You’re missing out on winter if you’ve never been to an ice castle.
Only three seasons after Ice Castles LLC (based out of Utah) first brought their glacial creations up north, it’s hard to imagine an Edmonton winter being quite as magical without them. Whether you love or hate this time or year, visiting the castles are bound to leave you with a greater appreciation of the season (you have sub-zero temperatures to thank for the ice castles’ existence), and/or a little more inspiration to tolerate those last few months of cold.
And if you happen to walk away feeling neither—well, at the least, you’re guaranteed to come away with some Instagram-worthy photos. Here’s a look back at some of mine:
Ice Castles Edmonton 2017/2018 version, November 2017:
Ice Castles Edmonton 2017/2018 version, end of February 2018:
Ice Castles Edmonton 2016/2017 version, January 2017:
Using water from the North Saskatchewan River and taking 5000 man hours spread over 8-10 weeks to create, the castles stand in Hawrelak Park for two to three long months of winter ending around mid-March. Best time of the day to go? Just before sunset, on a day with clouds (the difference is clear between last year’s visit and this year’s visit). I hear night time is also supposed to be pretty spectacular, but I can’t speak from personal experience. Fingers crossed the Ice Castles crew comes back to Edmonton next year as I’d love to return for an evening visit!
A handful of other cities across North America (and one in New Zealand!) have had ice castles—have you been to one? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!