Ice palace returns to Winter Carnival

After a 14 year hiatus, the St. Paul skyline once again dawns a seasonal addition: the Winter Carnival Ice Palace. The palace – made of 4000 ice blocks and standing at over 70 feet – is located in historic Rice Park in the heart of downtown Saint Paul.  

Dating its origins to 1886, the ice palace is a Minnesota staple

Dating its origins to 1886, the ice palace is a Minnesota staple; an epitome of how Minnesotans not only survive the cold winters, but embrace them as a integral part of their life. In recent years, however, the extensive cost of construction has been an immovable roadblock. In fact, the Pioneer Press reports that in 1992, the Winter Carnival Association (who are responsible for the palace) went bankrupt after building an enormous $2 million palace. This year too, a “record-breaking” palace had been planned for the coincidence of Super Bowl 52 as a way to attract tourists, but due to monetary constraints, had to be simplified to the seven story structure that it is now.

Apart from the palace, the annual ice carvings and the brand new snow plow robotics competition provide further entertainment (all for free). If you have the opportunity to visit, block out 1-2 hours to ensure that you have ample time to enjoy all of the winter festivities.