STILLWATER, Minn. (KMSP) - The Stillwater Ice Castles are now open - complete with some brand new features for 2018.
Last year was the first year the ice castle was in Stillwater. By the end of February, the weather was too warm, but so far that hasn't been a problem this year.
"I just like icicles," said Sarah Meissner. "I'm a Minnesota girl."
On the shores of the St. Croix River, there's a winter wonderland.
"It's really amazing," said Meissner. "From the outside it looks a lot smaller than it is on the inside."
Meissner and her daughters made a pit stop at the ice castle in Stillwater on their way back home to Germany.
"I miss this kind of weather," she said. "People think I'm crazy, but I really do. It just gives me a fill and brings me joy."
The castle is an acre of tunnels, caverns and slides made from 25 million pounds of ice. This year, operators added a 16-foot wall with LED lights inside and a coliseum room with a frozen fountain in the middle with its own water show.
"We grow 10,000 icicles a day," said Amanda Roseth, site manager. "Those are then hand placed and have water sprayed over them to make them grow larger and then that process is repeated over and over."
On opening night, there was no shortage of people willing to brave the elements to celebrate the season.
"As Minnesotans we have to embrace this weather because it's part of us for six months," said Roseth. "This is just getting everyone outside and having fun and being together as a family and making memories."
After all what are memories, but special moments frozen in time.
"It's just really wonderful," said Meissner. "I hope we can visit again in the future."
For information on ticket pricing and more, click here.