While it might not surprise many, it's still sad news.

The organizers of Minnesota's Ice Castles shared Thursday afternoon that they are officially closing things down for the season.

The annual winter attraction opened a little later than usual, kicking off their delayed 2024 season on January 24. After 8 nights of welcoming guests, record-setting warm weather in the Twin Cities forced the attraction to abbreviate their season.

In a Facebook post, organizers shared that in the week they were open, they saw thousands of visitors check out the attraction, which was hosted this year in Maple Grove.

The company that puts on the Ice Castles alerted the public at the beginning of the week that the forecast didn't look very promising for staying open very long, asking anyone who purchased tickets for later dates in February to try to use their tickets earlier.

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They waived change fees and even opened on Tuesday and Wednesday, days they are usually closed for maintenance, all in an effort to give as many people as possible the opportunity to check things our before they were forced to close for the season.

Ice Castles organizers now only have a few remaining locations open yet for the 2024 season, which includes Colorado, New Hampshire, Utah and a new style of attraction they're calling "Winter Realms" in New York and Wisconsin.

AJ.Mellor - Ice Castles
AJ.Mellor - Ice Castles

Wisconsin's Winter Realms opened on January 23, and they remain open for the time - though they are encouraging visitors to try to come as soon as possible as warm weather continues in Southern Wisconsin as well.

The new Winter Realms experience is pretty cool, taking a spin on their classic Ice Castles experience. You can learn more about Wisconsin's Winter Realms here.

The 15 Least Snowy Winters On Record In Duluth History

Since the National Weather Service began keeping weather records in Duluth in the late 1800s, here are the 15 winters with the lowest snowfall totals on historical record.

It is worth noting that the official records from 1941-today have been recorded at the area now known as the Duluth International Airport (away from the lake, on top of the hill). Before then, various locations closer to Lake Superior had been used for official weather recording data. For anyone that knows anything about how Lake Superior and the hill play a role in temperature and snow, you can see how this makes older records inherently different.

While these records note the "least snowy winters", they actually include all seasonal snowfall from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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