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Sparkling Ice Castles Take Form Across the Midwest

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Published Date:
Wed, 04 Jan 2017 17:11:16 +0000
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Americas
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<p>When you hear the shiver-inducing term <a href="http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/ice-castles?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank">“ice castle,”</a> you may imagine a childhood creation that is more mound than art.</p><p>But the <a href="http://icecastles.com/?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank">Ice Castles Project</a> is far from any igloo-shaped playhouses of years past.</p><p>Throughout the North and Midwest—specifically Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alberta, and Lincoln—you'll find grand designs you can walk through that are made using the “dribble” method.</p><p>Every year, the founders of the Ice Castle Project head to some of the coldest places in North America to set up drip pipes, a tool used to kick off these massive structures. Icicles form off of the pipes, creating long “dribbles” that serve as the base of the castles.</p><p>Once there's enough of a base, Ice Castle sculptors get to work forming the chilly caverns. These castles open up to visitors by early January, but the bases are set weeks in advance.</p><p>The later in the winter season you set off to see these castles for yourself, the bigger they'll be. <a href="http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/ice-castles?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank"><em>Atlas Obscura</em></a> notes that the sculptures grow by thousands of new icicles per day.</p><p>From the outside, the castles give off a cavern vibe—the dribbles look a lot like stalagmites. But once inside, visitors are treated to a winter wonderland of light. Much like the glacial cave tours people travel miles to experience in Iceland, every day brings a slightly different view to visitors.</p><p>The <a href="http://icecastles.com/?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank">Ice Castle Project website</a> has tickets available for the castles in Midway, Utah; Lincoln, New Hampshire; Stillwater, Minnesota; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; and Edmonton, Alberta.</p><p><em>Other articles from <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/midwest-ice-castle-project?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank">Travel + Leisure</a>:</em></p><div><em><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/szczecin-philharmonic-hall-poland?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank">Poland's New Music Hall is a Jagged, Luminescent Icon for a City on the Rise</a></em></div><div><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/endangered-world-monuments?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank"><em>Kathmandu, Havana, and Other Amazing Places We've Got to Protect</em></a></div><div><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/nature-travel/bluest-water-destinations?xid=PS_smithsonian" target="_blank"><em>13 Places Where You Can See the Bluest Water in the World</em></a></div>
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