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4 Twin Cities space sights that profit from winter

Snow days and slick roads could make even a hardy Minnesotan really feel like staying dwelling, however there are some winter wonderland experiences you do not wish to miss—exploring an ice fort, discovering your manner by way of an ice maze or stepping onto an ice carousel.

All that you must do to participate is bundle up, put on boots with good traction and purchase tickets prematurely, in case you can.


Already, the Minnesota Ice Maze has confirmed to be a scorching ticket.

A minimum of 10,000 visitors carrying parkas and puffy jackets visited the half-mile-long maze on its opening weekend, Jan. 6-8, in keeping with CEO Robert Harrell.

The maze takes its theme from its location—in Eagan close to the Minnesota Vikings headquarters. With its 14-foot-tall Vikings ship made out of ice and visits by ice princesses and stay reindeer (Jan. 28-29), the maze is all Nordic, on a regular basis.

Fabricated from 1 million kilos of ice, the maze is comparatively straightforward to stroll, however you’ll be able to amp up the expertise by looking for all of the ice sculptures hidden inside the icy twists and turns.

After reaching the tip, guests also can participate within the adjoining “Winter SKOLstice” occasion, which incorporates curling, hockey and skating (weather-permitting) at Viking Lakes. There may be additionally a warming home with food and drinks for buy. That occasion is free.

The Minnesota Ice Maze, 2645 Vikings Circle, Eagan. Monday-Friday by way of a minimum of Feb. 19. Tickets are $24.99 $12.99 for youngsters youthful than 15 years previous and free for these ages 0-4. For extra data on the SKOLstice occasion go to

return to childhood

Making her manner by way of the tunnels of Ice Castles in New Brighton made Jennifer Pat really feel like a child.

“Once you get inside it feels such as you’re in a unique world,” stated Pat, who was there together with her two youngsters. “My favourite half was getting contained in the cave and I needed to crawl. To really feel such as you’re surrounded by ice — it brings again my childhood reminiscences.”

The fort, which contains 25 million kilos of ice, options 20-foot-tall partitions, an ice fountain and an ice slide. There are additionally fanciful ice sculptures. And, in case you’re fortunate, you may see an ice sculptor chiseling away at blocks of ice.

Beginning Jan. 19, guests will have the ability to scan a QR code on their telephones to play “Fort Quest,” which is able to cause them to areas within the fort which might be sometimes missed by guests, stated Chelsea Abbey, visitor engagement supervisor.

“They are going to be tasked with discovering puzzles within the chambers and after they remedy all of the puzzles they may win a prize,” Abbey stated. “There isn’t any time restrict—you’ll be able to go at your individual tempo.”

Ice Castles, Lengthy Lake Regional Park, 1500 Previous Hwy. 8, New Brighton. Open every single day besides Tuesdays by way of a minimum of Feb. 20. Tickets vary from $11 to $22. Youngsters youthful than 4 years previous admitted free. For extra data, go to

fireplace and ice

The Ice Palace at Fountain Hill Vineyard in Delano combines two wintry treats: a cool ice construction and heat drinks.

Sitting on a sprawling two-acre web site, the palace has 15-foot-tall partitions and ice tunnels large enough for youths and adults to discover. It is lit with colourful lights at evening and there is additionally a 12-foot-long ice bridge and costumed characters, from snowmen to ice princesses.

With 70 sprinklers spraying about 33,000 gallons of water a day making the partitions larger and thicker, the palace will change and develop throughout its run, stated Ice Palace CEO Brigham Youngstrom.

Fountain Hill Vineyard can be promoting mulled wine, scorching cocoa and different drinks. There may even be meals vehicles and loads of out of doors seating with warmth lamps. On the subject of warmth, attendees also can watch fireplace performances all through the night and there are ample fireplace pits for warming up all through the expertise.

“We’re excited to have the ability to herald folks from the encircling areas to benefit from the ice palace,” Youngstrom stated. “The wonderful arctic blue ice is out of this world as to the way it seems to be. It is one thing completely different and new and one thing enjoyable to get out of the home to take pleasure in.”

The Ice Palace, 731 County Highway 30 SE., Delano. Open by way of a minimum of March 4. Hours are weather-dependent. Tickets vary from $11 to $23. Youngsters beneath 4 admitted free.

An ice-go-round

Chuck Zwilling and his household try to interrupt a really particular world document — for the biggest ice carousel inside one other ice carousel.

That ought to be a cinch, as a result of they already maintain a Guinness World File for the ice carousel they created final yr. The carousels are a part of ICE Fest 2023 in Little Falls, Minn., on Feb. 11-12.

Guests will have the ability to watch because the crews use chainsaws to chop the large circles of ice on Inexperienced Prairie Fish Lake. The circle will then be propelled right into a sluggish rotation by motors inserted in holes within the ice.

“What we found through the years is that is what folks prefer to see — the slicing and the getting it spinning,” stated Becca Ruegemer, director of promoting.

Along with watching the ice slicing and using on the carousels, guests can strive curling, dog-sledding, human foosball and bowling and, if the climate permits, airplane rides.

The free occasion (donations are inspired) additionally contains meals and drinks. All proceeds go to applications that assist at-risk youngsters.

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