Ice Castles in Lake Geneva open

Ice Castles open on Friday at 6:00 p.m.
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:34 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:47 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Ice Castles in Lake Geneva are built and ready to open at 6:00 p.m. on January 22nd.

The Ice Castles take months to make, with work starting around Thanksgiving. Because there is so much ice involved, the structure cannot be fortified with anything, as the ice’s weight would bend and break anything it was built around. That means a crew starts filling the roughly two acres with ice, building from the ground up with icicles grown ahead of time.

From then on, it is a process of layering icicles with mist (when it’s cold enough) and then stacking more icicles on top of the building structures.

The result is the Ice Castles. And the castles continue to grow well past the opening day, as mist machines continue to layer more liquid on the castles to freeze, growing the castle structures three to four feet throughout the open weeks, continually adding to the Ice Castles during closed hours.

And while the Ice Castles are back with massive, frozen towers and beautiful lights, there are some changes. There are fewer tunnels and enclosed spaces to encourage social distancing. Masks are required for guests and staff, and capacity is limited. Because of the limited capacity, staff recommends tickets be purchased in advance online, as walk-ins will only be allowed in on a standby basis.

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