Verve Logo

KUED's online series exploring creativity

Brent Christensen, Ice Castles Creator and Founder S3 E5

Nine winters ago when Brent Christensen and his family moved from the Bay Area to Utah, he started playing with the ice formed from a leaking water source in his yard with his kids. Inspired by the possibilities, Brent wanted to take it further. What started as an ice fort grew into what is today the Ice Castles.

For Brent, the most important part of the creative process is “Allowing ourselves to be curious,” he says, “and not feeling like you have to be grown up all the time.”

The Ice Castles design and formation depends on the natural environment; water, temperature and time. “I consider what we do a dance with Mother Nature.” he explains, “We can’t direct what the humidity is going to be, we don’t know exactly how the wind is going to blow. All of those things combined create a lot of surprises.”

Built from the ground up, the Ice Castles are often started in October by a team of ice specialists and sculptors. With an estimated 25 million tons of ice, the castles are composed of slot canyons, frozen waterfalls, tunnels, archways, slides, caverns, thrones, fountains and more. Today there are 5 Ice Castles locations across North America and Canada.

The team of designers and sculptors implement lights into the ice for a colorful night show. “There’s engineering and architecture and a lot of art in it,” Brent says, “But the real art is what happens when we go home and go to bed and turn the water on, it happens at night.”

For more information on the Ice Castles, tickets, FAQ and more, visit the Ice Castles and Facebook pages.

Produced and Edited by

Paige Sparks