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Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan has a fondness for Maine’s peculiar goings on. And helmet cams. There’s definitely a fondness for helmet cams.   Since she arrived in Maine 10 years ago, it’s been her mission to experience it all firsthand – from the cardboard boat races to the paddleboard jousting tournaments. With any luck, she’ll persuade you to try it, too.

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Posted: December 23, 2015

Drink in the cold: 8 Ice Bars in 2016 for cocktails and revelry in a frigid Maine winter

Written by: Shannon Bryan
The Ice Bar at Portland Harbor Hotel. Gregory Rec/Press Herald file photo

The Ice Bar at Portland Harbor Hotel. Gregory Rec/Press Herald file photo

There’s something about an ice bar martini luge that makes hanging out outside during the cold Maine winter just a bit more fantastic. I mean, we embrace all of Maine’s seasons, and the winter is no exception. But add in a few thousand pounds of carved ice, some bonfires, cocktails, food and live music, and, well, winter might just be one of our favorite seasons after all.

At last count there are eight ice bars in the first two months of 2016. Tickets for most are on sale now (and the Ice Bar at Portland Harbor Hotel is already selling out, so if you have inclination to go, get on it). And start marking your calendars for the rest. February 2016 might seem months away, but winter will have you pining for the nearest martini luge before you know it.

Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge

Jan. 15-17 and Jan. 22-23, Samoset Resort, 220 Warrenton St., Rockport. Free admission.
20,000 pounds of glacial ice. That’s a lot of frozen water. The Samoset is transforming it into a swanky ice lounge on two weekends in January (weather permitting, of course). There’s no admission cost, just the cost of your cocktails. And if you need to warm up, head in to Enoteca Wine Bar for hors d’oeuvres or enjoy dinner and entertainment at La Bella Vita.

Photo courtesy Spire 29

Photo courtesy Spire 29

Spire & Ice

7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Jan. 15 and 16, Spire 29, 29 School St., Gorham. $10.
There’ll be ice luges outside serving up chilled ice bar drinks, as well as a full bar inside with music from DJ Chris Bouchard. Plenty of drinks and snacks and you can have your photo taken in the photo booth! This is Spire’s second annual ice bar – looks like it’s becoming a tradition! Get tickets:

Ice Bar at Portland Harbor Hotel

5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 21-23 (Saturday is already sold out), Portland Harbor Hotel, 468 Fore St., Portland. $25, $33 with drink ticket.
This annual event features bars carved out of ice in the courtyard (and martini luges to chill the drinks and fire pits to keep you warm) plus complimentary food, beer bar and a DJ. Get tickets early – this event sells out every year (Saturday is already sold out for 2016). Tickets:

Ice Bar at Brunswick Hotel & Tavern

5 to 10 p.m. Feb. 4-6, Inn at Brunswick Station, Brunswick, $16 in advance, $20 at the door.
There will be an ice bar and drink luge (but of course) plus live entertainment and food from the tavern (like pork potato skins and house pretzels with dipping sauce). Tickets:

David's KPT graphic

David’s KPT graphic

FROSTED! A freezing good time

7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 30, David’s KPT, 21 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport. $50 in advance, $66 at the door.
Custom ice bar? Check. Drink luge? Check. Plus s’mores, hot chocolate bars, entertainment and light fare by Chef David Turin. Ticket price includes two signature drinks, and there will be a cash bar, too. For tickets:

SJC Annual Ice Ball

6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 6, Alfond Center, St. Joseph’s College, 278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish. $25 before Jan. 23, $30 after.
If you’re not a student at St. Joseph’s College, their annual Ice Ball is a good reason to get on campus. The ball includes an ice bar (cash bar), fire pits and an indoor lounge to warm up and hang out. It’s open to the public, so long as you’re over 21. Fun attire encouraged and the event is open to alumni, friends and the local community. Register online at

Ice Festival L/A

5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 19 and 20, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 21, Fountain Park, Bates Mill Complex, Lewiston. VIP Friday night: $25 in advance, $30 at the door, Saturday: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, Sunday Family Day: Free for children 18 and under, $2.50 adults in advance, $5 adults at the door.
By mid-February, winter ice can get pretty thick. Put that ice to work in your favor at the Ice Festival of Lewiston/Auburn, where frosty beverages are served up with a twist and where winter ice is carved into ice bars and cool ice sculptures and ice luges for chilled winter drinks. Because ice doesn’t seem so bad when it’s serving you a cocktail. There’s also food from area restaurants, live music and plenty of revelry to keep everyone warm. Friday is VIP night and Sunday is family friendly and free for kids.

Flavors of Freeport Chef’s Signature Series and Ice Bar

5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 19 and 5 to 8 p.m. Feb 20, The Hilton Garden Inn, 5 Park St., Freeport. $27.37 to $43.19.
Frosty beverages, ice sculptures, twinkling lights, snow machines and roaring fires. That’s how Freeport does an Ice Bar! On Friday night, enjoy cocktails in the courtyard and then head inside to dance to the funky tunes of Motor Booty Affair. On Saturday, the Ice Bar runs in conjunction with the Chef’s Signature Series event and there will be a DJ. Both events are part of the Flavors of Freeport Weekend. More on that and tickets:


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