Stillwater on Ice

The famous drip ice castles end their reign in the Valley this month.
Castles are illuminated by both natural light reflecting off of the ice and luminaries hidden within the walls.

Of course lights twinkle inside the glacial archways and wintry towers, tunnels and foundations feature two ice slides—it’s an ice castle, after all, built using icicles instead of blocks to affect a towering, Gothic presence, brought to the St. Croix Valley for the first time this year by Ice Castles LLC. But how do the organizers perfect this magic? Your burning (er, shall we say, freezing) questions answered here.

Where was the first ice castle built?

Alpine, Utah, in the front yard of Brent Christensen, who was building a cave for his daughter.

How much does the average ice castle weigh?

Each castle weighs about 25 million lbs. (The walls are 10-feet thick!)

How many icicles are used in the construction of the castle every day?

Crews grow roughly 10,000 icicles every single day and place them throughout the castles to provide something for the water to freeze to. Over time, the icicles just get absorbed into the structure.

Why are ice castles blue?

Castles have the same properties as water, and therefore are blue for the same reason the ocean is—water will absorb every other color of the spectrum except blue. The thicker the ice, the deeper the shade of blue.

Through February 22
All ages. $6.95–$12.95.
Lowell Park