As we find ourselves in the middle of the holiday season, some of us may also find ourselves with more free time than we know what to do with, and if that’s the case, let me remind you of the Queen Mary’s seasonal attraction, CHILL.
I recently experienced CHILL for the first time and was pleasantly surprised by its giant indoor igloo The Ice Kingdom—both by its beauty and its near-unbearable freezing temperatures.
Kept at a frosty nine degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the two million pounds of ice, this year’s winter wonderland brought us life-sized scenes from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Story.
Organizers introduced the 9 Degrees Ice Bar inside The Ice Kingdom, offering a bird's eye view of the sculptures and vodka tastings that are unfortunately unavailable until evening (apparently day drinking is a no-no at this event).
I also managed not to fall while ice skating on CHILL’s 6,000 square-foot outdoor ice rink; must have had to do with my unfortunate sobriety.
My favorite part was definitely the ice tubing, though, mainly because I’ve never experienced that before and was amazed at how fast I went down the ice slide. It's two stories high and 100 feet long.
I was especially in awe of how I managed not to flip my tube over and at the same time smoothly stop at the end—something one of the staff said was improved upon this year (thank goodness). I guess people had crashed and flipped more often during previous CHILLs.
CHILL will continue to be open until January 10, 2016, minus Jan. 4-6, 2016, with admission prices starting at $24.99 for children and $34.99 for adults.
Reporter’s note: While staff provide parkas for guests entering The Ice Kingdom, I highly recommend taking gloves and a jacket for extra warmth.
All photos by Stephanie Rivera.