The Queen Mary hosted my visit to 2017’s CHILL which means I received complimentary admission on opening night for the purpose of previewing for you. As always, all opinions are my own.
Queen Mary’s CHILL is a holiday ice event just outside The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. In years past, the event featured a whole “kingdom” of ice sculptures. The whole reason to go was to don a parka, put on mittens and a hat, and walk through a world that the ice sculptors created. This is NOT what you should expect at the 2017 CHILL. Instead, the main ice features are an outdoor ice skating adventure park, an ice tricycle track, shuffleboard on ice (think curling), and ice tubing runs. The whole CHILL holiday ice event is set in a theme of an international holiday expedition with 6 regions featured: China, Germany, Holland, Russia, Switzerland, and America’s North Pole. (If you want to take a peek at what it looked like in 2013, I still have a post about it.)
A Perfect Evening at CHILL’s Grown-Up Playground
Although it’s billed as family-friendly — and there are lots of options of things to do with kids — I think I would prefer CHILL as a date night (with a group of maybe 3 couples) or simply a night out with up to 5 friends. There are really cool private igloos set up with couches and stuffy chairs, plus mini fireplaces. It would be fun to have that as a “home base” for 6 people.
This place is definitely for you if you love ice skating and are bored with indoor rinks. This one is winds its way through the event space. It’s super fun to go so far and be right in the middle of things. They have penguin-shaped trainers to hold onto if you are a beginner.
The ice is actually lit up with directional symbols so you know which way to go. Sometimes they close off the circle around the tree to give exclusivity to the entertainers and feature it for the tree lighting. Ice skating is included in your base admission.
As far as the different lands go, everything looks cooler in the dark. The Swiss Chateau Bar up above it all has a great view of all the activities. The German “Twisted Pretzel & Barrel Room” feels cozy with brats grilling outside and Bavarian pretzels from the pretzel cart. Red lanterns glow above China’s Shanghai Speedway Ice Cycle track.
Russia is a subdued blue with a mellow vibe throughout the shuffleboard area and under the dome which offers aerial entertainment. There’s even a true ice bar there where they serve vodka.
The ticketing has some INCLUDED and NOT INCLUDEDs — so make sure you have a good understanding of all that before you actually pay online. I found the phone operators to be very helpful when I called to consult them with my questions. The best place to get info on the activities is the website. The ticket information page has a lot of the info. But I found the page about the International Holiday Expedition to be a lot easier to understand.
Basically, the ice skating and the ice tubing are what’s included, along with entertainment and admission to the Queen Mary. Activities like these bumper cars, a zip line, ice tricycles, cookie decorating, and more all cost extra tickets. You can also purchase extras like front-of-line privileges. I personally loved the 4D Ruldolph movie, but I couldn’t figure out if it cost extra or how much. (Note: It’s HILARIOUS for adults who remember the movie – at least it was to me — but it could be scary for young children.)
Speaking of children, kids 3 and under get in free. Kids ages 4-8 pay a child admission and everyone else pays the adult admission.
A highlight for me was heading over to the Queen Mary to check out both the aerial view of CHILL – as pictured at the top of this post – and the view of Downtown Long Beach from the ship.
Not all of the museum areas were open, but strolling the 4th floor deck was pretty fun and a nice respite from the music and excitement down below. Until 7pm, The Shipyard is open and there is a full-size LEGO Queen Mary on display. All the restaurants on board were also open, unless they were closed for a private event.
We even discovered a Gingerbread Lighthouse. And did you know you can actually SPEND THE NIGHT on The Queen Mary? It’s a hotel, too. Rooms looked like they run from $165-$200/night with the breakfast package. That would be really fun to include with an adult trip to CHILL. Then you wouldn’t even have to drive home!
Some of you will find it too pricey. Some will have fond memories of ice sculptures from the past. But many of you will probably want to try ice skating at an outdoor adventure park and seeing a tree lighting with lots of fanfare and live entertainment. The lights are choreographed to holiday tunes. Here’s my video from my Instagram Story.
Finally, make sure you check around for discounts on tickets.