This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
BLOOMINGTON, MINN. — An ice castle like no other outside the Mall of America in Minnesota was built by a man from Midway, Utah.
When the temperatures drop, there's no place Brent Christensen would rather be. For the last three years, he's traveled the nation building castles with icicles harvested on site.
Christensen said this is the biggest structure he has built of icicles.
The idea started in his own backyard in Midway, with his children.
"Trying to cure some boredom and something to do with the kids, making forts and ice forts," he said.
The hobby turned into a passion for the California native and now he's bringing it to the Mall of America.
"Ice itself is such a beautiful thing. There are so many amazing things on this planet and ice is one of them," he said.
- Made of icicles organically grown from millions of gallons of water and then fused together.
- The castle joins large ice towers together to create a series of shimmering archways, tunnels, walls and caverns.
- More info: icecastles.com
Each icicle is fragile. But Christensen is patient and precise. He carefully pieces 5,000 icicles together each day, using a snow and water mixture.
Not all of them stick. But when they do, they create a winter wonderland like no other.
Each ice tower is lit a different color and when you enter, "You don't see the buildings around you," Christensen said.
"You don't hear the freeways as much," he continued. "It's kind of like going to a movie. You come out and it's like, ‘Oh wow, I forgot where I was.' That's what we're hoping. It just kind of creates that kind of experience."
Christensen has two ice castles on display, one in Steamboat Springs, Colo., as well as the larger one at Mall of America.