I still remember the intense FOMO that filled me to the brim way back in 2015. A group of my photographer friends had all trekked out to New Hampshire to visit the Ice Castles and the photos that came out of that weekend were so stunning and magical! I had never seen anything like it.
Since I’m usually a homebody, I always have to plan ahead and psych myself up to go on adventures, and of course they’re ALWAYS worth it.
2019 has been MY YEAR—In many many ways, but not least of the reasons being this was FINALLY the year that I got to visit the NH Ice Castles myself! My husband and I have been into “experience gifts” the past few years, so this year my gift was this trip to the Ice Castles. We had been planning this for weeks and I even snagged a couple pre-sale tickets! I can say from experience it makes for a great day trip date! And the timing was perfect since a usual day in my life in February includes…being inside for 24 hours straight. 😂
So, we suited up, got our car playlist ready, and made the 2 hour trip north! Here’s what we found when we arrived (and scroll to the end to see my tips for planning your own trip!)
Making your own trip to the Ice Castles? Here’s how you can plan your trip!
Bring hand and/or foot warmers! I didn’t even think about doing this and really wish we had brought some! While the Ice Castles are a super fun experience, eventually you know your time there is up when you are turning numb.
Bring fingerless gloves! You’ll definitely want a way to create Instagram Stories and take selfies during your visit without freezing.
Bring snacks or be ready to pay for concessions. My husband got a small hot chocolate for $4 (and thankfully they take credit cards), but overall their concession menu is small, so at least bring snacks for your car ride! 🙂
Bring your adventurous spirit! The NH Ice Castles now has horse drawn sleigh rides, and as always, ice-encased tube slides! The line for the slides gets very long, so bring a friend to keep you company.
Bring your kiddos so they can meet princesses! I believe we caught a glimpse of Snow White while we were there!
Plan your arrival time strategically. Although my photos might give a different impression, the Castles are swarmed with people at almost all times. Go earlier in the day right after they open for smaller crowds, or plan to arrive soon before sunset so you can see the Castle in the daylight AND at night when it’s lit up. I sadly didn’t get to see it at night, I was too freezing to stay!
Plan to stay 2 hrs or less. Because 1) You will eventually be freezing, and 2) The Ice Castles in NH are truthfully not very big. I was surprised to find that the entire structure is about the size of a small-to-medium sized house with a few rooms, and not a huge Disney-esque castle. That being said, it’s still clear that it takes tons of work to build the entire thing, and the visual experience is so unique that I would still highly recommend going! When else are you going to see something so cool right here in New England?
I think next on my list is to have a portrait session here! Who’s game?!
Have you ever been to any of the Ice Castles locations? Was it as beautiful and amazing as you thought it would be?