Kemi Snow Castle
Remember your wooly hat and gloves when you sit down for a meal at the remarkable Kemi Snow Castle. Admire long walls and multiple floors made entirely of ice and enjoy the excitement as you shoot down the frozen tube slide.
First built in 1996 as a UNICEF project, the castle is a celebration of Lapland’s Arctic way of life. The exact design changes each year, though it covers a vast area and has as many as three levels which include a restaurant, bar and hotel as well as a chapel.
When you arrive at the Snow Castle, it is impossible not to be amazed by this peculiar feat of engineering. Wander around the exterior of motifs, portals and doors, bearing in mind that the whole thing is constructed anew every December. Step inside and view sculptures. Watch for the two mascots Arttu and Terttu who are often nearby during the day.
Step into the exhibition center to find out about the history of ice buildings and discover the process that goes into making such a phenomenon. Watch videos and see diagrams that reveal how the Snow Castle manages to stand firm month after month .
Complete your visit with a stop at the Snow Restaurant. Enjoy a hot or cold drink at the ice bar or indulge yourself with a meal in these spectacular icy surroundings.
Enjoy the fading light with a range of games and activities. Slip down the ice slide on an inflatable ring, try cross-country skiing or set off with a guide on an ice-fishing trip. Ride in an enclosed Olokolo nest pulled by a snowmobile. If you are staying at the hotel, retire to your room of reindeer fur and thick sleeping bags.
The Snow Castle is located near the harbor in central Kemi. The castle is open every day between January and April with a small admission fee. Book reservations for the restaurant and hotel online in advance. The Snow Castle is kept at approximately 23 F (-5 C) so bring suitable warm clothing.