The Minnesota Ice Castle is back in Stillwater, Minnesota! It’s been open for a little over a week and they are loving this cold weather! We decided to spend a little time at the Castle this past weekend and wanted to share. Here are a few tips and tricks to help make your visit more enjoyable!
First, dress for the cold. Remember, the Minnesota Ice Castle is right off the St. Croix River, it gets pretty windy and chilly there. Plus, you are walking on crushed ice and snow so be sure to wear warm boots with heavy socks. The ice castle staff do their best to keep the ground filled with lots of crushed ice and snow but if it’s been a warm day be mindful that you may be walking on smooth snow/ice and need to wear shoes with tread, there are small inclines throughout the attraction that can be hard to maneuver if it’s been warm out. Also, put the kiddos in snow pants, when they go down the ice slides you’ll want the extra protection from the cold and ice.
If you really want to have a great time, you need to do a little planning. You should buy your Minnesota Ice Castle tickets online a day or two before you’d like to go. They allow a certain number of people through per hour so they do sell out of tickets. You can risk it and try to buy tickets when you arrive but you may be waiting for a while. Your ticket allows for a 30-minute arrival window. For example, if your ticket is for 4 pm, you have until 4:30 to check in. You cannot check in early.
Another thing to keep in mind, Stillwater has limited parking. Allow extra time to find parking, possibly pay for parking, and walk to the ice castle. Usually, an additional 15 minutes should be good.
When it’s time to enter the castle be prepared to take lots of pictures! There are tons of photo opportunities. Especially at the entrance, there are several spots that are perfect for taking group photos with the ice castle as a backdrop.
Take your time walking through the castle. There are little caves for the kids to explore, enclosed slides for the whole family to enjoy and lots of enchanting ice formations throughout the castle. We spent a little over an hour exploring the ice castle and enjoying some hot cocoa. The kids had a blast wandering through the castle and I loved capturing the photos of them exploring.
Once you’ve discovered every tunnel, slide, and cave be sure to stop by the concessions, they have the best hot cocoa. It’s rich, chocolatey and delicious. Be sure to get a big cup because you’ll wish you have more once you’ve finished. They also have a small assortment of cookies and other snacks available to purchase. And don’t worry about bringing cash, they take all major credit cards and debit card.
The Minnesota Ice Castle is set to be open every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from now until February 28th. But if you thinking about going, I’d go sooner rather than later. If we have warm weather it can cause the ice castle to close, that happened last year. The next week looks like it will be chilly, perfect for the ice castle, but it means you really need to make sure you are dressed for the weather.
Find all of the details for your visit: IceCastles.com
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And for those with special needs children, if your child requires help walking or needs a stroller, consider bringing a sled. No strollers are allowed inside because they can’t be pushed through the crushed ice and snow. Think of it like this, it’s like trying to push a stroller on a beach, next to impossible. There is also only 1 entrance and exit to the castle, they are pretty much right next to each other. There is no outside food or drinks allowed in the castle. And if you have any quesitons, feel free to leave them below and I’ll answer them. I’ve been a few times to the castle and I have a child with special needs so I can probably offer a little insight.