All-Ice Queen Mary to Again Icicle-Up LBC

CHILL returns, and with it? A rink, that slide, and a wonderland of cold.

There was a day, a few decades ago, where a passenger aboard the Queen Mary might stroll the deck in a long overcoat or hefty wrap or even a cold-thwarting parka.

No longer, though, right? If you saw someone rocking a parka at the permanently-in-Long-Beach ocean-liner nowadays, you'd either assume they were filming something or they had a Linus-blanket-like attachment to it. Because it is generally warm 'round those parts, and the Queen no longer sails the nippier North Atlantic (just many of her routes during her three-decade-plus ocean adventures).

But parkas aboard an all-ice Queen Mary? Completely understandable and frequently seen during CHILL, the landmark's late-November-to-early-January cold-fun happening.

We weren't pulling your parka that there's Queen Mary made of ice under the Dome next to the ship. True, the impressive 30-foot sculpture is not to scale -- spoiler alert: the real Queen Mary is over 30-feet tall -- but you can board the smaller icy delight and whirr down one its three ice slides.

Ice slides, brrr. You might consider long johns, under your pants, sliders, but take comfort that there are tubes to sit upon.

A candy cane forest, dancing dolphins, waves, and other seasonal delights join the icy ship under the Dome. It's all part of the 14,000-square-foot Ice Kingdom.

As for doings just outside the former home of the Spruce Goose? A 6,000-foot ice rink with the real (non-ice) ship in the background is a hard-to-miss centerpiece. Carolers, Santa, and "the world's largest rocking horse" are other yuletide-sweet must-sees.

Oh, and the temperature inside the Ice Kingdom? Nine degrees Fahrenheit, hence the parkas (which the Queen Mary loans out to visitors). The temperature on the ice rink? That depends if we get one of those famously fine late fall or early winter afternoons, the kind where people stroll the deck of the actual Queen Mary in shorts and sundresses, without a parka in sight.

CHILL is on at the Queen Mary from Nov. 21 through Jan. 11, 2015.

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