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Tuesday 25 February 2020

Ice Castles: Day and Night

Last month I shared our recent visit to the fabulous Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado. If you've been following along on Instagram you'll know that this wasn't our first visit to the Ice Castles. We also visited the Ice Castles when we came to Colorado on vacation over Winter break 2018/19.

Today I'm sharing that first visit to the Ice Castles for two reasons. First, because I never got around to sharing it before and I have lots of fun photos. Second, and more importantly, our first visit took place later in the day and we were able to experience the colorful lights on the ice structures. Our most recent visit was only during the day (I prefer the natural ice colors), so I wanted to share our earlier visit so that anyone planning on going later in the day or in the evening will know what to expect.

As you can see from the pictures above, we started our visited in the afternoon while the sun was still up, and ended it after the sun had gone down. Now, you may be thinking that we must've been there for three hours or so, but the sun sets pretty quickly here in Colorado in Winter, and our visit was in December, when the sun sets shortly after 4:30pm. We entered Ice Castles about 3:30pm and left not long after the sun set - mostly because once the sun went down, so too did the temperature and we were not acclimatized to Colorado Winters at that point! Had it been a little warmer we would've happily stayed much longer.

Anyway, as I mentioned, the sun was still up when we arrived so we had some time to take in the Ice Castles in their natural ice blue and white colors. As pretty as the glowing lights in the evening were, the natural colors of the ice are my absolute favorite. I love how the colors change in intensity depending on the thickness of the ice, the shape of the structures, and the amount of sunlight shining through.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, the kids were much colder this visit than they were on our more recent visit. Scarves, beanies, multiple pairs of socks, thermals under their clothes, and hand warmers inside their mittens still weren't enough to keep these California kids toasty! It's amazing how quickly they've since acclimatized to the cold in the past 6 months that we've been living in Colorado. Mathilde wasn't too sure about walking around in the Ice Castles at first but luckily we had a handy toddler sled with us to drag her around in. She did hop out for a bit to ride the slides and climb through tunnels, but for the most part she snuggled up to her cuddly fox (which also happens to be a hoodie) in the sled.

Crawling through the tunnels and riding the slides were both hits with the kids. And with the adults too - although it was a tighter squeeze for me, especially with a backpack on my back and camera hanging off my front! It's amazing just how blue everything is when you're inside the ice tunnels.

As the day progressed the light started to fade and the sky grew darker. The sky and the ice started to blend into one. With the lack of sunlight providing warmth it also became much, much colder. So cold in fact that Kim and Lola left shortly after this to go warm up in the car while Ava, Mathilde and I continued exploring.

Before the ice completed disappeared into the late afternoon sky the colorful LED lights turned on, and the Ice Castles took on a whole new life. Where there had previously just been blue and white we were now met with glowing pinks, greens, purples, and brighter blues. The colors danced around on the ice ever changing while soft music played. It was very pretty and I'm so glad that we had the chance to see it.

We stayed in the Ice Castles a little while longer taking in the colorful lights glowing on the intricate ice crystals. As the sky changed to black, the ice glowed softly creating yet another new look. I love the contrast of the glowing blue ice against the black sky.

We took one last look around before the cold became too much and made out way to the exit  where we met up with Kim and and Lola in the warm car. If you're not acclimatized to cold weather it certainly is rather chilly visiting the Ice Castles in the evening!

How much longer the Ice Castles will be open is totally dependent on the weather, but as of now it looks as though there will be a few more weeks left to visit here in Colorado. If you haven't been yet, make sure to book your tickets ASAP before the ice melts away.

For more information and to book tickets visit https://icecastles.com/

To see our most recent visit to the Ice Castles click here.

For a list of my must have products when visiting cold and snowy destinations click here.

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