Winters in Minnesota and Wisconsin tend to be long and cold, making them a great home for icy seasonal attractions like the Ice Castles attraction that have called the Badger State and Land of 10,000 Lakes home for a number of years.

The company that puts these attractions on each year only operates five of them in the United States, with one this year in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and the other in New Brighton, Minnesota.

The location of the Minnesota attraction has moved around from year to year, but has been somewhere in the Twin Cities area since the company brought the attraction to the state.

If you've never been to the Ice Castles, they pretty much epitomize a winter wonderland. Constructed out of flowing walls of ice with color-changing lights inside, these castles are absolutely magical to walk through. While I haven't been to the Wisconsin one (yet), the Minnesota Ice Castles also feature ice slides that are fun for the whole family, sculptures, and even a color-changing fountain made of ice.

AJ Mellor - Ice Castles
AJ Mellor - Ice Castles

An attraction like this is obviously incredibly weather-dependent. It takes cold weather in order for the attraction to be made, then it needs to stay cold in order for the attraction to stay open. This makes it hard for the organizers to set an opening and closing date each season.

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Wisconsin's Ice Castles see a very short season

Even though we have seen a few cold snaps, it has been a generally warm winter. This abnormally warm winter weather actually led to the closing of the Wisconsin Ice Castles already earlier this month - only a couple of days after they opened. Sadly, the organizers say they were only able to be open for three days before having to close down for the season. What a bummer! They shared a post on February 9, letting everyone know that they already had to end their season at the Wisconsin location.

What about the Minnesota location?

Well, things are still open, for now. The Twin Cities saw some very warm weather lately, which didn't do any favors for the ice attraction, but it remains open for right now. The Twin Cities is expecting some heavy snowfall this weel, but also colder temperatures. While the cold air will be welcome, it's hard to say what trouble, if any, the snow will cause.

There's no formal word on when the Minnesota Ice Castles will close for the season, but it is likely the season won't last too much longer. It looks like another warmup is in the forecast for next week, following this week's snowstorm. As of the time of this article being published, organizers are still offering tickets as far out as Sunday, March 5.

Mary Sivertsen
Mary Sivertsen

If conditions cooperate, it is possible the Ice Castles may be able to offer visitors the opportunity to check the attraction out further into March. If things deteriorate and they are forced to close before all ticketholders are able to visit, they would likely do what they did in Wisconsin, and offer refunds for anyone that bought advanced tickets for dates after they closed.

If you're hoping to check out the Minnesota Ice Castles yet this year, the best advice is to keep an eye on their website and social media for the latest updates.

Speaking of icy attractions, the Apostle Islands Ice Caves are a breathtaking natural winter wonder. While they haven't been open to the public in a number of years due to ice conditions on Lake Superior, take a trip back in time to see them in all of their glory of of the last times they were able to be visited.

See Photos of Apostle Islands Ice Caves

See the Apostle Islands Ice Caves as they appeared in 2014, the second to last time they were open to the public.

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