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Saturday 9 January 2016

Queen Mary Chill

During our time in Los Angeles over the Winter break we headed to Long Beach to visit the Queen Mary. I'll have a post about the actual ship coming soon, but today I want to share with you a winter wonderland we found in sunny old LA.

Queen Mary Chill is an annual Christmas attraction held right next to, you guessed it, the Queen Mary. The name comes from the main attraction - The Ice Kingdom, a 13,000sf walk through exhibit made from over two million pounds of ice. That's a lot of ice. And an awful lot of chilly air! Before entering The Ice Kingdom we donned long blue parkas which, as you can see in the photo below, were just a little big for us! How hilarious does Mathilde look?!

With our huge parkas keeping us "frosty warm" (as the kids put it) we headed into the chilly 9F (-12C) exhibit. The Ice Kingdom features artfully created ice sculptures depicting scenes from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The sculptures are incredible and a lot more colorful than I expected. However, as it was incredibly cold we found ourselves walking through much faster than I expected so I didn't really get a chance to look at all the details up close.

I still can't get over how hilarious Mathilde looks in that jacket!

Ooh, look... everyone's frosty warm by the fireplace!

The ice sculptures are pretty amazing, but the highlight of The Ice Kingdom for the girls was the ice slide. After ascending a staircase made of ice we took it in turns sliding down the frosty slide. Ava was keen to ride the slides over and over but unfortunately the line was quite long and Mathilde was starting to get a little upset in the cold air so we took that as our cue to leave after one turn each. 

The Ice Kingdom isn't the only wintry fun to be found at Queen Mary Chill. There is another icy slide set up nearby. This one is made of metal with a layer of man-made snow on top. Perfect for tubing! Ava and Lola absolutely loved this. I had a turn too and it was pretty fun. Poor Mathilde was keen to have a turn as well but she didn't meet the age and height requirement. There is also an outdoor ice skating rink (for an extra charge) but we didn't go skating this time.

After spending half of the day checking out the Queen Mary we headed back to the Chill area in the evening. Queen Mary Chill has a little of everything that you'd expect from any fairground. Rides, deep fried and sugary food, face painting... The girls made sure to squeeze in everything they hadn't done earlier in the day. They ran through a "hedge" maze, played giant chess and checked out the Christmas themed lights and displays.

Our last stop for the day was to see Santa and Mrs Claus. The girls were pretty excited to see Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Mathilde was hilarious and just stood there saying "chock-lit" over and over!  That's her current response when I ask her what she wants for breakfast too! Or lunch. Or dinner. Well, chocolate IS pretty good!

The Queen Mary Chill runs through the end of this weekend (last day January 10th).

For more information please visit www.queenmary.com/events/chill/

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