Ice castles are constructed by hand one icicle at a time

Nov 27, 2022, 1:25 PM | Updated: 6:20 pm
Massive blue ice sculptures with a starry sky....
A massive ice sculpture is illuminated with a very starry night sky in the background. (AJ Mellor, Ice Castles)
(AJ Mellor, Ice Castles)

MIDWAY, Utah — Cold temperatures means construction on the Ice Castles at Soldier Hollow Nordic Center has officially begun, and it’s coming together one icicle at a time.

A person is creating and harvesting hundreds of individual icicles.

Ice structures are constructed with thousands of individual icicles that are each crafted and harvested by hand. (Ice Castles)

With ice structures towering up to 20 feet tall, illuminated with whimsical lighting, the winter wonderland resembles the castles in Disney’s “Frozen” and attracts tens of thousands of people each season.

A kid is looking up at tall ice surrounding him.

Ice sculptures tower above a child in a green illuminated castle. (Ice Castles)

It all began around 2011 in Alpine, Utah when founder Brent Christensen was attempting to build a winter playground for his kids in his front yard. That’s when he developed the patented process used to create the ice castles that are now an internationally renowned tourist attraction with other locations across North America.

Ice Castles tower tall above view with bridges and archways between them. (AJ Mellor, Ice Castles) A view through surrounding walls of ice shows a starry night sky. (AJ Mellor, Ice Castles) Two people look up at the icicles in a trench between two walls of ice. (AJ Mellor, Ice Castles) Ice formations are illuminated in reds and blues, highlighting unique shapes like stormy clouds and archways between them. (AJ Mellor, Ice Castles) Ice Castle from a distance, lit with blue LED lighting. (Ice Castles) Ice in mounds showing layers of light blue ice and snow. (Ice Castles) Ice Castles lit in pink and blue shades like cotton candy. (Ice Castles) A person is looking up at a hole in the ice castle where the sky is visible. (AJ Mellor, Ice Castles) A child is walking through a tunnel within the ice castles. (AJ Mellor, Ice Castles)

Now, ice artists have begun this years construction by growing and harvesting icicles. According to a press release, artists will grow up to 10,000 icicles each day.


These icicles are individually fused with others using water to hand build masses of ice within the palaces ice slides, tunnels and sculptures.


A child in a square ice tunnel.

A child is sliding in an ice tunnel, illuminated in blue and red LED. (Ice Castles)

In addition to the fortresses and horse-drawn sleighs, there will be winter characters available for meet and greet inside the castles.

The frozen playground is expected to open in late December or early January, tickets will be available Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. on the website.


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Ice castles are constructed by hand one icicle at a time