Disney’s Frozen isn’t my favorite movie, but that doesn’t mean I won’t let myself feel like Elsa when the opportunity arises. And that opportunity arose when I visited the “award-winning” Ice Castles in New Hampshire.
The ice castles are built using thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists and LED-lit sculptures. Kids and adults can explore ice-carved tunnels and rooms, slides, and even tubing!
Since we live in Boston, the drive was a little over 2 hours long. I was worried that we would be driving in heavy snow, but thankfully, the snow cleared once we left Boston. But we did see lots of snow in North Woodstock, NH, but we came prepared with layers and proper snowshoes.
We kept a close eye on the weather since we didn’t own winter tires, so we bought our tickets a few days before the scheduled time, which meant the only times available were 11 am to 1 pm. While I originally wanted to do nighttime, I was too eager and bought the tickets.
I was immediately mesmerized by the ice castles. Guests are surrounded by ice everywhere! You can see icicles hanging brightly on the left, right, and even on top. I felt like I was living in a Disney movie.
In the center of the castles, you can see fountains, but unfortunately, ours were shut off at the time. But I have seen photos, and they look AMAZINGLY COOL. There are different paths throughout the castle to explore, and there are even two ice slides. One slide is for kids and adults over 42 inches, and the other is for children who couldn’t go on the first one.
The New Hampshire location had a sleigh pulled by horses (another purchase) and free tubing. I got to go tubing for the first time, and I had a blast. You can also take a walk through a magical trail that is lit up at night. And if you get too cold, you can buy some hot cocoa and delicious cinnamon rolls. Honestly, the warm cinnamon rolls made this trip extra magical.
Tips To Make the Most Out of Your Ice Castles New Hampshire Trip
To make the most out of your New Hampshire Ice Castles trip, here are a few tips to make sure you enjoy yourself to the max.
- Explore the whole castle. The ice castle is perfect for people of all ages and there is plenty of space and areas to explore. Explore every tunnel, slide and room. Make your rounds and make sure you take everything in. Parents, if you have small kids, you are allowed to use sleds to pull them along the ice.
- Buy your tickets in advance. The tickets are assigned to time slots, but once you are in, you can take your time exploring. Night time slots are sold out faster so make sure to book well in advance. Sleigh rides can also be purchased when you buy your tickets. You also want to buy these in advance to avoid the lines.
- The sleighs do not run between 5 – 6 p.m.
- Check the weather in advanced. Dates and hours are weather dependent. The ice castles are also closed on Sundays and Mondays, except for holidays.
- Wear appropriate clothing. As someone who gets cold easily, I made sure to wear enough layers and use snow boots.
- Get on the slide line early. Since we were there early, there wasn’t much of a line. But when we left around 2 p.m., the line had gotten pretty long.
- The ice castle experience is located in 5 different states: New Hampshire, New York, Minnesota, Utah and Wisconsin.
- Be patient when taking photos. Everyone wants to take photos of this magical experience so be patient and don’t ruin the experience. There will be lots of people so you might not always get a shot that doesn’t have people. If you are determined to get cool shots, you can reserve the area for a hefty price.
Visiting the Ice Castles in New Hampshire was a fun experience, and I hope to return next year. If you are interested in learning more, click this link to purchase tickets or find a location near you.
And check out my IG Post on the New Hampshire Ice Castle experience here: