#bucketorfuckit: Ice Castles New Hampshire

Adventures, Cities

Lucas and I have been joking about the idea of #bucketorfuckit since the summer when his dad was talking about something on his bucket list that my MIL was not even close to excited about. Lucas said, “sounds like it’s on Mom’s fuck it list” and we’ve joked about this ever since.

So for my first official installment, I present to you: Ice Castles NH.

If you follow them on Instagram you’ll be WOWED by these stunning, gigantic, gorgeous ice structures. It’s like a maze that Elsa from Frozen crafted for #forthegram. I’ve been following them @icecastles_ since last year and have been begging Lucas to go ever since.

Important Facts to Consider about the Trip:

  • The New England location is a little over 2 hours from Boston, so round trip you’re looking at about 5 hours of driving time between driving + stops.
  • It’s at the base of the White Mountains, so cell service on the way may be a little spotty. And it’s cold.
  • If you’re a Bostonian, a heads up: it’ll be probably 20 degrees colder there than it is here in the city.
  • You can’t bring a stroller (because snow) so if you have kids you need to wear them or bring a sled. Since I’m super pregnant, we borrowed a sled.

Since this is an honest review, I’ll give it to you straight: my kids hate the cold. They are NOT fans. We went with friends and waited for them outside while they were parking/getting ready since we arrived a little earlier and that 15 minutes was too much for them. So if you have toddlers or babies: be aware of how much they can handle. Despite multiple layers and snow bibs and heavy coats, scarves, hats and gloves, they were just not having it.

Exhibit A:

SO. If you have kids, keep them in mind. Know their tolerance levels, because driving for four hours to spend 10 minutes inside a tourist attraction is kind of crazy. Our arrival time also overlapped with nap-time and I think that made a big difference in Liv’s response to the elements.

Exhibit B:

So. You can imagine with this situation that we basically ran in and ran out. But I’ll try and give my impression of the actual “Ice Castles” experience without letting the toddlers affect my judgement.

First of all, it looks so tiny when you pull into the parking lot. Our initial comments were “that’s it?” and “wow that’s smaller than I expected.” It’s a lot bigger once you get up close.

It is actually really stunning up close and once you’re inside it’s kind of magical.

If you have older kids (5-10) they would probably LOVE it because they have the Frozen soundtrack playing and they have several Disney princesses on site for the kids to meet. They also have a quaint little hot chocolate cabin and a few ice slides, which are all so fun and full of winter magic.

If we lived closer this would have been a perfect date spot and we would have really enjoyed it sans kids.

But that’s not my life. I don’t think we lasted more than 10 minutes, and someone was always unhappy. So what’s my verdict?

If you don’t have kids, or have older kids who are little snow angels who can handle the cold, and can make a day out of the trip and visit one of the nearby breweries (our original plan): bucket.

If you have toddlers or babies (especially one with sensory sensitivities): fuckit.

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