Though it may not always seem like Christmas in southern California with its glaring sunny days, it certainly is Christmas time at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The event was full of the smiling faces of performers and families alike, and the happiness and merriment were palpable. Bringing in the holiday cheer with food, libations, attractions, and snow flurries produced from a snow machine, one can immerse themselves in the magic that is the Queen Mary Christmas — where holidays set sail. As you drive through the twisted concrete jungle on your way to the Long Beach port, you will suddenly come upon the majesty that is the Queen Mary, a ship that is steeped in history and has been retired since 1967. The Queen Mary makes itself yet more beautiful this time of year, transforming itself into a winter wonderland November 29th through January 1st, 2020. Dozens of Christmas trees stand as decoration around the event, strings of lights drip from every scaffolding, and toy and human soldiers roam the grounds to bring the holiday to life.
There are many attractions at the Queen Mary this year. As you enter the gates of the event, you will come upon the brightly lit Grand Carousel, inviting you to give in to the childlike wonder of the season and hop aboard your animal of choice. Next, you will see the Giant Rocking Horse, which, according to attendee GloZelle and her family, “The kids love it, especially the big rocking horse. Getting up and getting down was scary, but it was FUN!”. Right next to here is a rock climbing wall where you can pretend you are traversing the alpines of a snowy mountainside, and across from there, you can continue in the winter festivities with ice skating at the True North Ice Rink. Next up is a ride on the train, though it may be more comfortable for tykes due to its size. The Christmas Belles’ sweet croons and tunes can be heard as they go caroling, and the toy soldiers and nutcrackers may just break out into dance, putting a hip hop spin on some Christmas classics.
Inside, you will find crafts stations, including a custom Christmas stocking station as well as a room fool of props, labeled the Insta Wrap room, in order to take fun Instagram worthy pictures. DO NOT miss out on visiting Justin at the make your own gingerbread station (pictured above) , whose cheerful personality and dedication to all things Christmas will turn any Scrooge into Buddy the Elf.
Venture upstairs to find a station for writing Santa a letter, and further down the hall, meet the man himself, where you can sit upon his lap or at his feet for pictures and to talk (toy) shop with Old Saint Nick. There is also storytime with Mrs. Claus, and if you have time to head over to the Stern of the ship, you can catch a snippet of The Polar Express, which has 4D features such as snow flurries and olfactory stimulants such as the smell of hot chocolate. While inside, no one will stop you from wandering the halls of this storied ship, where you can marvel at its many fine paintings, old-timey decorum that will transport you back to the 1930s, and do not be surprised if you happen upon one of the famous ghosties reported to haunt the halls and corridors of the Queen Mary.
After all the merriment, you may be asking yourself where’s the beef when the need to refuel hits you in the holly jollies. Do not pout, fore there are a few food vendors to choose from stationed throughout this event. Stop by the ice rink area for pizza, or stop by Nutcracker Sweets inside by the crafts for candied apples and other sweet treats. At Reindeer Road House next to the trolly you can find delicious carne asada fries, tacos, and burgers, and for the adults, wine and spirits can be found aboard the observation deck, where you can also take a romantic stroll beneath the moon and the twinkling Christmas lights that adorn the ship all Christmas season.
Ghosts of Christmas Passed
The Queen Mary is a ship that has an illustrious past — famous celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Sir Winston Churchill have visited its halls, and over a hundred people have died aboard the ship… for one reason or another. Second only to Halloween, Christmas is the perfect time of year to revisit with spirits, perhaps the holiday’s most famous story, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, is a ghost story, after all. There is no better way to bring ghosts and Christmas together at the Queen Mary than Aiden Sinclair’s interactive seance, “Ghosts of Christmas Passed”, held within the exclusive Revenant Room. According to one very in-the-know guest, Grayson Kilpatrick “…there has been at least one heart attack, killings, and suicides” in room 340 alone, which is right next to this historic lounge. During the show, the audience participates in contacting ghosts, ones that haunt the ship as well as the ones that we bring with us, and afterward, there may be an opportunity to attend a ghost investigation with Aiden and his beautiful assistant Rebecca, as they lead you into the bowels of the ship in order to converse with the ghosts of the Queen Mary. Though it is not included with the Queen Mary Christmas event, it may be worth the additional cost if you are into the paranormal — CLICK HERE for more info and to purchase tickets. In my opinion, this was the best attraction, though I may be influenced by my love of the paranormal.
Follow them on Facebook
The Queen Mary returns with its holiday extravaganza once again, in celebration of this season. Perfect for an adorable family outing or a romantic date, The Queen Mary Christmas has many fun-filled events, attractions, and food to fill an evening immersing yourself in all the Christmas feels. With general admission adult prices at $29 and VIP adult tickets set at $65, the event’s pricing is mid-level. Honestly, I would skip the VIP ticket, which only gives you the added features of one ice skating session, one gingerbread house decorating kit, and one stocking decorating kit. Save your shillings for your Christmas shopping and go the general admission route, where you are sure to have fun partaking in the festivities without breaking the bank.
CLICK HERE for tickets