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5 Icy New Hampshire Adventures

Winter has officially arrived in New Hampshire and snow is starting to pile up around the state. Accompanying the snow is an often overlooked splendor of winter—the ice! As soon as the mercury drops, the state’s 1,300 lakes and ponds freeze over and transform our natural landscapes into dazzling winter wonderlands. There’s just something about that glossy, mirrored surface that simply inspires. So bundle up and hit the road to discover these five icy adventures that celebrate all things frozen!
  Child walking through a cave made of ice at the Lincoln Ice Castles

Ice Castles
Opens January 2023
Each year, six ice castles are constructed across North America—and one of them is located right here in New Hampshire! Bright lights illuminate the walls of this frozen structure and highlight ice sculptures and tunnels which embellish the castle interior! Grab your warmest coat and trek out to see this absolutely astounding winter castle this season.



Concord NH Winter Festival
January 27-28, 2023
The Concord, NH Winter Festival is a family-friendly event that takes place annually at the end of January on the New Hampshire State House Lawn. Enjoy ice carving demonstrations and meet some of New England’s most talented ice carvers on Friday, January 278 followed by an ice carving competition and Winter Fest on Saturday, January 28. There will be hot chocolate, s’mores, live entertainment and plenty of other outdoor winter activities. Be sure to check out the Ice Bar at O Steaks and Seafood and the Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament at White Park.



Jackson Snow Sculpting Competition
January 27 – 29, 2023
A favorite winter tradition returns to the Mt Washington Valley again this year: the Jackson Invitational Snow Sculpting Competition. Expert carvers from all over New England and beyond come to participate in this annul event. Sculptors have two days to turn the massive 8 foot by 4 foot cylinders of snow into frozen works of art. Spectators can watch the artists in action at the Great Glen Trails/Mt Washington Auto Road. The event begins at noon on Friday the 27th and wraps up at noon on Sunday the 29th. 

Woman climbing up ice at Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest

Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest
February 3-5, 2023
Interested in something a little more daring? Check out the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest! An annual tradition for nearly 30 years, this event highlights ice climbing and winter mountaineering in addition to demos, shows, food, beer and much more. Make this festival your one-stop-shop to learn all about ice climbing and mountaineering from the pros. Maybe even get a crew together and sign up for a course to try your skills with experienced guides and help from the experts; no experience necessary! Not sure you’d survive a go at scaling an ice-covered mountain? Attend a presentation about the sport and enjoy Tuckerman beer at Theatre in the Woods in Intervale NH instead!

a man carving a butterfly ice sculpture

Keene Ice & Snow Festival
February 4, 2023
Get outside and embrace winter at the Keene Ice & Snow Festival. Head to downtown Keene where a dozen ice carvers will be turning massive blocks of ice into magical wintry sculptures. This year marks the 20th year the city has hosted this annual event. In addition to the ice carving there are plenty of other free family activities including snow sliding, a children’s train ride, roaming circus acts, s’mores, sugar on snow, and much more.

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