How did we get here? How did we, as a society, end up on the prowl for bars in which we pay an exorbitant amount of money in order to just be cold and get mediocre alcoholic beverages? Let’s break it down.
The novelty of the concept began in 1989 in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, just north of the Arctic Circle with the famous Icehotel. Icehotel is comprised of fifty cold rooms and seventy warm rooms, offering a unique experience for guests. It’s recommended that guests either spend their first or final night in a cold room, and the rest in the warm rooms; cold rooms are equipped with wilderness explorer level sleeping bags and thermal clothing, as well as traditional reindeer skins.
If that sounds too hardcore for you, I definitely do not blame you. Although this concept hotel has been extremely popular with adventurers and travelers alike, some people want a similar experience without the, you know, seriously real chance of frostbite. Ice bars have begun to spring up in most major cities across the continental United States, as well as in locations all over the world. The most prominent in the states is Minus5 located in Las Vegas, New York City, and Orlando; recently, I had had plans to make my way to the big apple with some friends to go experience. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as our designated driver came down with a cold (pun most definitely intended) and we didn’t want to go without her. If you’re wondering, there are absolutely zero ice themed bars in the Philadelphia area, which is very disheartening because NYC is truly too far away to go for an hour of fun decked out in communal faux fur jackets and gloves.
I suppose the point of the ice bar is solely for the experience, as even at prominent chains like Minus5, you’re only given a short amount of allotted time in the actual bar in order to keep the flow of visitors constant, and you know, avoid anyone catching hypothermia because they thought it would be a good idea to wear skirts or dresses. You’re given a few drinks and then when times up, you return your outerwear and move on your merry way with a slight buzz and cold fingers. So, is it worth the trip and the price? I think so, even if just for the story and the fun snapchats that you’ll get to send.