This icy invention weighs more than 25 million pounds when finished and sprawls over the open acreage in Midway, Utah. But, how does it become this fairytale ice castle creation?
The First Ice Castle
Ice Castles co-founder, Brent Christensen, came up with the concept at his residence in Alpine, Utah when his children were bored one winter day and tired of being trapped inside. After moving to Utah from sunny California, he attempted to make his children an ice cave in his own front yard.
His first-ever ice cave was a hit to not only his children but also to kids all across the neighborhood! Then, word spread across town. Local curious neighbors started driving by their yard to see the ice cave, some even going through the cave to experience it for themselves. Eventually, Brent’s kids coined their dad's ice cave creation an “ice castle.”
With this beginning, the Ice Castles grew to become five locations each year at unique wintry destinations across the country. Today, Ice Castles is a company that works diligently every winter season to create magical icy creations that inspire and bring happiness, laughter, and unforgettable memories to all who visit any of its locations.
Making Today’s Ice Castles
Each year, the Midway Ice Castles are made entirely by hand. Brent Christensen is the lead artist and architect that makes each year’s castles unique and memorable. A team of 20 to 40 ice artists assist Brent in building the castles with manmade icicles. These dedicated workers grow roughly 12,000 icicles every day over the course of two months before the Ice Castles are complete and ready for visitors.
The handmade icicles are harvested for the castle design, then each is placed by professional artists. Icicles are intentionally and carefully placed to create frosty features such as tunnels, slides, fountains, thrones, arches, and more. Overall, hundreds of thousands of icicles are made for each destination.
Once the castle is finished, it covers approximately one acre in size and weighs over 25 million pounds. The magic of the castles are illuminated with LED lights at night. Each LED light is frozen inside the ice to make the experience even more radiant and breathtaking.
The Ice Castles are purposefully located next to a natural water source so the ice melts back into the environment when the winter temperatures warm and start melting the castle.
Visit the Midway Ice Castles
With a new unique design every year, thousands of visitors come to the area to view the captivating frozen fortress and experience its interactive activities. Take your family and friends, also perfect for a date night activity, and walk through frozen tunnels of all sizes, witness the LED-lit sculptures, sit on frozen thrones, race down icy slides, and enjoy your evening outdoors and under a starlit sky. Add another level of merriment to your experience and book a horse drawn sleigh ride through Rocky Mountain Outfitters to ride right up to the Ice Castles entrance. Get tickets online ONLY.
No matter how you arrive at the Ice Castles, make sure to photograph your adventure and share it. Tag @hebervalley and #gohebervalley so we can see all the fun you're having, and maybe even share your post to our audience. Find Heber Valley on Instagram and Facebook and let's connect on social!
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