2,000,000+ Pounds of Ice, One Famous Ship

An ice-sculptured wonderland forms at a Long Beach landmark.

Queen Mary

BRRRING ON THE HOLIDAYS: What makes the perfect seasonal outing? The smell of a fir tree in the air? The smell of gingerbread in the air? The smell of pumpkin bread in the air? Yes, to all of three things, and to all of the foods and sparkles and ornaments and carols and everything that festoons the final six weeks of the year. But ice and snow are the classic winter tropes, meaning that they're a good fit for a festive yuletide celebration as well. So while many places go for the more traditional Christmas festivals and activities, there is one Southern California spot that embraces both the coldest time of the year and the fact that it sits very, very close to a whole lot of H20. Water is, in fact, the theme of Chill, the annual Queen Mary holiday experience that's built around a whole lot of ice. How much?

WELL... Over two million pounds. That crystal-clear cold stuff'll go into a 14,000-square-foot igloo dubbed The Ice Kingdom. That cold kingdom will hold more icy wonders, including a walk-through castle, three sizable ice slides, and scenes from "The Nutcracker" (rendered in frozen water, of course). Ice tubing, too, will be part of the merriment, as well as a 6,000-square-foot ice rink. Our favorite bit about it all? The Ice Kingdom will be nine degrees Fahrenheit, so even if we get a balmy, sun-strong SoCal December day, you can still pack your heaviest mittens in the trunk of the car.

DATES AND DETAILS: Chill will fully fill out the holidays, the way water fills an ice cube tray. Look for it to extend from Nov. 22 through Jan. 5 at the Long Beach landmark. And fear not that the traditional festive touches won't be present: The Queen Mary always sports a rather glorious tree, which arrives around the beginning of December.

Tickets to Chill are on sale.

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