck had it, Adam was able to get a standby ticket with absolutely no problem. I’m not sure if the stars were aligned for us, or if they just made it seem like it was harder said than done, but I was grateful. Just know there is a chance it will work for you too!
Photography Within The Ice Castles:
You are only allowed to take amateur photography during your visit at the ice castle. You aren’t permitted to bring tripods to the area. They do allow you to rent out the space to take photos for engagement shoots, weddings, etc. if that is something that interests you.
Isn’t it funny how when you look at photographs of amazing places it seems to look like the photographer and their subject are the only people there? It’s never like that. Build up your patience to get that perfect shot because there will be a lot of people at The Ice Castles. Half the time we were there was spent waiting for people to move out of the way. It was definitely one of the most challenging places I have photographed.
Learn More About The Ice Castles:
If you’d like to learn more about any of The Ice Castle locations, visit their website here.