Family builds a cool igloo using water balloons for some winter fun

Colorful water balloon igloo
Facebook/Tansri Bratakusumo

When you think of water balloons, perhaps enjoying summer games in the backyard or at the beach comes to mind. But one family proved water balloons aren’t just for hot weather by using them to build an igloo!

The Wood family from Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, includes dad Antony, mom Tansri Bratakusumo and their two children Jasmine (age 18) and Joshua (age 15). All four members of the family got in on the fun, which Antony told Fox 32 Chicago took about two weeks, off and on, to complete.

As the igloo rose from out of the snow and ice in the Woods’ yard, neighbors couldn’t help but be amazed by the family’s creativity. Pictures of the colorful igloo soon started appearing on social media.

On Facebook, local realtor Kelly Maggio offered up some free hot chocolate for anyone who could match the Woods’ creativity in her own yard.

The process to create the colored ice orbs wasn’t as simple as filling ordinary water balloons, sticking them in the freezer, and then using them as makeshift bricks.

“Antony Wood said the first step was to fill the 12-inch balloons, add food coloring, then leave them outside in temperatures in the teens or below to freeze,” Fox 32 Chicago reported. “They removed the balloons once the ice was frozen and started to build, using snow mixed with water as a slushy mortar.”

Here’s what the balloons looked like while they were freezing for building, as posted to Facebook from Bratakusumo.

And here’s a close-up shot of what the colored ice looks like once it comes out of the protective balloon covering.

While the structure may not be suitable to rent out for any adventurous travelers looking to spend the night in an igloo, Wood told Fox 32 it works as a cozy room for two. The igloo is about 8 feet in diameter and 5 feet, 6 inches high.

“You could fit two people lying down in it comfortably, and we have slept overnight in it,” he told the station.

But his wife rose to the challenge to see how many people could fit inside their little igloo. She gathered some family and friends and they all crowded in for a fun photo opportunity.

“We managed to fit 9 fully grown adults plus one who is taking photo from the tunnel,” she posted on her Facebook page. “Pretty sure still have room for more.”

The family even decked out the colored igloo with some festive outdoor lighting to really make the colors stand out at night.

After a few weeks, the family’s amazing water balloon igloo remained standing. However, in another Facebook post dated Feb. 16, Bratakusumo told followers of the “Bulba-gloo” that its time was nearing an end. The photos showed that recent warm temperatures had done a number on the igloo.

Their Bulba-gloo sure was beautiful while it lasted. We have to wonder what this imaginative family might come up with next!

Crafts, Design & Architecture, Holiday & Seasonal, Home

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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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