The Ice Kingdom at CHILL at the Queen Mary in Long Beach is a winter attraction first introduced in 2012, that is set up outdoors next to the Queen Mary ship and inside the event Dome. Tickets include all day admission to the Queen Mary. It's a little pricey if you don't plan to visit the ship itself, but it's a whole lot of fun, especially if you manage to get there when it's less crowded, so you can spend more time playing and less time waiting in line. If you do plan on visiting the ship, it's a great deal. Plan to go early in the day so you have plenty of time to explore before the ship exhibits close, since the CHILL activities continue through the evening.
There are three different attractions within CHILL. Tickets include The Ice Kingdom and either Ice Tubing or Ice Skating, with the other activity as an extra fee add on if you want to do all three. There is also live entertainment, gingerbread house decorating, food vendors and a holiday gift shop. There are photo opportunities at various locations including photos with Santa. If you're visiting with little ones there's a snowman bouncy and the world's largest rocking horse in Candy Cane Village, as well as a giant snow globe to play in near the ice rink. Keep an eye out for the North Pole mail box on your way through Candy Cane Village to write a letter to Santa.
I went with two different families with kids 5 to 15 to CHILL and had a blast both times. After the Ice Kingdom, Ice Tubing and an hour on the skating rink, 9-year-old Lily declared, "This is the best day of my life!" You can't really get much better than that.
In my opinion, if you can't fit all three activities in your budget and want to try skating, skip the Ice Tubing, since you can slide down the ice slides in the Ice Kingdom on your behind as many times as you want. But the ice tubing is fun too if you can fit it all in.
If you don't want to do any of the more physical activities, it's still worthwhile to combine a visit to the ship (which is actually pretty physical between all the walking and stairs) with a walk through the Ice Kingdom, since it's only $5 more than general admission to the ship.
When: Tuesday through Sunday, November 22, 2013 to January 12, 2014
Where: The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA
Cost: $29.95- $34.95 Adults online $39.95 at the gate; $14.95-$19.95 Kids, (depending on date); $12.95 to add skating or tubing if it's not on your ticket. Ice skating season pass $29.95, not including skate rental.
Discounts: Check Goldstar.com for discounts for the Ice Kingdom only, without the skating or tubing.
Continue for more detailed descriptions of each attraction, tips and photos of all the fun.