In Travel & Visitors Guide

Explore the kingdom of ice in Stillwater, Minnesota. (PHOTO: Explore Minnesota)

LOOK: Ice Castles are back, but the kingdom is a little farther away

Last year, Wisconsin Dells hosted its first Ice Castle Wonderland, which was delayed a bit by excessively warm weather. This year, the closest location for the frigid winter sculptural wonderland is in Stillwater, Minnesota. That's about a 4.5-hour drive from Milwaukee.

So, you'll have to travel a bit farther to reach the kingdom of the Ice Queen, but weather surely won't be an issue. The castles will be at Lowell Park, right on the bank of the St. Croix River, directly across from Wisconsin, where the water is likely stiller at the moment than at most other times of the year.

Nearly three dozen builders work on the amazing and massive polar blue and white ice sculpture that includes soaring towers, walkways, a maze, slides, tunnels, a fountain and more. There's also a light show embedded into the structure.

Here's a little more of what will have you headed up to Stillwater asap ...

But before you go, be sure to buy tickets in advance online. And remember to dress for the cold, wear boots, bring a sled so you can pull this kiddos.

The castle is open from Jan. 6 until Feb. 28 and is open every day except Tuesday.

Tickets for weekdays are $9.95 for adults and $6.95 for kids ages 4-11. On Fridays-Sundays and holidays, admission is $13.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids.

The Explore Minnesota website can help you with directions, lodging, dining options and more.

If you can't make the trip, you could always head to the lakefront, just north of Bradford Beach and see nature's own ice castles, which appear to be growing every day ...

... I know, it's not quite the same. Make the trip.

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