Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Sunny SoCal, Paying To Experience 9-Degree Weather at Long Beach's "Chill"

Queen Mary Chill

It may be 80 degrees in Southern California, but deep inside the Long Beach dome (the one that once housed the Spruce Goose, next to the Queen Mary), it's a chilly 9 degrees. The Queen Mary's annual Chill event gives SoCal residents a taste of the cold without having to drive into the mountains -- although it's not cheap, at as much as $40 a ticket. (Search for the cheaper $20 tix at Costco or online.) Still, it's a unique experience to walk through Chill's "Ice Kingdom," where ice sculptures tell the story of The Nutcracker and a slide made of ice thrills the little ones. Outside the dome, ice skating comes with the price of admission (or snow tubing, also inside the dome, is one more option). Located under the sparkling holiday lights of the Queen Mary (also included with Chill admission), it's a good way to give the kids a quick afternoon taste of winter. Before putting your shorts back on.

Chill continues until Jan. 5. Some pics:

Queen Mary Chill
Ice soldiers guard the Ice Kingdom

Queen Mary Chill
Ice Sugarplum Fairy

Queen Mary Chill
The Ice Queen Mary

Queen Mary Chill
Riding down the ice slide

Queen Mary Chill
Don't worry about bringing a heavy jacket: Everyone who visits the "Ice Kingdom" gets a thick blue parka. (It's actually required to wear if you want to ride the ice slide.)

Queen Mary Chill
Ice Christmas tree, and mini ice Queen Mary

Queen Mary Chill
Alpine Village

Queen Mary Chill
Giant snowman

Queen Mary Chill
Outside the dome, a mega rocking horse

Queen Mary Chill
View of the Queen Mary at twilight

Queen Mary Chill
Ice rink (comes with the price of admission)

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