Snowmobile suits and hot chocolate were the standard for those out to see Stillwater's new winter attraction this past weekend. Minnesotans braved subzero temperatures to wander through the ice castle, a sort of frozen Atlantis that looks like it was pulled from the depths of the neighboring St. Croix River.
Kids ran through caves and corridors carved into the 10-foot-thick walls of blue ice, lit with a spectrum of colors and set to music reminiscent of a Disney score. Built from freezing thousands of icicles together with running water, the whole structure weighs about 25 million pounds. Two years ago, an ice castle built by the same company went up in Eden Prairie, and two years before that, the Mall of America hosted the towers of ice.
The ice rises out of Lowell Park, adjacent to scenic downtown Stillwater.
If you go: Ice Castles
When: Through early March, weather permitting
Hours: 3 to 9 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays (closed Tuesdays); 3 to 10 p.m. Fridays; noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Where: Lowell Park, 201 Water St. N., Stillwater, MN 55082
Tickets: $6.95 to $18