Explore New York’s Winter Realms

Winter Realms in Lake George includes plenty for children and adults to enjoy together

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Feel like you stepped into a sparkling ice fairytale crafted by Elsa from “Frozen” as you explore the Winter Realms by Ice Castles in Lake George.

Ice Castles operates seasonal winter wonderland locations nationwide, providing ice features for play, display and adventure.

Company founder Brent Christensen began the concept by building a “castle” for his children’s enjoyment in the yard at their home in Utah.

Word quickly spread and soon families across the neighborhood and even the town came to see and play in the castle.

From Christensen’s concept came Ice Castles in 2011, which now — known as Winter Realms — boasts locations in Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah and Wisconsin, in addition to Lake George. The company builds and carves its structures by hand with thousands of hand-placed icicles and lights.

Winter Realms in Lake George includes plenty for children and adults to enjoy together, such as the ice skating rink (skate rental is included with rink admission), illuminated walkways, play areas and warming stations with snacks and treats for sale.

At the snowman park, guests can create their own snowmen with free decorations, such as coal for eyes and carrots for noses to design the classic figure. It’s also the perfect place to make snow angels and maybe enjoy a friendly snowball fight.

The ice sculpture garden displays larger-than-life, sparkling artwork, an ice throne, igloo and numerous other carved creations illuminated for view. Those 21-plus can imbibe at the ice bar beer and winter cocktails. Guests can also reserve an Arctic Alcove for a special moment such as a proposal or other important event.

Visitors should plan to dress for cold weather and wear skid-resistant boots.

Typically, Winter Realms open in January, but warm wintertime weather has made staying open challenging. This year, including fewer weather-dependent features has enabled Winter Realms to open in November. The earlier opening also allows for holiday events through the end of December, including Candy Cane Court and photo ops with the Jolly Old Elf.

The facility remains open through late February or early March.

Advanced tickets are strongly recommended as tickets will only be sold at the gate if the location has not sold out first. General admission is $22 weekdays and $29 weekends (ages 12-plus) and $15 weekdays and $22 weekends (ages 4-11). The hours are Thursday through Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Winter Realms is at Charles R. Wood Park, 19 W Brook Rd. Parking is in lots on W. Brook Road with Elizabeth Little Boulevard.

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