This just in from my intrepid editor Beth Szymkowiski, – a great idea for some chilly family holiday fun!
“The holidays always get me hankering for some of the snowy fun I enjoyed growing up on the East coast, so I was eager to check out CHILL at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. One price gets you onto the Queen Mary and into the adjacent winter wonderland complete with an ice skating rink, a snow tubing hill and the most spectacular of the attractions, an ice slide and ice sculpture display. The latter two are in an enclosure kept at a frosty 9 degrees. Long parkas are included in the cost and protect sliders from getting a wet bottom. The sculptures are fantastic and it’s hard to heed the warnings not to touch (or lick!) them. We had dressed warmly thinking the entire area was kept cold, and ended up stripping off layers on a typical SoCal night.
My sons, aged 7 and 10, are not fans of ice skating so we skipped that and spent almost all of our time tubing. We had Elf Passes, which are the equivalent of a theme park fast pass. They allowed us to go to a line that was pretty much nonexistent on the Thursday we visited so we could get off and get right back on again. Again, and again, and again. If they had their druthers, we’d still be there.
The tubing is limited to kids 5 and up and at least 42 inches, but littler ones can enjoy the winter wonderland spread around with lots of holiday lights and giant candy canes, two bounce houses (which are included in the entrance fee), costumed characters walking about, entertainment on two small stages, a gingerbread house and, if they’re not terrified of him, a chance to sit on Santa’s lap.
CHILL will be open Dec. 4-7, Dec. 9 – Jan. 4 & Jan. 8-11.
One of my all time favorite things to do with the kids is to go to a concert at Disney Hall. My Dad is an opera buff and I remember as a little girl he would take me to Lincoln Center in New York and then later, when we moved to DC to hear music at the Kennedy Center. For a child to be in such a grand space, all dressed up and to hear the full glory of music is such a treat, and creates such a lasting memory.
The LA Philharmonic makes it really easy to introduce your children to great music as they have a lot of programs specifically designed for children. You may be thinking that your children could no way sit through a classical musical performance. But we started taking my son when he was two! The kids love it. The Toyota Symphonies for Youth are short (about 1 hour) morning weekend concerts that usually have a skit or play involved in the event in order to help the kids become familiar with the music and the era being presented. Plus tickets are $ 20.00 for the youth concerts. “Deck the Halls, the holiday sing a long is such a special event that my kids look forward to every year. There is also a Messiah sing a long that is lovely. I have never had a bad seat in Disney Hall. The theatre, although large, is also remarkably intimate. We actually like the section behind the orchestra as we have kind of a bird’s eye view of the musicians and the dramatic instruments.
The holiday concerts fill up, so if you are interested I would log on to the website ASAP. It is a truly inspiring way to create holiday memories. We’ll be there this year, and I hope you are too.
The website below has such a wide selection of offerings. You can even customize an adult concert package.
111 S grand ave Los Angeles,
CA 90012 (323) 850-2000
One of my all time favorite Thanksgivings was spent with my then 3 year old at a diner in Los Feliz. Just as we were heading over to our friend’s for dinner and we noticed that our little girl had a rash all over her. We knew one of our friends was going to be flying back to Boston with his family the next day – suppose the rash was the beginning of the flu or something? We couldn’t risk it. So my husband packed up our baby and the mashed potatoes and peas and headed to Santa Monica without my daughter and me. I looked at my toddler, all dressed up with no where to go, and wondered what we would do to mark the day? I decided to take her to her favorite spot, Fred 62, and have pancakes. It was surprising how many folks were at the diner that evening. They had lit candles for a special ambience. We ordered silver dollar pancakes, and a turkey sandwich. I was grateful for a few moments alone with my toddler, as my 6 month old had been demanding most of my attention. As usual she was a great company, as chatty as ever. “Happy Thanksgiving.” I said to her, as we chomped into a pancake smothered in maple syrup. “You know what I’m thankful for?” I asked.
“Me,” she smiled.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what Thanksgiving should be, the perfect table, and turkey and the right wine, it’s easy to forget the spirit of the day. I was glad that my daughter reminded me, and that I didn’t have to do dishes.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! And thank you, dear readers, for reading.