The Ice Park isn’t just an open-air winter museum, or the site of the World Ice Art Championships. It’s a playground for children. This year it was at a brand-new site and the volunteers didn’t have time to get everything in place, but there were still giant slides, a maze, and an ice rink for kids of all ages. The past week was a school holiday, and plastic sleds were all over the place.

The ice rink is a little unusual — the sides as well as the skating surface are made of ice.

Slides range in size from little, fancifully carved ones for the smallest kids

To moderately long, which some of the older kids try to ride down standing up

To downright huge, with long runout spaces at the ends. These are generally used by sledders.

I decided not to try the maze — wasn’t sure I could stay upright. But I could see it would be confusing.

There were even a few purely decorative carvings in the children’s area

Though most seemed designed to be ridden, at least.

We’ve had good weather for the ice park this year. A couple of days the highs got up to 25°F, but for the most part the highs have been in the teens above, and the overnight lows have been in the teens below. Usually there is some daytime thawing by now, but we haven’t had enough to affect the sculptures. At least the ice hasn’t deteriorated nearly as much as it had by March 26 last year, but of course the last third of March is yet to go. Just hope we don’t set any new records in late March – it can go down to forty below!