A Magical Ice Castle in New Hampshire


We recently attended the opening of an amazing Ice Castle in the ski town of Lincoln, New Hampshire in the beautiful White Mountains. Upon posting photos on Instagram, one friend asked “is this magical?” At times it felt that way because we’d certainly never seen anything like it previously. This is the 2nd consecutive year that the outdoor ice castle has been built in the White Mountains and we were thrilled to be among the first to view this wonder on opening night (even though the ice castle wasn’t yet finished).

Ice Castle fountain

Ice Castles, began when Brent Christensen moved his family from California to the Rocky Mountains of Utah. During his first winter, he wanted to do something special for his son and built him an ice rink, with an ice slide and a 20 foot tall ice tower, which his son coined “Ice Castle.” The structure drew a lot of local attention and in 2011 he built his first large scale Ice Castle in Utah that was open to the public.


Inside the castle

Fun in the Castle

This winter there are 4 outdoor Ice Castles to visit across the United States. There is the Ice Castle in Midway, Utah which opens January 25th; Stratton Vermont which opened January 17th; Eden Prarie, Minnesota which opened January 9th and Lincoln, New Hampshire, which also opened January 9th (when all photos in this post were taken).

Twelve sculptors spent three weeks working on the Lincoln Ice Castle prior to opening night. Because of unseasonably warm weather over Christmas, several days of work unfortunately melted away, but the builders weren’t deterred. We spoke with one sculptor on opening night, an environmental planning student from Plymouth, New Hampshire who was working on an ice tower that wasn’t yet completed. His plan was to have a waterfall flow down from the beautiful tower. “We’ll continue building here as long as the cold weather allows us” Brian said, “For probably around two more months.”

Front of Ice Castle

The stalactite looking formations of the Ice Castles are created by over night sprinklers spraying water upwards, over ice, in temperatures well below freezing, and then the team sculpts certain segments to built intricate structures. On opening night, the temperature was 17 degrees fahrenheit (-8 celcius) and after an hour of touring the ice castle and photographing it, our toes felt frozen, particularly since we’d been walking on ice. If you visit be sure to wear boots, thick socks and warm clothes!


Growing the castles
If you’re in any of the areas where the Ice Castles are on display, they’re definitely worth the $12.95 admission for an adult, and $8.95 admission for children between the ages of 4-11. The workers take pride in their work and we gathered this from our conversation with Brian, who even said “We’re in competition with Minnesota to make sure we opened the same day as them, and to make sure that we were bigger!”

The Ice Castle in Lincoln, New Hampshire will run as long as mother nature allows in 2015:

Sunday – Thursday – 2pm to 9pm
Friday – 2pm to 10pm
Saturday – Noon to 10pm

Inside the magical castle
A big thanks to Visit New Hampshire for their assistance, and Ice Castles, who provided us with complimentary admission for opening night. This hasn’t affected this article, and all opinions expressed are entirely our own.



  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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6 thoughts on “A Magical Ice Castle in New Hampshire

  1. Oh, my goodness, that looks like so much fun! We live in Florida though, so we won’t have any of those nearby!

    I’m not a fan of frigid weather so I really appreciate the heads-up about dressing warm, wearing thick socks and boots. Comfort makes all the difference when it’s cold outside, doesn’t it?

    I am amazed at the creativity these people have! It’s definitely worth the admission.

    1. Hi Linda, Alex is from Florida too and we both lived there for awhile, and nope, nothing like this there! Our plan for the winter up here in the North East is to try and do fun winter things as Alex misses the warmer winters and we thought this was perfect. But yes rugging up well when heading out can make the difference between being miserable and being able to have a good time!

    1. Yes too bad it will melt away Katie 🙁 and we agree it does look like something out of Narnia, all we needed was some cool costumes to make it even more so like one of those movies!

  2. Wow! Such a pretty ice castle! Didn’t know there are 4 ice castles in the U.S. in winter. But it makes sense – in summer, there are sand castle building competitions (in Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., there’s a world-class sand castle competition each summer).

    1. Yes, wow seems to be the word, when we first saw a picture it was the same, these guys do an amazing job! Yes, we’ve seen some pretty impressive sand castle building, but would love to check it out in beautiful B.C! Both are great examples though of keeping in touch with your fun/youthful side 🙂

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