Fans of the annual winter attraction have been patiently waiting to see when Minnesota's Ice Castles would open. We now know the wait is almost over! The official Ice Castles website shared on their Minnesota page that the attraction would open on Friday, January 17, with tickets going on sale Monday, the 13th.

This will mark the attraction's first year in New Brighton, which was named home of the icy wonderland after organizers decided not to move back to Stillwater over flooding concerns along the St. Croix River. The Ice Castles had called Stillwater home for the winters of 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 before being forced to move due to construction on the Stillwater Lift Bridge, which is right next to the park where the attraction was set up. For the 2018/2019 season, the Ice Castles headed to Excelsior in the West Metro. Now, the attraction will be in New Brighton, which places it on the northern side of the Metro, and closer to visitors from our area.

While you can buy walk-up (standby) tickets, availability isn't guaranteed, and prices are higher at the gate. Organizers recommend buying your tickets online via their website to ensure you get tickets and save yourself some money. Weekday prices (Monday-Thursday) are $12.99 for ages 12+, $9.99 for kids 4-11, and free for kids under 4. Weekend prices (Friday-Sunday) are $17.99 for ages 12+, $11.99 for kids 4-11, and kids under 4 are free. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan 20) and President's Day (Feb. 17) will also have weekend prices. You can get full ticket pricing information or buy tickets here.

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The Minnesota Ice Castles will remain open as long as weather allows. The attraction has traditionally remained open through at least mid to late February.

You'll be able to find the Ice Castles in the Long Lake Regional Park, which happens to be right off 35W, just north of the intersection with 694. The address for parking and the attraction itself is 1500 Old Highway 8, New Brighton, MN 55112.

If you're planning to attend, here are some things to know:

  • Dress warm! To see everything, you'll be outside for at least a half hour (if not more - you can stay as long as you'd like during their hours of operation once you are in). There are also ice slides, which can be a lot of fun. Even more fun if you're dressed warm to enjoy it without getting cold.
  • Wear boots! Sturdy, warm footwear are a must. The walking paths are not paved. They are covered in snow and crushed ice and have a consistency similar to a sandy or gravely beach. Snow or ice in your sneakers will make for a short and uncomfortable trip, so wear appropriate footwear.
  • Bringing (little) kids? Bring a sled! Strollers aren't allowed (they would be hard to get through the snow), but you are able to bring a sled to tow little ones around.
  • Bring a camera! You'll want to get some pictures, so bring your phone or camera along. Just know that tripods or other gear like lighting is not allowed.