I first heard about the ice castle in Midway when it came across as a Groupon in my email in November. I knew we had to check this place out! We headed out this past Saturday, and let’s just say, it did not disappoint.
For those who haven’t heard about it, here’s the gist: A family moved here from California a couple of years ago and the dad decided he wanted to embrace the winters here in Utah so he built this big ice castle for his kids. It’s now a local tourist attraction. (PS There is also one in Colorado and New Hampshire this year.) The whole castle is built of ice that is cultured by hand daily (In fact, if you keep an eye out, you can spot ice climbers working).
One of the ice climbers working
There are pathways all the way through the castle for you to explore, including some cool “slot canyons.” There are a couple of fountains to view. There are little crevices for the kids to look into and some are low and big enough that the kids can crawl in them, just a bit. And we even found Olaf from Frozen (who I read was built by the owner’s son). My kids went crazy!! I swear that everywhere we turned there was something new and exciting to discover!
One of the crevices they could sit in. My kids called it a cave.
Olaf! Isn’t he amazing?!
Um, yeah. We walked right under that!
It’s amazing during the day! But, you need to know that the castle was built around colored lights so you can view it at night, as well. At night, they light up, which gives it a complete different ambiance. So cool! Many of the lights are on a cycle, where they’ll change to a different color. I would recommend making a day of this. Go early and view it during the daylight. You can appreciate the details of the castle and see everything well. Then, go eat dinner in Heber (because there is nothing in Midway in our budget that’s decent food) and go back to view it at night. Get your hand stamped before you leave, and then you can walk past the admission line.
1. Dress warm. I mean, you are in an ice castle. I had my kids put on snow clothes, and I’m so glad they did because they got WET! There are places where you can sit for pictures and the ice was dripping in spots, as well. It kept them warm, too, so they were able to enjoy the experience, instead of complaining the whole time. I then put the heater in my car on high and dried their clothes within minutes for the evening. Be sure to wear gloves and warm socks!
If you look at my daughter’s coat, you can see how wet she is.
2. Wear shoes with traction. We all wore our snow boots. As the day wore on, the paths got really slick. The snow plow came out during the evening and broke the ice up quite a bit, but it made it really hard for walking while it was fresh. Some people wore their fashion boots, and anyone I walked by was complaining in those boots. I think sneakers would get too wet.
3. Go early. The line was short and went fast during the early part of the day. When we came back to view it at night, the line was around the block! We were so glad we were able to walk right in.
4. Expect to walk a lot. There is not a lot of parking so you may have to park quite a way and walk. We lucked out both times and were able to park close, but many people were walking a couple of blocks. The castle itself is not huge, but you walk the whole time, and if your kids are like mine, they will want to go through a couple of times. There is no place to sit and rest. Also, there is no room for strollers inside the castle so bring a carrier for your little one or expect to carry him. There are tight spots so plan accordingly.
5. Be patient and kind; it is busy. You will get stuck as people stop to take pictures or to enjoy a cool feature. People were great while we were there!
6. Take your camera. That’s a given. You will take pictures. Lots of them.
7. For more fun, go through singing the songs from Frozen!! “In Summer” and “Let It Go” are musts! Yes, we were those crazy people you may have heard on Saturday singing at the tops of our lungs!!
What an incredible experience!! I haven’t seen anything like it before in my life. If it continues to stick around, this will be added to our must-see list of the winter.
Go here for more info, such as directions, hours, and admission prices (It is a bit pricey, but when you think of all the work that goes into it and how long you’ll be there, it’s totally worth it. And next year, watch for a Groupon.) There are some amazing pictures on-line. Google it. My daughter saw a picture of a bride and said, “Oh, Mom! There’s a princess!”
Another tunnel as we were leaving the castle