Archive | February 22, 2016

Ice Palace


health; Fiona and I have a cold – blah

workouts; mostly elliptical at home, no boot camps, 2 weight liftings

projects; new set on deck; set of blankets for the kids school carnival – easy and nearly done already

Big countdowns; Days to Texas; 11.  Days until Zoe’s first Camp; 5

Beard; has a note from the governor since he has to ‘be’ silent Bob again soon


I have no real excuse for the lack of posting last week.  I kept meaning to write something and I started one thing but the blog-elves never visited so I had nothing.

We were busy with the normal life stuff.  Fiona is in a no nap phase, probably growing out of them in general, so I have a less set time to do ‘work’ on the computer.  I need to just set up the laptop upstairs and I’ll have a way again but it needs a new cord, looks like something chewed the last one (like a rolling chair not a person).

Friday we took a trip to the Ice Castle AND we brought friends.  It was a  great trip, and lucky too, because it was the last night and we didn’t even know it!  Santa got tickets for the family from Groupon, it saved us some money but given the cost for a kid ticket we were about equal  on the kids and a head on the adults.  It did however, force the issue of actually going because we had already paid.  That is probably the #1 good thing about Groupon – it turns ‘we should’ into ‘we are’.

Quick view on IceCastle MN;

Cost – low, tickets online and only minor concession pressure

Must have – snow gear!

Fun Time – takes about 45 min to see/do it ‘all’ unless there is a show.  Depends on your kids how many times they want to slide and explore.  We spent 3 hours there.

Since this is our second trip to the ice castle and I’ve noticed a few pros and cons


  • The Groupon/website experience was maddening.  I got a set of 4 and a set of 2 but one can NOT make a reservation for 6 and use that combo, one needs to make 2 reservations each equal to the Groupon.
  • The only way to communicate with the event was via facebook and they were not fast.
    • Facebook was also very overly optimistic about things because when 5 people were asking about the fact there was rain and 45 degrees predicted they were not concerned.  PS we got there and the attendants were tell us it was the last night as they were shoveling slush into the rivers.
  • bathrooms…  I know this is a temp thing, and servicing might be a problem, but a bathroom inside the castle would be very nice.
  • No re-entry stamp?  I thought they did it last year but this year (on my trips to the bathroom) I had to just rely on our memorable faces so they would let us back in.
  • The Elsa this year looked like a drag queen.  She was not nice either.



  • Absolute best thing is that other than being an ice structure with an in and out tunnel, it was 100% different than last year.  That is impressive and a reason I will go back yearly.
  • The slide this year was much more fun for the kids, and, included slide mats
  • The fire performers were great.  I’ve seen plenty of these performances and these guys had the normal set of tricks but they were engaged with the audience, they went on for a long time, and the posed for pictures.
  • The hot cocoa booth was much more accessible this year
  • I liked the dispersion of benches and fire places!  It was 45 degrees, but, still nice to warm up.
  • The staff was all friendly and positive even with the drips and puddles
  • For all the trouble of the website, the check in process was super fast and easy
  • The beauty and design of the place might be the last thing on the list but seriously a work of art.  It was made to be looked at and the faces on the kids reflected that.
    • The internal lighting was so cool…


Our trip there was blessed because while it might have been full of drips, it was way better to not have freezing kids.  They loved everything and with friends along they all went off in different directions (it is not a big place) and had that glee of independence.  Everyone behaved well, there is something about bringing extra kids that makes them all better.  It is a ton of driving but worth it for the once a year fun.