Team Minnevangelist loves all things winter, so we were delighted when the good people behind the The Ice Palace and Fountain Hill Winery & Vineyard invited us to take a closer look at their newest frozen wonderland.
The Ice Palace is a family-owned and -operated business. It was founded five years ago by Jim and Shannon Youngstrom and their six grown children. For their first venture outside Idaho, they teamed up with Juston and Alexis Dooley, the couple behind the five-acre Fountain Hill Winery & Vineyard in Delano, Minnesota, just 45 minutes west of the Twin Cities. The Youngstroms knew how to build sprawling, Norwegian-inspired ice castles and the Dooleys had the land.
Their rainbow-lit palace features more than 130,000 square feet of ice, including towering mountains, tiered falls, winding tunnels, and caverns dripping in sparkling icicles. There are two sledding hills — fun for a quick rush but neither so steep that they’ll scare little kids. (You can BYO sled or borrow one of theirs.) Characters from Frozen wander the grounds, greeting visitors and smiling for photo ops, while fire dancers from Insphyre Performance light up the night every hour on the hour starting at 5:30 p.m.
After racing around The Ice Palace, we ducked into Slice of Heaven, the winery’s on-site pizzeria, for two perfectly charred, wood-fired pies. And for dessert: mulled wine, hot chocolate (there’s a DIY toppings bar with white chocolate chips, peppermint candies, and whipped cream), and a bag of fresh apple cider mini donuts from the Doxy’s Donuts truck parked near the crackling fire pits. We also popped into the vineyard gift shop, which sells cozy branded blankets, fleeces, mugs, and wine by the bottle or glass during palace hours.
The Ice Palace is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m. It’ll run through March 4 (or later!) if the weather cooperates. Adult admission is $18 on weekdays and $23 on weekends; children ages 4 to 11 are $11 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Kids under 4 are free and groups of 10 or more get a 10 percent discount. The winery has parking for up to 550 vehicles, but we suggest booking your tickets online before heading out to guarantee admission. For more information, visit theicepalacefhw.com.
This post was sponsored by The Ice Palace at Fountain Hill Winery, but opinions are our own.
The Ice Palace at Fountain Hill Winery
731 County Rd. 30 SE, Delano, MN; 763-237-5373.