There’s no doubt that Colorado is a winter wonderland. Best known for snowy ski slopes, the Colorado Rockies actually have much more to offer than just skiing. Tucked away in one of Colorado’s small towns is a magnificent castle built of glistening ice. Doesn’t every child (and every child at heart) want to escape our world for a magical world of ice? Even if just for an hour or evening? Set an hour or so west of Denver, in past winters you would have found the town of Dillon, home to these shimmering ice castles in Colorado. But for the 2023-2024 winter season, these magical castles will find a new home in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
Are the Ice Castles coming back to Colorado?
Yes, the organizers finally figured out a new location in Cripple Creek!
For several years the Dillon Ice Castles were a major attraction. This may have you wondering what happened to the Ice Castles in Colorado? The organizers had a rough couple of years not being able to find a new location since they were displaced from Dillon. An attempted location in Silverthorne didn’t materialize. But then, today, September 26, 2023 they announced the return of the ice castles to Colorado for the winter of 2023-2024 in a new location.
The Colorado Ice Castles will be located at 339 E Irene Avenue, Cripple Creek, CO 80813. Prices start at $16 for children and $21 for adults. Expect these to increase for holiday and perhaps even weekend dates.
Make your reservations early. Dress very, very warm. Then delight your senses taking in the vivid colors in the crisp winter air. Maybe even whiz down an ice slide while you are at it.
Ice Castles History
The Ice Castles are twinkling castles dreamed up by Brent Christensen. He came up with the idea after building smaller versions of these in his backyard to delight his daughter. Lucky for us, he decided it would be an interesting idea to build them on a larger scale for other to enjoy.
The first large Ice Castle was built in 2009. Since then, each winter these Ice Castles are re-built in a handful of locations around the United States and Canada.
These twinkling ice castles have been winter attractions in Colorado, New Hampshire, Utah and Wisconsin.
Each ice castle site opens as soon as the weather permits building of them in an open space outdoors. They close down once the weather becomes too warm.
Cripple Creek Ice Castles: Know Before You Go
Yay! The ice castles are coming back to Colorado. The organizers made an announcement that they will be back to Colorado for the 2023-2024 winter season. But to Cripple Creek rather than Dillon.
Purchase Tickets in Advance
Last time tickets for the Ice Castles Dillon went on sale, it was at 7 a.m. I logged on about 7:20 a.m. that morning to purchase ours. Many of my preferred time slots were already sold out. I was still able to get a reservation one of our dates of choice, just slightly earlier than I had wanted.
The Ice Castles in Colorado are always a popular winter attraction and tickets will be in high demand. So, plan ahead and buy your tickets in advance! (We are checking to see if you will again be able to use discount code “insider15” for a 15% discount.)
You will be standing on and surrounded by ice. It will be cold. Telling you to dress warm is an understatement.
We all wore snow pants, warm ski jackets, snow boots, gloves and hats. And, I brought along hand warmers for everyone. That may have been my biggest win of the outing.
I let my daughter wear my Sorel boots. My toes were freezing in my dated Merril snow shoes. My leather gloves did little to warm my fingers. I was very happy to be able to warm my hands in my pockets with hand warmers. Admittedly, I did have my hands out of my gloves snapping pictures much of the time.
Choose a Time Slot Near Dusk
You may have reason to prefer a specific time slot to visit. My preference is just before dusk. I like to arrive while the sun is still out and it is warmer. This is the best time to fly down the ice slides.
But it is ideal to get to see the Dillon Ice Castle at night. This is when the lights embedded in the castle twinkle and change color. The sight is perhaps most magical at night.
Know Before You Go
It will be cold. Wear warm clothing, boots and gloves.
There is free parking right in front of the Ice Castles in Cripple Creek, and another nearby lot. Plan a little extra time to secure your parking spot.
Bring a Camera, or Phone
This is an attraction where it is hard to take a bad photo. You will certainly want to snap a few photos of the Ice Castles. And, you will probably want to take some of yourselves or the kids too. It is most certainly a selfie opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.
Cripple Creek, Colorado
Cripple Creek is well known for its annual Ice Festival, scheduled for February 17th-25th, 2024. So the Ice Castles will fit right in. And, will be located even closer to Denver and the front range.
Have you visited the Ice Castles in Colorado? What about any of the other locations? Did we miss any tips? Tell us in the comments below!