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Breathtaking Homegrown Ice Structures Create a Family-Friendly Winter Playground

posted: 01/31/17
by: Blythe Copeland

Building a snow fort for the kids may be a classic winter activity, but for Utah dad Brent Christensen it became much more: Inspired by an ice cave he built for his daughter eight years ago, Christensen developed a 1.5 acre winter play space, open to the public and made entirely of icicles, called Ice Castles.

Today visited Christensen on site at the annual winter wonderland he builds in Midway, Utah, where guests are surrounded by 40-foot-tall sculptures, slides, caves, tubes, igloos, and forts -- all made from icicles. The company grows 10,000 icicles on metal framework overnight, and then adds them to the castles, increasing the height by 10-12 feet every week. In addition to opportunities for good, old-fashioned sliding, sledding, and climbing, the site hosts after-dark light and fire shows, musical performances, and visits with Frozen's Anna and Elsa. Locations in New Hampshire, Canada, Minnesota, and Wisconsin offer similar opportunities for parents to join their kids for a day of cold-weather fun: "It's about as interactive as you could get," said Christensen.