If last winter had one glorious highlight for Edmonton, it was the Ice Castles down in Hawrelak Park. Remember the towering structures of ice, the slides, and the massive lit courtyards that came to life in the dark? The castles, sculpted entirely by hand, were one of the top destinations for families and couples looking to escape the house and rid themselves of the winter blues for a night or two. Well, we’re in luck; the ice castles are making a grand return for the third year in a row. Organized jointly by Ice Castles, the City of Edmonton, and the Silver Skate Festival, this winter will also be the first year another set of castles are built in a frozen Canadian city: Winnipeg.
Last year’s castle was massive, covering more than 6,000 square meters at about twice the size of the previous year’s. The company behind the ice castles – who have been crafting these down south in the States since 2009 – usually hire workers to freeze more than a million liters of water, forming a minimum of 10,000 icicles daily to be used as building blocks. How wild would it be if they tripled that output this time around?
Expect to see the Ice Castles open for business starting in December. Work to craft the hulking sculptures will likely begin in late November, with the castles staying open as long as Edmonton’s winter holds out. To find out more and grab tickets in advance, book here! If you haven’t been and want to gawk at some amazing photography from past years, you can check out their Facebook page. Warning: it is some seriously jaw-dropping stuff, but you need to see it in person for the full experience.
Are you going to be returning to the Ice Castles this year? Are you an ice castle virgin? Let us know!