Minnesota’s Ice Castles Set To Open January 12 in Excelsior
After weeks of construction on the icy creation, the Minnesota Ice Castles are set to open on Saturday, January 12 in a new location from their previous home. The castles had been on display in Stillwater for the past couple years, however the decision was made to move the attraction to Excelsior due to ongoing construction on the Stillwater Lift Bridge.
The new location, the Commons and Port of Excelsior (see map), which is a 13-acre historic park on Lake Minnetonka will feature ice castles, along with many other elements from previous years like tunnels, slides, fountains, an ice throne. Also, similar to previous years, the attraction will feature special appearances from the "Enchanted Frozen Sisters" Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 pm, and fire dancer performances Friday and Saturday nights at 7 pm and again at 10 pm.
The Ice Castles will be open 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays), with hours that vary from day to day. Tickets can be purchased online via the attraction's website, as well as on site. It is recommended to buy tickets in advance online though, as on-site ticket sales are limited and it is never fun showing up somewhere to find out tickets are sold out. Child and adult ticket prices come in two different rates - discounted weekday rates and regular price weekend rates.
The Ice Castles will remain open as long as weather permits, likely to wrap up sometime in February or early March. You can currently purchase tickets online through February 2, but if weather permits, they may extend these dates.
I had the chance to go to the Ice Castles twice last year in Stillwater, and it is definitely a magical experience. A couple of suggestions: Dress warm and wear warm/sturdy boots. These are ice castles, after all! Bring a camera or your smartphone! This attraction is SUPER photo-friendly, including an ice throne to get a selfie on. If you're bringing kids, bring a sled! It makes getting around easier, and it's way better than a stroller in the snow. Also, they do have some slides, but you don't need to bring a sled for those. They have sleds designated for the slides, so just show up in your warm weather gear, and enjoy!
The Minnesota Ice Castles are one of six different locations open in North America as of the time of this being published. Other locations include Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as well as places in Colorado, Utah, New Hampshire, and Alberta, Canada.
Here is a video from the 2018 Ice Castles in Stillwater for you to get an idea of what to expect.