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Aurora Ice Museum in Fairbanks, Alaska

Located at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, the Aurora Ice Museum is the world’s largest year-round ice environment.

You may be wondering just what this means exactly – it means jousting knights, polar bear bedrooms, a 2-story snowball fight structure, and perfectly chilled cocktails in icy martini glasses for visitors of age.

Champion ice carver Steve Brice has created a winter wonderland of ice sculptures depicting all sorts of crazy shenanigans for the polar region, including entire rooms built out of ice and the awkwardly fascinating “ice outhouse.” Igloos, spheres, a giant chess set, and a full-sized pair of knights jousting on horses are just a few of the amazing examples of Brice’s work. The entire place is lit up with ice chandeliers that splay the colors of the Aurora Borealis across the glimmering walls, and everything at the bar, from the glasses to the bar itself, are crafted from ice harvested locally and shaped for your delight.

The ambitious beginnings of the museum were to create an ice hotel, but it was decided that being a year-round ice environment was a lofty enough undertaking, and they scaled down to a museum. Several tours are available throughout the day, and parkas are provided.

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Atlas Obscura

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