MN Ice Maze: The Coolest Winter Attraction in the Midwest!
The Ice Palace Maze in Stillwater is the largest ice maze in Minnesota. Not only is it surrounded by a 10′ permitter wall, but it has ½ mile of twisty passages to go, but there’s also a huge ice slide inside. Located outside of the Zephyr Theatre in downtown Stillwater, you’ll be amazed at the winter wonderland they created.
This ice palace is a great place for kids who love to play in the snow, see magical ice creations, or have a date night. There’s an ice bar, hot chocolate, s’mores, and more. So come and have fun!
I had the pleasure of getting a sneak preview of the maze during a media night. There may be affiliate links within the post. Clicking on them doesn’t cost you anything more. But I do earn a small commission. I never promote things I don’t stand behind.
UPDATE: The Ice Palace Maze is Moving to Eagan in 2023. Stay tuned for all the details.
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The Ice Palace Maze
Inside the maze you’ll find more than 2,900 blocks of ice, making the maze bigger than last year. The creators of the Ice Palace Maze have done a great job at creating twists and turns to disorient you while you make your way through.
Inside the maze, you’ll also find some other fun things to do. Unlike corn mazes, entertainment is inside the maze itself. You’ll even see a few ice sculptures and an Ice Queen.
I found myself quite enjoying going through this maze, especially since this is my first trip to Stillwater in winter! It reminded me slightly of the MN Ice Castle without the added snow. With the high walls and transparent bricks, it’s easy to get disoriented.
Adding to the entertainment, they’ve hidden different objects in the ice throughout the maze. If you find all of them, you’ll win a prize at the end.
What else is there to do at the Ice Palace Maze?
Inside the maze, you’ll find sculptures hiding and even an ice throne along with a 36-foot ice slide. This was the highlight of the trip, as you can really get some speed on this. If you are looking to go fast, wear some snow pants or hiking pants.
I went flying off the end. The little ones don’t get the same momentum but have just as much fun.
The Ice Palace Made Ice Bar and Hot Chocolate Stand
Need to warm up? Stop by the Hot Chocolate Stand. If you haven’t seen an ice bar, they are out of this world. I think they really shine at night when everything is lit up.
Don’t worry, they have something for everyone as they are a family-friendly establishment.
S’mores kits are $5 and come with enough makings to do two full s’mores. Grab a poker and let the kids roast some winter marshmallows and create their own s’more.
What you need to know about the Ice Palace in Stillwater, MN
How long does it take to get through?
The whole experience took about 45 minutes to an hour to explore. It was a fun escape from the Twin Cities. We spend about 20 minutes exploring the maze. And the rest of the time outside the maze walls enjoying the fire and making a treat for ourselves.
When is it?
The Ice Palace Maze is open 7 days a week, starting on January 14th. They don’t have an official closing date as it will depend largely on winter weather conditions. At the time of writing this, tickets are on sale through February 20th. Monday-Friday they are open from 2 pm to 10 pm and Saturday and Sundays from 12 to 10 pm.
Where to get tickets?
You can purchase tickets online. Kids four and under are free and anyone one hundred and over is free too. Adults, 13-99 are $22 and kids are $14. I highly recommend purchasing tickets online and they will sell out on the weekends. You can also save $2 a ticket online. Complete the waiver online when you buy tickets and save some time during the entry.
What to wear?
With any winter activity, always dress in layers and wear your Darn Tough Socks. Bring a few extra just in case. Hats, mittens, the works. If you have kids or are thinking you’ll use the slide, bring snow pants. I tried going down a slide in jeans on the Galveston Ice Slide and stuck right to it. Some Toe Warmers would have been good since my son was complaining about the cold.
Do I need a face mask?
Yes, Masks are required indoors at the Zephyr Theatre. This is where you enter, get tickets and complete any waivers before heading out. Outdoors, there are currently no requirements. Use your own best judgment. Speaking from my experience at Glow and Miracle at Big Rock, I was happy to have a mask for extra warmth. Since the maze has high walls, wind may not be a problem, but it will still help with the cold.
Want to make a night of it? Stillwater has some amazing places to spend the night: 13 Beautiful Places to Stay in Stillwater MN
What about Social Distancing?
This is a big concern lately. With the maze’s tight corridors, if there are crowds, it could be hard to social distance. There were plenty of places to social distance right outside the maze.
Other Fun things to do in Stillwater this winter?
After spending time outdoors, you may want to consider a good place to eat afterward. Stillwater is perfect, with so many great restaurants. There are many things to do in Stillwater, MN in winter, and the St Croix River Valley that aren’t related to ice. First, you have to explore the stunning downtown. This small-town charm makes great shopping year-round.
You need to check out the winter light displays throughout downtown Stillwater. This is a holdover from Christmas but continues through March 22. From 5-10 pm. On Main Street, all the way to the historic lift bridge will light up and dance to music.
Stillwater will also be hosting the World Snow Sculpting Championship in Lowell Park. This fun event is held from Jan 18 – 23rd. It will be a lot of fun to see what people create.
You’ll also want to check out Water Street Inn’s winter riverside ice rink. It’s a free rink open daily.
Make sure to check out my full list of 28 things to do in Stillwater. While not everything on the list is available during winter, a lot of the shops, restaurants, and hikes are all available during winter too.
Would I to the Ice Palace Maze in Stillwater Again?
I had the pleasure of attending the Ice Palace Maze media preview, hosted by the Zephyr Theatre in downtown Stillwater. This was a great event.
I spent about 45 minutes walking through this maze and found it so much fun to explore. I was looking for an excuse to get to Stillwater MN in winter. There were laughs from everyone in the family the whole time we explore the labyrinth. If you are looking for something fun to do, I recommend you check it out.