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Last weekend Katie and I went to the Ice Castles in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. We spent the weekend up in the White Mountains, and even stayed in a tiny cabin! If you’ve never been to one of the Ice Castle locations, you really should put it on your winter travel list. There’s a bunch of locations all over the USA and even a location up in Canada!

The Ice Castles are a stop everyone needs to put on their winter travel list. Here is what you can expect and 5 tips for visiting the Ice Castles! #icecastles #icecastlesnh #winter #bucketlist #winterbucketlist #ice #wintertime #visitnnh #travel #travelling #traveler #wintertravel

Today I’m going to share with you a few tips for your trip to the Ice Castles. If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear them!

Tips for Visiting the Ice Castles

Okay so let’s get started on a few tips for visiting the Ice Castles. I think these tips will help you regardless of which location you visit.

Tips and tricks for visiting the Ice Castles!

1) Get your Tickets in advance!

I can’t stress this enough. Go to the website and get your tickets in advance. Plan your trip, get your tickets and be there for your entry time. After we got back, I was talking to some people who didn’t get their tickets in advance because they didn’t know, and they drove 2 hours to find out that the Ice Castles were sold out! OOF! That’s gotta’ stink!

We went on a Saturday and they were sold out. However, they seem to ‘sell out’ with the right amount of tickets because it was not over crowded at all. As a matter of fact, we were able to comfortably explore every inch of the Ice Castles without running into an over crowded area!

Ice Castles in New Hampshire during the day, no crowds.

2) Day – Night Ice Castle Tickets

Now they don’t actually sell day/night tickets per se. They sell tickets according to the time you wish to enter the Ice Castles. I suggest you buy tickets on the cusp of sunset. When we visited, sunset was 5:16pm. So we got the 4:30-5:00pm entry time slot tickets. This means we could get inside the Ice Castles just before 5pm, and take a walk through while the sun was still out.

Ice Castles in New Hampshire during the daytime.

Then we got some hot cocoa at the snack bar and hung out until after the sun completely set and the Ice Castle lights lit up!

Ice Castles New Hampshire Illuminated with Blue Lights - #icecastles #icecastlesnh

As you can see, this is when the real magic happens!

3) Dress for the Weather

I shouldn’t have to say this, but do dress for the weather. You don’t need Yaktrax or ice spikes for your boots because you’ll be walking on crushed ice.

They ‘groom’ the Ice Castle walking paths with a huge grinding spike machine that crushes up the ice. You will want to wear boots though. Some of the crushed ice can be several inches deep, it feels like walking on beach sand in your boots ….kinda! πŸ˜‚

Ice Castles in Woodstock New Hampshire - Lincoln, New Hampshire area.

If you plan on hanging out for an hour or two and ride the slide a few times, you’ll want to bring hand warmers and maybe even toe warmers to stick in your boots. You will be surrounded by ice, so it won’t exactly be cozy warm.

There are warming fire-pits at the Ice Castles, but plan ahead and you won’t be contending for a coveted spot near the flames.

4) Bring a Camera

This one sounds obvious since you’ll likely have your phone anyway. But if you’re a photographer or amateur photographer, grab your DSLR and get read to take some fantastic photos!

A lot of people had fun snapping candid photos and videos with their cell phones…

Tips for visiting the Ice Castles!

And of course then you have the extreme opposite. Yes, this is some dude laying on the floor in an attempt to capture the perfect shot… πŸ˜…

Ice Castle photo of a guy laying on the floor to get the perfect shot.

The Ice Castles are not so big that you’ll be lugging your camera around for hours on end like Disney World or Universal StudiosΒ or something. It’s a great place to practice taking unique photos in a unique situation – the ice is white and blue, the lights provide great ambiance and you’ll surely sharpen your skills in the short time at the Ice Castles.

Woodstock New Hampshire Ice Castles

5) Plan For Extras

I’m certainly not saying you need to pay for any extras, as the Ice Castles themselves are plenty to look at and explore. The kids will love the ice tunnels, everyone will love the ice slides and exploring the grand ice hallways and paths.

Aside from the Ice Castles themselves, you might be lucky enough to see the Ice Princess, or Fire Throwers in action. While we were there we did not get to see any of these extras, but that’s okay – maybe they’ll be there when you visit. You can check the website to see what to expect!

Ice Castles in New Hampshire with Blue Lights at Night

Now if you do want to bring some spending cash, there may be extras that you can buy at your location. I’m almost certain there’s a snack bar at every Ice Castle where they’ll sell warm chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, hot cocoa and other refreshments.

This is an added expense and no outside food is allowed inside the Ice Castles.

Pink ice at the Ice Castles in New Hampshire! #ice #icecastles #icecastlesnh

In New Hampshire this year there were sleigh rides. Also at an additional cost, there was the option to buy tickets and go on a horse drawn sleigh ride. While I don’t think the options will be the same across all of the Ice Castle locations, I’m sure there will be something special at the Ice Castles near you!


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