What’s better than having a drink with friends at a regular bar? Enjoying one in a bar made entirely of ice. If you’ve never been to an ice bar before, now’s your chance to experience one. Some are open all year round, while others are only open seasonally. The concept of ice bars isn’t new, but it’s gaining in popularity. The experience is unique and one that you can’t find just anywhere. We’re sharing some of the best ice bars to try in North America.
If you’re worried about getting too cold, don’t be. The temperature is normally kept at a level that is comfortable as long as you’re wearing proper winter attire, and in most cases coats and gloves are provided. Ready to see some options? Here are seven cool ice bars to try.
Icebar Orlando, Orlando, Florida
You likely don’t associate Florida with ice, but there’s a bar that will change your perception. Icebar Orlando has the distinction of being the largest permanent ice bar in the world. Many ice bars shut down for part of the year, but not this one. Upon arrival guests are given thermal coats and gloves to make the experience more comfortable. A faux fur coat can be provided for an additional fee. If you want to warm up at any point, head over to the Fire Lounge, a nightclub (and warmer spot) located within Icebar.
Minus5 Ice Bar, various locations
Minus5 Ice Bar has five locations in the United States, including two in Las Vegas (one at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and one at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino), one in Orlando (at Pointe Orlando) and one in New York (at New York Hilton Midtown) with their newest location on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Everything in all of the bars is made entirely out of ice including the walls, the seats, the bar and the glasses. Once you purchase your entrance package and arrive you’re given gloves and a parka to keep warm. Then you can sit back and enjoy the icy surroundings. Expect different types of ice sculptures, themed ice rooms, an LED light display and music.
Chill Ice House, Toronto, Ontario
Toronto now has its very own ice bar known as Chill Ice House. They operate as a family-friendly attraction during the day and then, after 8 p.m., turn into an adult-only venue. As is the case with most ice bars, everything you see is made of ice, from the walls and bar to the tables and chairs. Ice sculptures of various sizes and designs are on display and change regularly to keep the atmosphere varied. Capes and gloves are provided for the ice lounge, and when you feel like being somewhere warmer you can move to the Speakeasy bar.
Frost Ice Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
Sip creative cocktails out of glasses made of ice at Boston’s Frost Ice Bar. The bar, walls and furniture are all hand carved from ice and the surroundings are stylish, yet surreal. Like most ice bars, a warm poncho and gloves are provided upon arrival and closed toe shoes are recommended. Anyone who needs warmer footwear can rent a pair of boots for $6 and knit caps are available in the gift shop. Reservations aren’t required, but they are recommended during busy times which usually fall on weekends. Frost Ice Bar is open year round and all ages are welcome between the hours of noon to 5 p.m. From 5 p.m. to close the bar is reserved for guests 21 years and older.
Hôtel de Glace, Quebec City, Quebec
Quebec’s ice hotel, Hôtel de Glace, is also home to an ice bar. So if you don’t want to spend the night on ice, you can simply spend a bit of time sipping a cocktail in the ice bar. The cocktail package offered by the hotel includes a tour of the unique property as well as a stop at the ice bar for a drink in a glass made of ice. The more comprehensive behind the scenes tour provides more background about the creation of the hotel and you get to make your own ice glass for use at the ice bar. For anyone interested in spending the night there are various rooms, suites and packages available.
Silo Freezer, Los Angeles, California
Silo, a bar in downtown Los Angeles, offers much more than the typical drinks, food and a great atmosphere. The Silo Freezer offers a unique and chilly twist. The idea here is to enter an atmosphere that is optimal for tasting vodka. The temperature in Silo Freezer is 28 F, a temperature which is known to enhance the smoothness of vodka. Coats and hats are provided before you enter and once inside, vodka tasting is the name of the game.
Glacier Ice Bar, Rockport, Maine
You can find Glacier Ice Bar at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine for a limited amount of time. The bar is open January 16 to 19 and 23 to 25 only, so you need to get there fast if you want to catch a glimpse of the sparkling structure before it melts away. 20,000 pounds of clear glacier ice are transformed into a beautiful (albeit temporary) bar featuring ice carvings and sub-zero temperatures. When it’s time to warm up head to the property’s Enoteca Wine Bar or La Belle Vita restaurant.
Featured image: Neil Rickards