The Ice Bar

Last week's blog about cold weather photography reminded me of one of the fun places I traveled to in 2011 - the Aurora Ice Bar. The Aurora Ice Bar is located in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska.  It is just a little bit south of the Arctic Circle.  The resort is open year round for your vacationing pleasure.  They say it's a great place to see the Aurora Borealis.

The Aurora Ice Bar is kept at about 20 degrees inside a specially designed building, so you can even enjoy it in the summer time.  We were there in August, but the nasty warm weather never bothered us.

Aurora Ice Bar, Chena Springs, Alaska

The entire bar and stools are made of ice.

Aurora Ice Bar, Chena Springs, Alaska

The bar is open during the tours, and many of the tourists tried their Apple-tinis.  You can see the glasses - they're also carved from ice - lined up on the shelves behind the bartender.

Aurora Ice Bar, Chena Springs, Alaska

The building is filled with ice sculptures.  They have a xylophone made of ice that is playable.  There is a workshop at one end of the building where you can watch current sculptures being made.  The artists there have sculpted jousting knights, ice fish, and the Coca-Cola polar bears.  They never seem to run out of ice up there.

We were only there for an hour because we had lots of other things to see, but we did look around at the two ice bedrooms, complete with an ice outhouse.  (No, the outhouse isn't ever actually used.)

On the ice bed in Chena Springs, Alaska

Ice outhouse in Chena Springs, Alaska

As you can see from these photos, I was in snapshot mode.  The bar wasn't on our original schedule, so I was just carrying the camera and one lens.  I was really set back because I didn't have my flash.  I hope to get back there someday with better preparation.

Rose at the Aurora Ice Bar, Chena Springs, Alaska

So, if you're ever up near the Arctic Circle, looking for a drink, stop by for lots of fun.  Tell them I sent you....

Aurora Ice Bar, Chena Springs, Alaska