Friday, January 15, 2016

REVIEW: Midway Ice Castles 2016

Purchase tickets by clicking HERE
to be directed to the Ice Castles website.

One of our favorite Utah winter activities the last two years has been to walk through the Midway Ice Castles, and this year was even more magical than ever! Creator Brent Christensen has taken his hobby that started as an ice cave for his daughter in their front yard in 2008 and evolved it into an enchanting winter wonderland at Soldier Hollow.

“All of our Ice Castles share the same ingredients and process for construction,” said Christensen. “But what’s so cool is that each castle is unique because of Mother Nature’s role in constantly melting, freezing and reshaping the ice. Even within each location, every day provides a new experience.”

In 2014 we visited the Ice Castles during the day. It was first located at Midway Park, but expanded in 2015 to a larger Ice Castle at Soldier Hollow. Because of the warmer temperatures in 2015, the Ice Castles were melting faster than they were able to build them, so they were only open to the public for a few days, and many missed out on seeing them. We visited at night last year and loved seeing the musical light show. Both experiences were magical and unique in their own way.

This year we decided to visit during the day. It was just as amazing as we had remembered it in years past. We did notice that the ice slide was a lot more organized and put together than last year. It was fun to have the line to the slide go up and around one of the ice castles. 

Frequently Asked Questions:
Below are a list of questions that I have been asked by many of my readers. If you have a question that has not been answered here, you can go to the Ice Castles website and Facebook page, or leave a comment on this post. 

Marcelo Martins and family traveled from
Recife Brazil to visit the ‪Midway Ice Castles!
This was the first time they had ever seen snow! ‪
How long does it take to walk through the Ice Castles? I have been asked this many times in the last week. It completely depends on how much time you want to spend. You could do a quick walk-through and just see it at a glance, or you can spend hours going through each and every tunnel, walkway and area. You are handed a map when you first arrive, so use this to plan out exactly what you want to see. I recommend since you are taking the time to go, see it all!

Are the Ice Castles crowded? Because of how amazing the Ice Castles are, there are many people visiting. New this year is online ticketing, and when you purchase your ticket you designate a half hour window of time that you want to arrive. I love that they are doing this because it then cuts down on the large crowds, allowing more walking room and preventing it from becoming overcrowded. Make sure you purchase your tickets online ahead of time, because they aren't allowing very many standby tickets. 

Is it worth the cost to see the Ice Castles? Absolutely yes!! I am a firm believer in paying somebody what they're worth, and the amount of time it takes to build and maintain the Ice Castles is incredible. You'll notice while you're there that this isn't something they build and then let sit. They are constantly grooming, reshaping, and adding onto the castles. The Ice Castles that you see in January may be a completely different experience than the one you will see at the end of February. I even recommend visiting a few times during the season. 

Any other questions can be answered on the Ice Castles website, or by following the Ice Castles on Facebook and Instagram. Make sure to hashtag all your adventures at the Ice Castles with #IceCastles as well as #EnjoyUtah

The Ice Castles crew are constantly grooming, reshaping, and adding onto the castles.

TIPS when visiting this year's Ice Castles:

Wear a snowsuit! If you are planning on going down the ice slide, jeans aren't very slippery and you will have to push yourself down the slide. I noticed that those who wore snowsuits flew down the slide and had a much more enjoyable time on the slide.
TIP: Wear a snowsuit to go faster on the ice slide!
Wear boots. The ground is groomed but is still snowy and icy, so you'll want to be wearing good warm shoes to get better traction when walking around the Ice Castles.

Bring extra cash. There is a snack shack full of hot chocolate, sugar cookies, cinnamon rolls and other yummy goodies that you are going to want to purchase. They also have a gift shop located at the exit that has all kinds of collectibles to help remind you of your visit to the Ice Castles. Pictures with Elsa and Ana from Frozen are also available for purchase.

Spend the day in Midway! With so much to see and do, make a day of it! You are already at Soldier Hollow seeing the Ice Castles, so you might as well take advantage of sledding and tubing there also! Read our review on Tubing at Soldier Hollow. There are also many beautiful hotels in Midway. Read our review on The Homestead and also The Zermatt Resort.
More fun with the Midway Ice Castles:
The Midway Ice Castles are getting national attention, and many musical acts have chosen to film music videos here in the past. Here are a few of our favorites:

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