What if your playground was made of ice? An Qui Feng of Harbin, China cuts away at an ice block while working on a sculpture for this year's Ice Alaska Ice Park in Fairbanks, Alaska (AP photos)
What if your playground was made of ice?
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Workers are building an ice playground in a city in Alaska. It will include a pirate ship slide made from 65 refrigerator-sized blocks of ice. It will even have mazes.

The work began at the George Horner Ice Park in Fairbanks. It's in preparation for the annual world ice sculpture championships, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

A giant ice lens also is planned. Ice championships chairman Dick Brickley said it will be 12 feet in diameter. It will be powerful enough to focus the sun's rays and start a fire, he said.

The ice is so clear, the rays go right through it. One small telescope in the past started a fire on a piece of plywood.

Another new attraction is an experimental sculpture. It will be carved on land. Then it will be displayed underwater.

Its kind of a neat new concept, Brickley said. We make it so the public can walk out over the ice and see the carving under the water.

The attractions must be completed by Feb. 23. That's when teams of artists participating in the 2015 BP World Ice Art championships begin making sculptures.

The ice being harvested is crystal-clear aqua blue, Brickley said. This winter has been warmer. There's been less snow than usual. That is actually good for ice formation, he said. Snow can shield ice from cold air.

On Feb. 23, teams of artists begin making their single-block and multi-block sculptures for the competition part of the event. The events will feature artists from 16 countries.

So far, crews have harvested about 188 of the 1,000 ice blocks they need for the park. The ice is 22 inches thick. That is a good depth for ice park construction.

The clear aqua blue ice is a big attraction, though.

"Thats why these artists pay all that money to come in here and carve it, Brickley said.

Critical thinking challenge: CTC: What's so special about the ice being harvested? How is it different from ice in your refrigerator at home?

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COMMENTS (34)
  • BadWolf
    1/26/2015 - 01:48 p.m.

    I feel like this is a amazing concept because if you have all that snow and ice why not use it? Being from Oklahoma we dint have that much snow so i would love the change of pace and go over to play in that amazing park. My one concern that sometimes it can get warm in Alaska and we would see all of that time and effort go to waste and people chipping the ice would probably cause for a lot of maintenance.

  • ObamaLlama123
    1/26/2015 - 01:50 p.m.

    This is one of those things I wish I could have but I can not. I do not want to move but that sounds fantastic.

  • ryan0420-yyca
    1/26/2015 - 09:01 p.m.

    wow that is crazy! I think that it is crazy because that thick ice is going to be so big. But also i think it is not a very good idea to get peoples attention by putting ice carvings under water because next thing you know it is going to all melt. But also it is a good idea until it melts because people will probably start looking at it and wondering how was that carved so well. I wonder how does the ice focus on the suns ray to start a fire when it is ice.

  • matthewn-Wre
    1/27/2015 - 01:11 p.m.

    I think its prety cool that they can make a playground out of ice mabe one day il make a statue out of ice.

  • Tiffany0307-yyca
    1/27/2015 - 08:35 p.m.

    Cool, I would like it if a playground was made out of snow. It's because I never touched snow or saw snow in real life. That is why I want to go to Korea in the winter so badly. But too bad I'm going in the summer. There is going to be so much mosquitoes. Anyways, about the ice playground, it's kind of weird if the sun rays just go through the ice instead of melting it. I think that it is kind of weird for playgrounds to have mazes. I mean, what if somebody got lost and nobody could rescue them? I think that they should think about that before building the mazes. But I think it's cool because we could ice skate, even though I don't really know how to do it. But I really just love snow and I really want to touch it. That ice color kind of sounds pretty. But about the snow, I think there is just going to be one problem. If I am there, I might get very sick, and being sick is not fun at all. I think a playground made out of ice is just very awesome.

  • SH2000Lovie
    1/28/2015 - 08:43 a.m.

    What's special about ice being harvested is that you can always use it can basically be one of those frozen ices that cant defrost. This is different from the ice in our refrigerator because the ice in there can be melted, but harvested ice can't melt.

  • GavinN-Mau
    1/28/2015 - 11:39 a.m.

    Why do you guys want to build things with ice? is it cold where you are? I hope you guys have fun!

  • aliciac-Hyl
    1/28/2015 - 12:04 p.m.

    I want to live in Alaska now! Mainly because they are getting an ice playground. I wish it was colder here in New York. The one bad thing about having an ice playground is you will probably slip about 1 million times a week (depending on how much you go there and I might have over exaggerate about falling/slipping a million times).

  • robertd-Hyl
    1/28/2015 - 12:06 p.m.

    I did not know that the ice is used for a slide. so ice is not only dangerous? I also want to say that i liked the critical thinking.

  • margareth-Hyl
    1/28/2015 - 12:07 p.m.

    I think that if you have a playground made of ice............ you are going to have an awesome time playing on it! I mean the slides will be fun to slide down because you will go super fast, the giant ice lens will set things on fire ( fun right ), and who does not like looking sculptures that are underwater? I know I would love to see this frozen park and all of it's stuff. Especial the crystal clear aqua blue ice. Wait, if the ice is aqua blue how is it crystal clear? Whatever. Anyway I would love to see the park of ice.

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