Explore a Winter Wonderland at New Hampshire’s Ice Castles. Created by ice artists who begin the process in Summer, this North Woodstock attraction is a chilly thrill for all ages.
In its 8th season, Ice Castles has has expanded their offerings far beyond sightseeing. We checked it out and brought you back all the details. You can take a virtual tour via the video above, or read through the transcript to go at your own pace. (Transcript lightly edited for clarity)
Tom Buchtman, Ice Castles New Hampshire 00:05 – We start the planning throughout the summer as far as the layout and the design. And then in October, we bring in a big build crew. We start laying out all the electrical and the plumbing for the lights that are all buried into the ice as well as all the sprinkler heads to build the castle itself. So it starts early on in the summer, we start the build phase starting in the fall, and then once it gets cold usually around Thanksgiving the first of December, then we can turn the water on and start building the castle.
TB 00:45 – This year with COVID we’ve opened up the courtyards to be larger. In the past, you came into the castle then there’s a perimeter wall around you, where this year not only are you in the castle, but you can also walk around the perimeter of the castle just to space everybody out. So we have the ice slides just like we always do. We’ve got balconies, fountains and the pixel wall which are all been popular hits in the past that we’ve continued to incorporate in the castle. This year. We’ve also incorporated the Mystic Light Walk Trail.
TB 01:25 – The Light Walk Trail is a quarter mile trail. It kind of heads up the hill, out back behind the castle. It’s a beautiful walk throughout the woods. At night, it’s all lit up. There’s all different sections. There’s 1000s and 1000s of lights on it. It’s really cool right now.
You almost feel like you’re in a different world down here.
TB 01:56 – At the end of the Mystic Light Walk Trail, we have concession booth. You can get hot chocolate, cinnamon buns, and some other warm goods there to enjoy while you’re walking around the castle.
TB 02:18 – So yeah, we have a horse drawn Sleigh Ride. We have three sleighs here just rotate in and out and keep coming up to reload. It’s a beautiful Sleigh Ride throughout the woods during the day. And then at night, just like the light walk trail. There’s tons of lights, and it’s really cool.
Rocky Mountain Outfitters Driver 02:36 – Horses up here are Smith and Wesson, they’re Percheron draft horses. We actually came from Heber, Utah do this for you. They’re both 10 years old, and weigh about 1800 pounds and could pull about three to four times their body weight. But they did a great job at lightening it all up for you. You almost feel like you’re in a different world down here.
Dress warm and wear good boots, and you’ll have a great time.
TB 03:15 – This year, we just incorporated a new feature and that’s the tubing hill. It’s just two small, short runs. But yeah, it’s a lot of fun.
TB 03:31 – It’s really cool to to build something and then watch people come through and admire what you’ve done. Kids and adults just kind of opened up their eyes to a whole new world and something they’ve never seen before. We’re the only ones to build a castle in this fashion, so it’s something just really impressive and something that you’ve definitely got to come see. A lot of people are just inside and it’s a great activity to come explore and come see the White Mountains and enjoy the winter. Dress warm and wear good boots, and you’ll have a great time.
While you’re planning your visit, their Instagram account can keep you supplied with great visuals. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter, if Insta isn’t your thing.
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