Ice Castles: The Bucket List Item You've Probably Never Heard Of
Ever heard of the Ice Castles? I hadn't either, until I stumbled upon them on Instagram. To my (very pleasant) surprise, one of their five locations is in Midway, Utah which happens to be very close to Park City where I would be heading for Sundance Film Festival a few weeks later.
The Ice Castles are man made large-scale ice sculptures. This year they have locations in Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Alberta, Canada, but according to their site they're always looking for new locations so you can probably expect more in the future!
The Midway Ice Castles are 45-60 minutes outside of Salt Lake City and 15-30 outside of Park City. I wouldn't recommend making a trip to Utah just for them but if you happen to be in the area, it's definitely worth the visit. You have to buy tickets which you should do online beforehand because they are cheaper! When you purchase them you are required to pick a specific entry window that you must then show up at. We went right at opening, assuming it would be more dead and therefore easier to get shots. It ended up being crazy busy still but the place was huge so it was no big deal.
You will definitely want to dress warm and wear good snow boots. The ground is basically crushed ice and extremely hard to walk in, even with my Sorels, so I can't imagine having gone without them. For years I've wanted a Canada Goose coat and, turns out, they are even more amazing than I ever expected. Aside from being SO comfortable (it literally feels like you're wearing your duvet), it kept me warm all day which is pretty amazing since it was below freezing and as a Cali girl I get cold in 60 degree weather normally. Also, as a photographer it can be a bit of a pain to wear gloves since I need full access to my hands, so I especially loved the fleece-lined pockets that I used to keep my hands warm when I wasn't shooting photos myself. They even have a lifetime warranty, so how could you not?!
Have you ever been to the Ice Castles?