We didn’t quite get a chance to do the whole Christmas thing like we usually do this year. This season, there wasn’t the same opportunity nor urgency as other years to get in the Christmas spirit. My parents came for an almost-three-week visit at Thanksgiving time, we’re only in this house temporarily, and we weren’t going to be here for Christmas anyway. Also, our weekday afternoons and weekends were filled with soccer practices and games unlike we’ve ever experienced before so we really had no time for much of anything else. We didn’t even have a tree this year.
But we did try a new special holiday event this season! We went to CHILL at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, “SoCal’s only frozen holiday adventure,” in its second year. A friend and I had discussed the idea of going last year when it first appeared, but we didn’t get around to it. This year I saw discounted tickets offered at Living Social so I seized the opportunity for us to go while my parents were in town. They always enjoy experiencing something new while they’re here, and I was curious about it.
We visited CHILL the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (its fifth day after opening) with the hopes that the crowds wouldn’t be too overwhelming yet. In that respect, it was great. The crowds were very manageable, and we experienced minimal lines and easily found tables to eat at. However, it felt like we were there too early in the season. Some activities and areas weren’t open yet, there were no holiday carolers or holiday-themed entertainment as mentioned on their website, and they still had some fine-tuning to do with regards to ice tubing in particular.
The Ice Kingdom was CHILL’s main attraction. It was a separate area inside their great, big dome known as The Igloo. It is “an awe-inspiring exhibit featuring larger-than-life ice creations that towers over 2.5 stories tall and used more than two million pounds of ice.” CHILL’s website had warned us that the temperature inside the Ice Kingdom was kept at 9 degrees so we dressed accordingly and brought outerwear for sub-freezing temperatures, or at least we did the best we could living in Southern California and having visitors who came to enjoy warm Southern California weather. Before entering, we were offered long parkas which we gladly accepted when they assured us that it really was only 9º inside the Ice Kingdom, maybe even colder. Continue reading