By Emily Lovell, Associate Editor
Dillon, Colorado hosts a spectacular winter phenomenon every year: the ice castles. Featuring ice tunnels, caverns, fountains, an ice throne, slides, and plenty of photo opportunities, a visit to the Ice Castles will be full of laughter, awe, and unforgettable winter memories.
The company that creates them is based in Utah and spent about 4,000 hours dripping, shaping, and artistically hand-placing icicles throughout the palace. They also embedded the icicles with LED lights that change color so that the castles are light up like the northern lights. So, while they sparkle by day, be sure to see them glow after sunset.
Brent Christensen founded the company in 2011. In order to get his six children with cabin fever outside during Utah winters, he built an ice cave for them in the front yard. Soon, his winter playground became enormously popular throughout the town and has only continued to do so. Now, ice castles are built in six locations throughout North America: Dillon, CO; Edmonton, AB; Excelsior, MN; Lake Geneva, WI; Lincoln, NH; and Midway, UT.
Tickets are limited, so you’ll want to purchase them a week in advance online. They are open every day of the week except Tuesday and Wednesday. General admission is $15.95 during weekdays and $18.95 during the weekend. The season generally lasts from late December to early March, but it depends on Mother Nature. More information can be found here: https://icecastles.com/dillon/
Another surprise awaits within the castle’s walls: a show by Insphyre Performance. Watch men and women dance and duel with fire. They swallow fire; they catch flames in their hands and use it to light their props; they brandish fiery batons. And, they perform with the perfect soundtrack like “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter or “Light it Up” by the Fall Out Boys.
Once you are done admiring the Ice Castles’ fairytale-like beauty, and your hands and toes are numb with cold, you can go just right across the street to a little place called Cameez for hot cocoa. They also serve coffee, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and crepes. Be sure to cross this fantastic adventure off your winter bucket list!