The ice plains is a near-inhospitable biome, having very few sources of wood. What available wood there is comes from the minuscule trees that can be very uncommon. Ice plains are also devoid of any grass, making wheat farming a struggle without having a steady supply of bonemeal to create grass.
Any water found in the ice plains is frozen into ice, causing large ice caps that can spread out over the ocean for quite a vast distance. This also makes farming rather hard because the water will freeze if not properly protected by light sources, such as torches, or cultivated underground. It is also to be noted that caverns seemingly generate less than other biomes. However, it is not uncommon to find above-ground entrances to small spaces or a single inter-linking cavern.
Generated structures such as igloos are exclusive on the surface, but villages will rarely spawn. Villages in the ice plains will have the same background materials in the taiga, however the farms will not generate crops, ice freezes the water (unless covered) and buildings are all topped with snow.
As of 1.7, spikes of packed ice may generate here, sometimes reaching up to 100 blocks tall.
Ice plains biomes are nearly devoid of peaceful mob life, but they have the occasional cow, sheep, pig, or chicken. This can make obtaining food and other necessities difficult. Despite this, hostile mobs still spawn at a basic rate, although in smaller groups and more scattered. Because snow is white, it creates a great contrast between the ground and mobs, making it easier to spot hostile and peaceful mobs alike from a farther distance.
White furred rabbits and strays are exclusive to this biome.