Made from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, the Aurora Ice Museum is the largest year-round ice structure in the world. Completed in 2005 by world ice-art-carving champion Steve Brice and his wife, Heather, the museum features furniture, life-size knights on horseback, chandeliers shifting colors to mimic the Northern Lights, and even a bar, all made of ice.
Aurora Ice Museum tours are offered daily, and tickets are available at the Activity Center Desk or as part of a guided Chena Hot Springs tour from Fairbanks. On the tour, you’ll learn about the art of ice sculpting, view the impressive collection of ice art, and enjoy endless creative photo opportunities. After the tour, relax on the caribou fur–covered ice stools at the Aurora Ice Bar and warm your toes by the ice fireplace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visit Aurora Hot Springs as part of a Chena Hot Springs tour.
- Bring a hat, gloves, and jacket. Parkas are available for free during your tour.
- Enjoy the Ice Bar’s signature cocktail, an appletini served in a martini glass carved out of ice.
- Don’t miss the ice outhouse in the Northern Lights room.
- Learn to create your own ice art by booking an ice-carving class.
How to Get There
The Aurora Ice Museum is located at the Chena Hot Springs Resort, 60 miles (97 kilometers) from downtown Fairbanks. Most visitors arrive by car or as part of a guided tour from Fairbanks or the town of North Pole. There is also a shuttle service from Fairbanks to the resort.
When to Get There
The Aurora Ice Museum can be visited year-round and stays a cool 25°F (-7°C) inside at all times. During the summer, the museum receives more than 10,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular attractions in Fairbanks, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Tours of the museum are offered every two hours throughout the day.
Other Attractions at Chena Hot Springs
Most visitors come to the Chena Hot Springs Resort to soak in the legendary mineral-water baths with the hopes of viewing a spectacular Northern Lights show. Chena’s dark skies and ideal geographic location make it one of the best places in Alaska to view the Northern Lights. The resort also offers a wide array of activities including hiking, fishing, biking, and horseback riding adventures during the summer months, and dog sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling during the winter.