I admit I am not the best at getting my kids outside during the winter months. Once the snow hits and the temperatures plummet below zero, I am more then happy to pay admission to the nearest indoor playground and happily sip my coffee in the warmth as the kids play.
This past Saturday the temperatures hovered close enough to the zero mark that we decided to embrace the cold and check out the Edmonton Ice Castle. This spectacular frozen display is a man-built maze of icy castle walls built up in Hawrelak Park in the Edmonton River Valley.
I was very excited when I first saw the Ice Castle was coming to Edmonton and that excitement only grew when I checked out the previous castle’s on the Ice Castle’s website. I knew my little Frozen loving daughter would be thrilled to see a real life Ice Castle and my son would be equally impressed by the grand display, despite not sharing that love of all things Frozen.
It was quite busy when we arrived at 3:30pm and seemed to be getting even busier as we were leaving around 5:00pm. I highly recommend reserving your tickets and time slot ahead of time on the website. The dusk time slots fill up fast because you get to see the castle transform into a glowing rainbow as all the lights in the castle walls turn on and the sky turns dark.
As we walked through the main entrance, my daughter’s excitement level grew as she recognized the Frozen soundtrack being piped through the icy work of art. My son seem quite captivated by the ice and both kids couldn’t resist touching the frozen walls. There was no climbing allowed in most areas, but they seemed fine with guests touching the cold walls and getting a tactile experience.
The highlight of the castle by far was the ice slide. It was a long line, but my kids were shouting “Let’s do it again!” before they even reached the bottom of the slides. There was also a cool looking set of icy thrones, but it was hard to convince the kids to wait in that line-up when the slide was so fun!
Admission was a bit pricey, but I was lucky enough to snag a Groupon right after Christmas to make the outing more affordable. My 3 year old was still young enough that she didn’t require a ticket and there was free parking available in the park.
If you are looking for a fun and unique experience this winter, I highly recommend checking out the Ice Castle. It was a great way to get out and experience a bit of the Edmonton winter and was well worth the frozen toes for the happy smiles. The Ice Castle’s seem to change location each year, so it was great we could enjoy this potentially once-in-a-lifetime experience right within our own city this winter!
And the highlight of the experience? Hearing my 3 year old chanting “Ice, Ice baby!” as we explored all the nooks and crannies of this spectacular work of art together.