Ready or not, winter is right around the corner. Depending on where you live, the chill of the season is making its presence felt, but there’s no need to get dull just because the weather might be. Instead, let’s go where subzero and snowy meet weird and wacky, and explore some structures and properties that are literally too cool. Bundle up!
When Jimmy Grey found himself out of work in the winter of 2010, he wanted to put the time on his hands to good use. So he did what most people do to keep busy: you know, build a five-room igloo house with seven-foot high ceilings. Grey, who was living with his parents in the Cleveland suburb of Aquilla, began working on it at after a big New Year’s Day snowfall, and finished it after several tireless weeks.
The igloo included a courtyard, living room, lounge room, spare room, and as he called it, his “man cave.” This focal point of the igloo boasted a working television and a surround-sound stereo where he and his friends actually watched that year’s Super Bowl game.
While Jimmy’s igloo eventually fell victim to Ohio’s rising temperatures, one popular tourist attraction has been around for decades. In fact, this gigantic abandoned igloo located near Alaska’s Denali National Park is actually for sale. And for a cool $300,000, it could be yours! In the 1920s, the 80-foot high structure was intended to become a hotel, but never opened due to a lack of fire escapes. Instead, it still sits alongside George Parks Highway as perplexed onlookers wonder what exactly it is.
Property owner Brad Fisher has been waiting for takers on the igloo. The only catch? There’s no available electricity and the closest town is 20 miles away.
New Meaning to the Term “Home Ice”
Hockey is a sport where accessibility isn’t typically in your favor in many parts of the country. Soccer fields, basketball courts, and baseball fields seem to be everywhere. There’s probably at least two or the three within 10 minutes from where you are right now. But hockey rinks? And those that are free to the public? Definitely a tougher find.
This isn’t the case for Steve Goldstein and other members of the community in Hopedale, Massachusetts. All they have to do is look at the backyard to watch their kids play ice hockey.
This group of hockey enthusiasts each builds backyard rinks, and they take it, um, very seriously. Boards are erected, stakes are put in the ground, and the tarp is laid down. The final finishing touch: hosing it down, of course. But for Goldstein, he skips the hose and brings in a truck…filled with 8,000 gallons of water! The trick is in the timing. You need three straight nights of freezing temperatures—which, in New England, is commonplace once November rolls around.
Goldstein even has the name of his rink, “The Spectrum,” on a banner at one end of the rink, along with LED lights built into the ice so that games can go on after sundown.
Though you won’t see any Zambonis on these rinks—just shoveling. Lots and lots of shoveling.
An Ice Getaway
Don’t let the cold reviews of the Hotel de Glace scare you, it’s an incredibly inviting getaway—as long as you’re prepared for temperatures that hover between 23°F and 26°F! Originally built in 1991, this stunning, 44-room ice hotel is the only one of its kind in North America. Open every season from January through March, it’s rebuilt each year with a new theme. In addition to private rooms, the Hotel de Glace boasts a grand hall, chapel, bar, and an ice slide! Even with a number of fireplaces on the premises, guests don’t need to worry about melting, since the walls average over four feet thick.
And if you’re interested in tying the knot here, you can do that, too. The hotel has its own chapel just for weddings, which has already hosted nearly 300 ceremonies. As newlyweds, the honeymoon suite in the picture above can be all yours!
Pretty cool, right? If you thought so, you’ll probably enjoy this, too: The 5 Strangest Things Discovered by Homeowners.