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    « This is what 100 looks like | Main | And the baby is... Plus GRAND Social No. 88 »

    Winter wonderland: The Breckenridge Ice Castle

    Though many folks across the country may be tired of cold and snow, the following is a recap of my recent encounter with cold and snow — ice, actually — as you've likely never seen it.

    Breckenridge Ice Castle

    On Saturday, Brianna, Andrea, Jim and I took advantage of free tickets I received to review the Ice Castle at Breck, one of only three such icy palaces in the country. (If you're in Colorado, be sure to see the giveaway below for a chance to win tickets to the Ice Castle at Breck.)

    Ice Castle at Breck

    The Ice Castle at Breck is located in downtown Breckenridge, Colorado. The other two structures in the U.S. are in Utah and New Hampshire.

    The structures are built by hand and made only of ice. Exactly how that's done is like this, according to the Ice Castles website:

    We start by “growing” more than 5,000 icicles each day that we harvest and sculpt together.  Newly placed icicles are then drenched in freezing water.  The blend of icicle placement, changing temperatures, water volume, and wind result in an astonishing variety of ice formations. And so all of the beauty you see at the ice castle is a unique blend of an artistic eye and mother nature’s work. We repeat this process once or twice a day, depending on temperatures. and after about a few weeks of growth we can create very large towers, tunnels, archways, caves, caverns, and safe pathways for pedestrian exploration.

    The frozen beauty truly is something to behold, a one-of-a-kind experience. I've created a photo gallery featuring just a few of the 1,000+ (seriously) photos I took during our tour of the Narnia-like Ice Castle. You can see my full photos by clicking over to the Breckenridge Ice Castle gallery in my Brag Book, but here is a glimpse:

    The Ice Castle at Breck was breathtaking, with incredible sights — large scale and small — around every corner, changing with every lifting or lowering of one's gaze.

    My family and I spent two hours roaming the icy blue corridors. Still, we came away wishing we could stay longer, until after dark so we could see the Ice Castle aglow courtesy the LED lights encased in the ice. Tickets are good for all day, so we could have if only we had planned the day trip differently. Both of my daughters hope to head back to the Ice Castle at Breck before it melts away for the season so they can see the icy exhibit in its nighttime glory.

    IF YOU GO:
    150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge, CO
    Phone: (888)407-4054

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday-Friday: 2-10 p.m.
    Saturday-Sunday: noon-10 p.m.

    Ticket Prices:
    General Admission, age 12 and up: $10
    Children 4 to 11: $8
    Children under 4 years old: Free
    Military / Seniors: $8 (must show ID)
    Season Pass: $30

    The Ice Castle at Breck will close for the season toward the end of March. For more information, visit the Ice Castle at Breck website.


    If you live in Colorado — or will be visiting before the Ice Castle at Breck closes for the season in March — you're invited to enter to win four tickets to the Ice Castle at Breck (a $40 value), courtesy Ice Castles. Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget. Entries accepted through midnight Monday, January 27; winner will be drawn by January 28 and notified by email.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway  

    Disclosure: I received free tickets to the venue; photo and opinions are my own.

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    Reader Comments (15)

    I had no idea that ice palaces even existed. This would be a magnificent place to visit!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    Very cool!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKate

    Absolutely beautiful! You got some fantastic shots.

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette

    Your pics are beautiful and I would love to take my 12 yr old granddaughter to see it!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E.

    Fantastic! But, I'd be scared to death that some big, sharp knife-like dagger was going to fall on me, slicing me in half!
    The pictures are magnificent, though! You did a great job of photographing that totally unique place!
    Thanks for sharing!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Your pictures are wonderful and as much as I hate snow and ice -- and we know I do -- that would be a beautiful place to see. Hope you get to go back during the evening so you can get those night shots. Thanks for sharing these!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Great post and pics! Not sure what their criteria for "others" are, but you shouldn't overlook the Winter Palace built every year in Saranac Lake, NY!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCrazy Ray

    What a cool place! :-) I love the photos; you and your family look terrific.

    I never knew that place existed. How much fun it must have been to go.

    Good for you, Lisa!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

    Beautiful photos. It was be a very incredible thing to see. Thinking of you...from Tucson AZ.


    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterb+

    Looks like you all had a great day. The grandkids and I have been talking about checking the one out here in NH. It is quite a ride and my grandson doesn't particularly like long car rides so we're still evaluating. You know what it is like to head out for several hours in a car with a child who doesn't want to be in the car. LOL

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJudy@grandparentsplus2

    Thank you all for the comments. It definitely is cool (cold at times, even). :-D I appreciate the kind comments on my photos.

    Crazy Ray: Thank you for the info on the Winter Palace built in NY each year. The "other" Ice Castles I mentioned are the ones that are part of the official Ice Castle offerings, from the Ice Castle company. I'll have to look into the Saranac Palace. I'm sure all such structures are as enchanting as the official Ice Castles.

    Judy: Awww... I hope your grandson decides it's worth the long ride. I would love to see your photos if you end up going!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Gorgeous! We don't get to see sights like that in San Diego!

    January 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLois Alter Mark

    I definitely hope we have a chance to see this when we go up to Breckenridge for our sleigh ride/dinner in February, Lisa. We decided to stay the night in Breck so that we would not have to drive home in the dark. The steep grades on I 70 scare! I entered your give away --fingers crossed! If we don't get to see this this year I'll definitely put it on our agenda for next year!

    January 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPat

    wow, that is an awesome place to visit.

    January 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkelley

    It looks like a great place to visit. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing

    January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
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