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Five Tips for a Great Trip to the Dillon, CO Ice Castles

Happy 2018 Everyone! Kate and I hope you all had an amazing New Years weekend. We both got out of town for a bit and adventured around Colorado. Kate went hiking in Colorado Springs at Garden of the Gods, and Bobby and I went to Dillon, Co for the Ice Castles. I knew we had to go to the Ice Castles when Bobby tagged me in a video of them last year on Facebook, so we snagged tickets for this NYE weekend as soon they became available. While walking around Dillon this weekend, I made note of a few things I think would help make your day trip or weekend up in the mountains more enjoyable! Here are five tips for a Great trip to the Dillon, Co Ice Castles!

First off, let me talk a bit about the castles!

  • They originated in Utah and during the 2017/2018 there are 6 castles in North America.
  • Each of the Ice Castles weighs about 25,000,000 pounds and the walls are about 10′ thick!
  • Our crews grow roughly 10,000 icicles every day and place them throughout the Ice Castle to provide something for the water to freeze to. Over time the icicles just get absorbed into the ice structure.
  • Ice has the same color properties of water. Ice is blue for the same reason that the ocean is blue — because water will absorb every other color of the spectrum except blue.  A general rule is the thicker the ice, the deeper the shade of blue.
  • Different castles offer different entertainment. Some have Frozen characters while Dillon’s had Fire Performances (which somehow we missed).
  • All information regarding the Ice Castles above, was pulled from their website. Check out more details there!

Five Tips for a Great Trip

While planning your trip and visiting, these are the things I would keep in mind (based on my personal preferences).

Tickets:

1. Order tickets in advance online: Tickets are cheaper online, and you do not have to worry about that day selling out. The ticket you purchase is for a specific 30 minutes time slot (which helped keep the lines to enter, shorter).

2. Time Slot: I enjoyed seeing the ice castle during the day too (almost more than at night). So I recommend purchasing a ticket close to sunset– somewhere around 4:00-5:00 so you can see it during the day and at all lit up/colorful at night. We had 5:00-5:30 time slot and I wish we had picked earlier tickets so I could have gotten more day light pictures.

  • Side Note: Weather is crazy in the mountains, so if you order online you can change your reserved time slot if you change your mind due to snow, etc.

Dressing for the Weather:

3. Dress according to their recommendations! Bring a good jacket, hat, gloves, and appropriate shoes, etc.  Most of the floor of the castles are made up of a thick snow/ice mixture or just ice, so tall boots are a must! We threw some hand warmers in our boots and gloves too, which made the night so much more enjoyable. It was a cold, windy night but I did not feel it unless my gloves were off to take pictures. Seriously though, hand warmers are a MUST!

Photography:

4. Pictures are hard at times, so just enjoy the moment! It was either too dark without a flash or there are people in your pictures! So take pictures when you can but do not look at the castles through your phone screen!

Parking/Hotel Recommendation:

5. Bobby and I stayed in a hotel for the night (Best Western) which as like 2 blocks away from the Ice Castles. This made is amazingly easy to get to and from the castles. We did not have to deal with traffic, but even if we had there was parking all along the main street, and it was opening weekend so you can imagine how many people were there! As long as you do not have a LARGE truck, parking close to the event will hopefully not be a problem.

  • If you decide to stay up there, we ate lunch at Arapahoe Cafe, which was yummy… then after leaving the castles we ate dinner at Adriano’s Bistro, which was also good. There were LONG waits everywhere we went to eat though.

We were there for about 2 hours, which included waiting in line for the slide.

First with flash, and second without– for an idea of what the pictures will look like (mentioned above in Tip 4)

 

We had an amazing trip and I would highly recommend going. If you live in Denver, the 1.5 hour drive is easy and makes this a great day trip! Or stay a little longer and also check out the lake and go skiing/snowboarding!

For all other information regarding the Dillon Ice Castles, see here.

 

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