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.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.