All photos are courtesy and property of Kristin Savage.
As you probably saw, Utah Valley Moms was given the opportunity to visit the ice castles in Midway a few weeks ago. Utah Valley Moms was also given another opportunity to go visit again and take a tour.
We arrived at the ice castles on a Friday afternoon a few minutes before they opened. By the time I had the kids all bundled in warm clothes the castles were ready to open. The ice castles are located right next to Midway’s outdoor ice rink and because we got there so early we were able to park in the parking lot. Even though it was a Friday, the ice castles were not very crowded during the afternoon. That night when we went back and it was very packed. If you don’t like crowds and want to see the lights on in the evening I would definitely recommend going on a week night.
During our tour we were able to learn how much hard work goes into building the ice castles. It takes a lot of time and effort to build them and to keep them maintained so they look beautiful and are safe. The ice castles take about a month and a half of prep time to get ready for opening. Plus every morning they spend hours clearing the paths because they have frozen over. Because they have to take their ice picks and a machine with ice picks through the paths so it’s safe to walk through, it makes about a foot of slush and ice and snow that you have to walk through on the paths. I would highly recommend wearing boots. Especially snow boots if you have them. I heard many people wishing they had worn boots because of how deep some parts of the paths got.
The ice castles are continually melting a little and refreezing. Plus everyday they grow new icicles that they harvest and then attach to the top of the ice castles. Every time you go the castles will look different.
The ice castles are an amazing work of art and they have a couple of fun features. They have a maze you can wander through and they have “slot canyons” you can enjoy. They built the slot canyons to resemble one of Utah’s other beauties the slot canyon’s in Southern Utah. I thought all of the ice castles had a great resemblance to Southern Utah’s Goblin Valley. Not just the slot canyon’s but all of the formations were unique and beautiful in their own way just like in Goblin Valley.
This year the ice castles have two water features. A waterfall and a fountain that both glow with different colored lights in the evening when the lights have been turned on. There is also a tunnel and slide that kids can climb through. Plus you can’t leave without getting your picture taken with Snowlof (since they can’t technically say it’s Olaf).
I really enjoyed seeing the ice castles during the day and at night with the lights on and I would really recommend doing both if you can. During the day you can really tell how the formations are each intricate and beautiful. The ice castles are such a work of art and you can’t really see the details of it all at night. But seeing them at night with all the different lights is also incredible.
When you see towers like this where the tower is top heavy and it looks like it has little flower pedals it is because it is too cold for the ice. It’s so cold that the ice freezes upward instead of downward like icicles.
Each of those little towers at the top are icicles they harvested and placed on top a couple of days earlier. Some of them they place horizontally to help the castles grown in length.
When we came back at night there were some men blowing and juggling fire outside the ice castles for entertainment. It was pretty cool to watch that before we went inside.
All photos are courtesy and property of Kristin Savage. These images may not be used without written permission and a link back to this blog post.
UVM was given a tour in exchange for this post. All opinions are our own.