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Veal’s Ice Tree

Confession: My family and I have lived in the Indianapolis area for seven years and until recently I had never heard of Veal’s Ice Tree. How is that even possible, I wondered… this ice tree has become an Indy winter institution!

What started as a back yard accident in 1961 has become an annual tradition for the Veal Family. They use 2x4s, binder twine, plastic, and other materials to get the frame started – and yes, there are some kinds of trees or other shrubbery hiding in there too.


Using a continuous stream of water coming from the pond on their property {how resourceful!}, this manmade structure begins to freeze and form, becoming the shiny beacon you can see from I-74 if you look just right. Food coloring helps the statue stand out from the other landscape. It sure is a sight to see!

Veal’s Ice Tree_Indy'sChildMagazine

Veal’s Ice Tree is usually formed every January and starts to melt in April so my five year old and I recently made our way down to the southeast side to view this beauty in all of its frozen glory. It is a bit of a drive for such a short visit but it is totally worth it. You’ve got to go at least once, if anything just to see how tall it is! This year Veal’s Ice Tree has reached 20 feet but their record height is over 70 feet tall. Here’s a great shot of it from last winter just for scale:

Veal’s Ice Tree_Indy'sChildMagazine

A word to the wise – follow the directions below (taken from their website) and turn the GPS off. Even google maps will not get you where you need to be, trust me. But bottom line, this is worth a drive, even if just a short one on a Sunday morning.

MORE INFO: Veal’s Ice Tree is located at 11333 Southeastern Road in Indianapolis, right off I-74 East at exit #99/Acton Rd. Go south to Southeastern Ave {which is the 1st road} and turn left/east. Turn left at the first drive after the sharp curve. Hours are dawn-dusk 7 days a week and lights turn off around 10pm. Admission is FREE! They do not accept donations or collect money. Parking is somewhat limited so if there aren’t any spaces available, just wait your turn. Visit their website for more details.


Megan Leahy - Indy's Child Digital WriterA 30-something stay-at-home-mom of two, Megan Leahy is an Indy transplant who doesn’t like to stay at home. Originally from central Illinois, you can find her anywhere from the public library returning an overdue book or Target buying more than she went in for to taking her husband & kiddos out on the town or spending time with her friends at a local hot spot.

Megan is an avid volunteer who loves working with children and helping those in need. In 2015 she founded Pals on Patrol, a non-profit that collects new/very gently used stuffed animals that police, fire/rescue, and DCS staff can give to children in time of crisis. Follow her on Twitter or check out

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