Dry ice is great for packing a gift that needs to be kept cool while in shipment. Dry ice is carbon dioxide that has been frozen into a solid formation. It melts slowly, allowing it to keep a package frozen for up to three days while en-route.
Grocery Stores and Superstores
Most grocery stores carry dry ice, along with Superstores like Walmart. You will need to either call ahead, or stop in and ask if they have dry ice available for sale. They usually have it stored in their back freezers, typically in the meat department.
Most butcher shops also carry dry ice. It is typically in a freezer in the shopping area of the store, or stored in the back with the meats. Call or stop in at your local butcher shop to find out what they carry, as well as how much they charge for blocks of dry ice.
Ice Cream Shops
Many ice cream shops also carry dry ice. Again, call ahead or visit your local ice cream parlour to find out if they carry dry ice. Stopping in is probably the better option, as you can give yourself a legitimate reason to treat yourself to an ice cream cone.
Dry Ice Directory
DryIceDirectory.com has an online database of dry ice suppliers. On the main page, click on your country to find a location, then type in your Postcode. Results will display dry ice suppliers in your area, and businesses closest to you will be displayed first. Results will show company name, address, phone number and website if they have one.
Precautions For Handling Dry Ice
Dry ice is odourless and colourless, but still emits carbon dioxide gas as it melts. When transporting dry ice in a vehicle, be sure to leave windows open to allow fresh air to pass through the vehicle. Do not breathe in carbon dioxide vapours, and never touch dry ice directly with bare hands. Dry ice is much colder than regular ice, so it can quickly burn, or frostbite, the fingers in only a second's touch. Most times you must be 18 or older to purchase dry ice, since it must be handled with caution. Make sure to wear gloves when handling ice, and goggles when cutting it apart.