By Justine Walsh
Welcome back Panthers! Over the break, the Ice Castles, located in Woodstock, New Hampshire opened up. The Ice Castles staff is looking forward to seeing you this winter!
A unique attraction that has been part of the Woodstock scene for years, the Ice Castles are built by hand and take thousands of hours to create. The daily process consists of growing 5,000 to 12,000 icicles that are harvested by hand, and individually sculpted into existing ice formations. The newly placed icicles are then drenched in water. “It takes approximately 4 weeks to build the castle once we start harvesting icicles, but our crew of ice artisans is on location beginning in October creating the vision and layout for the castle and setting up the water pipes and lights which are embedded in the ice.” Melissa Smuzynski, a member of the Ice Castles Marketing and Public Relations Department, said.
The daily process consists of growing 5,000 to 12,000 icicles that are harvested by hand, and individually sculpted into existing ice formations.
The Ice Castles came into place about a decade ago, when the founder, Brent Christensen and his children began to play with running water outside during the winter. Christensen and his children would spray various objects with water and observe how the ice formed on them. Christensen ended up building a large ice playground in his front yard, which drew in crowds during the wintertime. From that, the Ice Castles were born, and have since become a popular tourist attraction across North America. There are currently six Ice Castle locations, with others being located in Colorado, Minnesota, and Utah.
The Ice Castles in Woodstock usually see visitors from Boston, Portland, and Providence, as well as locals and college students. Weekends, especially Saturdays, are when the Ice Castles see their most visitors. It is recommended to visit on a weekday for more of an intimate experience, seeing as it is not as busy as it is on the weekends. If you are aiming to visit on a weekend, it is recommended to buy tickets in advance to ensure entrance. “Within a week of tickets going on sale, most Saturday time slots were already selling out for the entire season.” Smuzynski said.
To learn more about the Ice Castles, or to book tickets in advance, check out their website at www.icecastles.com/new-hampshire/ .